. . . 5:30 PM . . .
. . Joy’s house. . .
“Good luck, Loki.” Hank said, as Loki stepped foot out the truck.
Loki turns to the side.
“I’m flattered you are saying I have good luck.” Loki said, with a certain glow to the ‘flattered’ part. “Because I’m branded with bad luck.”
Hank lightly taps his fore-head on the driver-wheel.
“Never-mind.” Hank said.
Loki shuts the door behind him. He goes behind the truck, then takes out a big box from that made an interesting noise like coffee cups knocking against each other. How do I find myself at her house?,Loki thought as he walks straight to the door, twice in one Midgard month. Nobody really pays attention to someone’s front door.
The neighbors wouldn’t care unless they were really nosy.
“At least she’ll take the blame.” Loki tells himself as he stopped at a foot away from the welcome mat. “And not one mortal will believe her.”
Loki puts the box on the front door. Next stop; vase, Loki goes through his list mentally. He goes across the lawn to the right then turned left where there is an open gate. Mortals were forgetful for such small things when it comes to the outside of their homes. The Backdoor, it too, was unlocked.
It made getting into the house easier than Loki had imagined. He goes down the hallway hearing singing from the bathroom—that had the shower going a few rooms down from the backdoor.It didn’t really seem to make sense at this point going through the backdoor. ‘She told us the vase would belong in her bedrooom’ Loki recalled Hank’s comment. He saw an ajar door with a visible pink carpet across from an open closet.
It seemed way too easy for Loki.
Is this a trap?, Loki thought using his fingers to push forward the ajar door.
He saw a clean room with a bed that had the blankets pushed forward and two pillows at the left hand side of the bed. The bed’s condition contrasted the black and purple paint all over this room.The vase is on a desk drawer surrounded by absurd and fancy glasses that had unusual decorations. One pair had plastic pink cat ears.
“For a blind mortal, Joy is tidy.” Loki noted in a low voice as he walks towards the vase.
There is a mirror showing a painting hanging above Joy’s bed of a large cloud that has two figures on it with recognizable colors. The painting seemed pretty well drawn, and similar to a masterpiece from a children’s book. Loki picks up the vase carefully so that these glasses wouldn’t make a big noise.
“Why was it easy?” Loki asks himself, turning away from the mirror.
He saw a picture of a teenage Joy with her adoptive mother from the corner of his eyes. He stops and turns his head towards the photographs on the right hand side of the painting. What?, Loki thought as he recognized a little girl in a family picture that had Oratio and his former wife. There were three other boys who resembled the parents more than the little girl. Loki picks up the photograph using a hand that wasn’t holding the vase. It clicked in his memory why Joy is so familiar in the blonde wig.
“I can swish this and that,” Joy sang from the bathroom. “And I can show you how wrong that two plus n equals an a picture OOooh a pictuure!” She raises her voice. “Why don’t you stand, stand way, stand away, and fly away, because I will slap you, bap you, tap you, and cap you into dis-a-bility!”
Did Odin know about Joy? What’s tying Loki to Joy? What kind of ties can possibly tie him to her? Those were the questions going around in Loki’s mind. The child version of Joy had blonde hair and smaller glasses. She had grown dramatically from the little short child stage. A average movie-goer can see the reaction on Loki’s face.
“Because I’m that baaad.” Joy continues singing. “Wooaaah steppin’ from the bright side. Woah woah ohhh. Stepping out from hitting a man with my car who’s my room picking up a photo,” Loki turns his head towards the door. “And he’s very creepy; did I say creepy?” Joy raises her voice very country like, “Yess I diid! Because, I’m that baaad!”
Loki puts the photograph down on the table—while holding the vase—and sneaks out the back door.
“Woah woah.” Joy's singing is heard on the way out. “Life can really be a pain in the rear.”
Loki gets into the truck.
“So.” Hank said, with a bright smile. “You got it.”
Loki shuts the truck door.
“She knew I was there.” Loki said, as Hank takes out his phone. “If you are laying out a plan to humiliate me, then rethink your entire life and drop into a tall pile of cow waste.” Hank looks at him like ‘Why are you accusing me?’. “And then fall into a big pile of garbage.”
Hank drives off from Joy’s house as he dials a certain phone number.
“Uh no, she didn’t.” Hank said, looking at Loki strangely. You can see he feels insulted, but most insulted. His voice has a clear ‘confused’ tone to it. “She’s not a ‘know-it-all’ person.” Loki rolls his eyes at the statement. “Heck, Bryan can vouch that she didn’t know that he cheated on her for quite a while until last month.”
“He gave her the answers and she didn’t know it, well that sounds dumb.” Loki said.
Hank rolls his left eye.
“Bryan was with another woman.” Hank said. “Joy didn’t take that too well.”
“How can Joy take it to a well?” Loki asks.
Hank laughs a little at Loki’s comments.
