Trapped in Allieworld

(Written at 19 to torment my friends)

Somewhere trapped in Allieworld…

“Hey there, babycakes,” Samael said huskily.  He sidled over to Sara, caressing his scythe.  His eyes gleamed with lust.  “You’re the finest fleshbag this side of the Styx.  Let’s say we take my hearse downtown and get acquainted with my guillotine?”  He downed his vodka and sighed.  “Ah.  Aqua vitae.  The water of life.”

Sara dropped her hamburger in surprise.  She glanced around Five Guys to see if anyone noticed the obscenely pale demon leering back at her.

“We’re all alone,” Samael whispered.  His obscenely long tongue flicked suggestively.  It was true: corspes slumped in the diner seats.  The patrons appeared altogether, well, dead.

“Nice work,” she observed.  “But you forgot one thing.”

Samael cocked his brow.  “Formaldehyde?”

“You forgot to buy me a drink,” she said huskily, putting false intentions in her voice.  The stranger reacted as expected: all men, demon or no, were fools when it came to women.

He snapped his fingers.  Chardonnay in a crystal-cut decanter appeared in his hands.  He smirked, then poured her a glass.  “You’ll have to forgive me.  Such a vision as you is bound to distract me.”

Sara examined the glass.  She took a delicate sip.  “Passable.  I like the hint of applewood.”  His weapon glinted in the flourescent lights.  “Nice scythe.  Let me hold it.”

Samael obliged.  “Her curves suit you,” he whispered predatorily.  His fangs flashed as he grinned.  Death’s red eyes strayed to her hamburger.  “Such succulent food deserves appreciation, no?”  He took a long bite, eying Sara’s assets.  “And I?” he snickered.  “I know just how to make the juices flow.  Be it blood, tears, or certain other liquids.  I’m a connoisseur of teasing the tenderness out of life.”  He towered over her, his long fingers encasing hers around the scythe’s base.  He whispered into her ear:  “I trust you thirst for adventure, Miss Suarez?”

They were interrupted by the swish of the door.  In sauntered a leanly muscled man clad in leather pants.  His hair was literal flames.  He grinned like a cat, winking at Samael as he dragged a rather flustered looking blonde after him.  “Boniface?  Didn’t expect to see you slumming around here.  Why the grim face, Corpseboy?”  The redhead brushed a corpse off a chair, wiping blood from the pleather seat.  “Here, Libby – a throne fit for a dame.”

Libby’s face went chalk white.  “I don’t think this is appropriate.”

He clucked.  “Don’t be silly, Midgarder.  No matter highballer or city sweeper, everyone dances with the grim reaper!”  A mug of cider appeared in his hand.  Loki laughed raucously.  “Ain’t that right, Samael?”

Samael leaned Sara back in an impressive dip.  “No dance like the danse macabre, Firecrotch.”  She regained her balance, tearing herself away from Death.  She smirked, his scythe in hand.

“Not only did you forget the drink, you let your guard down,” she said, brandishing the blade.  “You really think that will impress me?”

Samael drew his lips thin.  “I enjoy women that bite back.”  In a flash, he had Sara cornered against the bar, scythe wrenched from her grip.  “I do not dance lightly, Miss Suarez.”

Loki swept Libby off her feet.  “A jig, Elizabeth?” he inquired, twirling her madly round.  Libby found herself unable to escape the trickster’s grip.

“I thought you wanted a hamburger, Loki!  Otherwise Allie would have taken you to Ballroom.”

“I’m always up for a jive.  Jig.  No matter the music, we all speak dance.  Rhythm, Samael!”

The girls found themselves led by wills that were not their own.  They Viennese Waltzed round Five Guys.  The corpses rose, equipped with fiddles, and bowed a jaunty tune.  The floor, slick with blood, sent them skidding to the window.

Meanwhile, Dana and her angelic visitor were meandering down the street.  The lanky blond had appeared on her windowsill that morning, looking quite frazzled, then asked shyly to come in.  She’d managed to hide him in her closet while her classes ran.  Now, they were out on the town.

Vergil admired the falling leaves.  He caught one between his fingers.  “”Beautiful weather.  Reminds me of the time I was in France during the Crusades-”

Something thwacked against the window.  “Oh?” said Vergil.  He examined the bloody violin .  “Well, this puts a damper on things.”

Dana’s expectations for the evening took a sudden nosedive.  “So we can’t get ice cream then?”

Vergil scratched his head.  “I’m going to need it after this.  See that guy in there?”

Dana pressed her face to the window.  “Oh my god!  That’s Libby and my roommate.  Is that- that’s Samael!  Allie’s douche-bag character.  And Sara has his scythe.”  She watched as Sara beat him with the hilt.  Samael laughed madly.  Dana’s stomach dropped.  “Vergil, we have to help them.  Oh.  Okay.  Planning.  Well, I have this pencil.  We could- we could-”

“Poke him?”

“Yeah!”

Vergil looked at the unsharpened pencil.  “Where?”

“I didn’t think of that.  Where do you poke demons?”

The two set into mad planning.  Inside, Libby was trying to talk sense into Loki.  “You’re fond of goats, right?”

Loki was too busy singing the polka.  “In Heaven there is no beer/Which is why we drink it here!/ La la la la la…”

“Do you like sheep!” Libby yelled.

