[image description: A massive serpent (so large that King Kong wouldn’t be big enough to fill its mouth. It looms over the city and coils around the Empire State Building creating – however briefly – the shape of a dollar sign. The top of the snake is gold, but its underbelly is ebon. Text reads, “151, BLACK FRIDAY ~ SMALL GOD: FALSE PROFITS”]
She slithers in through any opening she can find, so much smaller than she looks from the outside, so much larger than anyone wants her to be. Her coils can constrict empires, her jaws encompass unions, and her venom can kill creatures so much larger than she is that it seems ridiculous. What is the purpose of any single creature carrying so much potential to destroy?
Some say that she could slaughter gods, if she ever got it into her head to think there would be a benefit to her in the act, and so when she slides through heaven on her scaled belly, no one meets her eyes, and no one moves to attract her wrath, and no one lingers in her presence.
She must be very lonely, this serpent god of the unspent dollar and the unfinished deal. She must yearn for the company of her kin.
But you wouldn’t know it to watch her moving through the world. She thrives on the false belief that twenty dollars today is better than ten today and ten tomorrow, sparking the impossible belief that twenty today will mean twenty tomorrow, and not nothing tomorrow when every cent is spent, every dollar is divested. She puffs herself up to seem threatening, and her faithful point and claim this proves that profit without end is possible, endless growth, endless expansion.
She will swallow the world, given room enough and time.
She will take both those things if no one intercedes.
But look: there’s a sale tomorrow. And what beautiful things there are to buy, what wonders, what delights…
What a profit to be made.
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: