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BHW - CreepyPasta - NoSleep

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by BlogPro, Jul 25, 2016.

  1. BlogPro

    BlogPro Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    BHW - CreepyPasta - NoSleep

    Hey BHW'ers,

    As most of you are aware, I have a Kindle Publishing Journey going on in the Journey section. So while in the midst of it, I had a discussion on various styles of writing with a few fellow members.

    I disclosed my desire to start an BHW Original CreepyPasta/NoSleep thread, where members could read Horror stories published by members, critique it, share their own and basically have a good time.

    @alwaysinvisible instigated me to go ahead with the thread and so here we are. This was also, inspired by the awesome Martin small thread by @Sherbert Hoover

    I wrote this story last night and it is what we call a mellow story. It won't scare the shit out of you at all. It's similar to being a diary entry with an unexplainable conclusion. It's an overnight write-up, so please be gentle. Also, needless to say, this is pure fiction and any resemblance to any person living, dead or in a coma is purely coincidental.

    If the thread picks up, I'll dare to write some of the more instigating content. I also welcome other users to post their story in the thread. The only request being, that the story should be an original copy. It can be cross-posted from other resources, provided you are the OP elsewhere too.

    So here we go - my first entry.


    11:11

    I have never been much of a writer. Yes, I excelled in schools in my Grammar lessons. But mostly because I have a tendency to ramble on for pages once I pick up the pen & my English teacher wasn’t one bright individual.

    I was never going to relate this incident. Heck, I told myself I’d take it to my grave. But for the past two weeks, this has been upsetting me and so today as I sit here killing time, I decided to share it with you guys. People whom I’ve never met face to face, to see what you think.

    About me? I am Michael, a normal catholic guy staying in Mumbai, India. I work as a software developer and my employer has me working with a US client for the past three years. This means, I need to work on American times. An average citizens night is my work hours. But I get the day to myself and the pay is great, so I don’t complain.

    Now being the chief programmer on the client’s project, I have an immense workload. And since everything happens online, my employer is perfectly happy with me working from home.

    I moved to the city of Mumbai from hometown Mohali, five years ago. I live alone in a plush 3 BHK in one of the most posh areas of Mumbai. I used to have a roommate until 2 years ago. But he left saying the commute to and from his work was too long.

    It didn’t bother me much. I was able to afford a maid who cleaned the house and the kitchen, had a laundry boy on call, the local hotel delivered good food and beer. So as you can already see, there was no need for me to get out of the house.

    I was always an introvert & have never had many friends. So socializing was something I didn’t do much.

    The only thing I used to leave the house for was to get cigarettes. At first it was once a week, as a 20 pack lasted me all week. Then it became once every two days and finally it became a daily habit. I would burn through a 20 pack in 20 hours.

    Coming to the story, this one Saturday evening as I was coming back from one of my rare commutes to work, I received a text message from my bank stating that my salary had been credited. I noticed that it was lesser than what I usually receive, so I called up my boss. That very same evening, I was also on the verge of running out of cigarettes and so was supposed to buy myself a pack. However, the long argument with my boss over my supposed “leaves” made me forget and by the time I reached home well past 10 PM, I had 3 smokes left.

    I was tired from all the traveling and decided to just have dinner, smoke a cigarette and catch some sleep. But fate had a different plan for me. Once I was done with dinner, I received a “Hey!” on Facebook from a familiar face. It was a girl from my hometown, Riya, who had also moved to Mumbai 2 days ago.

    She was a pretty woman and I had a massive crush on her right from my childhood. When she completed her college, she was placed in a retail firm’s office in Mumbai. I was the only one before her to have had a Mumbai placement and so her parents and my parents ensured that we were in touch.

    She said that she hadn’t messaged me earlier since she had been busy getting settled in her new home, which she shared with a roommate.

    She told me everything about her past, her first relationship, how moving to the big city had always been her dream, how she had a bit of a crush on me when we were in school together.

    That last line really caught me off-guard.

    She then revealed that she also had a much bigger offer from a merchandising firm in New Delhi, but she didn’t accept it, nor did she tell her parents about it, since she wanted to be in Mumbai and see me.

    Needless to say, I had butterflies in my stomach. I was smiling so big my jaw had begun hurting. One part of me still couldn’t believe that a girl had moved to a city, a 1000 miles away from her parents just to be with me.

    And then before I knew it, the texting had stopped and we were talking to each other on the phone. Her voice reminded me of the cherubs dangling from heaven. Needless to say, I knew at that very moment that my life had changed.

    We talked till 3 in the morning, before we both decided it was time to hit the sack. She said that the Mumbai air didn’t seem to suit her, as she was having difficulty breathing. I promised to take her to the beach the following day, so she’d feel better.

    I was still reeling with the thought of being with the girl I had loved since I was 6 year old.

    Her place wasn’t far from where I lived. And I decided to meet up with her the following day, which happened to be a Sunday. We decided to get some breakfast, do some shopping and that I would show her around the city and take her to the beach, of course.

    --

    Now coming back to the cigarettes. You’d remember that all I had left were 3 of them. It was 3 in the morning and I had finished them a few hours ago already. Sleep evaded me and so I needed one to function. After all I was an addict, wasn’t I?

    I rummaged through my belongings to see if I had one remaining, but I was out of luck. I decided to go out and get some. I knew of a vendor at the corner of my street who resided right behind his shop. And if you knocked on the window after the shop was closed, he’d sell you whatever you wanted, with a markup, of course.

    Needless to say, I was scared out of my wits to be going out in the wee hours. I didn’t have a bike or a car; I had to walk down the whole two blocks to reach his shop. Soon the longing for a cigarette had over come any apprehension I had been having. I gathered my wits and decided to make the walk.

    As I got out the main gate for my apartment complex, I decided to make a run for it. I sprinted across the two blocks and made way to the Cigarette vendor’s house. I knocked on the window and as expected, I had my pack of Classic Milds in a few minutes. I decided to wait until I reached home, before lighting up.

    As I got back on the street, I heard a slew of sirens coming up from behind me. My immediate response was to duck behind one of the cars and hope that no one saw me. I was having the best night of my life and didn’t want a confrontation with the law enforcement to ruin it.

    As the cars passed me, I saw two police vehicles followed by an ambulance. One of the cops saw me ducking inanely behind a car that barely hid me under the well-lit street, but he seemed too preoccupied to stop or even bother.

    The way back to my apartment passed through the main street, and as I walked on the sidewalk, I was in full view of any vehicle passing by. I was aware of this and this had made me very very conscious. There was only one thing left to do and that was to run like I had never run before, hoping that no other LE officers or no-gooders pass by. And that’s what I did, I made a run for it and stopped only once I was safely inside the compound of my apartment complex.

    I got into the lift, reached my home and lit up. That first drag hit me so good, I almost collapsed in ecstasy. Seriously, anything tastes better when you’ve longed for it. And I mean anything.

    --

    Anyways, so back to my story. The clock had struck 5 and I decided to call it a night soon after that, since I had to wake up early, clean up and go meet Riya.

    I woke up at around 10 in the morning. Went through my daily morning routine and picked up my phone. It was dead. That’s when I noticed; I had forgotten to flip on the switch for the phone’s charger. I cursed myself under my breath, but remembered that I also kept a spare portable charger with me. I took it out, plugged it in and left to meet the woman of my dreams.

