Posts Tagged ‘Story’

Vivian Goodwin, spiritual troubleshooter (phone number)

One does not simply walk out of Alfheim…

I knocked on the door and waited, snow crunching under my feet as I shifted, and stared at the little cardboard sign over the doorbell: “BUZER NOT WORKING, KNOCK.” Running steps were heard before a middle-aged woman with overly large glasses and short mousy hair opened the door.

“Hello!” she said, “I’m Susan, you must be Vivian Goodwin. Please come in.”

“Thank you”. As she took my coat and led me down the corridor to the small living room, I asked: “Is she here at least?”

“Oh yes, just in the bathroom, she’ll be joining us shortly. Won’t you have a seat?” she said as she gestured to the white futon. It was a poor choice of color, judging from the black cat hairs lining its edges, and from its lumpy worn-out appearance I guessed it was a hand-me-down. Fortunately, I was wearing black jeans and a black top so the fur wouldn’t show much. (more…)

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One does not simply walk into Alfheim…

Slowly his head turned, scanning from side to side for intruders. A chore it was, but someone had to watch the Tree whose blessed branches shaded the entire city of Upspoke. Too many Outlanders relied on its magic to world-walk into Alfheim, and it was far better to appoint Guides around it than to risk letting strangers wander freely. His task was to catch them right away, escort them to whatever business they had, then make sure they left without making too much of a mess.

Ársalf[1] was not alone of course, sitting bored on a mossy rock, chin resting on his fist. No less than three Guides were stationed at all times to greet visitors, each one responsible for watching nine of the great roots. Though he ran like the wind, it took him three minutes to run all the way around the massive trunk[2]. Its base was so large it seemed like a flat wall from up close. Yet ancient as it was, the Tree of Tribes was a mere sapling compared to the mighty World Tree Yggdrasil.

A shimmer to his right caught Ársalf’s attention. At once he started toward it, purple moss squishing beneath his feet with a rising scent of lavender. The shimmer became a transparent woman whose lower-half was hidden by the giant root between them, as the visitor walked along its length toward the Tree.

He broke into a run as the shape became solid, jumping atop the waist-high root into a crouch beside the her. What little sound he made was covered by the soft music of wind chimes, thus he has a chance to inspect her unnoticed. Her blue dress and long brown hair were irrelevant, it was her aura he was interested in.

Thus he noted a light-blue life-glow extending a thumb’s width from her skin, and the usual whitish bubble around her reeking of mortality’s decay. She’s definitely human, he thought. No glamour, not a single shred of it. Have these barbarians no shame? (more…)

Part 8: Status and Seemings

Brynja cleared her throat, distracting me from my downward spiral. I pulled myself out of my sorrow, lifting my head enough to see sympathy in her face as she said: “Goddess, I could not possibly understand what ascension does to a person, but I have been told I give good counsel on occasion. Would you like me to offer some, which you can pass on to my Lady when you see her?”

“Why not,” I said, “it can’t hurt,” and patted a spot beside me on the stone bench.

“I had a sort of ascension of my own,” she said as she sat, “when I received an elegant dress fit for a noblewoman, made of the finest material with delicate gold embroidery. When I got that dress, a gift from a traveling prince who enjoyed my company, at first I refused to wear it, afraid I would damage it. I was but a bar wench, a free woman but still a menial, and men usually took me for granted along with the ale. After a while, I realized it was silly not to use such a lovely dress, so I wore it around town. People treated me differently when I did, as if I were more noble born than I truly was; it opened opportunities for me and invitations, but It went to my head I fear. I started to look down on my less fortunate peers, demanding respect and obedience to my whims. Oh, I still had to serve tables to earn my keep, but I did so with scorn and superiority, knowing that once I went out with my fabulous dress, these same scoundrels would fall over themselves to earn my favor. Working as a serving wench was demeaning but necessary, and I thought I deserved better. I knew my true self was a noble born lady, while the servant clothes were just a disguise.” She gave a wry smile as she looked up, lost in remembering, before continuing her tale. I wondered if I would become as haughty as she had. (more…)

