It’s been a challenge again to keep the creativity going lately. So, I figured I’d try to get back into it again through some flash pieces. Here’s one based on a prompt from The Solitary Wordsmith – “His job is to steal humanity’s dreams to fead to the gods, it’s a depressingly fun occupation.”. I took some liberties with the gender piece as I think too many mythological conceptions are based around history’s tendency to be written from dominant male perspectives. Besides, I still would love to know how one would go about giving gender to the essence of night.
Feeding the Gods
Esan sighed as the Oneiroi squabbled amongst themselves. At least a thousand beings all arguing made a lot of noise, overwhelming Esan. Then again, the Oneiroi could number over a thousand; Esan lost track sometimes. After all, being the personification of dream aspects meant the Oneiroi continually shifted at Nyx’s whims.
They glanced up at Nyx, presiding over the chaos. She sat there, staring down at them as if they were scurrying ants instead of her children. It said a lot about having the goddess of night as a parent. Esan’s lips twisted in a wry smile. Goddess wasn’t even correct. Androgynous divinity fit a little better, but how did one quantify the essence of night into a gender specific box?
They snorted at the philosophical bent their thoughts had taken. As if they knew anything beyond syphoning dreams to feed the pantheon. Mostly Nyx, but several other deities partook as well. Claimed it gave them their immortal identities, though Esan knew better.
“More like immortal voyeurism.” Esan turned to leave the fray, since it didn’t look like Nyx would stop the quarreling soon, except they ran smack into their sister Osan.
“Where are you off to, my dear sibling? Going to steal more dreams from the poor, defenseless humans?”
They pulled a face at her. “So, what if I am? I’m only doing my job, no different from you.”
“Not quite, little sibling. I’m doing them a favor by taking their nightmares away, making them feel better. What are you doing but torturing them when you steal those dreams, leaving nothing but nightmares in your wake?”
For a moment, Esan had no answer. Osan had a point. And, though she didn’t know it, Osan struck at a secret Esan held—they enjoined taking those dreams. They saw a glint of triumph in Osan’s eyes. She believed she was better than them because she was a member of the Agathos sect. They were of the Kakoithes sect. In truth, the only difference was what dreams each Oneiroi sect harvested for the pantheon, but it often led to competition and outright hostility between the sects.
Then a thought struck them, triggering a grin. On impulse, they glanced back at Nyx, who gave them a slow nod. As they looked back at their sister, their grin grew wider.
“What, you little brat? What do you have to grin about?”
Esan took a slow breath, savoring the moment. “At least I understand why I do what I do; can you say the same?”
Osan’s mouth moved, but no sound came out. With that, Esan walked away. They still feeling bad about the harm they caused humans, but enjoying the knowledge that their actions still provided great benefit to humans as well.
2 thoughts on “Feeding the Gods”
So much wrapped up in this. It’s so atmospherically dark. Thank you.
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Thank you! Yeah, the prompt I used really lent itself to the darker feel.