The Hill at Dawn

Here’s the latest flash piece for my writers’ group. I set the prompt this time, which was ‘The Hill at Dawn’. I left it quite late to get started, so what I have is a little unpolished, but nevertheless, here it is. I hope you enjoy it.

Today I have the power of a god. Today any little thing I choose is possible and everyone here knows it. I am fawned upon. I am fed the sweetest, juiciest fruits of the harvest and have wine poured into my open mouth any time I click my fingers. There is nothing that I could desire that I cannot have and yes, I mean anything. In front of me seven women are dancing naked, their bodies aglow with the firelight, shadows cast high across the tent walls. I will take them all before the night ends and every single one of them will beg me for more. Everyone wants to be touched by a god.

I filled the day with anointing old and young alike, touching hands and kissing heads. I blessed the crops in the field and announced a great harvest for the year to come. I was clad in gold trinkets and the finest clothes. My best friend, Jowan, attends me all day, dispersing the gifts of gold and silver on my behalf. He has been a great companion all these years. Even the priests came to bow down before me. These wolves that have grown fat whilst the rest of us starved came bent like the meekest maids and kissed my feet, begged for my forgiveness.

My parents and my sister spent the day weeping with joy, proud of what I have become. They will reap the bounty of my calling all year round. They will have people surrounding their tent to ask for their blessing. When they sit down to a feast, they will have the first choice of the meat and their portion will be twice that of everyone else. They will lead the procession when the time comes and their names will be forever connected with this day.

As twilight comes my eyes begin to close, wine and tiredness taking their toll, but what would be the point of sleeping? I have so much to cleanse from myself if I am to truly become one of the gods. Every night people will sing my name, yell it into the darkness, to receive my blessing. I twine my fingers in Merryn’s hair and she yells my name as she receives my blessing directly. Next to her, Jowan’s wife, Eseld, the most beautiful woman I’ve ever known, lies exhausted. I have blessed her three times already.

One last cup of wine and then it is time to be gone, to climb to the summit of the great hill, where everyone will be assembled. The grass is cool with dew and the dawn cannot be far away. It is my time of ascension. Birds begin their chorus and I see the plume of smoke in the sky. The people are singing my name already. The valley spreads out below me, a sea of green and brown that I will rule before too long.

The sun has to come up and when it does my divinity will be assured. It rises with me. I reach the top of the hill and look into the flames that stretch up like the finger of a god. How fitting. The sound of my name from a hundred throats fills the air, drowning the silly chattering of the birds. Even the roar of the fire cannot match it. I smile as I walk forward, the dignity that becomes my station. One last thought of Eseld and I am ready. The flames envelop me as the chants reach their peak.

Pleased by the offering, the sun breaks over the hill, pouring forth its gold.

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