Miracle on Oxford St.
Karim Lee sat on a bench eating sandwiches (cheese and pickle) as neon hoardings strobed out everything he (and the wife and child he did not have) may possibly want for Christmas. When God appeared Karim was staring idly at the row of 40” 3d TV's in the shop window opposite him.
Thud. Went something in the ornamental bush behind Karim.
God didn't look like Karim expected him to look from his knowledge of the Bible (scant). God looked nondescript, boring even. Cheap suit (tan), ratty, uncombed hair (dirty blonde) and eyes like the skies of Karim's childhood holidays. God smoked roll ups, cupping thick fingers around the thin ember to protect it from the blades of icy wind, sucking on them like they were a life support system and the harsh tobacco protected his lungs from the city air.
'You Karim Lee?' God said. Karim didn't know he was speaking to God. (God knew all about Karim Lee because he was God.) 'You work at Enkidutech?'
'I'm Karim,' said Karim, 'but if you're a headhunter I'm not really interested in moving, I like what I'm doing.'
Thud! went a pigeon as it landed on the pavement in front of him and burst like a sausage left in a fridge dumped on a railway embankment by a man who couldn't be bothered making a trip to the tip.
'Headhunter?' said God, he stared up into a sky dirty with cab fumes and filthy language. 'I suppose so. I've come to tell you, Karim,' God tapped him on the chest, 'that you are the chosen one.'
'Sorry?' said Karim who privately wished God would go away and let him eat his sandwiches (ham and onion).
'I should Explain,' said God, 'I'm God.'
'Fuck off,' said Karim, who did not believe in God.
'Think of a number, Karim,' said God and he bent over, stubbing out his rolly on the pavement causing a crazy spiral of cracks that drew a portrait of Margaret Thatcher. 'Twenty-one, thirty-seven, five, twenty-three, pi,' said God with a smile.
'Clever,' said Karim, 'I've seen magicians do that on TV.'
'God stared at him, laughed.
Thud! Thud! Went two sparrows hitting the pavement head first and staying upright like two comical garden ornaments owned by an old lady who hated them but kept them because they amused the grandchildren.
'What an age of miracles we live in, eh, Karim?' said God. Karim laughed, nodded, took a bite of his sandwich (liver and mustard.) 'When you were fourteen you walked past an alley near your house and saw a couple having sex against the wall. You walked past that alley every day at the same time for a year and a half hoping to see them again. You never did.' God gave him a wink, 'that enough for you, Karim?'
Karim, his sandwich (salt and vinegar crisps) held halfway to his mouth, did not know what to say to that.
'I'm sorry, Karim,' said God, 'but you're chosen and you're going to die for our sins,' the television wall showed a crazy montage of wars, disasters and famines. For a moment Karim felt like he was in an eighties rock video. 'Just like they died for our sins' said God. 'Cool huh?'
'Doesn't really sound cool,' said Karim, his sandwich (rhubarb and dolphin) forgotten. 'And if this happens, which I personally doubt, is it going to hurt?'
'Fraid so,' said God, 'part of the deal you see. It's for the greater good though, don't worry about that.'
'And just how will the world know I'm chosen.' said Karim who had always felt it was best to mollify crackpots and really just wanted to finish his sandwiches (cream cheese and chive) in peace.
God leant back against the bench.
Thud!Thud!Thud! Went three more pigeons and a woman walking past told her friend she had blood on her shoes and did she know how much these fucking cost? And she'd been complaining about the fucking vermin for months and she was probably going to sue the fucking Mayor about this.
'A designer virus escaped from a government lab about fifty feet below us. It got out about an hour ago. Half an hour from now everything biological in a strip three miles wide and twelve miles long in the direction of the prevailing wind, which is away from the financial sector, thankfully,' God tapped his nose and gave Karim a wink. 'They will be dead. Everything apart from you, Karim. Your only side effects will be a series of vivid hallucinations.'
'Sorry?' said Karim. 'That sounds like the plot of video game.'
'Doesn't it just,' said God, and then he coughed into a handkerchief. He stared into it with evening grey eyes, carefully folded it and put into his jacket pocket. 'Your mother's from Iran, isn't she, Karim?' said God.
'Yes,' said Karim and he became very still, like an animal caught in the lights of a truck unable to move because its little brain was unable to catch up with the relentless forward march of the world around it.
'Good,' said God, 'that's absolutely perfect,' he said and he started to cry. Two tears of blood made their slow way down his nondescript face.
Thud! Went God's head as he toppled forward onto the pavement.