“Michael does,” Samael sneered, feinting another blow.  “The gingers have a passion for farm animals.”  Libby shrunk, having attracted Death’s attention.  He flicked his tongue suggestively.  She screamed.

Both instances were to save Asgard, Bonebutt.  One from Skadi, the other from an angry giant.  I’m a patriot.  At least my amors were breathing.”

Libby caught Sara’s eyes.  Sara nodded to the frying oil by the grille.  While Loki wasn’t looking, Libby grabbed it, then proceeded to dump it on his head.  His flaming ‘fro screeched like a tea kettle.

“I’m melting!” he hooted.  “Put me out, baby!”  He ran around madly, hair flaming to the ceiling.  Samael rolled on the floor in laughter, staining his cloak in blood.

Karma slap,” Sara whispered.  She beheaded him with the scythe.

Loki was screeching in the bathroom mirror. “My beautiful hair is gone!”

Libby and Sara high-fived.

Dana gasped.  “Well.  That was unsanitary.  Are the gods really that lame?”

Vergil’s face darkened.  “For the most part, yes.  But they’re immortal.  We’ll need the pencil yet.”

“Good thing you’ve been trained for this.”

“They’re out of my league, actually.  You can’t tell, but I’m terrified.”

“You look relaxed to me.”

“I look happy to everybody.  It goes with the angel thing.”

Sara punted Samael’s head like a soccer ball.  He played dead.  Libby was suspicious.

“I don’t think we’ve killed him, Sara.  That’s not how these things work.  We have to burn his heart, maybe.  Or drown him in butterflies.”

Sara relented.  His head coughed.  “How about sacrificing him to the squirrels?  Or we could dump him in the lake.  He might just make it cleaner.”

Libby considered this.  “And what about Loki?  He just appeared in the dorm’s fireplace.  He wants to be Odin’s wingman tonight.  They want to go to the frats-”

Samael’s body loomed behind Libby.  He held his head in his hands.

“I’m partial to blondes,” it murmured.  “Blondes covered in blood.”

Libby screamed.

The window shattered.  Vergil punched through it, then sailed into the restaurant.  He brandished the pencil like a rapier.  His eyes met Samael’s.  For a moment, he shuddered.  Vergil quickly swallowed his fear.

“I’m going to have to ask you to play nicely,” Vergil said.  His wings filled half of the room.         Dana snuck in after him.  She held up a cross drawn on loose leaf.  “Toro!” she yelled, as if egging on a bull.

Smoke rose from Samael’s nostrils.  “So it’s you,” he said quietly.

Vergil froze in surprise.  “Me?”

“No, seagull.  The girl.”  He stalked towards Dana.  “‘90% douche, 8% maggots, and 2% black dust.’  Those were your words, I believe.”

“I meant that as a compliment.”  Dana shoved the cross in his face.  If it didn’t repel him, maybe he’d suffocate.

The paper burned in her hands.  She yelped, then dropped the ashes.

“I’ve been keeping tabs on you.  You fascinate me, girl.”  He screwed his vertebrae back together.  Dana gagged as his head cracked into place.  Samael smirked.  “The Lazarus Project.  It’s notorious now.  You’ve robbed me of my men.”

Dana paled.  “You mean…?”

Yes.”

Libby and Sara drew blanks.  “What’s the Lazarus whatta what?” Libby asked.

“Dunno,” said Sara.  “A band?”

“It’s from my story.”  Dana said.  “Heaven came up with a project to redeem the Fallen, like Lazarus rose from the grave.  It’s just something I made up.”  She scrutinized Vergil, her main character, and sighed.  “Well, I thought so anyways.”

“Truth is stranger than fiction,” Samael hissed.  He cracked his knuckles.  “Holy boy.  Put the pencil down.”

Vergil poked him.  “Be unwritten!”  Nothing happened.  “Well, it was worth a try.  You really are Samael.”  He blinked.  “I don’t know the protocol for this.”

“You know how I like my angels?” asked Samael.  “Sunny side up with my eggs.”  He began to chant.  “’I will not eat green eggs in Hell/I will not eat them, Samael!/I will not eat them in the fire/nor with the demonic choir./I will not with the Sabbath Goat/I will not in old Charon’s boat./I will not eat them here or there/that Vergil guy can have my share.”

Dana was texting someone.  “What are you doing?” Samael asked.

“Messaging Allie.”

Samael hissed.  “I’ll string your guts for a jump rope if you summon that abomination-”

Sara whacked him in the head.  “No you don’t.”

Vergil watched in disbelief as college girls out-manned the Reaper.  Women really were worse than death.

Samael began to wrestle with Sara.  “Give me my bloody scythe!”

Loki had fallen silent.  Dana noticed Libby was missing.  “Oh snap,” she said.  “This is bad.  Libby’s going to picket the war gods, and Odin will hang her on Yggdrasil.”  Her phone rang amidst the confusion.

“Hey Dana!  What’s up?”

“Allie?  Allie.  What are you doing?”

“Cleaning birds.  They’re crapping everywhere.  Oh god- a starling escaped.  I don’t know why I do this.”

“Well, um, there’s a situation.  It’s pretty intense.”

“Are you playing bingo again?”

Dana blushed.  “No!  This is serious-”

“What’s that in the background- my god!  Did someone just curse in Enochian?-  Ow!  Get off my head, you bird!  I feed you, you ungrateful skyrat-”

“ALLIE.  How do you exorcise demons?”

Allie fell silent.  “Are you serious, Dana?”

“Dead serious.”  She looked at Samael, who was now engaged in death combat with Vergil.  Sara was taking a breather.  “Well I might be dead, anyways.”

“I’m not falling for that prank again-”

“It’s not a prank, I swear!”

“I remember the last time you and Libby-”

“Allie!”

Samael was in earshot.  He bared his fangs.  “Allie?” he raged.  He flung Vergil to the wall, then tore Dana’s phone from her hands.  The angel crumpled on the ground.

“That hurt,” he said woozily.

“Vergil!” Dana rushed to his side.  “I’m so sorry.  I’ll get you an ice cream sundae after this…”

His eyes glowed.  “With chocolate fudge?”

Samael scrutinized the phone.  “How does this infernal device work?”

“You’re holding it upside down,” Sara said.  He accidentally pressed speaker-phone.

“Dana?” Allie’s grainy voice rang.  “Look, the starling’s gonna crap on my head.  I have to get it off the ceiling-”

“Hello, maggot,” Samael sneered.

“Dana, that isn’t funny.  Let’s be real now.”

“Oh, I’m real, you Procrustean slime.  And I have a mountain of bones to grind on your femurs.  I’ve a special place in Hell just for you.  And it’s lower than the ninth circle and absolutely crawling with worms.”

Allie fell silent.  “Libby?  That’s a really good impression.  Too good.  Stop it.”

“It’s Samael, you worm!”

“And I’m Putin.”

Sara grew bored of the conversation.  She followed the scorch marks on the ceiling from Loki’s hair.  She entered the men’s bathroom.  “Libby?” she called, not expecting an answer.

A one-eyed man emerged from the stall.  He was dressed in a gray traveler’s cloak, with a hat and beard like Gandalf.  “Lord of the Ring convention’s not until next month,” Sara said.

The noble-looking man ignored her.  “Loki,” he said slowly.  “Loki.”

“Yes?”  Loki said miserably.  A ceiling wall popped open.  From it leapt the god.  He wore a paper bag on his head. “I’m hideous, Odin.  Don’t look at me.”

Odin sighed as he leaned on his staff.  “I haven’t had my coffee, git.”  He glanced sideways at Sara.  “Is this a freshman girl?”  The Sorcerer King murmured softly.  Sara analyzed him.  He was more of a match then Samael.

Loki drowned him out with his wailing.  Blind, the trickster bumped into the wall, then proceeded banging his head against it.

Odin’s face grew long.  “I don’t have time for this.”  He busied himself with his Blackberry.  Loki cursed in Norwegian.

A confused looking Libby peeped down from the tiles.  “Is there a ladder, Sara?” she asked, lip curled in disgust.  She wiped dust from her shoulders.  It fell from the ceiling like snow.

“I’ll catch you.”

“You sure?”

She did.  “That was completely awful,” Libby said, filled with righteous anger.  “He dragged me off to some forest and lit the whole place on fire.  Some crusty fisherman named Njord came and poured water on his head.  I think he was the god of the sea.  Anyways, he put his hair out- I barely understood what they said.  Thank god I went to Norwegian camp.”

Sara fixed her hair in the greasy mirror.  She began to whistle

“And now he’s wearing a paper bag.  Because his hair’s put out.  Loki thinks he’s ugly bald.”

“There’s always Rogaine you know.  Then I could give him a haircut.  I cut Allie’s and Crystal’s- they loved it.”

Odin turned to them.  “You seem like responsible girls.  If it isn’t murderous, I’d have you babysit him.  I’m in dire need of a drink.”

“Sure, Gandalf.”  Sara saluted him.

Odin tipped his hat to her.  “I can tell you crave adventure.  You shall have it.”  He turned to Libby.  She tried to remember which Norwegian camp counselor was Odin in the play.  He smiled kindly at her.  “I’m not fond of carrots, Libby,” he apologized.  “It wasn’t your father who ate the cookies.”

She stuck her nose in the air.  “No!  Santa doesn’t exist!  And you’re certainly not him.  I counted the carrots, Odin.  There were eight on the plate, then the fridge.”

Odin shrugged.  “It is as you will.”  He made to leave.

“Wait.”  Sara pulled salon scissors from her pocket.  “Are you sure you don’t want a haircut?  I’d update that beard for you.”

“That’s generous.  But I’m traditional.  And Loki is withering without attention.  Farewell, freshman girls.  Stay diligent- knowledge is worth blood.  If you need me, I’ll be at the bar.”

Odin exited.  Sara ripped the bag from Loki’s head.  He screeched.  Orange fuzz covered his scalp.  “Thor will mock me,” he said sorrowfully.  The god hung his head in shame.  He shoved his forehead at Libby.  “Look,” he lamented, scalp skirting her nose.  “Can’t you just see the essence of my manhood dying?  Now imagine you, in my lover’s embrace, and this naked head beside you.  It would ruin everything, wouldn’t it?”

