The weather lingers in these parts. The mountains tower over our village as it hunkers down, clinging to the foothills. In autumn, when the air is dank and the sodden leaves lie on the ground like dead fish stranded after high tide, mists loiter below the craggy peaks. If you are a Rare One like me, you venture out from the safety of the low-slung houses and meandering lanes, and haul yourself up by your fingertips to the granite summits. You pierce the mists like a bodkin through hessian and it is as if you have ascended to the heavens. If you stay below, you remain buried in the bowels of the earth. All light is stolen, all is shadow. But it is all you know, and so you stay.
Then, there are the Nights of Anger. Most hide their heads, mouse-dormant, most warn their children not to venture outside. For the white-hot shards that splinter the sky, the roaring air that shakes the centre of the earth as if it is but a child’s plaything, they do not leave our small world willingly. They are trapped by those dark peaks raised heavenwards, pointing to other-worldly forms of justice – they are subjecting us to the timpani of the gods and hell’s illumination to teach us all an unknowable lesson.
Some elders claim that long ago, a heinous crime tore the guts from the village. Others believe that the storms are a warning of devilry to come. All agree that something is foul in this valley, and that the village is the rotting carcass. The air is rancid butter, cloying and oily. I alone have stood above the clouds as the air borne battle rages. I have tasted the electricity, have felt the roiling air pummel my flesh. I alone know the truth of this land, and it is in my gift to rip it asunder. Nature’s storm clouds have nothing on me. Nothing.