Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Walking Gods, 368 words

"Everything has a god. The gods of river stones chant tales of adventure and glory for pebbles lost to the currents. The gods of trees cheerily hail every morning as a new gift. The god of the sun croons sorrowful lullabies as she sweeps low every night.

"Everything has a god. Not only stones and trees, but animals as well. The rabbit is skittish from the call to Run, run, run! cried by his god, who can hear the whisperings from over the next rise of the fox's sly god leading the hunt. The swallow follows her god to warmer climes every year, as the god hisses, "Winter comes! Winter comes!" to drive her on.

"Everything has a god. Stones, trees, animals... and men.

"Humanity has learned not to hear its gods. Once, we heard them, and understood their words. It was a better world, then. More dangerous, perhaps, more violent. But better. Such things as we no longer comprehend were commonplace then. Glories. Such glories.

"I can hear my god. He tells me of these things. He speaks to me in the voice of the earth beneath us, of the whole planet, so perfectly overwhelming that I can do naught but listen in rapt fixation when he speaks. The glories that humanity once knew, the secrets and powers they can still teach us. And there are more like me, who have mastered their gods. I must master my own god, before they find me. Before they try to recruit me, use me in their wars, or I will be a neophyte forever in their thrall, forever kept from knowing my true strength.

"In mastering our gods, we become our gods. Now, gods walk the streets all around us, secret and hidden in the flesh of men. This is my charge, to become one of them. And I must do it before they learn that I wish to do it. I could go back to the way I was, shut out my god, and become a normal man once more... But no. Not now. The risks are great, but the rewards are all the sweeter for that risk. I will become my god or die in the act."

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