The Boy Who Challenged the Sky
by Kevin Mason

Far beyond mountain ranges to the east, beyond the desert lies a small village. There lived in this village a young man named Lee, a poor young lad who had lost his family two years previously in the wake of a Tempest. The monstrous storm had struck his home with its long, brilliant blue tongue, setting the place ablaze. When the final embers of the wreckage had cooled, young Lee dropped to his knees and lamented, cursing the sky.

Now, Lee suspected that one day the Tempest would return to destroy again. He had decided that when it indeed did, he would stand against it. Early in the evening, when the sky began to darken and the air began to cool under heavy clouds, Lee knew his time had come. As the darkness loomed to the south, Lee charged toward it, and at the top of a grassy hill, his arms outstretched, he cried to the great Tempest: "Who are you to decide who lives and dies?"

The wind whistled and the sky darkened. "I do not fear you! Do your worst!" cried the boy. "I will still be here."

The sky was nearly black by now, and the rain had come. Trees bowed to the power of the Tempest, but Lee stood erect. "I have no fear, Tempest!" he shrieked.

The tempest snarled thunder and bared its flashing, bright blue fangs. "Who are you to defy me, boy?" crashed the lightning. "You are a fool," whispered the rain. "I will end you!" roared the thunder. The wind whirled and whipped furiously and the rain became frigid needles falling from the heavens. The lightning crashed and danced as the thunder beat its chest.

"I am not afraid," Lee said, arms still outstretched.

"Who would dare defy me?" shrieked the Tempest in the voice of the whistling wind.

"I would dare to defy the universe, the gods, the kings of the earth, and you, monstrous sky. Release the Sun, if he is your captive." And even as he said this, the rays of the Sun tore through the Tempest as a sword.