Sara Genge’s story “Godtouched” may be found in Strange Horizons.

Read Rudi’s story “Detail from a Painting by Hieronymus Bosch” at Behind the Wainscot.

Ken Brady’s latest story, “Walkers of the Deep Blue Sea and Sky” appears in the Exquisite Corpuscle anthology, edited by Jay Lake and Frank Wu.

Jason Fischer has a story appearing in Jack Dann’s new anthology Dreaming Again.

The Dolls’ Crusade

by David

This is a sequel to The Cabbage-Patch God

After Kayla’s adoration elevated the cabbage-patch doll to godhood, the spontaneous creation of new deities ceased. Kayla ate with the doll, slept with Her (although the God arose and engaged in divine activities while Her creator slept), even put the doll on the bathroom counter when Mother gave Kayla her bath.

For the first week or so the Cabbage-Patch God consolidated Her power over the other toys and commanded them to seek out new worshippers beyond the playroom. This was not particularly successful. Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy formed a colorful team, but they were easily swayed from the one true path. They had to be recommitted to the faith every night. On the third night the African mask over the fireplace convinced them to sacrifice the glass candy bowl to it and they were confined to the playroom henceforth. The Buddha by the front door persuaded a squad of plastic soldiers to renounce violence. They founded a monastery under the dragon’s-foot credenza. Several stuffed animals embarked on a pilgrimage to the den to liberate the 10-point buck, but were unable to remove it from the wall.

The failure of Cabbage Patchism to spread wasn’t for lack of miracles. The Cabbage-Patch God parted the shag on the carpet in front of the loveseat. On the west side of the room the threads leaned west and on the east side they leaned east.

“The vacuum can do that,” the African mask said, “should we worship it?”

The God rotated all the pictures on the wall 5° clockwise. She used the shag carpet to make crop circles. She commanded all of the windows to stick shut, and the next day to refuse to stay shut. She caused the telephone answering machine to leap off the end table and crawl under the couch. Everything in the house (except the obtuse humans) recognized the Cabbage-Patch God’s divine power. The dearth of converts did not result from a failure of belief. The problem seemed to be that many household objects just did not get the concept of worship. (Unlike toys, which were apparently anthropomorphic enough to share this trait with humans.)

The Cabbage-Patch God had a sinking feeling that, as worshippers, toys didn’t quite count. Kayla was Her only human worshipper, and her long-term loyalty was in doubt. Gods hear everything their worshippers say about them, and that morning Kayla told Mother that the Cabbage-Patch God’s dress was “ugly.” Something would have to be done.

The end

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