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 The Legend of Potato God
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Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 4:23 am
Posts: 9
Tue Mar 01, 2016 6:10 am

Has anyone heard of flash fiction? It is really just short fiction. WIth parameters. Some say it should be a couple hundred words. Or simply under 1,500 words. Bear with me, this is a strange story. Yes, the historical facts are true. I used .gov and .edu sources, which unfortunately I do not have on hand. It would take way to long to explain why I wrote this in the first place.

 

The Legend of Potato God

Many years ago, on the continent we now call South America, the Incan Empire was in power. Many have heard of the various interesting deities they worshipped, but few have learned about their agriculture. They used their knowledge of plants to grow nuts, legumes, fruits, roots, grains, and vegetables. Because of this, they were always prepared with 3-7 years’ worth of food.

One day, 7,000 to 10,000 years ago, they discovered a new plant in the Lake Titicaca region of the Andes Mountains. That plant is what we now call a potato plant. The Inca weren’t fooled by the plant’s poisonous leaves and fruit. It wasn’t long before they learned of the parts of the plant’s roots that were edible. Potatoes.

On the fateful day the potato was discovered, a powerful force awakened. The personification of all potatoes. That force was Potato God.

The Inca were oblivious to his existence, but he taught them much. Potato God had no physical form in the world of humans, so he whispered into their dreams. He taught them how to grow potatoes and that they could be dried so they would last the winter. He blessed their crop and took pride in the Inca. The Inca were happy. And so was Potato God.

Until the Spanish arrived. As early as the 1530s, they came in contact with the Inca for the first time. At first there was not much conflict. The Inca taught them about their land. The Spanish taught the Inca of theirs. And then the Spanish tried to conquer the Inca. Potato God watched in distress. He was a mere plant god, unable to aid the Inca in battle. The Inca pleaded with their gods to help them, but none ever did. And so they were conquered.

Angry the Incan gods didn’t defend their own people, he confronted Inti, god of the sun, and his wife Pachamama, goddess of the earth. Potato God demanded they tell him why they had let their own people suffer.

Inti and Pachamama tried to explain. For so long Inti and his wife had helped the Inca. First by sending their children to Earth to help educate the Inca. Then by granting them power and blessings. Giving them aid in battle. The Incas pleased them with praise and offerings, so they continued to help the people. The Incas called them gods. Undying beings with near infinite power. And so they believed it. But as time passed, Inti and Pachamama realized their power was fading. Soon they would no longer be able to take care of the Incas. What would happen when the Incas called on their aid and there was no response? But it was already too late. The Spanish had come and there was nothing the Incan gods could do to help.

Potato God was stunned. Surely it couldn’t be true. They were gods. They couldn’t die. They couldn’t lose their powers. How was it even possible? Potato God was proud of his power. He wouldn’t fade. He’d make sure of it.

Still angry that his people had been conquered, Potato God decided to follow a Spanish ship back to their land. To take his revenge, for him and his people. The voyage was long, but Potato God followed the entire way. Once land was out of sight, the ship was plagued by storms. Potato God refused to help the ship. The ship survived, but it was sent off course. It was going to take longer than expected to reach land.

Supplies ran low and men began to fall ill. They would rise from bed stiff and sore, muscles aching. Some crew members were unable to work much. The men prayed to reach land. They were desperate, worrying they would not survive the journey.

They sighted land just in time. The captain was on death’s doorstep. Curious, Potato God followed the men to see where they would take their sickly captain. The captain was taken to a doctor, who quickly explained what was wrong. Vitamin C, found in fruits, was hard to get on long sea voyages. The men had been experiencing the symptoms of scurvy, the captain simply had it a bit worse. He would be fine as long as he ate some Vitamin C.

Potato God knew potatoes had Vitamin C. But the sailors didn’t. Potatoes would last much longer than fruit… But these men had been so terrible to his people. There was no reason for him to help them. But, surely, not all the sailors in this new land could be so cruel… So many people shouldn’t have to suffer because of the actions of another.

That night, he whispered into the captain’s dreams. He taught the captain of some of the potato’s wonderful properties. But not all. Just what the captain needed to know. Potatoes could prevent the terrible disease and lasted for a long time. Ideal for sea voyages. Even with the knowledge he shared with the captain, Potato God realized it was pointless. Potatoes were a novelty available to only the royal courts and nobles. Sailors would never be able to afford potatoes.

Potato God was curious. There were so many weird new things to learn about in this foreign land. He needed to learn a little bit more before he took his revenge. He traveled far and wide, learning about the people and places. Though there were many splendors, he saw the darker side of all the places he visited. He wondered how he could help these people. All of them.

And so, he taught them how to grow potatoes. The potato plants thrived. It wasn’t long before they became widespread, and a little later, they were cheap and available to all. Sailors ate them on long sea voyages. People found new ways to incorporate them into dishes. Farmers made a living growing them. Potato God was proud. His creation had become so important. People needed potatoes. People depended on Potato God.

Slowly, potatoes lost favor again as new crops were introduced. Crops such as corn. Nations changed and became a lot less dependent on potatoes. But not Ireland. Potato God’s pride and joy. Their loyalty to potatoes was unfaltering. Year after year, he blessed their crop.  And so, Ireland thrived. Potato God was happy for the time being, so to him that was all that mattered.

Until the year his power failed him. The year 1845. He had overexerted his power. It was fading. He was too weak to bless the crops, so they failed. Over the course of the next 3 years, 1.5 million people either left Ireland or starved. It was what we now call the Great Potato Famine.

Before the start of the fourth year, Potato God knew he could not let his new people pay the price for his mistakes any longer. Mustering the last of his power, he ended the famine, saving enough potato plants so that his creation could keep on helping people even if he couldn’t.

As he faded away, he remembered Inti’s words from so long ago. He knew his contributions would never make up for the terrible event that had passed. But at least his new people had survived. And that was all that mattered.

 



 Re: The Legend of Potato God
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Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 12:28 am
Posts: 31
Sun Mar 13, 2016 1:43 pm

I loved that! You are an awesome writer. I want to know, was the potato god real?

 

Livelyunicorn43 Out        

         




 Re: The Legend of Potato God
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Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 8:01 pm
Posts: 269
Sat Jun 25, 2016 6:48 pm

WHOA

Amazing

-Dragoncrown485




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