Part 7: Lady of Dance

The initiation done and my divinity revealed, I inspected myself in the tall mirror of my new chambers. My skin was now a perfectly smooth and soft alabaster white, barely contrasting with the white dress I wore. I saw the rosy tint of my cheeks, lips red as raspberries, and hair golden as the ripened wheat. Gone was my earth brown wavy tangly hair, and gone was my dark skin. My rough Giantess beauty had been replaced by the refined facial features of an Aesir maiden. I daintily brought a hand to caress my necklace – each bead beckoning me to a different dance of power – shocked speechless by my transformation. Even my fingers were delicate, as were my nails, such hands that had never seen hard work. I looked like every story princess awaiting her prince. (more…)

Part 6: The Hired Help

“What do you mean, farmhands?!” Odin bellowed from his throne, voice echoing in the rafters. “Gefjon, I gave you land as you wanted, and now you want to recruit Asgardian Gods to work your fields? Preposterous!” Three steps separated us as I petitioned below, with Frigga’s high chair to the right and Balder’s on the left. Neither were with us, though a shaft of light from the westward window graced the Bright God’s empty seat. This was a private audience.

Throne

Throne

 

My buckskin dress was sweaty, smelly, and clinging uncomfortably as I crafted my response, though it was a relief to cast off the fur coat. I thought my feet would be clean from the snow, but too many trampling boots had made mud of the patriarch’s path. Normally I enjoyed the feel of mud between my toes, but it was now adding a distraction to my rising irritation. (more…)

Part 5: Four Oxen for Land

Morning air was chilly and made fog of my breath. I chose my path along the budding birches to let Sunna light caress me, sensually letting fingers trail on the smooth bark of these White Ladies. The invigorating scent of nearby spruce and pine reached my nostrils, along with the pleasing scent of decaying leaves. They crunched underfoot with the melting snow as I crossed the forest.

Nights and days were equal when I reached the homestead of my promised man in Jotunheim. You’d think it was just a moss covered hill, were not for a leather flap over the doorway and smoke rising from its summit. I took one last pure breath before lifting the skin, then wrinkled my nose at the far less appealing smell of too many sweaty furs and skins locked away for a season.

“Grimr!” [1] I called out within his cavernous hall, “It is Spring and you’re in luck. It is time for us to flock, as I have come to fulfill my father’s pledge.” Various couples littered the earthen floor, stirring slightly as I bellowed, though most just rolled over and snuggled under their smelly pelt blankets.

Eagerly he came from his private room to the fire warmed hall, in only a skin loincloth and cloak, to greet me thus: “So, lass, you’ve finally come to your senses. I am glad to hear you are done with your silly wandering. Now we marry!” His legs were strong but it was his shoulders and head that were massive above all. He towered over me by two heads, with shaggy dark hair a mess that hid most of his face. It was how he got his name.

(more…)

Part 4: The Mound of Memory

I went back to Jotunheim on foot across the snowy hills, once more in furs and brown buckskin dress for a final visit to my family – before attending the man they promised me to as baby-maker. On the way I chided myself in spite of success. I’d felt so good dancing for the crowd and seducing the king that I’d almost forgotten to claim a promise – until he asked – so caught up was I in enjoying the moment. Silly girl! You spent a year working hard for that goal, now is not the time to get distracted, I thought. This is just the beginning, and there is much yet to do before I can be a Goddess. As for Gylfi… not a bad lover. Not great, fair I suppose, but then I’m not settling down with him so it doesn’t matter. I do hope Odin doesn’t evict him when I give away the land he lives on. It certainly wouldn’t make me a very popular Goddess if I became known as a land thief. Hmm, ‘Goddess of land theft’, I smiled as I rolled the idea around in my head, kicking up snow as I went. Not the worst job a Goddess could have I guess, laying claim to territories for the Gods. ‘You! Out! Some lesser God wants your land so you’re out of luck.’  I laughed at my own wit, chuckling off and on for the rest of the day’s travels. That night I dreamed of mortals praising my name, dragging sharp tools in the ground, tracing boundaries around land given to their favorite Goddess. “No, not stolen,” I told myself softly in the morning, waking under my furs, “given. And that is my name, is it not?” The king had chosen to give me that land, though he knew not how much I could plough. (more…)