Adam Banuan

Michael married his wife not long after finishing High School. They were friends as far back as their childhood but it was only in College while studying philosophy when they finally fell in love; before then they had no idea about this cootie-related phenomenon which is largely to do with hormone activity and other chemical reactions of the body. This was however not what the lady in question believed, being originally from an atheistic family she later adopted some liberal Christian-ish views concerning the world and therefore believed that their union was part of a divine plan. Michael, a former Christian turned atheist tells her that that’s complete and utter nonsense. Besides this they didn’t disagree much on anything else, in fact, aside from their theological positions they practically saw the world through the same eyes. Then they reproduced. They had two children and lived in a suburban area in some grimy, dirty and very unimportant place, as while philosophy does much to enrich the mind, it does absolutely nothing for one’s living, which is in fact why societies are falling apart; all the people necessary for our development die out from hunger and the retarded but well to do football players live on. They weren’t unhappy with their lives though, and have not much disagreed on anything else since their college days until the day they were to move to a reasonably nicer place than the dump they presided in.

“There’s Coke and some juice boxes” called Elaine, the youngest of the two children looking into the old fridge, which is disconnected from its usual place inside the house and now seeming to lurk awkwardly in the front porch with everything else that once resided comfortably within the cracked walls.

“Not this time, I want something that tastes disgusting” replied Michael Sanders.

“Why’s that?”

“I dunno sweetie, I guess I’ve just had it with things that taste good. What else is there?”

“Well, oh there’s a Red-bull here”

“Good bring a Coke with it. We’ll mix ‘em together; that should produce a nice enough abomination for the taste buds.”

Elaine giggled under her breath and reached for the cans “Whatever you say dad” and returned to sit on the empty floor with her father eyeing the laptop computer flipping through pictures of cats embarrassing themselves in such a way that if they ever knew of its true magnitude of shame they would probably abandon the human race for the primitive wild where they would at least have some dignity.

“If you slackers got off your lazy butts more often we’d already have been done yesterday and be at our new house by now” said Mrs. Sanders crossly as she walked by carrying out one of the last remaining boxes.

“What’s the rush, it’s not like the house is going anywhere.”

“No, you’re right, the house isn’t going anywhere, but since we haven’t signed the deeds yet the homeowner might still decide to change his mind and give the place to someone else”

“It’s gonna be fine honey, that fat guy obviously isn’t looking to make a bargain otherwise he wouldn’t have agreed to give it away for peanuts when he could have easily demanded four times for it.”

“Four times as many peanuts?” jests Elaine at her father.

“Yes, very good, because elephants eat a lot of peanuts and this elephantine man is no exception. Oh look this cat’s trying to ride a horse!” said Mr. Sanders and with that he, Elian and Sam crack up in laughter, diverting their attention away from the hard working and at this particular moment quite cross lady of the house.

They have already moved most of the furniture out on the porch and are now in the process of cleaning their house; though only one of them actually is. Several potential buyers who were supposed to have come yesterday are to come and see the house today due to miscalculations concerning how fast the work in the house would be done; the calculations included the assumption that all members of the house were to participate. The Sanders are hoping get good enough money on the place to be able to pay for the new house outright. Apart from the family’s laziness Mrs. Sanders is very happy about the situation, so is Mr. Sanders but he usually tends to show less emotion, except when looking at pictures of cats making a mockery of themselves. Mrs. Sanders is also strongly of the opinion that this is a gift from God, that from His loving mercy God has provided them with a place so much better than this ancient and fragile dwelling which any objective observer might hesitate to call a house. Mr. Sanders that believes she makes an excellent point and that it is perfectly reasonable were it not for the fact that, as he puts it; ‘God doesn’t exist woman!’

“I think it’s perfectly reasonable to assume it’s a gift from God, because what are the chances that such a dream house can just come to us like that, costing precisely what we can afford?”

“I totally agree honey that the chances are pretty low, but then again, what were the chances of you being born in the first place? Chances are too often too low for many things but as long as the chances exist, things happen, like winning the Lottery, the chances of that are pretty damn low, but from time to time somebody lands those long odds, true or not?”

