On changeover day, the agency representative found god sitting on a hillside, watching a herd of brachiosaurs plod through the lush green valley, far below.
“All set, big fella?” she asked.
god looked up and smiled, but his eyes were deep pools of sadness. “My last day,” he said with a sigh. “You know, i’ll really miss this place. When i first arrived it was a desolate chunk of rock; a lost cause, they said. Now look at it.”
She followed his gaze along the valley, over the emerald treetops and out to where the cliffs stuttered into the sea, shimmering gold in the afternoon sun.
“The new guy’s certainly got some interesting ideas,” said the representative. “Opposable thumbs are the future, apparently.”
“Opposable thumbs?” god raised an eyebrow. “i hope He knows what He’s doing.”
A pterodactyl swept by, surfing volcanic thermals on leather wings.
god smoothed his beard. “i — ” he began. he cleared his throat. “i hope He doesn’t make too many changes. i was getting everything just the way i wanted.”
She smiled, her head to one side. “Everybody has to retire sometime.” Dismay crept across god’s face. She added, “I’m sure He won’t do anything drastic.”
god nodded, slowly.
“Well,” the representative said after a while, “what’ll you do with all your free time?”
he looked up into the sky. “Ooh… travel, i guess. Do the ‘sights’, you know? Maybe see how the others are getting on.”
A chorus of seismic bellows erupted as one of the brachiosaurs spotted a lurking predator.
“Um…” she said, “what is it with you and the lizards, anyway?”
“Dunno.” god poked at a pebble with the toe of his sandal. “i just thought they were cool.”
She checked her watch and sat down beside him. Together, they waited for the sun to set.
Dan Purdue lives near Birmingham, England and has been writing fiction for five years or so. His stories have appeared online in various places, including Spread the Word and The Guardian website, and in print in “The Wonderful World of Worders” and “Health Matters”.