I wasn’t sure what the Fenris Wolf was.
A wolf, obviously, but what kind of wolf? And he was Loki’s...son? I didn’t even want to know.
I just kind of stared at him, an eyebrow raised, frowning.
“I know what you’re thinking,” He said. “I have a horse for a son as well.”
“How- forget it. I don’t want to know. I feel like this will scar me forever.”
Godly families were messy. You never could know who was your sibling, cousin, niece, nephew, uncle, or aunt, even if they were the same age as you.
Hel smiled, then frowned. “They have sensed your presence. They are coming.”
She disappeared in a poof of yew leaves.
“That was helpful,” Loki sighed. “Best daughter ever.”
The floor started to shake.
Miles drew an arrow.
I made the mistake of looking out the window of the sound booth.
Actually, it probably saved our lives.
The ground exploded in little poofs of dirt.
And then I saw skeletal hands.
“Uhhhh, guys?” I pointed.
Loki muttered a curse. “Draugr.”
“What. In the gods’ name. Is that.” I said, not taking my eyes off the hands, clawing their way out of the dirt.
“What we would call zombies.” Miles said.
“There was probably a cairn, a tomb, in this hill. Hel’s presence disturbed them.” Loki said.
“The Vikings were never in Nevada?”
“Things change,” Miles explained. “This tomb may have been in Sweden for a thousand years, but as the west grew more popular, they moved. Probably the same with the Olympians. They were in Greece and Rome, but as America became more powerful, the heart of the west moved here. The gods followed.”
“That was helpful,” I said, “but how are we going to defeat these guys?!”
“I dunno,” Miles said. “Just shoot at them?” He pulled the arrow taut in his bow.
I had never fought these things before, but I doubted it.
“Loki?!” I said. “These are your pantheon!”
“I dunno! They were alive when I was a god!”
I smacked my forehead.
“Run?” I asked.
“Yes, please.” The boys and Hunter said in unison.
Of course they had us surrounded.
Why wouldn’t they?
We charged out the front door, making a break for the trail, but the draugr formed rank around us and locked shields.
One stepped forward. “Doyle Donaldson.”
“I don’t know him.” Loki said.
“You may try to lie,” the zombie man said, “But we will see through it. Your silver tongue has abandoned you.”
He swore in old Norse.
“A prophecy has been issued by Lord Mimir. We are calling a temporary truce on your kind to deliver it.”
“Joy and happiness.” Loki crossed his arms.
The draugr leader (or so I assumed) opened his arms, as if asking for a hug. I really hoped he wasn’t, because it would have been awkward for any of us to turn him down.
Green light swirled around him. The light made his entire being glow.
In a raspy voice, he spoke:
“When mischief falls from grace,
The Westward light finds its true place,
When the bonds on the Wolf start to fail,
Daughter of Neptune alone shall prevail.
The only way to rejoin your own
Is to know what it's like to have a home.
Beware of the closing walls,
Or else you will hear the calls.
Ophidian curse, son of Apollo shall face,
Or else, mischief will be replaced.”
“Anyone got a notepad to write that down?” I asked.
Miles patted his pockets, then frowned and shook his head. Loki shrugged.
A draugr broke formation and jogged up. He looked younger than his fellow soldiers.
“Ooh, I do!” He said, waving a legal pad and pen. He spoke with a light British accent. How do zombies get accents from cultures hundreds of years after them?
“Thanks.” I said, and scribbled down the prophecy.
“Now, we must kill you mortals!” The lead draugr screeched.
“I mean, I would be fine if we could, y’know, skip that part?” I said hopefully.
The leader put a hand to his bony chin. “Hmmm. No, I couldn’t do that. We have strict orders to kill you.”
“From who?” I asked.
For a demigod, it's always helpful to know who’s trying to kill you. Then, you can research them and their weaknesses. I can’t imagine what they did in the ancient times, without Wikipedia.
The notepad draugr raised his hand. “Ooh! I know this one! It's the sna-”
“Silence!” The leader turned around and stabbed Notepad in the stomach. He had been so quick that I hadn’t even seen him draw his sword. That didn’t give me hope for a fight.
“If we could tell you, we would,” Leader Zombie said, “But for now, we’ll have to kill you instead!”
The draugr charged, but Hunter and I were already swinging our swords.
We used to fight together really well. We were a fighting machine, no lie. We know- knew each other's strengths, moves, and bad spots. We were inseparable on the battlefield.
I don’t like to think about that, just how I don’t like to think about my real mom.
Oma isn’t my biological grandparent. She took me in off the streets, realizing my heritage when she first saw me. She was a godsend.
I don’t mean to complain, but in my fourteen years of life, I’ve been through a lot. More than a normal fourteen year old. But I guess that's the life of a demigod?
Demigods aren’t normal, not by a wide margin. We stand out. We die more often.
Some were on the streets longer than me. I was lucky to have Oma find me.
Well, I guess you’ll want me to spill, either about the beef I have with Hunter, or my real mom.
I’ll choose the one that's the least uncomfortable.
My mother left when I was nine.
Yeah, I know I said earlier she was dead. But honestly, I tell people that because that's the lie that I wish was the truth, as bad as it sounds. My mother wasn’t ready for a kid.
I have a picture of her, folded up in my backpack. She has tan skin, a bright smile, glasses, and bronze hair. I’m a splitting image of her, other than her electric blue eyes and my bright green ones.
She lived carefree as a beach bartender in San Francisco. One day, she charmed Neptune and, well, here I am.
I wonder if she would be proud of me if she knew me now. If she knew all I had done, or all I had been through.
It somewhat ties back to Hunter, actually.
I’ve been wondering lately if my mother would accept me as I am. The hero, and the scared girl. The street smart demigod and the sad teen.
The companion to a god on a quest, and the bi girl who avoids her ex girlfriend at all costs.
I was snapped back to reality as I stabbed Tide through a zombie’s armor.
“Lets go!” Hunter called.
We ran down the hill, towards the car, and our escape.
End of Part Six.