Fiction: Heavenly Shutdown

The celestial year began anew and heaven had no budget. “We really need to cut back on oceans,” said Senior Angel Michael. “Oceans are the origin of life,” his counterpart in the heavenly body of law shot back. Senior Angel James had gotten into heaven by doing good deeds and looking after the poor, and he would be damned if he was going to let the noninterventionists shrink the source of life just because they could afford Evian.

“No reduction in oceans, no Earth 2015.” That was the hardline stance they were taking, and to prove their point they called in a major drought over equatorial Africa.

“Jesus Christ, you’ll kill hundreds of thousands of humans.”

“And once they get here and learn that you let them die rather than beach a few whales they’ll become our new constituents.”

“You can’t just kill people just so they’ll get into heaven in time for the next election cycle.”

“We’re not killing them. The drought is. And you’re responsible for that by being irresponsible over the amount of ocean in the planet.”

“Jesus Christ.”

“That’s Heaven Majority Leader Jesus Christ to you if you please.”

“What if we funded the Earth piece by piece? You know, to keep vital services like sun and air going while we negotiate a full budget?”

“Preposterous. It’s been several millennia since we had a real plan for that planet. Every year it’s the same, ‘oh why don’t we pass emergency measures to keep life on Earth from dying out?’ Every year we agree to these stopgap measures so we can negotiate without causing mass extinction, and every year we end up with just another continuing resolution.”

“Fine, be an obstacle. Just be warned we’ll be skewering you on the Sunday sermon circuit in churches worldwide this weekend.”

“Do you even remember the dinosaurs? I sure do, which is why it would be mind blowingly irresponsible for us to have another planet shutdown. If you have something to say about the oceans save it for Pearly Gate Hill, but don’t tie the continuing existence of day and night to your relitigation of a measure we all agreed on in the beginning.”

“Oh no, we never agreed on creating the oceans. That was all God. ¬†And frankly, we’re of the mind that God had far too much power back then. And God’s been in office how long now? God’s lost touch with the common species. God’s the pinnacle of a heaven insider.”

“God may not be what God once was but God can still smite you by sending a holier-than-thou angel up against you in the primaries. Go to hell!”

“So do we have a deal?”

“No deal. Fund the Earth as is or there is no deal. We don’t compromise when it comes to providing basic goods and services for all the creatures of the Earth.”

“Then how will you explain to them the sudden absence of oxygen come Tuesday? You’ll be choking on those words by next week, mark my words.”

“This is all your fault. Back down from your pedestal and vote for the damned bill.”

“Whoa, whoa, this bill is damned? I knew you were the devil all along. Back to hell with thee, Satan!”

“How did you find me out?”

“Only Satan could have such a fundamentally divergent view on good and evil. My view comes straight from God, so that leaves you with only one other option.”

“God I hate you.”

“We know, we know. Repent.”

“No dice.”

“That’s heaven for you.”

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