Unfilmable Film with God by Quinn Forlini

Unfilmable Film with God

QUINN is alone in a studio apartment, waiting for her boyfriend to get home from work. Three hours of her scurrying around cleaning obsessively. She re-organizes a bookshelf. The world is turning, and PEOPLE are praying. Quinn wipes the counters and stovetop and the inside of the oven. Flames are burning, and people are praying. She scrubs the bathroom tiles and sanitizes all the surfaces, wiping up each little beard hair left behind on the sink, toilet, and bathtub. A great wind comes, and people pray into the wind. She plugs the vacuum into the wall, sweating. The sweat becomes the people’s tears as they send their little thoughts into a wide sky. She frantically vacuums the carpet for one minute and seventeen seconds. A fuse is blown. All people vanish. 

Shot of pitch-black apartment. Silence and stillness for exactly two minutes. 

GOD enters neither here nor there. His emerging presence is like giving into a warm bath.

God is now large and dense as a white dwarf star. He sits down on the couch. He is also not there at all, and his absence is like starvation. He is not a man, but not not a man. He is like sliced star fruit and Susan B. Anthony and the lost continent of Atlantis. 

GOD: Listen, Quinn, I had that fuse blown for you.

QUINN: But I was so close to finishing. 

GOD: You need to scream your little bouts of joy. Ah, look at that sky — pink!

QUINN: I was just getting the pieces of crushed leaves by the door —

GOD: Don’t ask questions. Sometimes we need two minutes alone in the dark to understand our deepest selves. Besides, shouldn’t you spend this time writing a poem instead of cleaning a man’s toilet? 

God exits. It is impossible to tell if he was even there at all.

Zoom in on Quinn’s eyes as they close. 

Shot entering into her headspace: a landscape like an isolated sand dune in a two-dimensional plane. 

Shot of all the words migrating like monarchs in Quinn’s head, so fiercely we don’t see any words. 

Shot of everyone in the world waiting for a poem. 

Shot of a potted plant becoming waterlogged. 

Shots of organs working: liver, lungs, spleen, kidneys, bladder, ovaries, stomach.

Zoom in closer and closer on a patch of stomach until we see a cluster of cells. 

Distant sounds of someone ironing. 

Fade out like someone laying hands on you. 

Quinn Forlini (she/her) has writing published or forthcoming in Catapult, X-R-A-Y, Milk Candy Review, and elsewhere. She earned her MFA in creative writing from the University of Virginia and lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. 


Art (detail): Francisco de Zurbarán Public Domain CC1.0 ALT Renaissance painting of a young woman’s face. She’s looking up to the heavens – and she has big eyes which appear to be filling with tears.


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