- Small Worlds
- Chapter Twenty-Nine
Vaniah looked over the world he had created and thought it good. The grass was green, the sky was violet, and the water looked good enough to skinny dip in. He wore a white duster without a speck of dust on it and in one hand was a book – an old book, its binding worn and cracking, its paged yellowed with age. The other hand was empty and he held it out palm up as if waiting for something.
A drop of rain hit his hand like a bomb.
And suddenly the world was gone. The grass, the sky, the water, the book, all vanished in less than the beat of his heart and in front of him was the Prophetess, one hand gripped around a doll that looked like him, the other gripped around a doll that looked like Werther.
"I said," the Prophetess stated, her voice an icy pitch, "how much do you value these companions of yours?"
"I value them very much, Analta," Vaniah said. "Very much indeed. I wouldn't do anything to harm them if I was you. You can walk away from all this. Just turn around and walk away."
The Prophetess looked insulted. "Who do you think has the power here, Vaniah? Who do you think holds life and death in her hands? While I hold this form, I can kill your companions with a flick of my fingers and you wouldn't dare kill such a young, innocent for-"
A bullet stopped her sentence. Blood fell from the hole in her head.
"You don't know me, Analta," Vaniah said, the gun in his hand hot.
The Prophetess's body crumpled to the ground, her limbs falling haphazard, the dolls dropping from her grip. Her mouth impossibly opened then and, though Vaniah knew the girl was dead and could not talk, a voice erupted. "I know more than you think, gunslinger. I will find you on the world with violet skies."
And with that, the girl's body was still and dead and Vaniah knew the Prophetess had moved on. She was gone, so he let himself cry.