This was something I wrote for a contest about a year or so back. It was more fantasy than sci-fi (it was supposed to be sci-fi), but I kind of love it. I never could figure out what to DO with it, since it’s such a short piece of fiction. You all get to read it. Sorry about the odd spacing. WordPress is giving me the middle finger.
“I’m not going,” I said, crossing my arms.
“Yes, you are. You drew the shortest lightning bolt. You’re going,” Zeus replied, smirking. The smug bastard.
“Can’t the Witch go? They’re third cousins.”
The Mother grinned wickedly. Beside her, the Crone rolled her eyes. And the Maiden was off in a corner, somewhere. Probably necking with Eros.
“Those are the rules,” whispered the Dreamer from the shadows. No one had ever seen his face. Maybe he didn’t have one.
“Fine. I’ll go. But I don’t like it.”
When I sat down beside her, Fate was sharpening her nails, clearly in a mood. Wasn’t she always?
I didn’t smile, forgoing the usual pleasantries. If I angered her, so be it. I wouldn’t run away. I’m old and fat. And I don’t, you know, run.
“It’s a fucking mess down there.”
Lazily, she arched a perfectly shaped blonde eyebrow. “And?”
“Will you help them?”
“Me? It’s not my problem humanity imploded. After all the chances they’re had? After all I’ve given them? I gave them fire – they ate meat. I gave them electricity – they had light. I pulled their puny species out from the clutches of all the other land-mammals, smiting the Dodo bird that hunted them. Still, they’ve abandoned nearly every god – inventing a ridiculous one named APPLE? A technology god, of all things. Who, by the way, is a dick.”
Apple was a dick. But Fate wasn’t exactly jovial, either.
I shook my head and scratched my beard. The damn thing itched all the time, but I couldn’t bear to shave it off. Certain things make a person who they are.
“It’s not your fault, but you can help them. Perhaps…,” I began, wishing for a glass of eggnog. Or peppermint vodka. “Perhaps if you did, they’d worship you again.”
Honest-to-elves, she laughed. Well, snorted.
I grimaced. “It’s not easy knowing your days are numbered.”
“It’s not easy numbering them.”
“You won’t help them? Give everyone another chance? If they had hope and could start over, I think – ”
“You think? Nobody cares what you think, old man. You’re alone. Your wife’s gone to that Great Toy Workshop in the sky. Your four-legged, flea-ridden friends have vanished. And nobody’s left to do your bidding, although why those elves were so devoted to you, I have no idea. Face it, you’re nearly done.”
The others had chosen me to try and talk some sense into her. But it wasn’t as simple as fitting down a chimney – or manifesting one. Magic wouldn’t work on her.
I shook my head, looking at the chaos below. The sun had imploded. A new ice age had begun. There were few survivors left, and they wouldn’t survive long. Soon, they’d devolve into little better than animals.
As they died, the rest of us would follow, one by one – without discretion or mercy. When your existence depends on others, your life’s a sorry lot.
In the end, Fate would be the only creature left, governing whatever microorganisms might survive. The world, as we’d known it, will be buried in ice.
“If you’re god of nothing, Fate, are you still a god?” I asked.
She frowned, pausing in her manicure. “I don’t understand.”
“No,” I replied, shaking my head. “No, you certainly don’t.”