Libby flinched.  “I wouldn’t notice, because you smell like a fireplace,” she gagged, mouth full of smoke.  His head sizzled like wet embers.  Loki reminded her of Allie.  She dealt with him accordingly, which meant she shoved him away.

Sara grabbed a wad of paper towels.  “Have you tried drying your head?”

Loki’s head snapped up.  “Indeed,” he purred.  He grabbed the towels, then polished his head inhumanly fast.  His hair sparked like kindling  He grinned like the Cheshire cat.  “Genius, doll!  Pure dynamo.  The woman has jet engines for braiiiins.”  Sara set to work on his ‘do.  Scissors worked surprisingly well on flames.

Soon, his hair looked like a campfire.  He smirked into the mirror, then combed it back in a duck’s ass and delicately applied pomade.  “There.”  He winked.  “Sizzling.  Eh honey?” he asked Libby.  “Do I get Eris’ apples now?  Or Idun’s.  I’m not too picky with lady-fruit.”

Libby gave him a thumbs up, ignoring the innuendo.  “Now, should we see the sheep?  And then we’ll happily walk back to the fireplace and you can disappear into the flue.”

“Odin goes down chimneys, I go up ’em.  Sure you don’t want to protest the Aesir?  They’re the reason the Vikings went berserk on Europe.”

“I was just daydreaming, Loki.  And my Guantanamo Bay rally is tomorrow.”

Loki shrugged.  “I’m all for prisoner’s rights.  I rotted away for millenia.  But Odin didn’t blast Britney Spears.”  He shuddered.  “Poor bastards.”  He cartwheeled into the hallway.

“Do we follow?” Libby asked.

“Sure.”  She and Sara ventured out, not sure what to expect.

It was chaos.  Dana and Vergil were holding each other; they rocked back and forth like toddlers with PTSD.  “Make it go away!” Vergil moaned.  He hid them behind his wings.  The floor was still drenched in blood, and the once-fiddling corpses were nomming on hamburgers.

A rather sadistic blonde was in the midst of torturing Samael.  It looked like he’d been roofied and shoved into a pink dress twenty sizes too small.  He was laid out on the counter like a science experiment, almost as bare as Eve.  Libby understood why Vergil was horrified: she never needed to see Death in such detail.  No wonder he wore the cloak.

A butterfly perched on his nose.  Samael prayed feverishly to himself, trying to blow it away.  It paced up and down the cartilage, proboscis drinking his acid tears.  Copies of Cosmo burned at his wrists, and a dollar store tiara crowned his head.  Allie coldly sprayed him with perfume.  The Reaper shrieked as it melted his flesh.  She smiled slightly, and her eyes were pitiless.    It looked like Barbie was torturing the Beast.

Loki grinned despotically.  He snapped a picture with his phone.  “Blackmail, Boneass,” he crooned.

Samael could do nothing but sob.

Allie grinned up at them, removing her goggles.  Her lab coat was stained with blood.  Proudly, she brandished the spray bottle:  “It worked, you guys.  Estrogen.  Estrogen is anathema to demons.  Forget holy water.  I gotta sell this stuff!”

Sara looked at the scythe.  “Can I have it?  I could use it to cut giant’s hair.  The scissors worked on a god’s, but if I’m expanding into ridiculous territory, the scythe would probably be useful.”

Allie busied herself with the torture.  “Sure.  I get dibs on the cloak.”

She tested it in her hands, then pursed her lips at Samael’s black hair.  “He really is a metalhead.  No wonder the genre’s Satanic.”  With a decisive cut, she chopped off the serpentine locks.  The strands shrieked.  “Hah!” she said, banding them with a scrunchie.  The hair curled around her like snakes.  She glared at it.  It behaved.  “This could be useful…” she murmured.

“Do you want anything, Libby?” Allie asked.  “He was wearing My Little Pegasus boxers.  I think he was being ironic.  The idiot thinks he’s a hipster.”  She waved a DVD box- Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants– in his face.  He barfed.  “Not on my dress!” Allie snapped.  She motioned to a pile on the table.  “I raided his pocket, Libster.  Take anything you want, except the magazine.  It’s gross.  That, and heavily used.”

Libby needed to know what it was.  “This?” she asked, pulling it from under the junk.  Her face greened.  She dropped it like a hot potato.  “Oh my god.”

Loki’s eyes flashed.  “Is that Sultry Succubi?” He dove for it.  “Samael, you cad!  Odin’ll love this.”

The Reaper groaned.

Libby cautiously looked through the pile.  She found an elder wand and a pebble.  She immediately frothed at the mouth.

“You okay, Libs?” Allie asked.

Libby held them like the Holy Grail.  “Allie.  Sara.  Look.”

Sara looked.  Allie sang Britney Spears.  Samael’s eardrums melted.

“No!” Loki snapped.  “See, Libby?  Guantanamo.  Hit me baby.  Torture.”

“It’s a rock and a stick,” said Sara.

“These- these are the Deathly Hallows.”

Dana peeked from behind Vergil’s wing.  “No way.”  She bolted up.  “As a Chaser on the Quidditch team, I think I should safeguard these.”

“But I’m the one who spent weeks playing Pottermore!” Libby protested.  “My Twitter’s followed by J.K. Rowling’s best friend.  I live on the Leaky Cauldron, and I’m expatting to England- Harry Potter is my life!”

