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Nature and Nurture

By Alex Pearl
798 words · 3-minute reading time
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From the author: An impatient and hungry god, tired of mortal sacrifice, sets out to create even heartier fare: a godling upon which he may feast.


When the Risen Hest came down from the mountains with the Golden Sparrow perched on his shoulder, the people of the river village didn’t notice until the two gods stood among them. The villagers turned to see the Hest standing over the orphan Malachi, and silence swept through the town square.

“He’s not beholden to anyone. He’ll do wonderfully,” the Golden Sparrow said, the melody of her voice weaving through the silent square. The Risen Hest raised his great horse head and glanced over the crowd.

“Any of them would do,” the god said. Regardless, he bent down and gathered the speechless boy in his black-clad arms.

The villagers exchanged nervous glances. The eldest among them knew that the Risen Hest hadn’t come about his godhood honestly, but the village still feared his river and the floods that surged from its banks. They watched, still as the dead, as the Hest and the Sparrow bore Malachi away from them.

“I will take him down to the river today,” the Hest said after a month....

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Alex Pearl

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