Thursday, 18 December 2008

Gods and Mortals - An experimental story

The Legend: Baldur, God of Light dreamed his own death. Odin, King of the Aesir, his father and Frigg, Queen of the Aesir, his mother worried about how to prevent their favourite son from dying. Odin travels to the Underworld to speak to a long since dead seer called Volva to find out how to stop Baldur’s death. Volva warns him that Baldur will die by the hands of his own brother. Odin returns full of gloom to find that Frigg had asked every living thing not to hurt Baldur in order to prevent his dream coming true. The mistletoe wasn’t asked because it was deemed too unimportant. Because of the vows everything made to Frigg the other Gods made a new game of throwing anything they could find at Baldur in a futile attempt to try and hurt him but nothing ever did. This took place on the plains of Ida outside Baldur’s home which was based east of the Golden Hall of the Fallen where Odin and Frigg reside with all the undead warriors. Loki, the God of Mischief, learned about the forgotten mistletoe and made an arrow out of it. Loki gave the arrow to Hodur, the blind god, Baldur’s twin brother and with the help of Loki guiding his aim, Hodur threw the arrow, hitting Baldur and killing him. Baldur’s soul is taken down to the Underworld.

The Gods:
Baldur: 17 years old at present. Had a car crash a few weeks after he passed his driving test involving his twin brother and other friends, six months has passed. Always polite, friendly and nice. Doesn’t like lying or misbehaving. Also attends college with Odin, same tutor group but different course.

Hodur: Baldur’s twin brother. Is in a wheelchair after severe damage to his lower back paralysing his legs. Attends college with Odin and his brother, is in same tutor group.

Odin: 18 years old, A level student, lover to Frigg. Considerate of his mates. Always up for a laugh. Survived car crash with only a few bruises and cuts.

Frigg: 18 years old, check-out girl at local supermarket. Quite vain and conscious of her looks. Motherly over her male friends.

Loki: was involved in car crash, received several deep cuts to his arms, neck and face because of it. More depressive since the accident. Quite dark in mood, sinister appearance, doesn’t talk much with others anymore, odd ball of the group. Met others via college. Is open with no one.

Chapters:
The Dream – Baldur sees his death.
Brothers and Bruises – Hodur opens up old wounds of the past in Loki.
The Warning – Odin receives a warning from Volva.
The Evil Thought – Loki’s black mind is revealed.
The Deceit – A birthday and a funeral.

The Dream

“Ok, remind me how this goes again?”
“It’s simple. Show them your ID and walk in. They’re not going to harm you.”
“What if they ask me for a driving license?”
“It’ll be fine Baldur, just follow us. It’s going to be fun,” Frigg encouraged. “There’s nothing too it and if he doesn’t believe your eighteen then we will go somewhere else. Besides, after next week you both won’t need to lie anymore.” She smiled fondly at Hodur as well as Baldur.
“Yeah then you can buy us all a drink instead of me.” Odin joked, giving him a grin.
“You’re right; I don’t know why I get nervous, I have done it before.” He felt his heart began to slow to a gentle but strong thud in his chest as she placed a caring hand on his arm. It didn’t linger long, retreating back to the more muscled arm of their true lover.
“Now come on, one final time.” Amongst a flash of her golden blonde hair did the motherly gaze disappear to be replaced with a determined and formidable glance towards the one guard standing outside the bar entrance.
“Come on Loki. Let’s see if we can make you into a cheery drunk. Again.” Odin teased taking a few steps forward.
Loki just mumbled in reply, his ever serious face not changing a fraction.
The pair of lovers strode towards the guard, flashed their ID cards and waltzed inside, a black clothed Loki skulking swiftly behind them. It was another night where he hadn’t muttered a word but he always was the gloomy type. Leaving Baldur and his twin hovering outside the bar.
“Well let’s get going then.” A cheerful voice spoke from below his eye level in the wheelchair. Hodur’s hands fiddling with his own ID card. “It’ll be easy bro and I can always claim you’re my aid again?”
“It’s easier said than done, each time.” He looked down at the plastic card in his hand, wishing it was the new one where the details on it were true like those of his friends. Longing for the same time next week when he wouldn’t have to lie, to pretend and deceive all for a good night out. “Ok, here it goes.” He took a deep breath and began pushing the wheelchair towards the entrance and the guard.
But before he even got near the door there came several calls from inside of ‘Sarah’ and ‘Stop!’ which eventually accumulated in two girls rushing out. One didn’t see or remember the rail which framed the sloped step of the entrance and went head first over, landing in a heap on the concrete pathway. Her body began to gurgle and writhe, strangled moans emitting from her now cut lips.
“Shit.” The guard muttered running past the two boys towards the convulsing girl, her friend already standing in tears at the sight, still calling out her name. Once kneeling over Sarah and holding her head off the concrete the guard shouted into his radio on his shoulder, “Carl, code red, front door, we got another one.”
“That poor girl.” The boy in the wheelchair whispered to Baldur.
“Yeah.” Baldur answered, his eyes transfixed on the pitiful sight of another fun night ending in tragedy. “Let’s get in before he notices.”
So the pair of brothers passed the pair of friends, one whose life was quickly fading away into the shadows.

Brothers and Bruises

“What have I told you? Always call me when you need help.” Baldur chided his brother; worry clear in his voice like the ring of a bell.
“I’m fine. Just knocked some books over.” Hodur answered honestly with a smile before reaching down from his chair, picking them up and placing them back up against the wall on his desk.
The mirror pinned up on the opposite wall showed a curious pair, one stood tall half hidden by the door, the other sitting down half concealed by the end of his bed. One on the right had white blonde hair with pale blue eyes but even paler skin. The one on the left had dark brown hair, bright green eyes and healthy pink skin. It was odd that the happier and better looking of the pair was the one in the wheelchair. Further signs that the trauma caused six months ago had battered Baldur both physically and mentally but he was beginning to get back to normal.
“Oh right, do you need help with anything else?”
“No, I can manage thanks. I’m quite adapted now you know.” Hodur looked up at his brother with great affection, fully aware how Baldur longed to aid him in any means despite his now apparent independence in the wheelchair.
“Oh ok, well, you sure you don’t need anything else? Like a drink or a snack? I can go fetch you it now, I don’t mind.”
“Baldur I’m fine, honestly, go and get on with your work.”
“Ok but promise to call me if you need anything?”
“You’re sounding like Mum again.”
“Ok, ok I’m going. I’m just next door remember?” Baldur gave a timid smile.
“Baldur go! Don’t make me run you over!”
At that Baldur’s face fell blank. “I am sorry.” He quickly vanished back into his bedroom in turmoil once more.
“Ugh stupid, stupid, stupid boy.” Hodur cursed himself slapping his forehead for being so insensitive. He sat for a few seconds in silence staring at his now vacant doorway, pondering on whether to go in and talk to his brother but on further reflection he decided otherwise.
Hodur pushed himself forward, closed the door quietly and turned around again heading for his desk. He couldn’t help but pause when his eyes caught onto the photo frame beside his computer. It was the pair of them, Odin, Frigg and even Loki included, all smiling, laughing and cheering, drink glasses raised high in the air, celebrating the twins seventeenth birthday. It was only a year ago but so much had changed since then it felt like a ten years. A void of space, a period of time where everything was different to what all of them expected or even wished to have happened that year. But they all managed to recover, return to some form of normality and he was sure they were stronger friends because of it. Although with Loki it was always hard to determine how he was coping, he still covered himself up despite the scars beginning to fade.
Returning to his computer screen he signed into his MSN. The box opened up showing his twenty four long list of friends.

Loopy Loki is online.
Odin-the-wise is offline.
Frigg-loves-chocolate is offline
.

Seeking someone to talk to Hodur opened up a conversation window with ‘Loopy Loki’.

Boy on Wheels says:
Hey Loki


Loopy Loki says:
Hey Hodur


Boy on Wheels says:
You alrite?


Loopy Loki says:
Not too bad, you?


Boy on Wheels says:
Ok, upset my bro again tho tonight.


Loopy Loki says:
Is he still beating himself up over you?


Boy on Wheels says:
Yeah, I don’t think he’s ever going to get over it.

Loopy Loki says:
Well to be honest Hodur I can understand Baldur not forgiving himself but I can’t imagine how you have forgiven him. It was his fault after all.

Boy on Wheels says:
Loki you know that none of us spotted that deer until it was too late. Baldur did the only he thing he could do
.

Loopy Loki says:
Yeah crash the car and break your legs.

Boy on Wheels says:
Well what else could he have done?


Loopy Loki says:
Stop the car and risk running over the deer, not swerve madly to avoid it. I’d pick our lives over a deer’s any day.


Boy on Wheels says:
Well that’s what you would have done but Baldur chose otherwise. He’s never liked harming animals. Remember how sad he was when Odin’s dog died?

Loopy Loki says:
He doesn’t like to hurt animals? Hodur, he ended up hurting you. His own brother. It’s his fault that you’re now in that wheelchair. And it wasn’t just you he hurt remember.

Boy on Wheels says:
I know and I am sorry you guys got so badly caught up in it all. It was only ever meant to be a nice little drive.

Loopy Loki says:
Look Hodur, Baldur deserves to suffer in my view. If I were you I would never have forgiven him. I’m glad he hasn’t forgiven himself.

Boy on Wheels says:
He already has suffered Loki he now has a fear of driving. He ripped up his license the day afterwards. He hasn’t done anything wrong. It was an accident Loki, you were there.

Your Message was not received. Loopy Loki appears to have gone offline.

“Why can’t people just forgive and forget?” Hodur spoke to himself wondering where this sudden grudge against Baldur has come from in Loki. There was no sign of it there before in the whole six months after the accident, after the surgery and recovery. Again Loki’s personal opinion made Hodur puzzle about what it is he and the others actually like about him. To him he seemed a natural pessimistic with some internal hatred for the world that had no founding as far as he was aware of.

The Warning

Odin had managed to snatch the one remaining vacant computer in the computer room and quickly signed onto his email, eager to find out if anything exciting has happened on his Facebook profile. Instead he found this:
*Student Notices*
To: All Users
From: College Dean [j.norton@york.college.uk]
This is an important message to all students.
I have received a very worrying letter from our resident Police Officer, PC Volva here at the college, with regards to drink spiking in local bars, pubs and clubs in the area. Over the past few months there has a been troubling increase in the cases of young people admitted to the local hospital after having their drinks spiked with drugs as well as extra alcohol which can cause serious damage to the drinkers health and in a few unfortunate situations has resulted in tragic deaths.
PC Volva strongly recommends that when drinking from bottles using ‘Spikeys’ which is placed in the neck of the bottle still allowing space for the straw and liquid to pass through but also makes it difficult for drugs to be added to drinks. ‘Spikeys’ can be found at all pubs and bars in the area so please do ask for one next time you order a drink.
As for open top drinks such as beer or wine glasses it is simply a matter of constant observation and keeping it close on your person. If you happen to leave it for a toilet break all it takes is a less than a minute for someone to pass by dropping harmful pills or even powdered substance into it. PC Volva’s advice is to appoint a ‘drinks watcher’ when in a group and take it in turns to go to the toilet so your drink is always left with someone trustworthy.
The rule is simple “Drink and Drugs do not mix. So protect yourself, protect your drink.”

