The future is predictable; it will be a lot like the past. God will watch over us in his giant bubble, exactly like the car of one of his representatives on earth. He will look at what has been created and say to his son, in hypothetical humour, while stroking his grey beard, “This is getting messy. We have a lot of have-nots and very few haves but the haves own most of the world, and have a claim on the rest of it. The have-nots work their asses off to make a living wage—thus they satisfy the bosses’ hunger for more of the pie, then buy stuff they don’t need to make the bosses cry with joy and relief. Jesus.”

“Yes?” says his son, head poking out from his dusty sheets.

“Ah, there you are, Jesus. When I sent those messages down, the ones about love thy neighbour and don’t covet your wife’s best friend—”

“Sorry, Father,” said Jesus. “I think you mean the one about don’t covet your neighbour’s wife.”

“Oh yes, that too,” said God. “I didn’t mean it to start such a prissy humanity. No one takes risks anymore.”

Jesus sighed. “Yes, they’re all dead from the neck up. I don’t regret my brief time on Earth, but it was a bit prickly.”

“Glad I rescued you in the end,” said God. “But what are we to do?”

“That’s easy,” said Jesus, “leave it alone. On a billion other planets things are also growing.”

“Can we see them?”

“Of course, Your Omnipotence,” said Jesus. “But why you should want to is beyond me. First, they are very ugly. Most drink methane, have no eyes, ears or legs and slither around in a brown ooze. And, it’s hot everywhere, no atmosphere—like a Roman bankers’ party.”

“So, what are we saying—this is the only beautiful planet in existence?”

“Seems like it,” Jesus said.

“Then we must do something about it.”

“What? You already did your best. The Commandments were a good start.”

“They took it too literally, I was messing with their heads.”

“That’s humanity for you. You should have stopped at monkeys.”

“Or dolphins.”



“I nearly did.”

“Problem is, they are living too long. Half of them go barmy then forget why they are there at all.”

“They don’t realise they are shells, nothing but elements, their whole world is an illusion.”

“Yes, but one you created. You must remember why.”

“Tell me, it was such a long time ago.”

“So that you could experience life. The growing, evolving, energetic part. The whole thing. All of evolution, moons, tides, seasons and the scorching winds. Dinosaurs, apes, intelligence, language. Imagination, self-knowledge.”

“I did all that?”

“Something did. It might as well be you.”

God paused. What his son said made him think.

“I know, I’ll tell them they can now believe what doesn’t seem real. That their senses were only designed to keep them centred, free from distraction. That they can’t go around starting wars to protect what is everyone’s inalienable right, and parcel up the whole world into property, then kill to protect it. Instead they should be opening all borders and going where they want to go. I’ll tell them material things don’t matter, you are people, you own the whole world and the whole world is yours to do with as you see fit. Or even not fit. That life is a game from beginning to end, and you should play it hard, but play it fair. That you shouldn’t take it too seriously. Because it will end in a split second, and you will go back to the beginning. Except you will not be reincarnated, or be with me or meet your dead relatives but instead end up in a whirring loop of energy and electrons bouncing at the edge of stars into all other dimensions, vibrating at an infinite rate with all matter and anti-matter in existence, in this and every other universe, for ever.

He continued. “I’ll tell them anyone with half a brain can see that nothing exists, yet everything matters. Nothing is important, yet everything is. The special place they occupy is the same space everything occupies, every lowly thing, and it’s the biggest space in the whole world, containing all their thoughts and energies, hopes and petty delusions. And calculus.”

“Who would have thought it,’ said Jesus. ‘But how are you going to get that message over to them? I don’t think writing on a rock will cut it anymore.”

“Good question,’ said God. ‘But that’s enough thinking for now. I’m going back to bed.’

Which he did, and Jesus’ head too slid back under his own angelic sheets.