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The Creation of Love, Destruction, and the World
Out of the trees came the gods. There were land gods and river gods and gods with eye patches and gods with silver nun chucks and gods whose faces were stricken with horrible ailments. But below the rest of these gods, these powerful gods whom the people loved out of fear, there was one young goddess named Naleri. She wove through the feet of those bigger gods, of those gods that incited divinity by fear, and Naleri sprinkled their feet with lily water.
You see -- those gods didn’t know about Naleri. She was hiding from them, obscured from their omnipotent vantage point, but every evening, right when the sun and all its light begins to melt away behind distant mountains, the gods felt the trickling of water down their feet. Down their bejeweled, sometimes half-human, sometimes deformed feet, water trickled at sunset.
And Naleri giggled as she poured.
The gods were flabbergasted. In awe, each night they turned to each other and repeated the same inquiries for centuries. Whom is this water being that blesses our feet each night? And for what reason do the waters flow?
Even gods don’t hold every answer.
And below the Realm of Divinities lay the Realm of Humanity. These creatures were not gods. They could not spin pure gold out of their hair, or hear with the clarity of a fruit bat, or parade around and boast the clairvoyance of gods. But they were special nonetheless.
It is said these humans were special because they existed under the feet of the gods. A great number of them were not wealthy, but were not terribly poor. There was no true poverty, for every human farmed, and each night, every human received a blessing of water from the gods. Yet no one knew it was Naleri’s doing.
One of these humans was a young man with golden curls that clearly glowed and a face beloved of all creatures and all men. The young man’s name was Hef, and he farmed each night under the deluge of wet from the sky. He harvested tangy sticks from the ground that the Wisewomen of the nearby town called Sweeters. He cultivated a plethora of crimson, heart-shaped fruits with a juicy inside that his father called Godhearts. He grew much and sold much to the Wisewomen of nearby towns.
Hef wondered at the skies. He asked himself why they were so blue, why each night they rained upon the townsfolk, and why he sometimes scarcely heard the sounds of rumbling in the distance. Naleri wondered back down at him, at his marvelous face and rolling curls. She wondered and soon she began saving extra quantities of lily water for Hef.
The gods took note of the decline in their usual sunset ritual. They continued to question each other, but the questions now were much different. Where has our water gone? The humans took note as well, but in a harsher way. Their once fruitful crops turned to dust from the scarcity of life-blood. Each day they waited and prayed to deities whose names they did not understand for the gift of water which had profited them for so many years, but each day the supply grew less and less and people began to die.
Naleri stored all of her lily water for her beloved, the young man with the glowing curls who was named Hef. While the crumbling fingers of Famine caressed the nearby towns, Hef’s farm was prolific and he and his kindly father and aging mother feasted until their stomachs were fit to burst. It was ironic in the way that the greed of true humanity was ironic. The rich in love had little and the poor in compassion had much. Naleri had fallen under the spell of Hef’s beauty, as Madre Natura herself had, and she gave much to her beloved as we all do for our own.
The waters fell and gathered, but Naleri felt she had still not given enough to the young man who had swiped her very soul. She gathered all the moistures of the heaven, stole the water from the very mist in the air, and outpoured it for Hef. However, the deluge was too much for his little farm and as it descended, it filled the fields and valleys full enough to brush the heavens, and Hef drowned in its capacity.
But Naleri did not slow down. She stole every drip of water from the world and gave it to Hef, who had ceased breathing many nights ago. When Naleri finally noticed the chaos she had caused to the Realm of Humanity and the sentence of love she had cursed her beloved with, she collapsed upon the arid heavens and wept.
The floors of the Realm of Divinities began to crack from the lack of moisture and it gave way. The gods toppled down to the Realm of Humanity and lay dead with their human worshippers. The enormous corpses of the gods formed towering mountains and rolling hills and deep trenches and spacious canyons. Naleri herself had landed on the water-logged form of her beloved Hef and her body became one with the land as a hill, and thus the world was formed.