Fandom: Homestuck^2

  • The Influencers (Imode Kurita, Harry Anderson Egbert, and Silas P. Beauregard III)
  • Minor Original Characters
  • John
  • Vrissy is also there I guess
  • In-Universe Religious Themes
  • Humor
  • Pre-Canon (relative to the Influencers comic)

Length: 1.8k, Oneshot

Date Posted: 2021-04-13

The Heir of Breath, O Hear His Name And Tremble (Etc Etc)


It starts with seven-year-old Silas Beauregard, a pile of sandbox toys, and a miniature tornado in the children's park between the swings and the climbing wall.


Originally posted on fail_fandomanon, as part of the 1500th post prompt and fill fest! The original anonymous prompt was:

I think Homestuck anons could do something fun with this comment:

It starts with seven-year-old Silas Beauregard, a pile of sandbox toys, and a miniature tornado in the children's park between the swings and the climbing wall. Harry doesn't seem bothered at all, but all the other children stare, bug-eyed, for several long seconds as the little dust-devil spins through the woodchips and spills out onto the grass, where it tears mulch from the ground like a weedwhacker.

Imode is the one closest to Harry at the time, and they all but hide behind him, because they're a coward, and also because they're not stupid. They can't fight an act of god alone. Silas rolls her eyes at them, and tries very hard not to look nervous.

"What is that?" someone asks, wide-eyed.

"I think it's one of the gods," says Avril, who is edging nearer with a curious expression, as if he hopes to look more interesting and impressive by standing in harm's way.

Harry opens his mouth, pauses contemplatively, then shuts it.

With a heel-turn and hair-flip to show off her new powder-blue suit and matching hat, Silas steps forward to the head of their merry little band of startled children, and declares, "It's the Heir."

A knowing little "ohhh" passes through the crowd, accumulated on the border of the playground.

"Isn't that just Harry's dad?" Imode offers, very quietly. They are ignored.

"He must be displeased by something we've done," Silas elaborates, "and now we have to appease Him." She looks over the scraggly cluster of children behind her, as if searching for some sign of wrongdoing.

Predictably, none of them volunteer as guilty.

"Avril!" Silas barks, and Avril starts, catching himself just short of toppling off the foot-high wooden barrier around the woodchips. "You took my bucket in the sandbox earlier. I bet the Heir is angry at you for that!"

"Why would the Heir care about your bucket?!" Avril shoots back. "Maybe He's mad because you threw sand at me after!" Realizing he's made himself sound at fault, he adds, "And what if it's not about any of that? Maybe He just wants to make whirlwinds!"

"The Heir has to be appeased!" Silas insists, crossing her arms. "Give Him your shovel and repent!"

"I didn't even take your shovel!"

"Yeah, but you don't have a bucket to give Him!"

Their classmates' faces crowd around as the shouting escalates, until Silas grabs Avril's shovel out of his hands, winds up like a troll stickball thrower, and flings the shovel into the whirlwind with dead-on aim. The whirlwind sucks it up with the grace of a garbage disposal devouring a plastic fork. Then, with one last wild surge of wind that blows hair and mulch into everyone's faces, it dissipates entirely.

When it's properly gone, the shovel is nowhere to be seen.

Imode exchanges a pained look with Harry, who has been engaged in a visible and losing battle with his own expression for a solid half minute. The winning expression is a burst of laughter at someone else's expense, bubbling out from behind his frown and forcing his dimples in. He wheezes, softly, then again a little louder.

"The Heir has accepted your offering!" Silas shouts, after a moment of bewildered silence has had time to stew and percolate through the air. "He is appeased! I guess."

"You guess?" Avril scoffs, kicking at woodchips.

"Did He eat the shovel?" asks another kid. Their voice trembles with mixed awe and disbelief.

"He probably just threw it away somewhere," Imode says, but they're still too quiet for anybody but Harry to hear them, and he's laughing too hard by now to listen. Imode casts their eyes over to the park bench where Harry's dad sits not twenty feet away, and meets his gaze.

His poker face is only slightly better than his son's.

"What would He even want a shovel for?" a girl from Imode's class asks, balanced on the middle of the see-saw as Imode and the kid from down the street take turns bouncing up and down on the hard wooden seats.

"I thought He just likes toys," suggests the kid -- Roixmr, they think, but they don't know for sure, and they've been playing too long to ask. "He's supposed to be silly and like wrigglers, right?"

"Yeah, but the other gods don't ask for random offerings and stuff," the girl points out. "And if They really wanted something, They could just ask and people would have to give it to them! If the Heir wanted a shovel, He could just go to the store and say He wanted one."

Roixmr comes down a little too hard on his side, and the girl wobbles, her blue mary janes slip-sliding on the flaking paint.

"Plus," she continues, "He controls the winds, and drilled a hole through the salamander planet. There's nothing you can do with a shovel He can't already do Himself."

This girl is sensible. Imode doesn't remember her name, but they make a note to.

