Daoud can clap and rub his hands to make thunder. He can make the sky grumble, he can make it roar. His hands themselves make no sound—their speakers are the sky. Daoud’s applause can be a frightening, overwhelming thing. He is not an easily impressed man. You can hardly be more impressive than thunder.
Having amused his friends with his talent and then having scared them off by taking it too far and cracking the sky directly over their heads, Daoud leaves the city in search of new audiences. He makes stops at drought-struck villages and rubs his hands for days at a time, making hopeful farmers look up at the cloudless sky and quickly go mad.
Rumours of Daoud begin to overtake his own progress through the dry lands. They speak of a sorcerer who brings thirst and insanity. In one village, the farmers connect the appearance of a mysterious visitor to the sounds of thunder from a clear sky and identify Daoud for who he is. They ambush him one night and chain his hands apart. They berate him and throw stones at him. You drove our cousins mad, they say to him. Have you no remorse, they ask. Their children yank on his hair and kick his shins and fill his mouth with sand.