The author would like to apologize for taking her sweet ass time posting a new adventure. Her only excuse is laziness...and a lack of inspiration. She hopes you'll forgive her and keep reading.
Christmas wasn't originally a religious holiday. No, the Pagans laid claim to those few days around the New Year early on and everyone stripped down to their birthday suits and danced around a really warm, really big, fire for a few hours, laughing and carrying on. God can't, for the life of Her, understand why Her Father didn't approve. She'd much rather be carousing in the Pagan Wing than sitting through Her hundredth meeting on all things Christian.
"Remind Me again when Jesus was born," She whispers to Metatron and the lanky Brit stifles a laugh. She frowns at him. "Seriously, I thought it was March."
"July, actually," he says around a quiet laugh.
"Then why in My name are we celebrating it in December?"
Before Meta can stop Her, She raises Her hand and the little Mormon Office Manager, a man who obviously volunteered for his position as Committee Chair because he thought it would bring him closer to God, stops mid-sentence and nods at Her. "Yes, hi. I'd like to know why we continue to celebrate Christ's birthday in December when he was born in July."
Metatron is laughing outright now, shaking with the hilarity of watching his Boss question the dogma of Her own religion. The little Mormon Office Manager - whose name is Norman, according to the name tag on the breast pocket of his short-sleeved Oxford shirt - seems baffled.
"Excuse me?" he squeaks - literally squeaks - and God shrugs.
"I'm just saying that we're constantly five months late with his birthday celebration. Did you ever think that maybe it bothers him that we throw a huge party five months afterwards but don't do anything on the actual day?"
Everyone in the room, excluding Meta, is staring at God like She's just grown an extra head.* Meta is simply laughing his ass off, quietly and as professionally as he possibly can.
"I'm not sure I follow..." Norman the Mormon says, his voice still high and confused.
God huffs a sigh. "Nevermind," She says and waves Her hand. "You were droning on about centerpieces, I believe," She says. "Please continue. I'm on the edge of My seat with anticipation."
Everyone in the room blinks, settles back into the monotony of the meeting. She leans back in Her chair and crosses Her arms over Her chest. Meta leans in close.
"Admit it," he says, "You do it just to screw with them."
She says nothing but the grin that spreads across Her face is more than a little telling.
* * *
She's having lunch with Jesus on the veranda of Her office, which just so happens to be the tallest point of the Pearly Gates Corporation. This is important to note because it also just so happens that Jesus is afraid of heights.
"Can we please go inside?" he whines, violently stabbing his fork into a piece of chicken.
She frowns at Her half-brother. "You know this fear of heights thing is getting old," She says. "It's not even that high, for Mysake."
As though to prove Her wrong, an eagle swoops past and drops what looks like a small piece of intestine on the veranda floor.** Jesus frowns at the entrails and then at Her. She shrugs, takes a bite of Her roast beef.
"So maybe it's a little high up," she says around Her sandwich.
"Why am I up here, Ellie?" he asks.
"Because I have a question for you." She swallows Her bite of sandwich, dabs at the corners of Her mouth with a pristine white napkin, and settles in for a conversation. "When would you prefer to celebrate your birthday - in December or in July?"
This is a difficult question for him and it makes him pause long enough to forget that he's 600 stories above ground (which is technically already a million miles above the actual ground).
"But I thought my birthday was in December," he says, confused.
"It's actually in July, but we can celebrate it in December instead if you'd like."
"Well don't we always celebrate it in December?"
She tries not to smite him, explains in great detail to Herself the consequences of smiting the Holy Savior of Mankind, and in the end opts for a frustrated sigh instead of turning Christ into a smoldering pile of ash.
"J-Dawg, I'm trying to explain to you that there's an option here, that those dingbats downstairs have been celebrating the wrong day all along and that if you'd like, I can get them to start celebrating the right day."
"Oh." He closes his eyes, gives the option serious consideration for all of a moment or two. When he opens his eyes again, he's smiling. "Let them celebrate it in December if it makes them happy. What do I care?"
The nervous tick in the corner of Her eye She thought She'd outgrown is back with a vengeance. She can't smite him, but She can definitely make sure the eagle's aim is a little better the next time it flies by. A little intestine in the eye never hurt anyone.
* * *
"I can't believe You asked him," Michael says with a laugh as he pours God another shot of scotch. Behind them, Metatron, who is currently on his third glass of the strong amber liquid, is attempting to perfect a bow tie with his cravat. It isn't going altogether that well.
"I was honestly curious," She says in Her defense. "And besides, Atla said she could definitely get those viscera stains out of his robes."*** This statement receives a loud snort of laughter from Metatron and God turns to glare at him. "I can't believe you're laughing at Me right now," she says, "you, who has his hand stuck in a bow tie."
Meta sticks his tongue out at Her and attempts to free his hand. She turns Her attention back to Michael.
Michael shakes his head as he grins at Her. "You had Prometheus' eagle land a large piece of nastiness in the center of Your half-brother's forehead because he was annoying You with his typical flightiness."
It's God's turn to giggle slightly. "You should have seen his face."
"I'm quite glad I didn't, seeing as how it was covered in gore." Michael sips his scotch thoughtfully. "So what's the verdict, then?" he asks. "July or December?"
"December. Humans are not as adaptable as they used to be, sadly." She downs the last of Her scotch and hands Her glass to Michael for a refill. "I mean, really, I've been trying for hundreds of years to convince the religions of the world that I'm a woman and still the new arrivals think St. Nikolaus is their guide through the afterlife."
This makes Michael chuckle. "I love when they finally realize he's actually Father Christmas."
God grins. "Even better is when they ask him why they didn't get a red Schwinn bicycle for their 10th birthday and he goes off on a rant in German about not being a damned magician." God laughs at the memory of seeing St. Nick smack a fifty year old dead investment banker upside his head when the man asked that very question.
"Um, guys," Metatron says and they turn to look at the Voice of God, having both forgotten that he was behind them. He's somehow gotten both of his hands tied into the knots of his cravat and as a result, the index finger of his left hand is stuck up his left nostril. "A little help, please."
They'd like to help, they really would, but it's just impossible to help someone when you're laughing too hard to see, much less untie a knot.
* She hadn't grown an extra head, mind you, but that's not to say She couldn't...or even that She hasn't on past occasions. It's the main reasons She no longer drinks the punch at the Greek wing's Annual Summer Festival.
** She's requested on more than one occasion that Zeus move Prometheus and his damnable eagle to a different part of the Pearly Gates complex - preferably somewhere far away from Her veranda - but the Greek Father of the Gods has seen fit to ignore Her each and every time. She's tempted to make Zeus eat lunch with Her one afternoon so he can end up with entrails on his plate by accident. Yummy.
*** Atla is a Norse water goddess...and a giantess. If the stain won't come out with water, God is fairly certain Atla will just scare it out.