The Telephone Game, Divine Edition

A religious organization (modern or fictional), after following their particular holy text (or at least it’s translated editions) for centuries/millenia, if given a drastic and alarming shock one day, when their deity appears to tell the vast majority of them, basically, “Who told you I said all this? I never asked you to act like this at all, most of it is your own ideas! You’ve got everything completely wrong!”


The day of Festival was in full swing. The
Unwanted in the pyres had stopped screaming and the annual Cleansing was
well underway. Houses, bodies, and belongings scoured with harsh lye and bleach. This Festival, the ten thousandth of its kind, celebrated
the much-heralded re-appearance of Loran, the one true god.

skin freshly stinging from her own Cleansing, took down the new list of Unwanted Tomes and set about removing them from her shelves. They would go outside into a small pyre for the public to view.

Her shop had no lock, and it was no surprise to find a customer already inside. She was paging through the ever-popular Holy Writ and muttering to herself.

“I didn’t say that… He didn’t do that. Honestly… how could that one even work?”

paused in the act of fetching her tongs. “Are you… quite well, my friend?” She also made certain she had her Heretic’s Whistle, just in
case one of the Unwanted had somehow escaped the Cleansing.

book,” sighed the stranger. “Most of it’s made up. I thought you would
all be fine for ten thousand years, but look! I never, ever said one
word about hurting a single living being.” Fingers tapped the paper in
agitation. “And here’s entire chapters devoted to how to prepare
children for the sacrifice.”

“Yae, though the innocent come to
Loran, ere they sin,” recited Tolris. “Being Chosen for the sacrifice of
innocents is the very highest of honours. I regret missing my chance.”

The stranger boggled at her. “YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO WANT TO DIE! And it’s Loren. That, I can easily accept as a typo or language drift, but the rest of this? It’s appalling…”

Tolris brought the whistle to her lips and blew hard on it. No sound came out.

“Thus should the miracle occur,” recited Loren. “The accuser will make no sound, though they truly will it so, and the innocent shall be thus spared.” Loren looked up from the book. “I told them before I left that I had other business. I
can’t keep my awareness in all places and all times. How many thousands were presumed guilty just because I was pre-occupied?”

Tolris blew again. So hard that she almost passed out. Nothing. “You are meant
to appear in the holiest of places… and make your will known to the

“The wealth of knowledge is my holy ground, and those who share it, my advocates,” said Loren.

shook her head. “The lust for knowledge is avarice and abhorrent,” she corrected. “Those who keep knowledge must guard it, lest the unworthy
become corrupted.” Reminded, she urgently rushed to seize the newly
corrupted tomes and remove them from existence.

Loren sighed.
“Well, that explains why your tech level is still at the hand-tool stage… Why are you taking away books with those tongs?“

“I’m freshly Cleansed. I cannot touch that which is unclean, lest I become unclean in your sight…“


the corporeal manifestation of Loran came unto the steps of the Holiest Sepulcher. And the holy men knew him not, and barred his way. And Loran clapped his hands together and lo, the men of the Sepulcher found themselves in the midden-piles and the pig sties, outside the mighty
walls of the holiest city.

The corporeal manifestation of Loran
raised his sandalled foot unto the doors that protected the High
Administrate. And kicked them with one mighty blow that sent them
spinning off their hinges. The High Administrate beheld Loran, and the
High Administrate knew him not.

The corporeal manifestation of
Loran held high the Book of Holy Writ and spake thusly: “WHAT THE HELL

“How did you get in here alive? How dare you talk to me in that tone of voice,” blustered the High Administrate.

Book of Holy Writ burned in bright flames before him. “The name is Loren, and I am your god,” she said. “And all of you have been wilfully
ignorant for ten thousand years! That’s beyond sinful! What the heck do you have to say for yourselves?”

“We followed the Holy Writ,” offered the High Administrate.

“You followed bull crap,”
spake Loren, the corporeal manifestation of the Divine. “And you called it holy. I never should have let men write things down… You always manage to tilt it so that you wind up in charge.”

“If you had not
wished men to lead,” said the High Administrate in an exhibition of what
not to say to a Divine Being, “you would have made them into women!”

The corporeal manifestation of Loren snapped her fingers, and lo, all of the men of the church were women. And more, the sins of their lives were
written clear upon their flesh, for all to read.

“You were saying?” spake Loren. And the corporeal manifestation of the Divine went
out unto the Great Terrace, and made herself known to the people. And she brought back from the fires, all who had succumbed to the flames.

And lo, the people were confused.

Loren spake unto them, saying, “Look. I know last time was a bit of a mess. Let’s try and get it right, this time around. Okay?”

And the people knew not what to think.

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