The New Divine Order
Unseen Moon, Tower of Shadows
Many gods built great estates, palatial mansions and lands that could occupy a continent on 2nd Earth. But for Corax, a simple Tower sufficed. It was not often that Filth returned to his boyhood home. He didn’t know what it was, but something about the tower galled him. Offended him down to the maggots in his liver. Perhaps it was the size, Corax’s tower wouldn’t fit in in Filth’s seventh lab, let alone make do as his house.
There were no servants to meet him, no small spirits or little gods to announce him or take his coat. He opened the door for himself and stormed into the tower.
“Get out here old man! We have business you son of a bitch! You worthless shower of cunts, get-”
“He isn’t home.”
Filth didn’t jump at the voice. He’d expected the old man to show up behind him. He turned and glared at the woman before him. Filth was not a tall man, and the two were of a height. She was a petite woman, donning an ornate outfit, black and trimmed with ribbons and elegant, even excessive, in lace and embroidery. Irma, the Goddess between Dreaming and Waking. She wasn’t looking at him, merely moving a broom back and forth across cold floor.
“Bullshit.” Filth snapped.
“He isn’t home.” She said.
“If he wasn’t here, you wouldn’t be here you lying cunt.” He snarled jabbing his finger at her.
“We have an understanding. Your father and I. If he was home. I’d know. But I’d like it. When he comes home. For it to be ready for him.” Her voice was a whisper, like the murmur of someone falling asleep struggling to force out what they wanted to say.
“Useless prick.” Filth cursed, “Maybe I should leave him the kind of message, what if I put a sickness on you wench, turn the big bad god of shadow’s trollop into some seeping sow? That would send the cock beating down my door I bet.” He grasped the front of her dress, and hauled her into the air; his skeletal form held a monstrous strength that often took others by surprise.
Her eyes were wide when he dragged her off the ground, not from fear or surprise. But alertness, attention. Filth smiled a rotting smile, bilious spittle sliding down his chin. She was fully awake now and perhaps he’d get some real answers.
Irma’s hands clasped in front of her and she looked at him with teary eyes, “Golly gee wilikers gruny, I’m really sorry your pa ain’t here to get you out of trouble again, but don’t do nothing… unnatural to me! Pwetty please with sugar on top!”
He glowered at her. “Kids don’t talk like that. Fuck, people don’t talk like that. So have some fucking pride and stop with the little brat act.
“Shoot,” she said, all traces of tears and childlike innocence gone. “That always used to make you smile.”
“Now I’m fucking serious. You’d better moon damned tell me where he is or else-”
“Do you want something to eat,” she said gently poking his ribs, “you look more famished than usual.”
“No I don’t want anything to eat or drink, I want you to-”
“I can make you a sandwich. It’s really no trouble.”
“Where is he?” Filth demanded, changing back to the conversation that mattered.
“Bullshit!” He screamed into her face, and she calmly pulled out a handkerchief to wipe the spittle and bile off her face.
“I have no idea where he is.” She continued once her face was clean.
“Even you wouldn’t be here if he wasn’t going to be back soon.” He seethed.
“Love does silly things. I put the pieces together after Lux broke him. I followed him into the New Order. I raised his son. You think sweeping some floors every day in the hope that today is the day he’ll come home is going too far?”
“Fine, then he has something I need, you’ll help me find it.”
Irma raised an eye brow. Her hand darting forth to crush a roach crawling up his forearm. “I sweep your room on occasion, but we haven’t touched any of your things. This is your home too and your always –“
“Don’t say another damn word.”
“Golly, have I hurt your feelings grunny, does knowing that we wuv you make you sad insi-”
“Shut up harlot.” He shook her. “Stop with the damn baby talk. I need something he took from mother. A book. With a red cover, and three hundred and seven sigils on the front in an Archimedian Spiral.”
“Don’t call that woman mother.” Her voice was flat, her eyes cold.
“I hit a nerve you glorified serving woman?”
“Grunval, if you want me to use real words then I shall. That woman is not your mother. She’s a psychotic, a raving fanatic out to burn the world. I raised you. I sang you songs of old gods and told tales of ancient secrets long lost. I hid with you under your bed from spider monsters. I even remember when all you wanted to be was the next Corax, and you begged me to make you an Astra blade. I watched you race about the lower rooms fighting the battles of Ragnarok. Me. Not that lunatic. Call me harlot, call me serving woman, call me pathetic, or wretched, or a goth. That’s simply your way, your very nature, and I embrace it. You will not call that abomination mother. Not in front of me.”
He opened his mouth, and her hand blurred forward. It smashed into his mouth with the full might of an overdose of morphine. Staggering him… and stopping him from saying his near instinctive insulting reply. She easily dropped the foot to the floor, landing perfectly on her feet. Blood rolled from his chin, his tongue waggled across the floor, trying to crawl back to its host.
“The book harlot. I need the book.” He replied growing a new tongue instead of trying to reconnect the wiggling one on the floor.
“This way.” She said ascending the stairs.
“I’ve never understood you wench.” He said following, “He’s never here, you end up doing all sorts of troublesome things for him, and he’ll never love you as much as… the other woman. Yet like a retarded prostitute desperately waiting for her pimp to give her the daily dosage of backhands, here you are. What’s the angle? What’s your con?”
“Love. It’s a painful affliction.”
“If it was a disease I’d know.”
“I’ve always found that rather odd,” Irma said, “that for all your work on infection, you haven’t the faintest able to manipulate any of the minutia of the greatest, most heart wrenching, life altering condition of them all. Perhaps you haven’t mastered your domains well enough to unlock it yet. The one sickness so great everyone wants to catch it.”
“Bullshit. Out with it you glorified maid.”
“I want him to denounce that woman. To burn his bridges. To move on. I want him to love me. Really love me. I want him to come home. I want him to put my legs behind my head and fuck me like he hates me. I want to give him a child. I want to be deliriously, stupidly happy, and even more in love than I already am. But I see people’s dreams everyday, and I know you have to work for a happy ending. So I sweep floors and fetch books for his son. It should be somewhere in here. But he keeps a lot of lost things he finds in here. So while you look, I’m going to go make you that sandwich. ”