Mirrored from Sythyry.
The cat’s head in one corner acquired a traditional cat’s body, and was whole. The cat’s body in the other corner became a bright-orange Sleeth with a triple serpent for a tail, and vast rippling sheets of flexible amber for wings.
Everything that had a temperature in the room did honor in its own way to the God of Fire. The wooden floors, despite some quite good fireproofing spells, blazed fiercely, showing how they would be so glad to burn if Flokin only wished it. The air rippled with heat-currents, so that I could barely see across the room. The ewer of water on the mantle boiled and blazed. The silver pin in my head-feathers glowed as if it were in a forge’s furnace, the colors of melting and liquifaction.
Flokin (the large one, in the Sleeth body, since the god seemed amused to be at two different places in my parlor) sat on its haunches, and flicked its snakey tail once, twice, thrice. The adoration of nature ceased, and all things became as they were since the beginning of time — or the afternoon anyhow.
Flokin (the small one, in the cat’s body) hopped lightly onto Thefefy’s shoulder again. It was just a cat. I checked again. I also remembered the frequent but terse and ill-explained admonition from many theologocial books that it was impossible to detect the least bit of magic or abnormality from Flokin, no matter what shape it took: just another one of the eccentricities of that peculiar deity.
“Hi!” said Flokin, the body that wasn’t pretending to be just a cat. One might expect a god to have some dignity, some gravitas. One might expect this less after spending a few minutes with Thefefy, but she had a sort of thunderous presence, as if each word were much more important than the one before it. Flokin mostly sounded ditzy, like your most offensive stereotype of a bubbleheaded traff Orren.
(It might actually be traff. There are rumors of intimacies between various gods and various mortals now and then, Flokin included, and of course none of them are the same species as any of us. The reports that give actual details of how the sexless god of fire is intimate with a mortal are simply pornographic fancies, and poorly-written ones at that, I am sure.)
Thefefy scowled at it. “Why are you interfering? You said you wouldn’t interfere!”
“I didn’t interfere! It’s perfectly normal for a cat to claw your face after you rend it apart!” chirped the fire god. Well, the native fire god. I guess they both are fire gods.
“That’s not how it happened — you scratched me first,” grumbled Thefefy.
“I wouldn’t know! I wasn’t paying attention!” protested Flokin.
“Then why did you scratch … oh, never mind. There’s no getting sensible answers out of you,” said Thefefy. “Sythyry! I demand that you yield unto me that single and solitary Elfimel who hates Mircannis!”
“What for?” I had to ask.
“I shall grant her power upon power, I shall scour the universes of light and darkness for might to supply unto her, she shall become a god-queen of such terror and such splendor that none shall stand against her! Then against Mircannis she shall take her revenge — I shall take my revenge! And afterwards I shall grant her all things, yea, even a name!”
“Well, she’s got a name already; she’s named Namie,” I said, rather woozily, because I didn’t want to think about wars of the gods, and alien gods coming to the World Tree to kill our gods — or dread Flokin, the All-Devourer, conspiring with her in some sort of a Fire Gods’ Treason Club, or whatever it was doing.
I really, really, really didn’t want to think about that. The very thought of the thought was making me ill. My head swam, and I burned with fever. As I fainted I thought, (1) this is a ridiculously fast onset for any nonmagical disease I know about, and I’m a doctor, and (2) this is not going to look overly polite to either god, either.