Memory Credit Card

The year is 2200 where money is valueless, and memories are priceless. They have become the most valuable currency, traded and exchanged in markets, auctions, and more. People own and carry devices allowing them to store and capture memories, changing and upgrading them into tangible assets—the richer the memories, the wealthier the individual is.

Sasha, a young woman living with five other roommates in her New York City apartment, depressed, finds herself intrigued by this system. When she was little, she had always been fascinated by the idea of sharing experiences. Memories were the ultimate form of connection. Now she rolls her eyes when the silly memory comes to her. She’s walking through the Memory Market on an early Sunday afternoon, and as she approaches one of the booths, she notices a distant figure in a dark coat. The figure seems to radiate an aura of mystery, one that scents the air with forgotten tales and hidden recollections. She goes to approach the figure. As she gets closer, Sasha realizes that it‘s an older man with more warts on his face than features. He has something tucked away under his coat, and when she approaches him, he cautiously reveals it. The man tells her that what he holds in his hands is a device that able to extract memories from the deepest parts of someone’s mind.

Intrigued, Sasha decides to trade some of her most cherished memories for the strange device. She watches as the man clicks on the machine and sees shimmering memories transfer from her mind to the device. The man then transfers those memories to himself before handing her the device and walking away.

With her newly found and totally safe device, Sasha goes around exploring the market, carelessly trading tales of love, adventure, and heartbreak. She loves immersing herself in the lives of complete strangers, which is probably why she’s gullible enough to approach one and give away significant parts of herself. The market has become a garden of shared experiences to her, where she values each memory not just for its richness, but because it gives her new connections. She also learns of the system’s fragility.

She learns while some people hoard their memories for wealth, others cling to the past, grasping onto nostalgia and ignoring the present. Despite what others will think of her and the deal with the strange, ugly man, Sasha believes in the value of shared memories over the wealth of richer ones. In a world where memories are currency, Sasha makes every exchange of human connection valuable, receiving a wealth of diverse experiences that are priceless.

The Eye of Alice

Money made the world go round, but memories make the world a sphere. 

When they first were able to exchange memories for currency, everyone was excited. How could they not be? Trade in a traumatic memory and get paid for it? People couldn’t wait! Every single person was cashing out, especially with traumatic memories, or Traumemories. The adrenaline rush of hyper-awareness was the world’s new cup of coffee. The wealthy got addicted to the rush that came with the fight-or-flight reactions from a Traumemory—without having to actually be in a dangerous situation. What they didn’t tell you about were the side effects; they only told you about the substantial checks. 

Alice was born with the eye and mind of a creative, and she had the hand, ear, and eye coordination to create anything. She was able to make any of her thoughts into something beautiful: poetry, short stories, drawing, painting, sculpting, music—if it had anything to do with creativity, she would do it.

When memories became the new currency, Alice felt a sense of urgency to learn how to earn a decent wage without giving up her memorable moments. More and more stores and businesses were quickly switching to monetization of the mind. Fortunately, people started paying Alice with their memories. She became quite successful despite the lack of cash flow in the world; people would pay her to own a piece of her visions and to hear her play music and serenade them. Each new memory was an interestingly different perception of life, and Alice would create art from every memory that society would supply.

Life was great until the day she almost died in a car accident and was trapped in critical condition. The doctors gave Alice her options: live out the rest of her days on life support or be put in a Med-Bay and walk out of the hospital that day. A no-brainer, right? She chose the Med-Bay, but she had insufficient funds to pay—unless she exchanged some of her memories away. 

“Traumemories pay the best,” the doctor said.

So that’s what she chose. Unable to remember her accident, Alice went all the way back to her most traumatic experience as a kid and exchanged it.

A few hours later, Alice was healed and back home in her studio, wanting to create something—anything—but she didn’t feel that spark like before. 

“I’ll just wait; it’s probably a side effect of the Med-Bay.”

Days, weeks, then months passed… 

The creative seed seemed to be gone.

Alice forgot how her most traumatic memory was the catalyst that had her crafting and creating in the first place. 

“There has to be a way to get my memory back!” 

Or was it too late? 

The Art of Remembrance

Vista Concepción was seldom seen, but when she was, she was always with her paintbrush, which emerged from her fist like a gnarled finger. Her sole company in her moldy apartment was her belongings—hoarded, imbued with memories of her lifetime, and huddled together like cold children.