“Yes but…”

“Great, let’s make it even clearer, Sam give me that marker”

Mr. Sanders took the marker from his son Sam and began scribbling in large letters on the wall, ignoring his wife’s protests and threats to make him clean it up and that if he doesn’t she’ll scribble all over his face as payback, and when starting to see his writings she warned him of eternal damnation but he was very adamant to make his point that way.

“This is for science and reason lady, step back!” he said as he wrote on the wall that leads to the window that overlooks the porch where the majority of the furniture is. He wrote in capital letters on the wall from top to bottom ‘NO under it GOD under it EXISTS and under that also in succession NO under it PURPOSE under it ONLY and under it COINCIDENCE. This red writing came off as very disturbing with red ink dripping from where he squeezed the marker too hard, giving the impression that it was written in blood.

“For twenty years I’ve waited for a sign that would allow me to believe, just one, but nothing happened. If there is a God, surely he can provide one simple little sign can’t he? But no, therefore the logical conclusion is, there simply isn’t a God.”

Mrs. Sanders placed her hand on her forehead and covering her face, nodding from side to side as if to say ‘now you’ve really disappointed me!’

“Just come and sit down, you’ve been working hard, you need a break” Mrs. Sanders feeling the result of all the letdown surrenders, and moves to join her blasphemous, procrastinating and cat-obsessed family.

For a moment the family were suddenly chained in silence, none of them knew why, but a nagging feeling had suddenly emerged in them as though something horrible was about to happen. They noticed the strange silence was also encased around them as though by a hidden force, they could no longer hear the street outside, or the sounds of birds or even the sounds of insects. They stared at each other in bewilderment. But then Michael decided to break the silence by drawing attention to his condescending cat pictures again, having had enough of the confusion and bewilderment.

“Look, this cat’s throwing a monkey at another cat!” at first the family looked at each other in bewilderment as though they’ve lost their sense of humor, the nagging feeling and silence resisted Michael, but then slowly they started snapping out of it, or a least pretended to snap out of it and laugh hoping that stupid euphoria would make it go away. Even Mrs. Sanders joined in the pretend-laughter. It seemed to work.

But as they say ‘things are not always as they seem’ because suddenly a loud thundering noise encased them, the earth began to shake beneath them, car sirens began to scream in the road ahead and the ground right beneath the Sanders family began to tear apart.

“Oh no... ook whad you deed!” Cried Mrs. Sanders, her voice filled with terror and could barely be heard over all the thundering and cracking.

“Whaaaat?.. Wha... id I do?” yells Michael but his voice could still barely be heard also. Mrs. Sanders holds her children tightly.

“It... ..cause ....yyyou did! GGGod... is ppu...shin us!”

“B..lablaaa…! Hoollldd on, I... think it... kr... shht... earthquake!” Cried Michael. While the trembling and thundering noise got lighter, the house walls seemed to tremble even worse, and suddenly the room began filling with a dark spinning cloud. Pieces of the roof began crashing to the ground.

“Or maybe it’s something else” Said Michael

“We’re going to hell, it’s the devil come up to claim our souls!” cried Mrs. Sanders as the gap in the ground widened and the dark cloud became more and more threatening, taking shape and seeming to intimidate and mock them by dancing in the room. The living room lights began turning on and off like their confused as to what they should be doing.

“I repent, I always knew you were there I swear, I am so sorry, please don’t take to hell me, please!”

“What about us?” said elaine

“Them too” then lowering his voice he whispered “but if that cannot be arranged lets consider it optional...” The dark twirling cloud began nearing towards them.

“Please God help us” shouted Mrs. Sanders with her hands to the sky. With this the roof cracked open and a light seemed to flow in sending the dark shadow back into its hole.

