Take me to a...
Enter any portion of the author name or story title:
For more options, try our:
Sign up for free daily sci-fi!
your email will be kept private
Get a copy of Not Just Rockets and Robots: Daily Science Fiction Year One. 260 adventures into new worlds, fantastical and science fictional. Rocket Dragons Ignite: the anthology for year two, is also available!
Publish your stories or art on Daily Science Fiction:
If you've already submitted a story, you may check its:
Not just rockets & robots...
"Science Fiction" means—to us—everything found in the science fiction section of a bookstore, or at a science fiction convention, or amongst the winners of the Hugo awards given by the World Science Fiction Society. This includes the genres of science fiction (or sci-fi), fantasy, slipstream, alternative history, and even stories with lighter speculative elements. We hope you enjoy the broad range that SF has to offer.

God of Inconsequential Things

Sheila Massie writes speculative fiction, both dark and hopeful, so she can play with monsters, ghosts, beasts, and magic. She dayjobs in gender--and identity-based violence prevention, holds a 4th dan black belt in Taekwon-Do, and spends her relaxation time in the kitchen making comfort food, exploring international cuisine, and, occasionally, creating and executing twelve course tasting menus. She lives in Victoria, Canada with her husband and beast-sized dog. Find out more about Sheila at sheilamassie.com.

"What are you afraid of?" she asked me one evening, untangling her limbs from mine, smooth skin gliding over calf and thigh. Her fingers lingered as she sat up, tracing slow, idle circles. With the other hand she reached for the clay bowl of tea that had been left on the stone floor of the Temple while we loved one another.
With a gesture, I heated the tea for her, without thinking, as habit. The sun was descending in the sky, and the remaining light inside the Temple was warm and amber-hued. I played with it, sending it in golden ripples over her naked skin, weaving it through the long, loose tendrils of her hair. She laughed, watching the light dance along her body.
I am afraid you have come to say goodbye.
"I am a god," I said instead, lightly, carelessly, "What have I to be afraid of?"
"Only a small god," she reminded, head tilted, eyebrows raised, and smiling. "An inconsequential god." She sipped from the bowl, her amber-colored eyes watching me over its rim.
I had only ever been a god of inconsequential things. My powers were limited to making small changes in the world, taking the things that exist and making them a little more of this, or a little less of that. My temple, near-forgotten, was half-hidden by jungle, laced with vines and tree roots, discolored with lichen. The stones crumbled under the choking tangle and the path had been lost long since to grasses and flooding.
She set the tea bowl down and draped herself against me, working her curves into my hollows.
"Do they know about me?" I asked, not caring. "In the village?"
She shook her head. "Some of them remember that the temple is here, but they don't believe a god resides still." She placed a hand on my chest, as though anchoring me to reality.
"Truly inconsequential, then. Have others begun to petition you for marriage?"
"In endless supply and variation," she agreed. She shivered slightly as the evening air drifted into the temple. The jungle was quieting now, only the drone of insects remained in the darkness. I caused a stir of wind to settle a warm shawl across her shoulders. "Oh, thank you, that feels better," she said as she relaxed against me. "Merchants, gamblers, inventors, philosophers, holy men, kings, gods." She punctuated each category with a tap of her finger on my sternum. "They offer me jewels and palaces, adventures in distant lands, endless wisdom, the command of armies, and powers beyond my imagining. Though I am somewhat skeptical at the last."
I laughed, drawing her closer and kissing her. She smelled of tea and love-making. "There are large gods, as well as small," I said. "You shouldn't dismiss them, or the powers they can bestow on you."
"This is what my mother says, while she hires seers to foretell the future with each potential husband."
"My curiosity overwhelms me. What do the seers say?" My voice was light, but my heart clenched between beats. Kings and gods. The light in the room was nearly gone now. Nothing left for me to pull or play with. The tea was cold and forgotten. With only the slightest of effort, I could hear the stones crack as vines pull them apart. Kings and gods.
"You have not yet told me what you are afraid of," she admonished. She shifted, disentangling herself from me once again. She eased a leg over my hips, kneeling over me. She leaned down, bringing her face close to mine, teasing my lips with hers. She watched me intently, eyes open wide, searching mine.
I held my breath for a moment, not wanting to speak, not wanting my fear to influence her life, and her choices. "There is so much for you, so very many possibilities," I finally said.
"What is it you imagine I want?"
I shook my head, wondering what anyone would want, given all the possibilities.
"A bowl of tea. Warmth. Light. Love. I will stay with you," she said quietly. "You are not inconsequential to me."
The End
This story was first published on Thursday, December 15th, 2022

Author Comments

This story came from a deliberate attempt not to write an "important" story. So very many of my stories have a heavy or difficult theme, and I wanted to write something... inconsequential. What arose for me as I was crafting the story was the idea that, culturally, we spend so much time concentrating on some sense of "greatness" that we undervalue simple kindness. This story is very much a love letter to my husband. Also, I clearly failed at attempting to write a "not important" story. Writers are weird that way.

- Sheila Massie
Become a Member!

We hope you're enjoying God of Inconsequential Things by Sheila Massie.

Please support Daily Science Fiction by becoming a member.

Daily Science Fiction is not accepting memberships or donations at this time.

Rate This Story
Please click to rate this story from 1 (ho-hum) to 7 (excellent!):

Please don't read too much into these ratings. For many reasons, a superior story may not get a superior score.

5.4 Rocket Dragons Average
Share This Story
Join Mailing list
Please join our mailing list and receive free daily sci-fi (your email address will be kept 100% private):