Wednesday, October 17, 2018

WEP: Deja VU

I started writing my flash fiction submission for Write..Edit..Publish October prompt with a repetition scene. Good thing I checked the true meaning for Deja Vu. According to Urban Dictionary, Deja Vu is: Something that very few people know the true meaning of. Even though deja vu is French for "already seen", it actually is used to describe the strange feeling you get when you're in a situation, and feel like you've been in the exact same situation before, but really haven't. Most people think it means the same thing happening twice, which is wrong. Get it right people!

OK, rewrite; hopefully I "get it right" this time. I also looked up info on VooDoo (or Vodou as it is more appropriately spelled) but just did not have the time to develop that level of a story. Anyway, there are lots and lots of people signed up on the WEP+IWSG linky, so if you are a fast writer, you can still submit for a day or two, or just go and read what others have written for this prompt.

Below is my submission. 978 words, full critique acceptable, hope you like Viking Gods.

THE TIMES BEFORE

“We’ve been here already,” Thor lamented as he bashed Mjolnir against a stone wall blocking their progress through the labyrinth.

“No,” said Freya brightly. “I remember every turn we have taken, and this spot is new. I know exactly where we are. I was meant to be here at this time.”

“If you say so, Sister,” Freyr grumped. He was bored and frustrated with the seemingly endless circling. “A small spell, and the way will be clear to the –“

“I got this,” Thor growled, though his impatience to get to the feast was quickly outdistancing his pride.

Freyr was not happy about the journey to visit their father, Njord, at his giantess wife’s snowy home. The summons left him surly, wishing he had Thor’s hammer to bash in a few walls himself. He despises any travel that does not rely on his boars, or his ship. The only light in the situation was the thought of the wedding feast, and all the associated revelries. His sudden smile at the thought brightened the corridors of the labyrinth.

Thor’s bottomless stomach rumbled as if in response to Freyr’s thoughts. As he raised his hammer to strike the fiercest blow yet, Freya touched his arm to gentle his anger.

“Stay your hand Thor. The dead will show us the way.”

“The what?” Thor leaped around to face the wide corridor behind them, Mjolnir braced to defeat any threat.

“The what,” Loki echoed from far above as he watched the trio through Aegir’s scrying globe. “Exactly where did you place the construct I provided?”

Aegir looked to Ran, who shrugged. “Some old battle mound a short distance from Skadi’s fortress. We needed them traveling in the correct direction to allay their suspicions. It is said the dead here are restless.” She withdrew her magical net and smiled at her own cleverness. “One more blow from Mjolnir and that wall will collapse. The dead will push them through the next segment atop the frozen lake. Freyr will naturally unfold his ship and,” she spun the net above their heads and watched it grow.

Loki shook his horned head at her. “An old battle mound. Not the mountain Lake. Why?”

Ran and Aegir exchanged frowns before returning their attention to the scene in the globe. “More fun for us this way.”

The dead had indeed risen from the ground in a blood thirsty rush; shouting battle cries for one Lord or another, swearing vengeance at Ragnarök for the deaths of their brothers.  Many more were emerging in a shambling mass from the thick stone walls as if the barriers that withstood Thor’s hammer blows were insubstantial.

“Yes!” Thor roared, a smile of intense pleasure cutting a gash through his red beard. Lightning flared and flashed. He maintained his battle stance protectively in front of Freyr, as lightning flashed from Mjolnir, his golden grieves reflecting ghostly lights from battered helms, breast plates, shields, swords, and battle axes.

“Be still,” Freya admonished testily, raising her arms in invitation to the advancing horde.

Freyr touched Thor on the shoulder and stepped to the front. “My thanks, Thor, but we can handle this ourselves.”

Thor lowered his hammer instantly, his battle rage fleeing as quickly as it had flared. No one could remain hostile under Freyr’s will. The savage spirits of the warriors also calmed, their battle cries turning to boasts of valor as Freya held court.

Still watching from outside the scrying globe, Loki swept his burning gaze up to Ran and Aegir, who stumbled back at the searing intensity of Loki’s wrath.

“Why did I consent to help you two? Hmm? The plan was such a simple one, if you had just followed my instructions to the letter!”

Aegir brushed stone dust from his chest. “The Elf King and the whore of Asgard; what trouble could these pitiful Vanir be?”

“Besides, they are still moving in the right direction. We did not expect Thor, but it will be fun to watch him melt the ice with a bolt from Mjolnir.” Ran had not put away her net and seemed as unconcerned as Aegir regarding Loki’s distress.

Loki pointed a finger at the globe. “And what do you see happening down there now?” Green venom dripped from his fingertips, causing fissures in the globe’s surface.

The giants stared down at the now quiet corridor. Freya seemed to glow as she listened to each warrior in turn. She sorted them in three groups, the spirits in the largest group fading and losing their shape as Freya’s attention focused on the two smaller groups.

“What is she doing?” Ran cried, dropping her net as she tried to see through the cracks in the globe.

“Culling the worthy dead for admission to Valhalla.”

“Oh,” Ran and Aegir stated lamely.

Loki, Aegir and Ran were all thrown to the floor as the scrying globe exploded. When the dust settled and the three were able to pick themselves up, Thor, Freyr and Freya were glaring at them.

“I knew this had to be one of your tricks, Loki.”

“Ha ha,” Loki agreed. “Can’t fool you Thor. Yes, exactly, a trick we thought to play on Freyr and Freya.”

Aegir and Ran vigorously nodded. Ran tugged at her net less than inconspicuously. Freyr pretended not to notice, smiling through the awkwardness. Freya’s attention was still on her conquests.

“So, what brings you here Thor?” As he spoke Loki’s raiment was subtly changing from his dark armor to wedding finery.

“Well, Freyr did mention something about a wedding. And a feast.”

“I’ll make my sister’s excuses,” Freyr said as Freya and her warriors strode into the ether and out of sight. “So kind of you provide a distraction for her. Her beauty would detract from the bride and groom. Shall we move along now?”

Thor’s stomach growled again and the issue was settled.

33 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Always Loki playing a trick.

Adura Ojo said...

Loki is a hoot, Donna.
Seems one can have fun playing with the populist, as well as the actual meaning of Deja Vu.

Jemi Fraser said...

That was fun! Loki is always up to something!

Kalpanaa M said...

Loki the prankster! Lovely use of mythology. This story was very different from others I've read for this blog hop. Well done.

Yolanda Renée said...

I'd hate to see a calm day in the life of these guys. All that fighting for naught! I think most folks have the meaning of Deja vu right, but for the movie Groundhog Day. :) And Voodoo is the most common usage. ;)

Happy Halloween!

Olga Godim said...

The norse gods story is always a treat. Well done!

Elephant's Child said...

Love Loki. And Freya. And any tale which includes them (or their family).

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

This is a lot different from the other posts I've read today, so it really stands out. Who doesn't love Loki? This was a super interpretation of the theme. Great job!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Donna - well you certainly took us along on a crafty tale - I'd like to share the wedding feast ... I'm quite hungry! But Nordic tales are always interesting to see the characters working together ... lovely take - cheers Hilary

Pat Hatt said...

Loki sure knows how to have some fun. Thor just wanted to chow down.

Denise Covey said...

Donna, you have a book in your hands. Did you know? There's a huge market for Viking gods/tales/mythology. Loved the authenticity of this and the humor. Loved the characters, especially Loki, and they were not just two-dimensional.
I think for Deja Vu and Voodoo there are many explanations which vary amongst cultures, especially at the origin. In the Western world the common useage is a frisson of fear - that 'someone just walked over my grave' kind of feeling. It's happened to me when I encounter something I've already dreamed about.

Whatever. Fantastic entry for October! Loved, loved, loved it. Maybe we can have that wedding in December!

Botanist said...

Loki has always been my favorite character in the Marvel movies, and we named one of our cats after him :)

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

WILD THING ~

When Yogi Berra said, "It's deja vu all over again", what he was saying (without realizing it) was, "It feels like this has happened twice before."

I've had a very pronounced feeling of deja vu many times. What I suspect is that everything we experience has already occurred in the ancient past, but for some mysterious reason, we seem to believe that it's occurring now for the first time. We're caught up in some kind of time loop where THE PAST seems like NOW.

When we encounter that deja vu phenomenon, it's a little window in our consciousness that briefly opens and whispers, "This moment you think you're experiencing now for the first time actually happened a long time ago." Deja vu, in other words, is a brief flash of reality that comes like a memory.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

~ D-FensDogG
STMcC Presents 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS'

dolorah said...

Alex: at least this trick comes with a feasting treat.

Adura: he is a fun character to work with

Jemi: yep, lol

Kalpanaa: I had hoped it would be different :)

Yolanda: Yeah, I never thought of Ground Hog Day as Deja Vu as it just keeps repeating in a loop. I usually do witches for halloween, but I can see the appeal for Voodoo, It was just a tough write this time - I did not prepare!!

Olga: Thanks :)

EC: we rarely hear of Freyr's exploits; he usually gets lost in Freya's shadow.

Susan: thank you

Hilary: for Thor to show up, it has to be a BIG FEAST, lol

Pat: Loki and Thor are the ultimate party animals

Denise: thanks!! I'm channeling Neil Gaiman I think. I'm listening to his Norse Gods anthology - forget the name - and it is hilarious. With Freyr in the mix however, the December Wedding would likely be too . . erotic for public display, lol.

Ian: Loki seems a perfect name for a cat :)

Saint Mac: He coached a winning team three times, yeah? Awesome for that to happen. I'm sure it did feel like deja vu. I've been watching Ancient Aliens on TV lately, and there is a theory that humans can be reincarnated several times, and may be reincarnated many times simultaneously, both past and present, which would explain why the population has grown so exponentially. So, while you are getting sober in this life, one of your past incarnations is on a bender. Probably why you feel hung over even when not drinking; residual effects :)

desk49 said...


This story took me along a road
I have traveled many times,
Seeing things I'm sure I've
seen before.

