True Pretenses: Deleted Scene #2

Originally, when Lydia asked Ash if he believed in God, he answered her.


[trigger warning: child abuse]

“I have no firm opinion on the subject,” he said.

She tried not to be shocked. He had grown up parentless, without education or moral teaching, brought up by thieves and bodysnatchers.

“Surely God has greater things to worry about than whether or not I believe in Him.” His face, for once, was somber as he watched her. “Even if He exists, I don’t know that I’d worship him. I know, for example, that the King exists. He and his representatives have the power to punish me for what I do. That’s without question. Yet I bear him no love or gratitude for that, any more than I should love a father who starved and beat me.”

It was the most dreadful sedition, and blasphemy too. But it made her see with the blinding glare of lightning how far outside he felt from all human society, how rejected and unwanted. Children did often love their fathers who starved and beat them; she had seen that many times. It was the rare, lucky exception who could say, I owe him nothing; I rarely think of him.

Is it not God’s plan? he had said, with such bitterness in his voice.

“God loves you,” she said. “If there is evil in the world, if there is want too great to bear, it is the fault of wicked men and the devil. But God loves us all.”

His face softened as he looked at her. “Then on the Judgment Day, I’ll accept his justice without complaint.”


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