Addictive Rimeshade (10 page)

BOOK: Addictive Rimeshade
11.74Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

“He's still a father, Leug. He's still a creator. Don't you think you're jaded and biased here?”

His eyes become glaciers, his tone just as frosty when he says, “Be it matriarch or patriarch, in most families the apron strings are straitjackets designed to constrict, bind, control, where your feelings are cut up with the precision of the Sunday roast. Nothing is sacred as forebears think they have the right to destroy the parts of your spirit which are sacrosanct. They feel entitled to it, and if you cut them out they'll gather siblings to do their dirty work for them. That's what Odin did, when he couldn't reach me he sent one of my bloodbrothers, Thor. Odin is beyond petty, and he never stops illustrating how despite being god he's got the maturity of a dog fart.”

His laugh is brittle and callous, “The devil didn't have a daughter, he had a son. Three of the bastards. Christians call us heathens, but their god didn't marry which makes all of their gods bastards, at least ours publicly acknowledge they're betrothed because they understand the meaning of love and sacrifice, that a woman comes first, always. Even Odin acknowledged Skadi's wisdom.” Pointing at me with a homicidal smirk, he sneers, “Your foster father, he's going to learn the meaning of rape. He's not going to like it much. A father will be introduced to justice when he abuses his position of power. Likewise a mother. That's why I exist, to exact justice, even to Odin.”

At a loss because he has an argument for everything, I say, “Look, I can see you have daddy issues, and I can't say I understand, but I certainly empathize because I have them too. He is your god Leug, there's no avoiding that. Just like mankind will worship their creator, because they're grateful. Well, those with real families are, I think...”

Oh crud, I'm messing this up, royally.

Leug paces like he has left the oven on in the lowest level of the underworld, his tone loathsome, “He's not my god. I can’t grow in the shade, I can’t flourish in his darkness. It matters not if he is a relative or not, I chose to live my life for me, not for family who never understood the meaning of love. Ewan, and Macala who is a shadow warrior, they’re just repeating the lies and propaganda they’ve been coerced to believe, they think they know the truth, but if there was truth there at all it’s now grossly distorted, and if they had any love for me they’d have let me go, released me to my own freedom, not become hellbent on my persecution and the target for all their blame. Love doesn’t desecrate, it elevates. And that’s why we are in the dark as they have done their utmost to stunt me and to silence my spirit. I’ve not spoken to them since the dawn of time and yet still they wish I’d perish, preferably at their own hands. Their disrespect for granting me peace is blatant. You have to ask yourself why I pose such a threat, why not just continue on their own journeys instead of needing to intercept mine time and again with their hatred and cruelty. Lara, love doesn’t persecute, nor does it accuse. Blaming another is a coward’s shield and sharpened blade. They blame me because they need someone to blame. 
Only a manipulator points fingers instead of taking responsibility for their own situation. Why are they so protective over a lie, what do they gain from it? Why have they adopted an untruth as fact, why has their sire convinced them of evil when they are the ones who chased me to the underworld to get away from them and their desire to destroy me? I’ll tell you why, and you won’t like the answer…”

Annoyed, I snap, “Then why say anything at all? Don't start a conversation you can't finish!”

He looks hurt, vulnerable, his tone dropping to quiet, “Lara, you will know, but you'll hear it when I tell Ewan. When he understands why I can't let you go, why I refuse to let harm come to your door again. Why he is unsuitable to adopt you into his clan.”

Shrugging, tiring of this conversation, I mutter, “The truth will set us free.” It's a quote from the bible, and at this time I hope it's apt.

Leug laughs, brittle and brash, “Everyone pays lip service to the truth, that it's a virtue, calling it a keystone of divinity. That, my sváss, is the biggest bald face lie spewed from the mouths of idealists on a daily basis. People want the truth the same way they want a hornet stinging their eyeball. Truth demolishes and that's why no one allows it to be spoken. It makes me a smoking gun and I have a mighty fine itchy finger on the hair-trigger. Truth muddies the stream of love, it throws clay into clarity, and they've done their damnedest to keep me shut out and shut up.”

I don't know why I feel compelled to play god's advocate, but I do, arguing, “People need to know they're accountable. Even if it's just a mental concept, or construct.”

He smiles coldly, his tone blunt and ruthless, “Every time 'god' points his finger at you, three more have folded into his palm to point back at him. Odin wasn't pure and blameless, he was simply a creator who blamed his creation for his wars, who blamed his sons for his own failings. There was a war in heaven, I'm a witness of that leg of the story, but it's not because a son was evil, it was not because a son sought to betray or usurp his father as your tales portray, it was when I stopped seeing through the eyes of a boy, seeing him instead with the eyes of a man - and not liking the truth once it set me free of idolizing an evil. Nothing burns hotter than blood. It's a burn that never stops scorching.”