Yet knowing I've never been there.

Rebecca Douglass said...

You are right, of course, about the meaning of deja vu. But it's easier to write a loop :) Or, in my case, something that *seems* like a repetition but isn't, quite.

Nice story. I had a little trouble following some of the action, or exactly what was going on and why. I'm not sure if that was a need for more explanation, or a need for more knowledge on my part about Norse mythology.

L.G. Keltner said...

I love the way you portray all of these characters, and Loki was quite entertaining. You really can't trust him, can you? He's always up to something.

Michelle Wallace said...

I have to confess that I don't know much about Norse gods but it appears that Loki is a prankster of note.

Deborah Drucker said...

I was thinking this would have a violent ending but they all made peace. Seems like the gods always act strangely and just for their own amusement and not worried about the consequences. It is good that Freya cleaned up the mess. A nice feminine quality I think.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Donna,

I LOVE NORSE Tales.... This was certainly entertaining. LOKI is always up to his shenanigans. AND VICKING DO LOVE TO FIGHT! It's in their blood.

I agree with Denise... you certainly can build on this...

I never knew people didn't understand the true meaning. I had Deja Vu a lot when I was traveling. I know in my previous lives I lived in many countries in Europe. My spirit has really moved around over its existence. Lol

You are also correct about Voodoo vs. Vodou. For my Haitian chapter in my MOMMY KAY memoir I had to do extensive research. Vodou is actually a religion and has been adopted so on the island. It has many similarities to the Catholic religion which I find fascinating. When the West African people were brought to the West Indies and slaves, they melded Catholicism with their ancient beliefs. Really fascinating. IT is also a kind belief. Voodoo is plagued with dark magic and spells. Not Vodou. It is a combination of Christian and Wicca beliefs.

D.G. Hudson said...

I'm fond of the Viking gods and their stories, and other mythology as well. But it seems there is always a lot of squabbling, which is probably why we humans act the same way (considering our present times). Enjoyed this version of the legends of the Nordic Gods, and can't wait til the new Viking series begin in November.

Nilanjana Bose said...

I love mythological tales and yours was lovely to read, Donna, as always. A different take on the prompt and a brilliant outcome. Norse mythology is fascinating really.

dolorah said...

Ellis: very sweet of you, thanks

Rebecca and Michelle: You may have to be familiar with these Gods and their powers. I knew some people would not get it, but I did not want to over explain. Not a problem. For reference, though: Mjolnir is the name of Thor's hammer; Freyr is called the King of the Elves, and his most notable power is creating peace among even the most violent battles; and Freya, as noted, is goddess of marriage, fertility, and of course claims half of all the best slain warriors to escort to Valhalla - viking heaven. Thanks for reading.

LG: Loki is ALWAYS up to something :)

Deborah: women are usually left to clean up the mess, lol

Michael: well, that explains your wandering spirit in this life, lol. I am anxious to get to read your Mommy Kay memoir, I'm glad you are still working on it. Seems the Catholics adapted everything to fit their beliefs. But Wicca is still a thriving religion, even if it gets distorted in Hollywood sometimes.

DG: they do squabble a lot among themselves! I can't wait for Vikings to begin again also.

Nila: some day I would like to read The Prose Edda. And Snorri's accounts. That would be truly fascinating.

Christopher Scott said...

An interesting take on the theme. I loved the Norse mythology element to the story. Also, you may want to check out Neil Gaiman's Norse Mythology. It is a fantastic read.

Toi Thomas said...

Heading to a wedding during a spooky hop is a great way to stand out. I love the diversity of the entries in this month. I don't think you can ever go wrong with a story featuring Loki. Nice.

Sally said...

An interesting story, well written. That Loki is a cad.

Roland Clarke said...

I'm a sucker for Norse mythology and this was amusing and apt. Wonderful story with the old trickster performing to the crowd. I was just hoping my favourite goddess would appear before the end. I'm a Skadi devotee - maybe it was all the skiing. I even created an alternative Nordic history with Skadi as the pre-eminent goddess - or rather her Sami counterpart, Juksakka.

cleemckenzie said...

Thank goodness for Loki. You'll never run out of stories about this trickster extraordinaire! Thanks for the Norse adventure.

Operation Awesome said...

Oh Loki! What a trickster that god is. And how much fun is it to twist an existing mythology to your own purposes? Well done.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

I imagined Chris Helmsworth in the role of Thor during this entire story.

dolorah said...

Chris: Too funny, I'm listening to that now on audible :)

Toi: Perhaps I should have had a corpse wedding, lol

Sally: thanks

Roland: This was Freyr's moment; Skadi would have stolen the show! Well, I guess Loki is ALWAYS the focus if he is around though.

Clee: he is amusing, even when he is being a scoundrel

Awesome: Thanks. With Loki, there is lots of twisted going on, lol

Michael: He is our favorite Thor!

J Lenni Dorner said...

Looks like you did a nice job with the research for this story. Well written. Very entertaining.

Jamie Dorner said...

I get Deja Vu all the time. I'm never sure if I've had a dream or what. It's eerie though.