Author: Diego Lama, Translated by Rose Facchini
God called Alberto on his cell.
“Hey, it’s God,” He said. “I wanted to let you know that the world annoyed me, so I’m getting rid of everything except you, okay?”
“Okay,” Alberto responded. Then he added, “Thanks!”
“Now, let’s free you from all those non-essentials,” God said before getting to work. “Be with you in a few.”
After a few minutes, twenty men in uniform entered Alberto’s apartment using the service key. They started to pack up chairs, paintings, glasses, books, rugs, computers…
“What are you doing?”
One of them motioned for him to look outside at the street where several other crews — hundreds of people — were dismantling and taking away everything that had at one time been his city: lampposts, traffic signals, sidewalks, manhole covers, cars, benches, statues, signs.
Within half an hour, the apartment was empty.
Alberto followed the workers to the ground floor where all his things, along with those of his neighbors and everyone else in the area, disappeared onto big trucks that were coming and going on the street. A deluge of rubble began to fall from atop the tallest structures; they were demolishing apartment buildings. Alberto set out along what was left of the road while thousands of workers continued to move in every direction with vans, cranes, wheelbarrows, and bulldozers, taking everything away.
Alberto took shelter in the park, but a crew soon arrived even there to uproot trees and bushes. The city had become one enormous dusty construction site.
He lay down in a ditch that had once been a fountain and dozed off into a strange and restless slumber. He woke up some hours later to utter silence. He climbed out of the ditch and looked around.
In place of the city, there was nothing but a vast expanse of gray, a desert of detritus.
In the distance, the few remaining groups of workers were loading rubble onto the trucks.
Alberto started walking around aimlessly.
After a few hours, he stopped. Everyone had gone. He was alone. There was nothing left.
Then the phone rang: It was God.
“You all right?” He asked. “In just a minute, I’m going to have the stars, then the Sun, and finally this planet taken away, okay?”
“So, you’ll be free from your body. You’ll be able to move around at will in the great void for all eternity. Sound good?”
“Don’t mention it. See ya.”