For years, things were going great in the world. Wars were non-existent, poverty was nearly eliminated, the ozone was on its way to a fix, crime waves were never seen. Peace and prosperity were everywhere and everyone expected it to continue forever.
But that’s not what happened. Overnight, it seemed as though everything fell apart. It didn’t happen slowly. It didn’t have a definitive trigger point. Everything just happened all at once.
France and Italy all of a sudden declared war. On each other. They’d been allies and friends for generations. But one day, France invaded, with no provocation, no notification. Italy retaliated, of course. They each called on allies to assist, which caused more issues because they shared allies. Most of Europe and about half of Asia joined in on that war.
Canada suddenly had a massive crime problem. Bank robberies, hostage situations, killing sprees, everything, all spreading like ripples in a pond. They all started in the major cities of each province, but the crime didn’t stay put in urban areas. Even the backwoods, sparsely populated areas were hit.
In South America, arsonists set fire to the rain forests. Smoke billowed so massively that we couldn’t see the sun most days. The heat from the fires warmed the atmosphere so much that the ice caps on Antarctica melted in record time. Huge parcels of land were swallowed in the massive influx of sea water. The floods wiped out a pretty big chunk of arable lands around the world.
Disease spread like wildfire. Everything became medically resistant. The sickness got so widespread, women couldn’t carry babies to full term. The population of the entire world plummeted. We were all starving, all sick to death, and it became a hell on earth.
The major world religions came together, looking for answers in the heavens. Of course, by the time they started talking to each other, most everyone had lost faith in any god. None of the big church leaders could decide what was going on.
Only one person had any ideas about the goings-on, but he was just laughed off. He came from some tiny, cultist sort of religion. He said we needed to hold on, just wait it out. He said it wouldn’t last long, just until God came back from vacation. He said all the wrong in the world was because God left someone else in charge. Some kid who decided he wanted to have some fun with lowly humans.
There wasn’t much left of that guy after the mobs got to him. His whole little cult of followers bit the big one, too. Nobody wanted to believe that any of the major Gods needed, or took, vacation.
Most of the crowd that tore those poor people apart weren’t around when God got back. They’d given in instead of holding on. But as soon as God returned, the world righted itself. Overnight, again, in most cases. Some things even He couldn’t fix, but in reparation, He made most things better.
The major religions of years past faded out of the collective conscious, replaced by the new religion, one that says even God needs a vacation every other millennia.