romance

More cherries…the results

Both cherries are fair to look upon on the outside. But what about the inside?

Great Frigga’s hairpins! Sigyn, your rainy cherry is yellow inside! I did not expect that.

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Are you sure that is properly a cherry and not a tiny plum on a long stem?

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Uh oh, here’s another difference. The dark cherry would appear to stain quite a bit more… Something to keep in mind when purloining these lovely drupaceous fruits: Don’t start eating them until you have them safely away.

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Mmmmm. We have now tasted them. The rainy cherry is radiantly delicious. Sigyn loves it so much that–Sigyn, are you hugging that cherry?

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It appears we have a winner.

>|: [

Sigyn’s birthday

After we looked at the winecups, we had a quiet little celebration at home. I had a cake for Sigyn. We both like cake. A lot.

I looked very hard for a nice present for her. She collects glass paperweights and seemed very happy with this one. It has what looks like a clover blossom in the center. Or maybe it’s a sea creature? Either way, it made her smile, which is all I wanted.

And then *I* received a gift beyond all expectation. A thank-you hug, spontaneous and unasked for. We haven’t talked about the “wedding” we went through in order to escape whatever realm we were in weeks ago, but this lets me hope, just a bit, that the birthday wish she made includes me…

Happy Birthday, dear one.

Winecups? I don’t think so.

Today is Sigyn’s birthday. She wanted to go out and look at more wildflowers, and I had no objection. As long as the human female’s not droning on and on and on about them in some long-dead language, I really don’t mind.

We have found these. I have heard them called "winecups." Bah! I have looked in dozens and they are all empty. I tasted one and it had no wine flavor at all. Just tasted like… petal.

I suppose, though, that they do have sort of a vinous tint to them, rather like that cheap swill Thor favors. He’s always calling for "Another!" If he keeps it up, his nose will be this color…

Bluehats and paintbuckets

It is cold and gray today, and a bit nippy (the frost giant in me doesn’t mind), but the wildflowers are looking rather fine. I understand that there is a law in this part of Midgard that each child, pet, and courting couple must be photographed among them, so Sigyn and I have come out to get a closer look and see what the fuss is about. (Not that I care about laws, mind you–I do what I want–but I would not like my dearest to fall afoul of the local constabulary.)

I am unable to decide whether the bluehats are very small trees or very, very large herbaceous plants. As you can see, we have climbed them, so I am leaning toward trees.

She is too sweet-to complain, but I can tell Sigyn is disappointed that she cannot actually wear one of the blossoms as a hat. I shall have to find her a blossom that does fit her pretty head. And do not get me started on the paintbuckets! Colorful they may be, but here is nothing in the least bucketty about them. When I rule this realm, I shall make sure all the plants have names that are not so deceptive and lame.

We did not have any proper wedding portraits made, but I think these will do quite well.

>|: [

Just this once.

Sigyn is taking to life in this part of Midgard like Volstagg to a pie-eating contest. She has struck up a friendship with the human female. I think they share a love of flowers and fabric and beads and other girlish things. I heard them prattling today about how it is the season for the bluehats and Endyion paintbuckets to bloom. (I think that’s right–when the human drones on about plants I tend to tune out and use the time more profitably, by thinking about weapons and how I can seize control of the global financial system.)

But I will do anything to make my Sigyn happy, so we went out today to look at some wildflowers. She liked the little purple ones very much.  I am glad no one was nearby with a camera. If Thor got wind of me–God of Mischief and rightful King of Asgard–lolling about among the posies, I would never live it down.

L + S = ?

“–ou!”

Several things happened at once.

–The gibbering in the room ceased.

–The purple crystal I chipped out of the rock cave we spent the night in fell out of my pocket and clattered to the floor.

–The Great Goober stiffened and stopped shouting.

–His hands, which had been bringing us to his mouth, froze where they were. His tentacles just brushed my face.

Then pandemonium broke out, and the next thing I knew, Sigyn and I were gently lowered to the ground. My helmet and spear were returned. Goobers great and small surrounded us, petted us, touched our hands and hair.

I am still not sure what is going on. From what I have been able to gather, from the Great Goobers garbled orations and a painfully slow yes/no session with Burble, Gribber, Iggle-nix, and Ynnerp, we seem to have inadvertently stumbled upon the two things Goobers love most:

Shiny trinkets and a good romance.

The Great Goober coveted my purple crystal on sight and decided to save me, in case I could tell him where to find more.

All of the Goobers, when they heard me declare my feelings for Sigyn, seized on us as Couple of the Year. Though they would have enjoyed our demise as a good, tragic love story, they would much rather see us alive and together.*

The ensuing exchange went something like this:

Great Goober: This is your wife?

Me: “Um, no.. Not ye–… Er, No.

Sigyn: <blushes>

Great Goober: But she pleases you?

Me: <Opens mouth. Nothing comes out. Nods.>

Great Goober, to Sigyn: You like this man?

Sign: <uncomfortable smile> Um?

Great Goober: Then you must be married at once! <to the other Goobers:>: Prepare the ceremony! <to us>: If you give me this magnificent gem, you shall be wed! We shall feast, and then I shall give you gifts and send you home. I, the mighty <unpronounceable> have spoken!