Vista wasn’t interested in portraits, still lives, or even the view outside her window. She preferred painting her memories. Her paintbrush was the only souvenir from her childhood. Its body was splintered and haphazardly carved with her name: Vista. A view, sight, vision. Something to behold. She liked to think she and her paintbrush were connected by fate, destined to transform blank slates into unforgettable art.

Currently, she was trying to capture the exact shade of pink the sunrise cast over her family’s farm. She couldn’t go back to witness it; her motherland was seduced by the lucrative industry of Memory Itemization, and her childhood home, once teeming with life, was now punctured by the blank faces of factories.

Vista nearly tossed the wet paintbrush in a violent streak across the canvas. She once made a humble living. People loved the realism of her watercolor landscapes. Now, with purchasable memories, no one wanted replicas. Art was a dying trade, and Vista, unable to let go of the past, often went hungry.

As her stomach growled, the unfortunate truth settled: memory is also a replica of the past. Everyone had convinced themselves that purchased memories portray the indisputable truth. Vista, too, had convinced herself that hoarding every afterimage got her one step closer to her past—but to remember is to constantly repaint a hazy ghost. Each time she conjured the fields of her childhood, the smell of cream skimmed off the top of fresh milk, and the laughter of her family, it moved her further away from the material truth.

If only there was a way to remember exactly as things were, without loss.

Remember. Each syllable reverberated like a clock striking midnight. Inspiration attached itself like a weed taking root straight to Vista’s heart. She began her work.

The Memory Liquidator hesitantly ducked under the caution tape. He’d been consulted for bizarre estate sales before, but nothing like this.

They found the woman’s body fused to her chair, and her hands fused to two bloody canvases. Police informed him that she attached herself with industrial-grade glue, but this was hardly the worst sight. Items were grafted into her scalp and skin, creating grotesque appendages. Her apartment was disgustingly cluttered, yet everything was linked to her limbs, fastened with zip ties, leaving her body a mangled amalgam of accumulation.

What struck the Liquidator most was the removal of her left breast, and the replacement of an old paintbrush shakily sewn to her skin, as if skimming the fat allowed the paintbrush closer access to her heart. A smile still graced her face. Every item here was tinged with deadly memories; nothing could be sold or taken from her, exactly as she wished.

Proof That You are Successful

She auctioned away one of her favorite memories on Instagram for a profit of 10,000 memory credits—a substantial sum. The memory had been of a reception for content creators, and she’d pitched it well. It felt like a royal ball, she said on Instagram Live. If you’ve ever wondered what a celebrity gala is like, this memory is for you. She timed the auction well, too—on the heels of the Met Gala, when people were frenzied over designer outfits and the parade of social wealth.

At the auction’s close, she launched the application linked to her memory harvesting implant. She selected the memory, which she’d titled PROOF THAT YOU ARE SUCCESSFUL, and sent it via link to the winner, who would download it to their implant.

She felt the shape of the memory’s absence, but the filling was gone—like a cavity’s rot being sucked out of a tooth, leaving behind an empty chamber. Panic, a side effect of the procedure, welled up in its place.

She looked at her phone’s screen to anchor herself. The wallpaper was a vision board, a collage of images surrounding the name Natalie. It didn’t matter who Natalie was, except that she was determined to become Natalie.

Surrounding the name were images representing Natalie’s memories: a condo in Malibu, the ocean a turquoise gem; the manicured slope of Canadian ski resort; a Mercedes with paint so glossy it was June-bug-iridescent; toasting wine glasses, women’s smiles blurred above. Natalie was wealth, Natalie was joy, Natalie was life at its finest.

And she was determined to buy memories like Natalie’s with the profits made from her drab memories.

But she didn’t have enough credits to acquire memories as expensive as these, to transform her brain into Natalie’s. She must keep selling. Perhaps even her own worst

memories—her parents’ divorce, her car breaking down in the snow, blocking her now-ex partner for the last time—could be twisted into something enticing. My dad said WHAT to my mom? Win the auction to find out! Survival tips you NEED from someone who escaped death in subzero temperatures. The Saga of a Psycho Ex.

She filmed a video thanking today’s winner, which took two attempts to get the background right—a clean white wall with succulents arcing overhead. Her followers often asked where she’d gotten the plants and their chic wooden baskets. She never replied. She filmed her videos on the bathroom floor, phone propped on the toilet. The succulent wall was a posterboard. Her followers did not need to know this, because soon she would be Natalie. Soon, she would have a filming room and a real succulent wall.

