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24 Hours (On Planet Earth)

One particular day, some time around now, if you like, God (by chance rather design) looked down upon the Earth. This was something He, in his Infinite Wisdom, rarely did. You see, God, by nature, is a tinkerer with a very short attention span and, having created Earth some eons past he had moved on to other things – new planets, new challenges. The fact that Earth was also a failed experiment (that whole Humans and 'free will' thing...well, what a disaster...less said, soonest mended!) that had been at the heart of the rupture between God and his beloved old friend, The Devil, meant that God was even less likely to bother with Earth than any of the other myriad planets he'd created. But...seeing as planet Earth had come into his view, God decided, reluctantly, that he'd better have a quick look at what was going on, take some notes and do some Supreme Being 'making judgements' type stuff as per the Universe had empowered and mandated him to do. And so God looked at Earth. And he wished he hadn't. In England, a prominent politician and a famous celebrity, in a large and richly furnished room in an extremely expensive London property, rape a twelve year old girl. After they've raped her, they murder her...they do this because they enjoy it and because they can get away with it. In America, a homeless man settles down to try and sleep behind a dumpster, situated down a dank and dark, piss-reeking New York alleyway; four bankers – drunk on expensive champagne and their own arrogance, have followed him to his insecure, uncomfortable place of rest. They are playing 'hunt the bum'. With laughs and whoops, they kick and stamp the homeless man to death. In Yemen, 29 school children are blown to pieces by a bomb dropped from a fighter jet flying high above...the children are, apparently, a legitimate military target. In Brazil, a death squad, sent by a newly elected fascist government (elected with the help and support of Wall Street bankers), kidnaps and murders 12 student activists. In Spain, a drunken, inadequate man beats his wife to death because she's annoyed him (she's such a nag..) and because she's his property, after all. In Libya, once a rich nation but destroyed by the greed, avarice and evil of wicked and wealthy old men who dream only of profit and power (you know, the ones who own our politicians...read the next tale), a slave market is trading; women and children fetch the best price – they'll make good money for their new owners as prostitutes and as the unwitting stars of snuff movies; healthy young men are also prized, they'll be killed and their organs harvested and sold to those who are old and sick but wealthy and amoral. In Nigeria, a two year old child is dying slowly and horribly of starvation whilst, at the same time, a wealthy woman and her husband enters an upmarket store in a fashionable Paris street. She spends $250,000 on a new handbag and he even more on a new watch. On and on and on it goes, minute after minute, hour after hour...a depressing, sickening litany of murder and evil and injustice and cruelty and tragedy and sadness and prejudice and torture and rape and degradation and stupidity and violence and ignorance. And God, repulsed and disgusted by all he had seen, thought to himself... 'Oh...what have I done? The Devil was always my Wiser Half...had I but listened to his advice instead of casting him out then I would never even have made this Earth and these horrible humans with their dangerous free will! Maybe now is the time to admit that this Earth and these Humans are, indeed, a failed experiment, a planet and a species inhabited by boundless evil that should be destroyed.' But then, one hundred miles off the coast of south eastern Spain, a small boat, dangerously overloaded with desperate refugees, men, women and children, fleeing yet another land destroyed and broken by a war fought for no other reason than to make obscene and obscenely rich old men even more obscenely rich, capsizes in rough seas. There are fifty one refugees packed into the boat..most of them are sucked down to their deaths beneath the hungry, cold water with the sinking vessel. Ten minutes later only five people remain alive, bobbing up and down on sharp, serrated waves. Twenty minutes later only three people remain alive, five minutes after that, only two; a young mother and her six month old baby boy. As she cradles the child in her arms, Nimah (let's dignify this poor young woman with a name for we are, after all, to bare witness to her death) tries pointlessly to shield her infant son from the cold and hostile sea (the boy's name is, was, Malik – what would he have been, what would he have done had he been allowed to grow up rather than been sacrificed for the benefit of the already bulging wallets of the psychopathic elite who rules us?). The child cries. He's desperately cold and instinctively feels his mothers fear. Nimah tries hard, so very, very hard, to keep herself and her child afloat, in the hope that help may come. But at some point, Nimah realises that hope of rescue is in vain and she's so tired and so cold...as hope slides away so does her strength....slowly she slips beneath the sea and her last act on this Earth is to put every last ounce of energy she has into lifting Malik up above her head to delay his descent into the cold and hungry ocean; to give him as many last few seconds of this precious gift of life that she possibly can. Finally, as Malik's little head is also embraced by the sea, Nimah summons from somewhere (I would say 'God knows where' but God doesn't actually know half as much as he thinks he does...) the strength to pull the child towards her, to embrace him in her arms and hold him close to her chest. Together they sink down and down, still entwined together in beautiful, selfless, precious love as as their souls leave this Earth, journeying across a Broad, Bright, Blue Sky to That Which Lies Beyond. So it is that God, seeing this one act of beauty, love, compassion and courage, decides that, no, Planet Earth and it's humans shall not be destroyed! There is still hope! My experiment is not a failure! (If I were to play Devil's Advocate I might say that God seized upon the example of Nimah and her baby boy as an excuse not to face up to his responsibilities, but, well...oh, just read on...you'll get my point). And, far, far away, the Devil, warmly ensconced in his fiery fortress, chuckles to himself (for the Devil knows us much, much better than God, for this is his world, after all) and says... 'Oh my dear, sweet God, you silly, silly, arrogant old fool, you've fallen for their tricks again haven't you...when will you ever learn to admit your mistakes?' This piece is taken from my book 'Angels, Demons and Gods'. To read free preview or buy go to Amazon and search Angels Demons and Gods Richard Hennerley

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