Double or Quits

“You know what gets up my nose?” said Lucifer.

“Yes,” said God.

“What?” said Lucifer, momentarily confused.

“Omniscient, remember?”

“You see?  That’s what gets up my nose.  You think you have the monopoly on all the omnis.  Omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent.  You think you’re all that.”

“Well, it does rather go with the territory.  There’s no point in being only partially omniscient.  It’s an oxymoron.”

“That doesn’t mean you’re better than me, though.  I’m just as powerful.”

“It’s not all about power.”

“What?  Of course it’s all about power.  What else is there?  How else do you keep score?”

“There’s more to it than just power, but if you want to make comparisons, I’m omnipotent.  As far as power is concerned, that pretty much sets the bar.”

“So?  I’m omnipotent too.”

“Yes, you are.  I made you that way.”

“You see?  You see?  That’s what I’m talking about.  That really gets up my nose.  I mean, that steams my sinuses.  You have no idea.”

“Um, omniscient, remember?”

“Right, right, Mr High and Mighty.  You think you’re all that?  You think you can Lord it over everything?  It’s time you and I had it out.  Yeah.  You know what I think?”


“Oh, and what’s that, clever clogs?”

“A contest.”

“No, no I was thinking … um … damn, okay, that was what I was thinking.  Okay then, a contest.  Just me and You, mano a Mano.”

“Of course.  Who else is there?”

“Ah, ah, exactly.  So here’s what we’ll do.  We’ll each create a, a, thingy, you know, a whatsit with oojamflips in,and stuff.”

“A universe, complete and of itself, inhabited with people.”

“Yeah, that.  We’ll do that, and we’ll see who’s top dog.”

“Of course.  Please, after you.”


Lucifer trotted nervously on the spot, shaking his hands loosely and stretching his neck.

“One universe coming up, overall master, me.”  He stopped jiggling, narrowed his eyes and concentrated.  He drew his arm back then screamed with the effort as he hurled a ball of fire into the void.

“There you go.  Top that.”

“What is that?”

“It’s a thingy, isn’t it.  What you said.  A universe, complete within whatsit.”

“It’s a little warm.”

“We never said anything about temperature.  Besides, see the lakes of burning lava?  Provide light, they do.  See?  I’ve thought this through, I have.”

“And the people?”

“Little Lucifers, every one of them.  Hey, look at this.  Dance!  There, see?  They’re dancing.  I can make them do anything.  Watch.  Poke yourself in the eye.  He-he, see?  Ha-ha.  A universe, and it’s all mine.  Tell me power counts for nothing.  Tell me that isn’t brilliant.”

“It’s okay.”

“Okay?  Okay?  And I suppose You can do better?”

“No, no, you won.  Yours is very good.  Well done.”

“What?  Oh no, You’re not getting away with that.  No way.  You’re just patronising me.  Go on, Mr Omnipotent, let’s see what You’re capable of.”

“Very well.  And one of my creatures will call himself Peter Smith.”


“Oh, nothing.  I was just nominating a pocket, trying to make it a little more challenging.  Ready?”

“Yeah, take Your best shot.  No copying mine, though.”

“Of course not.”  He pushed the sleeves of His robe up to His elbows. He closed one eye and stared into the void.  A rod appeared in His hand, slender and straight.  “See that super-atom over there?  Peter Smith, corner pocket.”  He pulled the rod back slowly, made a couple of experimental thrusts then drove the staff forward, hitting the super-atom squarely in the centre.  Lucifer fell back onto his tail, laughing.

“Ha-ha.  Oh, very good.  Brilliant.  Masterful.  All that build up, and all You got was a big bang.”


“Wait?  What for?  It’s just a random mess.  Look, it’s not even cohesive.  It’s going everywhere.”

“Patience.  Just keep watching that dust cloud there.”

“What, that tiny speck?   What for?  Admit it, You’ve lost.”

“See?  It’s coalescing.  It’s becoming a star.”

“Ha!  And You said my universe was too hot.  Besides, You’ve missed some.  All that mess, surrounding it.”

“Ah, yes, the mess.  Watch that bit of mess there.”

“Okay, so it’s lumping together.  It’s not going to burn, though.  It’s cooling already.  Oh, wait, lava.  No fair.  I said no copying me.”

God waved His hand dismissively.  “It’s not important.”

“No people, though,” said Lucifer, idly playing with his demons.  He arranged them into lines and files, marching up and down his universe.

“Patience.  Even now I’m forming them.”

“No You’re not.  You’ve not done anything since that first bang.”


“What, that?  You call that life?  Tiny little cells that just float in the water?  Do me a favour.  You’re having a laugh.”


“Yeah, yeah, okay, so some of them have lumped together.  Big deal.”


“Oh, okay, so that’s quite impressive, I suppose.  I particularly like the teeth.  The claws aren’t – Whoa!  Whoa, did you see that?”

“Of course.  I’m omniscient.”

“But one of those bits left over from the bang, it just smashed them to pieces.  You’ve wiped them all out.”

“Well, yes.  I couldn’t have them roaming the place with people about.”

“You mean You planned that?  No way.  Admit it, You’ve dropped a clanger.  Bye-bye, God’s people.  There’s no way You could have pulled off a shot like that, from billions of years away.”


“What, those monkeys?  What can they do?  They’re not even sentient.”

“But they’re getting there.”

“Well, okay.  Yeah, I suppose they are.  Yeah, okay, skilful shot, I’ll grant You that, but lazy.  I mean, You just started it all off and just hoped it would all work out.  Not like my universe.  I won.  Mine was planned”

“I disagree.  You think this didn’t take planning?”

“Okay, let’s put it to the vote.  Who thinks I won?”

“Me” screamed a billion voices from the underworld.

“That hardly counts,” said God.  “They have no choice.  They are just you.  Let’s ask those in My world.”

“But that’s just You.”

“No.  I gave them free choice.”

“What?  Are You insane?  Why would they follow You?  How can You order them about?”

“As I said, it’s not just about power.  Let’s ask them, shall we?  Pick one.”

“What about that one?”

God smiled.  “Good choice.  He calls himself … Peter Smith.  Corner pocket, the hard way.”

“You mean, You planned all this, down to the last monkey?  No, You couldn’t have.  That would take billions upon billions of calculations, each one capable of throwing it all down the pan.  To do that would take, well it would take …”

“Omniscience?  Omnipotence?”

“No,” said Lucifer, backing up and shaking his head.  “No, this isn’t over, not by a long chalk.  If they can choose You, they can choose me as well.”

God leant back, folded His hands across his belly and smiled beneficently.

“I know,” He said.  “Double or quits?”


About snodlander
Snodlander is the nom de plume of Bob Simms. He is an IT trainer, but it's not as glamourous as it sounds. When he's not enthralling classes with adventures through SQL Server, he writes, draws and drinks his own home-brew. Buy his novel on Amazon Kindle at The Young Demon Keeper, It's 74p, for crying out loud!

2 Responses to Double or Quits

  1. terrylabreck says:

    I liked it,you almost lost me at the beginning, but after scrolling through all the crap of people just commenting on someone else story. I decided to give you the benifit of the doubt. I thought,at least this guy wrote a story.I’ll finish it ! And I’m glad I did. It was very creative,God and The Devil betting. You had me wondering where you were going with this? Good job,Bob!

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