The city looked like the city again, with only the slight complication that now everything was gods.
From shrines at the mouths of alleys to carvings in massive buildings, all the city seemed built not on stone and brick but on statues, carvings, and paintings. Holding sheaves of wheat, scrolls, human heads, tridents, or sunlight, the figures shone red, blue, gold, silver, black, green, and brown. There were gods small for life’s little hopes, and gods large for the universe. The white walls sang with their colors, deeds, and histories, and the gods sang too.
No one else on the street seemed to hear them—or if they did, it must be commonplace enough that none noted it. As he wandered away from the river, Jay realized each statue, carving, and painting stared at him.
As their gazes followed him, the songs changed. Instead of multiple songs in his head, like he had heard during the parade the day before, now every song became the same. He listened more closely:
“White and gold burns to red and black.
“The secret turns and you cannot go back.
“The sun burns dark, the sun burns twice,
“Choose your destiny. Choose your price.”
The gods stared and Jay looked into the many fixed eyes. All around him, people went about their morning. No one looked at him or seemed at all to notice that he was there, turning frantically, staring at the buildings and walls.
“You really, really need some breakfast, Jay,” he muttered.
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