Coffee With God

By Col Hellmuth

sfgenreI awoke to the sound of someone rummaging through my bedside drawers. I looked up and saw God — at least that’s who he said he was when I challenged him/Him. Presently my wife stirred beside me.

“I’ve found God.” I said.

“That’s not like you, dear,” she mumbled, knowing I am not a religious man and promptly fell back to sleep.

I arose and suggested to God that we/We (?) adjourn to the kitchen, as I was feeling a little uncomfortable about Someone sneaking into my bedroom unannounced and I had a couple of questions to ask:

“Why are you in my house?” for example.

“I am everywhere.” replied God simply.

“Everywhere?” I countered.

“Well, actually, I’m squatting in a flat on Phoenix road, at the moment,” God clarified. “Terrible place. No air-conditioning, no cable television, no broadband internet. Nothing.”

I had never heard of broadband internet or cable television — whatever they were — and air-conditioning was a luxury my working class salary would never accommodate. I peered through the doorway to the lounge room and noticed a tangle of cables in the space where my VCR used to be. God noted my expression, and shrugged.

“Times are tough.”

I then registered that God was lugging around a rather large nondescript bag; for want of a better word: sack. The sort of sack my childhood mind would have pictured Santa carrying. I suggested that, pending the return of my video recorder to its rightful place and removal of all uninvited deities from the premises, I may be persuaded not to telephone the police.

“See what I mean?” replied God, “No-one believes in me any-more.” He looked genuinely despondent. I put the kettle on.

***

“So what’s going on here, God?” I inquired as I handed over a brew.

“I move in mysterious ways,” He replied.

“Do you ever give a coherent answer?” I challenged.

“It is the question that is of importance, the answer always differs depending on who is asking,” God replied, managing not to answer the question again.

“Why do you need to steal from people’s homes — if you are indeed God as you insist?”

“Oh, this is just a temporary vocation, last week I was a stripper.”

I sipped my coffee slowly as I reflected on this.

“Why can’t you just will a VCR into existence instead of nicking mine?” I asked.

"I’ve retired from Creating — bad back and all that — there’s no worker’s compensation scheme for Gods, you know. I don’t even get a pension.”

“So you live along with the common people?”

“That’s right, and I have to eat too you know, if you don’t eat you don’t …”

“You’re telling me — ” I interrupted, entirely unconvinced, “— you have no control over the functioning of the universe you claim to have created; that you are in fact bound by all the limitations of Man — allegedly created in your own image; you live amongst us in poverty; remorselessly break the rules you commanded us to live by. Yet you call yourself God.”

“I only created the universe,” retorted God defensively, “I never claimed it came with a warranty, and it's not like I’m making any royalties off it or anything.”

I started to raise an eyebrow, changed my mind, and instead reached for the kettle again. The last thing I needed in my kitchen at two in the morning was an angry divinity — except for maybe an angry crazy person, who thought they were a divinity.

At two-thirty the police arrived. I asked if they wouldn’t mind removing my video recorder from God’s sack of contraband before they carted him off, and they obliged.
God seemed disappointed but not resentful at my lack of faith. He remained silent throughout his arrest and caused no further trouble. However, the ongoing commotion woke my wife once again. I heard her unsteady footsteps moving down the hallway to the kitchen door. She peered, bleary-eyed through the door-frame as I introduced her to God.

“Oh yes,” she murmured, still half asleep, “we already met — just last week.”

This time I raised my eyebrow fully, and God winked at me before the two constables bundled him out the front door and escorted him, grinning, to the waiting paddy wagon in the driveway. “See you later, Warren.” said God, and I was left contemplating as the patrol car drove off: how he could know my name?

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About The Author

Col Hellmuth

This is my second contribution to the pages of AntipodeanSF.

I live off grid in the Daintree rainforest in Far North Queensland.

Any constructive criticism of my writing is welcomed. I can be contacted at: <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>.

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nuke conflux 2017 200Ion Newcombe is the editor and publisher of AntipodeanSF, Australia’s longest running online speculative fiction magazine, regularly issued since January 1998, and conceived back around November 2007. He has been a zealous reader and occasional writer of SF since his childhood in the 1960s, and even sold a few stories here and there back in the '90s.

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mark web 200Mark Webb's midlife crisis came in the form of attempting to write speculative fiction at a very slow pace. His wife maintains this is a good outcome considering the more expensive and cliched alternatives. Evidence of Mark's attempts to procrastinate in his writing, including general musings and reviews of books he has been reading, can be found at www.markwebb.name.

One of Mark’s very best forms of writing procrastination is to produce the eBook series for AntipodeanSF, which he has been doing since issue 175.

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In The Next Issue...

