Shapeshifter

I change depending on the person. Because I can be the moon and the stars and guide you north but that might not be the direction you are meant to be steered to. I brush past you as the wind and hold your hand with my feathery strokes and lead the way. Humans do not question why. They place their trust on the gush of air around them and name you a ‘miracle’, make a legend out of you. That’s the story of how I became Aeolus, a deity of the winds. When the pathway leads south and a mighty body of air spirals and spins, I am the one who wreaks havoc upon the lands. I become Eurus, the god of unlucky winds. They curse the name they once praised with the last exhale of their breath. A dying wish turned nightmare fuel is what I become.

I change depending on the person. Because when an orphan falls onto their knees and rips the over-stitched patches of their mismatched, multi-colored pants I feel great sorrow; it washes over me. I become the slice of bread they crave and once a ravenous bite is placed upon me I become the goddess of fruitfulness, Demeter. They build shrines in my name and discard the food I had been bestowed upon them as, in the name of ‘sacrifice’. They call it gratitude. Their once fresh fruits rot and grow moldy in my temples, eaten by none other than parasites. The parasites turn into fatal diseases and spread across the town. Passed on by pests, who were far more grateful for the nutrition and show it by consuming endlessly. They call it the plague. They stick their palms together and pray, pray for more food, pray for less death, pray for a cure. They find it but believe it has found them.

I change depending on the person. Because that night I am crowned the title of Apollo, god of many things including healing. I steer a ball of scorching fire above their heads, shed light on their streets and people. This gift of mine goes underappreciated and those with sun-stroked skin are stolen from their lands and sold like common animals. They chain their brothers and sisters for their lack of resemblance. Years later memorials are built on the soil beneath which their bodies lie. ‘We have honored them.’ they say. And this ‘honor’ they have given them, but there is a shortage of avenging it seems. Their souls curse my name for what they deem is my fault and their punishers call my name as they beg for mercy, to be spared of eternal fire. Fire is, in their book, the worst of all punishments.

I change depending on the person. Because thousands of years later my shrines, temples and statues are placed in ‘museums’. I change. I become the Son, the Ghost and the Holy Spirit, among many other things. They fail to realize that I am every breath they take, every bite they consume, every whip they crack and every droplet of blood that spills with it. They hung those who worship me in every form, who see me in trees, in dirt, in buildings. They call it ‘witchcraft’ and watch from their high seats as their sisters and brothers die on stakes, they burn me.

I change depending on the person. Because I have become countless deities and beings and will continue to do so until the end of time but I will never be given the privilege of being realized for what I actually am.

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