Excerpt from Wendy Falling

Well, time to get on with the day's work. What'll it be today? Oh, I know! How about story-telling?

(poises to tell a story)
A Short History of Me, by Wendy Falling. Once upon a time there was a little girl, a lonely, awkward little girl who refused to grow up and never did what she was told .... No, no, let's not have that one just now. Anyway, that was Mum's version of things.

ON-SCREEN (backdrop): A Celestial scene.

Oh, I know--a classic! In the beginning ...

(pause, she claps her hands in glee) 
Yes, perfect! In the beginning, life was good but a little old-fashioned. Then we invented laundromats, cars, drive-in theatres, and ice cream cones, etc.

(excitedly breaking her narrative)
I love 'In the beginning' stories. Very grand and godly and all that ...

Now where was I?

(pause as she collects her thoughts)
Oh, yes! In the beginning, a people known as the Ancients created God, who was a kind of  exalted service rep for the human condition
which was profane, brutal and insubstantial. Whenever something went wrong with their lives they just called on God and blamed Him for it. Gradually God grew tired of this and went on a long journey from which he did not return.

(indicating somewhere above)
If you look closely up at the sky somewhere between the constellations Orion and Cassiopia, you can just make out a little god-shaped hole in the blackness.

(back to her narrative)
Next came my personal favourites the Goddesses of Lingerie and Garage Sales who were roommates until they had an argument one night following a dinner party.

(a knowing look)
Then came Mother Goddess, also known as the Womb Of Chaos or the Great Abyss.

(an aside)
If she only knew what they called her!

(back to the narrative)
After all these gods died out, an old man named Abraham Ferdman left the Holy Land and founded Miami so the Jewish tribes would have a winter vacation resort. Now this Abraham was no ordinary migrant wandering with his flocks in fields by night. No. Abraham was a worldy man who personally experienced 437 epiphanies in his lifetime. He held a world record for divine revelations. Of course, people lived several hundred years longer back then. But still--437? Can you imagine? In one revelation he was shown his future life as a 16-year old pre-med student in Manchester. Well, that scared him!

ON SCREEN (backdrop): A beautiful athletic male nude

One evening not long afterwards, he met a perfect stranger and wrestled with him all night long. In the morning the stranger was still there so they  wrestled some more. And enjoyed it! It was around this same time God sent the Seven Fearsome Plagues, including plaid, seersucker and red jump suits.

(breaking narrative to give an aside)
As you can see, they weren't much interested in realism back then, just the Big Effect.

(resumes narrative)
Anyway, God scored heavy duty points for being able to pull that one off so the people struck a bargain. In return for Yawheh's protection they would make Him their only god.

(sotto voce as she looks around to make sure she isnít overheard)
Mafia tactics.

(she shrugs)
Belief in god was considered highly practical at that time, however. To ignore a potential source of manna was politically foolhardy.

(pause, she yawns)
I'm going to be 30 years old tomorrow. It looks like I'll be celebrating alone. Well, cheers to me!

(pause, checks watch)
I wonder how much longer this can go on?

© Jeffrey Round 1993


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