Monday, July 2, 2007

HOW THE BIBLE WAS WRITTEN, PART II

MURRAY Abram (now known covertly as Abraham) has been waiting in his meager shack for over a week. He has again taken to writing his own personal journal and, again, speaks along with the words.)

MURRAY
So. Jonas. Said. To. Ari. “Of. Course. My. Daughter. Is. A. Virgin!”

Murray dips his feathered stylus into a bowl of ink.

MURRAY
And. Ari. Said. “Then. Why. Did. Saul. Hirschfelder. Say. That. He. Tapped. That?”

Murray dips his stylus again.

MURRAY
And. Jonas. Said. “Hey! That’s. My. Daughter. You. Son. Of. A...”

A bright light flicks on from above and Murray shields his eyes. This time he is able to speak...

MURRAY
Oh! Nice of you to show up!

The light dims a bit, so that Murray doesn’t have to squint. The voice of GOD still booms from everywhere.

GOD
What?

MURRAY
You told me to sit right here and wait for you to dictate your laws. You told me that you’d be back in an hour. Well, I’ve been waiting here for a week and a half, and...

God cuts him off...

GOD
Whoa! Whoa! You do remember that you’re talking to God, right?

MURRAY
I don’t care if I’m talking to my great-uncle Shlomo! You said an hour and you lied!

GOD
Lied? Lied? I am incapable of telling lies, my friend. Maybe... Maybe time is different on this side.

MURRAY
Well, what kind of consideration is that? I’ve got a family to feed! I’ve had to ask my brother to help with my work! That’s embarrassing! Now he thinks that I’m a cripple, or an idiot, and he’s been moving in on my wives!

GOD
Hey, I... I’ve been busy. I’ve got an entire creation to lord over, after all. Not just Murray Abraham’s house.

MURRAY
And another thing! My parents won’t speak to me! They’ve disowned me! And they bring up a good point! Abra-HAM? Ham? You do realize that we’re Jewish, don’t you?

GOD
See, that’s the thing...

MURRAY
What?

GOD
You’re Jewish now but... Well, I’ve got a plan.

MURRAY
What plan? I thought we were your chosen people. Wasn’t I chosen among the chosen?

GOD
Yeah... About that...

MURRAY
What?

GOD
See... There’s been a... Change of plan, so to speak.

MURRAY
Oh my God!

GOD
What?

MURRAY
I wasn’t asking you a question! I was venting!

GOD
Yeah, that’s gotta stop. Now. You can vent all you want, but don’t bring me into it.

MURRAY
But you’re the one who’s...

GOD
Ah! Ah! No! Curse your great-uncle Shlomo if you want, but I get a free pass. In fact, I might want you to write that down...

MURRAY
Jesus!

GOD
And don’t say that, either.

MURRAY
Why? Last time you decided to grace me with your presence, you said it!

GOD
Yeah, well... I’m saving that for later, too. Check this out. OK, you know how there’s all this evil all over the planet, right?

MURRAY
“Evil all over?” I don’t know about that. There are a few pricks here and there but...

GOD
Nothing but evil, everywhere I look. So, I figured, if people are so stupid that they aren’t gonna do good just for the sake of doing good, I’ve gotta give them a little push, right?

Murray stares up into the light, pauses, and gives the focal point of the light a critical look.

MURRAY
OK.

GOD
So, how about this? Perpetual torture.

God pauses, and Murray looks up into the light.

MURRAY
Though I don’t know why, I imagine you have a very smug look right now.

GOD
The smuggiest. Hear me out, now...

MURRAY
Why are you so smug? People are dying out here, horribly, and you're talking about "perpetual torture?"

GOD
If you’d shut the Hell up for a few seconds, maybe I’d tell you.

Murray sighs and waits.

GOD
Do you want to know?


Murray sighs again.

MURRAY
Yes.

GOD
OK. Here’s the score. You know how you believe in me, right?

MURRAY
Reluctantly.

GOD
Shut up. So, I was thinking, since I want everyone to believe in me anyway, I might as well put a fire under their collective asses. Literally.

MURRAY
I don’t follow.

GOD
I just created this... Place. There’s a Lake of Fire, right? Not a puddle, not a pond, but a lake. A Lake of Fire. A big Lake of Fire. And lots of other terrifying stuff, too, like spiders and snakes and shit. And if someone doesn’t believe in me, or chooses to rebel against me for whatever reason...

MURRAY
Like the fact that you’re crazy?

GOD
Shut up! Have you not listened? Have you not learned? And I’m not crazy. You just... You can’t even begin to comprehend the majesty and omnipotence that is my superior being! So, shut up and stay shutted up!

Murray raises his hands as if to say, “Fine! You win!”

GOD
So, if people don’t like me for whatever reason, they go into the Lake. Forever.

Murray looks up into the light.

MURRAY
Are you smiling?

GOD
Don’t be daft. I don’t even have a mouth.

MURRAY
So, what you’re saying is that... If someone doesn’t fall in line with exactly what you’re saying, then you’ll make sure that they’re thrown into a Lake of Fire for... Eternity?

GOD
Sounds about right, yes.

MURRAY
Well...

Murray trails off. God waits.

GOD
Now what’s the problem?

MURRAY
Well... You haven’t really said anything. Except “Live long and prosper.”

GOD
Ah! No!

MURRAY
Sorry! Sorry! “Be fruitful and multiply.”

GOD
Better.

MURRAY
So... What about those who follow whatever future laws you see fit to tell me?

GOD
What do you mean?

MURRAY
Well, you seem so hard-up to condemn those who defy you to a “Lake of Fire,” what’s in it for those who, I don’t know, actually agree with what you tell them?

GOD
But everyone will agree with me.

Murray pauses and puts his head in his hands.

MURRAY
Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that most people need an... Incentive to do things beyond the fact that they’ll burn in a Lake of Fire if they don’t like you. So, if we follow all your laws and such, that you’ve yet to dictate I might add, what then?

GOD
Oh... Well... How about the opposite of a Lake of Fire?

MURRAY
A Lake of Water?

GOD
No, jackass! A... A place where you can do whatever you want and be happy forever.

Murray perks up.

MURRAY
Can we have sex?

GOD
Uh... Hm... I don’t know...

MURRAY
Oh, come on! That's one of the only things we have to look forward to! If we're not tilling the fields or hunting our food or singing fun songs, we want to... You know...

GOD
We’ll see. Until then, just push the Lake of Fire. Call it... Hell... Uh...

God trails off and pauses. Murray prompts him with...

MURRAY
Call it Hell?

GOD
Whatever. And I’ve got another idea on deck...

MURRAY
Oh, I can’t wait.

GOD
I’m gonna call it, “Original Sin.” It’s a doozy.

MURRAY
I don’t doubt it.

GOD
Give me a few days to work on it.

MURRAY
I should sit here for a few months, then?

GOD
Oh, ha. Just hang tight, Abraham. When I work out the details, I’ll summon you.

MURRAY
So... Can I actually leave the shack, or should I just sit here.

GOD
Ah, go ahead and leave. I can track you down if I need you.

MURRAY
Thanks, I guess.

GOD
You’re welcome. Peace.

The light blinks off. Murray growls...

MURRAY
Why does he keep saying that?

4 comments:

Joseph said...

Ha, this post is the GROOVIEST! You remind me of another Rev I know of, the Rev Brendan Powell Smith. Check out his work at: thebricktestament.com

He's amazing.

The Rev. Jenner J. Hull said...

Thanks, Joseph.

I've watched about half of the Brick Testament, and I've yet to see the rest. I shall correct that soon.

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