Short fiction: Sketch of a modern-day Odin

I have a bit of a thing for deities and mythological figures reimagined for the modern age. Season 1 of American Gods was an absolute delight. I’m not sure how I feel about season 2, since Bryan Fuller is no longer involved, but that’s a whole ‘nother blog post.

Back to this blog post.

I get kind of twitchy about sharing sketches and other not-finished-and-polished pieces of writing here, but it’s also something I really want to do because sometimes those rough and ready bits and pieces have a certain appeal (and it helps me beat my rampant perfectionism into submission).

This image of a modern-day urban gangster Odin popped into my head last week and I wrote it down in case my muse took it away again as punishment for ignoring it. I might build on this one day or I might not. But for now, here it is, as it is.

Short fiction: Sketch of a modern-day Odin

The brim of his hat rests low so one eye, or the place where it used to be, is hidden by shadow. A faded black t-shirt, sleeveless to show the raven tattoos on each shoulder, may as well be a uniform. The gold bracelet on his left wrist, simple but solid, was a tribute, and he wears matching rings on each finger.

Sitting on a leather chair in a flat on the top floor of an inner city high rise, he shakes his head at his computer screen, occasionally glancing towards the window. He used to appreciate the view, but now it feels like a warning. Outside in the car park, many floors below, is a van with an eight-legged horse painted on the side.

His phone rings again and anxious fingers twitch towards the sharpened screwdriver taped under his desk. He answers.

“Nine days. Nine fucking days,” he says.

“Well, you wanted to know, didn’t you?” There’s a smirk in the voice, disembodied, bitter.

He takes a deep swallow of mead from the bottle on the desk. “You were meant to tell me how to stop it.”

“Oh no,” comes the reply, watery and dark, resentful. “You can’t stop it.”

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