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.