Trigger warning: non graphic mention of child abuse.
I don’t notice that things are frozen at first, because the cats aren’t frozen. I do notice the light. Also I notice the change in sounds. The car outside in the street is not moving nor making sound. Uh-oh.
I go to the front door. Might as well if everything is frozen. I just finished putting on make up, which always means a dangerous mood.
She lands first, on a white flying horse. Who smiles at me, showing fangs. Smoke is coming out of the Pegavamp’s nostrils. Eeeee.
Arty herself is in silver and black today. Silver cloth with black embroidery that seems to be writing a little.
“Good morning, Goddess.” I say, bowing. The other horses and dragons and flying motorcycles and pterodactyls are landing as well. Sol Duc is in the window. Elwha has gone to hide, quite sensibly, I think.
Arty stomps her staff on the ground. “I am really pissed.” she says.
“They named a rocket after you.”
“That penis toy? That is supposed to please me while they are killing virgins who refuse to tent their heads?”
“Sorry.” I hang my head.
“And do you know how much the smoke is going to shorten the lives of my birds and stags?”
“A lot, I think.”
“Do you all want to starve in the dark?’
I look up at her then. “No. I want grandchildren and a healthy earth.”
“Work harder.” she snarls. The rest of the dangerous crowd is muttering and snarling and the local cats have come out. They are sitting very respectfully at a distance. Rooftops. The ridge above my house three blocks up. The tree tops are frozen too.
“Do you need prescriptions again?” I ask. “I see that there have been a lot more rapists jailed. Thank you, Goddess.”
She looks tired for a moment. “We are hunting them everywhere: cities, countryside, hovels, palaces, movie sets, where ever.”
“You don’t turn them into stags any more?”
“Yes, sometimes. My hounds love to tear them apart. But sometimes prison is slower and crueler and a better punishment.”
I kneel. “What service can I do, Goddess?”
She touches me with the staff. I feel a hard bright shock, pain that roars through me and is gone.
“Write this. Write my warning. If this continues, it is death in the cold dark of nuclear winter and we will begin again.”
“Is that the only choice?”
“Oh, no, we are all being very creative. One suggestion has been the sperm banks. There is nothing that says they can’t be used to make one gender only. The one that rapes less and doesn’t kill young girls for what they wear.”
“Thank you for your warning.”
“Stand up.” she says. “You and every abused child, male or female, are under my protection. Yet the cycle must be broken and the abused must not become abusers. Write this.”
The Pegavamp drops one knee and she steps up easily. The other riders start to roar and shout and howl. Her winged creature jumps in the air and the whole group follows. There is a snap and they are gone.
The car in the street is moving and the treetops as well. The cats stand and move away.
I keep writing.
October 22, 2022