"There's not much doubt in any of our minds that no complete idea springs fully formed from our brow,
needing only a handshake and a signature on the contract to send it off into the world to make twenty-five billion dollars.
The germ of the idea grows slowly..." - Walt Kelly

Friday, April 9, 2010

A plan involving steel and mortar and bricks and pie (Part Two)

Okay, so remember the other day when I said this was going to be a two-part story? Well apparently I lied. I apologize for my accidental deception. There will be a THIRD part that will probably be up sometime this weekend. As usual, please leave any feedback you have. Thanks!

Jeff awoke on Friday morning to the soft buzzing of his phone vibrating against the carpet in his aunt and uncle’s guest bedroom. He rolled over to the side of the bed and opened his eyes slowly enough that he could almost hear them creaking in protest. The front of his phone lit up with the name, “Jolene.” It was his boss, probably calling for the umpteenth time this morning wondering why he hadn’t shown up to work.

Jeff’s pulse quickened and suddenly he was wide-awake. Frantic thoughts crazied through his mind like a disturbed beehive. Why didn’t I show up to work this morning? Why am I not sleeping in my own bed? Why did Scott Bakula call me yesterday?

Then Jeff remembered the truth:

“I’ve brought you back together to create something for me,” God had said. “I’d like you, Ezekiel, to be my personal architect on this project, with you, Jeffrey, providing him with the materials he needs.”

“So basically,” Jeff postulated, “we’re like Noah 2.0. Right?”

God thought for a moment. “Well, not precisely,” he said. “Your cousin Ezekiel would be the closest comparison to what Noah was, while you would be Noah’s financier, which, if I remember correctly – and I do – he did not actually have.”

Jeff’s gaze dropped to the floor. “Oh,” he said quietly.

“So what do we need to do, Lord?” Zeke asked.

“Well for tonight, all I ask is that you consider my request for your assistance and get some sleep,” God said. “I know this is all very shocking for you Jeffrey, and I want you to be comfortable with it all before we get started.”

Jeff became very nervous. “Yeah, uh, about that…”

God held up a hand to silence him. “I hold no grudges against those who do not believe in me, Jeffrey, so long as they eventually prove able to learn the truth. And despite your original reaction, I do believe you are able.”

“Oh…good,” Jeff said as a sheepish grin grew on his face.

“So,” God said, holding his arms open wide, “relax for the evening, gentlemen, and I will be back in the morning to speak with you further regarding our project.”

A loud, rapid knocking on the bedroom door brought Jeff back to the present. He scrambled out of bed and opened the door.

“Mornin’ Jeff!” Zeke said cheerfully. “Ready to go downstairs and talk to God?”

Jeff’s brain fizzled slightly at Zeke’s last remark, not yet completely adjusted to the fact that his cousin was not insane for saying it. Even though he now knew God was real, he could feel himself repressing an instinctive burst of incredulous laughter.

“Um, I uh…yeah…yeah, sure,” he answered slowly. “Can I have some breakfast, though?”

“Already down there,” Zeke said. “My mom and dad did some shopping this morning before they went out for their book club meeting. They won’t be back for a while now so we have some time.”

They started walking down the two flights of stairs to the basement, but Jeff reached out an arm and stopped Zeke on the first landing.

“Z, you sure we should be doing this?” he said nervously. “I mean, do we even know what he wants us – I mean, you – to make?”

Zeke shrugged his shoulders and resumed his path down the steps. “Not really, but it’s God, Jeff. Who would say no to an opportunity to help The Almighty?”

Jeff stopped him again. “I dunno, but I mean, why us, you know? Why not pick somebody who has a history of making stuff that works? No offense.”

Zeke waved it off. “None taken. And I’m not sure why us, but I’m honored that he did pick us. I think we just have to trust that he knows what he’s doing, which I’m pretty sure he does.”

Jeff sighed and nodded reluctantly, and they turned the corner into the basement, where God was seated in an office chair behind a desk that was neatly stacked with papers and engineering books.

“Good morning, Jeffrey,” God said. “Ready to get started? There’s some food on the table over there graciously provided by Ezekiel’s parents. You may feel free to help yourself.”

Jeff followed God’s pointing finger to the right rear corner of the room, where a plastic party table was stocked with everything you would find at a hotel continental breakfast. He walked over and selected a bagel with cream cheese and made himself a bowl of bran flakes. He walked back to the desk, where Zeke was now poring over one of the engineering books.

“Jeffrey, I have already spoken briefly with Ezekiel about his half of the project, and have provided him with all the blueprints and engineering knowledge he might need to get it done. As for you, I would like to know if you are officially on board with this project."

Jeff thought for a second and glanced over at Zeke, who was now looking up from his book, wide-eyed and nervous that his cousin might say "no." Zeke tried to nod his head at Jeff as discretely as possible.

Jeff saw it, but it didn't help his decision-making process. He ran through the situation in his head. God asks you to do something - YOU, out of all the billions of people in the world - and you say no. What's stopping him from turning you inside out and plastering you to the wall in the Natural History Museum?

"Yes," Jeff blurted before his mind could catch up to his mouth. "Yes, I'm in."

Playing on my iTunes at this very moment:
Motion City Soundtrack, Capital H (watch the video, it's fantastic)


  1. I gotta' say, I'm constantly impressed with your writing style, and the story itself is unfolding nicely. Best line: “Ready to go downstairs and talk to God?” It tickles my dry sense of humor.

    Lastly, and do forgive any officiousness but, this seemed off me:

    A loud, rapid knocking on the bedroom night brought Jeff back to the present.

  2. That's twice in two posts you've done that haha. I don't have any idea how the heck that happened, thank you.

  3. I like this a lot. I want to read more and more. Also, what's Jeff's job? Where does he live? Will he make it out ok?!