The man, grieved by his own conscientiousness, rummaged in his leathery bag and seized forth an iron contraption.
“Take this, free! Why? One of those houses will be struck by lightning! Without this rod, bang’. Fire and ash, roast pork and cinders! Grab!”
The salesman released the rod. Jim did not move, But Will caught the iron and gasped.
“Boy, it’s heavy! And funny-looking. Never seen a lightning rod like this. Look, Jim!”
And Jim, at last, stretched like a cat, and turned his head. His green eyes got big and then very narrow.
The metal thing was hammered and shaped half-crescent, half-cross. Around the rim of the main rod little curlicues and doohingies had been soldered on, later. The entire surface of the rod was finely scratched and etched with strange languages, names that could tie the tongue or break the jaw, numerals that added to incomprehensible sums, pictographs of insect-animals all bristle, chaff, and claw.
“That’s Egyptian.” Jim pointed his nose at a bug soldered to the iron. “Scarab beetle.”
“So it is, boy.”
Jim squinted. “And those there — Phoenician hen tracks.”
“Why?” asked Jim.
“Why?” said the man. “Why the Egyptian, Arabic, Abyssinian, Choctaw? Well, what tongue does the wind talk? What nationality is a storm? What country do rains come from? What color is lightning? Where does thunder go when it dies? Boys, you got to be ready in every dialect with every shape and form to hex the St. Elmo’s fires, the balls of blue light that prowl the earth like sizzling cats. I got the only lightning rods in the world that hear, feel, know, and sass back any storm, no matter what tongue, voice, or sign. No foreign thunder so loud this rod can’t soft-talk it!”
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Maserati – This Is A Sight We Had One Day From The High Mountain / Show Me The Season [00:00]
Spaces – Hadley / Edge Of Forever [12:14]
obe – Standard Fog [17:18]
Rumour Cubes – 1871 [23:23]
A Far Off Reason – Force de Vente [26:47]
Ten Past Seven – Johnstons Cows [32:57]
Marriages – White Shape [40:06]
Wiltz – Ice Cream Cake (Revisited) [43:52]
Do Not Be Surprised What Is Happening – We Love You, Termi… [49:24]
Tuber – Attack From Mars [53:45]
Terraformer – Crusade [60:13]
Meniscus – 130 [64:02]
Chiaroscuro – Silent Snow [70:40]
Joy Wants Eternity – Shut Your Eyes And You’ll burst Into Flames [75:36]
Ray Bradbury, Something Wicked This Way Comes, Simon & Schuster, 1962