Rated PG for the Little Gods of Hanging On
by Tim Pratt
“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.”
About the Author
Tim Pratt is the author of over twenty novels, including Heirs of Grace and forthcoming space opera The Wrong Stars. His short fiction has appeared in The Best American Short Stories, The Year’s Best Fantasy, The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror, and other nice places. He’s a Hugo Award winner, and has been a finalist for World Fantasy, Sturgeon, Stoker, Mythopoeic, and Nebula Awards, among others. He lives in Berkeley CA and works as a senior editor at Locus, a trade magazine devoted to science fiction and fantasy publishing. For more than two years he’s been publishing a new story every month for supporters at patreon.com/timpratt. That’s where “Six Jobs” first appeared.
About the Narrator
Dave Thompson (also known as the Easter Werewolf) has written stories featured or forthcoming at Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Apex Magazine, Bull Spec, Drabblecast, Pseudopod, and Escape Pod, and has lost NaNoWriMo twice. Once upon a time, he edited and hosted PodCastle with Anna Schwind, and stepped down to focus on his own writing in 2015. His collection of stories And Welcome Back released in 2016. He lives in Southern California with his wife and three children. Learn more about him on his website, or follow him on Twitter @krylyr.