Evil Thoughts

Slipknot was yelling, screaming and swearing loudly through his speakers as he continued to doodle curvy and dagger like images upon paper in red and black ink. His black hair now past ear length swinging in front of his face, appearing almost like horns from his point of view. His nokia let out an evil laugh. He stopped his drawing, put both pens in his coffin shaped pencil tin and looked at its small, dull screen.
New Message: Kat
He selected the ‘read’ option.
From: Kat
Message Received: 19:08
Hey Loki wanna come out 2moro nite. Dave

knows a mosh bash happening. Interested?
He began typing his reply, his black painted nails seeming like blunted claws in the shimmering light of his glitter lamp on his desk.
Cant. Baldurs and Hodurs bday 2moro nite.
Within a few seconds he had a response.
From: Kat
Message received: 19:08
Aw come on plz! You cant miss it. Say your

ill or sumthin. We all miss ya. You dont
like him anyway
He picked up his mobile and clambered onto his bed.
I know but the others are expectin me to be there. Can’t bale out.
The mobile laughed again in his hands.
From: Kat
Message received: 19:09
We aint seen ya in ages Loki. Fritz even has some more

happy pills for ya.
The mention made him glance over at his gothic calendar. The Friday of that week was circled in red with the word ‘councillor session’ scribbled over it.
I’m out of pills too. I need em before Fridays session with ‘Mr. sensitive’
otherwise mum will make me see psychologist again. Could you like visit
me before you go to bash?
Her reply was a bit longer coming.
From: Kat
Message received: 19:10
I can’t but Holly can. I gotta be with Dave. Get to meet

band ya see. Which bar will ya all be at? Wat time?
He retraced his message inbox back to earlier that afternoon when he had a text from Frigg with the birthday night out details on.
I think we’re at the Ida Bar, from around 8ish. I’ll be there before if it’s
easier. I’ll probly need em just to get through the night with him around
anyway.
The photos around his room had familiar faces of the gang, but the odd few that were taken since the last summer had a face shaped hole cut into the photograph.
From: Kat
Message received: 19:10
Cool. I’ll arrange for Holly to drop em off too ya.

Shame ya can’t make it. Will I see ya on the weekend?
Tomorrow night’s gathering didn’t seem too bad to him now that he had a way of dealing with it.
Yeah I’ll be there. Thank Fritz for the pills. Tell him I’ll pay him on
Saturday. See ya soon, cheers for the help. Loki.
Leaving his mobile on his bed he returned to his desk, carefully removing the red and black pens once more and continued with his sinister looking drawing.

Birthday Card

To Baldur and Hodur

Happy 18th Birthday,
Make it a good one,

Hugs and kisses, Frigg xxx Congratz lads, Odin
Loki


Deceits and Death

He once again clung to the bar as if it was his only point of reference and allowed his long dark hair to conceal his damaged face. He received a few curious looks from the barmen regarding the black fingerless gloves he was wearing but he was beyond caring or even explaining why. He daren’t even look up to the mirrored drinks shelves, afraid of what he might see as himself. He ordered another drink and wrapped himself around his drink about to take his own kind of medication.
“Hey stranger, what you still doing over here?”
The happy voice made him jump and insides squirm, his fingers fumbled in slight panic dropping the tiny pill into his drink, he watched it begin to dissolve amongst the swirl of alcohol and ice cubes. He turned round and found the happy face of Hodur looking up at him.
“Nothing.”
“Oh right, well Baldur’s decided to have a proper drink now, only the one though. What are you having?”
“Archers peach schnapps.”
“Sounds nice, I’ll get that for him then as a surprise. I’m sure he’ll like it.”
Loki just nodded. There was another awkward long silence between the pair as Baldur’s drink was served.
“Put them both on my lap with that tray, I’ll carry them over to the table. Come on.”
Loki hesitated for a split second as he placed his glass beside Baldur’s, no difference between them, but then did as suggested. They both made their way through the crowds to the small table at the back where Frigg, Odin and Baldur were gathered, a set of sparklers were alight in the middle of the table. The lovers both had a bottle of wicked blue; each one had a ‘spikey’ device in the top due to Frigg’s encouragement for them to be safe after hearing about the police warning from Odin that same day.
“There you are Loki, what kept you?” Odin asked his voice raised over the noise.
“The bar was busy.” Was his simple answer. Loki allowed Baldur to take one of the two glasses on the tray before claiming the other.
“What have you got for me then Hodur?” Baldur asked curiously inspecting his drink with a smirk.
“Archers peach schnapps. It’s what Loki’s having.”
“Cool, smells nice. Thanks.”
Upon seeing his brother approved Hodur grasped his own bottle of beer which also featured a ‘spikey’ device in it’s neck.
“Well now we’re all together we can finally raise a toast to Hodur and Baldur. Get your drinks ready.”
“Happy eighteenth birthday Hodur and Baldur! Welcome to adulthood!”
“Happy birthday boys.” Frigg chorused brightly.
“Happy birthday.” Was Loki’s contribution without any hint of feeling behind it.
“Cheers guys.”
“And thanks for the presents they were great.” Hodur added with a grateful nod to each in turn, even Loki who simply stared into his own glass as if he was able to see through it into the depths of the earth and learn how the universe was made.
Then with a chink of their glasses they all began to drink. Loki did not pretending to not be thirsty enough yet.

