ยง God of areppo

One day, a farmer named Arepo built a temple at the edge of his field. It was a humble thing, with stone walls and a thatch roof. At the center of the room Arepo stacked some stones to make a cairn. Two days later, a god moved into Arepo's temple. "I hope you are a harvest god," Arepo said, as he set upon the altar two stalks of wheat which he burned. "It would be nice." He looked down upon the ash that now colored the stone. "I know this isn't much of a sacrifice, but I hope this pleases you. It'd be nice to think there is a god looking after me." The next day, he left a pair of figs. The day after that, he spent ten minutes in silent prayer. On the third day, the god spoke up. "You should go to a temple in the city," said a hollow voice. Arepo cocked his head at the otherworldly sound, because it was strangely familiar. The god's voice was not unlike the rustling of wheat, or the little squeaks of fieldmice that run through the grass. "Go to a real temple. Find a real god to bless you, for I am not much myself, but perhaps I may put in a good word?" The god plucked a stone from the floor and sighed, "Forgive me, I meant not to be rude. I appreciate your temple, and find it cozy and warm. I appreciate your worship, and your offerings, but alas it shall come to naught." "Already I have received more than I had expected," Arepo said, "Tell me, with whom do I treat? What are you the patron god of?" The god let the stone he held fall to the floor, "I am of the fallen leaves, and the worms that churn beneath he ground. I am the boundary of the forest and the field, and the first hint of frost before the snow falls," the god paused to touch Arepo's altar, "And the skin of an apple as it yields beneath your teeth. I am the god of a dozen different nothings, scraps that lead to rot, and momentary glimpses." He turned his gaze to Arepo, "I am a change in the air, before the winds blow." The god shook his head, "I should not have come, for you cannot worship me. Save your prayers for the things beyond your control, good farmer," the god turned away, "You should pray to a greater thing than I," Arepo reached out to stay the entity, and laid his hand upon the god's willowy shoulder. "Please, stay." The god turned his black eyes upon Arepo, but found only stedfast devotion. "This is your temple, I would be honored if you would stay." The god lowered himself to the floor. Arepo joined him. The two said nothing more for a great long while, until Arepo's fellow came calling. The god watched his worshiper depart, as the man's warmth radiated across the entity's skin. Next morning, Arepo said a prayer before his morning work. Later, he and the god contemplated the trees. Days passed, and then weeks. In this time the god had come to enjoy the familiarity of Arepo's presence. And then, there came a menacing presence. A terrible compulsion came upon the god, and he bid the air change, for a storm was coming. Terrified, the little god went to meet the god of storms to plead for gentleness, but it was no use. Arepo's fields became flooded, as the winds tore the tiles from his roof and set his olive tree to cinder. Next day, Arepo and his fellows walked among the wheat, salvaging what they could. At the field's edge, the little temple was ruined. After his work was done for the day, Arepo gathered up the stones and pieced them back together. "Please do not labor," said the god, "I could not protect you from the god of storms, and so I am unworthy of your temple." "I'm afraid I don't have an offering today," Arepo said, "But I think I can rebuild your temple tomorrow, how about that?" The god watched Arepo retire, and then sat miserably amongst the ruined stones of his little temple. Arepo made good on his promise, and did indeed rebuild the god's temple. But now it bore layered walls of stone, and a sturdy roof of woven twigs. Watching the man work, Arepo's neighbors chuckled as they passed by, but their children were kinder, for they left gifts of fruit and flowers. The following year was not so kind, as the goddess of harvest withdrew her bounty. The little god went to her and passionately pleaded for mercy, but she dismissed him. Arepo's fields sprouted thin and brittle, and everywhere there were hungry people with haunted eyes that searched in vain for the kindness of the gods. Arepo entered the temple and looked upon the wilted flowers and the shriveled fruit. He murmured a prayer. "I could not help you," said the god. "I am only a burden to you," "You are my friend," said Arepo. "You cannot eat friendship!" The