by Tim Pratt
read by Dave Thompson
Originally published in Strange Horizons
“I wish I could be a little goddess of cinnamon,” my wife Emily says,
closing her eyes and leaning in close to the spices. I’m used to Emily
saying things like that, so I don’t take any notice, just nod and pick
up a bottle of peach nectar off the shelf, slosh it around, wrinkle my
nose. I know all the gunk in there is supposed to be fresh natural
goodness, but to me it just looks like gunk. Emily says that I deny
the truth of natural origins. Emily likes peach nectar, so I put the
bottle in the basket.
“A little goddess of cinnamon,” Emily repeats. “Or brown sugar.” She
crosses her arms, her silver-and-brass bracelets tinkling together.
“As opposed to a big goddess of cinnamon?” I move on down the aisle
with my basket over my arm.
“Little things get little gods,” Emily says. “It’s only natural.” She
trails after me, running her finger along the shelves, pausing to
sniff at the black teas, to open the lid on a jar of sugar-free
gumdrops. Emily is always prodding, smelling, caressing — she says
that she is experiencing the world.
“So big gods are for big things, then? Like, say, whales?”
Emily sighs behind me. “Big things like . . . I don’t know . . . love.”
Rated PG for the Little Gods of Hanging On