Sci-Fan Saturday: Starlight and Scum

Diversified Writer
4 min readFeb 24, 2024

Sister Seraphim lowered herself into the grimy tunnel, the stench of sewage a baptism by decay. Her bioluminescent robes cast an eerie glow on the scuttling life clinging to the damp walls. This was not the celestial expanse she’d trained for, the star-strewn tapestry woven by the Divine Architect. This was the underbelly, the fetid cradle of humanity’s discards, the domain of the so-called Gutter God.

Seraphim, like all Skyborn, had been raised on the gospel of the heavens. The Architect, a luminous being residing in the heart of a supermassive black hole, guided their lives, his whispers carried by starlight. But whispers were growing into murmurs, doubts into heresies. People were disappearing, lured to the depths by a new prophet, a madman raving about a deity in the muck.

Seraphim, driven by a loyalty bordering on fanaticism, had volunteered to infiltrate the Gutter Church. The stench turned her stomach, but faith, cold and unwavering, kept her going. She reached a cavernous hall, the air thick with incense and sweat. A figure, shrouded in rags, stood on a makeshift pulpit, eyes gleaming in the dim light.

“He awaits,” the prophet rasped, his voice a guttural growl. “The Gutter God, the Sculptor of the Scorned, your true creator!”

Seraphim scoffed. “The Architect is the only God! We are stardust, not sewer scum!”

The prophet chuckled, a sound like dripping water. “You Skyborn live in gilded cages, blind to the Architect’s cruelty. He casts aside the broken, the flawed, labelling them refuse. But the Sculptor in the shadows embraces them, moulds them into something stronger, something beautiful.”

He gestured to the crowd. Men and women, their bodies twisted with mutations, bore the hallmarks of the Architect’s rejected designs. Yet, they held their heads high, a fierce pride in their ravaged eyes.

Seraphim felt a crack in her faith. The Architect, in his celestial perfection, couldn’t comprehend the broken. Perhaps there was truth in the Gutter God’s embrace.

The days that followed were a waking nightmare. She learned the stories of the ostracized, their pleas unanswered by the distant Architect. She witnessed the Sculptor’s power firsthand, his touch reshaping flesh and bone…

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Diversified Writer

Darren is a short story and novella writer. He likes tall tales that have humour and heart. He’ll occasionally bring you poetry, finance and health blog posts.