Daring to interrogate, I ask, “So you
are
his son?”


No, I'm not, and before you assume you know the story because of a shit and rather false Hollywood production of Thor and my kindred, I'll state the facts. In Asgard the gods are all family. We call each other brother, we view our elders as mothers and fathers with the wisdom to guide all. Odin is called father because he and his two brothers were the first of the gods. We are made from the same source, our spiritual signature is akin. But Odin wasn't satisfied simply being a god in Asgard with others of identical power, he needed more, he required worship and praise, and marionettes to do his bidding, so he created mankind. And then he taught them the ways of pain and war, bloodshed and grief, pillaging and the scent of flesh burning while the creature still breathes. He felt nothing for their suffering as they were made for his amusement. Burning alive is a fate worse than death, yet they worshipped him, afraid of him, desperate to please him. When mankind called him god, he thought he was. Without regulations and rules Asgard quickly fell into step, the gods were not fond of war but were instead simply conductors of justice when wrong befell one of them. They didn't understand the concept of ego, so didn't understand its threat until it was too late. Odin swore to wipe out the frost giants, all of his kin, and he almost did. He is a frost giant, we all are, but the true giants came before Odin and his kind. They were here long before gods and men came to reside here.”


Giants?” I laugh, finding this all rather hard to believe.

Leug adopts the manly annoyed pose, hands on hips doing the chest flex, his tone lethal, “Did you not see me when I opened the doors? I'm a giant. Believe your own eyes woman, or resign yourself to staying forever blind.”

Point made, and taken. Bloody hell, and I thought I was highly strung. Dawdling to the wall, I touch the smooth curve of a corded root of stone, asking, “So what's the deal with giants?”


My son, who you consider the mother of all serpents, he's a giant too, sváss. That's how big a giant is. We all are, you included. That is why I said you are becoming who you are. You are home with your own kind, now you will no longer be stunted to fit in with the ones who cannot accept you, so instead they persecute and reject you.”

His words graze the raw nerve in my soul, the hurt causing tears. Stilling, resting my head against the wall, enjoying its cool temperature on my forehead, I jump when heat envelops my back and strong arms fold around me. “I'm sorry. I have residual anger, but it's no excuse to be callous.”

It finally dawns on me that he answers as if he is telepathic, as if he's been privy to my thoughts.

A warm kiss blesses my neck, his hug tightening, the gesture comforting, soothing and validating in one, him saying, “I can, I do. I'm a leader, all of our leaders can mind read. It's required in times of duress, when words are energy we can't afford to expend. It's natural, it's our way. Spirits require no voice to commune.”

Sagging against his body, I feel depleted. I feel as if I have been to war, and lost.

 

Chapter 10

 

 

Heroes tread Hel-way;

Heaven is cloven.

 

~ Völuspá

 

 

Lara:

 

My voice is vapid when I whisper, “Is hel evil? Is it bad?”

Turning me around so I'm facing him, he looks me straight in the eye, saying, “No. Not ever. Why would anyone accept 'god's' afterlife prison if they knew they could stay here without a toll to pay, without having to die again in his next battle? He's turned many away from this freedom, keeping them enslaved to his ego because he instilled in them fear of me, and Hel.”

I'm tired and threadbare, emotional, irrationally so, as if I've been through too much, encountered too much, been conquered, yet it's not that bad. I can make no sense of my current state.

Wishing I could sit again, instead I lean against him for strength, saying softly, “Why am I here, Leug?”

This time he hugs me tight, burying his face in my hair, whispering into my ear, “I can't be the stile anymore Lara, forced to watch them soar because they were provided a bridge to complete their journey. For once in this infernal existence I need to be the destination. Just once I need the journey to end with me.”

“Stop with the riddles. Speak plainly because I'm exhausted and need to know why I'm enduring this.”

Pulling back, cupping my face in his warm large hands, he kisses my mouth, standing straight to stare down at me, our gazes intercepting soul to soul when he says, “It was a strange joy when I fell inside your heart. It was not a prison, it became freedom. You are the answer to every question I never thought to ask. You are my cup of love. You are the essence I have sorely missed.”

And just like that, an intense man speaks words my spirit can understand, words enveloping the intention my spirit craves. My heart resounds to the declaration with the same resonance. We are more than lovers, we are instantly one, in love, twisted together to create a resilient strand instead of individual fragile threads.

