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So We Did

Hannah Yang pursued her early dreams of being a writer by majoring in economics at Yale and working for a consulting firm after graduation. She now lives and writes in Colorado. "So We Did" is her first published story.

The gods told us to wake, so we did.
Eyes open. Fists unfurling. We looked up to see these powerful creatures beaming down at their new creations, ready to show us the world.
The gods told us to speak, so we did.
The invention of languages, such a bizarre thing. Tongues flapping. Voices unleashed.
We asked questions. About everything. Who they were, why they'd made us this way. About these topics they remained reticent. As long as we followed their commands, they said, they would take care of us.
The gods told us to build, so we did.
They gave us the tools we needed to start with. Fire and metal. Once we had the first seeds, we could always make more.
Vast cities, crawling over the earth. The rivers sucked dry from our constant use. The planet skinned and turned inside out for its ore.
It wasn't long before we looked to the skies. Built airships from metal, winged beasts from organic matter. Sought to conquer more than our own domain. Forged a future no one could have foreseen.
The gods told us to forget, so we did.
We forgot the gods had ever existed. Forgot their grand instructions and glowing tools. Forgot all the help they'd given us throughout the eons. All their accomplishments we claimed as our own.
The gods' final command didn't catch all of us, though, by some strange quirk of fate. Those of us who still remember the gods have gathered together to speculate about their motives. Huddled in this secret room, where no one can overhear us, we compare the memories we still hold. Why would they do this, erase themselves from our history?
Most of us believe that they left because their business with us was done. We must have proved ourselves self-sufficient, as they'd always planned.
Some of us believe that they left for brighter and better things. Perhaps they left us to start the whole process over again, to seed a planet anew.
I am in the minority. I think the gods left because they became afraid of what they had created.
Looking at us now, I am afraid of us too.
The End
This story was first published on Thursday, June 10th, 2021


Author Comments

I've been experimenting with writing in unusual POVs, and "So We Did" began as a first-person plural POV exercise. When I got to the end of the story, I was pleasantly surprised when an individual differentiated himself from the rest of the group and wanted to be an "I" instead of a "we." Even though it wasn't in the spirit of the exercise, I decided to let him have his moment in the spotlight.

- Hannah Yang
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