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by Bill West

I sleep in the rock heart of this hill. You cannot find me but I can find you.

In ages past men and women worshipped me at springs and in holly groves, quarrying rock from my hill by my leave. But they worship no more. And today, as on every day, I dream of the hill. The soaring buzzards are my eyes. Not the smallest shrew climbs, nor deer bites young shoots nor squirrel gnaws bright hazel nuts without my knowledge.

But I see in your minds that this is of no consequence. You have no need of small gods. But I have a use for you.

The sun sinks below the western rim, bathing clouds in crimson. This is a time more suited to my needs.

See the car driven recklessly towards me, its yellow lights flashing through the hedgerows. And here, behind the hedge, the distinctive snout of a badger sniffing the evening air. My mind touches both equally. They are tied to my intention.

At the appointed moment the badger lumbers into the road. Kevin Jones, seeking to escape death, spins the wheel. His car skids, then bursts out of the road, and crashes into the quarry.

The badger follows, climbing through the shattered windscreen. Her powerful jaws make short work, biting through muscle, sinew and bone to bring me my present: a hand full of blood.

The blood sacrifice is accepted. Once more I take on corporeal form, my long slumber ended.

Time has undone the shackles wrought by tonsured monks to bind me. Their abbey has fallen into ruin, and I have returned to reclaim what was once my own.

I leave my tomb and rise up in a mist. I can appear as a black dog or a bat as suits my purpose. But when I come to you, as I will soon, you will see me as the beautiful Lady Alessia, and then I will drink your blood also.

Copyright © 2006 by Bill West

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