“Okay.  You take the wand.  I’ll have the stone.”

“But I kind of wanted the stone.  I don’t exactly want to kill people.”

Dana looked crestfallen.  “I wanted to make it into a necklace.”

Libby relented.  “Okay.  I’ll use the wand to zap bugs.”

Vergil poked through the pile.  “Hey, it’s the Holy Grail.  We’ve been looking for that for a while.  Oh, and here’s Michael’s poodle.  No wonder he’s been so cross lately.”  He found something unspeakable.  The angel’s cheeks bloomed crimson.  “Oh.  Oh my Lord.”  He made the sign of the cross, then shoved it into the depths of the pile, making sure the impressionable girls didn’t see.  Vergil, as an angel of honor, had to protect their virtue.  Maidens’ virtue was a delicate thing.

Allie apparently had seen.  “Heh.  Kinky.  You’re worse than I thought, Corpseboy.”

Please,” Samael rasped.  “I’ll do anything.”

“Like my homework?  Would you pay for my college?  Ghostwrite my novel for me?  How about a New England cottage?  Y’know, I’ve always wanted a manservant-”

Samael roared.  “I’d rather kiss Gabriel’s ass!”

“You could do that too.”  She nudged the butterfly closer to his eyes.  Death began to babble.

“Fine!” he pleaded.  “Your manservant!  Just end this madness- agh!  Holy Mothers of Rot and Sin, Lilith and Naamah-”

“Pinky swear.”

I swear on the Styx.”

“That’s good enough.”  Allie released him.  He roared, tearing the dress from his flesh, but not before Vergil shielded their eyes with his wings.

“You have no shame!” Vergil said.  His words burned with godly wrath.  The girls choked on fluffy feathers.

Loki peered up from the magazine.  “Naked time!” He began to strip.

“No,” Samael snapped.  “Where’s my cloak!”

“Wearing it,” Allie said, peering through a pinion.  “Nice abs, by the way.  Even though you’re white as a fish.”

“My boxers,” his voice grated.

“Wearing them,” Loki crowed.  “Do they make my butt look big?”

“Samael likes big butts.  Look at Eve.”

Allie and Loki high-fived.  Vergil stood stoically between them, saying the prayer of the Lord.

“Well what in blazing Gehenna do you suggest I wear then?” Samael said, voice acid.  He made ready to strangle the girl.

A scythe poked out from under Vergil’s wing.  It nipped a bit of cowlick from his head.  “There,” said Sara.  “Perfection.”

“You’re all damned!” Samael roared.  “As the Angel of the Pit, I condemn you!”

“Even me?” purred Loki.  He batted his eyelashes innocently.

“You can’t damn me,” Vergil said flatly.  “I’m an angel.”

Samael muttered darkly to himself.  He found a potato sack behind the counter, then shimmied into it.  He belted it like a Franciscan monk.  “If only the Host saw me now,” he said blackly.

“Want a bag for your head?” Loki asked.

Libby dared to look.  The nightmarish man was comical now.  She could almost forget the corpses that watched them with glassy eyes.  Their eyes locked.  His glaring red like a viper’s.  Bravely, she lifted the wand.  “Expecto patronum,” she whispered.  A ghostly sheep burst from its bud.  Her Patronus attacked Samael.  Actually, it just chewed on his clothes.

“I’m trembling.”  Death sighed drily.  “What is it with livestock- ow!

A pebble hit his head.  Dana shrugged innocently.  “What else could I do with it?”

Sara looked at Vergil, bored.  “Ah, those curls are great.  Very angelic.  You’d look good with layered hair.”

“What?” Vergil asked innocently.

“Just hold still, now bow down like you’re praying.”  She set to her divine work.

Dana searched for her pebble while Libby made things levitate.  Loki had ditched for the bar, but not before he jacked Samael’s white Mustang.  That, and unspeakable things.  Samael tried to stuff his belongings in a trash bag.

Allie leaned over the counter, watching him.  “Can I give you a makeover?” she asked.  “I always give my guy friends makeovers.  Vergil’s getting one.  I think you’d look cute in salmon.”

“I am not wearing salmon.”

“What if it was cashmere?  Would you wear it?”

Samael threw the bag on the counter.  Allie yelped as it clipped her head.  The Reaper snarled: “Have you ever fancied what decapitation feels like?”

“Painful, right?  But my head would only last twenty seconds.  Or thirty.  I don’t remember.”  She narrowly avoided his claws.  “You also need a manicure, Sam.  I have nail clippers back in my dorm.  Vergil’s nails are impeccable.”

“I couldn’t slit throats as a hand model.”

“Look, Samael, if you’re going to be my man servant, you need a beauty regimen.  Girls take pains to look gorgeous.  I expect the same of men.  That means weekly waxings, daily shaving, and horn trimming by the hour.”  She looked at the ram’s horns in disapproval.  “Those things grow like mold on my dishes.”

“That’s because you never clean them,” he growled.

“I don’t have a dishwasher!  ‘Scuse me.  Now clean this place up.  Then we’re shopping.”

