Two's Company . . .
Martin Jackson
Hayward Fault Line
Winning Story

T here had been no need for religion now for two hundred years. The hope of finding Him and of being prepared if He was found was unnecessary.
One world. One God. Two intelligent races. The two races had evolved together, through the millennia until both were dominant on their world. Now the study of evolution, pondering over the secrets of the natural world was obsolete, the coming of the God would in time answer all the questions that could ever be asked. He communicated with every individual of the two intelligent races, using the collective soul as a channel. Annually He would speak to them, increasing their knowledge, revealing new wonders.
It was for this reason the stadium of the world's capital was full to capacity, half of one race, half the other. Contemporary philosophers seemed convinced the God existed as part of a force or link between the conscious of the two races. They all fell silent as the time approached. He would communicate with them now. It went the same as it always did, their minds developed as He gave them greater insight into the universe. It wasn't right. As one, everyone in the world knew this was wrong. As they had done every year for the past two centuries. Their world was built for two dominant forces.
Within their souls and around their universe the God could feel this animosity. In His omnipotence he was perplexed and disappointed. For so long they had prayed and humbled themselves in the face of an unseen entity. What more, he reasoned, could they want than to commune with He who was so revered. So he showed himself. Through the minds of both races, he was heard in every individual. But now they were unhappy. He was an intruder in their lives. He made their existence too easy. There was no need to discover anything for themselves, no healthy competition between the two peoples. They had all been united under one Supreme Being. In the stadium and throughout the world each race observed the other and saw how to evict the despised God. He could exist only within the shared soul of two so to destroy one race would leave the remaining people in perfect peace. They were to hate each other as they hated the Intruder.
The God saw what he had done and knew why he was hated. To have religion is to live in hope. To know God is to know too much. How could they not hate He who had removed the aim of life: To discover, through perseverance, what life is about. The war began. He knew He would be lonely again.

First published: May 1998