prompt: current, title: currency exchange rates in misc. flash fiction

  • Oct. 11, 2023, 8:16 p.m.
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  • Public

In most ways, it’s best to be diminished like this. Insubstantial. Little-known, even to academics. No worshippers at all. The height of godly powers, gorging on your adulations and supplications to expand upon heaven’s mandate of divinity, it was more of a bummer than you’d think. I could alter your reality’s very firmaments, if enough humans begged of or rejoiced in me, but this also meant having to answer a goddamned torrent of personal correspondence.

Prayer, scrolls, sacrifice, if you don’t provide enough boons or punishments for being displeased, they stop believing and you’re lucky if they drop a coin to light a candle at a tourist shrine. What could a god do with such meager inspiration? Bend the spoons of some Midwestern trailer-park? Useless. I had to keep up with fan-mail, and yes their hate-mail too, hate’s as much validation or veneration of concepts you represent as worship is. All of that kept us current in human minds. I spent most of my time changing weather patterns for this dude, guaranteeing smooth river-travel for that guy, I hardly had any fun. Other divinities chased Earth tail, invaded the afterlife, waged war in the stars. In modern terms, I had to keep answering enough of your goddamn phone calls to stay strong enough to keep answering your goddamn phone calls. A vicious cycle I don’t miss.

I was a god of motion, of movement, of flow, in the time you call Mesopotamia. I’d tell you my name, but I’m so dissipated now, I can no longer even remember it. Isn’t that pathetic? The god without a name. I am mentioned indirectly on a few surviving cuneiform slabs so the eggiest of eggheads note I must’ve been a god of currents and change, but my moniker was worn away by time or chiseled off, censored in a tribute to some god more au currant than I. If not for them, I wouldn’t merely lack a name, I’d lack the coherency to even form these insufficient ramblings.

Sometimes I consider weaseling my way back into that divine zeitgeist, latching onto a concept related to my own from the old days, to be reborn in power and glory, standing beside gods that get your prayers today, gods of Money and Cruelty and Fear and Ignorance and Pumpkin-Spice. I just keep asking myself if it’d be worth all that work. The movement of minuscule electrons is the internet, after all, there is probably something there. But that internet is mostly name-calling and desperate-looking pornography, not even joyous zesty pornography, the smut of people just playing out unhappy strings, trying to make rent. Who desires tributes like that? It’d just remind me of how desperate I was, answering Mesopotamian crank-call prayers, way back when.

That’s all godhood was, that’s all the internet fame is. Moving streams, getting patronage from Patreon, begging for more one-and-Only Fans. Suffering any humiliation deemed necessary to avoid being forgotten. There’s a dignity in obscurity, instead, I hope and I pray.

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