god retorted. "No, but I can give it." Arepo replied. And so the man set his hand upon the altar and spent the evening lost in contemplation with his god. But the god knew there was another god who would soon visit, and later that year came the god of war. Arepo's god did what he could. He went out to meet the hateful visage of the armored god, but like the others, war ignored the little god's pleas. And so Arepo's god returned to his temple to wait for his friend. After a worrying amount of time, Arepo came stumbling back, his hand pressed to his gut, anointing the holy site with his blood. Behind him, his fields burned. "I am so sorry, Arepo," said the god, "My friend. My only friend." "Shush," said Arepo, tasting his own blood. He propped himself up against the temple that he made, "Tell me, my friend, what sort of god are you?" The god reached out to his friend and lowered him to the cool soil, "I'm of the falling leaves," the god said, as he conjured an image of them. "And the worms that churn beneath the earth. The boundary of the forest and the field. The first hint of frost before the first snow. The skin of an apple as it yields beneath your teeth." Arepo smiled as the god spoke. "I am the god of a dozen different nothings, the god of the petals in bloom that lead to rot, and of momentary glimpses, and a change in the air-" the god looked down upon his friend, "Before the winds blow everything away." "Beautiful," Arepo said, his blood now staining the stones; seeping into the very foundations of his temple. "All of them, beautiful," "When the storm came, I could not save your wheat." "Yes," Arepo said. "When the harvest failed, I could not feed you." "Yes," Tears blurred the god's eyes, "When war came, I could not protect you." "My friend, think not yourself useless, for you are the god of something very useful," "What?" "You are my god. The god of Arepo." And with that, Arepo the sower lay his head down upon the stone and returned home to his god. At the archway, the god of war appeared. The entity looked less imposing now, for his armor had fallen onto the blackened fields, revealing a gaunt and scarred form. Dark eyes flashed out from within the temple, 'Are you happy with your work?' They seemed to say. The god of war bowed his head, as the god of Arepo felt the presence of the greater pantheon appear upon the blackened fields. "They come to pay homage to the farmer," war said, and as the many gods assembled near the archway the god of war took up his sword to dig into the earth beneath Arepo's altar. The goddess of the harvest took Arepo's body and blessed it, before the god of storms lay the farmer in his grave. "Who are these beings, these men," said war, "Who would pray to a god that cannot grant wishes nor bless upon them good fortune? Who would maintain a temple and bring offerings for nothing in return? Who would share their company and meditate with such a fruitless deity?" The god rose, went to the archway; "What wonderful, foolish, virtuous, hopeless creatures, humans are." The god of Arepo watched the gods file out, only to be replaced by others who came to pay their respects to the humble farmer. At length only the god of storms lingered. The god of Arepo looked to him, asked; "Why do you linger? What was this man to you?" "He asked not, but gave." And with that, the grey entity departed. The god of Arepo then sat alone. Oft did he remain isolated; huddled in his home as the world around him healed from the trauma of war. Years passed, he had no idea how many, but one day the god was stirred from his recollections by a group of children as they came to lay fresh flowers at the temple door. And so the god painted the sunset with yellow leaves, and enticed the worms to dance in their soil. He flourished the boundary between the forest and the field with blossoms and berries, and christened the air with a crisp chill before the winter came. And come the spring, he ripened the apples with crisp red freckles that break beneath sinking teeth, and a dozen other nothings, in memory of a man who once praised his work with his dying breath. "Hello," said a voice. The god turned to find a young man at the archway, "Forgive me, I hope I am not intruding." "Hello, please come in." The man smiled as he entered, enchanted the the god's melodic voice. "I heard tell of your temple, and so I have come from many miles away. Might I ask, what are you the god of?" The god of Arepo smiled warmly as he set his hand upon his altar, "I am the god of every humble beauty in the world." -by Chris Sawyer