It wasn’t much to look at. Or it was quite a bit to look at, but all packed into a rather small package.
Chittle was the size, and approximately the shape, of a badly-halved apple. A little lopsided dome of shell, with a baleful eyeball on one side and an unlovely collection of tiny stingers and pincers and claws on the other. It had more legs and things on its flat underside, but frankly overturning it was an unrewarding exercise.
Her Sister called it Shittle. She called it Chit. And no, it wasn’t much. But it was Her first attempt at creating life, and She loved it dearly.
The Secret Father was supportive.
“Would That You Could Have Seen Some Of The Things I Made When I First Brought Forth Life Into The Urverse,” He said. “Even Once My Brothers And Sister Had Learned Much, And We All Worked Together, Still We Created Misbegotten Things That Did Not Even Have Bodies.”
She had laughed at that. “How do You create a thing without a body?”
Her Sister had overheard this, and said, “Would that You had created Shittle without a body.”
The Secret Father had laughed, and said, “But Then Chittle Would Be Naught But Glaring Eyeball And Multitudinous Sharp Stingers, And Then Everybody Would Confuse The Two Of You.”
Her Sister had stormed away in a huff, and the Secret Father had winked.
So it was that when marauders broke into the Sanctuary and attempted to carry away a number of Their youngest Gods, the Secret Father had volunteered Himself to be taken in Their stead.
“No,” She said, while the leader of the marauders was deliberating the merits of this decision. “Take Me instead.”
“Very well,” the leader of the marauders said, a cruel light in her eyes visible behind the thick amber visor of her warhelm.
“Wait,” Her Sister said, and gingerly picked up Chittle where it was scuttling industriously on the banqueting table. “Take this in Her stead.”
The marauders laughed.
“That is not so easy on the eyes, little Godling,” their leader said.
“Then take it as well as Her,” Her Sister countered.
This earned more laughter from the marauders, and their leader extended a dark-armored gauntlet and took Chittle from Her Sister’s unresisting hand.
“So be it,” she said. “We will-”
Chittle made an angry chittering noise – this was where it got its name – and stabbed and scraped at the marauder’s gauntlet with its cluster of tails. It had no effect on the metal, but the marauder growled and raised another of her four hands to crush the little creature.
“No,” She cried.
“No?” the marauder’s expression changed behind the heavy crystal. “Perhaps not. Perhaps this … thing … will ensure Your good behaviour. Come, little Godling.”
As the marauders led Her away, She cast a final look back at Her Family. Her Sister looked anguished. Her Brothers, enraged but impotent. The little ones cowered and wept, and the Secret Father looked up from comforting Them. His eyes met Hers, and He nodded, all but imperceptibly.
Then the marauders escorted Her out of the hall, across the gardens, and out through the ragged hole they’d cut in the Sanctuary wall. Into the dark.