The wind was fire on his skin, pouring salt across open wounds. The sun sent blinding forks of lightning through his skull. Blood welled on the stones as he pounded his fists fervently while howling agony at the heavens. The gods ignored his screams today. Just as they did every other day. This was his penance for untold sins, lingering lines of black tar that bubbled across his soul. Forgiveness was the rotted fruit of futures scorned. Through agony comes truth, through truth understanding.