He hung his head in defeat. Another day, another dollar… So they say. It's not like anything went wrong at work, but it was draining, unfulfilling, and overall damaging to his mental health.
He put his suitcase on the bed and sat right next to it, putting his head in his hands and sighing into them. He wanted to do something legendary, something he'd be remembered for, something he could be proud of doing. Instead he was doing the opposite, going to work and doing the same pointless tasks day in, and day out...
So many people to please, he thought to himself. So many people, and no gratitude from any of them. He begrudgingly stood up and began changing his outfit. He had a party to attend in a couple of hours, and even though it already began, they wanted him there anyway. "Best I go," he muttered to himself, wondering what he was doing with his life.
But as he was grooming he looked in the mirror and noticed something, something he had never seen before. A black book, sitting on his dresser. What? When did that get there?
He finished what he was doing and went to look at it. He scrunched his forehead. "Somoel Adpoem" the title was, something he had never seen before, and he opened the book to see what was inside.
Strange pictures, the likes of which made no sense to him. The words were of different languages, and even he could tell the language switched every 70-100 pages. Did his wife buy it at some point? He didn’t even know. They didn’t communicate much.
Towards the back of the book he found something in English. He was surprised! He didn’t expect to find anything in English, but he went ahead and read it:
“And so, as it turns out, you can speak to your creator. All you must do is speak as if they were here.” Accompanying these words was an occult-ish picture, a man was speaking to a giant eye. Kinda creepy.
“Well,” he said out loud, “let’s try it. Let’s see what happens. I have no idea, I think I’m going crazy. But it’s better than whatever I’m doing now...”
He moved away from the book and sat on his bed.
“Hello, creator. Are you there? Do you even exist?”
The air began to swirl around the book. It was very slow to start and it picked up some speed until another black book appeared in its wake! He cautiously got up from his bed and opened it up.
"Hello! It’s nice to hear from you!" The text in the book was a direct response to his question!
He was shocked and taken aback! Was this real? Was he dreaming? Or was he actually speaking with the creator himself?
"What’s your name?” He spoke into the air since he couldn't see anybody.
“I’m Gabriel” a voice echoed back. He stumbled and fell onto the bed, his breathing heavy and his eyes as wide as dinner plates.
“Whoops, I didn’t mean to startle you. But then again, I knew you’d do that since… You know… I’m creating you.”
After catching his breath he gulped and asked, “are you God? Are you all powerful and all knowing? That’s what you have to be…”
“You could say that, but it’s all about your perspective really” he said with a humorous undertone. “You could say I’m God to you since I’m creating you and your life, but to my peers, I appear normal.”
“Wait, there’s more?! How many of you are there?!”
“Oh, Google says we reached 7.8 million last year. That’s quite a lot when compared to our population some centuries ago.”
Jerry’s mouth dropped open. Just the sound of his voice was strange enough, then knowing there were almost 8 million of them out there… All with the power to create and destroy his world. Or, that’s what he assumed. Fear began to creep into him at a slow but steady pace.
“Okay. Wow. But wait, I have a question. So I don’t have any free will? All of my actions are predetermined?”
“It depends on what you believe! You can say that since I’m creating every aspect of you and your life, but the twist is that I’m creating you to have free will. So, you can do whatever you want, but not until I write it into existence.”
“So… You’re giving me the illusion of free will? That’s what I got out of that.”
Gabriel laughed a deep, understanding laugh. “No, you actually have free will. You feel as if you have free will. You think you have free will. You act like you have free will. So, you have free will.”
“But then I can’t act unless you create me. So, my actions are predetermined then.”
“I knew you were going to say that. In reality, my creative process is quite different than what you imply - I don’t think of your actions beforehand. I think and write in one, fluid motion, almost as if action and thought were the same thing. Technically speaking, your actions are not predetermined - they simply happen.”
Jerry felt a little better, but he was still confused. “So, do you ever feel like you don’t want to create? Do you like doing other things as well?”
“I do all kinds of Godly things!” He said this in such a loud voice that it startled Jerry and he fell back into his bed. Gabriel laughed a little bit. “I’m just playing with you, no need to get too scared. I love writing but I also love being with others, playing, working, having fun… Etcetera.”
“What’s going to happen when you stop writing my actions? Will I notice it?”
“You’ll simply stop being on my conscious mind for a while. I know it sounds bad, but it’s actually quite painless - you float around in my subconscious until I decide to start thinking about you. It’s a good existence.”
“And what about your existence? Do you like it?”
“Yes. I experience a wider range of emotions than any of my creations can even dream of. Speaking of dreams, my dreams are fantastic. Yours aren’t that great. Sorry Jerry.”
Jerry looked down at his bed and mumbled “gee, thanks…”
But while he was looking at his bed he momentarily remembered his crappy life. Maybe this Gabriel guy could give him some advice on what to do.
“So… My life sucks. I work a crappy job, my wife and I don’t get along, and I really just want to do something meaningful with my life, you know? What can I do?”
“Don’t worry about it Jerry. That’s the answer. Don’t worry about your job, your wife, and your life - just live how you want to.”
“Okay, but what I want to do involves expensive cruises, vacations, a whole ton of stuff… I just don’t have the money for it. She’d love a vacation as well."
A $20,001 check poofed into existence right next to his black books.
“There, knock yourself out! Like I said, don't worry about it - you'll be fine. I promise."
"Well… I mean… Thanks. To be honest though, I'm scared to live my full life. Sure, I have the money, but not the courage."
"That's something you'll have to obtain for yourself! I'm not going to help you with that, but I will tell you one thing; it's easier than you think."
"Umm… Okay, cool, I guess."
"You should be going to the party now, you were already late when you opened the book."
His eyes widened as he remembered his plans for the night. "Oh shoot! Yeah, I forgot about that. Uh, nice talking to you God, I guess I'll go now."
"My name is Gabriel. I don't like being called God!"
"Right, sorry! I guess I'll talk to you soon, hopefully, maybe."
The voice didn't say anything more, and Jerry could only sit there and process what had just happened. He just talked to the author, the creator of his story! He knew his actions weren't really his own, but he had a feeling they were his own. Little did he know that he was an extension of Gabriel himself, and that he was a part of him, but that thought never crossed his mind as he boldly walked out the door and ignited the ignition.