    As I reached the address she had given me, I noticed a large crowd. Thinking something must’ve gone wrong; I carefully waded through the sea of people standing underneath the building. A few steps later, I saw two police vans standing right outside the entrance. I even saw the cop who had seen me earlier in the morning, ducked behind a car. He looked up from the paper he was holding and glanced at me. I froze for a second, thinking maybe he had recognized me. But he seemed more interested in the paper in his hand. I heaved a sigh of relief and made my way to the inside of the building. A burly constable stopped me while at the entrance and asked me for my identity and the reason why I wanted to go inside.

    I introduced myself and said that I had a friend who stayed on the seventh floor. And that I was supposed to meet her today.

    As I said this, a young woman who had been sulking on the side suddenly sprang up to me.

    “You’re Michael! Riya talked so much about you. But…” and she trailed off into a fresh new stream of tears.

    I could feel my heart sinking a little bit. Just as I was trying to recollect my thoughts, the paper-bearing cop walked up to me.

    “Mr. Michael?”

    “Yes sir!”

    “Please come with me!”

    “May I ask what this is about?”

    “Please, just come with me and I’ll explain.”

    I walked with him to the corner of my building, where an ambulance was parked. He took me to the rear of the vehicles and opened the doors. Inside it, lay a body covered in white sheet.

    “How did you know Ms. Riya?”

    “Umm! We studied in Mohali together. I moved here 5 years ago and she had just moved in a couple days ago, starting a new job. Her parents wanted her to be in touch with someone who knew the city and was familiar with them, so they put us in touch.”

    As I said these words, I sense a sudden surge in my anxiety. I could feel an impending panic attack on its way.

    “Please! Just tell me what in the world is going on.”

    As if on cue, without saying a word, he slowly pulled the sheet from the body, unveiling a face.

    The panic attack had arrived. As I saw that beautiful face that a few hours earlier I wanted to hold and kiss and caress, now lying lifeless in a state of rigor, I could feel the world around me darkening. And before I knew it, I hit the ground with a thud. I had blacked out.

    --

    I opened my eyes to see water being splashed on my face by the same burly constable who had earlier prevented me from entering the building.

    I saw the earlier cop come by again and decided to finally get a sense of what the fuck was going on.

    I tried to get up on my feet to assert some authority, but my feet gave way and I fell back on the chair.

    “Easy there! Please stay seated sir.”

    “Would anyone please tell me what is going on here?” I shrieked.

    “We don’t have all the information here, yet. But apparently, there was a break in last night on the seventh floor of the building. The thieves somehow broke the main latch on the door and got in. Ms. Riya was alone in the house at that time, and apparently raised an alarm. So we can assume, that in a frenzy the thieves strangled her with a belt lying around the house, while they attempted to escape.”

    “…”

    He continued, “The screaming alarmed the neighbors and two of the three thieves were caught and detained. They are in our custody at the moment. The third one managed to escape.”

    The burly guy offered me some water. As I gulped I could think of nothing else but my world shattering around me. I saw that the ambulance was nowhere to be seen.

    As if sensing my uneasiness, he went on ”We were waiting for someone to identify the body. We talked to her parents and they’re already on their way along with, I guess, your parents. They informed us about you and I had to check your story before getting you to identify the body.”

    I could sense beads of tears forming on my eyes. In a span of 12 hours, my whole life had turned around twice. I found a girl who was interested me, and now she was dead.

    “Were you two very close?”

    I didn’t know what to say, so I chose to ignore that question.

    “When and how did this happen?”

    The cop lifted up the sheets of paper in his hand again and began reading.

    “The coroner’s report states that the time of death was between 11 and 11.30 last night. The cause of death is fracture-dislocation of cervical vertebrae owing to the victim being strangled by the perpetrator”

    He then handed over those sheets to another policeman standing next to him. And then resumed…

    “We also have CCTV footage that shows the perps entering the building’s lobby at around 10.56 in the night. We again have them leaving the victim’s house at 11.12 PM when the other neighbor’s caught up with them.”

    I felt a huge lump forming in my throat as my eyes began swelling up all over again. This was when something struck me. I fumbled around for my phone that I was holding before fainting. The burly constable held it out for me.

    I noticed that the portable charger had given it enough juice for me to be able to switch it on. And I did.

    As the phone switched on, I saw several missed calls from my parents and a bunch of unknown numbers, which I assumed, were Riya’s parents. I then went to my Facebook messenger and saw my conversation with Riya, it was all still there.

    I furiously scrolled all the way to the top. Right to her first message…

    It read “Hey!” and the timestamp said “Saturday 11.11 PM”​
     
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    Last edited: Jul 25, 2016
  2. Sherbert Hoover

    Sherbert Hoover Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    Damn, that's solid stuff, BP.

    I'll post something up tonight or tomorrow night.
     
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  3. Reaver

    Reaver Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Ooh we get to see Sherbs in all of his glory. I'm excited. :D

    I don't know if I should post something new or be lazy and dig through my old stuff.

    Give me 48 hours.

    Btw, nice job OP.
     
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  4. Reus

    Reus Newbie

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    Damn it's good. Keep up the good work :)
     
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  5. lilmasta

    lilmasta Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I would happily pay to read something like this. Good job OP
     
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  6. XxUnivaxX

    XxUnivaxX Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Man that was some solid stuff. I am not fond of reading those big chunks of line but I finished that off.
    That's all really fiction right? Don't tell me it actually happened.
     
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  7. BlogPro

    BlogPro Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Thanks bud! Can't wait!

    Dig through the old stuff, come up with something new... it's all welcome! Can't wait to see what you have in store.

    Thanks man!

    Means a lot coming from you dude. Thank you so much.

    Again, if I could get a non-reader to finish off a 2500 word story I wrote, I must be doing something right, no?

    And yes, it's definitely all fiction. You wait for some of my darker stuff, mostly those that are part of a bigger story. I will actually post snippets over the next couple of days.

    Glad you guys are enjoying this. Makes it all the more worthwhile.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2016
  8. Reaver

    Reaver Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Ooh, I just remembered a couple of things I co-wrote with someone a few years back. I've been meaning to dig them out and revamp them.

    They're not creepypasta, but they are dark. One is based on Norse mythology, one is based Greek mythology and one is based off of Dorthy in Oz.

    I'll fish out one of those and brush it up.
     
  9. BlogPro

    BlogPro Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Yes, yes! Dark storylines are more than welcome.

    I printed out a copy of the Poetic Edda English version. I need to brush up my Norse lessons.

    You know, my ultimate dream is to create a piece of fiction where I connect the dots across various ancient cultures, then try and make sense of them in the modern layout. That would be fucking epic.

    Oh! And also tagging @living2xl - thought he might be interested.
     
  10. Reaver

    Reaver Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I'll find my Norse Mythology one then. It takes place in a post-Ragnarok world. This is before Marvel went insane with all their Thor stuff. It's closer to actual mythology (which was super creepy) and less like pretty people running around slapping each other for the sake of money.
     
  11. BlogPro

    BlogPro Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Please tell me you're a published author. Your knowledge across subjects is intriguing.

    Can't wait to read that!
     
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  12. Reaver

    Reaver Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I'm not, actually. I can't get out of my own way. I've actually never even showed anyone my original stuff outside of a handful of people (aside from my writing partners). So posting my works here is a huge step for me.

     
  13. BlogPro

    BlogPro Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Well, I am glad that I could make that happen.

    Maybe we can prod you into taking it further someday.

    Baby steps! It's always the baby steps!
     
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  14. Reaver

    Reaver Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    OK, found this thing in my inbox. It's called "After Ragnarok." It's about the world after Ragnarok, which, according to the Norse, is just the end of everything.

    They were so entertaining, those Norse.

