It was late in the evening and men were deep in their cups. Mimingus, disguised as a human, had the small crowd entertained with a mimed recreation of the Aesir-Vanir war. Of course, Mimingus had added a few things on his own that had a humorous flare. So, this small public house, on the edges of the wild forest, was filled with laughter that echoed outside into the darkness. It could have been the laughter or the fire light from within, but however the attention was caught, it was seized by a very exhausted and weakened Loki.
The door opened. The crowd turned their heads away from Mimingus. Loki stepped into the firelight. The crowd went silent, stood, and began to leave. Loki went to a table, sat down, and demanded five ales and five mead. Mimingus called out to the crowd, begging them to stay. Mimingus never got a reply. In less than 3 minutes, the public house was empty save for the owner, Mimingus, and Loki.
Fearing for his saftey, the owner served Loki and then vanished to the back room. Mimingus, on the other hand, wasn't afraid of Loki. He could tell that the trickster was not feeling himself and his powers were unusually diminished. Mimingus transformed into his normal faun form. “Good Evening, Loki,” said Mimingus. He joined Loki at the table.
Loki made no indication that he saw Mimingus sitting across from him at the table. The Asgardian merely continued to swig his drink, in secession from ale to mead, without stopping. Mimingus watched silently as Loki finished his drinks and called for more. The faun waited patiently while the brew-master appeared, served, and disappeared just as quickly. Loki reached out to grasp a mug, he wasn't fast enough to hide from Mimingus that the God was shaking, violently.
Mimingus lowered voice. “Well, if it was disturbing enough to make Loki tremble, I sure hope it isn't coming here.”
Loki finished off the twelfth drink. He lowered the mug slowly to the table. “You have no clue, Mimingus. It was horrible.” He grabbed at thirteen.
Mimingus cleared his throat and kept his voice low. “We are alone, Loki. Do you uh....” The faun leaned in a little towards him. “...you wanna talk about it. Because it looks like you really need to talk about it.”
Loki finished off thirteen and threw the cup across the room. He reached out and grasped the faun by the scruff of his neck. “If you breath a word of this to any being, living or dead, I'll have your hide above my door frame,” Loki whispered angrily.
“Hey now, Loki my man!” squeaked Mimingus. “What ever it is, I can keep it on the DL, you know...the “down-low.”
Loki let go of Mimingus. “It doesn't matter. Once the Asgard get a hold of the story, I will never hear the end of it.” He slammed his fist on the table. The jolt knocked the mugs over. The brew-master came out. “Sorry, I'll compensate,” said Loki. The brew-master replaced the drinks and disappeared.
Mimingus eyes grew wide. “Loki, what happened to you?” The concern in Mimingus voice was genuine. He had never seen nor heard of the sly god so disturbed. Mimingus knew that Loki was a traveler within the World Tree. Loki had been in tight situations, faced strange monstrous creatures, and had to think his way out of weird situations that he, and other gods, had gotten him into. Loki had never shown this much exhaustion or trauma in all of that. Mimingus was honestly concerned, and more than that, he was completely entangled in his own overwhelming curiosity.
Loki sighed. “I better tell it to someone or my side will never be known.” He grabbed the fifteenth mug and began his tale.
“Many months ago, Freya and I were out among men. Having a few drinks, watching theentertainment, we weren't looking for trouble. We just wanted to relax and have a little fun. Freya and I got fairly drunk and had a conversation about security issues of Asgard. We had been experiencing breaches from the giants onto Asgard territory.” Loki raised his brow and leaned into Mimingus. “The treaty clearly states what our borders are but do you know of any giants who can read?”
Mimingus shook his head negatively.
“Yeah, well, neither do I,” retorted Loki. “Anyway, I got angry with Freya because she told me I was stupid when I mentioned that what Asgard really needed was well placed boundary markers. That way there is no confusion and we don't have to fight, kill, or imprison others for making a common mistake.”
“Makes sense,” mumbled Mimingus.
“I know!” yelled Loki. “But Gods forbid doing something that actually makes sense! Because we are the Asgard, we do things the Asgard way, and if others do not do it the Asgard way, we will make them do it the Asgard way!” Loki took another drink and slammed it down. “Which is, generally, the way that is the hardest and lacks any wisdom or fore thought!”
“I understand and identify with that,” said Mimingus as he pointed up and down his faun body. “Not the first time and certainly not the last.”
“Freya just got angry with me. She wandered off on her own after that,” said Loki. “But the moment she left, this really tall dwarf sat down next to me.”
“Wait,” said Mimingus.” A really tall...Dwarf?”
