Loki’s to do list: Relax with friends and drink whatever’s nearby.
The Common Room is almost empty. The lights are tuned down to a soft glow and plumes of smoke are blurring the view. In one corner a rather fancy sound system is playing happy jazz tunes at a low volume. There’s a low murmur from the softest couch in the center of the room. Mr. Nancy and Loki are sitting in each corner of the couch.
They are drinking somewhat decent spirits and wine, and mead, and probably beer too, for good measures. The two tricky entities are talking and laughing every now and then. They are probably telling stories or bragging or maybe they are giving each other new ideas for little games to play on their friends and family.
The trickster of the cold north is sitting on the arm rest of the couch. Unconsciously he leans away whenever the trickster from the warm south moved an arm or a hand towards him. But the Norse Trickster is still smiling, unworried.
The visage is a little blurry. Is it really two people sitting there? Or is it two insects or something? The figures seem to shift and change whenever your eyes glide around the room. It is two figures, or rather two men.
The Nordic master of mischief is looking like an androgynous male in his twenties with messy spiked hair and a terribly red Hawaiian shirt, luckily with no print, unless your eyes shifts and you see some tasteless and strange fiery patterns. He’s smoking something that looks like cigarettes, but it could be something else. Better not ask. His cheeks and eyes are gloving and he’s drinking something out of a cow horn. Urgh!
The southern master of dance and stories are looking rather strappy with a lime green fedora and canary yellow gloves. The jacket of his fine checkered suit is placed over the back of the couch. He has the face of an old man, but his body is twitching with life. His cigarillo burns with a harsh lingering smell. He’s happily swinging a fancy fruit filled pink and orange drink around. There are several umbrellas in the glass.
Loki: No no no. It’s not that sweet chewing anise thing that you call liquorice I’m talking about. It’s the real stuff! Salt liquorice with real salmiak you need! The, the… moment I’ll just look it up… ah. Ammoniumchloride! And then mix it with vodka and glucose and even some normal salt. I tell you. The tongue goes numb and the brain starts itching and fizzing!
Mr. Nancy: You Norse guys are crazy. Why does my tongue need to go numb? No, you should try the banana, pineapple, dragon fruit piña colada with extra umbrellas.
L: Nah. Way too sweet, and I’m fruity enough without it. You need something to keep you warm and going. Like Chili Mead. Awesome thing by the way! Chili! And ginger! Though I love Horseradish and Wild Celery I’ve really come to appreciate all your spices.
N: Yeah. You can’t make decent food without it. I don’t want your chili mead in my drink though.
L: You don’t know what you’re missing, Mr. Nancy.
N: I think I’d have to go to a cold dark place to really appreciate your brewages, my boy.
L: We could always go visit my daughter, she keeps a stash for me.
N: The house rules say ‘No opening of portals to Death Realms’ Mr. Manager!
L. Spoil sport!
N: How is your family by the way?
L: Fine, as long as I’m here. How about yours?
N: I believe they feel the same way, Loki.
Both tricksters start laughing. They seem happy and there’s the feeling you get when you can see your favorite storyteller is about to gather the untold tales around the listeners and spin a new story.
Suddenly they both look at you. Their eyes are glowing with annoyingly knowing smiles. You try to stop thinking of flies and spiders ganging up on you. Loki turns around again and the world breaths more freely.
L: Hi Hermes. Come here and let us see our new favorite angel.
Hermes: Hi Loki, Anansi. This is our new probationary member: Gabriel. Archangel for the lord. Messenger of his god. And our new trickster friend.
G: Hi, I’m so glad to finally meet you all. It’s a cool place and…
L: So! An angel. I thought you were all supposed to be made of light and prettiness. How come you have such an ugly mug?
N: Now now, Loki. He probably can’t help it.
L: Just asking. Guess we’re so accustomed gods who can choose their own appearance here.
G: Um. It’s a body I borrowed.
L: Uh. We are a trickster, all stealing others bodies.
L: Uh. Is it a dead body?! How long has it been dead? I know you guys are chickens when it comes to being dead. How long was your boy Jesus dead? Three days? You know Odin’s usually dead for nine days and nights. And Mr. Nancy here has been lying low, very low, actually five feet under for months and months.
Gabriel blinks a few times and then he turns to the other messenger god.
G: Hermes, is this usually how you treat new members?
L: No. Only members from a family that either claims I don’t exist or that I’m a demon. And then proceed to take my worshippers and my land and then not even calls back after the date. And you’re still just a temporary member.
G: You know I haven’t worked with my family for a long time.
H: Loki, weren’t you going to put Christianity behind you?
L: No fucking way. I’ve a right to bitch and complain as much as I want. If not, then at least for my daughters sake. Have you heard what Christians say about Hel? Christ can go fuck himself. I’ve nothing against getting it from behind, but not from that looser.
N: Clam down Loki m’boy.
Mr. Nancy laughs and grabs one of Loki’s flailing arms. The other god freezes for an instand eyes wide and then Loki throws himself back. Back over the armrest of the couch flailing and falling down on the floor. Mead is splashing everywhere and bottles are rolling around clinking and clucking against each other.
L: Fuck you, Nancy!
Loki yells and curses and then tries to pour mead out of one ear. Mr. Nancy just grins and then leans over the couch and pours his drink down Loki’s neck, making sure the ice cubes glides down too.
Loki screams and splutters and then starts laughing.
N: You were getting shrill, Loki m’boy. We let your crazy friends use this place. Odin… and those weird Japanese guys. I know our Hermes have been talking with young Gabriel here since Constantinople. So take it a peg down.
L: Aw. OK. Hi Gabes, pleased to meet you.
Loki jumps up and grasps Gabriel with sticky hands. The Norse trickster shakes hands and then hugs the Angel closely dripping mead all over the celestial creature and patting his head with syrupy fingers.
L: Hermes, give out new guy The Tour and then show him how to apply for necessities.
Then the god of the cold north finds his horn and fills it with a black liquid from a bottle and cautiously climbs back onto the couch. The southern god man of tricks and songs smiles and pats the seat beside him. There’s magically a new beautifully made cocktail in his other hand. Loki shakes his head and sits on the backrest instead. The messengers of god and gods sneak away.
Gabriel: What was that all about? Is Loki afraid of Mr. Nancy?
Hermes: Well duh!
Hermes looks puzzled for a moment then thoughtfull.
H: How much can you see with those eyes? Can you see all realities?
G: I can see a lot, but not all without turning my Grace on full.
H: Try doing that and take a look at Mr. Anansi and Loki again.
G: Isn’t that a little…
H: There’s no one mortal here. And if something happens I know that Loki always keeps a few Apple-pies in the freezer.
Gabriel nods and then looks around in the room with his full sight. Loki calls about turning the light down or get the Nifhell out but Gabriel ignores the whiny complaints.
All the flickering layers of the Common room turn sharp. We can all see everything. Even the weird poster on the fathers wall, that wasn’t there before.
Gabriel looks at Loki Liesmith and Clever Anansi. He sees two men, who have many shapes. He see them pretty and ugly and kind and nasty.
Gabriel looks at Loki Jotunkin and Mr. Nancy. There’s a horse, a wolf, a seal and a fire dancing at the backrest and a child a dancer and a creator smoking cigarillos in the other end.
Gabriel sees Loki and Anansi and he See. Gabriel sees underneath there is a stinging fly, a glowing wasp, a flaming firefly buzzing and watching the world with multiple eyes. And beside the fly sits a clever spinner, a great flycatcher, a spindling spider grinning at the world and holding all the threads.