    Before you start reading it:

    1. This story was written in 2010. It is way older than that crappy movie series Marvel put out.
    2. This has nothing to do with Marvel's universe. This story is based on actual Norse mythology, which was really quite dark and gruesome. The gods were all jerks, their worshipers were jerks - everyone was a jerk.
    3. Following that theme, everyone in this story is a complete jerk. And they're all unapologetic about it.
    4. There are no happy endings, or even happy moments in this story. It's just one really long clusterfuck peppered with very dark humor.
    5. As religion is not allowed to be discussed on BHW, please don't ruin this for everyone and turn this story into some kind of platform for your personal feelings or agenda. It's just a story, a work of fiction I am sharing for your entertainment.
    6. These characters are purely fictional. Any resemblance to anyone anywhere existing at any time ever in the history of everything is purely coincidental.
    7. I haven't edited this thing at all. I just copy and pasted it from my inbox. So if you see typos, be nice and keep it to yourself.
    8. I wrote this with someone else, so the transition between characters is a bit bumpy. Needs to be smoothed out. He gave me permission to post it though.
    9. This thing is probably NSFW. Just to be on the safe side, I will put it under a spoiler tag.
    10. This is only the first 7669 words of the story. It runs about 100,000 words.

    There once was a time not too long ago - perhaps fifty thirty ago...or was it forty? Fifty? - that people feared the sun would never rise again. And who could blame such seemingly ridiculous thoughts? Back then, however long ago it was, there was a great cataclysm that shook the Earth's very foundations and threatened to render the very skies themselves. Gods waged war across the heavens, their mighty power filling the air with cries of horror no mortal would ever forget. Brother killed brother, father slayed son, and son smote father. Blood soaked the clouds as magical energy danced with destructive force. Countless perished in that great and fantastic conflict that bore a name no mortal dared mutter out of reverence and fear, and those who survived believed their time would too be up before the next dawn. This belief remained in everyone's thoughts for many a year.


    But rise the sun did, and like every morning before it, it bathed the world in its magnificent glow. But upon the burned soil and cleaved earth, there was little for the sun to illuminate with its brilliance. The terrible war had scorched the land beyond recognition, destroying much of the vegetation and rendering much of the soil unusable. Ancient trees and majestic mountains were converted to ash, and fresh canyons and valleys were cut into the ground. Once dominant cities now lay in ruins, their occupants scattered to the winds and the grave. Only a handful of survivors now populated the desolate world, congregating in makeshift villages that barely held any hope of survival in this newly torn world after Ragnarok.


    And the reason for this lack of hope lay at the feet of one man...or rather, one god: Loki, the wicked trickster and sinister shape shifter. When it seemed inevitable that the great war would be waged for all eternity, Loki slew Odynn and gained the upper hand in that terrible conflict, using his craftiness and amoral sensibilities to bring down the mighty gods one by one. Soon the opposing side grew too weak and Loki's coalition overpowered the opposition. It wasn't long before most of the gods that had opposed Loki had spilled their blood, and the remaining few that had survived were scattered across the world. With his power fully established, Loki proclaimed himself lord over the world and began his terrible reign. Without the other gods to protect then, the last remnants of humanity had no choice but to comply. It was either obey or be destroyed, though secretly many pined for the latter while carrying out the former for the sake of their friends and family.


    And yet though hope had faded far away, it hadn't faded completely. Some still held out hope that Loki could be destroyed, that someone would rise up and destroy his evil reign. Such hope was not in vain, either, though those who held such hope likely did not know it. In a small village on the outskirts of a freshly carved continent, sitting by the sea side on the edge of a precarious cliff, a man entered the village through its rickety gate. Or at least he looked like a man. He stood tall, even taller than most men would usually stand. Thick muscles covered his upper body, clearly signaling his dedication to strength. Long, flowing blond hair that would've appeared handsome had it not been caked in mud flowed across his shoulders and down the back of his head. In fact, dirt seemed to cover about half his body, as if he had crawled out of a mud hole and only saw fit to brush half of it from his person. He walked with an uneasy gait, but every step he took seemed to shake the earth.


    Oh, and he was naked. Completely buck naked.


    The shocked gasps from still modest women brought several other villagers running to see what the ruckus was all about, and soon a sizable crowd of people emerged to watch as a tall and seemingly confident man strutted through their hamlet without any clothes. A few men spoke up at the idea of approaching him and asking him to either leave or put on something modest, but no one had the courage to speak up. The man didn't seem concerned for their offended sensibilities and continued to walk forward, though with each step his gait grew more and more uneven. It didn't take long for the whispers about the naked man to shift from his nudity to his seemingly failing strength.


    Suddenly, without warning, the stranger seemed to miss a step and he fell forward. He tried to prevent his crash by holding out his arms, but he landed face first in the dirt just the same. He then just lay there, not moving an inch. Was he dead? Or just asleep? Though still fearful about approaching him, one man mustered up enough courage to walk up to the man's head. The villager leaned down and gently poked his head. "Hey...are you...all right...?"


    Just then, one of the stranger's arms lashed out and grabbed the villager's arm, gripping it with an iron grasp that sent the man screaming in pain. The naked man's now-mud caked face lifted, and his sapphire blue eyes glared tiredly at the screeching villager. "Help...me..." the man pleaded in a weak yet powerful voice. Then, just like that, he let go and his face fell down once again. As the poor villager stepped back to nurse his throbbing arm, the naked man remained motionless.


    The villagers stared at each other silently for what felt like an eternity before they finally decided on a course of action. By the end of the day, the powerful and nude stranger had been carefully carried from the village streets and into one of the huts, where a young and childless couple had agreed to take care of him. If those villagers had only known what kind of events they had started, they would've thrown that man off the nearby cliffs…


    It had been a while since they'd had visitors, mostly because hardly anyone traveled now. They had very few reasons to. If family members were still alive they were huddled together in shanty towns, living their mundane lives, afraid of anything upsetting the delicate balance of normality it had taken years to establish. And here this stranger was, doing what they'd all feared. It would be unkind to refuse his request for help, but once he was able to walk again he was being shooed away.


    Or so they planned.


    Their makeshift medical attention was just that: made up on the fly. But after careful examination they found that he had no wounds to speak of - nothing major at least. He was just dirty and naked. He was cleaned off by the blushing wife, bandaged properly when and wherever needed, and left to rest on the floor. He was too big for the bed, but they tried to make him as comfortable as possible.


    Then they waited for him to wake up.


    And waited.


    And waited.


    And waited.


    He had but one visitor the entire time: a beautiful white-haired man who spent most of his time hiding. He had a strange fear of everything and was pretty much useless, but he was obviously traumatized. Normally he'd be considered weak, but they were all weak now, so even the slightly crazy ones were welcomed into the flock and cared for. When he heard of the stranger he timidly approached the couple asking for permission to see him. It was granted.


    Much to their surprise, his eyes widened in shock when he saw the blonde. He said he was a relative, which left them puzzled because they looked nothing alike. The blond was broad and unusually large, frightening. The white-haired man was typically built, and was incredibly pleasing to look at. And he wasn't intimidating in the slightest.


    "I know how to wake him," he said to the couple. They exchanged glances, then nodded. The sooner he woke up the sooner he could leave - and since they were relatives they could leave together.


    The man returned with a meager cup of beer, and put it under the blonde's nose. He hoped the powerful smell would bring him around.


