older than sin, and his beard could grow
no whiter. He wanted to die.
The dwarfish natives of the Arctic caverns did
not speak his language, but conversed in their own,
twittering tongue, conducted incomprehensible
rituals, when they were no actually
working in the factories.
Once every year they forced him, sobbing
and protesting, into Endless Night. During
the journey he would stand near every child
in the world, leave one of the dwarves’
invisible gifts by its bedside. The
children slept, frozen in time.
He envied Prometheus and Loki, Sisyphus and
Judas. His punishment was harsher.
From Smoke and Mirrors