Universe            God finished developing a cure for cancer in the backyard lab late one night. The calendar on the wall was full; it would be 2022 until the cure could be unveiled on Earth, for in between were floods, elevated sea levels, and one very nasty dirty nuclear bomb incident. The decade ahead was going to be busy.

            God was tired and sat in a recliner. A burnt out star served as dinner; an ocean of sulphur was a bedtime drink. Leaning against the bed, God prayed, words in a thousand languages that had the voice of the Father, the Mother, and the Others, those who had imagined the Heavens and then gone to them. But God did not sleep; eyes that had seen the bellies of supernovas remained open as a roof made of purple clouds moiled overhead.

            God sighed. And when time moved, there was Earth again – Earth of 1468. And God stood on a stream bank, hiding behind a poplar, as a woman walked along the other shore. Her name was Alaine, and she trod the route with a basket of apples. Today was warm. Today, the sun immolated her hair and bled blue from her eyes. Her only flaw was her teeth, which were crooked and starting to rot; otherwise, she was more glorious than anything that flew the skies or swam the seas or crawled through the tunnels of space. For God, a hundred visitations had passed behind the shade of the poplar; in that time, a new sun had formed and planets had begged for creation. And yet in all that time, God had remained hidden from Alaine.

            Today, God finally stepped from the shadows and went to her. She put down the basket of apples and said something across the water as God stepped over the rocks. It would have been easy to modulate the function of Alaine’s mind, to implant there the wonder of the God that held her hands, that drew her close, that lay lips upon hers. But God resisted, and merely spoke the uncertain poetry that had been practiced on the other side of the moon where no one would hear the words – would hear the halting uncertainty of the prayer. In the sunlight, the words came and Alaine’s blue eyes bled light. Skin pressed close, voices fled. And the only time God interceded was when a cloud threatened to block the sunlight, but a wave of the hand turned the vapour into drops of atom, and when the sun returned, God was atop Alaine, precious Alaine, beautiful Alaine, naked on the sand of the stream bank, clutching God’s back as her legs shifted, her body dug into the bank until water streamed into the depression. Alaine cried as she asked for God’s name; but poetry was good enough to answer her, always was the equal of stars and how they came to be, and will suffice when stars cease to be.

            That night, God slept. Dreams of Alaine were mixed with draughts of sulphur. A star collapsed too early, but God knew nothing of it.

            The morning shone, and God worked with chisel and hammer to perfect a statue in honour of the Father. A million years were not enough to finish the work, but God laid down the tools when the morning upon Earth began. Alaine walked the stream bank. Today, her eyes searched the poplars, and she waited in the stream to see if God would come.

            “Resist,” scribbled God in a diary. With a pencil nub made of a meteorite, God wrote the reasons, the “only a mortal” followed by “she will cease” and the “you could change it, you could free her, you could bring her here if she wanted, she could live, she could go on, she could be by your side forever if only you were brave”; but those writings broke as the meteorite snapped, and after that came the reality, the unattainable things, the “Father would not approve”, and the “Mother would never allow a mortal to touch you…”, and then the final point that stood in the way, the one that both would enunciate as they stood shocked at the doorway to the cosmos, looking upon God’s choice. “Mother, Father,” wrote God, until the meteorite degraded into stardust, “is this so wrong that you must concern yourselves with it from Heaven?”

            God went to Alaine again anyway. God stood in the poplars, and could find no ache in space to stand in the way of how Alaine cried when she saw God striding from the shadows, how Alaine ran across the stream to hold God, to kiss God, to have God underneath the branches as birds sang the words of poets and moons. God went to her. Again and again, though the folds of Heaven roiled with anger, God went to her.

            And then a world of creatures in the farthest stretches of space’s expansion took God’s attention away. The filthy beasts crashed at each other in a war that spat clouds so thick against their sun that God coughed in passing through the haze. God stood on a mountaintop, watching the carnage, judging it while allowing it, seeking for any spark of redemption, any sign that salvation was forthcoming for these creatures. “Father, Mother,” prayed God, “is she so wrong before this? Is she so aberrant in the face of this sickness?” God stayed upon the mountaintop, the prayer a song of salvation that was heard by so few; and yet God did not move until the song was finished.

            On Earth, two years had passed. Alaine walked in the morning but God waited and watched, and that night saw Alaine speaking God’s poetry again, this time in the arms of a bearded man who kept her within a wooden hut and made promises to her that were so much smaller than what God had brought. This man spoke no poetry. This man had no grace. This man bid Alaine close her lips so that Alaine’s rotting teeth were hidden; and then he took the rest of her, claimed it all. God could have disintegrated him instantly, could have wiped the memory of him from all humanity, could have eradicated the echo of him from the universe altogether. Yet God watched the writhing of limbs before the sooty fireplace. God listened to every word and sound.

            On a bolt of light, God streaked to the fringes of the universe, where the first matter had gone to age and expire. There, God destroyed. Planets erupted, stars contracted into shards of gravity, and nearby galaxies shuddered before the chaos. When God twisted the physics of reality, the universe shook; and though this was pleasing to God, a rumbling in Heaven started in that moment, the distant din of the Father and the Mother. God went to the purple clouds that night and drank of sulphur and starwine; and that night, God dreamt of nothing, not even of Alaine.

