3 min read

Odin's Neural Darlings: Part Two

Hugin saw the queen of falcon form’s unrivalled argent eyes and winged his way

Back to the All-father, rehearsing his whispers as he flew.

She swept across the many-coloured bridge, a nod from Heimdall

Acknowledging the falcon queen, who circled down in

Valhalla’s training meadows, the wall about

The hall permitting in its lord’s lady with but a blink of its height.

She alighted on the doorstep, shaking her wings.

And as the feathers retreated into her cloak once more,

Frigg’s wingtip brushed against the torc, a hushing

In the light touch, as a gentle message sent before her:

“Odin, wait for me in Valhalla, wander not before I land.”

Frigg’s feet bore her through the doorway of

Her husband’s hall, fancying she heard his sighs before she reached his door.

A rap upon the door, a scraping of the door upon the floor,

And she met his one-eyed gaze.

“Hugin tells me you have visited Midgard.”

“I have, for I saw your fear and knew action was in order,

I flew here once the news was given me by a gathering of the murders.”

“And I am their overseer, what have they told you,

Lady of Fensalir, for ‘tis my duty to know the murders’ doings.”

The stone of Frigg’s eyes showed through, the gold creeping

At her eyelids, a cold and warmth embracing.

“The memory of men has waned, no recollection of summer remains.

I tasked the ravens with seeking out those who remember,

For they are likely the children tearing at our work.

The seahorses, Odin, falter in their duty that you instilled within them.”

He rose from his seat, the wrinkles ironed from his face in a moment

Of anger’s heat.

“Perhaps your fabric failed to weave in their whey, the curdling for naught

As your fabric fell away and lost its living threads.

My seahorses could not waste away,

But—” his finger hovered a hair’s breadth from her face,

Accusatory in its pointedness,

The gathering gold about her argent irises pierced

The cloak of injured pride he’d clasped about himself

Since Hugin bore to him the news,

The sincerity within her face ripping out the bitterness from his eye.

The finger fell to her side, wrapping ‘round her thumb,

“I fear another hand—one at least—is at work.

Humanity must not forget its past, and Munin’s vein mustn’t lose

His essence in their fumbling.

But ne’er doubt my work, I cannot err in my darling labour.”

‘A darling I should be, your first and foremost,’

Frigg wished to say, the words clawing at her lips to be let out,

A leech upon the bloated vein, but robbed of teeth

With which to release the venom welling within.

“I would not dare cast shame upon my husband’s great inventions,

And I would wish he would behave likewise for his wife’s.”

The three eyes met, the lack of a fourth tipping the balance between them,

A silent conversation hovering

In the air between the As and Asynja,

Tossed between them as Hugin and Munin watched,

Amusement causing them to clack their beaks.

“Until proven otherwise, our own work cannot be questioned,

So let us smoke the hare out from its hole and snare it,”

Frigg spoke, clapping a cap upon the voiceless words.

A hand of hers brushed his shoulder, dropping his hooked finger as it rose,

The heat all gone from his face, leaving it as rough with wear as e’er before.

“I advise you to see Idunn before you cross the Bifrost,

For your age shows clearly in your stance and face,”

She whispered, a smile lighting on her lips as she clasped her cloak

About herself, the woman form fading into falcon before his eye.

As she flew out the doorway, Odin’s hand reached out in feeble dismay,

A dismay she wished to nurse to full-fledged longing with

Her absence.

As she coursed towards Midgard once more, her stone gaze calmed, softened

To one of steady moonlight.

For a day she flew about Ymir’s skull, the feathers drawn back from her face

To let her voice ring ‘round the surface, filling the ravens’ minds

With her command:

“Return to where you gave me tidings, and bring with you yet more,

Recall whose swans you are, forget your duty not.”

The ravens’ beer flowed on below, a ghastly colourful sight

Against the dulling greys and dusted, lifeless browns,

But the ravens heeded not the sound of their drink gushing out, undrunk.

They cried in mourning, gathering news of who would heed

And who wherein there lingered Munin’s essence

Instilled by their master in seahorse whey.

The Raven-God, when returned his Thought and Memory, smiled gently

As they gave the tidings of her words upon his swans,

Recalling as his face wrinkled in its beaming to ask Idunn for a rosy gift

To iron out his aging worry.

“As commanded by my falcon queen,” he murmured to himself,

The stolen mead within his mind now coursing to his tongue,

More mead with which to brew upon the ears of Aesir.