Behind him the snores of the earth sigh, almost lost, beneath the engine's purr. Chipped by time, and wind, and the cruel axe of fate, this rock remains. Sovereignty assured by the crown that binds him, unawakened god among mortals, he sleeps. How cool would the gold feel, sliding through his fingers, how heavy laid upon his feet? Soon, soon, the brow will grow too wise for its chains, already tight with possibilities ignored. What will happen then is a thing none can say and few dare imagine, least of all him. He chisels his dreams into the stone, crying silent, desperate tears of longing that this will last, will stand as testament to all the good he could not do and all the chances he dared not take. But to make the final mark, to shape this statue into its rightful masterpiece... he knows his stained hands and paralyzed soul lack the strength.
A flash of light catches the corner of his half-opened eyes, sharp and acrid mother to the smoke curling lazily in their wake. A draw of breath, the long, slow inhale of fire, marks the passing moments, interrupted only by a liquid liquor-slide. There should be discord, fire and water waging war for dominance, but those days have faded into memory, into his sense of what was and what is. Even they have made peace with their lot, with the calmness and surety where once they stirred a cauldron of discontent. He wonders what it would take to stir their ire, to waken with sharp words and cruel glances the battle lust hiding a frightened child, abandoned brother, but knows the cost to be too dear and the desire too spiteful to pursue. Envy is a churlish master, of this he is sure.
So he sits quietly, listening to the phantom voices of his past and shivering against the darkness pressing close and deep around. If he could, he would break his own chains, and free himself from the burdens of memories he never wanted and wants he never sought. But his fear holds fast, stronger than gold, or silver, or the scars of the past, and though he would deny the truth he knows it well.
Of all of them, he is bound most surely.