***

“Baldur? You alright mate?”
“I feel dizzy.” His whole figure was visibly shaking as he clung to the wall behind the bar where he had disappeared to over half an hour ago claiming to need some fresh air.
“Maybe all that drink’s gone to your head.” Odin tried to make light of the situation.
“He can’t have done, he only had one glass of archers. That’s nowhere near strong enough and he hasn’t turned like this before.” Frigg commented seriously standing beside them looking anxious and concerned.
“Who got his drink?”
“Hodur did.” Loki answered again simple and to the point. No sign of pity or sympathy for Baldur whose breathing was picking up pace.
“I did but I did nothing to it, how could I have done? I can’t reach the bar. Loki passed it down on a tray to me to bring over.”
“Right, did you see anyone put anything in it Loki?”
“Do you think he’s been spiked?” Frigg asked panicking at Odin’s track of thought.
“Perhaps, it’s the only explanation. Either way he isn’t very well.”
“I’ll go get some help.” Loki spoke before briskly walking back round the corner to the bar entrance.
“Just sit down Baldur, that’s it and try to calm down. Loki’s gone for help.” Odin kneeled beside his best friend concern etched all over his face.
“You’ll be alright soon bro don’t worry.” Hodur added trying to be as much comfort as possible. “He will won’t he Frigg?”
“I’m sure he will be once we have help.” She looked at her watch.
Five minutes passed and the only attention they received was quiet jeering from passing clubbers.
“What is Loki doing?” she complained out loud and strode round the corner and stopped still. “That guards still there! What the hell is Loki playing at? Oy! Bouncer! We need some help over here!”
“Baldur!”
“Mate! Come on wake up, don’t go to sleep. Open your eyes.”
Frigg glanced over and saw Baldur slumped on the floor, his breathing still rapid and loud and his eyes fluttering under his eyelids. Odin knelt over him, giving him a shake and tapping his face but getting only quiet mumbles in response.
“I tell you I don’t deal with the drunks…not again.” The guard cursed charging forward and lifting Baldur’s head onto his lap before grasping his radio once more. “Greg, code red, a lad’s been spiked, left from the door. Hurry.” He looked up at the three troubled friends. “One of you should call his parents. They’ll need to meet us at the hospital.”
“What? Why? He’s going to be ok right? He’s going to be ok?” Hodur cried, tears coming through.
“Look lad, your friend is in deep trouble and unless the doctors find out what exactly he’s taken they may not be able to do much for him.”
“It’s alright Hod, I’ll make the call.” Frigg sniffed back her tears and went away to make the worst phone call of her life.
“Ugh where the hell is Loki! I’m going to kill the little git!” Odin yelled into the night but his anger vanished as Baldur’s body began to twitch.

Funeral Note

Dearest brother,
We all miss you. I’m not whole without you. Nothing is the same. You didn’t deserve to go the way you did. We all love you. Be at peace wherever you are. We will meet again, I know it. Your brother in this life and the next. Hodur.

God bless you sweetie, miss you always. Xxx Frigg

Loki will not escape justice, I swear to you. Odin

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