Letters from Midgard
The Little Things
"Ummm. Uhhh." He looks over. "Oh... Yes, dear."
And he is out once more.
The next morning, Thor is true to his word. He is like that, you know. He gets up and goes down to the basement of Bilskirnir, where he has a workshop that is awesome in every sense of the word. There, he frames up a nice window and installs it where the mosquito no longer is in their bedroom. Then he heads off to Jotunheim for the afternoon to deal with some Frost Giants who have been especially unruly lately.
That night, Thor and Sif are asleep in their room again. And there is another mosquito, buzzing near Thor's ear. He bats it away. It returns. He bats it away again. It returns again.
Thor has to think even less this time. He reaches over, takes Mjolnir in his hand, and sends it flying. The hammer finds the mosquito up near the ceiling. See? There it is.
And the mosquito is reduced to subatomic particles.
Sif is awakened again, and not just by the noise: falling debris has something to do with it tonight. She sits up, and looks up. The hammer returns, and she doesn't even have to duck this time.
"Oh, thank you, Thor! You started working on that skylight I've always wanted in here. You will finish it tomorrow, yes?"
"Ahhh. Errrr." He looks up. "Oh... Yes, dear."
The next morning, Thor gets up and goes down to the basement. He makes a marvelous skylight, which he installs where the mosquito was. Then, off to Jotunheim for another fun day at work.
That night, Thor and Sif are asleep in their room, as usual. And there is a third mosquito. There is the buzz, and the slap, and another buzz, and another slap.
But Sif is only half asleep tonight. When she senses her husband reaching for his hammer, she is suddenly awake and reaching over to stop him. Groggily, he forces his eyes open and rolls over to look at her.
Sif gets out of bed and turns on the light. She stands in the middle of the room and pulls up the sleeve of her delightfully diaphanous gown, a gift from Freya.
In the stillness of the room, a tiny buzzing can be heard. There it is: the mosquito, hovering closer and closer to Sif's exposed arm. Thor is enraged. This rude blood-sucking creature is about to raise a welt on his lovely and beloved wife's perfect skin! He is set to destroy it, but Sif motions for him to stop.
The mosquito comes closer still. But as it does so, Sif begins to sway. And as she does, that famous hair of hers sways also: so long and golden, flowing like the wind across a field of wheat. It is almost like it has a mind of its own.
But it doesn't have a mind of its own. No, that hair works the will of Sif. The instant the mosquito lands on her, she gives her head the tiniest little flick. Her hair snaps forward with a crack! And that mosquito is no more.
Sif turns out the light and comes back to bed. She sees her husband's electric eyes adoring her in the darkness. She smiles, knowing she won't be asleep again for a while yet. And it occurs to her that, yes, sometimes it really is the little things that matter.
Steven Thor Abell is a storyteller and the author of Days in Midgard: A Thousand Years On, a collection of original modern stories based on Heathen myths. As of 2013, he is also Steersman of the High Rede of The Troth.
Abell's column, "Letters from Midgard," is published on occasional Thursdays on the Pagan channel. Subscribe via email or RSS.