winter

winter

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Fiction: The smallest elf.


She hated them and their oh, so kind gestures that hid their scorn like snow over ice. Yes, Hilda hated her companions so intensely that she could vomit. They made her dress in the nonsensical garb of modern images of the alfar. Twirly toed shoes, gaudy colors, and enough bells to choke a horse were the least of Hilda's problems.

The old contract with Odhinn still demanded they work to help him meet his new obligations. Old One-Eye cleaned up reasonably well and the glass eye did a passable job of making his missing eye less obvious. As the shortest of her people and the one that fit the stereotype of 'elves', Hilda had the misfortune of having to accompany the grim gallows god on his journey through Midgard. On one hand, Odhinn didn't drop scathing and patently vicious remarks about her parentage. At the same time, he was so solemn and silent on this night that Hilda got uneasy being around him.

The sleigh was loaded with gear. Odhinn was dressed in the same stereotypical garb as his unwilling assistant. Whereas Hilda looked to be the picture of an 'elf', complete with cheeks painfully pinched for a rosy blush, Odhinn looked nothing like the war deity he was. He looked almost kindly. There was something dangerous in that kindness that set Hilda's teeth on edge.

It was, she realized, time. As she struggled to climb into the sleigh an enormous hand gripped her wrist and pulled her up. Hilda gave an alarmed cry as Odhinn, great grandson of the first frost giant, did something unexpected. He laughed. Her fellow alfar laughed along with him and Hilda's cheeks burned with shame. He leaned down and murmured something quietly in her ear.

Suddenly, the mockery of her peers didn't matter. Her bastard lineage didn't matter anymore. Only his words burned through her mind. They don't know your strength like I do.

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