Things were finally going great for me, for a while. I had a job that I enjoyed, I had a successful bussiness, I even got off the drugs!
But as they say, all good things must come to an end.
How was I to know the laws of the city? I had been raised in a secluded little church my entire life. As far as I knew I had done nothing wrong. But as it turned out, that was exactly the problem. Doing nothing.
I didn't know inactivity was a crime. How could I have known? It seemed like a stupid stupid rule. The council members tried to explain to me that if citizens don't cause enough chaos, then the city would be befallen with natural disasters, like it was creating its own chaos to make up for the lack of it. They said I was a "huge danger to public safety" because I wasn't doing anything.
I don't believe them, about the whole natural disasters thing. It seems like they just made that up so they could invent a rule to target the innocent folks just trying to live their lives peacefully. I tried desperately to explain to them that due to my background I had no way of knowing what was illegal in the city, how I was terribly sorry and how I promised to do better. But no matter how hard I pleaded, no-one listened to me.
I had already seen many of the council's capital punishments, and had heard many rumours of just how far they go when no-one is watching. Would I be excecuted? Put in stocks? Dunked in boiling oil? Shaved and covered in itching powder? Sent to the abbatoir and ground up into meat? Be turned into a trash can and left at the side of the road? My hands trembled and my blood felt like it was on fire. I felt myself turn pale as I heard them read out the verdict:
The defenition of god-tending, from the council's official list of punishments:
"A citizen sentenced to God-Tending is forced into the role of Council Fodder. These expendables are used by The Unseen Ones to tend to the citygods' various needs, such as feeding, bathing, and sexual needs."
My heart sank. I was breathless. I think I would honestly have prefered to have my head cut off in public. I had heard terrible, terrible things about these gods. Sadistic, depraved creatures, some even animalistic in their behaviors. Each of them an abomination and an afront to nature. I tried to reassure myself that perhaps what my dad had told me about them was just greatly exaggerated, after all he had been wrong about many other aspects of the city, but I couldn't shake this feeling, this overwhelming dread, this heavy pit in my stomach.
Something very bad was about to happen to me.