Originally posted on Patreon in August 2018 and part of the Great Patreon Crossposting to WordPress.
This story comes after The Gardener, The Garden, and To the Garden. It is part of the series with First Garden. It takes place in the Fae Apoc world during the apocalypse. ⛈️
Outside of her garden – their garden – the war was still raging.
Damkina and her people had done what they could. They had pushed the borders of the little museum garden all the way to the edges of the city. Now, every Welcome to Greenville sign was surrounded by greenery and flanked by a polite but closed cast-iron gate.
As good as Damkina was – and she was very good – she could not control the weather itself, and there was a drought sitting, not just over Greenville, but over much of the surrounding area.
And there was a five-god army coming towards the widest gate of the city.
Damkina stood on top of the gate, her lover to her left, her apprentice to her right, and her people behind her. She was a gardener, not a fighter, but she was ready to fight.
And then her lover pointed, and her apprentice sang out a long Working that was, interestingly, not in the Words that Damkina was skilled at or had been tutoring the apprentice in. And then her lover, whose body was very young, sent out another set of Workings.
Before Damkina realized what their goal was, they had caged one of the gods, wrapped them in a wall of stone and what looked like rubber. What? Damkina wondered, but there was not time for that. They were under attack.
Her favorite three humans turned out to be very good with, in order, a rocket launcher, a wood chipper set on “launch”, a setting the chipper hadn’t had to begin with, and a megaphone.
Those three weapons, paired with the chantings, the Workings, and the very clever brains of her apprentice and her lover, did surprisingly (to the enemy) short work of those who would attack them. Two fled. One was pinned down until they promised never to return nor bother Damkina nor her people again, and then was allowed the flee; the fourth, unfortunately, died.
The fifth was trapped. When Damkina’s people released the god enough to speak, he was – young, it seemed – panicked and willing to agree to anything. Nobody had ever trapped his magic like that before. Nobody had ever trapped him like that before.
They bound him with oaths older than the Laws and with promises that pinned him to the land, the way Damkina had bound herself to the land. They bound him into their circle, her lover and her apprentice smiling at him in a way that likely terrified him more than Damkina –
-but that was all right. Damkina had never, never in all her years, really wanted to be frightening.
When the armies were gone and the small damage they had done cleaned up, Damkina took the weather-god up to the top of the tallest building. She took him, but it was her lover and her apprentice who spoke.
“You’re a god of the storm, hrrmm?”
“I’m… I’m good at storms. Weather. Rain, and lightning. Yes.” The god looked down, as if wondering if he could survive the fall.
Her lover looked at her, eyebrows raised. “It’s been a long time,” he murmured. “Since before me. Since before me the first time.” He tilted his head at the weather-god. “If you want…”
When she had been young, she had been wedded to a weather god. Her lover was right about that. But that had been another age, another life.
Damkina kissed him, long and slow. “It’s been a long time,” she agreed. “And we are not yet done catching up, nor will we ever be. But he – he will water the crops. And we. We will make them grow.”
Finally understanding, the weather god reached to the sky and pulled out the water. The skies opened up on Damkina and her garden.Want more?