Ostara tossed the once beautiful white hat, now torn and stained, at the feet of the New God. “You have your hat, now leave.”
Media’s gaze never left her own, not even when her appearance glitched. In the blink of an eye, the New God’s hat and hair were restored to their former impeccable glory.
“I thought we were friends.” Gone was the breathy voice from before, replaced by a husky timbre Ostara had been privy to during their more private outings.
“Your definition of friendship is as twisted as the people who worship you.” Ostara glared at Media as she continued, “Friends help one another. They don’t lie! You gave me empty promises, Media. You squawked and squawked, but ultimately you failed to deliver. I’m nothing more than a glorified bunny!”
Media leveled her own fierce glare at Ostara. “The world the Mortals inhibit has never been a pleasant one, Ostara. You’ve been witness to their victories and failures longer than I have. When they feared something, they prayed to the Gods. When they needed something, they prayed and sacrificed to the Gods. Now, when they fear something…when they need something… they reach for their phones and laptops. When they don’t understand something, they turn on the tv or research it. They turn to religion when there are no roads left to take.”
Ostara’s hands curled into fists. “Some still believe.”
Media laughed, but the humor in her voice was as dry as the land Ostara had stripped. “I’ve kept you relevant in a society with little left to believe in. That in itself is no small feat.”
Ostara uncurled her fists, feeling drained despite the adrenaline pumping through her. “We shall see what humanity turns to when all else fails. When the cries of their starving children keep them up at night.” She squared her shoulders. “I’ve chosen my side and you yours, the line has been drawn. The veil lifted.”
Ostara thought she saw a glimmer of pain in Media’s eyes, but it was gone too fast for her to be sure. “In all the time we’ve known each other, I’ve never lied to you. Not once. I wasn’t lying when I called you a friend and I wasn’t lying that night in the field when you made me lay in the grass to look at the stars.”
Without another word, Media climbed the steps that lead to the front of her home.
Ostara waited 3 minutes before following after her, absorbing everything Media had said. With a deep sigh, she went up the stairs. The last thing she needed was another fight on her property. As angry as she was with Media, as angry as she would always be, it didn’t mean she wanted her to be hurt.
The scene that met her eyes when she reached the top step almost changed her mind.
The sight of Media kissing Laura Moon in front of the bunnies, Mr. Wednesday, Shadow Moon, and Mad Sweeney left her speechless.
With an audible sigh, Media pulled away from a now glitching Laura. Before the others could shut their mouths, Laura’s “I’m dead look” changed drastically. Her skin tone regained its once healthy color, her hair shone with life, and the flys surrounding her vanished. Laura Moon looked very much alive.
Media brushed a strand of hair away from Laura’s shocked face. “Am I…”
Media chuckled, “This change is temporary dear. It doesn’t mean you are back amongst the living. I just gave you a touch-up. In a world where image is everything, I thought it best you look alive. You will need to be intact for the war after all.”
Shadow Moon stared open mouthed back and forth between Media and Laura. “What the Fuck?!”
Mr. Wednesday crossed his arms. “What is the payment you require for such a… generous gift?“
Ostara tried to appear nonchalant as Media gave Laura a once over before replying. "The kiss was the payment.” Ostara felt her blood boil.
“Remember Laura, it’s only temporary.” With a final glance at Ostara Media, glitched out of sight leaving Laura, Shadow Moon, and Mad Sweeny stunned, Mr. Wednesday suspicious and Ostara jealous angry.