[Originally posted at Slacktivist (page 8).]
I've always been fascinated by the idea of taking on God because it seems like the natural thing to do, especially if you believe in Hell. Hell cries out for liberation. Yes, there are very bad people in the world, but after a few quintillion years of torture I defy anyone to come up with an explanation of how they did something so wrong as to justify the continuation of the pain. Hell is a wrong in need of righting (which I initially miswrote as "writing"), of course heroes take up arms.
In high school I had several stories that I hoped to one day write about going up against God. And apparently if I let myself I'll go on forever talking about them. I'll try to keep this somewhat short.
[Added] I completely failed to keep this short. You have been warned.[/Added]
Almost without exception they had male viewpoint characters as protagonists who were about my age at whatever time I happened to be thinking about it. Which probably shows the limits of my imagination quite well.
One was a short story that had gaping holes in it large enough to drive an entire fleet of fully loaded 747s through, but unlike the others it did get written, that involved teaming up with not-evil Lucifer to stop God. In this one God died, off camera. And Lucifer quoted Jimmy Buffett.
Another was supposed to be a series of books, for I had ambition and was going to be a novelist. The first book involved someone's soul being sent to Hell while he still lived. (When he slept he'd be in Hell with no knowledge of his waking life.) This was a good thing (set up by the Greek goddess Hope) which caused the very depressed kid to meet up with a damned girl, fall in love, escape Hell, ascend purgatory, steal the fruit of life (which I think I decided should be a pear) and seeds from fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (for good measure) get to a safe place to revive the girl, revive her using the fruit of the tree of life, and disappear to live happily mostly after.
I think I'm failing at keeping this short, it's my second try as well. Book two was to be about a group of demons, (one of whom was helpful in the first book) who became effectively human and thus undamned by possessing embryos before they gained souls thus becoming the souls of the human bodies that resulted. The one from the previous book was both less evil than the rest and the only one to suffer complications (he lost his memory) in the book he would regain his memory and then stop the others from doing evil.
The next book would have been about a boy who sprouted wings. (He's descended from Nephilim you see.) I figured that would probably be trouble enough to fill up a whole book.
In the last book the whole opposing God thing would finally show up. A teenager would be sniffed out as being the next big thing, theologically speaking. Gifted on a savior like level. Heaven would have some very strong ideas about what he should think and say and do. Characters from the previous books would be trying to keep Heaven off the kid's back. (They'd span a generation, but they would have all gone to the same high school.)
In the end he'd realize that he couldn't hope to oppose Heaven, but there needed to be an option beyond Heaven and Hell. This realization would come after all of the good characters had been beaten back and forced to take refuge inside the high school while they were totally surrounded. So he'd create a new plane of existence, starting it with the high school. (A spherical section of reality would simply disappear from the universe, and become the center of a new afterlifey place. I imagined the school surrounded by empty white space that would eventually be filled.) The various humans gods and angels (in this concept the Greek gods are real beings that are more or less on the same level as angels) would start building a new Utopia there, presumably intercepting Hellbound souls and also liberating souls from hell as they went along.
Another story was the one I've previously mentioned that was intended to be a series of inconsistent accounts that fit together like gospels. It was, like the last book in the series above, to be about a new savior. It would have had a different tone, and a very different backstory. Where setting of the above is more or less a standard take on Heaven and Hell (stealing heavily from Dante and fundamentalists) viewed in a negative light with Greek gods thrown in, this was to be heresy from the ground up.
Jesus was not the son of God but the son of the angel sent to tell Mary that her son would be a really important person. (If I'd bothered to do research I would have know that this was Gabriel I was talking about, but I didn't.) That angel, by the way, was totally female*. God did not like that. But it wasn't until after Jesus' death that they had their major falling out. Jesus was sent to Hell due to creative differences with God. (Love and Mercy didn't fit into the divine plan.) Hell sucked. There was a revolution, Jesus took over.
When the new savior got himself sent to Hell by God, he'd meet up with Jesus, discuss strategy, and then ... I don't remember how he was going to oppose God, but it probably involved the fact that I assumed that there was access to Heaven via purgatory since that was how Dante got in.
There was definitely something involving fallen angels entirely unrelated to all these things. I remember having a recurring scene in mind where an angel, on his way to fall, would talk about the idea that if you dropped a coin from the door out of Heaven, it would take an entire day to hit the earth. Then they'd drop a coin as they fell. The angel who it was said to, being someone the soon to be fallen angel had friendship with, would be the next to fall, though it might take centuries, and pass on the comment someone they trusted, who would then turn out to be the next to fall. Those who walked away from Heaven were absolutely the good guys, so I assume it involved opposing god.
There were probably others, it was a recurring theme for me. I'm not sure, but I think it might have kicked off when in some class or other they listed kinds of conflict in stories and "Man vs. God" caught my interest.
I think that the thing about someone getting a job from Lucifer as a reaper delivering souls to Hell was something much later, some time in college instead of high school I would guess. In that Hell was a safe haven and the opposition to God mostly took the form of deciding to delay the Apocalypse over and over again. (They couldn't cancel it, but they could say, "It doesn't feel right yet, lets put it off for ten more years," every five years.) Hell was a really nice place, with thriving art districts and all the free therapy the dead of the world so desperately need.
* At least she looked that way to me in the painting I was thinking about at at the time. Assuming I remember correctly. It would be nice if I could remember the name of the painting since it was, as I recall, very good.