The Suugs could run like nothing you can imagine. Each stride at full gallop was a long and low sailing over the ground that stretched a half mile between bounds. Once a rhythm was established it was almost an entirely smooth ride, bar the bounds. They were beautiful creatures. Cold blooded but furred with broad shouldered and a stubbed tail, ears like an elephant. God steered it by gently rubbing the ear on either side of its head to turn it in a given direction. To halt it he rested both his hands flat on top of its head.
“You observe constantly, human.”
“I just wanted to see how you ride a Suug, God.”
“Ah yes, this is the “curiosity”. We gods all know about you humans and your “curiosity”. We all respect your gods for abusing it.”
“Well, they wield it to be more precise. You see, we gods all require worshipers and weaker minds seek answers to questions that can’t be answered so humans, especially, are too curious for their own good. We Gods are born as a way to answer the unanswerable. But your gods have such a fertile planet filled with very curious minds. That is more than enough for them to flourish.”
“Shit!… eh, I mean… Fuck!!”
I looked at God and he didn’t seem to even notice what I’d said. Then I looked at where he was looking and my heart fell out of my chest. Ahead of us a valley with sharp, steep walls opened up and hanging high above its centre on a floating platform that seemed to be made of dark blue glass a small city was suspended. We were moving so fast that it seemed impossible for God to stop the Suug before it would hurtle down the steep decline to a jagged doom but he wasn’t fazed.
“Hold on, humans!”
As I grabbed Winnie she latched onto me with a death grip. I could feel her finger tips through my clothes and her body tensing in my arms just as a heavy weight of gravity pushed down on us before we lifted off from the ground and a tense soaring lifted us up and up and up. On the warm and furred back of the Suug I held Winnie to me and look up at God who was smiling, or at least I got the impression that he was smiling. The Ooos’ God looked humanoid but his face was in constant motion – imagine someone speaking extremely fast, the most chatty person you’ve ever seen in your life and then multiply them by a hundred, tape all of them together and then double that and that’s what the he looked like when he was resting. Regardless, when I looked up and he appeared unafraid I felt reassured.
A few seconds later I felt the Suug’s feet land and lifted my head while Winnie still clung to me like a baby ultramonkey. All around us buildings of shining stone stood like pillars of damp ice. And as God walked the Suug forward more and more of his troupe landed next to us and around us with the quietest thuds.
We slid down off of the beast and the Suug eyed us like we were dinner until God nodded some order to it in his mind whereupon it snarled at him, but in a puppy kind of way. He himself dismounted and whispered something to the Suug before it trundled off to obey whatever it was that its master had ordered it to do.
“So, welcome to our home, humans.”
“Thank you funny little female human.”
“It really is, God. You have a wonderful city.”
“It was beautiful, once. This is all that is left.”
“The main sect of the Ooo that worships us was defeated in battle and put to the Plinak. It’s a kind of sword. So our membership was more than halved. We’re still very large by most standards, but Presti was obviously angry with us that day.”
“I’m sorry, God. You seem much more likeable that our earth-god. She’s a liar who pretends to be a man. She’s vengeful and bitter and violent.”
“Ha! You made a human joke!?”
“I know. Good??!”
“God, I wish you’d been my god all along.”
“That’s not how it works, human. But I would like to have had you in my flock. Now… the shore.”
“Yes!… The what?”
“It is inside that building there. But I cannot help you to you enter it. You must find your own way inside. It is our custom.”
“I must leave you now or I will have corrupted our tradition. Good luck, human.”
“Thank you, God!”
“Good luck, funny little female human.”
And with that he turned and walked away into one of the shining buildings. He seemed smaller then. As if he wasn’t a God but just a normal being. Like a regular Ooo.
“What now, James?”
“We need to get inside that building.”
“And how is that going to happen.”
“I don’t know, Baby, but we’ll figure it out. Come on.”
To be continued…
© Stephen Fahey