Category: Mag Mell

Heimdall looked up at his uncle anxiously. He wasn’t afraid, he told himself. The punishment wasn’t meant to harm. He would be placed in a position where it would be impossible for him to repeat his infraction. He would be youthened back to childhood and his memories of the events that precipitated the crime would be erased.

The man had been talking while he was thinking. Probably some kind of ceremony, Lord Tyr loved ceremonies. Heimdall glanced at Gna and she smiled tremulously. He took her hand and then took the apple that Lord Tyr was holding out to him. She took a second apple from the Lord of Justice’s hand. Together, they ate the apples, their second for the day.

The effects were immeadiate and dramatic. Heimdall felt his head swim and he closed his eyes, clamping his hand more firmly on Gna’s. When his head was clear once more he was much smaller. “Just how will you erase our memories?” he asked softly. “And just how much will you erase?”

“Not enough to change who you are,” Lord Tyr assured him. “Think of Lady Gna, what you have done with her and the feelings you have shared. Lady, you do the same.”

Eyes swimming with tears, she nodded. Still clutching each other’s hands, the couple focused their thoughts on one another. Heimdall felt a strange pressure and then the memories began fading away. First the evening they had spent together – the reason they were being punished in the first place. Then the days and nights they had spent together reading poems. Last their first meeting on the bridge.

Heimdall opened his eyes as even the memories of the punishment itself faded. He looked up at Lord Tyr and said, “Uncle, my clothes is too big.”

“I know,” the older man said softly. “The pair of you will need new clothes. I’ll bring you to the Happy Hall and one of the ladies there will take charge of you. Most likely, Lady Freya.”

As they were being led toward the hall, Heimdall turned toward the little girl beside him and said, “Hello. I’m Alarr.” He blushed slightly as he noticed she was holding his hand. She was very pretty.

“My name is Lifa,” she replied, flashing him a bright smile.

Memoirs of an Amnesiac

Chronicler Darius Mnemnos gazed at the tall blond fey for a long time as the man gathered his thoughts. “I’m supposed to tell you about things I’ve experienced in the wilds of Donara,” he said finally. “The thing is… I don’t really remember anything at all. The earliest thing I remember was Llar… Kassel, I mean, finding me and waking up from that pod. I don’t really remember how I got into the pod, not specifically.”

“Tell me what you do remember,” Darius said, pen poised above the paper.

“Rasig, a crow-fey and minor lord in Donara wanted me to work for him as a thief but… I refused. He was the kind of person who used people, then threw them away and I didn’t want a piece of that,” Almace began.

As usual Darius’s vision of the world around him faded away as he saw the past. Almace stood, glaring defiance at a dark haired fey. They were in a library of some sort. “I know what you do with people who aren’t of any more use to you, Rasig. Why would I want to work for you, even for one job. I have a partner, I don’t need to take up with the likes of you.”

The crow-fey twitched his wings in annoyance a sighed. His voice seemed calm, almost urbane, as he said, “I feared you’d see things that way. Believe me, Master Pinc, you would be much better served accepting my offer.”

Almace rolled his eyes and took a step back, obviously intending to leave. “Right, I’ll pass.” He made as if to leave and the crow-fey struck with almost blinding speed. Over the wind fey’s protests, Rasig dragged him down a corridor and out into a strange garden.

Darius recognized the plants, even if Almace did not. A part of him quailed back from the vision but he couldn’t help but follow it to the end. “What… what is this place? What are those things?” Almace asked as Rasig released him. There was nowhere he could go now.

“Memory plants,” Rasig replied coolly. “Are you feeling tired?”

Almace staggered as his eyes drifted shut. He forced them open as vines snaked out to pull him toward one of the pods that hung, open, from the main body of the plant. “I… think I’ve changed my mind,” he murmured. “Rasig… I’ll work for you, please. Get this thing off. Let me go.”

Rasig smiled and stepped back away as the vines drew Almace deeper into the pod. “You will work for me. I’ll let you out when the pod has taken enough of your memories that you don’t know who I am. You’ll still have the skills that I’ll want but… you’ll be more biddable toward your… savior.”

“No,” Almace murmured. He was getting so drowsy now. “No please. Lord Rasig, please.” Then the pod closed over his face and darkness swept in.

Darius came back to himself with a start and shuddered at the crow-fey’s plan. He looked down at the paper he held. All the information was written there. Almace may never remember all the particulars of that day, but at least he’d be able to read about what had happened. “Rasig was… pretty scary,” he said.

Almace nodded once and murmured, “That much I do remember.”

Fate Could Create You and I

Arashi stood watching the storm as it passed by overhead. He’d grown up in Mag Mell. Such storms did not take place in the realm where clouds stayed so low to the ground. Since his arrival in this realm, he’d taken to watching the sky; with its changeable array of clouds avidly.

He stumbled as a girl ran into him. He caught and steadied her before she fell and then smiled down at her as she stood, panting, before him. “Sorry,” she said. “I don’t really like thunder.”

“Thunder’s just a sound,” Arashi said softly. “Lightning is the dangerous part and it comes first.”

“That’s reassuring,” the girl muttered.

Arashi shrugged. “Sorry,” he replied. “Let’s start over. I’m Arashi Meilir. You are?”

“Asuka Hamasaki,” the girl said. She moved closer to him when thunder rumbled overhead and then blushed suddenly, darting away, with a quickly muttered, “Sorry.”

