“Prior to the Godkilling, man and animal were left helpless in the face of a petty deity that wielded tools of making and unmaking on whim alone. His anger brought flood and famine and his favor gave tremendous power to those corrupt ecclesiastic orders that rose up to worship him. His power was the power to supersede the will of man.”
An excerpt from The Godkilling by Yrdwar Senelane, Collegium Historian.
This is the flavor text that opens the first chapter of my fantasy manuscript. The entirety of the story began with one idea: What if people could kill their God when they got tired of everything attributed to him. Believing that hurricanes, earthquakes, and tornadoes are ‘acts of God’ or that one sports team wins by the grace of God and the other loses, presumably, because they’ve curried less favor with God is the sort of logic that allows a person to run the course of their life without taking much responsibility for anything. Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma believes that climate change is false because the bible states that ‘as long as the earth remains there will be seed time and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night’. Blind faith in the face of science. So what if people could kill their God to end not only the natural events attributed to him, but also the fervor that his followers use to do damage to the society?
When I started writing Blood of a Godkiller, I wanted to create a society that existed not just godlessly, but in spite of God. Random and occasional attempts within the population to recreate a deity-based belief system are met with the harshest of punishments: death. Speaking of the dead has finite social acceptability to avoid reconnecting with the antiquated notion of an afterlife. Cursing revolves around creative use of the dead God’s anatomy and reinforces irreverence as a means of social control.
Oddly, though I expected to find this mythical place exciting and liberating, it evolved quite a bit differently. With no preternatural being to dictate the laws of society to them, the people within my fictional society took his place and were no better off for it. A vacuum of power was created in his displacement and, as might be expected, various human entities fought to take over. Despite my inclinations and as imaginary friends tend to do, the people of the realm developed almost independently of me. Because their God had been a physical manifestation that existed on the same plane as them, they were not only able to kill him, but they were also able to witness his manipulation of the world in real and actual terms. Unfortunately, despite their abhorrence for their God, they fell easily into replicating his manipulative form of governance once he was gone.
Nevertheless, this was the idea that gave birth to my first completed manuscript and the evolution of it gave me pause to consider our own reality quite a bit.