Friday, March 16, 2012

The Fire of The Gods

We breathed thoughts into you. Oh, you crawled out of the swamp on your own. We gave you the spark to become… whatever you would. Then we watched, when we cared to, which wasn’t often.

When you finally became amusing, we breathed language. Words were the first forbidden fruit, and you gobbled them up, garbled them, split and spit them and wrestled your brains into growing larger, because you craved more words. Terrible drugs will do that, and ideas are the most potent of all. You burned with need for words and concepts. We drove you mad with them, and you became interesting.

The worst thing we ever gave you was the concept of Truth. It was an accident. A dalliance, a tryst, a flirtation with complex vagary you were never meant to remember. But you did, you blighters, and then you Named us.

Strange thing about you, which some of you realize and the rest try desperately hard not to: from simple clan group to vast civilizations, the Names you choose for us are all the same. Certainly, there are nuances, and our appearance changes depending on what you need us for, but we are always War and Destruction, Love and Fertility, Redeemer, Chaos. There are more, of course, so many variations on a theme. We know them all, because you refuse to stop screaming them.

War is the most fun, so we take turns, which explains inconsistencies in application and scale. War breathed fire into the Greeks with some success, but the Romans were spectacular at it. The guise of bringing civilization to outlying lands was pure genius. 

Love had a decent run in the ancient world, until we switched up and you got it confused with Redeemer. Then you managed to morph that into War, which is one of the more impressive things we’ve witnessed. Sick, yet brilliant. We briefly considered intervening, but the show is mesmerizing.

Redeemer teamed up with Chaos and had you write a book. While something got lost in translation, it’s still an epic work. We managed to separate Fertility from Love, which, as it turns out, wasn’t that smart, since you won’t stop breeding. The best part – all Chaos’ doing – is how we convinced you to give the book a twisted ending that invites us to send down extremely creative waves of destruction, and a whole subset of you will thank us, because you think you’re going to come live at our place afterward.

I hate to tell you, but we’re terribly fond of our privacy.

Redeemer felt bad about how that book turned out, so we commissioned a few other books in the hope they would catch on and balance things out. Whoops. That was like asking War to take a vacation to everywhere. You invoke War daily, as if there are no consequences to that. Then you try to apologize, only to make things worse.

Words are powerful, important, playful, merciless. You cling to them while at the same time twisting them. There’s an art to it, but too few pause to appreciate our finest gift. Instead, you find every possible way to bludgeon each other with it. For all you go on about your complexity, you remain terribly simple creatures. Eat, fuck, spawn, kill. If those were the only words we’d given you, you wouldn’t have turned out much different.

Lately, some of you have taken to humanizing us. Oh, sure, there was always Redeemer in human form (pick a Redeemer, any Redeemer), but you’ve gone further. It wasn’t enough to embrace the monsters we sent to frighten you into behaving – or tempt you into misbehaving. Even demons (daemons, daimons, diamonds – all paths of worship lead to blood or sex, and sex is what drove you before we gave you words) have become pseudo-Redeemers in your fictions. Chaos is over the moon about this development. We’ve managed to curtail the most insidious plans for giving you what you appear to desire, but you may want to stop pushing so hard for it.

Which brings us to angels. Did you not read that book we made you write? Angels hate your guts, yet you pray to them for intervention. Angels – and yes, they are as real as the demons and just as scary, because we don’t create a sub-par product – are always second in line. Not next, second. They are about as pissed off as a creation can be, and you idiots keep calling out to them. They would like nothing more than to answer your prayers. They are, as some of you suspect, super sexy. They would happily show up in your room. And then they’d kill you.

So stop flirting with the monsters. Even Love is put out, as you seem to have narrowed the concept severely.

The only thing saving you is us, and we’re not all that fond of you these days. For one thing, you shit all over the place we gave you and then pretend it wasn’t your fault. Bad form. I could go on, but if you were going to listen, you wouldn’t keep silencing our prophets. Yes, we still send them. We breathe into them words of wisdom, and they try in vain to teach you. At least you stopped killing most of them. That’s progress.

But if you write one more sugary tale in which some incarnation of us comes down there and opts to become mortal for the love of a human woman or sacrifice our existence to save a clump of humanity (again), we are going to open the cages above and below, sip on nectar, and watch the carnage. Because, despite what religious tomes tell you, we are not benevolent, we do not think you’re our best creation, and we aren’t inclined to save you to start the whole party over. 

We already know how this story ends, and unless you start respecting our gift, you don’t get happily ever after. You get angels.

This is in response to the Flash Fiction Challenge "The Fire Of The Gods" over at Chuck Wendig's Terrible Minds.

Golden Gate

Four rows on the carousel, like great-grandpa taught. Three isn’t enough. Two is asking for trouble. Not all horses, neither. You need the stag and bear, wolf, too. Zebras spy for horses, don’t be fooled.

Some joker said the old-fashioned carousels were too elaborate, but he meant too expensive. You pay up front, or you pay later. When the world spins and a child snags the gold ring, you’re safe. Horses don’t like that.

Down the pier, they forgot the rings, and kids slipped away, no bears or stags or wolves to protect them. The horses are still laughing.