“So, Iehova, that little village was the last one. They’re all dead and we have all their souls. Fifty fifty.”
A smart suit hid the horrible, charred skin of Lucifer as he ran his fingers along the top of a glowing orange jar. He sat on a throne covered in spikes and skulls, determined to look as evil as possible. Sitting opposite him was an old, bearded man, wearing a white robe and a pair of whiter wings, another glowing jar by his feet, this one white instead of orange.
“We have a tie. Interesting.” Iehova didn’t say much. He was busy thinking. “How do we settle this? We need to have a winner. Otherwise we just wasted four thousand years on a shitty game.”
Lucifer shrugged. “We have wasted our time on worse things. Remember that other planet where they all killed themselves in a holy war in like ten years? That was impressive! We can leave this one at a tie.”
Iehova grunted. “No.”
“Why?” Lucifer laughed. “Because if you’d have won this one, we’d be at tied at 4-4 again, rather than you being one game behind me?”
“… Maybe… Hang on a moment…” Iehova got up from his chair and wandered around. “There has to be more…”
“This was the last one.”
Iehova wasn’t having it. He started kicking over buildings and houses, desperately looking for a couple more mortals to kill. He only needed one. They were completely tied. One more soul would give Iehova the victory, with 59,784,858,635 souls to Lucifer’s 59,784,858,634 souls. This village though was dead, just like every other village, town and city. Over 108 billion souls in total, every mortal who had ever lived on this bloody planet.
“Hey, ‘God’, I found one.”
Iehova looked up. Lucifer was pointing at a single mortal standing in what looked like a burning field of wheat. One last mortal, living on their own, somehow managing to escape the apocalypse. But not for much longer.
“Can I kill it? Pretty please?” Lucifer jumped up and down in glee. He’d missed judging and tormenting lost souls, and this was his last chance before they headed off to another planet to start another game. Each game had a long planning session before they could start anyway, so it could have been a couple of hundred years before his next kill.
Iehova stared at the little mortal. Male, but somewhat feminine, black hair, golden eyes, wearing tattered black jeans and an even more tattered yellow t-shirt. They were holding an axe, as if that would do anything to the two deities. Pretty typical of the local culture though, before they’d all destroyed themselves. Couldn’t have been older than thirty. Was also clearly pretty dumb, considering he had just come out of his hiding place.
“What is your name, little one?”
“What do you mean, dunno?” Lucifer laughed. “You retarded or something?”
Iehova hissed at Lucifer to shut up, turning back to the mortal. “Surely you have a name, little one. You are the last mortal alive…”
“Too good for me, too bad for God!” Lucifer interrupted again. “So we gotta decide where you go. Heaven or hell. But we need a name, dummy.”
“Eh, I have lots of names. Tod. Deces. Morde. Muerte. Thanatos. I like the name Ao though. I think it suits me.”
Iehova smiled. “We shall call you Ao then. Why are you called that?”
Ao hesitated. “Because I’m the Alpha and the Omega?”
“That’s my line…” Iehova hissed at Lucifer.
“You never copyrighted it…” Lucifer glanced at Iehova, not sure what this being was talking about. Ao could see their confusion.
“I’m here for you!”
“You’re a very annoying mortal!” Lucifer growled. “You would be perfect for Hell.”
Iehova pulled out a large piece of paper and flicked it at Ao. On the paper various phrases started to appear, a list of all the events from Ao’s life. “We should have a look at his list of sins and forgiveness…” Iehova paused, blinking in amazement and confusion. “This has got to be a mistake…”
The list started to fill with death after death after death. Billions of deaths, all laid out in front of Iehova and Lucifer.
“What the fuck…” Lucifer whispered. “I… I don’t understand…”
Ao grinned as his skin turned to black, golden armour replaced his tattered clothes and a pair of golden, feathered wings emerged from his back. He grew in size until he towered over the two deities.
“Unfortunately for you two, I am Arkadin, the Thantophor and the Grim Reaper of this little universe. I am here to take your lives, and my only regret is that I did not take your lives sooner. All this time you have been disrupting the Cycle, the Circle of Life and Death. Hoarding minds rather than letting life die so it can be replaced with something better…” Arkadin smiled again briefly. “Actually, I have two regrets, the second being that you two didn’t catch who I was after giving you that list of really obvious names.”
“But… we’re gods…” Lucifer stuttered as Arkadin’s claws wrapped around their throats. “You can’t…”
“Yeah I can…” Arkadin wasn’t smiling any more, his facial expression replaced with one of pity and shame. With a quick twist of his wrists, the necks of Iehova and Lucifer snapped, their bodies dissolving into dust.
Arkadin sighed, then glanced at the two glowing jars. The consciousnesses of every mortal had ever lived on this planet and more were crammed inside those jars, tricked into thinking that they were going to an afterlife when instead all they had been doing was suffering. Tricked into thinking that they had souls that could be saved, that would live on after death.
Satisfied that Lucifer and Iehova were definitely dead, Arkadin smashed the two jars, giving the consciousnesses of a trillion beings the peace they so desperately deserved.