    The mysterious man had hardly moved since he had been holed up inside the young couple's home, his massive frame soon becoming a nuisance for them to step around. No matter what food or water they passed between his lips, he didn't open his eyes or budge, his shallow breathing the only indication that he was even alive at all. Because he was so large, none of the household's clothes would fit the stranger, so an elderly seamstress had offered to sew some fresh linens for him. In the meantime, several sheets were draped over the body so the poor woman wouldn't have to be embarrassed every hour of the day.


    It was the day that the seamstress had finished her work and the clothes had been delivered to the household that the mysterious visitor had decided to put his plan into action. The couple stood back and watched as the handsome youth took a mug of fresh yet meager beer and placed the concoction beneath the strange man's nose. What puzzled the couple was that not a drop was even placed on the man's lips; the visitor merely allowed the sleeping giant to sniff the bland ale's aroma.


    Just then, the stranger's nose twitched. Then it moved more noticeably, apparently sniffing in the scent of the beer. A few of the sniffs were even loud enough to hear. Suddenly, the man's eyes burst wide open, a look of shock and disbelief in his azure-like eyes. Those eyes fell directly upon the cup of beer, and a look of insatiable thirst fell upon the man's face. Without hesitating, the man abruptly sat up with strength not seen over the past several days and grabbed the mug from the youth's hand. With careless abandon, the man downed the contents of the cup down his throat, not caring that much of it spilled on the ground and on the sheet so long as enough of it slid down his gullet.


    Within a matter of moments, the beer was gone, and the stranger released a sigh of relief. What water and food could not do, beer apparently could. The revived giant seemed to have regained much of his strength, and as he wiped some residue from his lips, he looked around the room. His eyes fell upon the couple, who seemed terrified at his sudden revival, which only seemed to confuse the man. Shrugging, he looked away from them, only to have his gaze fall upon the youth that had brought the beer to him in the first place.


    Almost instantly his eyes widened in amazement, and then his lips curled in disgust. He tossed the mug to the side as his voice boomed loudly throughout the meager shack. "Baldr!" he roared as he stood to his feet, not caring that the sheet fell down around his legs. "You insufferable little cowardly worm! What in Odynn's mighty name are you doing here?"


    Baldr's dark eyes widened, and he covered his lips with one perfect index finger. "SHHHH!" he hissed, and promptly shooed the couple out of their hut. He had a nervous way about him; he was twitching at the mention of his name.


    The couple was happy to leave, but worried about their home. It wasn't much, and if the naked stranger raised his voice again, it might fall to the ground.


    "Don't yell!" Baldr exclaimed, skirting around Thor to collect the mug. "You'll scare the natives!" He took it upon himself to gather the soiled sheets and fold them around his arms. He was afraid of almost everything, but laundry he could do.


    Baldr peered around the shanty, as if paranoid that someone was listening. He didn't want to get close to Thor either; Thor was massive. If Baldr had any bulk it was gone now, but at least his beauty remained. It didn't do him much good but it was something to hold onto at least.


    He sighed and peaked up at the giant. Baldr was tall, but Thor had bulk to him, making the beautiful god feel inferior. Not that he needed to be awake to do that; he felt inferior to him while he was sleeping. "What are you doing here?" he questioned, eyes darting around the room for signs of a privacy invasion. "You're supposed to be dead! Everyone else is!" With a couple of exceptions, of course.


    Thor still did not know what was going on, even as Baldr hushed him and ushered the two humans out of the hut. The beautiful god mentioning "natives" clued the God of Thunder in on where he was, and as Baldr gathered the sheet around Thor's nude frame he realized he was in a hut of some kind. Suddenly his memory recalled his entrance into the village not too long ago, his strength giving way and his pathetic plea for help. Shame filled his eyes as he moaned softly and closed his eyes, trying to blot the memory from his mind.


    It was then that Baldr's whiny little voice pierced his head again, asking him what exactly he was doing in this village, what with him supposed to be dead and all. "Baldr..." he bellowed before remembering the need to keep quiet and lowering the volume of his voice, "what are you talking about? Since when was I ever considered dead...?"


    His question trailed off as a flood of memories came back to him. Ragnarok, the greatest battle that the gods had ever waged, or likely ever will wage. He recalled every detail: slaying the wretched allies of Loki, the horrific death of Odynn, the turning of the battle and the destruction of Thor's friends one by one as Loki's hoards gained the upper hand. The last thing he recalled was facing Jörmungandr, the serpent son of Loki, in mortal combat as the allies of Odynn collapsed around him. Thor's mighty hammer, Mjöllnir, had seemingly crushed Jörmungandr's skull in the fight, but moments afterward the devilish snake had bitten Thor's leg, filling the god's powerful body with poison. He had taken nine steps, and then...


    ...he had awoken to find himself in an empty field, half buried in the mud. He could not remember much then, and he must've wandered about in a daze, until he had found this village and collapsed again. And now he had been woken by Baldr, who was spouting nonsense about him and everyone else...everyone else...wait, was everyone else truly dead? Had Loki won Ragnarok? But that meant...


    Without warning, the thunder god grabbed Baldr by the shoulders and shook him violently. "What's going on? How long has it been since Ragnarok? Don't tell me that Loki was victorious! Don't tell me the rest of the gods were killed! Víðarr, Freyr, Tyr...tell me they survived! Tell me someone else survived...anyone but you! You, Baldr, the coward who would sooner crawl back in your mother's womb than lift a sword! Tell me you are not all that is left! Speak, before I rip out your silent tongue and beat you with it..."


    It was then that Thor noticed something else: the cold draft between his legs. But Thor was not adverse to his nakedness; rather, there was something missing that riled his anger. "Where...where is my trusty hammer? Where is Mjöllnir? And where are my gloves of iron, Járngreipr...and my trust belt, Megingjörð...where are my faithful companions?"


    Before Baldr could stop him, Thor threw the god to the side and ran out the house. Everyone in the village who happened to be outside were just in time to see the massive naked man burst out of the hut and scream at the top of his voice to the heavens: "What in Odynn's name is going oooooooooooon!?"


    Baldr didn't even have time to answer Thor's questions. It did hurt to be tossed aside like a leaf in a breeze, and Baldr whimpered thusly. He didn't like pain. He had a very low tolerance for it, having only successfully experiencing it one time in his whole life.


    He got up and limped outside. Thor was causing a ruckus, with his naked frame and undeniably insane pleas for answers no one had except his fellow god. He wasn't even giving him a chance to do anything to fix the situation.


    Typical Thor.


    "Odynn's dead Thor," he sighed, holding his bruised hip and looking extremely put out. He wiped muted tears from his pained eyes and clutched the beer-stained sheet to him like an emotional clutch of some sort. He looked very much like a crying child - perhaps because he was a crying child. "Everyone is dead. Everyone except for us."


    Thor's words hurt. It wasn't as if Baldr didn't know he was a coward. After his run-in with Loki and the mistletoe he kept to himself, hiding away while the gods went on to live their lives. He wasn't even sure he was missed. He heard they'd mourned him somewhat, but he was pretty much useless among a race of warriors. He was pretty to look at. That was all. His wife killed herself, gods only knew what happened to his son, and he had simply stayed hidden in shadows and caves, wasting away. He was still ethereal, but his features were no longer a testament to his godhood. Everyday he became more and more mortal.


    It didn't mean he didn't have feelings though. Thor was so insensitive.


    "I'm sorry I'm all that's left," he apologized, wiping his running nose on his sleeve, "but as I recall I wasn't so good with a sword as I was with a spear. And I'm not the one that's screaming insanity at the top of my lungs."


    Though liquid sorrow was spilling from his gorgeous eyes, he put enough force in his voice to at least sound marginally threatening the next time he spoke. "You need to calm down. Yelling and being mean isn't going to get you anywhere. This is one situation where you can't smash and threaten to make it better."


