[image description: A magenta-colored woman with horns, bat wings, a pointy tail, and a wide smug smile stands with her arms crossed. Behind her hangs a mockery of the United States’ flag, with bloody red vertical stripes and a blue field with with a single inverted star. Text reads, “175, Increase Slather, Small God of the SATANIC PANIC”]
Think of the children, she purrs. Think of them as extensions of your self, as characters you’ve created. Think of all those interviews you’ve seen with fancy authors on morning talk shows, talking about how their characters are their children. Children they control, clothe, make all decisions for. Think of the children exactly like that. As puppets.
Now think of someone else playing with your toys. Think of someone else telling them something you don’t agree with, encouraging them to have an opinion that isn’t yours. Think of your children coming home with heads full of thoughts and mouths full of questions, think of them defying you, outgrowing you, becoming something you don’t understand.
Think of the children believing that they somehow have the right to be bigger than you are, better than you are, to have things easier than you did, to grow, to improve, to change…to be PEOPLE. You didn’t choose to share your home with people. You chose to share it with children. This is not what you signed up for.
Think of the children going wrong. Think of the children growing away from you. Someone must have DONE this to them. They must be being harmed. Outside the home, of course, you would never allow harm to come to them within your walls. They have been touched and twisted and transformed into something they were never meant to be, into PEOPLE, and you had no part in it.
Think of the children. Think of nothing else.
Increase Slather’s message is a seductive one, preying on fears that every parent carries in their hearts, praying that those parents will be small enough to believe her, praying that they’ll play her prey one generation longer. She tells pretty, compelling lies, and it’s so very easy to listen.
She claims to save the children, and if you listen, you’ll lose them, pushing them away one panicked intervention at a time. She kills families in the veil of saving them.
She is not a nice god.
Join Lee Moyer (Icon) and Seanan McGuire (Story) Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for a guide to the many small deities who manage our modern world: