( The Singing Stone )
Hermod nodded and left the great hall. He mounted Sleipnir, then reined him around, and headed for Bifrost. Hermod was concerned ! Odin was usually very explicit when he ordered him to perform a task for him. The time Odin asked him to ride to Hel, to seek the release of his brother Balder, he knew exactly what his mission was, and how to carry it out. Although he failed to win Balder's release, he had done his duty well, and was honored by Odin with an arm ring for his valiant effort. Now, as he rode Sleipnir past the Bifrost bridge, he was quite unsure of what he was about to do, and he was uncertain of the outcome !
Heimdall walked to Bifrost, and there at his hall he saddled his horse Gulltop. The silent sentinel then made ready to leave Asgard. As he mounted his gold maned horse he wondered why Odin did not ask Hermod to take him along on Sleipnir's ample back. Gulltop was a fine horse, but it was not nearly as fast as Sleipnir ! Heimdall gently kicked his mount into a gallop, and as he approached the Rainbow Bridge he was glad to see that Vali and Vidar were already in place to guard the golden realm.
The great guardian of Asgard had known Odin for many millennium, and he was certain of one thing. Odin did not think like others. The All- father always planned his actions from start to finish, and he never left anything to chance. If Odin wanted him to arrive on that beach in Midgard later than Hermod there was surely a good reason for it !
It did not take Sleipnir long to make the trip from Asgard to Midgard. Trees, mountains, and even vast oceans were only minor inconveniences for a horse that could run like the wind, and fly like an eagle. As Hermod set Odin's great steed down on the sands of the Norwegian beach he looked around in every direction. There was nothing, and no one there. The Messenger God was totally and absolutely alone !
Hermod dismounted and walked to the edge of the surf. The first time he called her name he felt like a fool who's mind had deserted him. However, as silly as Hermod felt, he, like Heimdall, trusted the Lord of Asgard, and he continued to call her name. But as Midday turned into late afternoon the Messenger God began to wonder if maybe, just this once, Odin had been wrong.
As evening fell upon Midgard Hermod was about to admit defeat and return to Asgard when he heard an odd splashing in the shallow waters. As Hermod turned he was shocked to see what was swimming in the surf !
Her hair was almost as golden as Sif's, and she wore no clothing that he could see ! Her breasts were large and firm, and her skin tapered into green iridescent scales below her belly button. As he watched her coming closer he noticed that the water maiden swam through the water as easily as any fish in the ocean.
Hermod began to walk towards the water's edge, to better communicate with the water maiden, when suddenly she changed into a horrible creature with huge sharp teeth, and cold black eyes. Hermod stopped dead in his tracks, and unsheathed his sword in case he was forced to defend himself.
" Come no closer, or I will draw you into the water, and end you life, land being ! " she told the creature standing upon the shore.
Hermod, however, did not back down, and walked on to the water's edge.
" Are you the sea maiden called Minda ? " Hermod asked in an uneven tone.
The mermaid swam further into the shallows, and looked up at the creature that hovered above it. She studied every part of him before she finally answered.
" I am MInda ! It is unusual for anyone to call out my name. For it is the last thing that my victims hear before I devour them and end there lives. " she told him. Only one being has ever escaped my grasp, and you are not that individual ! " she added with a wicked giggle.
Hermod knelt down in front of the horrid creature with the sharp nails, and pointed teeth.
" I am the Asgardian Hermod, and I have been asked by Odin to come to this place, and ask you for a favor. " he told the creature.
The creature suddenly turned back into the lovely form that Hermod had first seen !
" Odin ! It has been a very long time since I last laid eyes...... and my hands..... on such a fine creature as Odin ! " she told Hermod with a huge smile on her face.
It was then, as he looked into her sea green eyes that he realized who and what she really was ! This beautiful creature that lay half naked in the surf below him was a siren who sang to sailors, and lured their ships onto the rocks, and skerries that jutted out of the ocean, injuring and stranding them there. Then the water maiden would transform into the voracious creature he had seen only a moment ago, and devour those she had enticed to her Singasteinn !
" Odin sends his greetings, and wishes you to sing a song for Loki . " Hermod told the sea creature.
The mermaid lay on her back and teased Hermod by cupping her breasts seductively with her hands.
" Does Great Odin wish me to kill this Loki, or shall I merely capture the land walker ? " she asked with a flirtatious smile.
Hermod could feel his body begin to tense, and his throat tightened up. The usually calm messenger also began to break out in a nervous sweat as he felt himself becoming aroused by the creature.
" I..... I ..... I believe he wishes you to hold Loki until Heimdall comes to bring him back to Asgard ! " he told her trying to hide the fact that he was blushing.
Minda grinned from ear to ear.
" You want me ! I can feel it ! " she told Hermod with a wink.
Hermod nervously removed the sweat from his brow before answering.
" I am here to carry out my Lord's command. I will not dishonor him by disobeying his orders. " he told her while struggling with his feelings.
Minda laughed !
" Odin's pull is still stronger than mine after all these years ! " she told him joyfully.
" Yes, I will do as Odin asks, and I will not harm the one I have enticed to my Singasteinn. " she told him.
Hermod felt her grip on him loosen, and he quickly regained his composure.
" Then I will leave you Minda, and I thank you for you cooperation . " he told her before walking back to Sleipnir.
Minda swam out into the ocean a short distance before turning and looking back to the shore.
" Tell Odin he owes me a kiss ! He will know what I mean !! " she shouted to Hermod before he left.
Minda swam out to her Singasteinn and began to sing a lovely song especially for Loki. The melody was sung in such a high pitch that it carried for many miles around. As she sang her song to Loki, she imagined she was singing to Odin himself. For he was the only being who had ever escaped her grasp after she had lured him to her rock home.
In a cave, twenty miles away, Loki sat hiding in the darkness still wearing the Brisingamen necklace. Suddenly, and inexplicably, he had the urge to go down to the sea shore. The sensation was unrelenting and almost sexual in nature, and as strong as the Mischief Monger was he could not resist its pull. Loki found himself drawn to the ocean, and by morning he was standing in the same sand as Hermod had the day before.
As Loki scanned the empty beach he became aware that the voice that was calling to him was not on the shore, but was instead somewhere out in the ocean. His present form was not conducive for swimming, so with a mere thought, and a flick of his hand, Loki turned himself into a seal. The Mischief Monger closed his eyes for a moment to listen to the beautiful song drifting across the waves, then clapped his flippers together and jumped into the surf.
At the other end of the beach Heimdall witnessed it all from his horse Gulltop. He quickly kicked his mount into a galllop, and dismounted at a run when he reached the spot where Loki had jumped into the surf. Heimdall stared out over the endless ocean and heard Odin's words echo in his mind.
" I need to send Heimdall, who was born of nine Giantess mothers, and who also has the ability to transform himself into other creatures, to catch Loki. "
Heimdall shook his head from side to side in disbelief.
" I cannot believe what I am about to do ! " he said out loud.
- End Chapter 8
- Next : Chapter 9 : Two Can Play That Game !
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2015.