“I have to admit that I'm impressed,” Anzu said, a smile plastered across his deformed face. He had been beautiful, once upon a time. He had been worshipped as a god of thunder, mightier than Thor and Zeus combined andrevered for his feathers. Now, he'd been sentenced to a half-life of disgrace with nothing but the shadows to keep him company. His scarred and mutilated face was his constant reminder that the light cannot survive in the darkness.
The elder gods seemed to forget about what dwelt in the darkness and Anzu soon found himself a companion named Namtar.
Namtar smiled, his crooked teeth somehow pearly white, his face round and jolly despite the evil in his purple eyes. “You never believe me when I say that I have a solution to your problems,” Namtar complained, turning the spit on which he was cooking. “I have a solution for everything, I am, after all, the companion of Fate.”
Anzu waved his hand, dismissing Namtar's egotistical comments. “If you are as mighty as you claim to be then why are you down here cooking in the dark with a cursed half-demon like me?”
Namtar tsked in reply. “I know my place, and today, that place is to carry the burden of this feast for you so that you might regain your former glory my friend.”
Anzu frowned and stared at the spit. “Are you sure about this?”
“Are you suddenly afraid of becoming yourself again?”
Anzu bobbed his head in a non-committal way. “I don't know if this is what I need to do to make myself whole again. The scripts tell of this as only an atrocity...”
Namtar snorted. “You will reap only the benefits of this idea. I will take on your burden of sin for this atrocity,” he flashed Anzu a smile. “Trust me.”
Anzu sighed and nodded his agreement. “Yes, Namtar. You've never steered me wrong in our thousands of years together. I will trust you once again.”
Namtar clapped his hands, once, and set about carving the beast on the spit. He handed a leg, dripping with grease and the slightest bit of blood, to Anzu and smiled, waiting.
Anzu made a pained face and took a bite. He immediately began to cough as rippling veins of golden light shot through him, enveloping him.
Namtar smiled and licked the grease from his fingers. The first bite was all it took. Anzu's half-life was ending and his powers would be restored, at least, temporarily. “You are going to finish that, right?” he asked.
Anzu had grown, taller, more muscular, his powers trickling back into him. His greasy, limp hair began to thicken and take on its original lustre. His pox-ridden skin was back to its healthy bronzed glow and even the previously pathetic excuses for his wings had taken on their natural, shining blue and gold glory.
“Yes,” Anzu said after a long moment of admiring his returned state of being. “I think I shall sup further on this beast.”
Namtar grinned his shark grin again and lopped off another chunk of the unicorn's flank, handing it to Anzu. “Eat up, my friend. We shall let the world know that you have returned soon enough.”