In the Beginning there were the waters. Every mythology agrees on this. Before the God of light and fire, of sky and spirit comes to impose order on the world there is the uncreated void. Inanimate matter. Water and stone.
Here’s how I think it happened in that time. The world had not yet been made. In the eye of the Creator, the fields were filling with animals and men. The dews of the first waters were washing across the newborn blades of grass. The tube worms were opening their mouths to drink in the heat of oceanic springs. But this was the time before time, when things did not yet exist. When all Creation was being thought of, conceived and ordered in the Creator’s mind.
He stopped for a moment to confer with Himself. The conference concerned the creature He called man. On the vast plateau of His imagination, all of the human civilizations were lined up in ranks, ready to be marched out onto history’s battlefields, to fight, and gain their victories, and die.
During the day they stood to attention, all turned towards the face of God. But then night fell. Tricksters began to climb out of the woodwork. Maybe it was a serpent. Maybe Loki. Perhaps Raven came. They showed the minds of men a terrible thing: that for all of their nobility and all of their achievements, one day, they would be judged.
Then the spirits of the ages waited until it was completely dark, until even the eyes of heaven might be blind. Then they came together in a secret place. Each one had clutched in its claws, or its talons, or its teeth, a stone. The surface of each of these stones was pocked and scarred and marked with a thousand transgressions, secret evils, briberies, unjust rulings, mock trials, slave mines and concentration camps. Children slain, and enemies massacred. Innocents sacrificed to satisfy dark gods.
Then they began to dig, tooth and claw, sometimes even gouging one another’s flesh in their frenzy. They dug a hole in the foundations of the earth, all the way down to beneath the firmament, down to the void.
The waters at the bottom of this Well were older than the glaciers. Older than the rains. Older than the first molecules of hydrogen and oxygen. Older than the forces that made the first atoms coalesce. The Well reached down into the primordial and uncreated waters, to a place that had never been breathed upon by the divine spirit nor touched by light. It could dissolve anything and from its nothingness anything could arise.
So the spirits of the ages brought the stones that contained their secrets and placed them in a circle around the hole. Their sins made a tower, reaching almost up to the sky. At the end of the world, when the last night fell, they would all come and push on those stones until they all went tumbling down into the abyss to be hidden from the eyes of judgment…My novel, Octavia, is now officially available on Amazon.com! It’s about a sixteen year old girl, Octavia, whose family lives in contemporary Canada — but they try to live as though they are ancient Romans. She and her friend William have a game that they play where they go to a secret Well in the woods and William tells Octavia secrets which they then lock up in a stone and throw into the Well. The secrets disappear from the world: it is as though they never happened. This dark confessional takes a toll however, and after about a year William himself disappears into its depths.
It’s a horror novel. There’s not much gore: I go in more for psychological and existential horror. There are lots of Classics references and geeky humour; a major heroic character on the autism spectrum; and an original, vividly invoked underworld.
It isn’t religious per se. The novel has a moral foundation, but I have no interest in writing didactic Christian fiction. The passage above is the most overtly religious content in the book, and most of the characters are Pagan.
For those who care about such things, there’s minimal swearing, occasional super-mild smut, no drugs, some alcohol. It’s appropriate for teens with a reasonably high reading level, provided they don’t mind an occasional phrase in Latin.
Image credit: Melinda Selmys
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