The Tempter and the Taker

Wayne Spitzer

Spokane Valley, United States

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“Shekalane looked at him with something akin to pity. ‘You speak as if Ursathrax were a person. A lover, perhaps.’

Jamais laughed. ‘I suppose that’s true. It is the hallmark of lonely people, to anthropomorphize. They do it to their pets quite frequently. But that is just one of her secrets … for while not a person same as you or I, she is, I believe, sentient. She is self-aware. Surely you have felt it, on those days when the leaves of the trees rustle even though there is no wind? She is alive … she has her moods and her trespasses, like every living thing. And also like every living thing, she is mortal. By which I mean she has a beginning, a middle, and an end, as do all things … and that, after five-hundred years, she is nearing her end.’

There was another long pause, and Shekalane looked at Dravidian, who said, ‘No. That is not possible. The Lucitor would not have created something so frail and temporal …’

Jamais studied him for a beat. ‘And yet the sky is falling, is it not?’"

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