God plays a big part in The End of the Road, but he is nowhere to be seen. That’s the irony of it. We would like to be able to blame the higher divine authority for our sins, or at least, share the burden of our man-made disasters with someone who could have stopped us if he cared. But it’s time to grow up and be counted, I decided, and so I made God invisible.
In the first draft of The End of the Road, God played his part, but then he vanished. Below is a short extract he left behind:
In the end, who first pressed the button was of purely academic interest.Was it the pot-bellied Rocket Man, or the orange-peel Dotard? Perhaps it was the moulting-bear Tsar. Or maybe it was someone entirely different.Be it as it may, somebody did, and the rest, as they say, is history. Every raving lunatic with a twitchy finger on the trigger squeezed it hard and a volley of nuclear cross-fire engulfed our planet.The Middle East turned into a blazing inferno. The US became a toxic waste dump of Russian stockpiles from coast to coast. The Korean peninsula was one big smoking crater and China was relieved of ninety-nine percent of its population in a matter of nanoseconds. Russia was wiped from the face of the Earth, but it didn’t go down without a fight and took with it quite a sizeable chunk of the European continent. Then came the biological and chemical warfare accompanied by conventional missiles flying on autopilot across the skies.It rained death for weeks until the world’s arsenals became exhausted. Tentatively, people began crawling out of their hidey holes. Those lucky enough to be still alive, and there weren’t many of them, shook the radioactive dust off their sandals and started mending the roofs of their houses, trying to put it all behind them.
The blitz-war was only the beginning of the end for God had been watching the onslaught and His blood boiled. He wasn’t going to let humanity get away with self-destruction scot-free. He’d had it up to His eyes with our random acts of genocide and wanton unkindness. If there were to be an end to the world, it wouldn’t be up to us, humans. It was God and God alone who would put an end to it. So, He called upon His angels to pull out the full arsenal of heavenly weaponry.‘Nuke ‘em!’ He commanded, and a meteorite shower shot in the direction of our little planet, aimed to destroy it.And if that weren’t enough, God took into His hands the ultimate weapon of mass destruction: the densest Black Hole in the whole Universe. He hurled it towards us with all His might, and it rolled, gathering speed and devouring everything in its path – an unstoppable black ball in the ultimate game of ten-pin bowling to end it all. It was just a matter of months before it would reach us.
But let us start from the beginning…