Arashi shook his head and beckoned her toward the doorway. “You don’t like thunder. Let’s get inside, away from the porches. You won’t hear so clearly then. Do you play chess? A game might take your mind off the storm.”

“That sounds like a plan,” she said as she followed him inside.

Heimdall settled back against the rock as he read the poem to Gna. Suddenly she burst out laughing. He grinned back. “I can understand where he’s coming from,” he said softly. “She sustains him.”

“I suppose,” Gna said softly. “Do you feel like my love sustains you?”

“Yes, dearest,” Heimdall agreed. “Like the poet, if you were gone from me, even for a moment, I would search for you.” She snuggled against him and they turned back to the book of poetry.

Heimdall watched the water moving on the shore. First one wave, then another would beat the shore. He could count them. He sighed and looked up to see the home he’d shared with his mothers sinking back beneath the waves. Settling back on the beach, he watched as it disappeared.

When it was gone, the young asa turned toward the forest beyond the sandy beach. He would now go to Asgard to be with his father’s people. He didn’t know what awaited him in the halls of Asgard. He hoped that he could at least find another home, as he had with his mothers. “Good-bye,” he said softly as he walked up the beach.

Heimdall had meant to ask Frigga’s permission to court the handmaiden Gna. She might have denied him still, but then again maybe not. However, he never asked, since their meetings were so few a far between. He came to love the girl from afar at first. After all, he didn’t know how she felt for him.

Then, each time they met on the Rainbow Bridge grew longer and longer, until there was no doubt that she shared his feelings for her. Then they were already courting and he realized he’d never asked. If Gna realized it, she didn’t mention it.

So the quiet, solitary asa gently and tenderly began courting the messenger of Lady Frigga. They stood together on the bridge watching the clouds and birds as they passed by. Heimdall read her love poetry from books she’d borrowed from the others in the Happy Hall.

Among their favorite was a long poem written by a man who’d loved a princess, though it meant his life. It was not too unlike their situation. Heimdall was sure that neither would die for their love but if they were discovered, they would be punished. Still they persisted in clandestine meetings and stolen glances. It had gone too far to ask permission now. If they must be punished, let it be because they gave each other all their hearts, not holding back anything.

Nous Sommes Fucked

“Loki,” Heimdall whispered. “What did you say would happen if your brothers caught you so close to Asgard?”

“I didn’t but it wouldn’t be pretty,” Loki replied. He closed his eyes and swallowed heavily before he met the redhead’s gaze and asked, “Why?”

“Because they’re coming… I doubt we can out run them in this grassland,” Heimdall returned.

“Then we’d better out-think them, I don’t want to think of the consequences otherwise,” Loki replied. He closed his eyes again, this time to calm his mind. Panic wouldn’t help and if he didn’t come up with a solution soon, both of them would be in a heap of trouble.

Fractal Edges

Darius read over the book a third time, just to be sure that he understood the directions. More and more often, he was lapsing into visions. This book proclaimed to have ideas on how to slow down their frequency.

The simplest one seemed to be to get someplace safe and secluded and bring one on. It appeared that he would have the visions either way, but – similar to how dogs taught to ‘speak’ were less likely to bark indiscriminately – bringing them on in specific circumstances served to give a measure of control.

As such, he was imagining a triangle with triangles multiplying inside it, becoming smaller and smaller until the whole of the triangle was filled with them. He then repeated the process, and again until his vision grew hazy and then clouded over.

The emperor sat reading a book. He was curled up; his feet tucked into the chair under him. The fire in the hearth had burned low. As Darius watched, he realized that this was the emperor at a much younger age. He was still the prince.

His suspicions were confirmed when an oni peeked into the room and said, “Highness, isn’t it past your bedtime?”

“Yes, Henry,” the young prince said as he set the book aside. As he left the room, the vision faded.

Darius sat up, blinking in shock. It was perhaps the first time he’d had a vision that didn’t involve death. He grinned down at the book in his hand and murmured, “Fractals, hm?”

Heimdall sighed and watched, as he always did, across the rainbow bridge called Bifrost. He was the watchman, solitary and silent. Only when someone approached did he speak and then only to ask their business and send them away or allow their entry. Today had seemed no different, that is until Friga’s messenger had come across the bridge, returning from the human world.

“Good day,” she greeted. “I’m Gna; returning to my mistress, Frigga.”

Heimdall nodded and stepped aside to allow the maiden to pass. “Good day,” he murmured.

Gna turned and smiled, something no one had ever done. “The sun is pleasant and the air is fine today. Perhaps when I’ve finished my duties for my mistress, I’ll join you.” She scampered off, leaving him staring open mouthed behind her.

It was a beginning that would prove to be an ending. A forbidden relationship that could only have one logical conclusion. It was something he almost had no choice but to see to the inevitable end.

Orbsen heaved a sigh as he was disarmed for the third time. He shook out his aching hands and cast a glance behind him. His father was at the window, watching him train. He’d seen the whole embarrassing exchange.

“I’m no good at this,” the young prince protested. “Why must we keep working at it. I have guards and oni all around me on the rare occasions that I leave the palace grounds. Why keep torturing me like this?”

“I’m not torturing you, highness,” Collin said patiently. “You actually lasted longer that time. You’re getting better. Besides, you won’t always have a guard within screaming distance. Ready to go again?”

Orbsen sighed and picked up his sword to get himself ready. The fox-fey was right but Orbsen was sure that his father didn’t see any of the improvement the other warrior did. He saw only the disappointing second son who had become his heir almost by default.

Monica Ferris

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