By Jiho Shin
By @S F Brooke
Everything kinda…exploded after that. The first thing I knew was that I definitely wasn’t in my apartment anymore. It was chilly, cold to the point that I could see my breath come out in a cloud. The second thing that I noticed was that I wasn’t dressed in sweats and comfy clothes anymore. My feet were bare, my dress was flowy but ragged-looking in navy blue strips of cloth. The dress was floor length with no sleeves and a deep v neck. I couldn’t say that I was my style but it felt like a second skin. My gaze focused on the ground, my toes wiggling, the ice underneath them was sky blue nearly see-through. I blinked at the reflection that was staring back at me, the myths had gotten my looks drastically wrong. I was not half dead as I feared but it was almost as if my skin had frozen. The right side of my face was a pale blue, my eye was white like I was blind, and my hair was colored like snow. The left side of my face was a tan color, my eye blood red, with crimson hair. My hair was adorned with what looked like a crown made out of…rat bones? I smiled.
“Gazing at yourself?” Came my father’s voice. “I knew you were conceited, you get that from your mother.”
I grinned as I looked up to see my father. Loki was pleasant looking as always, his normal clothes had changed to fur coats and a long green cape. His red hair was adorned with a metal band of green leaves. I stood from my crouch and hugged him tightly, the cold air between us vanishing with familiar warmth.
The minute my arms wrapped around him, I was flooded with memories.
Childhood laughter erupted in my ears, my brothers calling out warnings as I explored. The memory must have been when I was no more than six, I was looking up at Fenrir. His jet black hair was mused and he was panting as he ran after me, he looked maybe twelve or thirteen. Jormungand came up behind us, holding a long stick-like staff, looking easily a man of twenty or so. I didn’t quite remember how much of a little sister I was.
“You’ll never catch her,” Jormungand said, chuckling as he sat on a nearby boulder. He moved his brown hair out of his eyes with the stick, his green eyes as vibrant as the tunic he wore.
“But Father said-” Fenrir replied, hands on his knees.
“Father said to watch her, not control her. Hela can’t be controlled.” My eldest brother said with a knowing look. After that, I took off to the river that was near the boulder and meadow where my brothers were standing. I brought them each back a mudpie and the sound of our combined laughter was the end of the memory.
Along with that memory, all that came with the past was added to my mind. They had been born human, same as I had been, but my grandfather hadn’t just cursed me but cursed them both to become beasts bent on world destruction. I missed them terribly. I held onto my father just a little tighter.
I pulled back from the hug and my eyes traveled through my realm, we were at the borders, but I could still feel the magical attachment. There was no place like it. The hills and valleys were different shades of blue, spirits and shades were milling about and in the distance, I could see my hound. With a sharp whistle that traveled miles, I called Garmr over. The dog was as large as a horse, his tongue lathering my entire face as I laughed in pure delight.
There was no place like this in all nine realms. No world other than mine. I felt like I belonged, like my routine, my ideas, my plans, were mine to make and build and dream up. I would miss Midgard but here…this was my place. I felt free here.
“Welcome home, daughter,” Loki said softly, putting a red piece of hair behind my ear and there was no better way to say it than that.
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