I'm still holding the dirk but am holding it lightly at my side. As I get closer I want so badly to bow down to him, to do anything for him, even to sleep with him. The desire courses through my body with surprising speed. I make a half-hearted attempt to summon my anger but it fails to appear.
His eyes are now a spectacular dark green. He smiles at me. Dazzling.
“Miss Turtle, so nice to meet you at last,” he holds out his hand. His voice is so beautiful that I ache. I stare in disbelief at his hand. For some reason I'm surprised that he would do such a common thing as reach his hand out to me. I reach out to clasp it and he pulls me closer until I'm pressed up against him. A shudder runs through me and I reach up to squeeze his arms, dropping my weapon. I have to touch him now. I need to.
I close my eyes and he wraps his arms around me. He's whispering things into my ear, things I don't understand or only half understand. It doesn't matter what he's saying now. All that matters is that I hear his voice. I drift along, feeling a wet humming in my body. I want to be there forever.
“Is this what they mean by being in the bosom of God,” I ask sleepily. He smells sweet and warm. Even his robes feel wonderful. They are like that silky feeling I had squeezing Heaven's white sands through my fingers.
“Yes,” he whispers, his hair flows over me as he tilts his head. I kiss him on the cheek. I can't help it. Human love feels nothing like this, pales in cold comparison. In all existence there can't be a love like this with a person.
“Well, if they went through all that for this then I'd do it too,” I say. I realize what I'm saying makes no sense but I don't care.
“You can stay here as long as you want. No one will take you away from me now,” he says. His arms squeeze me a little tighter and I gasp from the sensation.
“I'm so glad for that. So glad,” I say, letting myself drift. I hear a faint voice from somewhere. “Are services starting soon?” The words sound so strange to me. They make no sense. I don't hear them again for a bit and God (yes, it's him) holds me tighter. He smells perfect, like all the most beautiful places in the world. I take deep breaths to inhale the luscious scent. This is pure seduction, I know, but I don't care. God has stopped whispering in my ear. Instead, he just holds me. I'm on the verge of complete surrender. It feels wonderful.
“Services are starting soon” says the voice louder now. My eyes fly open. It is the voice of that bent, but kind old man in the church. I remember his cane, his white curling hair, and mostly I remember his clear pale blue eyes. Ravelle. The bitch decapitated him for no reason.
SNAP!! I jerk as my body pulls itself away from God. In one quick movement I scoop up the dirk and back away from him. God holds out his hands, still serene and lovely.
“Miss Turtle, there's no need to get upset. You were so relaxed and happy just a few moments ago. I don't see why you have to so stressed now,” he says, his lips glisten and his eyes turn a compelling shade of violet. “Come, let me hold you.”
“No, no,” I say backing away from him. I feel the great pull towards him but I know now that it's not real. It's manufactured love, like that rosy love of six months of compelling courtship.
“You don't really love me,” I say. The white room glows with a light softness, but I resist.
“Of course, I love you. I love everyone. I'm God, Miss Turtle, you hear me? I'm GOD!!!!” The last word is said with force and volume. My ears hurt and I feel the force of the word hit my chest like a very loud sound. “Why are you listening to the voice of someone who means nothing when I love you more than anything?” he asks as he advances towards me. I feel eerily violated as I realize that he could hear voice, that memory.
“He was a harmless little old man who probably went to church every day and look how you rewarded him!” I say, still holding the dirk. "You aren't capable of really loving anyone!"
“I am God, the very definition of unconditional LOVE!!!” he says ignoring my last comment. And God flies at me, slamming into me and knocking me down. He kicks me, and something in my side cracks, the pain sharp. He drops to his knees. God's beautiful face looms over me and I hold the dirk just in front of his beautiful right eye, now a shimmering gray. He freezes into place. I should slam the dirk into his perfect eye but I can't.
Everything goes still. Existence stops. The soft whiteness of the room seems to harden into place. I can feel the big machinery of time, dragging to a stop. The flow of Existence is pulling at the machinery but then goes still. The sensation feels inhumanly unnatural. At the same time I feel guilty that I have so much power over the most powerful force in existence. I feel a scary exhilaration course through my limbs but then I check it. Odd that I never felt that way while wielding Mithra. God is still, his glorious hair hanging down over his shoulder. His eyes remain that gorgeous gray. He is beautiful, perfect but he is not real love. “Back away, very slowly,” I say to him. He does as he's told. I roll over and stand up slowly, wincing at the pain in my ribs, but I'm not holding the dirk out in front of me.
