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Very short stories to read at the bus stop.

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The old gods walk the earth all the time. We've learned to ignore them.

Here's one. Anubis. Out-of-work psychopomp, hanging around on street corners, too proud to beg. Larger than life. If he were our size, we'd bump into him and freak out. As it is, we walk between his legs, unheeding.

Collapsible scales in the back pocket. Somewhere on his dignified person, a feather. Sometimes he'll find a stone or half a brick that looks enough like a discarded heart and put it in a pan of the scales. Into the other pan goes the feather. When the stone demonstrates as heavier, he chucks it down a storm drain and moves on.

He pokes his pointy nose into alleys, ears twitching, looking for the newly dead from drink or exposure or quotidian violence. He cocks his head at each confused ba, curious to see if they know the rites. When they mill about, flitting in flocks like startled pigeons, he strides off to the next alley, neither satisfied nor disappointed.

One day he'll find the ossified heart of a saint, lighter than a feather, and toss it into the sky, where it will remain until claimed.


Posted by Laszlo Q. V. St-J. Xalieri

21st Mar 2009, 23:39   | tags:


Dhamaka says:

this makes me feel quite sad for Anubis' alone-ness

22nd Mar 2009, 07:30

Well, you know, if you're going to have a god, keep in mind that they won't always stay the cute and cuddly little things they were when you picked them up from the store or the shelter or the friend-of-a-friend's house. Gods can get pretty big, require a lot of feeding and training, and can occasionally make an awful racket that interferes with sleep and draws complaints from the neighbors. And, if you vacation in places where they're not welcome, you have to make arrangements for someone else to come by and take care of them while you're away.

Some of them aren't strong enough or resourceful enough or feisty enough to make it on their own as strays, and the ones that are frequently become quite a nuisance--although they can also bring quite a bit of joy and comfort to the homeless and downtrodden. That's no justification to bring a god you're not going to keep forever into your home, though.

And you really should keep in mind how long a god can live and make arrangements for someone else to take care of it if you pass before it does....

The kind of people who bring a god into their house without the real commitment it requires makes me a bit angry sometimes.


22nd Mar 2009, 13:41

It's a good word. It's so good it deserves to be the name of a cocktail, but I have no idea what the recipe should be....


22nd Mar 2009, 20:19

Dhamaka says:

I know, I know..... a god is for lives and not just Christmas

23rd Mar 2009, 12:54

I'm happy someone understands. :)


23rd Mar 2009, 22:44

Dhamaka says:


27th Mar 2009, 21:59

Dog is my copilot.


27th Mar 2009, 22:14

Euphro says:

Rather a psychopomp than a psychagogue be, as my mother used to say :)

27th Mar 2009, 22:49

Viv says:

I like your reply to D as much as the main text.

26th Apr 2009, 18:11

Thank you, Viv. Heh.

You know, for an atheist, I can really take issue with people who don't take their religions seriously. Or so it seems.


26th Apr 2009, 20:35

Rich says:

What about Discordians?

26th Apr 2009, 20:39

Discordians win either way. They can't screw it up.

Good thing I am one.... At least when no one is looking.


26th Apr 2009, 20:54