The emptiness where the memory she’d sold was caving in, becoming less raw. The pain, the panic of it, always faded. She turned to the harvesting app, scrolling through her memories, searching for her next extraction. One day—when she could afford memories of gemstone waves and friends’ parties—this would all be worth it.

Memory Man 

He comes once a month on the last day during the last hour. Never late, like clockwork, tick tock, and always on time. You gotta be lucky enough to find him, people say, but when you do, you’ll know. Only a handful of people have seen him, even with a backpack you can’t miss and a hat that covers eyes you’ll never see. People say if you’re desperate enough, you’ll find him.

You’re desperate enough. She was desperate, too.

You could go to The Center and tell them it was an accident. They’d ask you why and you’d tell them you don’t know. They’d buy It and take It away, but then they’d take you, too. You could go to a dealer in one of those alleys, the kind where piles of trash somehow tumble out of half-full dumpsters, where cats look for a feast and lampposts only ever flicker and there are rotting corpses of people who were hurt by accident—it was an accident, don’t forget that. They’d buy It and sell It, but then they’d sell you out because that’s ten times the money.

So, you look for him instead, clawing up hills like she clawed up your arms, dirt burying itself under your fingernails like your flesh buried under hers, like you buried her—

You notice his hat first. It’s tugged so far down his face that his nose is barely visible. Tufts of white hair curl themselves underneath, snaking around one another and fighting for the chance to say hello. She fought for the chance to see another day.

His backpack is twice his size, and the way it’s being poked and prodded and slammed into from the inside tells you that’s where your Memory will go. Dog tags hang off the side, limp like the overcooked noodles you had that night, limp like her when she took her final breath—your fingers pressed firmly against her neck, her mouth slack and lips drained of color when you tossed her into the now-full dumpster.

He doesn’t speak, doesn’t need to. And you, you don’t dare utter a word. His fingers are thin, delicate, smooth—hers: scratched, broken, swollenas they flick up his hat. You look into his eyes. Those big, round, purple eyes people said you’d never see. But they’re right there and they’re telling you it’s okay. It was an accident. They know.

The last thing you hear is the wind before the world goes black, and you’re being pushed and shoved and poked and prodded at and slammed into and finally—you don’t remember a thing.

He leaves once a month on the first day during the first hour. Never late, like clockwork, tick tock always on time. You won’t even know he came, people say, save for the body he leaves behind. You can find it if you’re lucky enough.

But no one who’s truly desperate ever sticks around long enough to hear that part of the story.

Both Sides of the Coin

I hold my son’s plush hands and count his pink fingers to make sure there are ten. I wouldn’t forgive myself if there were any missing, though I would forget how it happened. I have three severed fingertips—I can’t remember how it felt to lose them, but each finger fed my son for three months.

My phone vibrates like a heartbeat in my pocket, and I know it’s a request.

How much for a thumb?

I reply, $8,000.

The buyer accepts. I place my son in his playpen and kiss his soft head. He squirms like a little worm that thinks it’s about to be eaten.

When memories became a new type of NFT, everyone was quick to unload their baggage in exchange for vacations to faraway places and sex with people they never thought they’d meet. Happiness became the equivalent of fast food—cheap and of no nutritional value. These days, painful memories are scarce, and the market is teeming with people begging to feel something.

The memory must be at least ten seconds long. I take the knife I once used for cutting apples and place my thumb on the cutting board, like a nub of ginger waiting to be peeled. I know where to cut, I know how far to go. I cut through the red, counting the moments through gritted teeth. I can’t look away until it is done. I press the back of my ear to sync the memory and send it from my phone. The buyer instantly pays, and I am left with blind pain. My body moves automatically, a puppet pulled by the strings of the nurse I was before. I treat the wound with my son crying behind me, as if he feels it too. Then the world grows still, dark, and numb.

The memory from this woman pounds into my skull like a drill. I feel the sawing of her thumb, the anguish of hot flesh against cold steel. A scream rips through my throat and the skin on my forehead floods with salty sweat. It’s delicious. A rush of laughter erupts from the deepest part of my gut. I spiral in this feeling of pain that is not mine, of pain I paid for like a prime rib served on a broken platter.

It is over too soon. The memory clings to me sticky sweet, but the feeling is gone. I pull my phone out and view my collection with pride. There is the thumb, there is the fetus in a closet, there is the eye of a soldier, there is the burned flesh of a child in a war zone. It’s all there and so much more. I am rich with pain that I bought and now own.

