Writing Excuses Exercise Rewrite

Here is the final draft of my writing exercise…maybe. I hope you enjoy it.

David Alan Jones

“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mr. President.”
“The pleasure is mine, Pastor Phelps. Won’t you have a seat?”
“Thank you, sir.”
“Forgive me for staring. You look so human.”
“I am human, Mr. President.”
“Meat all the way through, sir. Like any other man.”
“But I thought –“
“Mr. President, I was born in Atlanta. My parents are both from North Carolina. Their parents came from material gathered in the early surveys — all human.”
“Test subjects. We put them back.”
“Minus some eggs and sperm.”
“Necessary. My progenitors are methane breathers after all.”
“Is that your strategy: victory through familiarity? Conquer us by becoming us?”
“I think we’ve made it clear we aren’t here to conquer you, Mr. President.”
“Try to see it from my perspective, Phelps. Until yesterday aliens stood in the same category as Sasquatch and the Loch Ness monster: plausible, fun to debate, but abstract.”
“And today?”
“Today the stock market crashed.”
“Regretful, but probably unavoidable in the near term. Either we revealed our presence, or we remained invisible. It couldn’t be done by half measures.”
“Why the subterfuge? Why live among us for so long?”
“We’re missionaries, Mr. President. We can’t tend the flock if we don’t walk amongst the flock.”
“And we’re your flock?”
“All things, living and inert, belong to the All-Point.”
“Ah, your message. I hope you’re not too disappointed; I’ve already had a sneak preview. The British PM and I had an interesting chat not half an hour ago.”
“He said your counterpart there frightened him worse than  terrorist nukes in London.”
“Why? We haven’t come to frighten man. We’ve come to enlighten him.”
“With your ‘gospel according to the stars’? He says this All-Church of yours will be the end of nationalism.”
“I assure you we have no political aspirations, sir.”
“Maybe not, but you make joining your church enticing don’t you? Extended life, cures to otherwise mortal diseases, the chance to travel the stars.”
“You two did have a long talk.”
“He’s concerned that you plan to exclude non-members from these gifts.”
“Some things are sacred, Mr. President.”
“So it’s true. You’ll let the sick die because they refuse to join your church?”
“Children are starving the world over. You have the power to feed them, but they aren’t Americans, so you don’t.”
“I thought you said you don’t play at politics.”
“I won’t apologize for my religion, Mr. President. We may not share all the benefits of membership with non-members, but I assure you the church shall benefit this world.”
“While coercing its people into joining you?”
“Joining the Church of the All-Point doesn’t change one’s citizenship.”
“But what happens when every human on this planet has joined your church? What happens when the American people begin to trust the church more than their own government? That is what he fears — what we all fear.”
“May I still deliver my message, Mr. President? You’ve only heard it secondhand. If there’s one truth between our Earth religions and the Plan of the All-Point, it’s this: you don’t ask the bus driver what it’s like to fly an F-16. You ask the fighter pilot.”
“I’ll hear your message, but let me ask you one question first.”
“Anything, Mr. President.”
“My advisors say you’ve been a Baptist minister for over thirty-three years.”
“At Abilene Full-Gospel Baptist in Macon, yes sir.”
“How do you square preaching Christianity for all those years while secretly practicing a faith so antichristian?”
“The Plan is not antichristian or anti-Muslim, or anti-anything. Even your scientists proved the All-Point’s existence with no prodding from us.”
“Then tell me of this All-Point, Pastor Phelps. Tell me why it’s so important that you’ve turned every nation on earth upside down to preach it.”
“In the beginning, in all the beginnings that ever were, there was the All-Point: that infinitesimal dot, containing within its vastness all time, space, matter and energy. It was, is, and will be a sentient being. During infinite cycles of birth and reunification, the All-Point has explored the meaning of existence. It has given up self, sacrificing its Oneness, over and over again in order to create this universe.”
“In the Big Bang?”
“But if this All-Point is conscious as you say, then doesn’t it die every time it begins the cycle anew?”
“Yes, and no. Its self is spread out with all that is our reality, so in a way it has not died, but rather expanded so that it can no longer reach full consciousness though it is aware on a level we cannot readily comprehend.”
“And at the end of every cycle it reforms — reunites?”
“Then why the religion, Pastor?”
“Pardon me?”
“Why should we care? If we belong to this All-Point — are destined to return to it one day no matter what we do in this life — then why bother worshipping it at all?”
“I don’t follow.”
“Entropy, sir. The law which states all things in this universe are winding down like clockwork.”
“I know the principle. We’ve seen it. The universe is expanding faster than we ever imagined; too fast for it to ever …for it to ever recreate the All-Point. No Big Crunch. No return to the dot.”
“No Big Crunch and the heat death of the universe.”
“A fascinating concept.”
“Forgive me, but I had expected you to require more explanation on the science.”
“The wife and I read sci-fi. It’s a guilty pleasure.”
“But obviously an instructive one.”
“Still, I fail to see how joining this All-Church will solve the problem. Do you think faith can overcome inertia? Surely you don’t believe prayers will slow stars.”
“In our church we have prophets — seers and revelators — who post-tell the infinite past.”
“The future is impossible to know. The past, however, is set, and can be read like a book for those with that gift.”
“Your prophets can follow the life cycle of an entire universe? That’s extraordinary.”
“No, sir. They see only the changing of the cycles. I’m told it’s really quite boring.”
“So every cycle is pretty much the same as all the others?”
“Yes, until now.”
“What’s changed?”
“Us,” Mr. President. “Ours is the first epoch during which life has evolved.”
“Wait. Are you saying that by creating life the All-Point has somehow destroyed itself? Committed suicide to birth its greatest creations?”
“The opposite, we believe. For whatever reason, in this current incarnation of the universe, something has gone awry. The All-Point has already passed the point of reunification by any natural means. For that reason it has, through our evolution — the evolution of all sentient beings — revived its consciousness so that it might fight for survival.”
“Fight how?”
“That, Mr. President, is what we must learn together.”

The End



  1. Thanks for checking mine out :). I like this, an effective explication of story through dialogue. A few quibbles however.

    “They’re parents came from material gathered in the early surveys — all human.” Their.

    My other concern is the lack of action in this. We get the background of the All-Point but no one is really doing anything. Made it a bit of a slow read for me.

    All in all I really dug it. Nice work!


    1. Grrr, can’t believe I missed that in the rewrite! That mistake is one of my pet peeves too. Oh well, typos happen.

      Thanks for the review, June.

      — david j.


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