Construction Literary Magazine

March 2019: Conflict & Displacement

El Trabuco

El Trabuco

Photograph by Sophie Turner

Before God made the Heavens and the Earth, He threw a big party and invited all His family and all of His wife’s family and all their friends, everyone. Then He said, “I’ve been thinking about making a few planets and a star or two and really putting something together, you know, maybe even a universe, eventually.”

They all said, “Yeah, that’s a great idea,” and they toasted to God and this New Thing and drank and danced all night and day for six days. This is where we have the six working days of the week, for it is said our work is pleasing to God.

On the seventh day when God was hungover and His wife wasn’t speaking to Him on account of some misunderstanding, his cousin, Satan, came into His tent and inquired after the New Thing, asking about the details of construction, wondering aloud about the Surface of the Deep, which would of necessity mark the border between God and the New Thing.

“God,” Satan said, “How will you move your creation over the Deep?”

God said, “I’ll give them a good toss.”

“Won’t it break?”

“Not at all. It will land on a soft nothingness.”

Satan thought on this and said, “How will these things be tossed?”

God replied, “With a catapult, I suppose.”

So Satan made God a catapult, and he said, “Here is the catapult,” and he showed God how it worked, and God said it was good.

Then Satan said, “Now, show me how you shall make this New Thing.”

So God made a coating for the Surface of the Deep—like a glaze—and he called this coating water, and they loaded it into the catapult and tossed it over the Deep, and it landed good.

Then Satan said, “What shall we place upon the water?”

And God replied, “A Nightmare and a Thundering.”

So God made the leviathan and the thunderhead and they placed them in the catapult and tossed them over the Deep and they landed upon the glaze but struck too hard and shattered into myriad smaller leviathans and thunderings, but God held up His hand and kind of shrugged as through to say, “It’ll work.”

This, of course, is where we find our sense of proportion and scale.

Then Satan saw how this worked, and God said, “Give it a shot.”

So Satan made a Great Weightlessness, and they loaded it into the catapult and tossed it and it flew far over the leviathans and the thunderings and even further over the water and it landed at the edge of the glaze and bounced off the nothingness and evaporated into the nothingness and seemed to go away.

Satan gave a good natured chuckle, and God was too polite to say anything, but they both knew Satan wasn’t quite suited for the task. So God made for his cousin a car. The nicest car ever with a good sound system and all the extras, and he said, “You drive down there and tell me how things stand.” And to this end He also gave his cousin a cellular phone.

And God cast about for some dirt and when He had enough of it together he loaded it into the catapult and tossed it over the Deep and it landed on the water and Satan saw that it was beginning to sink because it was too heavy, but he said nothing to God, supposing this to be the way of things.

Then a strange thing happened. The Great Weightlessness that they had supposed for naught, affixed to the bits of dust and buoyed it up over the water making the land. Further still the Weightlessness bore the dirt up even out of the land, making the beasts of the field and the birds of the air. So Satan called God, and he said, “Did you see that?”