“I will never obey you-” His blood boiled.  Damnable River Styx.  He fixed her with a gruesome smile.  “As you wish, wench.”  He snapped his fingers.  The blood disappeared with the fiddles, and people took the places of zombies.  The Five Guys returned to normal.  The girls and angels found themselves back on campus, in Allie’s dorm room.

Her roommate ran out screaming.

Death’s lips curled in disgust.  “Why is everything so bloody pink?”

“To repel demons,” Allie said.  “Vergil, can I offer you my chair?”  The angel lounged in the fuschia fold-out, quite the novelty.  Dana’d already logged onto Allie’s laptop.  “The usual video on Youtube?” Libby asked.  Dana booted up the Stupid Cat Song.

“Where’s Sara?” Allie asked.

“She was too dangerous,” Samael shivered.  “I deported her.”

“To where?”

“Hell.  She can rule in my stead, if I’m to play slave to your master.”

Allie threw a pillow at him.  “Don’t be crude.”  She imagined Sara ruling Hell.  “She’s going to replace you, y’know.  No one will want you back.”  And of course, if she wanted to leave, she would.  Sara was just that kind of girl.

Samael watched the cat video on Youtube.  He snickered.  “Maybe I like it here, sans the potato sack.”

Libby sensed someone tall, dark and dangerous behind her.  She switched to Rebecca Black’s “Friday.”

Samael vanished into the closet.  His moans were heard from the dresser.

Vergil perked up.  “This is my song!”  He and Dana began to rock out.  Allie’s roommate peeked in through the door.  In her mind, this was yet another thing to add to the list of why Allie should be institutionalized.

“Samael?” Allie asked, rummaging through her drawers.  One slammed ominously shut.

“I’m trying to nap,” it grated.

“That’s my lingerie, you perv!  Now it’s going to smell like formaldehyde.”

A ghost wind slammed the closet shut.  The building rang with mad laughter.  She tried the knob.  “Locked.  God knows what he’s doing in there…”

The girls began to part ways.

“We’re going to Baskin Robbin’s,” Dana said.  “I owe Vergil a sundae.”

Vergil looked like he had won the lottery.

“I need to de-stress,” sighed Libby.  “If I’m giving Loki a tour tonight.  I’m going to write in the sheep field.  You should join me, Allie”

“I’d love to.  But I have bio, and a skeleton in my closet.”

They wished each other farewell.  Over ice cream, Dana asked Vergil a question.

“Why did you come today?” she said.

They sat outside on the terrace.  Vergil caught a falling leaf.  This time, it was golden.  “Because even though I’m immortal, Earth still has lessons to teach me.”  He plucked a late-blooming rose, then tucked it behind her ear.  “You’re young, Dana, a blink to us.  But the world can be changed in a breath.  I suppose I came here to learn what it’s like to live in a dream.”

“A dream?” Dana echoed.  Chocolate melted down the sides of her cone.

Vergil looked wistfully at the clouds.  “I remember when I created you.  All small and pink like a new idea.  I thought you were the most perfect thing I’d ever dreamed up.  And then, when you were born, you left me.  I’ve missed you a lot, you know.”

Dana’s heart swelled in her throat.  “But Vergil,” she whispered.  “I made you.”

“You did?” he asked, grinning.  “You know, us angels make souls.  Gods do too, and spirits.  We don’t make make them, but we help them form.  Even idiots like Samael need little things to love.”  He basked in the taste of a cherry.  “The world is a lonely place.”

For a moment, Dana could swear she saw constellations in his eyes.  “You say world like it’s something far away.  But you’re from Heaven, Vergil.”

“Am I?  This feels like Heaven.  A single, perfect fall day.”

They ate in companionable silence.  Happy as the evening star rose.

*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Allie’s Lokasenna for Dummies, Part 1:

Odin: “You womanly man, remember when you spent years underground as a milkmaid, Loki!”

Loki: “Well high and mighty Alfather, at least I didn’t crossdress as a sorceress and travel the world as a woman!”

Frigga: “Can we all PLEASE forget about your homoerotic drunken youth, guys? We’re at a fancy feast…”

Odin and Loki: “NO!”

– Allie’s Lokasenna for Dummies

Can You Feel the Winter Coming?

Kneel for the Alfather, in standing stone,
bloody runes on the boulder and crawl in,
soak in mead and honey, tangle your hair,
it is golden in the dark cave, burn burn.

The firmament churns like Urd makes butter,
Frigga spins flax and cards heavenly wool,
I make rainbows out of Heimdall’s breath,
but the Wild Hunt does not ride my Bifrost –

No, my path is for the dead, past Helheim,
in unions in darkest earthen cauldrons,
slick with the dew of Ymir’s icy wastes,
I am alone in Ginnunungap, paltry salt.

I am Mordgud Blood Maiden, I am bell toll.
Watch me weave my arteries on my spine,
pay my ferrywoman price, tithe your Hel
I will offer you to Her, nothing more.

Nothing less than a table at Hela’s dry
feet, the dust bread of dead, silence.
Down here it is cold but no one wants.
Down here it freezes, but we don’t feel.

Can you see Her spread Her fingers aloft
in the vines of veins, veins of leaves,
ribs of trees, trees of the nine worlds?
Winter is coming, Odin does not own it.

