“On Creationism” a short story by Dan Sherer

A short story from Under a Tree at the End of Time by Dan Sherer. It’s 11 March, 1970 in Indiana. Ray and his daughter Robyn are by the creek, fishing.

RAY
You know you asked me the other day if I was god, and it made me laugh.

ROBYN
Uhuh. Yeah.

RAY
I didn’t know what to say. I’ve been thinking about it, and no, I’m not. And you know we go to church every Sunday, and we pray to god. What do you think he looks like? You don’t think he looks like you do you?

ROBYN
I guess a little.

RAY
That’s very nice but you know, I used to go to church with my parents, because I had to, and I used to pray to god, and listen to the sermons, and I used to sing the hymns. I liked that. I liked singing the hymns. Do you like singing the hymns?

ROBYN
Yeah.

RAY
Yeah. Singing’s good.

ROBYN
What’s your favourite hymn?

RAY
My favourite hymm? All things bright and beautiful. Like today. And the hymn says he made them all. And the thing about it is, if he made them all, it means he also made all the bad things, and if he’s the loving god he’s supposed to be, I don’t think he would have made the bad things, the bad people. Animals that tear other animals to pieces.

ROBYN
Who made them?

RAY
Well if you believe in god, then god made them. But I don’t think that would’ve happened you see, because I think they just happen, these things. In fact, they didn’t just happen because to start with, there wasn’t anything…there wasn’t anything except stuff.

ROBYN
Like what?

RAY
Well, like water, earth. That sort of thing. Stuff.

ROBYN
People?

RAY
No.

ROBYN
Trees?

RAY
No. The bible says, you know at the beginning of the bible it says that god created it, yeah?

RAY
Uhuh.

RAY
Well. So what it says is that he just made it all, in one go, that it just came out.

ROBYN
Hmm.

RAY
I don’t think that’s right. You know. What I think happened is that things grew, things started…you’re gonna learn this one day. When you’re a bit older.

ROBYN
God made them grow.

RAY
Well they might teach you that as well.

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