[ Sky – Master Post ]
Title: On the Birth of Singularity
Characters: Ingrid and Jens Nilsson, Singularity, Lóðurr
Warnings: Norse gods out of nowhere
Notes: Ehh… I had a moment. Sin’s got some inexplicable luck and ridiculous amounts of charm. It seemed kinda plastic without divine intervention.
It was six-thirty pm, on a blazing summer evening, in the plains. The ranch house sat against the flat land and blank, blue sky like some strange fancy, and even the cows were silent as the time approached. There was a certain texture to the air that makes a man’s skin crawl. The midwife from Shawnee was about to speak again — to tell Mrs. Nilsson to push — when, in a rush, the baby slid forth into her hands. It was not an easy birth, until the very end, but the gloriously simple end kept all eyes off the shimmering corner of the room. But, for the air to shimmer in July was not unheard of, in the plains, so even with all eyes turned to it, it was unlikely anyone would take it amiss.
Late that night, as the baby lay well-swaddled against the chill of the night, the shimmering air stepped out of the corner, resolving into the shape of a sturdy young man, in a deep green kirtle. He touched the child on the forehead to wake it, and the young boy came to with a dazzled smile, blinking up at the young man.
"I have found you at last," the young man whispered, "son of the sons of my people. And to you, I give my blessing, my aid, and when you have earned it, my power.
"It lies with you to draw the people to you with your wit and wiles, to draw fruit from the barren and uncultured lands they leave fallow, to lead them in growing toward the sky and each other, and to shape the course of the world around you. In you burn the fires of beauty, glory, and wit. You will not waste this flame, but it is by your hand that those you meet will be warmed or burned."
The young man tucked a small amulet of bone and gold beneath the baby’s pillow. "I am Lóðurr, the vanishing point, and that from which the beauty of man comes. You will be my son, the point at which all things change, liquid uncertainty for the bold."
Morning and Mrs. Nilsson found the baby sucking at one end of the amulet, but neither parent could think of where it might have come from. There were a few old Norse amulets that had been passed down both of their lines, but those were all accounted for.
"Jens, no one has been here." Ingrid insisted to her equally frazzled husband. "And if someone came, why wouldn’t they wake us up, if they were just going to leave a gift? It must have come from somewhere, and just been caught in the sheets. It’s the only thing that makes sense!"
"We’ll think about that later, honey. It doesn’t sit right with me at all, and I’ll have a look around, just to make sure." He looked again at the amulet they’d taken from their son. "But they say each amulet is for one of the old gods. I wonder if someone left it as a hint. We haven’t named him, yet, and I’ve only a week to drive that form down to Cheyenne."
"But, I thought we were going to name him Everett, after your father!" Ingrid protested.
"So, he’ll have a middle name, if I can figure out who this belongs to." Jens went to his desk and came back with a magnifier. "Help me read this, Inge. Is that a ‘d’ or a ‘t’?"
"I don’t think it’s in English, at all." She sounded almost relieved. "But, it looks like it might say ‘Lothar’, or something like it. ‘Lodur’, maybe, but that’s not a name."
"You think it’s ‘Lothar’? Sure, I’m feeling superstitious today," Jens said, with a hearty chuckle. "We’ll name him Everett Lothar Nilsson, then. Best of both worlds."
Ingrid was always amazed at her husband’s ability to simply accept his family’s strange Norse traditions, without more than a question or two. Her family had been strongly Methodist, and while Jens went to church without complaint, she couldn’t help but feel that he wasn’t entirely embracing the church, as he ought.
All peculiarities aside, though, he was a wonderful husband and a good businessman, and she had little doubt he would raise his sons well. Of course, it would be up to her to ensure they didn’t inherit their father’s peculiarities. She wondered how many sons they would have, and if, one day, she might not have a daughter, too. As it stood, they had one son, now, and it would be her job to assure his morality, starting with keeping him away from that blasted amulet.