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Rudelious lay at the water's edge of a pristine little pond, on his back.  The rock which had delivered the death blow rested nearby in the grass, one side of it covered in gore.  Rudelious' sightless eyes stared beckoningly up toward Heaven as his blood spread away from his body beneath a perfect sky above.  A cloud formed, then shifted, and God appeared at Rudelious' feet.  The Almighty looked down upon His creation with an expression of deep remorse.  He sighed and gently knelt at Rudelious' head, gently stroking the dead man's beautiful golden hair as He cradled it in His hands.

"Oh Aldous," He said, "what have you done?  What could cause you to do something so heinous?"

A little gray cat which had been nibbling on some nearby grass twitched its ears.  It then walked over to where God knelt with the body.  It spoke to God with a slight voice, like a whisper upon the breeze, "You know, You could resurrect him, if You wanted."

God parted Rudelious' hair with His hand and looked at the little gray feline, "That's not how I do things, little one."

"But it might ease your pain, Lord."

God smiled, "My needs are irrelevant.  Bringing him back would do nothing for the pain Aldous has brought to this beautiful little garden.  Besides, that would be cheating, and I am no cheater."

The cat lifted his nose and sniffed the breeze, his whiskers twitching furiously.  He used a forpaw to smooth one of his ears, then looked at God once again, "Maybe you can try again, but with something a little more perfect."

God cocked an eyebrow at the little gray cat and repeated, "Perfect?  But where's the fun in that?  It sounds boring.  Most things are only worthwhile if you work for them, and I don't mind lending a guiding hand in order for my creatures to achieve their happiness."

The cat licked one paw and laboriously washed his face, "I don't understand what you mean.  We're perfect."

God leaned forward and scratched the cat's chin, which induced a soft purr as the cat closed his eyes.  God told the little feline, "Vanity is not perfection, little one."

The cat bristled but sat beside the fallen Rudelious and asked God, "What are you going to do with him?"

God lovingly touched Rudelious' still face and replied, "I'm going to return him to the earth."

The cat flinched and flattened his ears, "You're going to bury him?!  Here?!"

"No.  I will find somewhere quiet and appropriate for his body to reside.  In the meantime, I want you to get the word out: Aldous is not allowed back in the garden.  Do you understand?"

The cat grimaced and licked his neck, "Oh, I wouldn't worry about Aldous.  This is the last place he'd want to be right now... or ever."

God took Rudelious' body in His arms and lifted him to Heaven, leaving behind only the cat and the rock.

And the blood.

It seeped into the ground and churned the earth.  The grass around the area grew brittle and dark and the animals within the garden all subconsciously avoided that spot.  Soon, a snake grew from that blighted spot and slithered into the water, where he would wait.  The snake was patient, and he would wait as long as long as it took before he made his move.


The End

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