“Yes, help has arrived” cried Michael “thank you Lord! I swear I’ll be good this time, I’ll even do charity to those funny looking black kids on TV”

The thundering noise became louder and half the house started falling to the side of the porch, crushing everything they had and leaving them on the very edge of the remaining half of the house. As the dust was clearing the remainder of the black cloud seemed to seep into the dishwasher which was somehow the only household item that survived. The dishwasher then seemed to glow red and seemed to make some eerie, low and dark noise which seemed to turn into words.

“You will not see the last of us” It said with a sound very similar to the fading thundering sound that had surrounded them. “We will wilt thy willows!” and with that the last of the noise and dust cleared away leaving them in a scene which would do very well as a funny digital picture that cats may one day laugh at out of spite.

After recovering from the shock of the situation and investigating the scene the supernatural incident in what remained of their house it turned out that there was nothing supernatural about it. It really was an earthquake and Mr. Sanders began laughing at his wife’s folly, forgetting his own silliness. Their house was affected greatly by the earthquake because it was the oldest in the area, and was torn in half only because all the furniture and household items were on the porch which was on the farther side of the house’s foundation which was by now almost dissolved into the ground on which it was built and thus disturbed the balance, ending in that part of the house being pushed in the ground and splitting the house in two with the foundation-less half having nothing to stand on, decided to not stand at all. The dark cloud was just black chimney dust as the crack in the roof happened to also split the chimney in two, first cracking it enough so that the dust can get in producing in the tremor and uncertain gravity the effect of it almost dancing, then when open enough the dust from the bricks and other building material enters and the gap now being wide enough to allow light it gives it an arty looking mystical-ish effect, as though the light was sparkling like the light portrayed in the old renaissance paintings. Also the tearing of the house had caused the wiring inside the walls to get exposed and touch one another producing the light show effect until it short circuited, which is unimportant now since electricity is now the least of the house’s problems.

“How stupid we were!” Said Michael looking at what remained of the house.

“How about the talking dishwasher?” Said Jayne, and her husband pondered over this for a few minutes then replied with as rational a response as he could.

“We were obviously in the right mindset for a shared hallucination, we were all convinced we were being haunted by the devil, and that noise that we thought was a voice, it was the clearly noise of the earthquake, which we all must have subconsciously translated in that condition to mean something frightening. And think about it, ‘wilt thy willows’ doesn’t make even sense.”

“Oh ok” said the wife who was just happy to hear an explanation for what happened “so what are we going to do about all this?” said Jayne expecting him to also say something rational about the house too that would stop her worrying about it. Michael pointed out there is nothing to explain and that the damn house just broke in two, to which Jayne replied that she was disappointed at this explanation and that now she doubted his powers of rationale, to which he replied that he now doubted her sanity and mental well being, to which she replied that he ought to watch his mouth when speaking to her in such a manner at this particular time lest she really does lose her sanity, jump on him and claw his eyes out.

At this moment the first potential buyer happened to arrived. He was a well dressed man, looking more like a real estate agent than a buyer. He parked his car in the street and headed towards them while looking down, apparently engaged fiddling with his phone. When he finally looked up he let out a scream and then held his mouth and just froze like that. From this they gathered that the earthquake wasn’t as strongly felt the area as it was in their house. Jayne eyed Michael again expecting some kind of resolution.

“What do you want me to do, yell at the tectonic plates? Things happen and it’s nobody’s fault, just like I made it clear earlier” he said pointing to the remaining wall behind him where wrote his atheistic views, he then froze in surprise and tilted his head.

He tilted his head some more and then went to have a closer look and tilted his head even more, which was entirely unnecessary because what he was seeing was very clear and required no tilting of the head at all. The letters he scribbled on the wall seemed to have had whole words taken out of them since near these letters is where the crack that split the house chose to happen. The letter read from top GOD EXISTS, the ‘no’ was now part of the rubble, and beneath it only NO and COINCIDENCES remained, as the layer of painted cement carrying the words ‘purpose’ and ‘only’ seemed to have fallen right off the wall. Michael tilted his head some more which produced a very stupid look which left Jayne now wondering about his sanity.

