The Playthings of God (pt8)

Natie realized she was moving again. Her stomach churned, but she only bit her lower lip until she stopped moving. She realized she was on some other smooth surface, brown and wooden maybe, with the Giant nearby. Natie could finally breathe normally again, wiping her face. As she did so, she let go of the branch and what was left of the tree, tumbling to the surface alone with nothing else between her and the strange world she saw around her.

Tears streaming freely, Natie looked around her again. It really could be like a distorted house, the proper size for the bearer of the Hands. The Giant was dipping its hands into a glass box. That box was as big as the world, as far as Natie was concerned.

But the world was bigger than that, because the glass box fit perfectly on the cabinet. Which is what it had to be. She was worlds away from it, but she could see it. Like if she was seeing the sun. Which she could see now, hanging by cords thicker than all the woods wound together, shining down into the box.

Home, in that box. It reminded her of keeping a frog, except so much larger. So much larger. So much larger. So much-

Natie cried into her hands, until the Giant used something that could have blotted out that electric sun over her entire village to sweep her onto a new tree, which she clung to. Then she moved yet again, way too fast. Maybe she threw up, but her mouth tasted terrible either way. Forcing her eyes open, she looked straight up into the face of their God.

At first she couldn’t process it, because it was so large. When she could finally take it all in, when she put together everything she could see, it came to her.

It looked just like them.

The Playthings of God (pt7)

It seemed a little darker, beyond the barrier of her eyelids. Natie couldn’t open her eyes to check though, her terror kept her a tight ball on the branch she clung to. She could breathe still, but her air came out in short bursts, little lungs hyperventilating.

Until she opened her eyes and became breathless.

She was reminded of being five years old, in her house. If her house had been twenty times the size and she twenty times less. It took her a long time to take it in, as she looked around, seeing something that looked like a lantern, but huge. She and the tree had been set down on a table that was bigger than the world, so it seemed. And then Natie looked up.

The face looked down upon the tree and the Hands carefully broke off the part of the tree she was on. Natie screamed again, as she went up up up once more. She looked into the EYE, larger than life, before hanging her head to press it into the bark.

It wasn’t real. This hadn’t happened. She had fallen out of the tree when she saw the Hand and she was making this up.

The Playthings of God (pt3)

Natie wasn’t sure she wanted to be outside when the Cleaning happened, even though that was where most everyone else wanted to be most of the time. While she really wanted to see what new flowers might show up after the Cleaning was over, she wasn’t sure if she wanted to see the Hand take.

The Hand had always given before, every time she had seen it. The great, big Hand descended from above with food or toys or would rearrange something. Patty’s house had been shifted from the left side of her property to the right side when they were five. Natie had thought that was great, because it meant she could see her from her bedroom window.

But this time the Hand might take something. And if it was taken out, there was no guarantee it would ever come back. That was why Mom made her wear a backpack with the things she didn’t want to lose.

Natie became tired of hearing about it though, when the months passed and the Cleaning had not happened yet. Her shoulders hurt from carrying around that book all the time. She really wanted to talk about something else.

Next time, he would

“Did you… you didn’t get what I asked for, did you?”

Vidvan had the grace to blush. “I’m sorry. It took me so long to get to the shop that it was already shut.”

Iqbal rubbed his forehead. “Really? Oh, fine. Next time, you do what I ask first. There is little point in me helping you out if you can’t do any shopping.”

Vidvan put down his bag, clapping his hands in front of himself and lowering his head. “I’m so sorry, Iqbal. I’ll do better next time. I’m getting much more familiar with the city.”

It wasn’t immediate, but Iqbal nodded. “Yes, yes. I understand. Just do better next time.”

Vidvan couldn’t believe the amount of slack he was being given. However, with the day he had had out with Tavesh, he couldn’t bring himself to worry about it.

We meet again


He had somehow managed to surprise Tavesh. Maybe he hadn’t expected to see him out here. As Vidvan shouldn’t have been out here, he was surprised too. Not at being outside. He had planned that.

But for once, he hadn’t been trying to find Tavesh.

Vidvan tried not to spend too much time readjusting his cloak. “Hello, Tavesh.” Oh, he sounded like a fool.

Tavesh’s surprise faded away, replaced by a smirk. “Any plans?”

Well, Vidvan had had plans, but none of them seemed as important now.


His heart felt like it would break out of his chest. Vidvan couldn’t even decide which was the greater cause for that – the fact he was breaking his Master’s trust or the thought of seeing Tavesh.

The world outside was even larger now that he wasn’t stepping into it with someone at his side. And while he knew where the barracks were, it became hard to breath when he considered nearing the place. Someone would see him, recognize him. Or, even worse, not recognize him and question why he was there at all. There was no way he could get out of that.

Instead, he went into the city. So many people lived inside the walls Vidvan had always lived in. But there were so many more people out here.

It was hard to breathe.

It was hard to stop from smiling.

The kite outside

It was only one day, while passing by a window that showed him the rest of the city, that Vidvan actually wondered what went on down there.

He had never bothered to look too closely before. It was simply the rest of the world. Everywhere outside of the tower had never been in his immediate purview. Though it had been in his Master’s, of course. That was the reason this place was a tower after all. To survey the lands and the mining culture that excavated the nearby mountains.

But it had all been outside of here. There was nothing particular about this day to Vidvan. So far away, things were small and blurry. No reason to suddenly wonder. Not like he was a child.

Vidvan spent his days wondering about things. About the experiments, about the books. About concepts that people only dreamed about. For the life of all of those ideas, he couldn’t imagine why he had not begun to wonder about everything outside of the walls.

Then he saw the item, floating in the air. It was attached to a string, leading down to a couple of human like figures on a roof. Maybe they were children. Vidvan couldn’t tell, they were so far away.

He could fly a kite from up here too, but why? Why do it down there? What was it like down there?

Vidvan returned to work with his head in the clouds.