Older Gods 9
The apparition spoke: “I can taste where your scent skims the meniscus, grass after a storm in brilliant sunshine. I remember. I see a shadow beneath the veil of your constructed bodies. I remember. My voice echoes alone around this chamber. Where is the voice that I remember that would never leave me unanswered? Who are you to bear the traces of my lover? Who wakes me from my paradise, eternal slumber, with a taunt, the merest taint of something greater?”
Our bodies chimed like bells, as form emerged from the bright cascade of water. A resonance, reunion with a long lost mother, and the overwhelming rush of knowing something forgotten we once knew. It washed over us in waves as the form collapsed back in the pool, then spiralled up again, spraying a mist that scattered torchlight across the chamber in dizzy arabesques.
We saw within the swirling shapes, projected symbols from an ancient time, the writing from foundation stones of ruined temples and crude marks on cavern walls. Your years of study in the tortured time before we fled; the time of jibes and the cruel connivances of our abandoned tribe, the taunts as you turned yellowed pages, ancient tomes, while outside I railed, fought and defended; had shown something of this.
Another older God, the twin, the lover and the partner. A God beneath the ocean, and a God beneath the mountain. One we sought from signs that you deciphered from crawling scripts, one sought out from a new compulsion woven deep within our bones.
There were no words with which we could convey time’s brutal passage, the birth and death of nations, and the lost millennia. Nor was there any future that we feared but separation. Hand locked in hand we stepped into the mountain God’s black pool and finding no floor allowed ourselves to sink. Dissolution. We dissolved.
All that we knew exploded: the distant prison in the ocean, the rise of newer Gods and the world’s collapse towards corruption. The lingering sense of everything that once we had been, and all that we became, sluiced through our disintegrating bodies, a stain within the darkness, spreading, glowing brightly blue.
In return we learned the ocean God’s old shame. This Earth, this creation both Gods had spawned to share their love had turned from a floating bauble hung within the starry sky to an obsession for perfection. The ocean God had drawn out of himself the spread of lands, the fields and trees, and with the potency of Theic love had made mankind to glorify his lover.
The water holding us suspended trembled, sending shockwaves back and forth across the pool. “Fool, fool, was I” the mountain God cried out. Tears falling from the liquid frame collided underneath the waves with our dispersing forms and made them once again. On a surge we were cast out of the water, choking, whole and living. The vibrance of two Gods now beat within our breasts, we could feel the weighty restlessness of the rocks above our heads, the earth below us floating on a lake of liquid fire, uneasy as the God so long asleep cried out again, “Fool, fool, was I.”
“We poured our love into this thing that we had made, not content to spin within each other. What he gave life I gifted sentience, what he planted I made grow, until that same creation grew to know its grand progenitors. And still this cheap thing spun from ether absorbed all of our energy, to make it better, brighter, more capable of adulation, able to choose and pray unfettered.
“What he planted I made grow. The search for betterment and for improvement, spilled from him unseen upon the fecund earth, and spread with the winds to sprout as sustenance. We seeded the poison of desire into our own creation.
“Yet so absorbed was he in his grand work, so desirous to demonstrate the great expanses of his love, he could not see the taint that followed him, and I devoted to his cause, adoring every bead of sweat and tired breath made myself the seive to stop the stain from spreading.
“It rooted, deep within the living heart of this bright planet, sucked its own sustenance from the sun and distant stars, while I weakened and in growing desperation he ploughed all of his energy into the very thing that was killing me.
“So much of ourselves was spent on this obsession we became dependent on the power of worship and belief. What blessed relief when arms were raised in sacrifice, and heads bowed in fervent prayer. But it faded in the relentless press of sprouting weeds and dandelion Gods grew up out of men’s greed.
“Broken, I became the ghost of this lost sepulchre, until drained of belief I fell asleep, hearing the distant yapping as my love was hounded to the sea.”
Our bodies began to change, the glow bled from blue to green, the limbs stronger and thicker though still recognisably the median of the shapes we once had been.
“You, denizens and avatars, will bear my message to my love, and the sign of my forgiveness.
“I have been waiting centuries, at long last you have come.”
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