Empire of Sand
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He lay in the California Dunes, the sun resting on the horizon, a body - flesh heap at this point - and a police cruiser beside him.

The Great Anoati, face down in the desert sands, ate and spat the grains upon his mouth.

"Mr. Anoati."

He turned on the ground to face where the voice was coming from.

"… I do not think you are here to praise me."

Buck stood, sunset beating down, haloed on his back, wings in his pockets.


"What brings you here, then? To my kingdom? To my heritage of the sands?" Anoati pivoted, this time turning straight up to look at the orange sky.

"Two things. First is killing you."

Anoati just stared, stared into the color.

"The second thing is… I would like to have a talk."

Anoati blinked, and slowly turned to stand his neck on the sands.

"To talk? To talk? I am done talking. I am done being the God of these lands. These, these people, they hate me. You hate me, even though I am your God, even though I am not to be hated, but loved, and feared. Kill me where I sit. I… I command you."


"No? You dare defy an order from the Great Anoati?"

"I do."

Anoati tore a finger from the corpse nearby, turning it iron, pointing it towards Buck.

"Even against your life?"

"Even against my life."

The finger dropped. Anoati dropped back into the sands.

"Fine. Let us talk. I command you to talk."


Buck paused, letting out a sigh.

"Do you… ugh."

"Speak," Anoati commanded.

"You killed this man?"

"… Yes. He betrayed me and… He betrayed the Great Anoati. And for that he had to die."

"Yeah. I… know the feeling."

"Nobody knows how the Great Anoati feels."

"… Can I ask another question?"

"I command you to ask another question."

"… Did… Did you like it?"

"I do not like it when a human disobeys me, no."

"Not that." Buck sat down on the hood of the cruiser, taking out a cigarette and putting it in his mouth. "I'm asking you if… If you."

"Speak clearly. Hesitation is for cowards."

Buck looked over to the stone mask.

"You want a smoke?" Buck took out his cigarettes again, taking one out and pointing it towards Anoati.

"The Great Anoati accepts your burnt offering."

"Ah, uh. I was joking. I don't have a lighter with me."

"No matter." Anoati picked up the dropped finger and ripped off another turned iron, floating them to Buck. "My gifts of Anoa-stone include its fire."

"Ah. Yeah, okay." Buck crouched over Anoati, placing the cigarette between the mask's lips, striking one finger against the other to spark and catch it on fire.

Buck sat back once more, and together they waited, waited as the unfiltered cigarette burned, billowing into the night, burned to nothing.

"I command you to tell me your true question."

"You could tell it was a distraction, huh."

"Correct, mortal. Nothing escapes the Great Anoati."

"Okay. Okay. Here's my question."

Buck looked down towards Anoati, before looking up to the clouds.

"Do you like hurting other people?"


The fuchsia sky hung low, sun halfdipped into the sands far, far away. And all was still.



"Because if one is dead, they cannot worship the Great Anoati any longer."

"That's… that's it?"

"No. It is also because I may be a harsh god, but I am not cruel. Killing a subject does not give me pleasure because it… upsets others. I know that now. I do not wish for my subjects to be upset. Some times it is necessary, but I loathe it."



"No, I… I've gotten what I came for."

"Then I command you to kill me."

Buck took out his revolver.

"It's been a pleasure, Mr. Anoati."


The Great Anoati was kicked into the sand, shattered into pieces.

Buck let his cigarette fall into the sands with him.

The sun hung sliverthin upon the dunes behind the gunman as he got up, brushed some of the sand off his pants, and put his wings into his pockets.

And he walked towards it, over the dune.

And the sun set on California.

This was written for the SCP Original Character Tournament, featuring Anoati by Dr. Dromeus. Make sure to read DrDromeusDrDromeus's entry for round one, Ducks, Yucks, and a God, and for round two, Battle For The Minds.



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