Saturday, August 06, 2005 +

Seven Demons Worse

Like Jonah, [Evans] had sprung out of the dark pit into which he had been swallowed alive just so that he could denounce them . . . yet wherein was he different? Had he, too, not wanted a happiness made according to his specifications for the length of his natural life? He hadn’t been greedy—he didn’t expect to live forever, and after this life he would even have been content with oblivion, as long as he and Sheila had enjoyed thirty-five good years together to make up for the thirty-five without her. God had owed him for those lean years, and the debt was payable now, please, and in terms that he could comprehend. Even if there were nothing afterward—even if there turned out to be no God—there should be someone or something to see that he got paid . . . not much, just everything—just exactly what he wanted. And so he had created exactly the kind of universe that would exist if there were no God, where everything had to make sense here and now, and then had expected his God to come dwell in it. Or rather, he had been shocked to find that his God did not dwell in it when Sheila died senselessly. And his faith had worn away like dross, leaving a lifeless skeleton rather than the crystal-hard but malleable paradox of sand.
—from Ewen Harris, Seven Demons Worse (Tyler, Texas: Acturus Press, 1998)