God sits weeping in the corner. His seraphim gently try to coax Him (God can't be made do anything He doesn't want to do, so He has to be coaxed) into taking His lithium. He requires five gigatons a day, just to function.
The Big Guy's bipolar disorder is the worst-kept secret in existence. Everyone knows how in a fit of mania he created the Heavens and the Earth in only six days. Everyone knows how, in depressive mode, he fell into such a slough of despond that he let that cretinous little toady, Morningstar, torment Job, who was the most faithful of His servants.
The problem is, God just won't admit He has a problem. He blames it all on Adam, for the apple, or on Eve, for tempting Adam. He blames it on Herod, on Hitler, on the Trilateral Commission, on anything but Himself.
"Open wide," sing the Seraphim, cheered on by all the Heavenly ranks and powers. "Take your nice medicine."
God buries His face in His hands. "Such children I have," he weeps. "Oy gevalt, what did I do to deserve such a family?"
"Why don't you try a little smiting?" the seraphim urge. "Wouldn't that be nice? Bangkok! It's the sexually transmitted disease capital of the world. It would be a great way of getting the Word out.
God doesn’t listen.
It’s enough to drive an archangel to drink, though of course it doesn’t. Nobody’s taking care of business. There are sparrows falling unwatched. The hairs upon certain heads are being numbered only by statistical approximation. “Darn it to heck,” the Archangel Gabriel curses, “this situation is less than absolutely total bliss and perfection.” All of Heaven turns pale at his language.
But now, at last, the lithium kicks in. God straightens up. He flashes that billion-dollar smile of His. “It’s time we rolled up our sleeves and got to work!” He cries. And doing exactly that, he plunks the Earth down on a table in front of him and begins to make adjustments. “Things have gotten a little slack down there. Let’s wake ‘em up with a wave of fundamentalism, some nuclear terror, and a few wars. We can sink a continent and then raise Atlantis. Pillars of flame! Prophets! Souls for AIs! A robot Adam and Eve! Fast-track evolution for chimpanzees!Atheist invaders from outer space – let’s test their faith! A virtual Pope! The dolphins shall inherit the seas!”
God is starting to babble. The heavenly hosts sigh. No matter what they do, they just can’t seem to get the dosage right.
© 2002 by Michael Swanwick and SCIFI.COM.