    Shocked into almost catatonia, the villagers stared on, awe-struck. Were they perhaps witnessing some divine drama playing out right in front of them? Or were these two men just completely nuts?


    Either way, it was too interesting to look away.


    Though his mind was clouded with anger and despair, Thor was not so out of his mind that he didn't hear Baldr's words as the youthful god pleaded for him to calm down. Typically, the pathetic excuse for a god sniffled and whined his way through his apology and reiterated the painful truth that the remaining gods that had sided with Odynn were dead. Thor could still not accept such a statement as true, but he had to consider the idea as very likely at this point. Baldr was not one to prefer making a living on his own, preferring the assuring presence of another god by his side to protect his handsome features. If he could not find another god to offer protection after Loki's victory at Ragnarok, then perhaps all other gods were dead.


    What did irk Thor, though, was Baldr's assertion that the god of thunder was not helping matters by yelling at the top of his lungs at the injustice of losing his fellow gods and his mystical artifacts. He also couldn't abide by the idea of a lowlife coward schooling him in anything, certainly not matters like this. The faux-threatening tone in his voice was the last straw for Thor, whose powerful hand reached out and grabbed Baldr's shoulder just below the neckline just as the handsome god finished his speech.


    "I did not ask for your counsel, worm," Thor growled softly, his fingers gently squeezing Baldr's flesh, not enough to really hurt but enough to prevent him from attempting to speak, "and I still do not seek it. Whether you are proficient with spear or sword, your words still hold little weight. The worthiness your pathetic body holds a thousand times fold will not measure to the worthiness of one of the brothers I lost at Ragnarok."


    With that, he released Baldr and straightened his back, his brows knitted in a furious glare as he glanced at the villagers that had congregated around them. Everyone seemed stupefied, as if unable to comprehend the drama unfolding around them. Thor still cared not for their concerns, though seeing so many blank faces did alleviate some of the ire that boiled inside the hot-headed thunder god's bosom. A few seconds later, he released a powerful sigh that could've been mistaken for a growl as he turned again to the sniveling Baldr.


    "Then again...you seem to be all that remains of Valhalla, and though I am loathed to admit it...you are my only connection to what has been going on." A thick finger suddenly pointed at Baldr. "If you value yourself even half as much as your mother did, you will tell me all that you know. But first..." He looked down at his naked body, which seemed to be the focus of what many of the crowd seemed to be focusing on at that moment, particularly the women, whose faces were flushed bright crimson hues. Thor raised his voice a little as he continued, "...I require some clothing. Does anyone have anything I can wear?"


    The poor young woman who had been tending to Thor the past several days almost immediately moved upon hearing that, disappearing into her house and emerging moments later with the bundle of clothes that had been sewn specifically for him. Her face grew red as she walked up to him, and she tried to avert her eyes from Thor's nudity as she offered the garments to him. Thor took them and nodded. "I am grateful for your offering. Do you require anything from me in return?"


    The woman managed to lift her head a little bit and stammered a couple times before she answered, "N...n...no, sir...just please...leave my house. That is all." With that she quickly hustled away from him, returning to the arms of her husband, who quickly ushered her back inside the house. Thor's face displayed a bit of surprise at her respond before it tightened in annoyance. "Impudent wench," he muttered as he started to put on the clothing she had given him. "Unable to appreciate the honor of having a god in her household."


    Baldr's face twisted into a horrible pout, but he still managed to look somewhat stunning anyway. He could have been a woman if the fates weren't so cruel.


    Instead he was male, and while he couldn't stand toe to toe with Thor in terms of strength, he could throw a tantrum just as feirce. He crossed his arms over his chest and stomped his foot, indignant and adamant.


    "These people don't owe you anything," he snapped, glaring at the god of thunder, "and neither do I. You did nothing for them in Ragnarok; you LOST and as a result they're now enslaved to Loki. How dare you storm in here demanding that they serve you when you've done nothing to deserve it! If anyone is impudent here, it's you! Stubborn jackass!"


    Baldr could very well have signed his death certificate opposing Thor, but he was such a bully. The god of beauty hardly saw the difference between him and Loki. In fact, Thor was just like his ass of a father. At least only one of them lived. Two of them would make Baldr hollow out a tree and live the rest of his days out as a squirrel.


    "You can leave anytime you want," Baldr sneered, pointing towards the gate Thor came into a few days before. "No one is stopping you. Find your weapons and terrorize whomever you please, but leave these people alone. They didn't have to take you in. You begged for their help. It's rude to turn your nose up at them afterwards, as if they're beneath you. You'd be DEAD if it weren't for them. Show some RESPECT you selfish troll. They've EARNED it."


    Thor was a jerk just like his father.


    Baldr's sudden and unexpected tantrum surprised Thor. The god of beauty was not known for standing up to another god like this, usually if things went awry he would pout and run away crying to his mother. It had been a delightful game in Valhalla to toy with Baldr's emotions and press his buttons, in addition to throwing objects at him for amusement, and watching the pathetic excuse for a god moan like a crybaby was always a joy to watch. But now Baldr seemed to be trying to go against the grain, trying to stand up for something other than his whining-prone self esteem. It took a lot to stand up to the god of thunder, even one stripped of his mighty artifacts. Perhaps, just perhaps, Thor was being too hard on the god, and just maybe Baldr was right, he was being being a stupid, stubborn jackass.


    Like he was going to admit it, though.


    Thor's hand once again reached out and grabbed Baldr, this time grabbing the god's face and clamping down against his lips. His fingers squeezed tightly, pressing his cheeks against his perfectly formed teeth. A finger wagged in Baldr's face. "Your courage to speak out against me is admirable, Baldr, but don't courage alone will not give you standing. Remember that."


    Still, there was one thing he couldn't ignore in Baldr's speech, and that was regarding the villagers. They did save him, as much as he hated to admit it, and they deserved some respect for their efforts. Grimacing a bit, Thor released Baldr and turned to the throng of villagers around them, their gazes still staring in stunned silence at the exchanges taking place between them. By then, Thor was now wearing the garments that the old seamstress had made for him: a plain white tunic and a pair of brown slacks. Incredibly, they fit his massive frame beautifully. The pants itched, though.


    Sighing, Thor slowly knelt down to the ground, both knees in the dirt and his powerful arms spread out as a sign of forced humility. "Villagers of...of...er..." Realizing he didn't know where he was, he pursed his lips together in irritation. "Villagers! As you have no doubt guessed, I am Thor, god of thunder. I have survived Ragnarok, the great and terrible war that has torn this world asunder. I have you to thank for your survival, and I wish to repay my debt to you for your kindness. If you will grant me one further request, then I shall repay you in the greatest manner possible. I will seek out and kill the evil god Loki and drive his wretched corpse out of this world. In exchange, I ask for one final meal before I set out on my journey. Grant me this request, and you have my eternal gratitude."


    The villagers didn't know exactly what to make of this peculiar speech, and they remained still for what felt like minutes as Thor remained in his submissive pose, awaiting a reply. Finally, an old man who appeared to be one of the village elders mustered up the courage to approach him. Even on his knees Thor still towered over the old man, and looking up into the god's blue eyes, the man said as firmly as he could, "If we give you something to eat, do you promise to leave this village and never return?"


    The way that the man framed his question made Thor lower his arms in stunned fashion, though he did somehow manage to nod amidst his surprise. The old man nodded and said, "Then you shall have your meal." With those words, he turned around and departed, beginning the hasty organization of a meal for him. Thor, meanwhile, grumbled softly as he stood up. As he did, he turned to face Baldr, expecting him to still be crying from Thor roughing him up so much. "I shall be out of your hair soon, you spineless little twerp, so save your tears for the woman you will inevitably disappoint in bed."


    Ah, even after the end of the world, messing with Baldr never got old.


    Baldr was a sniffling mess, wiping his tears and nose on his sleeves. Thor was so mean! Sometimes he wished he could give the god of thunder a taste of his own medicine. Let someone pick on him for a while. See how it felt to have your self-esteem hanging by a thread.


    "Like you're so great in bed," Baldr muttered. "There isn't a woman here who would sleep with you; at least I can still keep my bed warm."


    Strange but true; Baldr never had trouble filling his bed. He was a wimp, but too beautiful to ignore. His looks were still otherworldly, even among the mortals he seemed suddenly fond of.


    "You're an immature jackass," he huffed, scratching his arm and looking down at his feet. "Nobody cares how tough or strong you are. They don't care about empty promises. All they care about is surviving. Nothing else matters."


    Baldr muttered something else under his breath, shook his head, and faded back into the grim shadows of the shanty town. While he was talking to Thor he realized he ought to leave too. It wouldn't be long before his existance became known to Loki. He'd rather not die. He was close to death once. It was most unpleasant.


    Baldr packed what little he had - very little - and tied it up in a small pack. He was very sure he could find another village to blend into. He'd just have to be extra picky. Baldr was a successful parasite, moving from host to host. That's how he lived. That's why he was still alive while the other gods and most of the world was pretty much dead.


    Baldr threw the pack over his back and slipped out of the back of town, heading for the forest in the distance. Thor could call him whatever names he wanted, and they may have hurt terribly, but there was one thing he was forgetting: Baldr was smart. He was smart enough to survive when others could not. There was something to be said for that at least.


    Thor didn't respond to Baldr's final set of mutterings, not wanting to give any more attention to the sniveling little bastard. The crack about Thor not being great in bed would've alone made Thor reach out to snap the god's neck, but after his little display before the people of the village, he didn't want to cause another scene. As Baldr stormed out of side, likely to look for a hole to crawl into, Thor couldn't help but admit - to himself, of course - that his words held some merit. If what he said was true, then the world did not care about anything survival. Having witnessed Loki's cruelty firsthand, Thor knew what kind of twisted madness the trickster god was capable of, and the stuff Thor didn't know...well, that was even scarier.


    The people of this village needed something more than a vague promise. They needed the gods, or at least the surviving gods still willing to fight for them. Thor didn't know how he had survived Jörmungandr's deadly bite, but the miracle had left him naked and weaponless in a world now controlled by Loki. If Thor was to keep his word, he needed to find Loki and slay him. To do that, he had to find his enchanted talismans: his mighty hammer, his iron gloves to grasp it, and his powerful belt to wield it. Where they could be, he did not know. But after this meal, he would have to set out and find them.


    The meal took about an hour for the village to arrange, and when Thor arrived to attend it, he immediately found it the most pathetic feast he had ever attend. The villagers were all huddled around haphazardly arranged tables with food they had harvested themselves, food that was never fit for a grand feast for a god. The meal that Thor himself received was a mishmash of various food items that only a peasant could survive on, nothing that would indicate the majesty of the event. The beer served was the same dull slop that had awoken him, and now that he was awake it tasted even more disgusting.


    And yet Thor chose not to complain. Though ordinarily he would've roared at the injustice of being fed such a meal, watching the sad faces of everyone quietly munch their food as if their lives depended on it dampened the sense of entitlement that Thor usually felt. Considering that Loki had likely wiped out most of their families and destroyed their livelihoods, it was not his place to complain, at least not so openly. Their meal, while horrible, would do for now.


    The meal concluded uneventfully, and Thor quickly announced his decision to leave immediately. Though the village didn't say so, most of the villagers did show some relief on their faces. Still, a few of the villagers did offer to see Thor off, which he accepted. At the village's exit, his bid those who had chosen to see him off a fond farewell, promising them again that he would rid the world of Loki. The look of forlorn in the people's faces suggested that they either didn't believe him or thought he was mad, but Thor chose to ignore their lack of faith. He turned around and started down the road, his pace brisk and rapid. Just before he disappeared over the distant hill, however, the feeling finally caught up to him and he couldn't wait any longer.


    He scratched himself, leaving the villagers quite a lasting image as he vanished over the horizon.


    "I wonder where that coward Baldr is?" Thor wondered as he made his way toward a forest he could see in the distance. "The bastard is probably still crying for his mom somewhere."


    Baldr was not crying for his mother. He'd stopped doing that years ago, although it took a long time for him to break the habit. His mother wasn't coming back. None of them were coming back. He'd made peace with this, and become more adept at hiding. He'd rather do laundry at a village that accepted his presence than be with a god that didn't give a flying rat's ass about who he was or anything he had to say.


    It was getting dark. Baldr knew the dangers of the night, especially in a forest, and the importance of finding shelter before before some angry creature decided to use him as a meal. He switched his pack from his back to his teeth and tried to climb a nearby tree, but his arms were too short to reach the first branch. He needed something to stand on.


    Damn.


    He thought one of the massive roots would do, but after climbing it and standing on his toes he still couldn't reach it. He sighed, flopped down on the root and pouted. He'd have to find a different tree, and soon, but looking around he found that all the trees were too tall for him to climb.


    Damn.


    There was a rustling behind him, and the snap of a twig made the gorgeous god swallow hard and dive under the root he was sitting on. There was a deep hole underneath, likely made by some burrowing creature, and he decided that it would be nice if he could just stay there for the night. As long as the burrowing creature wasn't huge and vicious, like a snake or a rabbit, he would be good.


    He waited, cowering from the entrance, trembling like helpless prey.


    Something shuffled again, and Baldr promptly stuck his thumb in his mouth, sucking on it like there was no tomorrow for him. It was a horrible habit but when he was afraid he couldn't help but revert back to it. He'd tried breaking it over the years but it had never worked. He was just a coward, pure and simple. But he had survived. For him that was all that mattered.


    Footsteps sounded in his ears. He whimpered, feeling the earth tremble beneath his frame. He was going to die. Death by predator was not something he was looking forward to.


    A shadow loomed over his hiding place. He swallowed hard, shrinking back further in the hole. Four large, massive paws approached the entrance, feirce claws peeking out from well groomed fur. If Baldr wasn't too busy trying not to piss himself he would have thought it very odd that this creature had such a shiny pelt in an unforgiving habitat.


    Suddenly one paw reached in, its claws catching onto Baldr's clothes, pressing the god to the ground forcefully before dragging him outside. He squealed and clawed at sides of the hole, but it was really no use. He was under the frightening paw of a terrible wolf, solid golden eyes fixed solely on him. His ferocious teeth were so clean Baldr could see himself in them. He didn't want to see his reflection before he died. He was doing his best not to soil himself.


    "P-please don't eat me!" he peeped, his voice shamefully small and high-pitched.


    The wolf frowned. "I'm not going to eat you Baldr," it growled in a deep, roiling voice.


    While terrified, Baldr couldn't help but be curious about the wolf's response. "Y-you know me? H-how?"


    "Not now." The wolf released his prey, only to pick him up off the ground with his teeth. His breath smelled strongly of rotting flesh and fresh blood, even though his teeth were very clean. Baldr gagged.


    "I'll take you somewhere safe," he promised, lowering himself to the ground. Baldr hesitated, but eventually mounted the wolf. If he wanted to eat him he would have already done so. And since he was bigger than Thor and seeming much nicer, he'd stick with him. It wasn't like he had much of a choice anyway.


    Ugh Thor. What a jerk.


    The wolf stood carefully. Baldr wobbled a little but held onto the creature's collar. His fine eyebrows raised at the discovery. Someone owned him?


    The creature turned in a full circle and sniffed the air, growling as his claws scraped the ground. He let out a terrible howl, and every creature nearby shrieked and scattered, fearful of the great predator. Baldr's bones rattled at the sound, but he was happy to be on the wolf's good side. Apparently it was the biggest things in these parts.


    He'd heard tales that there was a giant wolf roaming the forest but he'd paid it no mind. The forest was the only thing between him and the next village. That the myth proved true was scary and satisfying to Baldr. It meant that there was less of a chance of someone else tracking him. Perhaps he should just disappear in the woods. If he stuck with the wolf he'd be very safe. Nothing would dare harm him.


    "Thor," the canine growled suddenly. He sounded very angry. Baldr couldn't blame him. Everyone knew Thor was an asshole. If this creature was familiar with the god then he knew as well.


    "Where?"


    "Not far." He turned east, snorting loudly. His breath stirred up dirt clouds and made leaves rustle; it was like the blowing of a stiff breeze.


    "Can't we leave him behind?" Baldr whined. He did not want to be near Thor for any reason whatsoever.


    "We could," the beast chuckled darkly. "But if he finds us he will discover a most unpleasant surprise."


    Baldr thought he was referring to them being together, but the wolf's mind was on something else entirely. Still he pouted. Deeply.


    "Do not worry, little god," the beast laughed. "None of us will suffer his wrath anytime soon."


    "He's still a jerk!" Baldr exclaimed, still pouting severely.


    "That he is," he agreed, "but so few of us survived Ragnarok. We must stick together. THOR!" The wolf's call was devestating; Baldr was tempted to stick his thumb back in his mouth and curl up into a ball. "Mighty god of thunder, show yourself! Fenrir, son of Loki, commands it!"


    ...Wait, what?


    Baldr couldn't believe it. He was sitting on top of a murderous prince that was opening challenging the son of Odynn! He cringed. Now he wanted his mommy.


    The itch in Thor's balls refused to go away no matter how much he scratched. The old woman who had sewn his clothing sure knew how to make clothes that fit, but finding suitable material was a different matter. With every itch that the thunder god felt, he felt humiliated in having to scratch it away. Why did he have to lose his original threads, the clothes of Valhalla, the garments of the God of Thunder? They had never given him something as mortal and as insulting as an itch. If he hadn't felt indebted to the village for saving his life, he would've given that woman an earful so sternly she would never hear for the rest of her likely miserable life.


    Thankfully, the itching finally seemed to die away a little as he reached the edges of the forest, whose tall trunks and thick canopy likely distracted him from focusing on the scratching. The path that led through the forest was fresh and difficult to follow, likely because not enough people have traversed through these woods since Ragnarok. Thor, while gifted with strength and fighting ability beyond any human, was not blessed with tracking skills or a good sense of direction, and within a matter of minutes he had wandered beyond the faint path and into the deeper parts of the woods. He didn't realize he was lost until there was no possible way of turning back, and yet all he could do was sigh with annoyance and press on, thinking he would emerge on the other side sooner or later.


    It was during this period of wandering during which he heard a loud hiss to his left, and when he turned he saw a small black snake nestled on the ground a short distance away. A whisper viper, he believed they were called. Short tempered. Very painful bite, dangerous venom. Thor glared angrily at the beast, which didn't seem to back down from the god of thunder. Without warning, the serpent leaped into the air and straight for Thor's face, attempting to bite it with its curved fangs. Quick as a flash, Thor's powerful arms grabbed the beast in mid flight, gripping it tightly by the head and clamping down the deadly fangs.


    Undeterred, Thor held the snake close to his eyes, a look of wrath in his face. "You dare attack Thor, son of Odynn, serpent? You are like your father, the bastard son of Loki that nearly killed me. You shall not share his victory, foul beast." Without another word, Thor squeezed his fingers together, crushing the serpent's head with a sickening crunch. The god of thunder then threw the animal's remains to the ground, spitting defiantly upon them before resuming his journey. As he did, he muttered under his breath, "Wicked Jörmungandr...you shall pay for injecting your venom within me. Whether your skull is still shattered or whether it is whole, you will die by my hand...and your father shall follow you..."


    Suddenly, a loud voice erupted throughout the forest, a voice only a god could posses. At first he thought it might've been Baldr, but the voice was so commanding and powerful that he immediately ruled that whiny bastard out. It was a challenge, a demand for him to show himself before...before...it couldn't be. Fenrir!


    Rage immediately filled Thor's muscles and sent him into a furious sprint, aimed in the direction of where the roar had come from. It didn't take him long to reach the tree where the voice had originated, and he quickly spotted its owner: Fenrir, son of Loki, god of wolves. Thor stopped a stone's throw away from the canine god, his eyes so blinded with rage and anger that it took him a few moments to notice Baldr sitting upon Fenrir's back. That revelation surely surprised him, but it did little to quell his anger.


    "So...the son of Loki has challenged the great Thor. He has shown his cowardice and hopes to finish me when I am without my magic armaments. Know this, foul beast, wicked bastard son of the accursed shape shifter! Mjöllnir may not be with me, but I shall not back from you. I shall fight to rip your head from your body and tear out your black heart so I may feed it to your father when I see him!" His wrathful gaze then turned to Baldr, his tone not abating in intensity. "And you, Baldr...your pact with this wretched fiend will not save you from my wrath. Once I have dealt with him, your head will join his at the bottom of the nearest river."


    He clapped his hands together - even without his godly powers, the remaining strength inside him created a loud bang between his palms, enough to startle most mortals. "I am ready, fiend of hell. If I must die at the hands of a son of Loki, I'd rather it be you than your foul brother Jörmungandr, who has already failed in the attempt. Now let us end this!"


    God, he talked too much…
     
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  15. HoNeYBiRD

    HoNeYBiRD Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I just dropped by to say that these colors look so good together. :)

    Please continue, don't mind me.
     
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  16. BlogPro

    BlogPro Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Read it and now I'm pining to know what happens next after the confrontation.

    This is extremely well done. I like how the story doesn't paints every character in a single shade. There's no black or white, there's no good or bad, everyone is gray!

    I love how it frames Baldr as an important character, while every other Norse lore I've read barely mentions the God, let alone allow us to explore his feelings. Baldr, who's supposed to be the God of peace & harmony - a central characteristic of virtually any civilization. Even the chaotic ones, the barbaric ones - they may not have had peace, they sure did have harmony.

    This is extremely well written @alwaysinvisible I would read the full version of this book. I mean this little piece leaves so much to be desired.

    Not sure what you do to make your bread, butter and caviar. But if it's writing, you're in the perfect profession.

    And I'd definitely recommend you give self-publishing a try and I'd like to offer you all my tools & experience at your disposal, should you decide to take the plunge anytime.

    Also, post more, please! kthxbye!
     
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    Last edited: Jul 26, 2016
  17. Sherbert Hoover

    Sherbert Hoover Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    @alwaysinvisible

    I hate the fantasy/mythology genre.

    But I really, really enjoyed that. Good shit! You should definitely publish the rest of it. I'd read that no question.
     