Roixmr shrugs, and bounces again, but the girl keeps her balance this time. "Maybe the toys are only good if they're sacrificed to Him?"

"But the other gods never ask for stuff like that!"

"I think He just likes to see us suffer," says Imode, which is the first thing they've said all afternoon that anyone else could hear. The girl coughs out a harsh, rattling laugh.

"Vriska! Five minutes, dear!" calls a voice from across the playground. All three of them look up; at the bench, a woman with pale hair waits, beside a tall jadeblood. The girl rolls her eyes.

"Yeah, alright!" she yells back, and then, with a flourish, she leans perfectly into the next tilt of the see-saw.

"Wow," Roixmr says, "your parents named you after Vriska Serket?"

Vriska does a funny thing with her mouth. "Yeah, I mean, I guess."

The whirlwind is there again the next week.

"Who's done it now?" Silas demands, but to no avail. Avril busily makes himself scarce near the back of the growing crowd. Henry looks no more composed than last time, but he puts in a valiant effort.

Roixmr is here today, and he steps forward, holding a matchbox car. "I did," he says. Imode raises an eyebrow from where they're watching at the top of the slide. They took the perch to overlook the crowds, and they didn't see him starting any fights.

Silas squints at him, as if taken aback, while Avril breathes a visible sigh of relief. "What did... um, what is your wrongdoing?" She regains her confidence a second later. "Confess!"

"I... stole a toy car! From another kid at school!" He provides a convincing impression of guilt, but Imode doesn't believe him. "And so, I have to sacrifice mine to the Heir!"

Silas seems to think it over. "Go on, then."

Roixmr walks three steps past the edge of the woodchips, stands on his tip-toes, and throws the car at the whirlwind. It misses by a foot, at least, but the wind sucks it up like a droplet down the drain, and a second later, the vortex unspools itself into nothing more than a breeze rippling through the playground. It ruffles Imode's hair, from where they sit, like the hand of a playfully well-meaning adult.

Silas's eyes are huge (and so are everyone else's), but she doesn't say anything incriminating.

"TOYS FOR THE WIND GOD!" shouts another kid, somewhere in the middle of the crowd.

"It has to be a special toy," Imode hears someone argue. They've holed up under the wooden castle structure this time, watching from the shadows boxed in by support beams, crouching between the low plank ceiling and the dusty woodchip-scattered floor. "You have to have done something wrong, and then the whirlwind appears. Then whoever did it sacrifices a toy to Him, and then it goes away because He's happy."

"No," insists another kid-- maybe Harry, maybe someone else-- "It doesn't have to be wrongdoing. He just has to like the toy. The whirlwinds are His way of asking."

Imode bites down the temptation to tell them it's whatever Harry's dad thinks is funniest, but the other kid answers first.

"But why would He only bring whirlwinds when someone's stolen something?"

"He's not the god of laws," scoffs another. "He's the god of pranks, and He wants toys. We only do the confessing thing because Silas made it up, and she's bossy."

"Didn't she throw sand at Avril?" muses the other kid, again.

The second kid turns out to be right, as much as any of them are. The whirlwind starts showing up like clockwork, once a week, when Harry's dad takes him to the playground on Saturday afternoons.

Sacrifices get bigger, too. The next week a second grade girl throws in a barbie, swung by the hair like a stone in a sling, and few weeks after, the kid from across the street ups the ante with two action figures, thrown one after the other. Silas shows off her dad's money with an entire brand new RC car, which she chucks into the whirlwind along with the remote, and Imode gets a good view of the antannae corkscrewing off into the sky as the ritual ends.

Harry's dad looks a little guilty after that one, but Silas's dad will buy her any toy under a hundred dollars, no questions asked, so long as she's getting good grades, so Imode isn't concerned.

The words are important now, though Imode doesn't participate enough to ever say them: there's a plea, to the Heir, and a half-circle of whoever's nearest will start chanting. They sing it to the tune of the birthday song, because nobody has any better ideas, and one kid likes to add "cha-cha-cha!" after every line.

One of the third graders, Joanna, who attends church with alarming regularity and no doubt considers youth pastor an enviable position, has insisted that technically, this is an inappropriate manner in which to worship the Heir. Sometimes she gets the other kids to chant the first verse of an old Skaian hymn instead, but the birthday tune persists, and regrettably, with it, the "cha-cha-cha!"s.

Imode wonders what her church must think of all this. Blasphemy, probably. Or heresy. Joanna uses a lot of big words like those, and Imode doesn't really know the difference.

It takes four months for the school to catch on, and another passes before Imode sits through roll call in class one day to hear Ms. Skalbi announce a brand new unit in theology for social studies. Apparently, it's been added to the curriculum for all grades below fourth, when it's usually taught, because the school decided it was important for young minds to understand the gods and their presence on Earth.

Harry is sweating, visibly. Imode's eyes bore into the back of his head as they wish fervently for a camera.