            The next day, God grew a beard. God fashioned a trident. God went to the lab and created a creature designed to penetrate the mists between this universe and the Heavens where the Others had gone. But God strayed, for God watched Alaine on the stream bank with her basket of apples. God could have struck her down. God could have filled her heart with regret and shame for what she had done, such shame that she would have lived alone the rest of her years with the ache of it. But in the end, God watched her sleep, and as she dreamed, God visited her a final time. When Alaine awoke, she went to the stream, and when she bent down to wash her face of grime and dirt, she found that her smile gleamed with the perfection of a thousand diamonds.

            At night, God prayed to the Father and the Mother and the Others too. Heaven roiled far away, and God strode the universe alone, alone but for memories and poetry, the Brothers gone, the Sisters too, those who had comforted Her long ago. Long ago, when She had been born, when She had dreamed of love and then created it, when She had loved a mortal and then tried to forget it.

            God soared through space. It was 1791; it was 2006; it was the future and the past, and She had work to do on the fabric of the cosmos.   But at nights, She went to the lab and chiseled at the statue of the Father, and then She worked on the creature that She hoped would find a way through to Heaven. And sometimes, as She worked, She made words that sounded like poetry; and without knowing it, a few of Her words floated past the purple clouds into a place that Heaven could not see, where judgment is just a word, there to create a world where no one yet lives.

Dream hard, rage hard.

53 thoughts on “Alaine

  1. The more I read the more familiar the dazzling tale of Alaine and God became. I’m glad you put the note at the end or I should have spent a pretty minute looking to find the answer to why it felt so. I get anxious thinking you may walk away from this open door to our respective hearts NB…it is not the same without you. Just know that time is a funny thing…it giveth and it taketh away, much like our God. However long it takes for you to emerge from the shadows, so that our eyes may bleed light again…we’ll be here. It’ll seem as no time has passed at all…for that’s the way of things between friends. Just don’t fly off into the purple clouds forever eh? Always…SB

  2. I’m so glad you shared this again, Trent. It is truly an excellent story. I love the humanity you instilled in God. And I do hope you’ll find time to share more of your work later on.

  3. I’m glad you put this back up. No apologies needed. You need to do what you need to do. I hope you are well and should the time permit you to post your enchanting stories, I, as well as a host of others, will be here.

  4. Hi Trent. Hope you’re well. This is a fantastic piece of blasphemy. Did you know that Orthodox Jews aren’t permitted to write His name? It’s always represented as “G_d.” I think they don’t feel worthy or some such rubbish. And here you are fleshing him out into a believable entity with physical needs and emotions. I think I like your version much better. He’s more relatable.

    1. Not too bad, Mark, but decidedly trying to sort myself out. Yes, blasphemy! I’m okay with that. I did not know that about Orthodox Jews – possibly I’ve offended them as well.

      Much appreciated the words, man.

  5. Trent, I will miss your writing and comments and thoughts.

    This piece is very provocative on several levels. I suspect that is how it was intended. I will think of Alaine often as I ponder God’s choices here. In fact I would venture to say that I will think of this as I ponder God’s choices everywhere.

    I do hope I hear from you again.

    1. Thanks so much Michele. I’ll be around, just not that frequently I suppose. It’s really time to push myself into projects that I keep putting on the backburner, though they deserve better (in my mind).

      God and Alaine, it’s just a love story. Sometimes our choice are not our own.

      I hope to be reading you again Michele!

  6. This is a beautiful story. Thank you or sharing. I’ll be here, with all the others, waiting for your return. In the meantime, I hope all your projects go well and smoothly. I’m counting on you to fight the Evil Empire. 😉

    1. Thanks G. Projects will keep moving forward, faster than ever I hope. As for the evil empire… well, shackles and all it’s always there. Hard to get away from it, unfortunately.

  7. My first time with the story … so thanks for the return. Outstanding opening image to set the stage for the story. Meanwhile, time shortage strikes all of us sometime … so no apologies needed. Hang in there and I hope all is well.

  8. My first encounter with God and Alaine – and it’s hauntingly beautiful, fascinating and deeply moving.

    If this is your ending, and I hope not, as many others do, but if needs must, for whatever reasons, then, I am gratefully humbled and profoundly moved by this writing. A treasure to be sought out and revisited, often.

    Be well and take care – and we hope to see you again, soon, or later, in whatever means and ways you decide to show yourself again.

    1. Not an ending Pat, just a scaling back. I’m so glad you like this story, I know it is odd. I’m sure I’ll be back with something, just perhaps not stories on this forum. Thanks so much for the words – I’ll be around.

  9. Nobody can match that glorious imagination of yours Trent. And this was so wonderfully chock-full of pure Trent Lewin Imagination! I’m a little disappointed that God had to eat burnt stars washed down by sulphur seas. No wonder he was always nagging Moses et al to roast up first borns on the alter for him.

    1. I think I’ve drank something with sulphur in it before… tasted like it anyway. I don’t know, I always figured God was a bearded lesbian with parent issues, always seemed right to me. I’m sure I’m going to burn in some very bad place… you should get Gregory on this pronto.

  10. Trent. I do not like the thought of you moving on. I do not like it at all. This story…. huh… so much to think about…

  11. I always loved this one, can’t figure out what you changed though! But please oh please find time to write more Trentster, the blogorama will never be the same without you to inspire us!!!!! miss you already, bud! 🙁 first frownie face ever!!

    1. Yeah, wandering about… Thanks for the note, Mark, I appreciate it. Just finishing up a book, so all my time’s been diverted there lately, but I’ll be back in a bit.

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