A few neighbors now rushed in to the site of the destruction, looking at them very closely and then asking if they were Ok as though they weren’t sure whether to believe their eyes or not. The potential buyer still stood there with his mouth gaping at the destruction. To be fair to him it was quite a site as the house looked like it had been cut right in half by a gigantic axe.

“We’re fine, we’re obviously fine, we’re not dead or even scratched now please stop asking if we’re fine” said Mrs. Sanders in frustration which she failed to cover from.

“I’m sorry” said the elderly Mrs. Barnly their next door neighbor standing with two elderly gentlemen “it’s just that we thought you had already moved out, and we heard on the news that the place you were going, all the houses on that street had been toppled, much worse than this house, they were completely destroyed.”

This came as a further shock to the Sanders family now realizing how closely they just avoided their death today. Michael now recovering from his bewildered look explained to them what had just happened. The neighbors having seen and heard all agreed this was nothing other than a miracle, and all we’re in agreement, even the squeamish gentleman after getting his mind in order also agreed that what had happened was an act of God. They all agreed about that, until they slowly entered a debate concerning which God exactly to give credit to and related theological topics.

“Don’t you see? It’s the goddess, Mother Nature; she has protected you out of her loving kindness and you should thank her” said Mrs. Barnly.

“The planet?” asked Michael.

“No the goddess”

“Who is?”

“The nature spirits and elementals and earth and…”

“Earth the planet?”

“Ok yes the planet!”

“I don’t think the planet cares much, she certainly didn’t care much about those hybrid driving environmental nuts whose houses she toppled over and we aren’t exactly holding back on our carbon footprint so that would be a pretty stupid move on her part.”

She hesitates and then replies “well, a woman can make mistakes too”

“The planet is a woman? Doesn’t that make her kind of you know, fat?”

Mrs. Barnly gasps “Don’t insult the Goddess, she’s the mother of life, and she’s not fat, she’s just… she’s not fat”

This is where another potential buyer walks in. An Asian man in his thirties, who was engaged in a telephone conversation thereby he too didn’t notice the damage until he came close to the rubble and looked up. “Ahhhh” he cried and dropped his phone falling into the same stupid frozen bewilderment.

“Maybe” Said the ex- bewildered guy now with his pale shock expression gone appearing Indian “It’s because of your energy, if you have an energy that is pure or are open minded the gods may choose to spare your lives from danger. The Gods like your karma; you should be thankful”

“Thankful to whom?”

“The gods, mainly Krishna” he seemed to mechanically adopt a joyous mood as if trying to sell something and continued “through this gift of saving your life and the gift of my presence here he is inviting you to join us in celibacy, let us reject all flesh of animal and let us joyfully chant ‘Hare Krishna…”

“Please stop! I’m not going to start chanting like a lunatic and I’m pretty sure it’s a bit late for our celibacy. What’s the point to this?”

“No, no, this is not the truth of Karma” the Asian guy who had recovered by now caught on the conversation “you have to free you self from these opinion, opinion of this and opinion of that. These opinion only make cloud on your judgment”

“Ok I am starting to hear some sense, though with some grammar mistakes, please continue” said Michael looking more optimistic.

“Good, I think true spirit in you is finally begin to see the through the clouded-ness of opinion, over-filling cup of your mind, your Karma or Samsara as we call it is evolving in this life and higher order preparing you for you becoming into a higher being in your next cycle life. You have to understand these people talk are just opinion and there is no self in person, no higher power that control everything, and truth is in nothingness, and nothingness is true God, if you understand this you truly begin to enter Buddhist truth, and have for your life become very blessed”

“Yes that sounds better doesn’t it?” says Jayne.

“Are you kidding?” retorted Michael in frustration “do you know how many times he just contradicted himself there? First he said you have to be free from opinions only to develop to Buddhist opinions”


“Then he says we are being prepared by some higher order then he basically says there is no God, and then he says this no-God is going to make our life blessed. He also said there is no self, how on earth do we ‘karmacize’ into some freaking pigeon if we don’t even exist?”

