“Ladies should be seen and not heard,” and she is there, just behind the speaker, a smile on her lips and mischief in her eyes.
“Silence is a virtue,” and she is there, pulling faces, fingers in her ears and tongue peeking out to brush her chin, a gleeful obscenity.
“Loose lips sink ships,” and she is there, a cutlass in her hand, ready to sail for the Spanish Main at dawn, the colors already hoisted in her heart.
She doesn’t have a lot to say, but she allows others to speak for her with giddy willingness, bending their pious proverbs to her own ends. She finds her strength and her divinity in the space between the silence and the sigh, the blossoming room where she can undermine her own ideals and make of silence something screaming.
Ladies should be seen and not heard? Fine, then, she will make of their precious ladies a spectacle too grand to be ignored. She will make sure they can be seen from space. Silence is a virtue? Then silence enough should make them virtuous; they need not a single virtue more. Loose lips sink ships? Then she will build a graveyard all her own, schooners and galleons at the bottom of the sea.
Do not tempt the quiet ones, for their vengeance will be swift and unrelenting. But she smiles and smiles and sips her tea, and the ones who worship her—either willingly or because they have no given choice—understand that her wrath, when it descends, will be unending. And they love her for it. Oh, how they love her.
They do not sing her praises. Instead, they hold them close and quiet in their hearts, and she is theirs, and they are hers, and all those who fail to understand their bonds will one day see them in the screaming silence of the dawn.
[image description: A formally dressed woman sits at a table. In front of her a tea set decorated with gilt snowflakes and a plate of cucumber sandwiches rest on a lace tablecloth. She is haloed in gold against a darker golden background. She has a finger to her lips as she shushes a hummingbird with a tiny crown. The hummingbird is #54 Hummel – Small God of Not Knowing the Words. Text reads, “#102 Serra Hawks-Hitchcock, Small God of Silence.”]
Artist Lee Moyer (13th Age, Cursed Court) and author Seanan McGuire (Middlegame, Every Heart a Doorway) have joined forces to bring you icons and stories of the small deities who manage our modern world, from the God of Social Distancing to the God of Finding a Parking Space.
Join in each week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for a guide to the many tiny divinities: