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.

Marizel Malan

Marizel Malan has a soft spot for poetry, intricate fantasy, and weird writing prompts. She is currently working as a freelance ghostwriter and a literary intern. When not working you can find her writing her first novel, tending to plants, and listening to the same ten musicians over and over again. She believes writers are artists who can change the world, if only given the chance.

Hailey Renee Brown

Hailey Renee Brown is a professional illustrator born and raised in mid Michigan. A former field biologist, she moved across country from Michigan to New Jersey, also moving from science to commercial art. A professionally trained artist, she attended the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art in Dover, NJ. She was selected the recipient of the 2017 Norman Maurer Memorial Award as well as the 2019 Joe Kubert Jumpstart Project.