Author: Fillerfais PM
Brief look at the suffering of the Greek God Prometheus who was sentenced to be eternally shackled to a rock where a hawk would come daily and devour his liver.Rated: Fiction T - English - Horror/Drama - Words: 1,111 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 3 - Published: 11-07-08 - Status: Complete - id: 2593368
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He had managed to fall into a restless sleep as the snow drifted to a pause just before the dawn. Sleeping on a cold, cruel rock with only shackles for adornments on wrists and ankles is no easy feat but, after years of this torture, he had learned to take his rest whenever he could. A slight breeze caressed his skin which had grown almost as craggy as the mountains he was chained to, and the first rays of the rising sun cast their feeble warmth on him. His eyelids fluttered in sleep as the gentle light began to steadily build; highlighting the ugly purple bruising that marred his eyes and gave him an eternally exhausted and sick appearance.
His heart stuttered from the sluggishness of rest into the frenzy of panic as the bird's cry pierced his uneasy sleep like a vengefully stabbing knife, jolting him awake. He reflexively strained against the shackles that pinned him though logically he knew it would do him no good. Flecks of rust rubbed off from the metal and bit into any skin within reach to lend it an ugly orange tinge.
The bird shrieked again and the sound reverberated through him, rattling his bones. His skin broke into a cold sweat made all the more miserable by the clinging tendrils of the early dawn chill. He sucked in air as if enough of it could save him and his nose was assaulted with the ugly scent of old gore. With a rushing of wing beats, the bird landed with a strangely soft sound on the rock, somewhere near his head. He could hear its disgusting talons clacking as it hopped across stone long dyed an ugly faded red that told of nothing but pain. He rolled his head back, desperate to see where the enemy would strike from. The bird was larger than any animal had right to be, absolutely towering over Prometheus as he lay ever chained. It approached him proudly, strutting as if it had all the time in the world. And, conceivably, it did. Prometheus watched it approach as he had a thousand times before and felt the sick dread that twisted him and he thought he should die of the utter helplessness he felt as it approached his right side and paused.
It looked at him. The great beast tilted its head in a manner that might have been comical if not for the wicked beak glinting in the sunrise. Tilted its foul head to stare down at him with a large, yellow eye and ruffled its tawny feathers in sick anticipation. It stared at Prometheus as his heart pounded with fear and he stared back at the hulking feathery killing mass of it as if he could make it could taste his terror and misery and the flavor would teach it pity enough that it would again take wing and leave him be. It made a strange thrumming sound briefly as if it pitied only his stupidity – who was he anyway to have crossed Zeus?
For a brief moment, Prometheus felt pure and unadulterated rage. That he who had only tried to improve the lives of those poor primitive mortal things should be punished eternally while the very people the lives of which his gifts had enriched should continue on, oblivious, and worship the cause of this fate! Damn Zeus to the very Fires of Hades! Damn every last oblivious one of the mortals who continued to worship Zeus as a God! And Damn that eagle with its delight at the suffering of the living!
His rage is swiftly chased away by horror as the bird rips its beak through the scarred, barely-healed flesh of his abdomen and starts the blood flowing. It tears easily through skin made rough as the crags to which Prometheus has been chained all these years, ripping it away in strips. The red flows freely from where it rightfully should remain and pours hot and wet on the cold rock, steaming gently as it cools. Prometheus does the only thing left to him.
He opens his mouth and screams his injustice to the mountains around him. He screams, allowing his pain, sorrow, rage, fear, and hurt to bounce against each other before drifting off into the oblivion of sound. His soft throat tears with the passion of his screams and the noise is replaced by hacking coughs accompanied by a seemingly endless supply of blood, this time spitting and spewing forth with the sound; unstoppable and angry-red as a volcanic eruption. His eyes roll unseeingly in his head, blinded with the feel of the bird tearing and devouring his flesh.
He screams and he writhes, muscles strain uselessly to break his chains and he struggles to throw the foul beast off of him. He screams until his throat has been reduced to ribbons and the screams are traded for convulsions as his body tries desperately to clear his airways of choking life-blood that blocks them. Drowning in his own blood would be a beautiful end when the only other option is an eternity of unendurable pain. As if he had any options.
The freezing rain starts then, beating down on Prometheus' exposed organs like bolts straight from Zeus himself. The drops assist the bird in violating what should never see air or sun, should never be subjected to the woes of the elements. They plod down heavily on his flesh and a croaking gurgled mess of a sob is all he can manage through his mangled throat.
Head lolling back and forth on the rock, he continues to struggle futilely as the bird feasts and the storm passes. The beast leaves him a mess of blood and torn flesh and tears, what should be intimately kept organs are now bare and butchered.
He lays on his rock; alone now and still, save for labored breathing. His skin begins the creepy-crawly process of healing itself before the next dawn. He can almost feel his skin and liver regrowing at a horrifically fast pace as he lays unable even to shield his inner mechanics from the outside world with weak hands. He is aware of the exact instant his throat mends enough to function again.
It's not until past midday when his skin manages to stretch itself roughly halfway over the gaping hole in his abdomen. Unfortunately, that's also when the flies found him. As the insects began their exploration of which part of his interior anatomy was the best to lay eggs in, Prometheus did the only thing left to him.