On the 7th Day, God woke up to the afternoon sun on his face. There ‘s no way. He couldn ‘t have.
Sure enough, he indeed had. For on the 6th Day, God went hard at the bar to blow off some steam after creating the entire universe. And on the 7th Day, God overslept and freaked out.
“Oh shit, ‘ the Lord thought, checking his phone. “There ‘s no way it ‘s 3 p.m. How could it be 3 p.m.? ‘
God arose from his bed and grabbed his notebook from the bedside table. There was so much he intended to do today. Most of the items on the list were trivial pet projects God had intended on crossing off before wrapping up this whole mankind, Earth thing. “Make pizza consistent all over the world.” Not gonna happen, but not the biggest loss. “Make flying a kite a judgment-free activity. ‘ What did that even mean?
But then he saw the biggie:
“Create the internet. ‘
“Fuck me, ‘ God said to himself, slapping the side of his head with an open palm. “How are they going to know how to do anything without internet? It ‘s gonna take them thousands of years to work up to where they should be. Way to go, God. Way to ruin six fucking fantastic days of work. ‘
God walked up to the window and looked upon the trees, the ocean, the open farmland. How would they know how to use any of this shit?
Perhaps he should text the boys at the office with some excuse. Anything would do. Death in the family, migraine, whatever. They ‘d understand. He ‘s God, after all. He ‘s earned the right to take a personal day. “Six days, no breather? What is this ‘ Hell? ‘ God laughed to himself at the joke he just made, grabbed his notebook to jot it down to use in his act.
A knock on the door.
“Who is it? ‘ God called out, snapping back to reality.
“It ‘s me, Satan. ‘
Without even asking, Satan opened the door and strutted right in like he owned the goddamned place.
“Well, well, look who went too hard last night, ‘ the Dark Lord said, as if he never had a few too many at a work event.
“I am freaking out right now, man. ‘
“You should be. We were all counting on you to tie things up in a pretty little bow. ‘
He had planned on it. And they would love him for it. He had so much he planned to do on the 7th day. So much mankind would never know.
“I ‘m just fucking with you, man, ‘ Satan said, as God ‘s eyes opened wide with hope. “I took care of everything. ‘
A wave of relief overcame God.
“Thank you, Satan. Thank you. ‘
“Totally forgot about airplanes, though. ‘
“That ‘s probably okay. They ‘ll build those eventually and they ‘ll feel great about themselves when they do ‘ Again, super grateful for all the help.
“My pleasure. ‘
“But in case anyone asks, can you just bring me up to speed about what did get done today? ‘
Satan walked into God ‘s kitchen and grabbed an apple from a heaping pile on the counter, only to toss it back. Grabbed another apple, this time breathing on it to clean off any smudges. But alas, back to the wobbly, Jenga-like tower of apples (for the record, God had intended to create Jenga this day). Finally Satan found an apple to his liking.
“So ‘ ‘ God prodded, dying to know how everything turned out in his absence.
Taking a bite, Satan looked up: “Oh, God, I did so much. Really drawing a blank. ‘
“Well, okay, did you make the snow? ‘
“Certainly did. Just like you asked: beautiful for like an hour and then gray and filthy for like three months. ‘
“What? I never said ‘”
“Yep, and a lot of it ‘s reeeaaaal yellow. ‘
Okay okay okay. Dirty snow wasn ‘t the end of the world, God thought. Hell, it was probably something he should have taken care of earlier in the week.
“Okay, that ‘s not so bad, I guess, ‘ God said, checking his notebook. “What about the continents? ‘
“Filled them with people! ‘
“I put the whites in a few, the blacks in the big hot one–‘
“WHAT? ‘ The anger turned to fear when he made the realization. “Without airplanes, the races won ‘t interact for thousands and thousands of years. Think of the strife and tension that will cause.”
“Yeah, it ‘ll be super entertaining to see how that one plays out. ‘
God ‘s body gave. He knew exactly how it would play out. Years and years of suffering. Misunderstandings. How could he be so stupid to leave that one for the last day?
“I ‘m afraid to ask, ‘ a deflated God continued. “But what else did you do today? ‘
An excited Satan grabbed his notebook and a pen, checking items off as he read them.
“Well, I made sure that all wars and killing are done in your honor. I made sure all humans can feel shame and embarrassment, all the time. And, oh, this one ‘s my favorite: You know how great it feels to eat a delicious Mexican meal? ‘
“I made it a guarantee that you feel like shit afterward. ‘
“You ‘re supposed to feel good after Mexican food. Good, Satan. Good! ‘
Satan was confused. “I am not familiar with that word. ‘
Satan shrugged and turned the page of his notebook and then added nonchalantly:
“Oh, I made AIDS. ‘
God didn ‘t know what that was but didn ‘t want to seem like an idiot. He threw his arms up and paced around the room.
“I got it! ‘ God said. “I ‘ll tell everyone this is your doing. ‘
Satan let a sharp exhale through his nose and put his arm around his distraught colleague.
“God, God, God, God, God. You could do that. Or you could just tell them you needed a breather. A day off, you know? They ‘ll understand. ‘
“You did give them reasoning, right? ‘
“Some of them!”
Satan slapped him on the back and the world as we know it began. And on the 8th day, God ascended to Heaven and started making excuses.
Illustration By Dakota McFadzean
Originally appeared in The Occasional