Sontor, god of the sky was reclining on a bed crafted from the warmth of the sun and pillows filled with starlight which was always comfortably cool. He had just gotten comfortable and was about to drink a goblet of sparkling white wine, made from the golden grapes that grew in the Eternal Vineyards, when Equatia, goddess of symmetry threw open the doors to his chambers and entered with a disturbing amount of purpose.
“Greetings my divine cousin, what brings you here this day?” he asked.
While many of the other gods found Sontor very charming. Partially because he was extremely charismatic, but mostly because he threw the best parties in the upper realms. Equatia was one of the few immune to his personal magnetism. Not because she didn’t enjoy a rousing bout of binge drinking and carousing, but she knew that he was perhaps the laziest of all the gods. The sky, his domain, pretty much ran itself. The clouds, stars, moon, and even the sun knew what they had to do. Some felt as though that meant the sky god was a genius since it ran like clockwork. She did not share that opinion.
“You have a problem,” she said with a tone that dared him to disagree.
“No, I don’t think so,” he replied with a wink.
Usually, his winks got a laugh or at least a titter. Not this time.
“Are you aware of what is going on in the mortal realm?”
“My gaze is ever upward, towards the heavens.”
“Do you know how many prayers have been received this day?”
He drained his goblet and shrugged.
“Get up and come with me.”
“But I just got comfortable! Can you not just give me the gist of this?”
She fixed him with a very hard stare.
“Fine! If you are going to be like that,” he said, floating up into the air.
“Would it kill you to use your legs?”
“For the god of the sky to walk would be unseemly. Also, it’s a lot of fun!”
With that, he did a loop-de-loop and laughed.
“If you insist-”
“I do! I do!”
“Just follow me,” said Equatia with resignation.
As a point of clarification, Equatia is not always cross. Being the goddess of symmetry, it was in her nature to put things in balance. You might be asking yourself, life is inherently asymmetrical, how is she not pissed off all the time? An excellent question. Equatia learned to accept the fact that the days are longer in winter, shorted in summer, and other things of that nature because they swung back and forth, like a pendulum. It took quite a while, but, her sister Melodia, the goddess of music, convinced her that rhythm was a kind of symmetry. She found that she could live with that. She had to.
Making their way to the lower levels of the Divine Palace, they were passed by a seemingly unending parade of Eternal Clerks, the wine rack-like creatures that carried prayers to the interns who would sort them out for their deities.
“Quite a lot of these out today,” Sontor observed.
“Is this what you wanted to show me?” he asked hoping that this little sojourn was coming to a close.
“It is not, but it will help make the point.”
“And what exactly is the point?”
They entered a gallery that overlooked the vast chamber of the Most Organized Assessor. Each tentacle of the MOA was flinging cylinders at a frenetic pace and its multiple eyes were darting back and forth.
“Is this some sort of game?” asked Sontor.
“Far from it.”
“It looks like a game.”
“Well it isn’t!” snapped Equatia.
“Would you like some nectar? That always takes the edge off for me.”
Pinching the bridge of her perfectly even nose, she took a deep breath and said, “Look closely.”
Sontar was about to ask at what part but a glance at his cousin’s face told him that might not be the thing to do. So, summoning all his godly senses, he took in the scene. As he did, he remembered the details of this system, prayers in cylinders, grabbed, flung, and carried off. It all seemed in order. Then he gazed at the MOA. It was, as it always was, a huge mass of tentacles and eyes, birthed to sort the invocations of mortals, never tiring, ever swift. However… As he inspected it, something was off. Normally, it hung in the middle of this, huge, circular chamber. But now the lower tentacles were buried under a pile of cylinders.
“Why are there so many cylinders?” he asked.
Equatia took a mirror from her pocket, she didn’t like to carry a bag for balance’s sake and handed it to Sontar. In it, he could see the invasion of the Abominations, the destruction of the Land, and all the death and ruin that was now happening.
“That explains all those extra prayers,” she said.
“Have you told others of this catastrophe?”
“I have tried. With little success.”
“Most gods aren’t interested in anything that’s outside their sphere of influence.”
“What can I do? My whole thing is the sky. All I can do is make it cloudy or windy. Should I send shooting stars?”
“Maybe? Probably not.”
“If there is nothing I can do, why show this to me?”
Equatia mumbled something.
She took a deep breath and quietly said, “The other gods like you more than me.”
“That’s not true!”
“You know it’s true!” she said through clenched teeth.
“Even if it is, what does that have to do with this?”
“Because, I’ve tried to get the others to listen to me so we might do something. Anything! But they all just ignored me. Except to the war and death gods and goddesses, they’re very pleased by this.”
“What do you think I can do?”
“YOU CAN MAKE THEM LISTEN! THEY ALL LOVE YOU AND THINK I’M A PAIN IN THE ASS WHO ONLY CARES ABOUT MAKING EVERYTHING ‘JUST SO!’” she shouted.
He suddenly was filled with some shame because he did think of her as a pain in the ass who only cared about making everything ‘just so.’ Sontar was then filled with an uncharacteristic desire to do something other than throw a party.
“What can I do?” he asked.
“I need you to throw a party.”
“Is that appropriate?”
“Oh my no. But, it is the best way of getting everyone in one place at one time. Announce you’re having a big feast, invite everyone, and when they’re all having a grand time, you’ll make a speech that will rouse them to action.”
“Most of my speeches are about the ethereal beauty of the heavens and how we should all get drunk.”
“I’ll write something for you to say.”
“Do you really think all the other gods will listen?”
Equatia thought ‘They better,’ but said, “I have every confidence they will hang on your every word.
“Ever word! I like the sound of that. This is an excellent idea. But make sure to throw in some stuff about the ethereal beauty of the heavens and how we should all get drunk.”
“I’ve been to your parties, I know your style.”
“How would you describe my style?” he asked with a smile.
She paused and replied, “Expansive.”
“As the sky itself!”
They began to ascend back to the higher levels of the Divine Palace.
“What should the theme of the party be?” mused Sontar.
“How about The End Of The World?” she said.
“Not exactly subtle.”
“That’s the point.”