I looked at Sigyn. She looked at me. Trade a chunk of colored quartz and a few words for our ticket out of this realm? I raised an eyebrow. She shrugged and nodded. Goobers scattered to make preparations.

Which is why we find ourselves now, in what I suppose must be the holy shrine of some long-dead Goober saint, surrounded by intricate tile-work and a huge assortment of Goobers. Sigyn and I have both been tidied, though I guess there is no clothing here to fit anyone who is not deformed, so we are to be wed in our own battered clothes. Someone has found Sigyn some flowers. Burble has a tear in his one good eye, Yennerp is grinning like a fool, and Iggle-nix is still looking at my dearest with a triple leer that I am going to wipe off his face with my fist at the earliest opportunity.

The Great Goober is mumbling his way through some intricate rite, which seems to require nothing of us beyond our presence and the occasional “Yes.” Every “Yes” earns a cheer from the Goober congregation, except in one spot which must require a “No,” because they all frown and start muttering. We change our answers to “No,” and the garbled ceremony continues.

Is the God of Mischief actually getting married? Does this even count? Is it binding? Oh, never doubt that Sigyn is my dear heart, my only. Those who know me would be surprised to learn that I actually do intend to be true and kind to her. But what about her? What is in her heart? After all, one can say words under duress and not mean them.

It may very well be that, once back in our own realm, she will walk away from the man who kidnapped her, led her into danger, and all but forced a farcical wedding on her. The Trickster. The Liesmith. I couldn’t blame her if she did. I tell myself to cherish this moment but steel my heart for what may prove a greater loss than either kingdom or throne.

L + S = ♡ ?

* (My theory is that since they are so variously and hideously misshapen, very seldom can any two Goobers come together in such a way as to make more Goobers, so romance is in short supply. By my horns! Anyone could conquer this race with a few Harlequin novellas and a Barry White album.)

Talking and walking

It’s later in the afternoon now, and the berry-headedness has *finally* worn off, except for some faint blue shadows under our eyes–but then again, that might just be sleeplessness.

We have been walking all day, talking as we go. I have learned more about Sigyn. For example, her favorite color is red. (I could have guessed.) I did not know, though, that she is only half Asgardian. Her mother was Midgardian, Gunnehilde (on whose head may there be fleas innumerable) and a half-brother, Harrnir, are full Asgardian, the children of the late father’s first wife. Sigyn has lived back and forth between the two realms. When she was just a little lass, her parents betrothed her to a wealthy Asgardian merchant. She says she has met him several times and has found him cruel and cold. She seems glad to be free of the entanglement. I have myself been called cruel and cold (among many other things), but I find myself wanting to be kind–and even honest–with this gentle being. May my life be forfeit if I ever cause her one moment’s grief.

Blinky was her beloved childhood pet, a small brown rabbit with floppy ears. I gather he met an untimely end, but she did not divulge details. Best not to dwell.

I have shared a little about myself, though of course my fame (or infamy, if you insist) precedes me. She already knew about the dysfunctional collection of larger-than-life personages that make up my foster family. I counted for her the times Thor and I have tried to kill one another, in jest or in earnest. That and my Jotun heritage did not seem to shock her overmuch. I hope this means she can see “past my past” and learn to like me for myself, and not just as a means to escape an arranged marriage.

We have discovered a mutual loathing of modern Midgardian music and a shared enthusiasm for libraries and pudding.

So although we are tired and footsore, it has been rather a good day.

Wait… What is that? This is the first sign of any creature we have seen. By Heimdal’s horned helmet, whatever it is is rather large–and closing fast. No! Sigyn! Sigyn, wait! I do not think the “kitty” wants to be friends!

> : O

The end of a very long, very confusing day…

*Yawn* It is hard for me to believe that just day before yesterday I was on Midgard. All the magic, the transport center, the traveling, the hiking through the wilderness, the eating of strange foods–it all seems so unreal.

Through it all, Sigyn has been most brave and uncomplaining, but she cannot go on much farther. Neither, truth to tell, can I. We must rest.

I have found a small cave in which we can pass the night. The opening is small enough to defend against marauding beasts, if there are any. (I do not know whether to be relieved or nervous that we have not seen any so far. What does tomorrow hold?) The inside is lined with beautiful purplish crystals. If I can chip one loose, it might be worth something, someday, somewhere.

So now we are tucked up as safely and comfortably as we can be, given that we have no blankets save my cloak, no food, and nothing to start a fire with. All we can do is make the best of it.

The unfamiliar stars are pretty.

The fates have an odd way of granting wishes. I dreamed of holding my Sigyn close and falling asleep with her head on my shoulder, but not like this.

This is better.

Luckily, before we had to eat the dubious red berries Sigyn found, I was able to locate some friendlier-looking blue ones. They much resemble the ones I had back in Midgard. (I must admit that, as much as I used to sneer at the boringness of Midgard and its food, I could do with some boring right now.)

Mmm. They are quite delicious. We are lost, we have no transportation, we have no shelter, and I have no magic, but we have berries, and Sigyn is smiling, so I am, for the moment, content.

(And see how good I am being? I took the one with the iffy little brown spot.)

>| : ]