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Dry, howling winds drowned out the baby’s cries. It was two hours before dawn, but a mother knew her newborn would look even more hideous in the day’s light. An extra limb grew from the boy’s chest. It was deformed and possibly a hindrance to the baby’s breathing. The woman wept with her child and coaxed him to take her breast. It was a struggle that drove the woman’s man to flee from the thatched hut to clear his mind and gulp the dusty air.

The midwife had already informed the village head of the birth of the peculiar child. Word spread quickly and they finally arrived with inquisitive eyes and bated breaths. Men and women who had only heard of such stories but had never witnessed the dastardly truth themselves.

The mother didn’t take kindly to this rude invasion of privacy, and she shouted herself hoarse, cursing the ones who wished to gawk and stare at her baby. They all saw the malformation but none heard the pleas of a distraught mother, and fingers poked and hands groped at the tiny, delicate creature.

The man tried to intervene, but he was pushed and pinned to the ground. This disfigured baby could not be considered personal property. The boy was a gift from the goddesses, a distortion of nature, a god who would rid the village of ill luck and suffering. He had come to save the people from eternal damnation. His extra limb was a testament to his devout status.

So the child was carried away, passed around from one rough hand to the other, marked with red streaks of vermilion, smothered with ash from the pious fire of the temple. None thought to feed the child or quench his thirst. Gods were only cleansed and worshipped.

The boy died before the end of the blistering day. His death initiated a two-day mourning period. They beat their chests and slapped their thighs, bemoaning their doomed fates, not a tear shed for the lost life.

The mother sat wasted and silent. She heard and saw nothing.


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31 Comments on “They Killed a God – Flash Fiction Story

  1. Wow. Powerful. ‘Gods were only cleansed and worshipped’, another one of your stories that will stay with the reader for a long time.

    • Thanks so much, Britta. There’s so much blind superstition and warped thinking. Instead of taking responsibility and working towards a solution, it’s easier to find gods among people and let them solve all problems. Really a shame.

  2. A heart wrenching read, the changing moods and emotions of the mother and the people presented such a striking contrast; your writing
    stripped open the purity of their thoughts and intentions. Hope this doesn’t turn into reality!!

    • Thanks so much, Deepak. I sometimes think that many live their lives with zero logic and not an ounce of compassion. Maybe certain hearts and minds are just lumps of dung. There are plenty of people like this in the real world.

      • I am an optimist here and just as every electron looks for the lowest energy state we as human beings are naturally compassionate, its just that some supress that quality of theirs. so brutally that we only get to see the dark side of theirs. That lump of dung part though made me smile as well forced me to read your comment all over again, interesting take!!

        • I admire the optimist in you, Deepak. I believe that we are all spiritual beings and a part of that Universal energy. But some never tap into their better and brighter sides. Maybe it’s the lack of awareness or understanding, or some learning that is painfully slow.

  3. Great story! It’s amazing how some folks would rather fall back on their beliefs rather than see the uncomfortable truth. These village people really need to develop a better test for gods. I feel this child’s pain. The same thing happened to me when I was born. I was so ugly they tried to tell everyone I was a god. They stopped feeding me, but I just kept living because I was stubborn.

    • I knew you had a tenacious streak in you, Tony. Haha! The uncomfortable truth – you’ve hit the nail on the head. Truths can be very uncomfortable and hard to accept. It’s better to live in some made up la-la land and hum or sing along to some tuneless song fooling oneself to believe that the dumb majority can’t be wrong. 🙂

  4. And this is a prime example of why we can’t have nice things.

    I’m a godless wretch, myself, but let us assume for the sake of argument that the child was a deity…just like any other preternatural being, it needs to be nurtured.

    Sure, it would have been helpful had the baby come equipped with an instruction manual, but had no one, not one soul, even the woman who birthed the divine entity thought to offer it the tiniest bit of sustenance? If for no other reason that to curry favor?

    “Hey, godling, remember when I shared my food with you? So, how about you hook me up with a cure for my leprosy/impotency/gambling debts? If the roles were reversed, I’d do the same for you.”

    We are doomed as a race.

    • It’s a selfish existence with very few possessing any goodness of heart. I’ll rub your back, you rub mine, and then we’ll try our best to royally screw each other. Gods are probably rolling their eyes and wondering why they even thought of creating any life. Many pray and show faith on a daily basis but how many do so without asking for something in return? The numbers will be very slim.
      Thanks so much, Rhyan, for your honest, blunt, and witty reply. Only you can express sarcasm with a lot of oomph! 🙂

  5. What a haunting story. They worship the child and their worship kills the baby. It is such a sad thing for a child. Even just a small physical defect can be a life long scar on a child.

    • Thank you so much, Haoyan. Such incidents and stories can only be sad and despairing. Reality is worse than what many know it to be.

  6. This reminds me of the harshness of humanness, the selfishness, apparent in everyone of us. It is a great reminder, I think, to remember these aspects of our selves, and to be vigilant when they arise; and, to instead, choose compassion and understanding. Wonderful write, Terveen.

    • I agree, Jeff. It’s easy to wander afar from compassion and understanding. Selfishness and greed are present in all of us. But how many can actually contain them? Thanks a lot for the wise assessment and reminder. 🙂

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