My phone rings.

Sir, it’s time for your press conference.

I straighten my red and blue tie, adjust the pin over my heart, check my teeth, and smile.

Kids Are Like Sponges

A brusque Slavic voice ricocheted off the brick alley walls around the corner, and my level two high school Spanish was not helping me decipher any of it. My socks were soddened by the blood running down the front of my jeans. As I surveyed the empty sunset-lit block, my breaths came in jagged bursts. I didn’t recognize this part of town. My body was still shaking with the shock of what happened at the police station.  It’s not every day you see a man in a black suit and Ray-Bans shoot two cops while you are mid-conversation with them.

“Run!” That’s all I had heard. I didn’t know if it was my own voice or Sam’s. She had been next to me during the shooting. It was her blood running down the front of my jeans.

 I caught my breath and looked down at my phone. The GPS read You have arrived. I double-checked that the address I punched in while running matched the one that had come from the unknown phone number, which seemed more area code than number. I had ignored the texts at first. I had been busy climbing the unnecessarily copious number of steps leading to the police station. And I think I was finally convincing Sam to sell me her memory of the time she walked in on me mid-wipe at the movie theater’s unisex bathroom. If I had known that morally ethical inclusivity came at the cost of your best friend catching you in a frog squat with dropped trow, I would have thought twice about signing that petition clipboard.

They tell you to only sell your memories if prescribed by a licensed Memorist. Bunch of horse shit. Before everyone’s uncle owned one, Memor-link boxes were exclusive to Memorists’ clinics. That’s back when my trauma-laden shell of an aunt decided to visit one. She had been prescribed to sell her traumatic childhood memories. What they didn’t tell her was that even though the memories disappeared, the emotions stayed. And rope is much cheaper than you think. I didn’t have any trauma. What I did have was a memory of a certain popular senator guiding two blindfolded toddlers into an SUV during my alleyway pee break last week. After talking over what I saw with Sam, she had eventually convinced me to go to the police station.

I ventured down the narrow alley and found a blindfolded kid with a short buzz-cut connected to a Memor-link box. Beside him, a bald, pale man in a tracksuit grunted, “Do now. No more trouble.” He had a way with words.

Feeling resigned and chicken shit, I took the connecting pair of Memor-link wires, peeled the Giver-Tabs, and suctioned them onto my temples. I closed my eyes and brought the memory into focus. The box beeped. Then I heard hair clippers.


The shopkeeper lifted their head as the doorbell chimed. “Welcome.”

An old woman entered, her face a map of laughter and tears earned over a life well lived. She kept her crimson shawl pulled tight as she wandered the shelves, eyeing the shopkeeper’s wares. Many customers took time browsing, gathering courage before asking for what they truly wanted.

The woman paused and ran soft fingers over a stuffed bear. “A baby’s first laugh,” the shopkeeper explained. “It was sold for a new car.”

With a careful reverence, the woman picked up the bear and cradled it in her arms. “What a waste,” she mumbled, squeezing it before returning it to the shelf.

“Everyone has their reasons,” the shopkeeper said. “And everything has its worth.”

A moment passed and the woman sighed. She was ready.

The shopkeeper studied her as she approached the desk. It had become something of a pastime to try and guess what the customer wanted to sell. The shopkeeper had seen it all: first kisses, wedding days, funerals, friendships, favorite recipes, a mother’s voice. What had the old woman brought to sell?

She clutched at her shawl, finding some invisible comfort in the frayed woolen threads. “How much for a life?”

“More than you can give.”

She shook her head, “How much for my life?”

Interesting. “Do you understand what you ask?”

“I do.”

“I see. A lifetime of memories is not a simple thing to lose. What do you ask in return?”

“My grandson is sick. A heart defect. My sweet boy has fought hard, but he’s losing the fight. Unless something happens, he won’t see another month.” The woman’s voice was painted with emotion, but her eyes were dry. She had cried enough tears to know that they wouldn’t change anything. “I am old and have lived a good life. I will give you all my memories, every moment of my seventy-nine years, if you can make him healthy.”

“I can fix his heart, but I can do no more than that. I can’t promise him a long and happy life.”

“He only needs a chance. He will make his own happiness.”

The shopkeeper considered the offer before them. “Very well. If you are sure, sign your name in my ledger.”