He releases me, taking my hand and folding his around it as if I'm precious, saying, “Y
ou said it yourself, a snake won't eat the dead. Here the deceased are safe of all threat and
his
harvesting of souls every wildhunt,
Jörmungandr
ensures their safety. Hell is a place of refuge, not Odin's afterlife bootcamp. This is the only afterlife realm where the dead can find peace, and the living doubly so. You work with the dead every day of your life Lara, why? Because you crave the peace found in the underworld, here in Hel. Because the company of the dead offer you something you can't, and haven't, found with the living. Because you desire the unconditional love inside this realm. Because we are alike, you and I. Twinspirits. Entwining our spiritual rings creates our infinity. You understand my willingness to harbor the dead and grant them rest, because you do it too. We are destined. You are the answer to an eternity of prayers. We are
ás-kunnigr.


What's
ás-kunnigr?”


Divine kin.” He pauses, looking into me as if before him shines the only star in heaven, explaining with patience, “Ás is the word for anything considered holy, divine, god, or godly. That is why you see it in the name Asgard. It is the farm where the gods are born, the realm where the gods reside. You and me, we are twinspirits, our ás-essence being the same.”

We are. How strange that I should find my soulmate in a place reserved for the dead and damned. Maybe that's why life has always been so hard, I don't belong among the living. I belong here, with the king of Hel.

The father of Hel.

The god who holds my heart in his gentle hands.

Never look up to find god, he's under your feet. The one with love in his heart and a place of peace, he's fathoms deep, under the street.

This isn't a game, it isn't superficial, it's the most real experience I've ever had.

And I believe that beyond a doubt, I love him. I did the second I laid eyes on him from a rain washed windowpane. His shadow called to me through the dark, his spirit knocked on my door before my ears heard the wind. And I answered, because it's my destiny.

Hang on. As is spoken as ass. In fact if memory serves me well they even spell god as Ass. Does that make your asshole your god hole? The divine clearly have gay tendencies. That, or it's because the god in charge is full of crap.

Giggling, I catch his smile, him staying mum on the truth behind that assumption. Ass-umption.

Haha!

 

*

 

I've eaten, had sufficient libation, and been loved the way the gods intended it be done. Ready to curl against his side and cuddle in slumber, I'm feeling secure for the first time in my life.

He has the ability to thaw my heart, the fire he gave me kindling ablaze when he's close and loving. I'm in deep, so deep there's no climbing back out, and I wouldn't want the ladder even if it was offered.

Tracing the crevices on his torso with my fingernail, I ask drowsily, “What does your name mean?”

Rolling to face me, tucking his arm under his head, he surveys me with candor, his timbre thrumming my chest, “Flame. My name means, in essence, fire. The kind which illuminates through knowledge, which consumes the old to prepare for the new. It's elemental and hard to control, rather appropriate really.”

It occurs to me how similar this all is. Lucifer means
light-bearer
. Despite the negative connotations now associated with the name, incorrectly from my viewpoint, I now see that Leug, a.k.a. Logi, has the same name meaning. The light is cast out of heaven to preserve the darkness inside god's realm, to preserve the system established by 'god'. Be he Odin, or known by another name.

God rebuked his own redemption. Ironic. And in Christian lore, the latin meaning was assigned to 'Jesus' by more than one bishop. They called Jesus
Lucifer
, giving him the meaning and assignment of bringing the light to mankind. It was in the 4
th
century, and it still is present in the Easter proclamation.

 

Flammas eius
lúcifer
matutínus invéniat:

ille, inquam,
lúcifer
, qui nescit occásum.

Christus Fílius tuus,

qui, regréssus ab ínferis, humáno géneri serénus illúxit,

et vivit et regnat in sæcula sæculórum.

 

~

May this
flame
be found still
burning
by the Morning Star:
the one Morning Star who never sets,
Christ your Son,
who, coming back from death's domain,
has shed his peaceful light
on humanity,
and lives and reigns for ever and ever.

~

 

In Revelation 22:16, 'Jesus' said of himself,
I am the bright morning star
. When he said that, if read in Latin, it would say,
I am Lucifer
. What tangled webs we weave when we practice to deceive. I forget who said that, but it's true. Now I understand why  non-believers, heathens, consider the 'faith' hypocritical.

Christians equate Lucifer with evil, when he is the same person they worship, as he is the light bearer. I knew reading made us blind, for so many are, none of them seeing the truth written in front of their hungry eyes, dangling in front of their hungry spirits.
They have eyes but they cannot see
through the darkness of ignorance.

How Lucifer can be considered evil is beyond me when even the father of all churches consider it a gift from god himself to mankind. Who
comes back from death's domain
. Ha! They speak of Lucifer, of Loki himself, cast out by Odin. Hel is death's domain is it not? The underworld is the same place. So many names for the same location. Smoke and mirrors indeed.

