pretentious cosmic picture

Chapter 3: Laughing at Sagin

When Sagin came back, he seemed far prouder and self-sufficient, and less prone to correction. When Pippiath criticized the aesthetic of a shadow-shape Sagin made as a work of art, Sagin snapped back, "I should have known better to ask a laughing jackanapes, a court jester for C'Don!" and stormed out, his pride hurt. Pippiath was nonplussed, but laughed about it, thinking it would soon blow over.

He made a song and dance about it, about Sagin's hurt pride, and played for the other Kaanho. It was only a gentle gibe, nothing mean-natured, for such was not Pipiath's way. But Sagin rose in fury, and said, "Make me a laughingstock, will you?"

Pippiath backed away, for Sagin's power was great, and for the first time, fear passed a face of one of the Kaanho. Seyhe, greatest in authority among them, rose and said, "Sagin. You are only proving Pippiath's point, that you cannot bear to be anything."

"But Mother..."

"Silence, if you cannot bring yourself to laugh at yourself, would serve you best, Sagin."

"Nor," said his father, Nado, "Will you lift a hand against Pippiath, and repay a song with a blow."

Sagin turned around, and saw all agreed, with the exception of young Sashang, who admired his defiance, with his parents. Then he turned to C'Don. There were four thrones were the elder Kaanho, the Amonkaanho, sat, facing the seat of C'Don. The younger ones, the Kaanho proper, sat on the floor. "And what says the all-knowing, all-powerful C'Don? Do not my feelings count?"

"They count for much, Sagin," answered Sagin, gently. "Indeed, I tell you truly. Much of what I create will find their fates determined by your feelings, for yea or nay. You are the mightiest of those assembled here, save for myself. Nevertheless, it is a just observation, that you do not take criticism well. Yet...I did not complain, but rather praised, when you first wove darkness, and clothed the things I created with their extra shadows, to move away from my light. The contrast has made things even more beautiful than when I first created it. You have improved on what I first developed, as I hoped some of you would."

Sagin's heart swelled with pride, and filled with love of C'Don...but only because he was being praised by C'Don, and he reflected that the excellence of himself was due to C'Don creating...his parents, at least.

"I could have looked on your shadows as a criticism of my work...but instead, I saw it as a charming addition. I did not create the Kaanho to leave my work alone, but to change and build on it."

"A question, C'Don."

"Ask it, Sagin."

"If you know all, and are all-powerful, then why did you not create shadows yourself?"

"Because there is something, by my very nature, that I cannot know as well as you...finitude. Since...for instance...the continuous light cannot hurt my eyes, nor can any shadow conceal what I want to see, the need for such might not occur to me. In all honesty, I knew that shade and shadow might be a good idea, and it had occured to me seperately...but I was hoping one of you would discover it. And so you did. There will be many things some of you will bring into existence, and they will be echoing my desire, but discovering it on their own. Because I do not want puppets, nor do I want just an audience. I want you to join in the work of Creation, channel some of it in ways that are pleasing to you and to me. Do you understand?"

"Yes." In the pit of his heart, a small doubt crept in, and he thought if C'Don had conceived shadows, that his own shadows were much lovelier and darker than C'Don conceived. Yet at first he did not bear any malice towards C'Don, although his pride was growing, and he thought the Canthtu might be better ordered than C'Don had done.

Nevertheless, to Pippiath and his own mother he felt malice. So he thought, and thought...and then a cruel trick occurred to him.

Next chapter.

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Copyright © 1997 Al Schroeder