for Brendan, who always seems to enjoy these

Spite is underestimated as a creative force.

So she threw me down from the heights, sure, a long fall indeed, 24 hours of falling, time enough to revolve the matter in my mind, to pass through terror and weariness, to gauge the rocks below and the rocks above. A more than human fall; from heaven to earth. I saw the fire-to-be; fire, the nesting place of every displaced god.

Malformed, ugly, unloved: why not. I knew my worth, even then, midair, knowing I would be half crushed and hobbled. We are born knowing, though they who bear us seldom do. My rival, my love, that weakheaded gorgeous son of man, glorious in his leopard skins, lips stained purple with juice; she saw his beauty and went stormy with rage. Fools, all of them. What has he produced but folly?

Oh, but the rocks! A year and a day I lay bleeding on that unfertile shore, white spurs of bone, black rocks, grey skies, seas purple with my regal blood. My first great forging, bone to bone, untutored, unlearned, patient and pained. Spiteful.