Instead of occupying himself with his studies as instructed by his tutor, God’s son sat at his desk doodling macabre figures in various states of undress and picking boogers from his nose. When he got a good one, he rolled the booger between his thumb and forefinger until it formed a hard, neat little ball and then he flicked the booger out the open window and into the clouds.
The booger fell for a long time, gaining speed and force, until, finally, it entered earth’s atmosphere and plummeted towards a shepherd who was walking along, guiding a flock of sheep home. In earthly dimensions, God’s son’s booger was big, the size of a large asteroid, and the poor shepherd had only a split second to look up and see the sickly green-colored ball heading in his direction before it crashed into him and killed him instantly. The sheep, having avoided the booger’s impact but left without anyone to guide them, wandered off a cliff and fell to their deaths in the canyon below. The shepherd was dead, the sheep were dead, but it was the sheep’s owner who got the shortest end of the stick, for he lost a lot of money when his flock fell into the canyon and he went bankrupt a few weeks later.
At the funeral, there were whispers among those in attendance that God had punished the shepherd for his sins and that the poor man had finally gotten what he deserved. He must have done something truly horrible, they said, for God to smite him like that, to send an asteroid down from heaven to crash into him, and him alone. The shepherd’s mother overheard their accusations and she cried out in anger that her son had never committed a sin in all his life, that he had been as pure and good as the day he was born, that he was kind to his sheep and a dutiful and hard worker. When they heard this, the people snickered at the hysterical old woman and they knew she was either lying or stupid, for God was good and kind, and he would never punish a man unless that man had committed a terrible sin.
Meanwhile, in heaven, high above the clouds, God was busy eating his dinner and watching the tube and hadn’t the slightest notion of who the shepherd was, or whether or not he had sinned. God’s son, oblivious to the consequence of his errant booger, played with his food, mashing the peas and noodles together with his fork until they formed an indiscernible pile of sickly green-colored mush on his plate. When God looked away from the tube and saw what his son had done, the mess he had made, he smiled, patted the young boy on the head, and said that it was very good.
Stephanie Rael divides her free time between reading, writing, eating cheese, and delighting in the antics of squirrels and other small rodents. She has a fondness for Central/Eastern European and Russian literature and two of her favorite authors are Fyodor Dostoevsky and Witold Gombrowicz. Stephanie currently resides in Boise, Idaho, USA.