Forefather’s Price by Yesahel Scicluna
The chained Prometheus followed the trail of the slowly setting sun with his eyes, treasuring the last few moments of warmth that he would have for the day. He knew full well how unforgivingly cold the night could get up in the mountains, but even after all the time he had spent there alone, it never got any easier to bear. Just then, the titan felt the still very odd sensation of something growing within his side – it was his own liver, he knew, regenerating itself in preparation for yet another day of it being feasted upon by the ravenous eagle of Zeus. Such was Prometheus’s punishment for rebelling against the lord of the sky – to spend the rest of his immortality as bird’s prey.
Nonetheless, the titan persevered valiantly through the never-ending cycle of torment that had become his life. What is more, he was fully happy with the fate of things; he was content he had resolved to give humanity control over fire. After all, Prometheus was donned with the gift of foresight and fully anticipated his punishment for disobeying Zeus’s commands so blatantly. Indeed, he knew without a shadow of a doubt that he would steal from the gods again if he were given another chance. Then again, the titan thought, how was he expected to not favour the interest of his own children, the ones he himself had so patiently fashioned from mud? How was he supposed to stand the thought of Zeus wanting humanity to remain an inferior race to the gods, just so he could bully it with his lightning bolts whenever he pleased? No, the odds had to be evened somehow; man had to have some form of advantage.
And thus, Prometheus was taken back to his most defining act of defiance, to that day when he had scaled Mount Olympus itself and sneaked into the workshop of Hephaestus, the blacksmith god. There he had found, all glowing, a flickering ball of orange flame – fire. He had hurriedly sneaked it into a hollow stalk of fennel and swiftly descended back down the mountain, arriving to the people living on the lower slopes of the home of the gods appearing much like a torchbearer. It was then that Prometheus had become the champion of humanity: he who had given man the advantage, the godly spark, the catalyst of progress. Not long after that, Prometheus felt the electricity in the air – a sign that Zeus already knew of his treason.
Lost in his thoughts, the chained titan hardly realised that a new dawn had already come; by noon, he was still blissfully dreaming of the advanced civilizations that man could have formed since his own imprisonment. However, Prometheus’s reverie quickly dissolved into dust as the sharp squawk of an eagle – the eagle – pierced the air. He could see the approaching bird’s eyes staring hungrily at him, and when its beak finally bit into him, he was flooded with excruciating pain. Thinking of the gift he had given his sons and fully convinced that it was all worth his suffering, however, Prometheus never let out a single scream.