They opened the book to a blank page and the woman signed without hesitation. When she looked up again, her eyes sparkled with tears. “Thank you.”

“You have until tomorrow morning. Until then, you will remember. I suggest you make use of today.”

The old woman nodded and the shopkeeper was alone once more.

The doctors will find a healthy boy with a healthy heart in the morning, but the woman won’t remember anything. Not her name, her family, her face.

But the shopkeeper is not cruel. Even when she has forgotten everything else, the woman will remember the sound of her grandson’s first laugh, and that will be enough.

The Letter of Doom

Another student received the notice yesterday. Thin white paper, bluish and dried ink etched on the page like a tattoo drawn in sloppy cursive. Its head stuck out of the mailbox; a threat so huge it begged for attention. The reactions were all the same—confusion, shock, and then shame. How could a stranger know their deepest, darkest secret?

People called it The Letter of Doom. It went from being the town joke to a phantom whose name you must whisper to say. The unknown perpetrator had become a god, respected and feared among the students.

The first person who got the letter was a girl in my school called Amanda. She’d been sneaking out of her house almost every weekend to see her college boyfriend until the angels caught her red-handed. Parents liked these anonymous letters because they had become easy microscopes that looked into the lives of their teens. Some found it creepy but were still curious enough to check the mailbox that no one used for any report. Funnily enough, the letters were hardly ever wrong.

Samuel had gotten one exposing his cigarette use, much to his parent’s dismay. The infamous drug dealer, Ife, had also gotten one, not to anyone’s surprise. The neighborhood teens called her igbolabi, a Yoruba word meaning “we gave birth to weed.”

I’ve been waiting for my letter to come in, since I have become quite fond of slipping fingers in between my thighs like a hook in the sea, always coming out with a piece of me much bigger than before. Bending and twisting like a contortionist.

But I guess it’s harder to spot a sin committed in the hidden crevices of hell, that is, my room where no inquisitive spirit can slip through. When I’m not doing myself, I’m watching other people on tiny, dim screens either in the church parking lot or during lunch in the locker room.

My friend Jasmine and I were talking about the letter a few days ago. I laughed as I narrated the hilarious response of my neighbors when their son got the death sentence. She said it was more of an indifference sentence. The tone was less warning and more declarative like God was simply telling you the fact of your sins rather than warning you to repent. They had become resigned to them, to you.

Monday morning, my mum glanced at the mailbox from the kitchen. She was one of those mums. She didn’t say anything about the letter but she was waiting and so was I so I could snatch it before her eyes caught sight of it. I got ready and went outside with my bag strapped on my back, rushing towards the bus. I stopped. There it was—a folded sheet of paper peeking out of my mailbox. I pulled it out and sure enough, the illegible cursive handwriting stared back at me on the page. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.



Dear Staff and Franchise Holders,

My apologies for the confusion caused by my most recent memo. It seems a “technical glitch” inadvertently substituted the word “resigning” for the intended “redesigning.” No, I am not stepping down.

Rather, it was to announce plans that will make critical changes to our production lines. Many task teams have investigated our options in this effort, and while the Evolution Q-6R3 program has produced many improvements towards our goals, it simply is progressing too slowly. I have decided we must retool and redesign immediately. This means some of you will be temporarily reassigned to different departments and job assignments. And to our franchise holders, some models are being phased out or may be temporarily out-of-stock as we move forward.

I will be issuing a complete list of changes shortly to all Departments, but here are a few of the critical changes:

  • Complete elimination of the mosquito and housefly lines. While there was initially great expectation for these products, it seems that they do not actually serve any purpose.
  • Elephant tusks are obsolete. They are being discontinued immediately. Since we will be working in that physical area, we need to address the long-standing concerns over the elephant’s trunk. While there are many fans of this popular feature, it is my belief a few minor alterations will make it more user-friendly. These include shortening and making it more like the popular Dyson Vacuum Cleaner line. The possibility of various attachments is still under review.
  • The duckbill platypus line will be completely revamped to make it more visually pleasing.
  • Chickens and cattle will no longer taste good. Liver will be given a sweeter flavor, resembling dark chocolate. And assorted green vegetables, especially kale, spinach, and brussels sprouts, will undergo a number of taste-driven improvements.
  • Man will receive some major changes, intended to improve relationships within the species. The various color options we introduced at the kickoff of production, have proven to be counterproductive. To correct this, across the board, all future models will be a pleasing shade of pastel green. All existing models will be phased out, as soon as possible. All female models will be packaged in closer proximity to the dimensions of the popular Barbie dolls. All male models will be more generously endowed.