“You ask too many questions, a very truth in life is not ask too many questions yes, because then you have too many opinion, and too many opinion will…”

“Ok! That’s enough, we get the idea”

“I believe I have a solution” Said a suspiciously well dressed guy who seemed to have popped out of nowhere, either that or they were too busy arguing that they didn’t notice his entrance “you see the truth of existence is that we originated billions of years ago by the mighty Cause who’s only real desire was to create the effect. Get it? Cause and effect! We, being part of many souls resulting from this big Cause, which we call Thetans interacted with one another and this lead to the creation of MEST”

“We made Mist! So what you’re saying is that we all were floating fart bags back then?”

“No, MEST not mist, short for Matter, Energy, Space and Time”

“Get to the point!” Michael started to get that feeling you get when you’re about to be ripped off by some smart-alecky salesman.

“So in a nutshell the Church of Scientology can provide you with training for you to realize yourself as spiritual beings and as clumps of energy thereby allowing you to achieve freedom. Say, how much did the house you were going to buy cost?”

“whyyy?” said Mr. and Mrs. Sanders in unison.

“Well, why we’d love to go around freeing people for free we need a living too, just enough for the necessities of our staff to continue freeing people from their Engram-filled lives”

“Firstly we don’t feel imprisoned to need to be free. We just want to know what’s going on here. And secondly, oh humble teacher, since when were fancy convertibles and presidential attires a necessity, and also I’m going to need that money for repair and furniture.”

“If you don’t accept Jesus Christ and repent you’ll be crushed next time this happens” said a young man who also seemed to have popped out of nowhere. From his clothing and his smirk they gathered he’s a Mormon. The scientologist feeling there is no hope getting any money from these people turns around and leaves.

“Repent for what?”

“For your sins”

“I thought Jesus already paid for our sins” the argument now intensifies with everyone trying to talk over everyone else.

“You see too many opinion, to be enlightenment, you have know nothingness” said the Asian guy again.

“Wouldn’t a bullet in the head have the same effect?”

“Technically yes” he says with hesitation “but that’s not how we do enlightenment”

The arguments seemed to flow back and forth like this for what might have been several hours with newer people seeming to just pop up out of nowhere to share their religious beliefs. Then the argument ended with the thunder-like noise of the earthquake coming back again, but there didn’t seem to be any trembling going on. It seemed to be coming from the house. They all look back and to their utter shock the dishwasher was glowing red again.

“I will wilt thy willows” it said again in it’s creepy thundering voice. Everyone is stares in silent fear and confusion. Jayne grabs hold of Michael’s arm in an awkward way as she tried to do so with the use of all her limbs. Mr. Sanders frowns in annoyance then turns to his wife.

“Honey, are all the dishes destroyed?”

“ahh, yes”

“Good, then we’ll no longer need that old hunk of metal, throw it away!”

“Noooo” cried the dishwasher “but I can make you happy” it said this time in a softer, more pathetic sounding voice.

“Too late, you’ve had your chance to play nice. Now where were we, oh yes, someone was going to use a gun to achieve enlightenment!”

Elaine shifts uncomfortably towards her father and says to him in a pleading voice pointing at the glowing machine “Daddy, I think it’s trying to talk again”

“Just ignore it honey dishwashers can’t talk” he replied as if he didn’t care.

“What! That’s it?” said Indian guy “what about explaining that, aren’t you going to explain that?”

“What’s to explain it’s an old faulty dishwasher”

“Yeah but I last time I checked faulty household appliances don’t just start threatening people then promising to make them happy”

“Look, we can’t be expected to explain every little that ever happens in the world, some things are naturally inexplicable for lack of evidence.”

“I think we have a pretty good piece of evidence sitting amidst the rubble of your house!”

