Darkness had covered the earth, leaving the world shrouded in eternal night. The sun which had once shone so brightly disappeared. It had just vanished, randomly, in the middle of a hot, sunny day. Two weeks had passed since then and the planet had slowly started to freeze, it’d only held on this long because of the pollution and greenhouse gasses holding in some of the heat. The people’s solution to the cold was to burn everything they could, it gave them warmth and light, but they knew this could only be for the short term.
While the others were busy burning things, one man had set off on a trip to Greece, seeking a secret cave on Mount Olympus that few knew existed, but he had heard was the home of the old gods. To cut a long and uneventful story short, he had found it.
Awestruck by the beauty of the place, the man stood, paralysed in admiration of what the gods had created for themselves, the grandness and splendour of the place was truly mind-blowing to behold.
“Welcome to The Retirement Home For Forgotten Deities, how may I help you?” came a chirpy, yet somehow unenthusiastic voice from somewhere to the man’s left.
The shock of hearing the unexpected voice made the man jump. As he turned and realised who had spoken, he said “H-hi. My name is Harry. There’s a bit of a problem with the world and… um… sorry… um, my mother told me Zeus was… or, um is my father.”
She didn’t laugh, she didn’t make fun, she didn’t seem the slightest bit surprised at what the man had said. The woman just picked up her phone, dialled a number and said “Zeus, another demi-god is here to see you. This must be the third one this month. In future you could at least tell me when you’re expecting visitors.” She then turned back to Harry. “Go further in, he said he’d be happy to see you.”
Harry made his way further down the passage in the cave until a deep, booming voice greeted him in a proud shout. “Ah, Harry, my dear boy. I’m so glad you’ve finally come to see your old dad.”
Harry’s eyes widened as he froze again, this time paralysed by the shock of meeting an actual god, and what’s more it was his father. Zeus strode over and gave the man a hearty smack on the back, nearly knocking him over.
“D-dad, you’re you… you’re real… you’re Zeus.” Harry spluttered, trying to recover from the shock of disbelief before fainting on the spot, only to be caught by Zeus.
When he awoke, Harry found himself sitting in a comfortable chair. He was sat opposite a pale, smiling figure accompanied by an almost pitch-black, miserable looking one.
“He’s awake.” Stated the dark one in a tone that displayed his indifference in the matter.
Zeus appeared, materialising out of the air in a bolt of lightning. He pulled up a chair beside the other two and asked “Would you like a jelly pot? Or maybe some fruit? Whatever can I do for you, my boy?” He offered the foodstuff to his friends then offered “These are my friends, Day and Night, they’re the oldest ones here so do please show them adequate respect.”
Harry wasted no time. “The earth is in trouble. The sun has vanished and we’re all going to die. Then he realised something. “Day and Night weren’t Greek gods. What’re they doing here?”
“It’s a retirement home for all gods, not just Greek ones. They were here long before the rest of us. There’s others too, Roman, Norse, Egyptian and all sorts of lesser-known ones.” Zeus said cheerfully. Then he shouted “Thor, Helios. Find all the gods with any involvement in the sun or sky and tell them to gather round.”
Hundreds of different deities had formed a crowd that surrounded Harry. They were deep into a discussion.
“Helios, you’re a sun god. Don’t you keep track of where it is?” Zeus asked. “What about you Day? Can’t you do anything?”
“Us! What about you or Thor? You two have more control over the sky than any of the rest of us. You still get to go out throwing thunder and lightning when you feel like it.” Barked Helios.
Day giggled in a way that softened the tension in the room. “What about the new guy?”
“Eh, what was that? You’ll have to speak up.”
“Has anyone seen my glasses?”
“New guy?” It was hard to tell which of the gathered deities these callouts had come from.
Another one replied “You know, the Christian god. They’re starting to forget him, but doesn’t he control everything now?”
“Well done, that man!” howled Zeus, sensing a solution coming. “Where is he?”
“Dad’s not with us right now.” Said a short, bearded man who wore a heavenly white robe. “His personality split again. He’s probably somewhere over Asia or the Middle East. I took over his Christian stuff. How can I help?”
“Oh, wow. You’re Jesus.” Harry exclaimed, excitement driving his voice to a high-pitched tone. He was so amazed at who was showing up in the retirement home that he felt the need to remark “You’re not old or forgotten.”
“No, I’m just visiting dad.” Jesus said calmly, a natural aura of peace radiated from him.
In a soft, mellow voice Zeus told the Christian leader “The sun is gone.”
To which Jesus replied “Oh, I can’t do nature. Dad just created everything; you guys make sure it works. Who’s the current sun god? I’ll go talk to him.”
The gods looked around at one another, hoping one of the others had the answer they lacked. All they got was shrugging and confused grumbles. Finally, Night offered “What about the fat guy in the red suit? He became a sun god after the Roman era ended, isn’t that right Sol?”
Footsteps and crying noises could be heard from the back of the crowd as the former sun god fled back to his room, struck with shame and embarrassment.
“I thought he quit.” Helios grunted in disgust.
“No, no. I’m sure he just moved on. Poor guy went mad. Didn’t want to lose his power so he started giving presents to kids.” Night said sadly. “We all lose it eventually but I’m pretty sure he’s still got the sun job.”
“I’ll go see Santa then.” Jesus announced. “Does anyone know where he lives?”
Silence came over the old gods while they sank into a state of deep thought.
An hour of silent thinking later and it turned out that they couldn’t think at all.
Jesus decided it was down to him to make a decision. “I’ll try Lapland, then the North Pole. I’ll even try somewhere that should be sunny like the Bahamas.”
“Hang on a minute.” Helios interrupted, a grim look on his face. “I remember when I became the sun god. I was told that if I died without transferring my power to a successor then it would be lost for good. Santa has had the mantle for much longer than he should. He took on other things to stay relevant. I can’t help but think the worst has happened.
“I see.” Muttered Jesus weakly, the light of hope faded from his eyes.
It took Harry a few minutes for this to sink in. Then, in a great outburst that made even the mightiest of the gathered gods recoil, he shouted “There’s no more sun power! No more sun! Santa’s dead!”
And so it came to pass that humanity, along with all other earthly creatures died out as the planet slowly froze. With the death of humanity, belief faded out too. The gods disappeared, first the retired ones now considered myth, then the ones that were supported by the strength of belief. In the beginning there was nothing and in the end nothing remained.
“Nothing but me, anyway.” Jesus chuckled before morphing into an incredible dragon-like creature made of a fire that glowed with the strength of a thousand suns before shooting off, deep into the universe.