Esme ran away from the Colony and on the edge of a cliff, as the dairy-blue sea broke against the jagged golden rocks, she found a new god. Unlike the other gods of Home, this one had no name. It was native to the new world, worshipless, alone.
Esme knew it for a god right away. For who but a god would stand naked in the surf surrounded by naught but waves and the glowing light of his puissance. He turned to her as he saw her arrive on the cliffs above.
Standing on the cliff, she saw him as he stood upon the waves, literally upon their surface, his smile beatific and his member erect, she was compelled to go to the sea and wait while he calmed the waves.
“Hail, God of the Surf. We have none such as thee on Home. Dost thou have a name?” She used the Speech of Prayer for she knew she was in the presence of the Mighty, gods from a time before time.
“You know me, little one? I fear I do not know myself.” His voice mellifluous, like the sound of rain upon bells. Her attentions fell upon his godhood, so strong, so magnificent, she was beside herself.
“My lord of the surf, as you stride upon the seas, would thee cover thyself so that I may concentrate upon our conversation, and not thy might, such as it is.”
“Of course.” With a wave of his hand, he was covered with raiment, sea spume which covered his might in a tasteful yet elegant fashion. “Will this suffice?”
With a heavy sigh, Esme wiped her brow free of the sweat and spume which had accumulated there and regained her composure. “Yes, lord, that is so much better. How may I get to know thee and understand thy appearance before me?”
The God of the Surf stood quietly and turned back toward the ocean, with the light of the setting sun illuminating the sea, making it a smoky red color, its waves temporarily subdued, he rested lightly ‘pon its surface, contemplating how to answer the question of this curiously beautiful creature waiting at the shore. “I don’t remember being before this moment. I have no memory of a time before Now. No dreams, no ambitions, no existence. You say there are other gods of this place, gods of Home?”
Looking to the sky, Esme points to a light twinkling brighter than the rest. “That light is the vessel by which we arrived on this world, so many years ago. My family, indeed all the families which now live here, reside in The Colony miles from this place. I come to the sea to rest and find peace from the fractious nature of our lives here.”
“I know nothing of your people, of Home or your gods, but I see a world, simple but fecund, filled with life and offering a bounty for those such as thee, far from home, lost and unable to return from whence you came. Why would there be strife that might drive thee from home to one such as me?” He looked upon her and began to walk from the ocean toward the shore. His gait smooth despite the fact he walked upon the surface of the waves.
“Our people are contrary. We fight because the air does not taste as good as what we are used to. We fight because we dislike the designs we used to build the Colony. We argue ceaselessly about the nature of this world and its predisposition for spawning gods when no one is looking. The gods of Home are borne regularly and just as quickly depart finding us quarrelsome and petty. Will that be your destiny as well, Great One?”
“Whence are the former gods of Home?” The God of the Surf had reached the shore but as he moved across the cooling sand he left no footprints. Esme smiled. She had discovered her very own god!
As the sun set, he became the glow on the beach, subtly luminescent. “They come to our Colony indicating a connection with my People. Our masters of science poke them, prod them, seeking an answer to their existence, say they are impossible, formed from psychoplasmic energies of Home. Our priests, learned oldsters with as many degrees as they have wrinkles, pontificate, challenge, engaged in debate with the gods of Home and determine they are nothing more than our overactive imaginations taking form, living nightmares whose longevity is doubted. After sharing dinner for a few weeks, finding no new arguments bolstering their belief the gods are naught more than reflections, they return to arguing amongst themselves. Then the gods leave, unwanted.” Esme looked down, inwardly ashamed of the behavior of her elders.
“What do you think, child? Has anyone ever asked your opinion?” He had finally reached her. As he did, he allowed himself to touch the sand, finally leaving a footprint, solid, heavy. They appeared strange just suddenly existing when he had already walked so far. But they comforted her. He put his arm around her shoulder and turned her down the beach away from the cliffs. His sea-spawned raiment left a gentle mist on her body.
“No, lord. I have seen my share of the gods of Home but they never seem very extraordinary, especially by the time they leave the Colony. Most seem saddened by their experience with us. Most have never returned. If I may be so bold…”
“Speak your mind.”
“I believe both of our maestros are correct. You are a psychoplasmic construct created by our imprint on the energies of home. This is why I believe you never know more about the universe than we do. Why there is no information in you that we do not already know. I also believe this is why when the gods leave, they are diminished, powers spent, because my People have outgrown their need for gods. They believe they have strode the stars and are in their minds, gods already. They have no room to grow, no belief, no faith.”
Esme turned toward the God of the Surf and looked deeply into his eyes. “None of that matters to me. My People have cross the sea of stars, they have seen the birth of worlds, peered into the quantum universe of hidden matter, they have the understanding of a thousand planets and yet believe there is nothing left to see. No shore they have not already arrived at.”
The God of the Surf looked back at her. He considered her words, allowed them to flow over him. He understood. “You came to the cliff face to die.”
“Yes. And I would have if I had not seen you being born in that moment.”
“You understand, if what you say is true, you have created me. I am nothing more than your psychoplasmic creation born of your desperate urge to live.”
“Is that so wrong? To want to have something to believe in, greater than myself.”
“No.” They resumed their walk in silence except for the crunching of the sand beneath their feet. A long time passed before he continued. “Armed with this knowledge, what will you do now?”
Esme looked at him and could hear the voices of people from the Colony on the distant cliff where this journey began. “You are a god of Home, my personal deity. I believe in you, your powers, your existence. I want to learn all that Home has to offer. I believe we can learn this together. If you will have me.”
“Your family calls out for you. Will you not return to them?”
“Why? So they can tell me not to go with you, to ignore the ramblings of my imagination and return to their stolid lives of conformity, of science without soul, of religion without life, of philosophy without feeling, of labor without meaning? I think not. I choose imagination over all of those things. I choose thee. Show me the power of my imagination.”
The God of the Surf clasped her hand, so warm, so vibrant and live and turned back toward the ocean. The two of them walked into the crashing waves letting the waters of Home splash over them for a moment before slowly rising to the surface, walking over them. Esme laughed like a child filled with unfettered joy. The God of the Surf smiled and the two of them found themselves on a surfboard manifested by her will, he clasped her tightly as they sped away from the shore riding the wildly crashing waves chasing the setting sun.
On the cliff above, a scientist put down his binoculars unable to believe what he saw. The Colony on Home was eventually abandoned and the world was considered unremarkable. Esme was listed as missing. No body was ever found. No mention of the gods of Home ever made it into a report to the Company.
It was as Esme intended.
I Remember the Future on a Faraway Land © Thaddeus Howze 2013, All Rights Reserved