“Yes but we can’t exactly subject it to any tests can we? We certainly can’t torture the thing it’s a bloody dishwasher for goodness sake! All we can do speculate about what it is and we’ll just spin in circles about demons, ghosts, aliens, poltergeists, spirits, bogeymen, Houdini and just keep going till our brains get caught up in all manner of ridiculous nonsense. Look! This is what I’m seeing here, this is the problem with religions; they feel that they have to make up things they themselves can’t understand. The problem I think is because we are just human, and when trying to understand what our senses cannot perceive, we get guided by superstition and end up making things up as we go along. How can anyone possibly know what an infinite creator is like, that’s one condition of something that’s infinite, it’s inexplicable, it simply cannot be explained, and the more you try to explain it the more anthropomorphic and weirder it gets. However we as human beings have the ability to be conscious of it’s existence and I think that’s all we’re supposed to do, to just be aware that there is purpose in life, and that this is what believing in God is all about”

“But faith is belief in something that your senses tell you doesn’t exist, therefore faith is useless superstition” said the dishwasher who appeared ironically to be an atheist.

“No” said Michael looking at the crowd and pretending it was one of them who said that “actually, what I realize now is that belief in God is belief in something that could exist. If you believe in God, you don’t know, in the sense of knowledge that there is a God, but you can be certain through believing in the possibility of there being a God, believing in it so much that it defines you, but that you still know didn’t come through the senses but through your heart. And I think the worse thing you can do is to define it in a specific way or even to reject it, because in either case you’re drawing conclusions about something you know nothing about as though you have some kind of proof. It is illogical to reject something that you know nothing about, but it is rational to believe in the possibility of its existence. Also in a theological point of view, when you close your heart to the possibility; you deny your heart from ever being able to comprehend God, and never get to see your purpose in life, and not seeing the wisdom in things that may appear random. I was really silly in those few minutes where I though there was a heavenly battle going on in our dining room, but I never felt my life more purposeful than in those few minutes, I could feel that somewhere deep in me I always believed, at least in something, and even though it felt horrible, it also felt good.”

All those present seemed to agree with Michael’s conclusion, except for the dishwasher which was somehow rocking from side to side indicating its disappointment. They chose to ignore it. The Indian guy here thought about this then he said “they say our beliefs affect the way we perceive things, they said this thing about dreams in this essay I read once that if you analyze your dreams like Freud, then you will have Freudian dreams, and if you analyze it spiritually you’ll have spiritual dreams, and this other Russian scientist said that within dreams can manifest the subconscious brain’s predictions of disease months before they happen, so if you analyze your dreams looking for sings of disease you’ll get that kind of dream too. So whatever you choose to see you will see, like if you choose to see God, you will see God!”

“Exactly, and this is why I think I never got my sign these twenty years of my life that I prayed for it; I was never looking for it through the eyes of an atheist, or wasn’t even open to it, everything I saw must have only one meaning and everything is random I said to myself while demanding God to show me a sign, how ridiculous? So this here, I can either explain it that that point on the wall was the weakest in the house, clearly also along where I wrote the letter ‘no’, and the layers on the wall where I wrote ‘purpose’ and ‘only’ were very weak and almost popping out, a simple ball would have been enough to take it down. Like this I can explain away everything that happened today and deny myself the ability to see further beyond it’s material significance, deny myself the eyes of my heart essentially. No, I choose to believe, I have nothing to loose and a whole new sight to gain, or soul, why would I deny myself something like that for nothing? And even if there is no God, I reckon I still would live a more contempt life.”

“I reckon you’re an idiot!” said the dishwasher again “I find nothing more annoying than a bunch of idiots talking about things that make no sense”

“Alright, that’s it” said Michael and went into the house, picked up the dishwasher, lifted it up and began walking towards the rubbish bin.

“Just because you disagree doesn’t make it stupid you rotting hunk of metal” he said as managed to fit it inside the rubbish bin with a few kicks which also served to suppress its counter argument. It could still be heard mumbling in the bin about stupidity of faith and how it stinks in there and that its screws were hurting but no one cared to pay any attention anymore.

Three weeks later the house is fully rebuilt and the Sanders family no longer dislikes the suburb they live in and have become close friends with their neighbors and several of the debaters of the previous three weeks. Above the door in big bold letters are the words GOD EXISTS, NO COINCIDENCES.