Winter is coming, and Fenrir howls high.
The moon is eaten by wolves, the sun bleeds
gold then darkness in Hati’s lupine womb,
plant seeds in beast’s black after harvest.

Winter is here, Hela walks as ice maiden.
Autumn just a passing fancy, and Valraven
rots on a yew, corpse bloated and swinging,
in Dying He is more alive than the Living.

Know the secrets of Hela Half-Rotted, see
the pennants of flesh on her corpse breast,
smell the compost and dirt of Her skin, kiss
Her bone hand, and sleep until springtide.

Sleep, dream, die, it is all the same to me,
for I have dreamed and died and eaten ashes,
She was sweet to me, He was a thunder strike,
in autumn He and She make a secret only I know.

What is the secret of Bolverk and Loki’s Pride?
It is sweet Balder on a shiply pyre adrift to
seidhr waters, golden Nanna enflamed, safety
is only found after Ragnarok, wouldn’t you know?

Winter came for Balder come mistletoe’s kiss.
And Odin rides the worlds for His son’s ghost.
Sweet Frigga weeps tears of sapphire, then snow.
And Hela and Nanna talk long by the hearth-side.

Winter comes for us all, even the gods, even
Death will Die, and in Dying, Live Again,
Anew, Life Eternal may be found in snow.

Of Frost and Fire

In the beginning was a gaping abyss, Ginnungagap,
but that Void dreamed, as all emptinesses do, She
dreamed a dream of love, and in her sleep was born
warmth, the spark of life, a great fire, and then
the liquid of birth and death, water frozen as ice,
Niflheim and Muspelheim, they dreamed only of you –
a being of perfection carved from primal elements,
in their dance they gave you the breath of wit, in
their kiss that melted and burned you were a child,
and you grew older as the fire grew higher, and ice
grew to tender water, layer upon layer of frost and
flame made you stronger, you were born of First Love,
before the gods ploughed the earthen dales, before
the elves made their shining home, before the dwarves
made brilliant gifts for the dwellers of Asgard,
before even the Norns let down their gray hair, you
were there, you the dancer in their tumultuous passion,
and I call you Ymir for you are a giant to me, colossal
in my mind, growing too large for my heart to contain,
and to love you is to die, be reborn in eternal dance,
for who is not frightened when their lonely universe,
the Ginnungagap in her chest, breathes life onto a
dusty heart, and the needfire awakens, blood quickens,
and Urda’s well springs up in her marrow, ices her mind,
and fire and water carve out a canyon for a perfect one
who the gods sent after prayers to wandering Mardoll
every night, giants are real, for you are Jotunblood
in my mind, a man of myth and legend, and to hold you
is to hang from Yggdrasil, and to let you in to the
beginning of my cosmos is a shy, tender task, but
my world would be nothing without you, so I will
be Audhumla and give sustenance to my altar of you,
licking salt and bleeding rivers of milky wonder,
and soon, I will ken your wanderings, but for now,
let me be your dream, be my driving force, and let
us be ice and flame, yin and yang, entwined like
Odin and Frigga, Freyr and Gerda, Loki and Sigyn,
to love a giant is easy – they eat girls, after all.

When Loki Found Sigyn

I sing of he who is always a guest, never truly welcome,
wanderer from the Iron Woods and Odin’s blood brother,
son of Laufey Leafy-Isle and Farbauti Lightning-Strike,
mother of Sleipnir, father of Death, Serpent, and Wolf,
consort of the ruddy-haired Angrboda, and scar-lipped,
sly tongued liar, though he is cursed to tell the truth.

I sing of Sigyn Fetter-Breaker, Victory Woman, Mother
to Narvi and Vali, Child Bride, Keeper of the Bowl
that suspends poison from touching her dear husband,
the only one that could drink down fire and quench
the burning loneliness of Loki, steadfast wife of
the hearth and wildfire, blue flower of the sea.

Loki had flown in Freyja’s falcon cloak far and wide.
No woman pleased him, not Sif’s ample hips or Freyja’s
wily ways, Odin’s mead was bitter, his longing for
someone who did not smile then turn away whenever
he entered the room – be our fool, Loki, be our
friend, then we will spit your name like a curse.

Who in the Nine Kingdoms did not despise him when
his trickery caught the best of him? He laughed
through the pain of sewn lips and flytings, even
Odin could not ken the depths of his madness, it
ate away at Loki like acid that would someday drip
from Skadi’s snakes, but that was centuries away.

Loki was still young, still a wanderer, Angrboda
was fierce, yes, and he was proud of Hela, Fenrir,
and Jormungandr, but to have an etin-bride far
away in Jotunheim left his Asgardian bed cold
when rain pelted like hail and the girls and
boys had tired of his amusements, they said he
slept with anything that could move, horse or
hag, but truly, Loki did not want to be alone
when the darkness came, and silence reigned.

Fire fears the dark, and Loki wanted kindling.

And then past the edge of the Worlds, at Urda’s
Well, Loki saw a young woman picking cornflowers.
She had hair like wood, a body like a beautiful
supple violin, and her smile lit up the mountains.

Was she As or Van? Jotun or Alf? Human, maybe?
It is lost to time. But she sang, and she would
offer the flowers to the well, they are her magic,
you see – they broke Loki’s chains in the end, for
Sigyn is the Fetter Breaker, and do you really think
anyone else in Asgard but she who held the bowl
could set Loki free from his torments?

