“Help a deity who’s down on his luck, sir?”
Bobby Spraycan-Screwdriver looked up from his instruments, peering out the window at the interspatial anomaly that had just appeared before him. It held a cup out in front of it, with a few sacrificed virgins rattling around the bottom.
“Uh, sorry, I’m all out of offerings!”
Bobby tried to hit the hyperdrive button, but time and space shifted, turning his starship into a giant condor made of concrete. Bill sighed, reaching down for his yew stake and copper trident.
The deity shifted ages over and over again, its being impossible to comprehend without going insane with a craving for cabbage stew. “Wait! Wait! I can alter reality for you! Teach you lessons about how to be a better person!”
Bobby shook his head. “I heard that story a hundred times. Once you get a few offerings, you’ll be turning into a bull and trying to make out with women all over the cosmos. You gods are all alike.”
Bobby shifted through time, appearing on the back of a giant turtle that was knitting the ocean. The god became a can of beer with a peacock’s tail, hissing every time it opened its tab mouth. “No, I promise I’m not like that. I don’t have any family or anything.”
“Not even a single dad?”
“If you are asking if I sent my son away on some extended field trip, then no. I am the only creative force in my mythology.”
Bobby snapped his fingers, pointing at the god even as his ship’s nosedive increased in speed. ‘I knew it! You’re only mythological! Your powers are all tied up in folklore that no one even remembers. I bet all you can do is get blamed if there’s a bad harvest.”
The deity stammered, his beard turning into a sea of dolphins that cascaded over a flowing, vertical rainbow sea. “I may be down on my luck, but I don’t need offerings from you, sir!”
The god concentrated, stars bursting into flaming cones filled with neon strip joint signs. Bobby felt his knees turn inward, the wrath of the god changing his shape before his eyes. When it was done, the god took the shape of a city-sized mayonnaise sandwich, spraying whipped egg as it laughed.
“Now you’re bow-legged, and have a mild flu! You will bear these marks until corrective surgery and a few days’ rest clear them up! My will is law!”
Bobby crossed his arms, shaking his head. “This is why I started worshipping science. You guys have to stop punishing potential believers. It makes worshipping you awkward.”
The deity raised one eyebrow, the entire universe bending out of place, hurling a hundred worlds into a void that devoured their entire culture in seconds. “I don’t follow.”
“I used to be a lizard until a god came along and cast me into the end of time. I was supposed to start devouring all of creation from the end to the beginning, but I just took off my rubber tentacles and walked away. When the god came back, he fell into a pit I’d lined with old computer gaming advertisements, where his compulsion to review DOS games has kept him trapped to this day. Now, I wander the cosmos, helping out people who’ve lost unimportant trinkets from their houses.”
The deity spewed unicorns and puppies from a single, bleeding eye. “What does that have to do with anything?”
Bobby reached out and grabbed the god’s suspenders, pulling them so hard that the gender of everyone in all of creation switched. “You don’t have to use your limitless powers just to get drunk and trick women into sleeping with you! There are other things you can do!”
The god cast him off, his form spraying out into a river of broken glass and torn raincoats. “What point is there in having limitless power if you can’t use it to trick very stupid people into doing things? With all of creation at my disposal, is it not the highest aspiration to trick a woman into loving me when I look like a swan? What point is there to limitless power if I don’t use it to get with chicks!”
In a rage, the god changed the names of every number without telling anyone, and turned all red things yellow. He then evaporated into a puff of air freshener, never to be seen by a man ever again.
But on one world, a woman began to fall in love with a particularly handsome fish cart…