The Man Who Sold the World by Martyn Miller

The Almighty was taking a bath. It had been a long week with the creation of the universe and whatnot, and He felt he was due some respite. The water was perfect, the temperature set just so. The tub big enough that he could stretch out and rest his head on the rim while playing with the two ornate gold taps at the far end with his toes. And of course, the bubbles. The good lord could never have too many bubbles. A small rubber duck bobbed up and down, it’s bright yellow head briefly appearing above the waves of suds before vanishing once more. Closing his eyes, he soaked in the pleasure of a good bath and a hard weeks work, and slowly but surely, he drifted off…

He woke with a jump. The water, suddenly disturbed, made a break for the edge of the tub. Getting his bearings, he splashed his face.

‘Dozed off…’ he grumbled as he began heaving himself out of the tub, his beard soaked through. Shaking himself off, he reached for the towel rack that had popped into existence not moments before, its contents a wide array of pink fluffy towels. Suddenly, there was a ringing, an almost cheery noise that went on for a short while before abruptly stopping. Perplexed, He glanced around the white nothingness that surrounded him, his brow furrowed. All that he could see was his rapidly emptying bathtub and a towel rack that appeared to be blushing. Shrugging it off, he collected a towel and set to work drying himself. After a moment, the ringing came again. He paused to listen, tilting his head to the side to try and pinpoint the source. Once again, it abruptly stopped.

‘A doorbell?’ he thought. Wrapping his lower half in a towel He set off in the suspected direction, leaving small puddles in his wake. However, with everything below, above and around being bright white, directionality was somewhat difficult to come by. During his wanderings, he paused several times to think and also made two wrong turns. Finally, he turned a corner and came face to face with a door. It was black, a complete contrast with its surroundings. The design was simple and unassuming, with a small silver knob. Puzzled, the Almighty reached for it and turned. Pulling the door open, He was surprised to find a young man standing on the other side.

He wore a beige suit, a matching fedora and smart black shoes polished to perfection. Tucked under his left arm was a large black binder stuffed with papers, some of which were trying to escape. Breaking out in a wide grin, he removed his hat to reveal jet black hair that was thick with gel and shone as much as his shoes.

‘Evening sir!’ the man said, ‘I do hope I’m not disturbing you?’

The Almighty stood in the doorway, mouth agape, a small puddle steadily growing at his feet. His mind was reeling with how this man could have even gotten here and had entirely forgotten he wore nothing but a towel. The stranger seemed to take no notice.

‘You see I was just admiring your garden sir,’ the man continued as he turned to look over a vast plain of white nothingness, ‘beautiful piece of work sir, truly beautiful. I don’t know much about gardening myself sir, wouldn’t even know where to start…’

‘Uh huh… Can I..’ the Almighty tried.

‘…but I’ve had to dig out the old green fingers from time to time sir, yes sir I certainly have.’

‘Can I help you?’

‘I’m glad you asked sir!’ replied the young man, the smile never leaving his face. ‘My name is Charles sir, but please call me Chuck! You see sir, I’m selling a product that I think you might be interested in! Something like this doesn’t come around often, no sir! Once in a lifetime sorta thing!’

Raising his hand slightly and shaking his head, the Almighty tried to stop Charles before he could get started,

‘Sorry Charles but I’m not looking to buy anything….’

‘Chuck sir. But you see, there are a number of interested parties,’ the man continued, ‘Very rare that something like this goes up for sale sir, and I thought that it would only be fair that you at least got the first opportunity to look at it what with you being involved in its creation and all that sir.’

‘I’m really not interested…’ the Almighty continued, still shaking his head, though Charles last few words caused his attention to make a quick and quite unexpected turn, ‘Wait, what do you mean “my creation”?’

‘Your creation sir!’ Charles answered, pleased to have now gotten his full attention. He untucked the binder underneath his arm and almost immediately it sprung open. Some small pieces of paper flew out and gently floated to the ground, one landing in the puddle still forming at the feet of the Almighty. Charles seemed to pay them no mind. ‘Says here sir, “Original Owner: The Lord AKA Jehovah, The Father,” etc, goes on a bit that section. “Date of Creation: Still under debate” though I suppose you’d know that better than anyone sir. You are the Lord Almighty aren’t you sir?’

‘Well… yes,’ the Almighty replied, the look of confusion still stuck on his face, ‘but what creation are you talking about?’

‘Why Earth sir, of course. The World, Gaia, third planet from the sun, all that nonsense.’

‘I see… but if I’m the owner, why are you coming to me?’

‘Well you were the owner sir, but you see it’s been quite some time since you’ve been in touch sir. And according to property laws, ownership of any property will pass to the people if the owner is believed to be dead or unaccounted for.’ Charles leaned in slightly and continued in hushed tones, ‘And between you and me sir, not everyone is believing in you like they used to. People are starting to talk, starting to say that the world is even older than we first thought, even older than you!’ Charles shuddered at the thought and returned to his binder.

The Almighty stood, visibly shocked by what he was hearing. He started wondering how long he had dozed off for. How long humanity had been left to its own devices. Slowly gathering his composure, he went on,

‘So now you’re here to sell it back to me?’

‘That is correct sir,’ Charles responded, not looking up from his binder.

‘But if mankind is going fine without me, why are you selling your home?’

‘Tell you the truth, I think we’re done, sir.’

‘You’re done?’

‘Yes sir. We’ve had a decent go of it while you’ve been away, but we just keep making a right pig’s ear of it sir.’ Charles looked up, shaking his head in what appeared to be disappointment. ‘Can’t keep it clean, messing up other species, fighting amongst ourselves. If someone does something wrong, all they ever do is blame someone else or sweep it under the metaphorical rug, sir. Gone to the dogs sir, gone to the dogs.’

‘And you want me to buy that?’ scoffed the Almighty.

‘We think our home would be in better hands of one experienced body rather than distributed amongst many, sir.’

‘Well I’m sorry, but I won’t get involved. I do apologise for not being available recently, but you’ve all clearly been busy without me, and I think it should stay that way.’

Chuck smiled, gave an understanding nod and closed his binder, ‘I understand sir, you need not say another word,’ and with that, he turned and began walking off into the white expanse.

The Almighty gave a firm nod, believing he had made the right decision and began closing the door. It was then he noticed the small piece of paper that had fallen from Charles binder and landed in the puddle at his feet. Picking it up, he called out,

‘Excuse me, you dropped something.’

Charles turned, still wearing that same smile, ‘Oh, my thanks, it’s this bloody binder you see sir,’ and he started back up the path once more.

Looking at the paper, the Almighty noticed it was a short list, with only two names on it, the colour draining from his face upon reading the second,

  1. The Lord Almighty
  2. Beelzebub

‘Potential buyers sir,’ Chuck spoke out, ‘the list of beings that could afford a planet is terribly low.’ He plucked the list out of the Almighty’s hand and with a quick pivot on his heel, set off, whistling a tune of his own design.

‘Uh, hold on, just one second!’ the Almighty yelled after him. A devilish grin broke out across Charles’ face, vanishing as he turned back for what he knew would be the final time.

‘Yes, sir?’

‘Do you take cheques?’

 

Martyn Miller

Banner Image: Pixabay.com

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “The Man Who Sold the World by Martyn Miller

  1. Hi Martyn,
    At least he had the decency to go in person and not cold call on the phone!
    A cracking wee story that made me smile!
    All the very best my friend.
    Hugh

    Like

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