Education of a Young God

A man with god-like power can have anything but the woman he wants.

    Rex can move objects without touching them.  Gradually he finds he can reach the will of other people; counter any force; fly; travel vast distances in space; visit a world that is the mirror of his own; and fall in love with the double of the woman who rejected him here.

    As a child he does things he and his family unconsciously ignore.  But when a puppy crosses the road in front of a semi and Rex stops the truck dead the driver goes through the windshield, his corpse a bleeding mass, and Rex can no longer shut it out.

    Despite similar incidents he manages to enjoy the power.  Women come to him as if it’s THEIR idea.  As a student bothered by loud music he turns off his neighbor’s electricity by thinking about it.

    When he sees Carol in a bar she leaves her boyfriend, comes over and takes off her clothes—acting out his thought, but SHE has the awareness to protest.  Rex, hypnotized by what she’s doing, recovers enough to yank his head around and focus on a glass on a bar, which explodes.

    He loves her.  She fears him.  They have an obsessive relationship and explore each other; but he still loves her, and she still fears him.  They part; after this, he predicts, everything will be a mistake.

    He becomes fixed on a Columbian drug dealer’s mistress, levitates himself to the rooftop garden where she bathes and, as he teaches himself to fly, takes her along.  They have sex in the sky, while a CIA agent watches from below.

    The CIA arrest him.  He is humiliated, and demonstrates terrible force.  They need him as a weapon.  He won’t do it.

    But the Chief Agent, a sympathetic father figure, suggests he explore space.  He can think himself across insurmountable distances.  They have a suit built for him—not a ship, but the suit itself becomes a ship, a giant human body he directs from a cockpit in the head.

    He steers his way past Jupiter, so huge he weeps in terror, out of the solar system, out of the galaxy, his path recorded on the ship’s computer; is drawn into a black hole; emerges in a cosmos the mirror image of the one he has left behind; plots his course to an Earth that rotates east to west, and descends to a world where most people are left-handed.

    What’s out there, the CIA ask him.  Nothing, he says; it’s a gravel pit.

    He can’t wait to find left-handed Carol.  (Left-handed Rex of course is now in the right-handed world.)  When SHE rejects him he moves the Earth a little away from the sun, holds a good-humored news conference at which he announces that he now rules the planet.

    He pontificates on the world’s problems, and makes it thunder when he’s displeased.  Leaders pay homage to him and offer him their choicest women and, tender, joking, he accepts them, charms them, allows them to bully him and takes them flying.  He’s having a good time.

The American president, shrewdest of leaders, offers him Carol.  Does she want this?  He’ll never know, she says.  He puts her naked in a glass house and watches her.  She becomes his queen.

    Sudden thunder: an image of God the Father fills the sky, accusing mankind of worshipping false gods, commanding it to plant his seeds and reap his harvest.  In token of his power, nuclear bombs cause tidal waves that put the Earth’s great cities under water.

    The father god is an image projected onto earth’s atmosphere from a fleet of alien ships hovering like sharks.  When Rex confronts him the father god cuts into his brain with a laser and destroys his power.

    The Earth is now a pre-industrial slave colony (everything mechanical or electrical rots), growing a strange plant for which the aliens have a market elsewhere. 

And yet Rex and Carol, powerless toiling slaves, find happiness!  She is pregnant.

The pointless and illegal worship of Rex goes on nightly at barbaric rituals in villages around the globe.

A chain stretching across each continent is drawn into the sea; malingerers are punished by being cuffed to it, marching overland inexorably to be drowned.  “Do not join the chain!” warns the father god.

Left-handed Rex returns.  He eliminates the alien fleet, stops the projection of the father god’s image and leaves many simple peasants desperate, without a god to pray to.

When he descends to Earth left-handed Rex sees villagers worshipping at smoky fires and chanting his name.  They rush at him and beg to be saved from the chain—which he breaks.

Then he goes to find left-handed Carol living happily with the right-handed version of himself.  Right-handed Carol has rejected him, and he’s jealous.

His reflection laughs, and fills him in.  Take the world!  All HE wants is what he has.  What’s the big joke?  Well, another alien fleet will arrive; what’s left-handed Rex going to do about that?  AND: they’ll follow his radiation trail back to right-handed Earth and attack that, too.  What’s he going to do about THAT?

Which would he rather be, the man or the god?

Right-handed Rex realizes now that the other guy is his better self, that he lives for HIM—and when the next alien fleet does attack, dies so that left-handed Rex can defeat it (a duel between the titanic space-body and the battle saucers) and take Carol and her baby back to the other Earth.

He hides the left-handed Earth in another galaxy—new weather, a blue sun—and he and Carol make the perilous trip back.

Already the alien fleet hovers around the other Earth like sharks.  He eliminates them.  Everything is subject to his will but her and death, she says: that’s why he loves her, and why he loves them both.

They descend to an enslaved earth, liberate it and break the chains.

When she confronts right-handed Carol, left-handed Carol knows that she’s different, and loves Rex.  She makes him swear not to use the power.  What kind of baby will they have?  Ambidextrous.

When civilization is rebuilt he starts a company that gets rid of nuclear waste, and whenever he needs to zap something out of existence he calls her for permission.

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