Again my apologies to everybody, but especially to Barb, Pedro, Xien-Cho, and Fred, who handle the HELP DESK. Thank you for handling the massive flood of calls and questions. As a token of appreciation, please take the next millennium off with pay, compliments of me. I hope all of you will return fully rested and ready to continue the excellent service you provide.

And finally, everybody please join me in wishing Archangel Bob good luck in his new assignment. You will remember Bob was the driving force behind “Auto-Correct.” Bob has been assigned to Lucifer’s staff where he will be in charge of Hell’s Sewer System.





i was one of three juniors in the senior AP Euro class. he was the captain of the swim team and sat right in front of me (when we weren’t fucking in random acquaintances’ accommodations). he brought me lunch to our exam and i paid him back with a blowjob in the testing facility parking lot—right behind a church. afterwards, i mouthwashed and we split a blunt. now he’s an angel, making up for missed matches by sending me baggies of weed i randomly find on the street.


we were seventeen and used to chain smoking. Sav bought her first bowl, Grace was a novice, and i brought the bud. Sav and i joked about this being the place we met five years prior—a memory i don’t carry with me but know it’s true because she described me as “the loud kid” in youth group. we hacked through Scooby snacks, played it off with the lie that coughing gets you higher, and we all chuckled.


i was still seventeen and she was twenty-one. she lapped at me and i laughed. a Muslim girl and a Christian nonbinary person have sex in the backseat of a Honda Fit, under the shadow of a steeple, and then spark a spliff. they lounge in each other’s laps, unable to see the world beyond their suns, the fog and the film on the windows too thick. what beautiful blasphemy.


i was a freshman and my pastor knew there was nowhere for me to smoke. she subliminally signaled that i should blaze in the back corner of the parking lot by the trailer. i spent almost every night with six people piled in my Mini, passing a bubbler back and forth.


when the cops were loitering in the church lot, we would hop to a different spot. another holy house. we’d sesh by the soccer nets, behind the community garden, almost a vacation from our normal lives. it’s been six years since i toked at a temple, and lately God has been begging me for an offering. who knew they were such a stoner?

The Sins of the Father Drive the Child Mad

Judas is amused. Despite his preconceived notions and public appearances, God could put on quite a scene. He’s well aware he’s the only one finding any joy in what’s currently playing out in the centre of the room—blame it on dark humour, his twisted soul, or whatever else you want. Judas is certain that, years from now, others will join him in chuckling when reminiscing about today’s events.

Judas is also slightly frustrated. For the first time in the past century, for the first time since he started this job, he understands why some beings described God as “ethereal”. A spike on Their mace drags across the ground, momentarily separating the muted red that spreads across the floor. As They walk, the many eyes of the angels clinging to the wall flinch every time God’s bare feet squelch on the ground. Judas thinks this is part of what makes Them beautiful in this moment: Their disregard for the disgusting sounds ringing around the room, the blood seeping into the bottom of Their dress, Their sleek black hair swinging slightly as they walk, and the faint sweat glistening on Their forehead.

One of the angels on Their left flinches with her whole body as God nears, and They slow to a stop in front of her.

“How dare you?” Their soft voice carries through the room. “How dare you act as if none of you had a hand in this devastation.”

Judas can feel a grin growing on his face; he adores it when deities who hide their rage finally snap.

“I have asked time and time again for leniency, for help, for a break, and you have all denied me.” God turns to the angel as They speak, and Judas can see the feathers connecting the angel’s many eyes trembling. “What else would you have me do? Suffer silently for the next megaannum while you all flit around, wreaking havoc on humankind, and begging me to fix your mistakes? I refuse.”

For the first time since this all began, one of the angels speaks up, “But, My Lord, you cannot expect . . .”

“But I can. You have all expected so much from me, regardless of the lives it endangered or the realms it put at risk. I am done. I cannot go on like this.”

Their voice has remained soft throughout the entire encounter, and it now echoes through the room.

“You would not accept my resignation written on paper, carved into stone, or formed from mountains. So, you will be forced to accept it when written in blood. His blood.” God turns and exits the room, arm brushing against Judas’ as They go. The room remains silent as its inhabitants gaze at the body of the Father, slain to release the Child. Judas closes his eyes, breathes in, and begins to laugh.