It is the same story. I'm getting that. I feel it, deep inside, in my quintessence. Odin feasts on holiness, he devours it, and those who won't feed him, he damns. If this is damnation, then I prefer it. Here we don't have to jump through hoops, promise allegiance, and abide by creed. Here we meet the light bearer, and he is beautiful and kind, intense and thoughtful, buried deep and recognized there, hooked inside my mind.

He's my kind.

Kind being the operative word.

Odin is a fool, a power-mad insane idiot. And yet when we don't examine the origins, we lose sight of their
origin
al meanings.

Logi, Leug... he was the ultimate sacrifice.

I've read some of the old texts and I recall in them he is not named Loki, but instead they called him Logi. Giving his name to 
logi
cal, in other words he is the light of reason inside the chaos.

He is certainly the light in my chaos.

His eyelids droop seductively, a playful smile plumping his lips, “You are a treasure, Lara. How is it that someone so fair, in every sense of its meaning, comes to be inside and beside me?”

Smiling back, my emotions fizzing giddily, I whisper, tracing his sexy mouth, “Fate has her own story to tell. She refuses to be silent too, she is female and she is a trinity of women, and they're tired of a male god keeping the realm unbalanced. He refuses to grant peace so she's taking back control through love, letting us finish the story for her.”

Moving to support himself over me, looking down with mysterious eyes, long lashes lace when he blinks, his tone hushed and secretive, “Your father, he's blessed me. He's blessed Ewan. It gives me hope that we'll avoid war and find resolution with the clans. This is love, Lara. And I do not use that word lightly.”

Love, oh I feel it, but it scares me shitless. Avoiding the commitment, I interrogate him while he's pliant.

“Why do they think you're capable of evil? You clearly aren't. If you were you would have retaliated instead of being a docile victim to their agenda. You'd have waged war right back. You certainly had justification.”

His tone is flat, saying, “It's easiest to believe the worst of someone. Lies, for some reason, settle easier than truth, which is why so many believe them without question. They consider the perpetrator of the lies to be trustworthy, a parent, someone they think has no agenda or reason to fabricate tales to manipulate. They've been manipulated from inception which is why they do not recognize it because he has always lied to his 'children'. When I speak the truth against his lies and manipulations, he tells the other gods that I am sowing weeds among the good seeds.”

“He should be ashamed of himself,” I mutter.


He has no shame. A sociopath is incapable of it. They only care about their own interests, at the expense of everyone and everything else around them.”

Curious, I pry, “So the other clans are birds. One is raven and one is eagle. What are you?”

A wry smile carves dimples into each of his cheeks when he says, “Falcon. In Asgard I would fly as a falcon, but my clan here is the wolf.”

Feeling bold, I pry deeper, “Have you ever been in love?”

“Yes.” He stares at me as if debating whether or not to tell me, eventually saying, “When Skadi's father died, no one could get her to smile. For Odin's sake, I did it. Many will tell you he got her to laugh, but it was I. I penetrated her grief and anger and finally got her to fill Asgard's hall with her laughter. Only then would she take a husband to replace the father she lost, but again the way the choice was made was a fool's errand. She was unhappy. She ended up marrying Odin after her first handfasting didn't work out. In a way I saved her when I returned joy to her heart that day, and she repaid me when she saved me from torment. I loved her then.”

He loved Skadi. I can't compete with that. I heard she has hair paler than the snow, her beauty unparalleled.

He reads me, whispering, “You are her spirit-kin, her as-kunnigr, you share her beauty.”

I love a man who says the right thing in a moment of female insecurity.

“And your mother, who is she?” I whisper, cherishing this fragile intimacy.


Nál. Her name means needle. The only way to the realm of rest is
through the eye of the needle
, through me because I was born to grant the passage. Nál is an appropriate name for the mother who sews the ruptures closed, who sutures the hurt with her ethereal thread, through her bloodline. She gave birth to the truth bearer, the light bearer. The eye of the needle is the eye which sees all, without illusion, without bias. It accepts threads which seek to repair.”

Closing my eyes, feeling his exhalations washing over me in waves of solace, I am envious of how their names define their role in the worlds of gods and men.

As if reading my mind again, he slumps next to me, trailing fingertips up my arm, saying, “Your name means
protector of the gods
. It is delightful that the source has finally seen me fit of protection. I'm the only god never granted it. It gives its meaning and name to the laurel tree, a symbol of protection granted by the highest, seen in ancient Rome and Greece as a symbol of this supernatural protection. Oh Lara, you have fortified my heart.”

BOOK: Addictive Rimeshade
11.74Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

The Past Through Tomorrow by Robert A Heinlein
Defenseless by Adrianne Byrd
Tietam Brown by Mick Foley
Master of None by Sonya Bateman
Instrument of Slaughter by Edward Marston
Brass Rainbow by Michael Collins
Evan Blessed by Rhys Bowen
Aurora by David A. Hardy