~ Heathen Stories and New Myths ~
"Need a hand, brother?" he asked thoughtfully.
"I will manage," Odin said, straightening himself up and brushing himself off.
"Did you find the secrets you were searching for?" Loki asked.
"Yes," Odin replied. "Yes, indeed." He opened his hand to reveal
As Odin made his way back to his waiting steed, Sleipnir, to return to
"Wait!" he called out after Odin, rushing to him. "You forgot one!"
Odin looked at the curious piece of wood.
"It's blank," he said, handing it back to Loki.
Loki looked at again, then looked back at Odin, who was already walking away.
"So, you don't want it?" he asked.
"No," Odin replied.
Loki looked at the small piece of wood once more, then smiled.
The mortal had never been a smart man, or a hard-working and diligent
Book after book he poured over. Well, read through. Well, looked over.
But nothing came to him.
Until one day, exhausted, he finally found what he sought. Viking
He laid the book on his nightstand and slept, but his sleep was uneasy that night.
Loki put the blank rune, or rather the blank piece of wood, for it was
not yet a rune,
The mortal was pouring over ancient tomes of forgotten lore. Well, looking over them.
Well, looking at the pictures.
The trickster went into the bathroom to relieve himself, then washed
his hands and splashed
"This'll never do," he said, and pulled some items from his coat.
The first was a fake beard. Long and gray. He attached it rather
haphazardly, merely making sure
"Perfect!" he said with joy. "I'm practically the old man's twin!" And off he went to play with his mortal.
When the mortal next opened his eyes, he was no longer in his bed, but
rather in a great forest.
It was an old man.
Well, no, not exactly. It was someone who looked like an old man. Sort
of. Kind of.
The "old man" approached and looked carefully at the mortal.
"Do you seek knowledge?" the old man asked. "Do you seek wisdom?"
The mortal looked confused.
"Well?!" the old man boomed.
"Uh," the mortal shrugged. "I guess. I found these symbols. These
ancient Viking symbols.
"Indeed they are," the old man replied. "But what do you know of these symbols?"
"Not a lot," the mortal responded. "There is a certain order to them..."
"WRONG!" the old man shouted. "Order my foot! You must find your own order!"
"What?" the mortal asked, confused.
The "old man" was really enjoying this.
"You must discover your own order," he instructed the mortal.
"Okay," the mortal replied. "But first I'll have to find the meanings."
"No," the old man replied. "The meanings are... utterly meaningless. Instead find your own meanings."
"Are you sure that's a good idea?" the mortal asked.
"You dare to question ME?!" the old man shouted. "I tied the hair of
genitals to a goat's beard!
"Yes, yessir," the mortal said, taken aback. He took a moment to regain his composure.
"Finally, there are twenty-four of them."
"Actually, no," the old man said. "There are twenty-five. But I have
never revealed the final rune
"But, it's blank," the mortal asked.
"Yes," the old man answered, trying not to laugh and blow the entire
The mortal awoke shocked, and looked into his hand. There lay a blank piece of wood.
There lay the blank rune.
The man rushed to record his dream, and begin his true study of the runes, remembering everything the old man had told him.
The trickster strolled back into Asgard smiling.
"That went rather well," he said to himself. "I must say, I make a very convincing Allfather."
"Loki, what have you done?" Odin said loudly, walking up to Loki.
Loki quickly removed the old man beard, eye patch, and hat. Instantly his cloak turned into a decidedly less Odinic color.
"What?" Loki asked, again looking almost boyish and almost innocent.
"I endured an ordeal for nine nights, not for my own gain, but for
wisdom on which the world may depend,"
Loki opened the book and looked it over. Recorded in it were the very
things he had said to the mortal,
"Keep it," Odin said. "There are enough of them in Midgard as it is.
Too many. Now, where did this trash
"Now, hold on," the trickster said. "You've got it all wrong. I may
have said some things to that man,
"Mm-hmm," Odin said. "And who's going to clean this up?"
"Clean it up?" Loki asked, looking innocent again. "I'm sure it'll all
sort itself out. I mean, mortals are
"I think you're right," Odin said. "I think it will sort itself out.
Others will correct this man's mistakes,
All because of one idiot who decided to rewrite hundreds of years
of history because of, among other things,
With that said, Odin turned and walked away. Loki watched him go, and thought on his words a bit.
"But what is wisdom without humor?" he asked himself aloud.
Then he turned and left, in the direction of Bilskirnir.
© Robert Silvers
Runes and Coffee
This work is licensed under a