“So this is where you, er,” I began, “this is where you grow… gods?”
The old man scratched absently at the stubble on his chin and leaned on his hoe. “Yep, this is where we grow ‘em, all right. These here cosmoi been in my family, oh, ten, twelve generations. Been a god-farming family since long afore the rest o’ the town sprang up these parts.” He fell silent in contemplation for a moment, taking his straw hat off and fanning himself with it.
I blinked, not entirely sure what to say to that. “I had no idea the… industry went back that far.”
“Oh sure!” He brightened. “Deiculture goes way back. Weren’t no civilization afore it started. ‘Course, it weren’t like this back then.” He gestured toward the finely delineated cosmoi, each neatly squared off from the others and surrounded by split-rail wooden fences. “Was mostly as folk’d drop a wild idea or two into whatever cosmos they’d happen to be passing, come back later and find a god or two’d sprung up in the meanwhile.” He chuckled. “Weren’t much to speak of, them gods. All wild ‘n’ animalistic. You’d barely even call ‘em anthropomorphic! But we’re smart critters. We figgered it out right quick.”
“So, uh, there’s a lot to it, then? To growing… gods?” I resisted the urge to shake my head. Or maybe pinch myself, I wasn’t sure.