Friday, April 13, 2012

"Lesser Gods" by Tyler J. Vitt (Novella)

Genre:  Science Fiction with some Fantasy elements

Type of Short Story:  Novella

Summary:  The city of Haven has for centuries drifted amidst the noxious Mists, dense clouds that possess toxins so potent that even a single breath can lead to death. The tremendous Shield covering Haven has warded off the Mists since the city’s inception, but the mundane barrier is nothing if not for the might of the High Lord God and his servants, the seraphim.

Descendents of God, the seraphim act as His messengers and bring to the people His divine Will. Generations of seraphim have come and gone, with only one seraph, known as the Hand of God, watching over the city at a time. The seraphim are the most honoured and revered denizens of Haven, and the admiration held towards them by the populace of the city knows no bounds.

Except for one man who, of all people, should show the seraph devotion of the highest calibre: the Attendant to the tenth generation of the Hand of God. His charge, Uriel, is an unruly brute who abuses the privileges of his glorious rank and treats those around him as urchins. He acts in a manner unbecoming of the messenger to God, consistently pressing his Attendant’s patience as well as his respect to the limits.

One evening Uriel pushes beyond those limits by simply disappearing. Only the Attendant realizes the disappearance, and only the Attendant—lest he put himself and the security of his occupation, one of the most esteemed ranks in Haven, into danger—can search the city for the Hand of God…


“What is beyond that must be sealed away in such a manner?”

Uriel turned to me and, ignoring my question, asked: “You believe the Archangel Michael descended from Heaven to perform God’s bidding?”

“Yes,” I said, drawing back. “Yes, of course I do.” I had believed it, although all that Uriel had told me that night was beginning to bring doubt to all aspects of our religion. I was beginning to doubt everything that had been taught and told to me in my entire life.

“You believe he was a holy being, then. One of God’s own children?”

“Yes. Uriel, what—”

He held up a hand, palm outward, to silence me.

“Aside from our wings,” he went on, “you believe there is a more profound difference between your kind and mine? Between humans and the seraphim. Something, shall we say, supernatural?”


“You’re wrong.”

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