Coming In Issue 246

Evolution
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Hairy Story
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Malfunction
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Mary Khan Starts A Union
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Mission 11B
By Justin O'Leary

Mistress
By John Brantingham

Second Duty
By Zebuline Carter

Soulmates
By JL Cooper

The Day The President Vanished
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Two Sons Two Moons
By Carolyn Eccles

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AntiSF's Narration Team

timonthy gwyn 100Timothy Gwyn is a professional pilot in Canada, where he flies to remote communities. During a lull in his flying career, he was a radio announcer for three years, and he is also an author.

In addition to short stories at AntipodeanSF and NewMyths.com, his SF novel is available internationally in print and ebook formats. "Avians" draws on his love of alternative aviation to tell the tale of a girl who runs away from home to join a cadre of glider pilots on a world without metal or fossil fuels.

On Twitter, he is @timothygwyn, and his blogs are at <timothygwyn.com>.

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garry dean narratorGarry Dean lives on the Mid Coast of New South Wales Australia, and has been a fan of SF for most of his natural life. Being vision impaired, he makes good use of voice recognition and text to speech in order to write. Many of his stories have appeared in AntipodeanSF over the years, and his love of all things audio led him to join the narration team in 2017.

You can read examples of Garry's fiction on his website <https://garrydean.wordpress.com>

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Carolyn's work spans devising, performance, theatre-in-education and a collaborative visual art practice.

She tours children's works to schools nationally with School Performance Tours, is a member of the Bathurst physical theatre ensemble Lingua Franca and one half of darkroom — a visual arts practice with videographer Sean O'Keeffe.

(Photo by Jeremy Belinfante) 

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lauriebell 2 200Laurie Bell lives in Melbourne, Australia. She was that girl you found with her nose always buried in a book. She has been writing ever since she was a little girl and first picked up a pen. From books to short stories, radio plays to snippets of ideas and reading them aloud to anyone who will listen.

She is the author of The Butterfly Stone (available now).

You can read more of her work on her blog Look for her on Facebook <www.facebook.com/WriterLaurieBell/> or Twitter: <@LaurienotLori>

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pixie willo 100Pixie is a voice actor, cabaret performer & slam poet From the Blue Mountains in NSW.

She enjoys writing short fiction, plays for radio and stage as well as her own brand of weird poetry.

She hosts the 'Off-Beet Poetry Slam' held bi-monthly in Katoomba,

And is a theatre reviewer for 2SER FM in Sydney.

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marg essex 200Margaret lives the good life on a small piece of rural New South Wales Australia, with an amazing man, a couple of pets, and several rambunctious wombats.

She feels so lucky to be a part of the AntiSF team.

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mark english 100Mark is an astrophysicist and space scientist who worked on the Cassini/Huygens mission to Saturn. Following this he worked in computer consultancy, engineering, and high energy research (with a stint at the JET Fusion Torus).

All this science hasn't damped his love of fantasy and science fiction. It has, however, ruined his enjoyment of rainbows, colourful flames on romantic log fires, and rings around the moon. He has previously been published in Stupefying Stories Showcase, Everyday Fiction, Escape Pod, Perihelion and also on AntipodeanSF where he is part of the narration team.

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david whitaker 200David Whitaker is originally from the UK though has travelled around a bit and now resides in India. He has a degree in Journalism, however decided that as he’s always preferred making things up it should ultimately become a resource rather than a profession.

His stories, covering everything from sci-fi to philosophy, have been published across the globe and links to each can be found at <wordsbydavid.com>

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SF News

Upcoming Cons

INDIE COMIC CON 2018 8 Dec Northcote Town Hall, Melbourne Free event. <http://www.indiecomiccon.com.au/>.

Nullus Anxietas VII: The Australian Discworld Convention — will be held in Melbourne on April 12-14, 2019, and is themed on Going Postal. More information: <https://ausdwcon.org/>.

Swancon 2019 — 18/04/2019 - 22/04/2019,  Esplanade Hotel Fremantle by Rydges 46-54 Marine Terrace, Fremantle WA 6160. Swancon is Australia's longest-running science-fiction, fantasy, and speculative fiction convention, and is the premiere event in Perth for fans of all forms of speculative media. More information: <https://swancon.com.au>.

Continuum 15 Other Worlds (Natcon 58): Continuum 15 is the Australian National SF Convention, to be held in Melbourne on June 7–10. More information and memberships <https://continuum.org.au>. AntipodeanSF will be at Continuum 15 and celebrating Issue 250 of AntiSF!

Worldcon Dublin 2019 — An Irish Worldcon 15/08/2019 till 19/08/2019, The Convention Centre Dublin (CCD). <More info here>

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SF Quote

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J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire