(WP) A Call to Arms

(WP) A Call to Arms

               “Brothers and sisters, Ragnarok is, at last, upon us. The Vanir are coming. Get your weapons and ready yourselves for the final battle.”

               Odin stood up from his place at the long wooden table, his ravens, Huginn and Munnin, fluttering about his shoulders, their feathers gleaming like a velvet, starless night. The eye that was still there gleamed with excitement, the bright green of an emerald. Turning his back on his warriors and Valkyrie, he marched out of the dining hall, murmuring a spell under his breath.

               One of his chosen Valkyries, a Civil War nurse who’d died on the battlefield trying to save a Confederate soldier, Berenice, stood up, following her king out of the hall.

               “Is it true, my King? The Final Battle has come?” She asked, reaching out to touch him but stopping herself.

               “Yes, Berenice. Gather the rest of the Valkyries. We’re going to need all the help we can get,” Odin growled in return, but he was smiling. Excitement rolled off of him in waves.

               But really, what Norseman, mortal or god, did not relish the chance to show off their might in battle?

               **

               The battlefield was chaos embodied.

               Screams of rage, fear, and exultation provided a hellish chorus, and Fenrir himself was in the thick of it, roaring and snapping, blood striping his dark muzzle.

               He roared, snapping powerful jaws and crunching bones between his teeth as though they were naught but toothpicks.

               His siblings, Hel and Loki, were also fighting: Hel was accompanied by armies of the dead, their ghoulish moans rising above the fray. She was both beauty and death combined, formidable and alluring all at once, dark hair flowing in the air like ink in water. Her gray gown was torn to shreds, and her eyes were an unearthly gray, the color of fog. All around her beings fell, and they were resurrected by her hand, fighting against Odin rather than for him.

Loki and Odin were in a deadlock, Odin’s ravens flapping about the pair like two living evil omens.

“Do you really think you can defeat me?” Loki growled, his dark eyes glinting like obsidian.

“Even if I do not, you know as well as I that I will never give up!” Odin snarled back, laughing deep in his throat.

Berenice was jolted from watching them by the cries of the dead. She was no stranger to battle. It was how she’d become a Valkyrie in the first place. She took pride in war.

But part of her could not deny that she was tired of bloodshed. How could the humans crave war and violence as much as they did?

Even in honor, it caused death.

Could it be that after all of these years, she was regretting being one of Odin’s chosen? The very thought rattled her to the core.

But now was not the time to have an existential crisis. She had souls to reap, after all.

She could put in her two weeks notice when the job was finished.

**