“The gods indeed did not choose rightly …” —Ahunavaiti Gatha
The clouds rumbled.
“Bastard! Devil!,” a bearded man screamed at the sky.
The mountain wind whipped his hair across his face.
The hair was not grey, but the face was not young.
He looked around,
surveying the black bellies of the thunderheads
gathered around the mountain.
The man turned his eyes back to heaven.
A smile spread from his cheeks to his eyes.
He inhaled deeply.
A mad laugh burst out of him,
and he shouted at heaven.
“You dare not kill me, you fool!”
and he shook his head.
With a lower voice, he began to speak as though
he were talking to another man on the summit.
“Death is my ally. Death—
is my power over you.”
His voice elevated as he continued:
“Kill me and you have nothing!”
Now he began to whisper, as if to a confidant.
“My friend. You and I know of powers
greater than the thunderbolt.
Greater than flood! Drought!
… If you do not kill me now, I will tell the others.”
A flash struck the peak to the south, and then a crack split the air.
“You — MISSED!” The first man screamed, laughing,
but then the wind subsided, and
his face grew more solemn.
“You know, we too
have harnessed fire.”
© 2013 Kaweah