I hate that bird. I hate that bird. I hate that bird. I’m going to kill that bird if I ever see it again. I’m going to kill that bird if I ever manage to dig my way out of here. Amaterasu-Sami send me help, melt the snow from above.
No, we don’t ask for help we do it ourselves. We are strong. I am strong. Pfft. It’s only a hundred tonnes of snow and rock. I can dig.
Grrr. Inari… Omikami! No, I spit my pearl at you snow rock ice! You will NOT BURY MEEEEEEE!
A flash of lightning from the clear blue sky dug a tunnel into the jumble of avalanche in the Nepali mountains and a red dot emerged from the melted tunnel. The one-tailed fox shook itself clean and as it did so, a second tail appeared with its first brush. The red coat began to shift toward white and black so the fox was three colours at once… then it crouched in the snow and transformed into an ordinary looking white fox.
The ordinary fox trotted down the avalanche, pouncing from place to place, as the unstable surface shifted further, sealing the hole it had been in, making new and more dangerous falls of snow, now mixed with tree-trunks.
She could feel her friend’s pain, the energy that would have given her so much more power were it channeled properly and she yipped and yipped and yowled as though she were in heat as if she could howl her support across the planet. I’m coming now! I’m coming again! I am with you, Lamia’s child, Sphinx’s student! We will be one, soon!
No humans lived for leagues around and the fox sat, panting, sliding down the trunk, scrambling to stay upright. She gave a quick sideways look then leapt into the sky and bounded across the remaining mountain in one jump. Having two tails was fun. She could jump so much further!
But she was hungry. She staggered out of a second jump that was only a single valley, then half a league. She stopped, head hanging, all four legs spread, panting. She took one step, then another, and all but fell on her muzzle.
She was so tired. She was so thin she was nearly transparent. She staggered to her feet, realizing she stood in the upland valleys of India, having finally escaped the snow. In the spirit world she only had one tail… she was so tired and starving she felt like she only had half a tail.
Her burial had taken everything she had. She walked down the last mountain on her own four paws, weaving with exhaustion. She was finally in India and stopped on the shores of the infant Ganges river and caught a fish. She managed to dragged herself and her catch onto a rock at the shore.
She collapsed on top of her fish and fell asleep before she could eat a single bite, her white fur shivering into yellowish red, to better hide her against the sand.
The highest of High Priests of Amun, in Aegypt, Neirth-Amun, born to a prostitute and a brick layer by the name of Tai, given to the temple as a sacrifice proving their marriage, leaned forward on his serpent staff.
The Royal House leaned toward the avatar of Bast, whispering behind elegantly painted nails and leonine eyes blinking as he bowed before them.
The young avatar of Re, bright blue with rage stood before them, stamping his feet and lisping his outrage. “I din’t wanna be hewe!” He squalled. Neirth-Amun regarded the boy indulgently.
“My dear Re, it is for your own safety that all avatars of the Goddesses and Gods have been brought to Alexandria.”
“I’w safety you!” The little boy bellowed. His powers were beginning to actually manifest around him. “You pwiests aw too oily, wif youw smiles!”
Re was only five. It was too bad he was so precocious. Neirth-Amun had been forced to arrange an accident for the previous, elderly avatar, all because of that idiot in Kush who was now apparently struck down out of the blue by someone or something. He’d forced their carefully laid plans into utter chaos by having the Candace’s princess snatched in his own bid for power.
The Pharaoh’s serpents were coiled around her throne, including the padded bench that Bast favoured. The volcano had been so much bigger than anyone had expected that Aegypt had been forced to call all their Divines to Alexandria.
“You pay attention to me, old man!” Re lisped. “I have the powa!”
“Indeed, Divine of Re. You do.”
He pulled the flasks of gas out of his sleeves and even as Re took in a deep breath, probably to yell some more, one shattered almost silently between them. Re crumpled in a heap and Cleopatra and Bast… such a shame the young woman who was the cat Goddess’s avatar should have to have her throat cut… leaped up, Bast beginning to transform into a leopard, as his other two sleeping gas vials shattered on the floor at their feet. They too slumped down where they stood, a serpent or two raising their heads but then sinking into slumber.
The baby princess and new avatars would be so much more biddable. He pulled a sacrificial sickle from his belt – one must do these things correctly, of course – and cut Bast’s throat where she lay. The body began to shimmer, and vanished away almost before he stood up.