Friday, May 28, 2010

Back to Bob's

Hiroki got hisself up, said goodbye to the large, hairy men who he'd been havin his dinner with, and followed the two btohers out of the grand hall. When he got outside, he was right confuzzled for a second. He'd been in there so long that he'd plum forgot that the whole eating and drinking hall was nothin more than a broke down shack on the outside. He was fixin to ask his hosts about it, but they was engaged in a furious, but very very quiet, rhetorical contest of some sort, complete with hand gestures and not a little of subtle pushing.

The two brothers kept their heads bowed next to each other the whole way back to Bob's shack. So Hiroki didn't get much of a chance to ask the questions that was buggin him so much. He weren't no fool, that Hiroki. He'd done all his reading about mythology in his ninja propaganda classes. You see, mythology was a required area of study for all ninjas bent on world domination (and I imagine others bent on world domination would benefit from it as well) because it's a whole heck of a lot easier to dominate a culture when you can prove their god/gods/angry sea trolls approve of what your doin than if you just went in there with your fire and your swords and your crazy new language and food that smells like fish that's been wrapped in raw egg and sat in the sun for a good week before you went and threw it into that well. Heck, even the Romans knew that much about conquering stuff. But anyway, because he knew his history and his mythology and everything, Hiroki was sorta uncomfortable about the situation he found himself in.

Despite Al's protestations to the contrary, our young antagonist was pretty durn sure the one eyed guy was Odin, the king of the norse gods. And with that bein so, that would make "Luke" prolly Loki, Odin's brother and a trickster. Finally, that would mean that Bob, who was makin the saw, was most likely Baldr, the third brother. Now, it didn't bother Hiroki so much about them bein brothers and all, but he was pretty uncomfortable about what was about to happen. Near as he could remember it, in the story Baldr was impervious to all weapons except those made out of Yggdrasil, the world tree.

But there was all this jelousy that Loki was harboring because Baldr had made a super cool hammer for Odin's son, Thor. It's sorta like when your friend gets himself a brand new fishing rod that's got all the spinners and knockers and whatever other contraptions that they're puttin on them rods nowadays, and you really want to have one just like it but you've just lost your job down at the shoe factory and so you gotta go easy on the funds for awhile because, even though you've got some money saved up from that time you did pretty well in the lottery, you don't know how long you're gonna need that money to last and you're just hopin that you ain't endin up old and alone in a home somewhere with a giant guy everyone calls Chief because you think he just may bust out of there when the guy from that movie where he had the gay neighbor and that little dog and he was seein that waitress who was in that other thing about tornadoes or whatever with that guy who played the president a whole bunch for awhile there gets a chunk of his brain taken out and things just ain't gonna be the same again. It's a whole lot like that feeling you get then, except in the case of Loki and Baldr, it was a whole lot more murder-ey.

And along with this, Hiroki also knew that Loki got himself a piece of the world tree, fashioned an arrow out of it, and tricked Thor into killing Baldr. For that, Odin chained Loki to a rock for the rest of time and turned his sons into wolves. Then, when Loki finally got free, it started the end of the world. So, you can see how our young ninja, who was in this thing in order to help people, might be a tad uncomfortable playing an active role in the end of all the world. I know I've seen some ugly stuff comin down the pipe, like when I'm asked to buy a cake for Aunt Edna's birthday, and I don't much care to participate. I could just imagine if that cake was full of suffering, death and destruction. Usually it's just strawberry cream, though, so I'm lucky there.

Well, the three went on over to Bob's shack. As soon as Bob saw Loki, he dropped his forgin hammer and took up some super heated tongs, which he tried to use to beat his brother about the face and head, but "Luke" managed to dodge all the strikes. Now, I don't wanna sound like I'm disparagin the differently abled or anything like that cause Lord knows I got problems of my own, but when a guy with whithered legs is swinging at you, it ain't that hard to dodge, especially if you're young and in shape and a god to boot.

In his rage, Bob was just swingin and swingin away, but he didn't hit nothin but air. If he'd been ragin against the oxygen molecules wanderin around his head, he coulda felt right satisfied that his work was done. But, sadly, he was ragin against a target that was a) seeable and 2) movin around, so he didn't get himself much satisfaction. And the whole time, he was yellin "No! I ain't doin it again! You hear me? It's NOT happening!"

Eventually, the poker went cold and, since it wasn't tempered right, the end broke off in Bob's hands. Then Al sidled up to him and started whisperin in his ear. It went a whole lot like the conversation between Luke and Bob in the hall went. It started with a whole lot of no's, then some silence, then quiet aquiescence.

Bob turned to his forge and grabbed the saw blade he'd been working on. It was carved all over with runes that glowed slightly blue. Other than that, it looked to be a pretty normal hand saw. He turned back to his brothers, tossed the saw gently into the straw at his feet, and then spit on it.

"Here," he said bitterly, "take it. And gods damn you both."

Al nodded to Luke, then picked up the saw saying, "We're already damned, brother. Some of us just don't know it yet."

Luke turned then to Hiroki. "You want your staff? Get that saw and follow me."

The young ninja looked to Al, who nodded and held out the saw.

"I know what this is," declared Hiroki. "What if I refuse to take the saw?"

Al shook his head slowly. "Don't matter. It's gonna get done somehow. It's all gonna get done. Only thing that changes is you getting what you came for."

"I don't understand," said Hiroki. "Are you saying it's fate?"

"Not exactly," said Luke. "Take the saw. I'll explain on the way."

Hiroki stood still. Not believing he was a part of all this.

Al shook the saw a bit. "Take it son. It's gotta happen."

The ninja looked to Bob, who sighed. "He's right. It's gotta happen. Take the saw."

And so Hiroki reached out his hand and took the saw. Luke clapped his hands together and giggled gleefully. "Great! Now follow me."

Hiroki nodded and followed the young brother out of the shack. At the door, he turned back to Al. "Why did you lie to me?" he asked.

"How did I lie to you, son?"

"You told me you weren't Odin," stated the young ninja.

"Not true," replied Al, "I just told you I was sick of hearin the question. Don't necessarily mean that I ain't him."

Hiroki nodded, slowly, realizing that he'd been played like an accordian made of poker cards. Then he turned and left the cabin behind.

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