Where do you think she poured the leftover venom but
onto Loki’s chains, rusting them century by century
until her now broken husband was free, she stayed
sane for him, for their dead children, for All.

But that was a far away wyrd, and Loki wooed her
with the simple promise: I will make you my bride.
I will love you as the wildfire loves the forest.
I will devour all your fears and fructify soil, I
will give you my tongue, for I have no sword, and
please, oh please Sigyn, let me but hold you, for
I am so lonely amongst friends, so tearful behind
my smile, and your kindness is something that will
save me in the depths of my insanity, you will be
my answer to all the cruelties of a hard life, in
the end, I will have done it all for you, my wife.

And Sigyn held him, and comforted him, and she said
I will love you and bake you sweet bread, I will bear
you sweet boys that will never reach adulthood, but
we will love them nonetheless, in your kitchen I will
sing, I will hang the ceiling with flax and flowers,
I will spin and sew you clothes and secrets, I will
be your bride, sweet Loki, for I see past your silver
tongue a man whose heart is broken, and it will take
an eternity to mend, but I am water, I fit into your
cracks, I will whet your fire and ground you, husband.

And their love was the strongest of Asgard, and their
trials were the cruelest of all invention, but still
they love, and still Loki protects his humans with
utter warmth, wit, and humor, and still Sigyn lets
no hungry mortals come to her table, still she tends
wounds you didn’t even know existed, and they welcome
the outcasts, the mad, the wild who do not belong,
for in the hall of the Madman and the Fetter Breaker,
no one cries for long, and happiness plays like songs.

On the Gentleness of Loki

Loki has always seemed like a family man to me – loving husband of Sigyn, fiery consort of Angrboda, father (and mother) to Narvi, Vali, Jormungand, Hela, Fenrir, and Sleipnir and even some troll women.  He has always treated me like an adoptive daughter, or his favorite niece, and is nothing but endless warm campfires, electric energy, and wild, playful divinity.  As Lodur, he gave the first humans vitality, that very spark of life that gives us spirit, and we invoke him, his blood-brother Odin, and the swan-god Hoenir at every blot – Odin, Vili, Ve, sung in harmony until the energy builds and the sacred is separated from the profane.

I first learned of Loki as a child from Norse mythology books – a wily red-haired trickster that got the gods into trouble, but also gave them their greatest gifts – Gugnir, Mjolnir, Gullinbristi.  Having been a pagan since the age of 7, and before that not really self-aware enough to think beyond myself spiritually, I never had the so-called Christian baggage many Heathens seem to have about Loki, equating him to some kind of Norse Satan, whereas the Loki in Ragnarok could equally be Utgard-Loki or even Logi depending on your translation.  No, to me, Loki, though Jotun-blooded, is firmly Aesir in alignment, most often spotted in the company of Odin or his bosom adventuring friend Thor.  He is the champion of the outcasts, of those that dare to speak the truth, of the mentally ill, of wise men and women that walk backwards, upside-down through society.  In him I found a kindred soul.  Within the palace of his spirit, I am home.

I went through a HUGE Loki phase at age 16, long before the Marvel movies (which by the way, he is not at all like Tom Hiddleston) and the green-eyed flame haired trickster soon made himself apparent in visitations alongside Samael, whether that be in dive bars throughout the worlds, at gyms for the Greek pantheon where he would challenge Athena to a bench press contest, Apollo to discus, or Artemis to crossbow shooting, and party after party where he and Sam would drink… and drink… and drink… and drink… joke… play pranks… drink some more.

From the instant I met Loki, I was besotted.  He was tender, compassionate, yet still a trickster, a prankster, a jokester, the zero-sum fool and jester all at once, happy to help out a mortal girl and give sage life advice.  He rarely asked for anything in offerings, maybe just some Skittles or a crazily frosted cupcake, to be included in my writings, to reflect upon the sacrifices he and his family made for Asgard.  He is all about duty, in his own way, and you will rarely find anyone wiser than Odin’s silvertongued brother.

There are so many lessons I’ve learned from my ardent, devoted research on him, his devotee’s writings, interacting with him personally for close to ten years, and just generally soaking up any information about him like a Loki sponge.  The biggest lesson, though, is that you never know what struggle someone else is going through, so always, always, be compassionate.  Be grace.  Be gentle.  Most recently, his lesson has been to care for the homeless.  He comes to me as a hobo, as a wild man, as a homeless veteran, living off the land and city streets, Lokabrenna seen from the gutter.

I have never met his Breaker of Worlds aspect, but there is madness behind even the kindest moment with him.  The kind of pain I’ve felt at losing control of everything you’ve held dear – your very sanity itself – and in that loss we are kin.  In the loss of control, in the Ragnarok rage, to destroy all those that have harmed you, we are the same.  Whether or not Ragnarok is real, a metaphor, already happened – I don’t care.  Loki is bound and free, sly and honest, Asgard’s greatest ally and greatest foe, Jotun and Aesir, innangard and utgard.  Holy and unholy.

But above all, he is a hero.  My hero.  Friend of my heart and dear guide on the twists and turns of a many times uncertain life.