Tuesday, July 26, 2005

A Chat Before the Storm

"Noah."

He looked around, pausing in his labor, hammer poised above the plank he was nailing to the frame of the ark.

"Noah, it's me. I thought we might talk a bit."

"Mmmmph Brmmmph Frgmmph." Noah spit out the nails he'd been holding in his mouth. "Sorry, Lord." He cleared his throat and tried to assume a respectful posture. He was never quite sure how to act when speaking to God. Not for the first time, he wished someone else had been chosen for this task.

"Well, they weren't. I picked you. Get used to it. Now, let's talk a moment."

"Yes Lord," Noah said with a slight bow. "And of course I would love nothing more, but I really do need to get this done before--"

"Don't worry about that. I've stopped time so we can talk."

"Okay." Noah sat down. Now that he thought about it, a bit of a rest might do him some good. "What would you like to talk about, Lord?" A thought struck him and he stood back up, looking nervous. "Is there some problem with my work? I am trying my hardest. I can--"

"No, no. Nothing like that. You're doing fine. I just thought we might... chat a little. That's all."

"Oh." Noah sat back down. "Okay."

There was a long silence. Noah fidgeted a bit. Just as the silence was becoming uncomfortable, God spoke.

"So, things are going well?"

"Yes, Lord."

"Good. Good."

There was another long silence.

Noah cleared his throat. "Um, Lord?"

"Yes?"

"Um, well, was there anything else?" Noah shifted his feet. "It's just that, I know you stopped time and all, but I really want to get the ark finished, and I still have the animals to gather, and I'm a little concerned that I'm not going to have nearly enough room for all of them, what with the spatial restrictions and--"

"Oh, don't worry about that. This ark is blessed by me. You'll have exactly as much room as you need. I wrote the laws of physics, after all. I can break them if I want to."

"Right," Noah said. "Of course. Well, if there's nothing else, I've been wanting to test the dragon traps. They're going to be the hardest to get onto the ark and--"

"No dragons."

"Lord?" Noah was taken aback by this. "I thought you said--"

"No dragons. No unicorns, chimera, griffins or any other magical creatures."

"But why, Lord?" Noah was a bit confused. God had clearly said two of every animal, so naturally he'd thought...

"Let's just call them a failed experiment and leave it at that."

"As you say, Lord." Noah turned to get back to work, then stopped. "Was that all, Lord? You seem to want to talk about something." He hoped he wasn't overstepping his bounds. It was hard to tell with God sometimes.

There was another silence, though not as long as the others.

"No, I just... well, yes. There is one thing..."

Noah waited a moment before prompting, "Yes?"

A great sigh echoed across the heavens. "Well, Noah, I was just thinking... do you... do you think I'm being a little harsh?"

"'Harsh', Lord?"

"You know, wiping out the entire human race except for you and your family. Thinking on it further, I wonder if maybe I could just give everyone a stern talking-to instead."

Noah cleared his throat and shuffled his feet again. He felt very uncomfortable. When God had first come to him and told him to build the ark, he'd been very honored, particularly since it meant he'd also been chosen to restart the human race. But, sometimes, talking with God was... confusing, to say the least.

"Well Lord," he said hesitantly, "I look at it this way: You are the Lord God. If you say it is so, it is so. If you believe humanity needs to be wiped clean and begun again, then there must be a good reason." Noah shrugged. "Who am I, who are ANY of us, to pass judgment on your wisdom?"

Noah heard a chuckle, and it sounded like distant thunder.

"I suppose you are right, Noah. Thank you. For everything."

"Of course, Lord." Noah picked up his hammer and got back to work. He could tell God was finished. He resumed hammering.

Not for the first time, he found himself really needing a drink.

17 comments:

Kat said...

I really like that. We usually don't think of Noah being a regular person.

Assorted Babble by Suzie said...

Noah is the one right? that was drunk in the tent..where the one son shamed him but the honored/blessed son backed into the tent with cover for his father??

Assorted Babble by Suzie said...

P.S. Actually it was Ham the "tattle tail" Then the other 2 brothers Shem & Japheth took the garment walking backwards to Noah's nakeness. Then Noah lived to be 350 years old.

rohitramgiri said...

hey you can bring 'em
"really down to earth"!!
love ur work
keep 'em coming!!
cheerz

Chris said...

Thanks kat! And welcome rohitramgiri! Thanks for visiting, and for the kind words.

And it looks like we have a biblical scholar in our midst. Welcome to suzie, as well. Thanks for the extra info about Noah. My actual knowledge of the Bible could just about fill the bottom third of a thimble, so it's nice to have someone around who knows what they're talking about. I'm guessing you're somewhat devout, so I hope I'm not offending with my silly little stories.

Rae Ann said...

Another winner! I have an idea about a story, but first tell me if you really hate it when people say that. I've checked out your comic sites a little and I really like the way you nail a character's thoughts and feelings.

Chris said...

Thanks, Rae Ann! That's quite a compliment. Glad you're liking the comics.

And you are the first person to actually tell me they have an idea for a story, so I can honestly say I don't hate it.

However, I will say to you what other writers have often said -- that if you have an idea for a story, you should write it.

I'd love to read it once you've written it, though. :)

Assorted Babble by Suzie said...

Chris - Thank you... but your guess was wrong (smiling) no biblical scholar nor devout person here! Just know a few Bible stories...that is all!
Enjoyed your post (smiling)

Assorted Babble by Suzie said...

One Final Thought:
Actually I feel Bible stories started the World of Every SUBJECT... from Science Fiction to Romance. Every Topic is covered there.....to write from. Evil to Good! Finding something outside of there doesn't exist.

Fascinating stories for every one's imagination!

Chris said...

Good point, suzie! Though I think you can find the origins for those genres in just about every cultural myth cycle.

For example, a lot of the heroic fiction of the modern era has its roots in Greek, Norse and Celtic mythology.

Regardless, the Bible does have some great stories in it. I've certainly been mining it pretty successfully. ;)

Glad you enjoyed the post. :)

Assorted Babble by Suzie said...

Chris - Thanks!

Aside from the modern era and roots; my feelings are and what I was referring to

Was THE BEGINNING OF TIME...Day One..when All was created! What followed.... is Subjects and Topics.

Kim said...

uhm... I don't know about any of the biblical accuracies or particular dynamics being discussed by you and suzie... however, I did like the story... does that count?

Rae Ann said...

chris, I wish I could write fiction, but it just doesn't come for me. When I read what you write I find myself thinking, 'wow, I wish I could do that like he does.' Believe me, I've tried, but my preferred method is visual instead of verbal. Every picture tells a story, you know? But sometimes I wish someone would write those stories out (from the pictures). Does that make sense? I guess it would be cool for someone to write the exact story I was telling with the picture. Or a close approximation. Oh, nevermind me, I'm just rambling.

Marsha said...

Very nice story. Interesting twist on an old tale.

Madie

Chris said...

Welcome Madie! Wow! Two new visitors in one post! Glad you liked the story, and I hope you're enjoying the others!

Rae Ann, I love visual storytelling (obviously), so I'd love to write a story based on an image you created. I didn't realize the idea had already been executed. I thought it was more along the lines of: "Well, it's about this guy, and he's gay, but he's a CIA agent, and it ends with a fight on the moon..."

So, yes. I would love to collaborate on a project. That would be fun. We could cross-post the result on our respective blogs. Feel free to email me if you want to talk further about it.

Speaking of your blog, I like the tarot card you did.

Aurora said...

Very interesting subject. I enjoyed it very much. Yes Noah was human but an interesting spin with God checkng in with him. I like it a lot.

Chris said...

Thanks aurora! And welcome!