God stands up and holds out his hands. He looks like a very pure version of Jesus Christ in the the last supper. “What do you want, Miss Turtle? True love? Wealth? Name it and I'll make it happen.” I can feel time starting up again, dragging along until it starts to flow smoothly. The sensation gives me a queasy feeling, a bit like being in a building on rollers during an earthquake.
“The question is what do you want?” I ask, squeezing the handle of the dirk. I wince again. God makes a sign with his hand and heals my broken ribs then he puts his hands behind his back. I thank him. He nods.
“I want that dirk to keep with the sword. You know it's mine anyway,” he says. He frowns now and he's still impossibly beautiful. He must be heartbreaking when he cries.
“It's not yours. If it were you'd be able to use it,” I say. I am solid now, sure of myself. I'm not afraid at all. “Here's what I want: I want Mithra and I want a guarantee that neither you or your minions will ever come bothering my world again. If anybody wants to attempt to visit I'd be happy to receive them on an official visit. And I want Mr. Gryphon's head.”
“And what do I get in return, Miss Turtle,” he asks, his arms folded across his chest now. He's still frowning which would be intimidating to everyone else but not to me.
“A guarantee that the sword and dirk will be placed in a safe place, never to be used again unless there's an emergency,” I say. The white of the room is gentling down from the unnatural hardness from earlier.
“What kind of emergency?” he narrows his eyes at me.
“You know what kind of emergency. Like when you decide to become a megalomaniac and destroyer. Those times,” I say.
He glares at me, a decidedly disturbing thing to be the recipient of, but I stand my ground.
“What no millions of dollars? No unrequited love that becomes requited?” asks God. He shakes his head. “So many others would have asked for the world.”
“I don't need the world. As for love unrequited, well, I'm not afraid anymore. I've been there often enough. I'm willing to let the love unfold as it will or for the next one to come along naturally. Maybe even do what's best for me. Hm,” I'm looking past him, lost in thought. Am I really feeling as grounded as it seems?
“Miss Turtle!” he snaps and I look at him. I can see he's not used to be ignored like that.
“What's your answer?” I ask in turn.
“I want that sword,” he says, looming in front of me somehow. He's God after all and looms quite a bit I would imagine.
“Try and take it from me and I will start destroying your world like you sent poor Ravelle to destroy mine.”
“Ravelle was an idiot. Couldn't follow the simplest orders. I gave her authorization. I SANCTIONED her actions and gave her all the full permissions,” he says, looming even larger.
“You're an arrogant prick,” I say. His eyes widen and he chokes, slipping gracefully back into his formal size. “If you try anything everything you worked towards will be destroyed.”
“You should have destroyed me when you had the chance, Miss Turtle. No one bargains with me. No one,” he says, eyes glowing a scary red.
I hold the dirk out in front of me. “I don't want to destroy you. Someone needs to keep it all together. Seriously, can't you let go of your arrogance and just agree to my terms?”
“You are a mere mortal albeit a very powerful one, but you will die in the end. And I don't bargain with anybody.”
“Yes, but you do gamble, don't you?” I ask him, tilting my head, “As for my own mortality, I'm thankful for it. If I lived forever I would turn into a corrupt shit like you. Excess time corrupts completely.”
He seethes at me, not bothering to answer my accusation about gambling. “You have one week, Miss Turtle, before I set the dogs on you and your little world. One week.”
“I request safe passage out of this place, through all transfer areas, and into my own neighborhood,” I say standing up straighter.
“You have it. Now get out of my sight, you bitch,” he says, his eyes are fiery red still. I look at him one last time and then run out of the room to the elevator. I push the button to the ground floor and get off. Angels fall away from as I run past them. “Miss Turtle!” calls one of them but I ignore him and keep running. I run out of the White Tower of Heaven with its cloud covered top floors. As soon as I'm out of the building I'm in the middle of the city which looks quite a bit like my beloved San Francisco. I'm on a street of gold that looks like Market Street at Montgomery but way cleaner and studded with precious stones. Souls are walking by along with many angels. They stop to look at me but I stretch out my hand and a blue door appears, hanging in the air. I don't bother to check the sign on the door. I pull the door open and run through.