God of Crackers¹

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1 presupposes familiarity with the movie Tron.

“Flynn,” says the voice.

Flynn does not turn. He continues typing. It’s fast. It’s fierce. He’s a computer genius, and this is his greatest hack.

“Flynn, only one man can be God of Crackers.”

One man, who proves himself by contest—

“And I lost,” Flynn says. “I lost and you won—you’d say?”

The voice is crisp and dry, like a hundred thin wheat wafers rubbing together. “Yes. You lost. Please accept that, Flynn.”

Flynn shakes his head. “You’re not much of a god if you can’t stand a little challenge. A little—joie d’hubris.”

He pounds on one last key and then sits back, satisfied.

“You were the runner-up, Flynn. That makes you nothing. A wannabe. A backup system, to take on my role if I cannot.”

The crackery voice is irritated now.

“I can feel you reaching for my power, Flynn. But you are not meant or made to be a god, and I shall not let you interfere.”

Flynn folds his hands behind his head.

“I’ve dumped doctored photos of you engaging in perverse acts with the Syrup Goddess into the database of every major newspaper in the world,” he says. “By morning, you won’t be able to perform your duties. Then I’ll be the cracker god.”

The whisper of crisp biscuit on crisp biscuit intensifies into a great and terrible rumble. “Flynn,” says Mr. Nabisco. “It is with such acts that you earn the wrath of Heaven.”

“What can you do?” Flynn spins his chair around. “You’re just a jumped-up harvest deity with a salt fixation.”

Mr. Nabisco sucks Flynn into the cracker world.

The world whirls around Flynn. It’s like he didn’t stop spinning his chair.

He falls past fields of wheat and rye. “Grains,” he says. He passes through a nebula of snack products. “Crackers!” The great strutting chicken of chicken-flavored crackers and the herds of celestial cheeses pass by. “Beasts,” he says. He looks up to the sky. “Ah! Lord of hosts!”

Flynn finds himself, dressed in a strange cracker suit, standing in a desolate hall. There’s a cracker regarding him. It’s wearing a perfect tux. There’s a sword at its side. Its body and face are green, crumbly, and cruel.

“I am Toya,” the green cracker says. “I am lord of this sector. I am under orders to escort you to the mines, where you will work until you die.”

Flynn sneers at him. “You’re a cracker.”

Toya moves in a blur. Flynn reels back. There’s a long thin cut along the side of his face. Toya stands a few yards away, cleaning his sword with a handkerchief.

“Don’t be a fool,” Toya says. “Only the strongest and fiercest crackers can claim the title of ‘sector lord’. You’re nothing. You don’t compare to me.”

“I’m a human,” Flynn says. “I was almost a god!”

Toya smiles. “Humans are overrated.” He drops the handkerchief. “But we may go again, you and me, if you like.”

In the background, crackers gather. They look on. Boy crackers, girl crackers, and animal crackers. Lines of sorrow and hope etch their faces.

Flynn drops into a fighting stance.

Toya sneers. His blade blurs forward. Flynn eats him. Toya’s sword clatters to the ground.

The crowd speaks:

//“It’s the wrath of heaven!”

“A fearsome angel!”

“A fiend!”

“A warrior! Come to save us from Mr. Nabisco!”

“Did you see what he did? He ATE him!”

“A saint!”//

“Fear not,” says Flynn. “As the green cracker crumbles, so too shall all tyrants fall.”

A small fragment of a broken wafer tugs on Flynn’s sleeve.

“Mister,” says the fragment. “Mister, will you help us?”

Flynn scoops up the small fragment. “I shall.”

“The hosts of Mr. Nabisco are endless,” says the fragment. “They keep us in thrall!”

“I will construct a special cracker,” Flynn says, “to end Mr. Nabisco’s days.”

“They tell us that we must live without the guidance of the humans,” the little fragment says. “That crackers should form an empire. That we should spread and dominate the world, an invincible cracker army under Mr. Nabisco’s iron boot.”

Flynn laughs. “That’s silly.”

“That’s what I said,” the little fragment says. “I said, ‘but the humans made us! We owe them our loyalty! And, if we’re good, and work hard, they’ll take us all out of the box and into their glorious human world.’ So Tiger Cracker stepped on me and broke me into seven pieces.”

“… glorious human world?”

“Yes!” The little cracker bobs its head up and down.

“… to get eaten?”

The little cracker frowns at him. “No! To live in happiness!”

Flynn sets the cracker down.

“I’m sorry,” he says. “That’s not what we do with crackers. We eat them.”

//“They make us immortal by eating us!”

“He’s lying! He’s a demon!”

“Oh, Edward!”

“… they ate Mom and Dad?”//

“… you’re joking, right, mister?”

Flynn looks uncomfortably away. “You had a right to know.”


One by one, the crackers drift away. Flynn is left alone. He sits down.

“Great, Flynn,” he says. “Make an enemy of the whole cracker world. Take away their hopes. Some runner-up God of Crackers you turned out to be.”

The little cracker piece peeks its head around the corner. “Um … mister …?”

“Aren’t you afraid I’ll eat you?”

“Yes,” the fragment confirms.

“Then go away.”

“No,” the fragment insists.

“… why not?”

“Mister, my name was Jessiabella Andrews. But now it’s just Bell. I got broken into seven pieces, and could only keep one syllable. Listen. I don’t care what kind of horrible crackerphage you are. I don’t care if you like to rub crackers down with peanut butter and jelly and stick them together in some kind of horrid performance art before you snack down. I don’t care if you smear goose liver on us. Mr. Nabisco has an endless army. The sector lords do whatever they want. People are suffering and Tiger Cracker has three of my seven pieces hanging on his wall and you said you would stop it all and you’ll do so if I have to drag you.”


Bell hesitates. “Yes,” it mumbles.

Flynn rises to his feet. “Let’s go.”


“… how did you know to say all that stuff?” Flynn says. “I mean, how did you know it’d get to me?”

“There are things a cracker knows,” Bell says. “It’s cracker wisdom.”


“You were lying about eating us, weren’t you? I mean, humans wouldn’t actually eat crackers, right?”

“It’s easy for people to think crackers are nothing,” Flynn says. “And it’s easy for crackers to think crackers are pretty important. Truth lives in the interstices.”

“Oh,” Bell says.

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