Even the eldest do not remember the origin
of the Ritual of the Tempest. The ancient dowser,
worn smooth by so many generations of hands, is
greasy to the touch. The Ritual is so much a part
of the community that playing Tempest
has become as common a child’s game
as mumblety-peg or steal-the-radish.
Yet none alive have ever seen a tempest
appear. A drizzle, now and then, and one
year a snowfall. Thunder in the distance
but never lightning. Every summer
the elders grip the staff, open the book
none have ever been able to read, begin
the three-day song. Someday
the lightning will strike.