WHAT GOD TOLD MOSES By J L Higgs

When Moses spied God strolling, he tucked his neck into his shoulders and took off at a sprint. God, pretending not to have noticed Moses, quickened his pace, feigning nonchalance. But it was for naught. So, giving up on any hope of not being accosted, God stopped, turned to Moses, and said, “What is it?”

“Well, about the rock…”

“Not the rock again,” said God, slamming the heel of his palm against his forehead. “How long ago was that? And how many times have we been over this? You struck it twice. Once would have done the job!”

“But c’mon, the promise land?” replied Moses, staring at God with righteous indignation.

“Did I say hit the rock twice?” asked God, placing his hands on his hips and staring back at Moses, his nostrils flaring. “Well, did I?”

“No. In fact, you said nothing about how many times to hit it,” replied Moses, then mumbling the words “you set me up” under his breath.

“Excuse Me?”

“I said you set me up!” shouted Moses.

“Ughhh,” said God, throwing his hands in the air, then turning and walking away in disgust.

Moses scampered after God. Catching up with him, he started to grab God by the arm, but then thought better of it, and let his hand drop to his side.

“You could have given me a Mulligan.”

“A what?”

“A Mulligan… a do over… no harm no foul.”

“Life doesn’t work that way.”

“And who’s fault is that?” asked Moses, standing tall and placing his hands on his hips.

“You don’t have the faintest idea,” said God, accenting each word by jabbing Moses in the chest with his finger. “What men say and do matters. Actions count. And none of you should even try to hide behind anonymity because I know and see all.”

“Then why didn’t you stop me before the second hit?”

“Listen up, my friend, you need to grow up, stop blaming others, and take some personal responsibility for yourself!”

“Well, so much for expecting any help from you.”

“Yeah? Well, how many times did Miriam say to you, Moses, think before you act?”

“I don’t know, a few.”

“A few! 10 quadrillion, 600 trillion, 723 billion, 58 million, 8 hundred and 65. I kept count. Perhaps you should have listened to her. Look, how many people were alive during the time of you and the rock? How many people are alive in the world today? Hunh? How many do you think ask me for things? Hunh? I’m not Santa Claus. I don’t get one day a year on the job and the rest watching a bunch of elves work. I’m inundated by people wanting things from me non-stop.”

“Santa Claus isn’t real,” said Moses softly.

“Yeah. Well, he’s as real as your Munchkins.”

“Mulligans.”

“Whatever … Look Bub…”

“Moses.”

“I know your name. Don’t think I don’t know your name. Almost since I laid eyes on you, you’ve been a sniveling, whining, pain in my…”

“Whoa,” said Moses raising his hands in surrender fashion. “All I’m saying is you could have given me a little hint about the once versus twice thingy.”

“Let me explain something to you,” said God. “Now pay attention ’cause I’m only going to explain it to you this one last time. You ready?”

“Yes.”

“As I told you, I am barraged non-stop with people asking me for something. I hear so many voices in my head at the same time that sometimes I think my head will just explode. Now, there’s natural phenomena that happens, earthquakes, floods – well, I did have a little something to do with the big one, but, in general, I play no role in any natural occurrences that affect man. But, when they happen, I act. In all those instances, when I’m asked for help, I always respond as best I can. You’ve heard that story about the man on the roof of his house trying to escape the floodwaters who rejects help from the guy in the boat and the guy in the helicopter by telling them God will provide? Well, it’s true, the schmuck drowned. Who did he think sent the boat and the helicopter? What I’m saying is, the free will thing? It’s no joke. Why do you think I gave you people a brain? If I’d wanted to be a puppeteer, I’d have chosen that as a career. When men choose to deliberately ignore what is obvious and in front of their eyes to tell themselves it’s not real, or something other than what they truly know it is… why… cuckoo,” said God, wagging his head and circling his finger in the gesture for crazy.

“But, what about an accident, like striking the rock twice? I didn’t intend to do it.”

“I know that. But you know what? Men should think and not deny reality by lying to themselves. My motto is, always nip trouble in the bud. Because you know what? Fixing man’s screw ups is not my responsibility or in my job description. So, listen very carefully to my next words, take them to heart, and remember them. When man chooses to screw up, it’s not my problem.

“But… But…”

Plugging his ears with his fingers, God chanted, “La La La La La, I can’t hear you,” while thinking, man chooses to screw up then complains, God laughs!


J L Higgs is a former financial services employee. While his short stories typically focus on life from the perspective of a black American, the primary goal of his writings is to create a greater understanding between racial, ethnic, and religious groups in America.
Having retired in late 2015, he is now fulfilling a lifelong interest in the arts by devoting his time to drawing, writing, and traveling abroad. He has been published in various magazines such as Indiana Voice Journal, Black Elephant, The Writing Disorder, Literally Stories, and The Remembered Arts Journal