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  18. Sherbert Hoover

    Sherbert Hoover Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    Here's something quick I threw together in a half hour or so earlier today:

    BECAREFUL.EXE

    The Author, nestled in a comfortable chair in the darkened study, opened his laptop, bathed in the warm monitor glow. becareful.exe sat on the desktop, the icon a plain black square. He opened the program and was greeted with a familiar loading screen.

    "Be careful what you wish for, be careful what you write. Be careful not to lose your cool, else you cause a fright. Be careful when you spin the wheel, make sure you word's a rock. For if you spin and lose or win, you can't turn back the clock" said the loading message, and it faded away to a pure, grey background, blinking cursor at the top left corner, red and black wheel at the top right.

    For two years, The Author had written line after line, night after night long after his wife had fallen asleep, to no avail. Tonight would be no different. But it was an addiction, a glimmer of a long-forgotten promise. "Use this program and spin the wheel, and your writing will come alive!" The Seller had crooned on the street corner, trading crumbled Jackson-faces for dirty, repurposed flash drives. With an eye patch and his arms in casts, The Seller was quite the sight. But The Author had just sold a short story to The New Yorker, and was cash-flush, so he shoved a crisp twenty in his bucket and The Seller met his eye and handed over a flash drive.

    "Be careful what you wish for, be careful what you write!"

    He cracked his neck, focused, and wrote:

    The Author, nestled in a comfortable chair in the darkened study, opened his laptop, bathed in the warm monitor glow. He started up his favorite word processor and was about to start documenting his latest short story concept, when the phone rang.

    He stopped and hit the red and black wheel. It spun like a Roulette wheel for five seconds, ten seconds, fifteen seconds, then stopped. Nothing. The Author stared intently at his cell phone, grey laptop screen reflecting off the darkened glass. Nothing, fucking nothing. He deleted the second sentence and tried again. Three tries a night, that's it, lest it become an obsession.

    The Author, nestled in a comfortable chair in the darkened study, opened his laptop, bathed in the warm monitor glow. After reminiscing on the two years since his last short story sold, he thought to sift through the mail his wife had placed on the side table outside the door of the study. The third letter down was a thick envelope from a prospective publisher: "We'd love to publish your story"...

    He stopped and hit the red and black wheel. It spun like a Roulette wheel for five seconds, ten seconds, fifteen seconds, then stopped. Nothing. Ever hopeful, he stood, bones crackling like a wildfire, and trudged to the door. It opened with a squeak and The Author peeked around the corner, grabbing the small stack of mail from the side table.

    Credit card offer, local coupon booklet, anniversary card from the in-laws, save-the-date for my cousin's wedding, credit card offer, utility bill. Nothing. He tossed the credit card offers and coupon booklet in the garbage and secured the rest with a paper clip, placing them thoughtfully on the desk top, beside a cup full of Ticonderoga Black pencils.

    One more try. An idea popped into his head.

    The Author, nestled in a comfortable chair in the darkened study, opened his laptop, bathed in the warm monitor glow. The loading message of becareful.exe faded away to a pure, grey background, blinking cursor at the top left corner, red and black wheel at the top right. He wrote a few lines and clicked the wheel. It spun and spun and spun, and then disappeared.

    He stopped and hit the red and black wheel. It spun like a Roulette wheel for five seconds, ten seconds, fifteen seconds, then stopped.

    And then disappeared.

    Nothing happened. Nothing at all. "Two years of fucking waste, how pathetic" he muttered, standing (wildfire bones again) and shuffling over to the open window. Shut the window before you come to bed, you'll give us all a cold! Outside, the wind blew the winter-bare trees. They danced under the moonlight, serenading the earth. A thin layer of snow from the afternoon blanketed the dead grass. No lights in the distance allowed the stars to boast their light.

    He sighed deeply, closed the window and turned, finally coming to the realization that it was time to break free from the program that had been his obsession for almost eight-hundred days. As he spun, he came face-to-face with a man in a hooded jacket, six inches from him in the study. He gasped and raised his arms in defense. The last thing The Author remembered thinking before The Stranger wrapped his cold hands around his throat was I shut the window before I went to bed.

    The Author regained consciousness in his comfortable chair in the darkened study, arms and legs tied at the elbows and knees. The laptop was still open, still the only light source in the room besides the moonlight. The Stranger sat on the desk, swinging his legs to and fro, watching from his faceless hood. Slowly and deliberately, he spoke in a raspy whisper.

    "Be careful what you wish for." The Stranger pulled the paper clip from the stack of salvaged mail. "Be careful what you write." He carefully unbent the paper clip. "Be careful not to lose your cool." He grabbed The Author's trembling head by his short, sweaty hair and leaned his mouth against his ear. "Else you cause a fright!"

    With one swift motion, The Stranger thrust the unbent paper clip into The Author's widened, watery left eye. The audible pop as the clip passed through the cornea into the lens emanated through the small space, but for some reason The Author could not scream, only remain in a silent terror, wavering between conscious and passing out from pain.

    Thoughtfully, The Stranger removed the clip, and a stream of aqueous fluid flowed down The Author's trembling, unkempt cheek. The entire event lasted less than three seconds, but The Author traveled through a lifetime in his head.

    "Be careful when you spin the wheel." The Stranger rasped, tossing the paper clip back onto the mail pile and grabbing two of the Ticonderogas. "Make sure your word's a rock." He ran the sharp graphite edge over The Author's upturned forearms, marking the far sides of the radius and ulna with a small X.

    "For if you spin and lose or win." With a practiced motion, the pencils were simultaneously plunged through the outside if The Author's forearms, where they tore under the bone through muscle and vein like guided missiles, ripping through the skin on the other side. This time, The Author let out a piercing scream. He heard his wife yell from the bedroom. The Stranger stood behind him and put his mouth to his ear again.

    "You can't turn back the clock!" The Stranger grabbed both pencils at the eraser end and pulled towards The Author with all his might. Sharp cracks echoed through the room as The Author's wrist bones let go of the small bones of his lower arm.

    A warm spray of blood coated The Author as he fell unconscious. The last thing that passed through his head was The Seller, standing on the street corner, frantically passing out flash drives, and his eye patch and arm casts. Oh.
     
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  19. Reaver

    Reaver Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    @Sherbert Hoover Dude. Was it wrong that I laughed at your story?

    That ending was hilarious man.

    Then again, I have a very twisted sense of humor.

    re: the story - I liked it. You really went to town describing him getting stabbed in the eye. That was very detailed. I found myself holding one of my eyes in sympathy while I read with the other one. Poor guy.

    re: your comment on my story - I can't write anything BUT fantasy. I try so hard not to go down that road every time I start a story, but it just ends up being the same genre. I grew up reading sci-fi/fantasy and playing old school rpgs like Final Fantasy and Dungeons and Dragons. That stuff has a major influence on me.

    Fun fact: I have never written a story that didn't have a dragon in it. I'm obsessed with them.

    I'm happy you enjoyed it. It makes me feel a swell of pride that someone who hates the genre would read something I wrote. :oops: Thanks <3

    @BlogPro Thank you. :)

    I have zero plans to sell this. I do want to clean it up though. It's straight up a rough draft, so it needs to be edited.

    I'm actually a copywriter for a living. I've always been a writer. I always will be. I keep journals, I collect pens, I practice my handwriting at least twice a week. I'm obsessed with the written word. I think it's one of the best ways humans can express themselves. I suck at verbal communication, but on paper I can tell you anything.

    I may take you up on that self-publishing offer someday. Again, I have to get out of my own way first.

    I'll post more in the next two days.
     
  20. terinah14

    terinah14 Junior Member

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    This is a good one! I first thought the police ignored Michael because he was already dead haha.