Short Story Sunday: God in A Window

Aerial shot of Christ the redeemer Photo by Motoki Tonn on Unsplash

There was once a god.

He would stand by the window and bask in the glory of all his creations. Proudly staring behind a frozen window pane. The time of year permitted less movement about the world, but his patience could outlast the elements. The god stood for hours watching small specks in the distance trudge along the snowy roads and make their way to wherever specks would go during the day. The world he created, the specks he created that now called themselves people, he relished in it all.

“What does a god do when he’s done it all. What is there to create when all has been created?” He would ask himself. His only source of entertainment these days was looking out the window and guessing where each person would head next.

“My dear servant. Could you please fetch me a blanket. I grow cold near the window.”

“Perhaps, sir, you should consider standing away from the window.”

Such insolence would normally be punishable by death but I’ll allow it. Besides, free will is what makes my creatures so interesting, so unique. What is an individual without free will but a machine?

“I’ll forgive you for your disobedience this time but I won’t be so generous the next. Now, fetch my blanket.”

The servant’s noticeably displeased with taking commands. If the god wasn’t so bored he might be offended.

As the god stands by the window the servants spend the day catering to his needs. If he needs to be fed, they feed him. If he needs to be escorted around then they escort him. Whatever the god desires, he receives. The god was so well taken care of that he grew restless. The meaningless routines of everyday life bore him so he decided he would have no more of it.

“Please sir. You must eat. It’s been nearly two days since your last meal and I’m sure you’re feeling exhausted.”

“Nonsense, the necessities of mere mortals such as yourself are trivialities in which I chose not to partake.”

“I understand and respect your divinity sir. But I implore you to reconsider. Please. If not for yourself then do it for me.”

The servant begins to cry in front of the god. Despite having the soul of a god, he still has the heart of a man.

“Very well. I will do it not for myself but for you. You always take good care of me servant. Please say your name.”

“You know my name, Rhea.”

“You surely cannot expect my divine mind to retain such insignificant facts. You shall be remembered Rhea. Not for your importance, but for your compassion.”

The god continued watching out the window, peering at his subjects wading through the thick snow. Everyday mirrored the last, except for one. On one particular day the buildings along the road were covered in colored lights. Some red, some white, all celebratory of a particular nature. The god does not recall creating such an event. Perhaps it is a human creation.

“Servant, please explain the nature of these lights scattered along the road.”

“Surely you know what time of the year it is sir.”

“If I did then I would not have asked, servant.”

“It’s Christmas time. All the families come together and give each other gifts. The children are told the tale of a man named Santa who climbs down their chimney to deliver presents.”

“Why do the parents tell such a tale? It’s a terrible thing for people to hold secrets from one another.” The god was in shock by this bizarre phenomenon.

“Sometimes secrets prevent people from being hurt. Other times it’s for entertainment. No one really knows why parents do this. It’s more of a tradition.”

This unusual tradition excites the god. He asks to be delivered to the family so he can see what the tradition is like up close. The servant disobeys his command and tells him he must stay in his throne room. The god grows recalcitrant at the servant’s blatant disrespect. This can no longer be tolerated. Just as the god raises his hand at the servant, two other servants come in the room, all wearing their usual white attire, and help the god relax.

The god relaxes his way into a deep slumber.

The police officer walks to the small coffee room filled with white jackets at his request. The eerie nature of this place makes him feel a bit nervous. He’s seen deserted crack houses, bloody alleyways, and even the deeper end of a sewer once, but no sight scares him as much as the pure white interior of a hospital.

“Hello I’m Officer Janus. Which one of you is Rhea?”

“I am sir.” A small brown woman with strong arms and a ponytail emerges from the crowd of white jackets. She’s a tough one but visibly torn.

“Tell me everything you know Rhea and make it quick. It’s Christmas for christ’s sake.”

“Yes, officer.”

“Yesterday one of our patients started to act unusual. He always was an eccentric one.”

“Eccentric in what way Rhea? I need details.” The officer interrupts.

“This patient in particular believed himself to be a god. He would address us all as his servants and never remembered any of us or anything. A couple of weeks ago he stopped eating because he believed he no longer needed food.”

“What a nut job. So the guy stops eating. That’s not a crime. What do you want me to do.”

“Well sir that’s not the reason we called. Yesterday he was excited by the Christmas lights outside so he told us to bring him to them. We’re not allowed to do that, especially in this weather. He started to get hostile so we had to restraint and sedate him. This morning I went to check on him and he’s gone. His restraints were taken off and his window was open.”

“So he jumped out the window, open and shut case.”

“But sir. He resides on the third story. There’s no way someone could have made that jumped and walked away from it.”

“Then maybe he is a god.” The officer laughed.

“Please, could you investigate his room and let us know what you find.”

“I’ll do what I can but I can’t make any promises.”

Officer Janus then walked through the room. Taking notes of the scene on his small yellow pad, scribbles mostly, it was more important for perception than anything else. The window was opened just as the nurse said. No footsteps were seen in the snow. They likely were covered by the storm. The window was painted shut and the glass was shattered.  Two hand shaped molds bore into the wood of the window sill, as if someone burned their hands into it. The rest of the room was devoid of any character.

The officer assured the nurse that he would put his best men on it, but truth be told no one was interested in chasing down a man that didn’t want to be found, especially on Christmas day. The nurse was reassured by the officer’s confidence and hugged him as they left.

Three weeks later another call came from nearly two blocks away. A man was found in the alley with two distinct stab wounds to the torso. Half his face was badly burned and scarred. No one could identify him until Officer Janus heard his description and match him to the missing man from a few weeks prior. Locals would later tell the officers that he lived among the other homeless for weeks. Not asking for change, but asking to be brought back to his throne room. Everyone was living amongst a god, but they all refused to listen.