January by the numbers continues (still three days off, meeps~)!
From DaHob’s prompt “miracle;” a ficlet.
“There was a time,” Golbeck told his daughter, “when the gods came down every weekend. They would amaze us with their miracles, they would charm us with their dances, they would sing songs for the honor of our nubile youths. And then they would take those youths away, not to be seen for weeks or months or even years.”
“Time flows differently there,” Golbeck’s line-wife Tenrin put in. Her voice was dreamy and quiet, and her eyes were looking off somewhere that was not their home. “A day there might be a year or two here, or it might be twenty years — or only two or three nights.”
“Some people say, because of that, that the gods have not left us, but are merely napping. The gods do sleep,” Golbeck commented, and now it was his turn to sound dreamy, lost in some past memory. “They nap, they rest, they snore like any common human does. But it has been so long-“
“A lifetime,” Tenrin whispered.
“Forever, it seem,” murmured Juspor, their line-husband and the oldest of this generation. “Forever, since they came down. Forever since they blessed up.”
“Forever since they took any of us.” Pakeyya was the second-oldest of the wives, but she looked as young as their youngest. “Some say the gods have packed up and gone to wherever it is they go, never to return.”
“Then what does that mean for us?” Golbeck’s daughter asked, wide-eyed: Golbeck’s daughter, with the star-sparkles in her eyes and the song in her voice. “Everyone left here? Everyone who never knew the gods?”
Her father kissed her forehead, and if there were stars in his eyes, too, they were only the memory of divinity. “We live our lives. We bring what miracles we can to ordinary existence. We love our families.”
“We move past the memories,” Tenrin murmured. “We grow past the parties.”
“We remember we are not divine,” Juspor muttered dryly, “and do our best with humanity.”
Up in the home of the gods, Yerrinarishan, the god of the harvest, lay with a damp cloth over his eyes. Feperallin, goddess of all things of song, closed the door quietly behind her.
“I’ve got the last of them home. Pretty thing; we’ll have to invite her out with us again. Patie something? Parkour? Pateyya.”
“If she’s still alive next weekend.” Yerrinarishan lifted the cloth off two of his eyes to look at his companion-goddess. “You know how it goes. We come back a couple days later and they’re all gone.”
“Should I go get her now, then? Ilspar and Wendar-Fen have gotten the place cleaned up, or, at least, it’s less horrid now.”
“Oof, didn’t we keep a couple of them around for the cleanup? We always did before.”
“Oh, Mepper got pissy about it. Something about exploiting them. I tell you, they never minded being exploited when I did it.”
“Still… Maybe we should go get her. Or, hey.” Feperallin sat up abruptly and just as quickly laid back down, covering all nine eyes with the cloth. “…they have offspring, don’t they? Humans do that. We could bring her offspring up here.”
He held his head and whimpered. “…tomorrow night. Tomorrow, when I’m not so hung over.”
Back in the world, Golbeck grew older and his daughter grew to adulthood, waiting for another miracle.
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