On Day Seven

The very talented Sharon Boyle had this piece published on Reflex Fiction in 2018 and as you will see, the topic is timeless.

“The start ain’t grabby, there are too many characters and the message is preachy, but hey, the plot is flush with vice and I love that it’s split into named parts.” Slow-release sigh. “But it still ain’t enough.”

“You won’t republish it?”

“The Bible’s not a hit with readers anymore.”

“Not even as an eBook?”

“Sure, you could recreate it on the web, I mean, you created the world in seven days—”

“Six—I rested on the seventh; something you’d know if you’d taken time to read the thing.”

“Ah, time, time, time, the editor’s enemy. Listen, readers want sleaze in accessible prose. Your book is too wordy; you need to edit, edit, edit.”

God gripped the arms of the office chair and stood, His sacred lips pursing. “Well, Mr Editor, thank you for being candid about my efforts—”

Your efforts? Rumour points to your novel being ghost-written, by several, uh, disciple types.”

“Your publishing company,” God hissed, “will wither in forty days and nights of appalling sales.”

The editor smiled. “I don’t think so. Luce is bringing out a hottie as we speak; a tell-all spat ‘bout how you wronged him. He also has the love-life lowdown on Magdalene and your son.”

God felt an Old Testament temper coming on. That grassing bastard, Lucifer…

The editor rocked on his heels wearing a blockbuster smile. “Luce’s sex scenes are consensual and more importantly, graphic—not a flat exercise in,” air quotes, “begetting. If you wanna bestseller I suggest you start over. Make it punchy. Bring Judgement Day nigh-er. Put clues all the way through with some red herrings, but write a definite big bang date folks can get worked up about.”

Start over? God forced Himself to breathe deeply. He could start over. Not with the book; His book was fine, no need to sex it up like Lucifer’s Auld Nick-lit. No, it was humankind that was far from fine. Judgement Day would be brought nigh-er all right and then He would restart the whole of creation.

And on the seventh day? He’d edit.

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