Plugs

Susannah Mandel’s short story “The Monkey and the Butterfly” is in Shimmer #11. She also has poems in the current issues of Sybil’s Garage, Goblin Fruit, and Peter Parasol.

Luc Reid writes about the psychology of habits at The Willpower Engine. His new eBook is Bam! 172 Hellaciously Quick Stories.

Jason Erik Lundberg‘s fiction is forthcoming from Subterranean Magazine and Polyphony 7.

Angela Slatter’s story ‘Frozen’ will appear in the December 09 issue of Doorways Magazine, and ‘The Girl with No Hands’ will appear in the next issue of Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet.

Archive for the ‘Making Divinity’ Category

A Natural Attraction

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Making Divinity

The Cabbage-Patch God

The Dolls’ Crusade

*A Natural Attraction

A Remarkable Reaction

The Cabbage-Patch God decided to extend Her dominion over humans in order to protect Her future. Gods only exist as long as they have worshipers, and She was afraid that Her plush and painted congregation on the toy shelves didn’t count. Her only human worshiper was Kayla, Her creator. Friday night two of Kayla’s friends were sleeping over. This was a perfect opportunity to win the adoration of Britney and Whitney.

When the doorbell rang, Kayla ran down the stairs, shrieking with delight. She did not carry the Cabbage-Patch God with her, as she had done constantly for the past two weeks. The God felt a pang of worry. It might already be too late.

The three girls burst into the room, clattering past the Cabbage-Patch God where she lay slumped against the wall at the foot of the bed. The girls huddled in front of the desk, and the God could not see what they were looking at.

“He’s SO cute!” Whitney exclaimed, almost dancing in place. There was a faint click.

Britney giggled. “Look at this one! I love his floppy little ears.” More clicks.

Kayla squealed and leaned forward, pointing at something. “This is the cutest puppy ever! I love it SO much!”

The God suddenly felt nauseated and a pulse of weakness passed through Her. She squeezed Her eyes shut and gestured. Giant snowflakes in pastel pink and blue materialized above the girls and began to fall silently. The girls continued to laugh and talk excitedly. They didn’t notice the colored snowflakes because the flakes, which formed just below the ceiling, popped out of existence a few inches above the girls’ heads. The flurry’s intensity diminished. The flakes faded to white, shrank, and finally ceased altogether.

The God rubbed Her eyes vigorously. She needed to do better than that. The Cabbage-Patch God clenched Her fists, gathering Her powers. Let the girls ignore a full-size pink elephant! The wall beside Kayla’s bed acquired a pinkish hue. An irregular bulge suggested tusks, a trunk, and a broad forehead. Kayla’s mother called from downstairs.

“Girls! Lunch time.”

The wall snapped back to vertical and returned to a color that Sherwin-Williams had called “Ivory.”

“I’m starved!” Whitney shouted, and all three ran laughing from the room.

Kayla’s room was silent. The computer monitor on the desk showed a photograph of a dog, which wagged its tail and almost looked ready to jump right out of the screen. Elsewhere in the room, nothing moved.

The End

The Dolls’ Crusade

Monday, February 15th, 2010

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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