The fear of knowledge began with Hyper-Lux technology. Originally HL (Hyper Lux) was intended solely for use in microwaves. Its purpose was simple; to give regular citizens the ability to cook up to five different meals at the same time, and if needed all five meals could rotate at different temperatures. “Once again the double income family can have dinner together” was the tagline for the revolution of HL.
Three children died from resulting fires, and one family cat was riddled with cancer, from not wearing the protective coat that had been included in the packaging for use while the HL worked its technology in the house. Upon burial of the cat the owners sued any all who could be put to fault for having a furry family member killed. HL distributors and inventors were all given summons to pay up in court. Even the television casters reporting on the case were given papers with bolded instructions to sign away their next paycheck in regards to mentioning the cat without enough sadness in their lips, or hair-does. “Not noticing my client’s pain is silent slander,” the family’s attorney stated to the casters of modern news.
HL was shelved for two years until its wonders would be put to modern use in another form: Gnostic Observation of God. HL was the final needed might for the all-seeing eye of the most powerful telescope man had ever constructed. The HL gave the telescope, eventfully trademarked with the name Providence, the power to not only see farther than man had ever viewed, but also get crystal clear sound and high definition live picture available for satellite viewing. Science had finally caught up with entertainment– the age of knowledge was at hand. The cancer- killed family cat was now seen as a martyr for this age. “Through Fluffer’s death we gain to know all,” was engraved inside every child’s science textbook. For 3 years to name your child Fluffer was an honor for them, after that period it was a curse.
After the third year of searching the farthest regions of the blackened space of the universe, what everyone wanted to see was beamed into homes everywhere. The Super Bowl was cancelled, and for one day no one made a single bet in all the word because everyone was too glued to their LCD and HD screens watching God in action, with a pool cue.
No preacher or theologian could have said the Spirit told them this is what man would see upon his first non-passed down vision of God. God was in the middle of a game of pool with what seemed to be a possible other God.
Our God was unmistakable with his beard, and the wavy grey hair symbolizing all the years He had existed before being our creator. He wore a button on his white robe that said, “My earth can beat your earth”. “There are other earths!” was the scream of celebration from the conspiracy theorist upon seeing the button pinned to God’s jacket. The religious fought over which technical God it was because it had to be one of theirs. Questions were of course raised on who the other possible deity was- he had no pin stating his creation so He was open for debate as well. Most assumed He was the devil, even though he fit no description on hand for the rebel angel.
Due to the actual length in light years this game of pool was being played away from earth, the game moved much slower than if played within our own gravity. Each month on earth equaled to one shot within the game; this gave us humans much time to deliberate and speculate over this game with God. Eventually the other player was given the name Player D, the simple letter gave the assumption it was the devil, but without all the issues that arise from committing to a label you’re not sure of.
7 years had passed since the death of Fluffer. Our TVs were two years into being set on the God vs. Player D game, and God was not as good as everyone assumed he would have been at the game of pool. With doubts created by critical bank shots being missed, numerous theologians added a footnote in their margins of their study books: omnipotence does not refer to billiard games.
On December 9th the black ball had been sunk. No one went into work that day. God had 3 stripes left on the table, player D had won. By January everyone was filled with hope and anticipation again as it was now thought this was a best out of three matches. God set up a new rack, and instantly people celebrated around their TV that the game was still going and God could still win.
At this time the makers of HL were nearly sure they had the technology ready to power a ship to this cosmic game, and everyone wondered what was to come next. Unfortunately during all this excitement no one had noticed that this may not be a best of three, it was actually a rematch. All the fish had disappeared back in December when the black ball marked the winner. It was time to fear the knowledge we had gained, but it would be another three years until we would know what we would gain from this game.
This story originally appeared in that fire-starting debutante, Volume 1 of The Ampersand Review.
Matt DeBenedictis is not Greek. Yes, he knows his last name just screams Greek with that “i” and “s” at the end; but, you see, the truth is that his grandfather was an Italian who jumped ship to Boston and changed his name for some nefarious reason. Matt lives in Atlanta and has a chapbook out on 174 Publishing and has been published in Shine. He blogs at www.outthrowingroses.blogspot.com