Fungal Halo

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With a thumb, you push the hissing tooth into soft, tilled earth. Sadly, you hold little hope in your heart for it to sprout.

In a bygone age, the soil had wealth great enough to support the growth of anything at all, and gods grew like weeds here.

Now? It’s thin. Weak.

Can’t sacrifice yourself to enrich it, no. Who else would care for the seed? Who else would pull the thorny weeds that would choke it out, then moisten the soil with the blood drawn from ragged, thorn-bitten hands?

Your companion in black? No. Life is not its domain.

That’s why you’re here, vital and alive, but still without the resources to save the god you are so desperate to grow and serve.

Your companion leans toward you, touching its mask to your forehead, and offers you its help. It’s with a sense of relief that you accept.

Just one house should be enough, it assures you.

It doesn’t matter whose.

In the dead of night, the two of you make quick work of a family you never learned the name of. Nobody even has time to scream.

You drag the bodies home, and your companion shakes worms from its oversized sleeves onto the pile. You don’t ask where those worms came from.

The wriggle into the cooling meat and get to work.

Soon, you have just what you need to enrich the soil, and it isn’t long until a tiny shoot, like a sickly child’s finger, pokes up through the surface.

You’ve done it. Your god grows.

You just needed a little biomass, a little human sacrifice. It’s what gods crave.