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When I was a little girl, I went to church. Our church was an illegal one: the building was unregistered.

We would sit on the benches made from stolen floorboards and listen to a man dressed in black as he read us tales of angels coming to save righteous men from evil, their swords clean and their trumpets blaring.

The man dressed in black was old. He was sick. His Bible was missing pages.

One day in March, my mother turned to me and said clearly, "Masha, I want you to remember something for when you grow up." Maybe she knew she was dying. "God loves murderers."

I just looked up at her, thumb in my mouth. My mother was still a beautiful woman. She was young when a man at an after-riot party had given her a child inside of her, a bruise on her face, and a few kopeks for her trouble before running away forever.

So I watched the dirty gray sunlight washing through her sickly blonde hair, watched it illuminate the dark hollows of her eyes, watched her face, and asked, "Why, mama?"

She ran a finger across her rosary, counting the beads. Maybe conversing with saints, maybe worrying about rent. I could never tell. "Because there are too many people on this Earth, so He needs a way to get rid of some."

She knelt so she could look at my eyes. "Masha, we are like rats everywhere. Rats in cages sometimes eat each other, or they trample each other. Or they chew the cage to bits."

I knew the principal of this. We lived in Moscow. Even then, we drowned in the desert of tired, dirty people walking the subways and alleys and roofway levels every day.

I tried to make sense of her words with all of my four-year-old heart. "So then God, He doesn't love rats?"

Mama gave me a hug, the corners of her eyes crinkling and her eyebrows arching up in a painful smile, and picked me up.

"Oh, Masha, no. No, He loves everything. But especially murderers."
This one's set way in the future, when the Earth is even more ridiculously overcrowded than it is now.

Also, I'm not actually Christian. Or, obviously, Russian. Or from the future. But you probably knew that.

EDIT OH GOD DD. I haven't checked this account in so longgg I can't even respond to all this oh god

Thank you so much for your support, deviantArt!
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Daily Deviation

