The Fire Dragon's Quest
( Part Three Of The Ítreksjóð Trilogy )
Loki was feeling very happy as he set his spear against the tree, and lay down with his back up against it's trunk. Everything seemed to have worked it's way out, and no one was hurt in the process. The Asgardians had their cursed coin back, and neither Durinn, or his father Farbauti, were injured by the fire breathing dragon Ítreksjóð. As the Great Mischief Maker looked at the cloudless Asgardian sky he took another bite of the golden apple he had stolen from Idunn's basket and grinned from ear to ear.
" Others get into trouble, .... and I get them out of it ! " Loki whispered proudly to himself as he chewed the juicy apple.
Just as he was about to take a second bite Idunn suddenly appeared from behind another nearby tree with a childish grin upon her face. Loki, realizing it was too late to hide the golden apple he had taken from her, simply shrugged his shoulders and smiled at the wife of Bragi.
" You caught me ! I took one of your delicious apples. You know this is really all your fault. You seldom, if ever, offer one to me. " he explained trying to deflect his misdeed back at her.
Idunn walked up to the Jotun trickster and bent down, placing her lips close to his ear.
" Do you remember the time you had me kidnapped ? " she asked Odin's blood brother.
Loki looked over at the keeper of the apples of eternal youth warily.
"Yes,....." he replied, afraid of Idunn's response.
Idunn quickly spun around, grabbed Loki's spear, and threw it across the meadow at a tree on the other side, hitting it dead center.
" Nice throw,... but I do not need my spear to kill someone as weak as you ! " he told her.
Now it was Idunn's turn to laugh.
" I did not throw away your spear so you would not kill me. I sent it far away so you could not use it to leave Asgard. " she explained to Loki in a very pleasant tone.
It was then that Loki noticed Thor standing in the center of the meadow. The trickster, as always, immediately came up with a plan. He jumped up, pushed Idunn to the ground spilling her apples, and then, while still looking at Thor, ran in the opposite direction around the tree.
Loki took only two steps before he ran into something hard which knocked him to the ground. As he looked up at the obstacle he caught sight of something that made him shiver deep inside. What he had run into, the thing that had knocked him down, was a huge dragon. And it did not look very happy !
Thor grabbed Loki by the back of his neck and threw him up against the tree. Loki grunted loudly as he hit the trunk, and groaned pitifully as he slowly slid down the gnarly bark to the ground.
" Now was that really necessary ? " Loki asked, as he managed to get himself up into a sitting position.
Thor grabbed Loki by the front of his shirt, lifted him, and then pressed him hard up against the trunk of the tree. Idunn, who had just finished retrieving her spilled golden apples, pulled a rope out of her basket and began to tie Loki to the tree. When she was done Thor let go of Loki and inspected the rope to make sure it was tightly wound around the Mischief Maker.
When Thor was certain that the Mischief Maker was securely tied, he stepped back and pulled the cursed coin out of a pouch he had tied around his waist, and held it up in front of Loki's face.
" Father is a little annoyed over all the trouble you have caused recently. He has sent Ítreksjóð and myself to avenge your evil deeds. " Thor told the Jotun in a cold tone.
" Odin is my blood - brother, and is oathed to me. He will not harm me ! " Loki told Thor in a cocky manner.
Thor grabbed Loki's cheeks in one of his huge hands, and squeezed hard, forcing Loki's mouth open.
" You have two choices. Either swallow the cursed coin, or be burned to a crisp by Ítreksjóð. Which will it be ? " Thor asked as he shoved the coin into his mouth.
Thor stepped away from the tree and allowed his step - brother Ítreksjóð to take a position up directly in front of Loki. The Dragon God breathed in deeply and waited for the trickster's answer.
Loki hung his head low, and swallowed hard.
" There ! Are you happy ! " he told the Asgardians as he showed them the inside of his mouth.
To be sure that Loki had actually swallowed the coin Thor once again forced open his mouth, and probed inside with his fingers. When he had gagged Loki several times, with his search, he was satisfied that the coin had actually been digested. Thor then untied Loki before mounting the Dragon God with Idunn and flying away.
Angry, and feeling violated, Loki walked over to the tree at the other end of the meadow to retrieve his spear. Just as he reached for it's shaft his foot hit an exposed root causing him to fall head first into the trunk, hitting his nose on an ancient knot.
" This is just great ! " he whispered loudly to himself as he rubbed his bleeding nose.
When the pain had subsided enough for him to get up he tried to pull the spear out of the tree. It was stuck fast, however, and would not budge. Loki, who was quickly losing his patience, grabbed hold of the shaft near the head of the spear, and pulled with all of his might. The points of the spear were slowly extricating themselves from the bark when suddenly one of the three points came free making Loki lose his grip on the shaft. As his hand slipped it grazed the top of the blade slicing deeply into his hand.
Loki grimaced in pain and immediately put pressure on the cut. The trickster, in a fit of anger, looked up at the sky.
" I know that you are watching Odin ! I will make you pay for this ! " he shouted.
Just then the spear fell out of the tree and landed on his big toe, making him cry out in pain again !
" Alright,.... a few days, ....maybe a week, .... and I will pass this cursed coin and be fine. " he assured himself.
It took a month before Ítreksjóð finally had his coin back !
Loki had been mistaken. Odin and Frigga were not watching him from Hlidskjalf as he suffered the first of many misfortunes. Instead they were debating who should be the new king of East Agder.
" I like Toki ! He is a more level headed and cautious young man. I think he will be a much kinder king to his people. " Frigga told her husband.
Odin shook his head in disagreement.
" No ! Ugi is a bold tactician on the battlefield, and though he lacks some wisdom, he does not waste time overthinking each and every little detail of a problem. " he explained to his wife.
Frigga smiled as she reached over and held her husband's hand.
" Then let us see who will win this time ! " Frigga whispered in her husband's ear, after she had kissed his cheek.
- The End
- Next Story : ' The Spirit Tamer ' © Copyright, 2017.
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart), © Copyright, 2017.