“Yeah, he claimed to be a giant among Dwarfs,” replied Loki.
“But, Loki,” said Mimingus. “Dwarfs don't usually leave their clan halls. You said that Freya and you were among men to relax and have fun. Dwarf fun is crafting or mining...”
“Well, Fullangr's fun is apparently wall building and blacksmithing,” interrupted Loki.
“Fullangr,” echoed Mimingus. “Funny. I'm not familiar with him.”
“Doesn't matter,” mumbled Loki. He took another drink and continued his story. “Fullangr asks me about the breaches. So, I tell him. He's a Dwarf! What's he gonna do? gnaw at Thor's knee?” Loki huffed. “Point is I didn't figure him as a villain.”
“Fullangr's the villain of your story?” asked Mimingus, shocked.
“It doesn't happen often but it does happen. I was stupid and let my guard down.” said Loki. “A few cups after the conversation about the breaches, Fullangr begins to boast. He says we need a huge wall that wraps all the way around Asgard. He claims that he can built what we need in just three seasons. I told him if he could build a wall that big in three seasons, he could probably ask of the Asgard anything he wanted.”
“So he boasted and it turned out to be true?”
“Oh, no Mimingus it is far, far worse than that,” whined Loki. “Fullangr shows up at Odin's thing. Fullangr introduces himself as a giant among the small. Then, he claims that he had already made the deal with me, that if he can build the wall in three seasons, he would be given the sun, the moon, and Freya as his wife. Which is a lie. But who are they gonna believe?”
Mimingus held back a chuckle. “Not you.”
“No! Not me!” yelled Loki. He threw his mug again and grabbed another drink. “So, in retaliation, I reply that I didn't agree to that. I agreed that Fullangr would get what he wanted in exchange for a complete wall built in one season.” Loki shook his head. “It was to be an impossible task.”
“Let me guess,” said Mimingus. “Not so impossible after all.”
“No! That weasel had a horse that could pull three times its own weight! Four days before season's end, the wall was nearly complete!” Loki took another drink. “The next thing I know I have the Asgard telling me that I gotta do something before Freya gets married off to a dwarf!”
“What did you do?”
“I couldn't think of anything to tell the truth.” Loki lowered his voice. “Freya is like my sister. She taught me much of Vanir magic. I didn't mean to hurt her or marry her off. “ Loki sighed. “Later that evening I went to her. I apologized to her. I told her I couldn't think of a way to fix it.”
“Her reaction?” asked Mimingus.
“She listened and got angry. Then, she told me that there are ways that I could fix it. She told me that if I thought like a girl, instead of a man, I could easily get out of it. Freya said something about not really trying because it would be easier to marry her off. She said things like if I was a girl, I would be much smarter.”
“Basically, she brought gender into the mix,” said Mimingus, nodding.
“That's what gave me the idea,” replied Loki. He stopped talking and did more drinking.
“So, you turned yourself into a female dwarf?” asked Mimingus confused. “That's not possible. There is no such thing as female dwarfs, they do not procreate like mortals do. They...”
Loki slammed down his mug. He peered Mimingus with all of his face and a raised brow.
“You did not turn into a female dwarf because that is impossible. He also fancied himself in love with Freya. That would not have worked anyway.” Mimingus came to a mind-numbing conclusion. “You..turned yourself into...a female...horse.”
“And ran as fast as I could through the forest! I didn't want that thing to catch me,” said Loki.
“Can't say I blame you,” said Mimingus.
“Well, it did anyway!” Loki stood up and threw his mug across the room. It shattered into many pieces that fell to floor.
“How?” asked Mimingus. “You are a very powerful Asgardian! There should have been no way...”
Loki sat down. “As I was running through the forest, a great entanglement of vines wrapped around my legs. I tripped and fell. I had to make a great struggle just to stand up.”
“Why didn't you just turn back into yourself?”
Loki's face grew dark and sad. “I tried but could not. In hindsight, the only thing could have prevented me from turning back is a Vanir binding spell.” He buried his head into his cup.
“So, you were trapped and couldn't turn back. You managed to get up, at least. But by then the other horse found you. And then he...” Mimingus stopped.
“Yes,” replied Loki with a low voice. “I could do nothing but stand there until it was done.”
“I am confused,” said Mimingus. “You said all this happened months ago. What does all that have to do with tonight?”
Loki looked back up at Mimingus. “Because tonight, I finally had the foal and could return to normal.”
Mimingus mouth hung open.
“And the worst part is, I did this to save my family and I think it was my family who sacrificed me,” said Loki."I am such a fool."