Divine Novelty

“Miracle?” Diego asked with a beer stein at his lips. After the question, he took a large swig to consider the question. “Don’t worry ’bout it, it’s on me,” he said with a polite grin. The scraggly stranger shook his head.

“No can do, Mr.” the man said. He returned Diego’s smile and showed off two rows of dirty, yellow teeth. “You bought a miracle,” he raised his own full mug; bought by Diego. “That means you get a miracle.” Diego chuckled. He faced the stranger and looked him up and down. He looked, and smelled, homeless. Diego decided the fastest way to get through this was to just get it over with.

“Alright,” Diego smiled. “You’ve been telling everyone you’re god for the past few nights.” Diego slid a cup of water on the bar closer to the stranger. “Let’s see some proof, make some wine.” The stranger shook his head and pushed the water glass away.

“I’m not that God. I’m just an average supreme being that likes to…,” he gestured at the rags that kept him decent. “…dress down and spend time chatting with…,” he nodded at Diego. “…lesser beings.”

Riiight. Okay then,” Diego held his hands in front of the stranger with his palms upward. “Miracle me.”

“Coming up!” The old man hopped off his barstool with gusto and looked Diego up and down. He walked to one side, then the other keeping his focus on the portly man that bought him a beer. After a few moments, he furrowed his brow, started mumbling to himself, and kept pacing behind Diego. Enough that he started to feel uneasy. Diego was about to turn around and tell him to forget it when the man sat down on his barstool again with a heavy sigh.

“Not the first time it’s happened,” the stranger said to himself. “Still surprising,” he mumbled.

“Have I been blessed with a miracle yet?” Diego asked. He knew the answer but was curious how the man would respond.  The stranger shook his head and reached across the bar.

“As it turns out your life is right on track. You don’t need a miracle, there’s nothing I can do for you.” Diego patted the man on his back.

“No problem, I understand,” Diego said. He was surprised that he felt disappointment growing in his stomach. Despite the unbelievable situation a tiny bit of hope grew in him. The stranger shook his head.

“You know,” he placed the glass of water in front of Diego. “Normally I don’t care if people believe me. But I want you to trust me when I say your life is on track. You’re doing great, Diego,” the stranger returned the gesture by patting Diego on the back. Diego could not remember introducing himself, but the man kept talking. “I can’t give you a miracle, but I can still prove my powers,” he pointed at the glass full of clear liquid to draw Diego’s attention. A tiny black circle, about the size of a quarter, appeared in the glass above the water. The homeless god guided his finger from the top of the cup down to the bottom; the black hole moved in sync with his finger.

The black circle traveled through the water, changing it as it passed. It reached the bottom and the stranger pulled his hand away; the black dot disappeared. The clear water had been replaced with a rich maroon-colored liquid.

“I’m not that god, but I know his tricks.”

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