Set in Fae Apoc, in the midst of said apoc.
It had appeared as if their city had gotten off easy.
You heard rumors, scattered news reports, stories from refugees:
So-called gods fighting in the skies.
Those deities demanding sacrifices – or people, of land, of food, even of cash.
Whole cities burned to the ground, or locked off with walls that that nobody could enter or exit.
People forced to compete in games until they won or died.
Their city, their “god”, such as she was, sat on the monument in the middle of the town and listened to people.
She asked for leftovers, and people gave them willingly.
She asked for rumors, and there were more than enough people to whisper in her ear.
She asked for a couple buildings to be demolished, to give the park she had chosen more sun. They tore them down, found ways to move the people, and were just glad that she wasn’t fighting monsters in the sky to demolish them herself.
They thought they had it easy.
Well… the rich people, the well-off, the comfortable did.
Eddy stared at the rat. The rat stared back at her.
“Look, I really need that bagel.” It wasn’t the first time she’d had an argument with a rat. There was a reason she’d lost her job. There was a reason she was eating out of dumpsters.
“You might need it, but my Queen needs it more.” The rat was talking back. That was new.
“Are you – are you talking?” She squinted at the rat. “Are you wearing a tiny waistcoat? In need of tailoring, I might add.”
“It’s fine.” The rat straightened its misfitting vest. “I’m talking, of course I am. Are you?”
“I am. At least, I think I am.” She narrowed her eyes at the rat. “Look. I’ll make you a deal. Give me half that bagel, and I’ll fix that vest so it fits you properly. You’ll look nice and dapper when I’m done.”
The rat stared at her for a minute, its whiskers twitching. “You have a deal.”
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