Previously in RESUME GOD: Carl got lectured by his wife for getting nothing done, when, in fact, he had been protecting Nataal. That was when he got the idea of finding himself an avatar… but is the young shamaness Gisae the right person for the job?
Part Five (of Nine)
The kneeling girl stared up at Carl, her mouth open in disbelief. She did it for a really long time. Carl scratched the back of his neck nervously.
“Um, I did pronounce that right? Gisae?”
“You know, you don’t have to stay on the ground or anything. I mean, don’t bow on my behalf.”
Gisae wiped her dirty white hair out of her face and slowly got to her feet. It didn’t help; she was still a good foot shorter than Carl, so the looking up at him continued. Carl looked around for a nearby tree or rock to lean on casually, but there wasn’t anything close enough.
“So, um…” Carl started.
“I saw you earlier,” Gisae said. “You fought the demons.”
“Yeah, that was me.”
“You’re our God.”
“Right, well, I guess officially, sure… but we don’t have to use the G-word, okay? I’m Carl. Carl McCall.”
For a moment Carl was expecting her to refuse, to insist upon proper respect for the all-powerful deity of Nataal. Instead, the girl thrust out her hand.
“Gisae of the Dharlu Clan,” she said. “It is a pleasure to meet you, Carl.”
Carl reached out and shook her hand. She had a firm grip.
“I apologize for the state you found me in,” she continued. “Not everyone in the valley is as certain of your presence in our world as I am.”
“Yeah, I kind of got a whiff of that when I was, um, learning about you. I gotta say, standing up for what you believe in like that is pretty impressive. Especially with your father and all.”
Anger suddenly flashed across Gisae’s face. “What do you know of it? Is my life just a show for your entertainment?” Carl kind of wished that she would go back to the silent awe.
“No, I mean… look. I’m the, the big cosmic force of your world. Its not like I’m peeking in your window, but I just know things. And I needed to know if you were the right person for this. This, um, job I have.”
Gisae peered at him through suspicious eyes. “You don’t talk like any God I’ve ever imagined.”
“Trust me, I am. I am what I am and that’s all that I am,” he added, amusing himself. “Want me to do a miracle or something to prove it?”
“No,” Gisae said, vaguely offended. “I know truth when it is before me. But it sometimes comes in stranger ways than I expect.”
Carl was feeling more and more awkward around the young woman. It was like too many months of job interviews had put him on the conversational defensive all the time. He had chosen her, he didn’t need to prove anything. Carl decided to take the conversational offensive.
“You, Gisae, have been chosen for a most awesome destiny!” he said in stentorian tones.
“Why are you yelling?” she asked. “I can hear you just fine. I’m standing right in front of you.”
“Look,” Carl pleaded, “this isn’t coming out right.”
“Then stop, find your silence, and speak from the heart,” Gisae advised.
“Right. Good.” Carl took a deep breath. He felt Nataal around him, let it move through him. This was good. He wanted an avatar who could think for herself, who wasn’t easily swayed. After several moments of finding his silence, he opened his eyes and faced the tiny shaman.
“I need someone to be my avatar. To do my work when I can’t be here.”
Gisae frowned. “I know what an avatar is. I’m the Future of Clan Dharlu, I do have a little learning in the ways of…”
“Man, can’t you just listen for a minute here? I’m not insulting your intelligence, I’m just trying to explain what I need, okay?”
Gisae looked at her feet, a little abashed. “Sorry. It’s… I’m a little sensitive today.”
Carl was getting the hang of this, and didn’t point out that his brief omniscient peek in her head had already told him all about that. He also resisted his urge to put a paternal hand on her shoulder, lest she hit him with some clan Dharlu personal defense kung fu or something.
He just spoke, and maybe put just a teeny bit of his god energy into making his words less interruptible.
“You know things are getting worse. Kaerbanus… the demons, they’re actually from another universe. A place that’s trying to invade Nataal. To make Nataal like Kaerbanus. I can stop them here and there, but honestly, I need some help. I need someone… and before you ask, yes, that’s you… to take on some of my power and, I dunno, get all the people of Nataal to join forces. To put the lantern in the steeple, British-are-coming and all that. I get my power from your world, and in return, I use that power to protect it. But this is bigger than usual… and I can’t be here all the time. I know that sounds lame for a god, but it’s just how it is. But you live here, you love this world. I know you better than you… probably feel comfortable with… but you’re the one who can do this. Unite the people. Kick demon ass. Save the world.”
Carl took a breath and realized he was monologuing. All the stress and worry about the microverse he guided and guarded was spilling out of him logorrheically. He’d never gotten a chance to talk about Nataal with anyone before and here he was spilling his guts to the first shaman girl he came upon.
“Are you done?” she asked, but the words weren’t mocking. He looked down and met her eyes and he saw that she understood. They shared this love for Nataal. She understood.
“Yes,” he said. “So…?”
“I appreciate your asking me,” she said. “It is kind to offer a choice even when you already know the answer. I cannot promise that I will be able to do these things you ask… but I will try.”
Carl resisted the fist pump urge.
“Then, Gisae of the Clan Dharlu,” he said, “I bequeath upon you the Power Cosmic!”
He snapped his fingers, but only for effect.
© 2013 by Douglass Barre, All Rights Reserved.