Naida could hardly hear what was going on, because of the fox on her lap, squealing. “I’m Kurama! Kurama! And you’re Naida-Efra! Efra-Naida! You haven’t decided yet and you’ve bled a whole YEAR without me and…” She took a deep breath and stood up, with Kurama in her arms.
A silence fell around her and she could see the creatures around her, the Gods and Spirits like flames and they were pages and pages and pages of the same book, laid over the world around her.
In some she could see no rings in the sky, many, many of the worlds had no rings and an unveiled moon that shone so bright in the night sky that it drowned out many stars. In the night sky of a handful she could see moving stars and knew that there were people on them, like boats in the night and some worlds were empty. How she knew, Naida couldn’t tell, but they unrolled and unrolled and unrolled around her in all directions.
In some the Gods and Spirits were shadows of themselves, while women and men learned how to be creators and makers and almost divine themselves. In some worlds the Gods were so vast that humanity did not exist at all.
In some worlds she stood in jungle instead of on sand and in a thousand thousand worlds there was no air and the sand she stood on was fused glass.
And in some pages of reality there was no earth at all and she and Kurama floated in a roaring darkness that was somehow filled with fire.
Naida closed her eyes and buried her face in Kurama’s fur. “It’s all right,” the vixen said quietly in her ear. “It’s hard to take the first time you see it.”
Re was staring at her, shocked out of His Godliness for an instant. Bhodi smiled at her and held out a hand with a pale blue teacup in it, while the winged lion they’d called Asteri winked at her and started purring, like Temis.
At that, Re turned and sneered at him. “It smells like sphinx on you. I recognize that stink.”
Naida’s eyes narrowed in rage and she stepped over a sun in a world with no earth, to a jungle, then through three steps in white sand, red sand and glass. “Don’t. You. Sneer. At. My Mother’s. Bennu!”
Re stuck his lower lip out. “You can’t tell me what to do, mortal.”
“I will honour you, Creator God. But I will not honour a five year old brat!” Naida was up the steps, nose to nose with his Horus beak. “You be a mean boy to my friends and I’ll take a hand to your backside!”
His face darkened and He grew and grew and grew until he stood as tall as the sky, blotting out stars, looming over her, over all of them. “HOW DARE YOU?”
“I dare because I thought Re was more polite than that,” Naida said. “We worship you, but we can also cease worshiping you. You can kill me, but that will just hasten there being no one to praise you. Have a tantrum, kill us all, and you have no spirits and a planet full of bones and unthinking animals who cannot worship you!”
His fists clenched and unclenched and thunder rumbled in the night sky. The ground trembled and around the planet the earth shook. He flung his head up and howled “MAMA!”
Stars began falling from the Blood Belt as Darkness Herself rose up and flowed over the desert, jackals shrieking, lions roaring. The wind ripped itself out of Amun’s hand and came to Darkness’s call.
With soft and velvet step Night came and settled over them.