3rd Place – May 2020

God Has Spoken


Gary Christenson

God spoke to me in July 2019, but I thought it was a scam. That was a mistake.
If he had stood over New York City, ten thousand feet tall and delivered a mighty sermon to millions of people, he would have convinced me.
If God had opened a space-time portal between heaven and my living room, I would have believed him when I saw radiant angels floating on clouds.
Instead, God called me on my mobile phone.
No caller ID. Probably a call center trying to con money out of me. I answered, “I’m immune to scams, so make it quick.”
“Hello, Susanna, God speaking. Do you have time to chat?”
What the hell? A new scam? “You have ten seconds. And I’m not buying anything. Do your sales pitch!”
“Susanna, I’m pleased you’re skeptical. You graduated second in your class from MIT in 2008 with a degree in quantum physics. You earned your Ph.D. five years later. That’s public record, but I know you cried for two hours alone in your room after you discovered you weren’t first in your undergraduate class.
“You crashed your Schwinn bicycle on your seventh birthday and hurt your right knee. Your first important chess win occurred at age nine against your grandfather. Your cat, when you were ten, was an orange and white calico named Sheridan.”
I tightened my grip on the phone. “How… how do you know about my childhood?”
“God is omniscient. Why wouldn’t I know?”
“More God nonsense I don’t believe.” After a moment, I asked, “What happened with Marcy in tenth grade?”
God answered, “You and she practiced kissing on two afternoons until you got caught and your mother yelled at you.”
“Mr. Whomever You Are, what do you want?”
“Susanna, you enjoy conversing with intelligent people. I suggest we chat twice a week.”
This is so weird. “Okay, Mr. Whomever, maybe I’ll answer if you call. But I’m not buying your God story.”
“I’ll make our conversations interesting. Soon, you’ll look forward to my calls.”
The scent of sandalwood filled my home.
“Sayonara.” I called Higgs, my grey and white cat. She bounded into my lap and began purring. I trusted her.
Three months later I had spoken to Mr. Whomever twice a week and enjoyed every conversation. His wit and sense of humor often made me laugh. We discussed quantum entanglement, politics, dark energy, human stupidity, and many other topics. After each call I sniffed sandalwood.
One day he told me, “A nasty flu will invade every country on earth early next year. People will suffer. Many other traumatic changes are coming to your country.”
Because I didn’t believe he was God, I ignored his predictions, another mistake.
I failed in my attempts to snoop on the source of his calls. “He’s impossible to trace. His calls originate from different out-of-service numbers.”
The next time we spoke I said, “Okay, we’ve chatted for months. You know more about me than a team of private investigators could have discovered. So, tell me who you are. I don’t believe you’re God because God would be managing the universe instead of talking to me.”
He asked, “You’re ready to face the truth?”
“Yes, and it’s time for answers. Tell me how you know so many personal details.”
“I’ll take on human form and we’ll share dinner and wine. You pick the place. Then I’ll address your questions.”
I let the suggestion hang for several seconds. “You come to my house tomorrow and bring my favorite wine. Since you’re God, you’ll know which one. I’ll make ravioli and a green salad. After dinner, you explain who you are and what you want.”
“Deal. I’ll see you tomorrow night, around seven.”
Strange! He sounded excited. Would God sound anxious? “Good. Look like a human and don’t forget the wine.”
The next day I puttered around the house, feeling distracted. This was better than a blind date, and scarier than defending my doctoral dissertation. Should I dress in pants or a skirt to meet this person who called himself God? Would he prefer me in flats or heels? Decant the wine or serve from the bottle?
“Stop it!” I yelled in my living room. Higgs scampered underneath the couch and hid. “Just play it cool. This is his show. For once, I’m less intelligent than my date. Relax and let it happen.”
After my personal pep talk, I tossed salad, covered the bowl with plastic and placed it in the refrigerator. I stuffed ravioli and added garlic to red sauce warming on the stove.
The doorbell rang two minutes before seven. My heart fluttered when I opened the door. Mr. Whomever was attractive and could have posed for a steamy romance book cover. His perfect features, sandy blond hair, high cheekbones, and killer smile made my knees weak. I loved his sparkling blue eyes.
“Please enter.” I smelled sandalwood.
He kissed my hand. “Delighted to see you in person.” I’m God, or Mr. Whomever, as you wish. I brought Cloudburst Malbec, your favorite.” He handed me the bottle.
I smiled. “A glass before dinner?”
I directed him to the couch while I uncorked the wine and poured two glasses.
God said, “The wine needs time to breathe before it opens and tastes ideal. While we wait, please update me on your latest project.”
This is so strange. I smoothed my skirt, sat, and described my research on coupled quantum dots while I tried to relax. Fifteen minutes later he handed me a glass and raised his. I said, “A toast to Mr. Whomever and your many secrets.”
We savored the full-bodied flavors in the wine, appreciated its bouquet, and chatted. When I smelled the right balance of garlic and tomatoes, I knew the sauce was ready. Rising from the couch, I announced, “Dinner in fifteen.” I dumped ravioli into boiling water and lowered the heat on the sauce.
During dinner we finished his bottle. I opened a different Malbec from my wine rack, refilled our glasses and said, “Let’s adjourn to the couch. You agreed to enlighten me.”
He sipped and said, “I called myself God. That is symbolically true. My name is Gregory Oswell Dantzig. The initials spell God. More importantly, I have access to information sources and technology that, from an earthling’s perspective, make me seem like a God.”
He paused, looked into my eyes and said, “One hundred thousand years ago, my people traveled from another star and landed on earth. Your ancestors thought those extra-terrestrials were gods because they arrived in a massive starship, possessed amazing technologies, and used powerful machines. My ancestors implanted their DNA into many primitive earthlings to improve the genetics of your race. That was a turning point in human evolution. To your ancestors my people were Gods.
“But I’m not the supreme being, he who created the universe. I am not The God.”
Whatever I had expected, this wasn’t it. “You’re from an advanced alien race?” I nearly froze in shock.
His eyes twinkled. “Yes.”
I sipped wine to buy time while I considered the idea that a gorgeous alien, who called himself God, sat drinking wine on my couch. “What does an advanced being from another star want with me?”
“We believe it’s time for earthlings to make another leap forward in consciousness. The people of earth need a spiritual and intellectual leader who will transcend the nonsense that pervades life today.”
Frowning, I said, “You’re correct, but I’m not a spiritual leader.”
“No, you are not. But the child you and I conceive will become a wise and powerful global presence in about 35 years.”
He sipped wine and smiled while I sat dumbfounded. “You’re from another star and want to impregnate me? You claim our child will uplift the people of earth. Is that your story?”
“That’s the truth. Humanity needs our genetics. We will produce a powerful trailblazer who will initiate earth’s upward shift in consciousness.”
I paused for a long time while I thought about what he had said. “No, that’s not me. I don’t believe you nor want that responsibility. Please leave.”
Gregory Oswell Dantzig called twice per week thereafter but didn’t come to my home. He never stalked me, bumped into me at the grocery store or harassed me at the University. It took me months to realize my heart’s desire.
Half a year later I invited him for dinner. We shared wine and conversation. After we finished eating, I told him, “I’m ready.” He understood.
Gregory spent the night and nine months later our daughter was born. She will be special.

Writers’ workshop and writing group