by Jennifer Dornan-Fish
I'd come to kill a god but she was not what I expected. Thousands of universes hung from her neck, each one a precious intaglio charm glittering like a gem. Her eyes mimicked them, lambent little galaxies that were nothing but an illusion.
She lifted a charm and whispered, "Flowers and milk and fruit with blood, maybe oakmoss too," to the ruby glass that looked like a drop of blood in her hand. In that little crystal, a new world bloomed. The act of creation her whimsy.
From the shadows, my body vibrated with raw emotion... confusion, hatred, exhaustion too. I endured rivers of pus and vaulted halls of ice. The heroes of my world conjured magic so deadly that it had consumed us all, save me. I alone escaped and finally made it to the heavens to kill the Capricious One. I'd expected a lofty aerie ruled by a hateful old man or maybe just a haughty magician toying with us for pleasure.
Instead, I crouched in the darkness watching a beautiful monster alone at the heart of nothingness, marveling at her creations like a curious child. One by one she lifted her charms--some expanding, pulsing with beauty as the creatures inside create gods and sciences. Others collapsing upon themselves in convulsions of sinew and bone and longing.