Bleeding God

Another old prompt response. Alright some of this with Silesia won’t make too much sense, it’s basically a world where all other worlds connect. Ruled by three deities–Sathanus, Huna, and Ramiroth, with a covey of demi-gods that sort of rule in the stead of the gods, who have been missing at this point for generations. All Names is the God of the Death of Nature; Jack is the God of the Night Sky; Nosturi and Kurki, the twins, are the Gods of All the Worlds; Drex is the God of Metal (… don’t judge me.)

Have you ever listened to a god bleed?

They found All Names once he’d been brought down to his knees, the stars raining down around him. His fall threw the heavens into turmoil. Comets streaked past, lighting the night sky alight. The stars flared bright, throwing out far too much luminance—blinding to look upon. Everything in the forest pulsed with hostile energy. Trees ripped their roots from the earth and toppled over. Flights of birds matched the roiling firmament. And All Names fell.

The sky tore open with a resounding roar like thunder that lasted forever. That is what it sounds like when the world ends. I have experienced it on countless occasions. But the chaos that gripped the forest did not originate from anger, because All Names cannot feel anger—he felt fear, and his fear tore the world asunder. We found him bleeding in the clearing where the huntsman had sought to slay him, the huntsman himself long gone. We found him and we found Ragadar there with him, screaming. Ragadar’s screams did not originate from anger.

It was a sound like losing hope. A sound like the world ending. A hopeless scream torn from the throat of a child. Nosturi, a creature of pity and mercy, went to the child. I, a creature of logic and reason, listened to the god bleed.

Nothing can kill a god. But many things can come close. All Names lay in the dirt and did not thrash. He lay still as though death pinioned him. The world erupted in anarchy around us, the sky ablaze and the earth itself rumbling its malaise. But All Names lay with a pall of quietude upon him. Blood soaked his chest and leaked from his gaping mouth. It stained his lips and his broad teeth. His pink eyes rolled in their sockets and found me.

I am a creature of logic and reason. I listened to Nosturi quiet the child. I met All Names’ rolling eyes and felt madness pushing at the edges of my consciousness. I knew the stag would not rise again. I placed a hand on his muzzle and All Names breathed a deep breath. The blood boiled from him in loose spurts, decreasing in intensity as his heartrate slowed.

“Bleeding God,” I said. It was a prayer. The heavens stilled.

This could not be the end of our world. I would have foreseen it. All Names’ world ended there, but ours did not. A flash of jubilation seared through me, uncomfortable and unexpected. I stood, my fingertips trailing across the stag’s soft muzzle as I rose. Turning, I met Nosturi’s eyes.

He stood in the same moment. Ragadar huddled behind him, rocking to and fro, muttering a savage stream of nonsense. Mouthpiece of a god gone silent. A sad fate. Ragadar’s world had ended, as well. Nosturi—white crane mask, blue eyes soft and forlorn behind it. Beneath the mask’s edge, his mouth turned delicately downward. The soft contours of his face where mine were hard and sharp.

“You cannot take his sorrow,” I said. “Nothing can tame the sorrow of a god betrayed.”

“Have you ever listened to a god bleed?” Nosturi said, his voice soft and lilting.

I nodded. I closed my eyes. Felt his hand wrap around mine. Felt the familiar flash of unity, ancestral oneness.

“Beautiful,” I whispered. In the silence, my voice sounded deafening.

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