Funny stories in under 500 words.

Heavenly Unrest

The gods lounged around on their celestial La-Z Boys eating hot dogs and ambrosia, the official food of heaven. Aeons of time had passed before one of the newcomers, Fred, dared mutter, “I'm bored.”

“Oh Me,” the God Who Shall Be Nameless, said. “How can you be bored? These hot dogs are divine--Hebrew National, of course. Maybe try some sauerkraut.”

Fred wrinkled his nose. “Gives me gas.”

“Well, then. Have more ambrosia.”

“Can't. Diabetes, you know.”

“How in My Name did you ever get to be a god?”

“My Aunt Minerva knew a guy.”

The Nameless One tried to breathe normally to keep His blood pressure down. He had promised to rule more hands off since the flood, but his Earthly creations weren't making it easy on Him. Neither were his supposedly more angelic subjects. He let loose an exasperated sigh, causing tidal waves in the Pacific Ocean. The other gods turned quickly to see what had been done.

“Don't blame me, blame the boy.”

“El Nino,” the god from the South shouted. “Look what you have caused. Waves like skyscrapers.”

“Cool,” Fred said, high fiving the surfing gods who, to the consternation of the elders, had chosen to rest for eternity on their boards rather than La-Z Boy recliners.

“I've had enough of this bickering,” boomed the voice of the Big Guy. “You're worse than lottery jackpot winners with your screaming. Can't you see I'm trying to catch up on my sleep? ”

The Big Guy's assistant said, “Of course, He doesn't really sleep. He always keeps one eye open to watch over His creation.”

“SILENCE,” the voice boomed. “I cast out Lucifer back in the old days because of his incessant whining. I need My sleep so I'm rested when there's a real emergency, like an asteroid heading for one of my favorite planets, an outbreak of pestilence not of My doing, or that orange man getting the nuclear codes.” The Big Guy stretched, scratched and let out a yawn that upset sensitive auditory equipment hurdling into the far reaches of the universe, causing scientists all over the universe to wet themselves.

“Here's what we'll do so I can get some rest. Fred, you and the Beach Boys, return to Earth, if the Good Life doesn't suit you. I'll give each of you a nice allowance, a Smart Car and a conservation message. 'Save the planet,' that sort of thing."

“A Smart Car?” Fred asked. “How about a nice Porche Spyder?”

“You've seen all that fighting over fossil fuel. Smart Cars!”

“Conservation? Don't you have a sexier message for us? You know, like the one about being fruitful?”

“Be Gone!” the Big Guy boomed.

“And don't let the Pearly Gates hit you on your way out,” shouted the old-timers.


Once again, peace returned to heaven.

This story comes from Wayne Scheer, who has locked himself in a room with his computer and turtle since his retirement. (Wayne's, not the turtle's.) To keep from going back to work, he's published hundreds of short stories, essays and poems, including Revealing Moments. He's been nominated for four Pushcart Prizes and a Best of the Net. His short story, “Zen and the Art of House Painting” has been made into a short film. 


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