He strikes well. Hard and keen and on the mark. The target responds accordingly: it reverberates. It is flattened. It crumbles. It moves. It dies. It comes to life.

Tomorrow, he has told us, he is going up with his dog to hit the peak of the mountain. He will take a sip from his saucer of mead, and then bend his knees as he raises his arms and his hammer over his head, until its peen rests on the slope behind him. The bristles of his beard will shiver in the air and under his breath, as he savours the taste of the liquor on his tongue. His dog’s tongue will pant, out of its mouth, on the mountainside.

And then he – Sucellus – will take a deep breath in, and an action that will start in that breath will move through his chest and his shoulders; will be sustained in his elbows and in the hammer itself, as it moves in a round arc to meet the mountain.

And the Earth will sing like a drum. And I don’t know what will happen then. It will flatten, it will crumble, it will move, it will die. It will come to life.

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