Given 2013-01-10
Rats by ~blue-isotropic is an intriguing twist on the dystopian genre. Suggested anonymously. ( Featured by neurotype )
:iconsigma-echo-seven:
Sigma-Echo-Seven Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Student Writer
Interesting concept. Definitely poignant in its own weird way. Well done!
Reply
:iconmachmaste:
machmaste Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Student Writer
This was awesome and deserves all the praise it was given by those who read this before me. ]:)
Reply
:iconkanjimaru67:
Kanjimaru67 Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013
Wonderful setting and dialogue! A well-deserved DD!
Reply
:iconnekonekogirl997:
NekoNekoGirl997 Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Congrats, and good job.
Reply
:iconbryosgirl:
bryosgirl Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Very deserving of a DD. :D Despite the short length the piece feels complete and still conveys so much ambience.
Reply
:iconmichaelschwob:
MichaelSchwob Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013
This is beautiful (: Deserves to be daily deviation!
Reply
:iconartisamystery:
Artisamystery Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Hobbyist
this is really good! so simple
Reply
:iconnullibicity:
Nullibicity Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
This is so beautifully written and so beautifully expressed!! It was such a pleasure to read (:
Reply
:iconmjolnir13621:
Mjolnir13621 Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Student Writer
You could've set it during the Cold War and it'd still be pretty accurate. The Soviet Union outlawed all religions.
Reply
:iconbryosgirl:
bryosgirl Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I was thinking the same. :)
Reply
:iconfulcrum45:
Fulcrum45 Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Interesting. I wouldn't have thought it was in the future if you hadn't mentioned it - it made me think of the days when Moscow was red and Russia was called the USSR, what with the poverty and death.
Reply
:iconmoonlightwite:
MoonlightWite Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Student General Artist
This seems as if it's something that may end up happening one day...
Reply
:iconcolorstudy:
ColorStudy Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013
this is absolutely gorgeous
Reply
:iconsimbaprower:
SimbaPrower Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This sounds like an interesting novel introduction.
Pretty good! :3
Reply
:icondarkespeon11:
darkespeon11 Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013
Stunned. You created this whole scene that i cannot even begin to describe... this is just... wow!
Reply
:iconaskmontreal:
AskMontreal Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
How interesting...sounds like a novel im ready to read..~
Reply
:iconart-snob-solutions:
Art-Snob-Solutions Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013
Alrighty then.
Reply
:icontravispony:
TravisPony Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013
well, its not a good thing when you think about it... i know somone who got murdered and it was one of my best teachers from 1st grade, this makes me cry alot
Reply
:iconlotrluvr:
lotrluvr Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, how thought-provoking. You certainly deserved the DD!
Reply
:iconpathetiquepoetic:
PathetiquePoetic Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is horrifying, but in a beautiful way. That makes sense, right?
Reply
:iconcherimoya-chan:
Cherimoya-chan Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Student General Artist
I think God does love murderers, but not for that particular reason... but no matter, this was still a great piece. It really captured my attention~ ^.^
By the way, "principal" in the fourth-to-last line should be "principle" in this context. :)
Reply
:iconanikalunastvladimir:
AnikaLunaStVladimir Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow... just... wow... I love your perspective on the world... there are an awful lot of people in big cities.... but then again, not everywhere can be small towns...
Reply
:iconhanae-hime:
Hanae-hime Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013
You are amazing and your writing is amazing as well. :iconsweethugplz:
Reply
:iconapplescratch:
AppleScratch Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Hobbyist Filmographer
So beautiful.
Reply
:iconrockygems:
RockyGems Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Student General Artist
So when's the novel coming out? :D
Reply
:iconwolfiejenny:
WolfieJenny Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013  Hobbyist
hey is the link in your signature wrong? it leads to me...
Reply
:iconrockygems:
RockyGems Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013  Student General Artist
It's a trick link. Just a little confidence booster for whoever clicks on it :)
Reply
:iconwolfiejenny:
WolfieJenny Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013  Hobbyist
thats cool! how do you do that?
Reply
:iconrockygems:
RockyGems Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013  Student General Artist
You type in me.-deviantart.-com in your signature without the dashes :)
Reply
:iconeuxiom:
Euxiom Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013
Wow, really lovely piece. It was presented wonderfully.
Reply
:iconnhlovedani:
NHLoveDani Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, this is so... Sharp and... I can't find the word? Spellbinding, I suppose. I had to read it the first sentence I read. It's beautiful, in some... very chilling way.
Reply
:iconthelastwhiterose85:
TheLastWhiteRose85 Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I am a Christian, well written. I agree with a lot of it. Thanks for posting this. It caught my eye, I am one that believes everything happens for a reason.
Reply
:iconrubydasquirlz:
RubyDaSquirlz Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Student Writer
This makes so much sense~
So the murderers would effectively either be bigger, stronger rats... or cats.
This is awesome, I love it, great way of thinking!!
Reply
:icontenlongfingers:
TenLongFingers Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
A very well-deserved DD. Probably the most deserved I've seen in the literature section.
Reply
:iconshondrea:
Shondrea Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
By then, the overpopulation is going to be from the old, not the young, if the first world birth rate continue like they are, and our population keeps aging.
Reply
:iconieitmotif:
Ieitmotif Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013
I always said 'God loves murderers' and I'm proven right aww yea :p
Reply
:icontirasunil:
tirasunil Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Student Writer
Well God does love murderers. :) No joke here.
Reply
:iconbrowncoatmando:
BrowncoatMando Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Hobbyist
this sounds like something that could actually have happened in the old, unmissed days of the USSR the illegal church and all.
Reply
:iconpursuingthecerberus:
PursuingTheCerberus Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Professional Writer
absolutely amazing emotion, vividness of setting, and character development, yet with such brevity. Congratulations on the DD, well deserved :)
Reply
:iconazizriandaoxrak:
AzizrianDaoXrak Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Sooooooooooooooooo gorgeous and dark. I love this.
Reply
:iconmechanimator:
mechanimator Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Student General Artist
Beautiful.
Reply
:iconzee-who:
Zee-Who Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Hobbyist
Congrats on your Daily Deviation!:squee::heart:
Reply
:iconjoel-wade:
Joel-Wade Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013   General Artist
Great work here, I'd love to read more! Kept me interested from
start to finish
Reply
:iconanapests-and-ink:
anapests-and-ink Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
That last line gave me shivers. Part of me wants to know what Masha does with this advice, but another part of me is too enthralled with how perfect the scene is to even think of expanding it. You put so much into so little. Love it.
Reply
:iconmegancoffey:
MeganCoffey Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013
Amazing work!
Reply
:iconlintu47:
lintu47 Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Congrats on the well deserved DD! :dalove:
Have a nice day! :heart:
Reply
:icondillon-j-feldman:
Dillon-J-Feldman Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Student General Artist
[link]
I like to read this everytime I worry about overpopulation. C:
Reply
:iconhail-the-oblivious:
hail-the-oblivious Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:iconlike-plz:
Reply
:iconjedihobbit89:
JediHobbit89 Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Most excellent! A prime example of what Earnest Hemingway called the "iceberg principle." I was immediately pulled in by your amazing ability to paint an entire world through a few minimalist strokes of the brush. I quite admire the style myself, being one who's writing is often luxuriant and verbose. I quite enjoyed it.
Reply
:iconkalliroe:
Kalliroe Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Very interesting! :clap:
Reply
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