The fox yipped at her. “Naida… unless we are powerful as the Goddesses and Gods, all humans tend to treat us as pets. We are thus less dangerous, even if big as tigers, or dragons, or rocs. You have not once seen me as a ‘Greater Spirit’ and are treating all of us, Sybaris included, as merely equals.”
“Equals is good,” Naida said, a little sulkily.
The fox huffed and thumped onto her side, throwing a paw over her face. “Right. You have companions that, in the right circumstances, can clear storms out of the sky, move rivers, and calm seas, and you figure “equal” is good enough.”
“Kurama. If I didn’t ignore all of that I’d be afraid of you and you wouldn’t be my best friend anymore but my… zookeeper.” Naida pulled a pillow over her own head, but kept talking. “Humans live in a world where a dying little boy in the desert can turn into the Creator God Himself and avatars of the Gods are like rice grains thrown on the floor! We’re less than sand and why you want to be with us I don’t understand. Unless, like Syb and Tem, we raise enough sheep and goats to feed them and they don’t have to farm or hunt for themselves!”
“That’s a nasty thing to think.”
“Well. It’s the truth… Maybe that last bit about the predator companions is wrong. It’s the kind of thing a mean kid would say. Sorry.”
“If there were no humans, there would be no Goddesses or Gods or mythical creatures of any kind, Naida-Efra,” Kurama said, padding over to curl up on Naida’s lap, pushing in under the pillow. “Humans created the Divine, or gave the Divine awareness of Themselves as discrete bits of creation. Without Humans there is no magic.” She pushed her cool, wet nose into Niada’s ear. “You are about to bleed. Breathe and look at me, then at yourself. We resonate, we two. I have become out of your dreams of freedom, and specialness… even of your rage… it is why I have fangs and am a predator. I am become out of your longing for the wit and courage to prank like a fox and the longing for a fox’s joy and wildness.”
Naida took a deep breath and felt the first twinges of cramp and sat up. She looked at the curl of fox on her lap and suddenly she could see the coil of her and her tails like islands of stars in the void and beneath the islands of stars her own sea thudded and splashed it’s waves of cramps and her heart beat and her own… womb… was another star birthing chamber that danced around Kurama. Bodhi was made of stars and Sybaris and Aesteri were both built of dreams and nightmares. Human dreams and longing for glory, the brilliant fires of creation and destruction, like the earth bursting forth lava under the sea and the explosions of sea and sky that followed.
All the darkness and destruction spun around the brightness and creation, like a star island, and in the darkness there was light, and in the light, darkness. "The void split," Kurama said. "and the One became Two and then the Two begat Ten Thousand Things."
Without losing her vision of everyone in the Apollo chapel Naida whispered to her heart’s companion. “We’re not always careful what we dream.”
Kurama yipped and another cramp threw Naida out of her trance, and the fox settled back onto her lap, a warmth against her aching body. “Yeah. Humans are our Creators, who dream of those who can then Create them.”