The protagonist, along with the rest of the story and plot, is pure fiction and not meant to be offensive in any way towards an individual's religion.
I peeled my butt off of the couch and sauntered over to the edge of the cloud to admire my most extraordinary creation ever: humans. They were walking around, happy as ever. Some of them were driving in their own clever inventions – automobiles – and punching the steering wheels to honk at each other. Complimenting each other, I guess.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a little boy on his knees at a curb, eyes squeezed closed.
He must be praying, I thought.
I grabbed the headphones – linked to the direct line which rang all day from every single prayer sent up from Earth. The headphones were wireless, which I was proud of. I put them on to hear what the boy had to say.
And let me just say, it was very loud. So loud that if I wasn’t immortal, that sound would have ended me.
"GOD, I NEED A SIGN!" the boy screeched. "GOD, GIVE ME A SIGN RIGHT NOW!!!"
I hurried quickly to the cloud-arranging computer. If a child was screeching like that then it must have been important. I typed like my life depended on it:
Keep Calm & Carry On :)
Then I pressed the return button on the keyboard to type something else. I turned the text a little bit smaller to add:
Plz stop ur hurting my ears uwu
The clouds arranged themselves accordingly for the boy to see.
He looked up. But he didn’t stop.
When he did he probably ran out of breath or broke a vocal cord because he went home.
The next day, an elderly man came over to me from his usual place in a lounge chair. He told me it was such a rip-off to finally get to Heaven after trudging a lifetime, and to not have even a speck of entertainment.
I told him he should either check out my prized headphones or forget about compassion and watch people trip on Earth. I recommended the headphones.
“They have a very relaxing playlist of heavenly music as well as prayer transmissions. If you switch the channel,” I advertised.
“What’s heavenly music?” The elderly man looked at me skeptically. “Church music?”
I clutched my stomach as if offended.
“What is it then?” he asked.
“Well, I’m booking it tomorrow from one o’clock to seven-thirty in the evening to give it a try, I guess.”
But I’m pretty sure I was drunk or something because I completely forgot and an elderly woman came up to me soon after, saying that she would be booking the headphones for the next day from one o’clock to seven-thirty in the evening. And I said, sounds fantastic.
But the worst thing was, the next morning, I was sober.
And, I realized that the headphones were being double-booked.
At one o’clock, I ran to my headphones and told the elderly man about my mistake and that ladies first was the rule, so he could book the headphones for the whole day next time.
But then the elderly man started to cry and told me that he was going to die if he went another day without some sort of entertainment.
“You’ve been there. Done that,” I reminded him.
I went to find the elderly woman. She said she was going to die as well if she went another day without some sort of entertainment.
“Die a second time, you mean?” I asked.
I ran back to the elderly man and snatched the headphones from him. His reflexes were surprisingly good and he got his grip back in a matter of nanoseconds. He was also surprisingly strong. So, I suddenly let go, kind of just to see what would happen. He toppled backward, with the headphones clutched to his chest. I reached over and tugged again, hoping to catch him off-guard.
Soon, there was a snap. I blinked dumbly down at two halves of my headphones.
And a familiar screeching filled the air. Headphones or no headphones, I could hear it loud and clear.
"GOD, I NEED A SIGN! GOD, GIVE ME A SIGN RIGHT NOW!!!"
"This is not over yet," I said to the elderly man who was staring at his spasming fingers that still held half of my headphones.
I sprinted to the cloud-arranging computer and typed quickly:
Tell ur mom to keep u on a leash & stop hurting my ears!
His mother walked out of a store.
"GOD, DON’T LET HIM GET TO YOU!!"
I muted Earth entirely with the main control panel.
Then, I turned back to the elderly man. He and the elderly woman were talking.
"This is the old woman I was talking to you about!" I hollered to the man.
"This is my wife," he said flatly.
"And this is my husband," she said.
I slapped the man on impulse.
"WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME?"
"HEY, YOU’RE NOT ALLOWED TO HIT PEOPLE OLDER THAN YOU!" shrieked his wife.
I hissed acidly at her, "I. Am. A. Cosmic. Being. Older. Than. The. Universe. Itself.”
"Still," she shrugged, forgetting to glare at me. “You can’t hit people.” Then she remembered and glared deeply.
"You know what?” I shook my head. “You're right. A little. I shouldn’t hit people. At all. But still, I can do this-" I flicked a switch.
The patch of cloud beneath the elderly man instantly disappeared and he fell through the sky while the Earth below parted neatly for the underworld to eat him up.
His wife didn’t ever look at me the same way after that. I didn’t care.
The next few months were repetitive.
I unmuted Earth and hogged the brand-new headphones frequently to check on any prayers. All I would hear was the boy, screeching that he wanted a sign.
When he wasn’t screeching about wanting a sign, he was listening to Spotify. Heavy metal. Might I say, the boy had taste.
The only problem was that it was blaring – a lot like his own voice – all through the house, all through the neighbourhood. Even I could hear it from his tiny iPod.
His mother hated it.
Soon it was December and Santa visited me to gather my opinions on his carefully handpicked naughty list.
"So. Wilbur is on the naughty list?" I asked. (Wilbur is boy who wants a sign.)
“Yah man,” confirmed Santa.
“Aw, what did he do this year?”
“Not listening to his mother. Listening to heavy metal. With high volume.”
"Come on. Change that to the good kids list and give him a wooden sign," I said, crossing out his name. “I’ll send you one personally signed by me ASAP so you can get it to him.”
Santa looked at me funny.
"For the memes," I told him. “Why does he want a sign so bad anyway?”
“Actually,” Santa sighed gruffly, “I did get the explanation in the mail.”
Rummaging around his giant pockets of a coat he made himself from reindeer hide, he fished out a letter. “Dear santa – every day my mom kicks my door down and deletes spotify from my ipod. She thinks its too loud. I always tell her heavy metal is what they listen to in heaven and she always says if it was true GOD WOULD SEND ME A SIGN. So this year I want a sign from god please. THANKS.”
I did my best. I usually just used the cloud-arranging computer, but clearly, that didn’t satisfy him.
For the entire following week, I kept a tight watch on Wilbur. I watched him eat porridge in the morning and porridge in the evening. But not in the afternoon because his mother made him proper lunch. I watched him listen to his music still, and saw his mother barge into his private quarters to shush him venomously before turning the music off. And deleting the app completely, just like Wilbur had said.
I watched him on Christmas morning as he shot up out of bed like there were ant nests in his sheets. He scrambled down the stairs straight for the tree. I grimaced as he smacked headfirst into it because he was wearing socks and didn’t stop soon enough.
I watched him meet up with his friends later that day to go sledding.
He shook his head either in disappointment or just to get the snow off his head. "God’s ears are pretty bad."
What did he expect after making it a habit to screech up at me?
“I had to ask Santa for him to get me a sign," said Wilbur.
“Did you get it then?” one of the other boys asked.
“Yup,” he broke the news. “And my mom is happy.”
“Because you got the sign?”
From my lofty place up in the clouds, I smirked with my arms crossed. Because I got him fifty of them sets of headphones along with an autographed birchwood sign - that’s why. The sign said:
Keep Calm and Carry On :)