28/01/2016: Bitter Poison

(More prose for you. Inspired by my friend’s insistence we visit the bar Valhalla as well as my work on writing up my research proposal got me to thinking about a way to reframe the story of Siggyn. Hence, this.)

My husband lies beneath my fingers, and the bowl fills with poison.

Our end is coming, they say. This act that led to this – his decision to allow Baldr’s death, and trickery, that led to Baldr’s remaining in the underworld, it will lead to the end of our days, the Ragnarok. I hear the Æsir murmur of it in low tones, preparing themselves for their deaths. Or maybe they are not murmuring; maybe it is simply that, far as I am, hear, at the belly of the world, all of their speech now sounds like murmurs.

The poison drips onto my fingers, and the bowl fills.

The entrails of my son bind him. My little boy, slain, to appease the wrath of Frigga, most holy, most high. A son for a son, and her son still slain. My husband, Loki, most clever, most cunning, lies beneath my fingers, and groans in agony.

Dutifully, I watch the poison drip and fill the bowl, and think of the blood of my blood, now binding my husband eternally for his trick.

The bowl fills.

Drip.

Slowly, I watch the poison trickle down the side, and start to fall over my fingers, scarring them further and, undaunted, watch it gather and pool.

Baldr, they say, will rise when Ragnarok ends and all we Æsir are dead. They say that, but who has the wit to know? Loki, my Jotun husband, most clever, most cunning? Odin, who plucked out his eye for further wisdom? Frigga, most holy, most high?

Perhaps Hel, my husband’s bastard daughter knows, as she keeps the hated dead, but she will naught speak to me nor whisper their hated secrets.

Drip.

Drip.

The poison starts to spill over my fingers.

“Siggyn,” my husband whispers, scarred eyes wide, pale skin trembling, “Please.”

I find I cannot bring myself to care.

The poison falls into his ruined eye, and the earth above us shakes.

I empty the bowl and watch, curious, as he screams for a moment, wondering if he is even aware it is his son’s entrails he pulls at as he wrenches in agony.

Then, ever the dutiful wife, I press the cup over his eye, and watch it fill with poison again, awaiting, ever patiently, Ragnarok.

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