“The threads of life can be so easily cut,” The Great Rainbow Serpent said. His tongue, long and quivering, lashed out to touch the weave of the tapestry of life, to sense it, to hear its many, many thoughts. “The essence will drain quickly as the wire, once twined together, separates for eternity. So fragile is a life, teetering on the edge of darkness, that even the smallest cut on the line could render it useless for a mortal that is not part of the dreaming.”
“Have you finished yet, Waugal?”
The Great Rainbow Serpent turned on his coils to face the one that dared question him. His stare, intent and piercing, met an apparition. The one before him thin, nothing but a veil of light glowing in the eternal darkness. “Yes, I have finished. It is time for me to dream once more.”
“Before you do that,” the apparition said as it manifested itself into a more recognisable form; that of a man, “what of our people?”
Waugal turned back to his study — the tapestry, large and endless, shimmered in the darkness. Silent, moving slightly in an unfelt breeze, the threads of it scintillated with abundant life.
“I was about to ensure their immortality.”
“By cutting all their threads,” Waugal said blankly.
The apparition stepped up to the Great Rainbow Serpent. “But you can’t do that. We have only just been created. I am their spirit. Their voice when they cannot speak. I must ensure their survival. That is why you created me, is it not?”
Waugal turned his attention to the man once more. “They will be remembered in the dreaming. It is the only way.”
“But that isn’t good enough,” Man said, now on his knees and pleading with his God.
“They must experience life to dream it. To never have had the chance to walk on the soil of the Earth. To bathe in its moonlight. To swim in its oceans. That would be a crime. Can’t you see that?”
The Great Rainbow Serpent came so close to the man that eternity could be seen in his eyes. “Agreed,” he hissed. He then slid away, beyond the tapestry and into the darkness that surrounded them. Waugal called back, adding, “I will give you until the next time I wake. Then we can have this conversation again.”
Man bowed. “Thank you.”
Waugal’s voice, so distant, said, “Don’t thank me. You have yet to experience the pains of life.”
Until recently, Clyde Andrews has been published in Bewildering Stories and TheDeepening. If you’re interested in reading more of his short fiction, please check out his collection of short stories, available from Lulu.