The Old Gods and Their Games

It should have been so simple. These are not complicated worlds to create. Human beings, people, are not as sophisticated as they like to believe. After all, they are little more than other animals. They like to think they have minds, but… well, after all, that’s the way I made them. All their delusions, all their faults, their contradiction and their vain belief that they are somehow different to other animals, I put that there.

Back when there were more of us, when the humans needed many gods, it was useful for us to have creatures that thought they knew what was going on. It made our games much more interesting. It was amusing, back then, interfering in the lives of the creatures that though they possessed wisdom and autonomy.

Back then, you could really screw up someone’s life.

But the humans started to believe their own wisdom and those contradictions I’d put in – mainly to mess with their minds and what passes for their thoughts – came more to the fore. They started to doubt, to question and to disbelieve.

Then the old gods began to die, for a god is nothing without belief. When no-one no longer believes, then there is no god. All that remains is merely a memory of a more primitive time, a time when people believed in more gods than you do.

I clung on, though, as those other old gods – whatever their names – faded, died and disappeared. I changed my name as the need arose. Of course, there were people out there who still believed. They survived too, despite all their attempts to annihilate each other, mainly over what name they wanted to give me and over what devotions and sacrifices they thought would please me more.

It was the fighting, the dying, the need to have belief that I enjoyed. I didn’t care what name they called me, or what they thought would please me. I just wanted the game to unfold. I wanted them to believe, to care enough about me to die for me.

Of course, the game was not a good as the old times when there were so many gods. Back then, we could use the humans to settle our fights, our arguments, our wagers. Now there was only me, and the people. But I’d made them, built them, to fight, and that was what they did.

Some even fought with themselves, with their own minds and this need to believe I’d built into them. But the believers soon sorted out the unbelievers for me.

At least for a while.

Now, though, I grow weak, and I feel tired. There are so many who no longer believe, and there are more and more as time goes by. I can feel my powers fading. There are still some who fight, bleed and die for me, but not so many as before. The way they fight, bleed and die is no longer as entertaining as it was. Even a god can grow weary of all the fighting and dying in his name.

Even I, who was once so sure and so certain, I am not so sure, so certain, as I once was. For all though the eons I believed, I knew, it was me who created everything and the humans too. But, now, as I grow old and fade into insignificance, I wonder that it wasn’t me that created these humans. Perhaps it is true that it was the humans who created me, after all.

And now, like those forgotten old gods, they no longer need me.

So I fade away, too.

 

Published by David Hadley

A Bloke. Occasionally points at ducks.

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