I like really short fiction.
Many are the ways in which this tale will be written. I want to recall it perfectly, write it purely as I see it from the distance of the sole hour that has passed since the occurrence. For, despite the warnings, already I imagine the varying interpretations taking place, the calculated Chinese whisper passing from powerful ears to weaker ones.
At three minutes past noon today I went to a cash machine a few yards from my office. In error, I asked for a receipt. There was a queue behind me but I waited till it was printed lest others discover the extent of my poverty.
I bought a cheese and onion roll.
Opposite the baker’s there is a pub that sells cheap beer all day and cheap beer all night. Outside it there were the usual crowd of refugees from the world of work. There’s a bench a few yards up from there where I like to sit with my lunch if the weather’s not too bad. I took a seat and opened up the bag. A pigeon heard the tiny crackle of paper and landed close to my feet.
The pigeon looked at me. I thought about shooing him.
And then it happened.
I knew it wasn’t just happening in my head because of all the spilt cars around me, the stumbling beers and crashing women, the way that people clutched their heads to listen closer to the voice, to blot it out, to protect themselves from the sudden madness.
A voice, a voice like none heard yet in the sane world, spoke in all the heads on Earth.
I am the Creator.
I made you and I can unmake you. Abandon your churches, your mosques and temples. Destroy your banks, burn your things. Eden exists. It is all around you. Your beliefs are confirmed but do not become complacent for your rituals disappoint me. Put down your weapons and feed each other. Abandon your wealth as you would your worries for the two are one. The next time I speak will be the last.
I heard the church on the hill at the top of the town smash, saw the smoke rise from here and turned again as the town’s mosques, temples and banks fell into dust. I felt the coins in my pocket burn through the lining, fall and melt into nothingness.
As I speak, the televisions are beginning to crackle back into life silent. I can hear sirens and gunfire. The sky has emptied of clouds and the streets are filled with wondrous, upturned heads. A man on the radio is crying. There is talk of rioting.
A pigeon nibbles at the dropped roll by my feet. I think about shooing him.
And then it happens.