The Furtive Pantheon

The Furtive Pantheon Erik Amundsen
It's the sandwich board sign spirit again, come like heavy snow in the city's afternoon, taking all the buildings into silver, carrying all sound on a cold velvet cushion. The cup bearer for the God of want, God of lack and poverty, conspicuous in absence, a ghost that always haunts, ghost-mouth full of numbers; ghost breath, ink and linen. He cannot afford a temple. His lies where you find it. His rises in the ammonia musk of the car-struck doe baking in a ditch, in the sun. No smoke, but a message received. And we don't forget. The furtive pantheon lurks on the corner outside of the sandwich shop you used to frequent, in the aisles of the market you don't visit, at the theater, watching reel after reel of the things you don't see. They take your vacation for you. They move in to your apartment after you're gone back home. They steal your car and do donuts in the parking lot at night. In the morning, your breaks are worn, tires bald, tank empty. They weigh on your mind, syrupy-sink in the wrinkles and folds, and give each extra hole they punch in your belt a name. This one the night-and-weekend job, this one the temporary crown gone permanent, this one larceny. If they had names, you might propitiate. If they had faces, you might have something to punch. They vanish, but they never leave. Go silent, but their breath is still cool, still climbing and descending your spine like a ladder.
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Erik Amundsen is a medium humanoid, always Chaotic Evil. He has been published in Stone Telling, Mythic Delirium, Goblin Fruit and Strange Horizons.

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