The purple duck bobbed, ploughing the suds with the tenacity and vigour only attainable by the very finest rubber ducks. God sighed contentedly, and flicked the duck with her foot, sending it swashing off to new adventures in the far-flung outer reaches of the bathtub. The bath had been a good idea, and God let her auburn hair fall down the sides of the tub to brush the warm slates of the floor below. Of course, being the manifestation of a shared cosmic consciousness, the auburn of the hair could easily have been grey, or blue, or even ultra-puce, and, given that there was no observer, it was all three and none, all at the same time. But the bath was real, and the room was too, a little piece of metaphysical engineering of which God was rather proud. It might be made of the coalescence of countless trillions of thoughts and dreams, but it was as solid a foundation as rock. The trouble was, God wasn’t a huge fan of rock; and, looking at the duck, now fighting bravely against the impossibility of progression beyond the ceramic cliffs of the bath’s sides, her thoughts strayed back through billions of years…
Rocks. That was what they were. If God had been in a generous mood, she would have admired the fascinating geology crafted by the effects of the few simple rules she’d established right at the Bang, rules that now led to plumes of fire and crafted new types of rock in the heart of the planets. She didn’t admire it; they were rocks. Squeezed, leaking rocks. Truth be told, she was lonely. Oh there were the angels, alright, but they were merely extensions of the same cosmic consciousness as her, and as such dull. She’d swiftly found that conversations with someone who held exactly the same thoughts as you couldn’t be conversations at all. She might as well have been talking to the backs of her hands, and she’d given that up after a few millennia, so the angels had never got off the ground as companions. But here, in the stuff that had come from the nothingness, there was potential. The rocks were oozing with it, or at the very least oozing. She summoned all of the power at her disposal, which, given the whole omnipotence thing, was quite a lot, and focussed, forced consciousness into the very matter of the planet below, crafting a spark within it; life! The planet, new, aware, a sudden entity in a vast unknown, was confronted by the beauty and wonder of creation. The stars! The planets! The endless gaps between them! It drank it all in, and, with a surge of its newly acquired life force, blew itself into a billion pieces.
God sulked for a week.
But when she returned, something was different. Far at the edge of boundless space, one rock was, well, weird. She walked on its surface, the blistering heat doing nothing to the cognitive mist of her soles. Her soles of souls. Within the green pools of this world, there were… things. Tiny things, little more than chemical strings, but things nonetheless. She felt a brief moment of concern that she wasn’t sure how they got there. Oh she knew, of course – it was in the description, as it were – but the exact details were foggy. It was like the beach on which she walked; she knew it was made of 123434776463 grains of sand; it was just that finding grain #100352834586 would be more than a bit of a bugger. The conscious rock had exploded, and that had, in some fashion, brought about this stuff, this essence, this life. Who cared quite how it had got there, it was the chance she had wanted.
She considered the next move. What she really wanted was something to watch, to be fascinated by, maybe even to talk to. But to just make it… that seemed wrong, too simple, too limited – she might just make a slightly different version of the angels, and frankly there’d been enough games of celestial charades where everyone played “the endless bounds of eternity” to last her, aptly, eternally. No, the best move seemed the least. She looked back at the planets, spinning in their full nothingness, and thought of the rules she’d put in place. She smiled.
And so it had been. A few simple rules had seen to it that survival begat survival, and off the little things went. And God sat, and she watched across the millions of years, and she wondered at the brilliant branching it all took, flying off in all directions. Here, a line had taken to the skies, soaring across the planet on limbs replete with feathers originally designed to cool the blood; there, life had stayed simple, but now ruled deep within the crust of the planet, all but unknown to its distant brethren above. All had come from those little squiggly lines; so much, so amazingly different, so fantastic. And God felt a little guilty to pick favourites, but there were favourites to be picked, and among them walked the funny little pale apes…
But, thought God, as he arose from the depths of the bath and shook the water from his silky fur, that was a story for another bath.