He was a dream of philosophers ancient and new, the stuff of robot apocalypses and zombie fantasies, driven not by Need or Desire, by Hope or Despair, but by stark Causation and inevitable Outcome.
Mantis was helpless, though he gnashed his mandibles and lashed his baggy sleeves. The thunder godling plucked him like an unguarded aphid and swallowed him into an airless belly ripe with twisted light.
"Daddy," said the nine-year-old, "today I caught a mantis. They're very rare. I put it in a tin with some leaves and a weevil, but it hasn't eaten yet."
"Hmm," said the father.
The sky sieved a torrent, drip by drip.
"Let's go downstairs to the parking lot and get umbrellas, then we'll go on to the school."