“I meant she didn’t trust him to be ‘boyfriend’ and ‘girlfriend’ anymore.” Hank waves his left hand out the window while still driving gracefully on the road. “But they are still friends; a little.” Hank said, turning his attention away from Loki.
“A little?” Loki said.
“I recognized that face on the video from the news this morning.” Hank said to who-ever is on the other end. “The one who stole all the coffee cups. I am at Loki Street, Laufeyson Street across from a house with the address 1873. . . “
Loki looks over his shoulder at the passing street sign that did indeed read ‘Loki Laufeyson’ street.
“And her name is Joy Joanna Lawson.” Hank said. “I saw her put the box outside the door. She’s got a lot of guns inside that house, bye.”
Hank presses the red button on the phone and drove away.
“I don’t picture her to be the gun type.” Loki said, knowing what a gun is.
“She’s a troublemaker.” Hank muses, putting the phone into his back pocket. “That’s what type she is.”
“I can tell when people are lying.” Loki said. “But for some reason I can’t tell if you are lying.”
“I wasn’t lying about the gun part.” Hank said, getting a ‘huh?’ reaction from Loki. “She brought a whole load of guns last year to the building when there were riots going on and people were stampeding upstairs instead of using the elevators. You’ll be surprised how much M4-47’s can last with Joy firing them. They didn’t last a chance because they were so. . .”
“Lower-class?” Loki finishes.
“Zombie like.” Hank said, going through his hair while driving. He nearly missed a stop sign from the brief distraction. “A riot that was zombie like.” He drives off from the scene that gets a lot of police around. “They were so undead that our boss compared it to someone filming a lousy zombie movie.”
“Gods cannot die.” Loki said. “I cannot die.”
“Now you’re saying you are a god.” Hank said with a ‘hmmph’. “Fantastic.”
“I am Loki, son of Odin, of Asgard.” Loki said. “I am a god.”
Hank parks at an empty lot.
“Can Gods survive a car going off a cliff?” Hank asks.
“Is that a trick question?” Loki said.
Hank hesitates as he is apparently thinking about his own question. Hank sat there saying ‘um, um, um’ repeatedly as Loki is holding the vase. A couple street kids were walking by a gray sharp fence near the parking lot. There is overgrown plants behind the remarkably clean fence that had an electrical ‘warning’ sign. It might be a miracle they were coming when Hank was having a mid-crisis moment.
Hank saw the tallest street kid bouncing a basketball up and down.
“Hey you, tall kid!” Hank shouts.
The tallest street kid stops and points at himself.
“Yes, you.” Hank said. “What would you do if a man repeatedly claimed to be a god and took everything literal?”
The tallest street kid and the two other street kids share a whispered conversation.
“Drive off a cliff and see if he comes back.” The Tallest Street kid replied. “But my friends think that’s insane.”
“Thanks!” Hank said, turning his attention back to Loki. “Do you want to prove it by driving off a cliff?”
“I will not bring you to Asgard after this.” Loki said.
Hank shook his head, flicking a bouncy head on the dashboard making it bobble up and down.
“Oh screw Asgard!” Hank said, hanging his free hand out the window. The Street kids silently walked by the parking lot eerily looking at the blue truck as though it came out the twilight zone. “I like to know if I’m talking to a madman. I’ll gladly go visit other planets.”
_____ ________ _______
. . . . 6:58 PM . .
. . . Police Station . . .
Joy is shown the video tape.
“That . . .” Joy’s eyebrows lower. “Is not me.”
“Oh really?” The Detective asks. “Because we got reports you’ve stolen some before.”
“That was six years ago.” Joy said. “I was new to Wisconsin’s little small town called Hasper.”
“Six years later. . . You take out eleven coffee cups from what you stole and leave out the rest on the front door.” The Detective said, tapping his finger on the table. “I may gullible but this doesn’t mean you can lie this easy.”
“I . . I . .” Joy stumbles in her speech apparently stunned to find herself accused for stealing coffee cups. “I didn’t do it.”
“That’s what everyone says.” The Detective said, with a light accent in his voice coming through. “Do us a favour and tell us why do you did it.”
“I didn’t do it.” Joy said.
“You can’t say that to the tape.” The Detective said.
Joy takes a breath, and then exhales as her shoulders sloped down. She then made a made up explanation why she stole the coffee cups. The Detective looks satisfied as he slid forward a notepad with a pen. A very defiant rebellious glint is seen in her eyes. Joy takes the pen on the table then begins writing neatly—and fast—why she stole all the coffee cups.
“Don’t make it in chicken writing.” The Detective said, getting up from the chair.
Joy slaps the pen down and gave him a cold hearted stared.
“You just suggested I do that.” Joy said. “You’ve bad at suggesting. I mean, come on, when does a detective suggest a suspect to do that? I thought you guys were smarter than that to say this. No wonder all the confessions are written in gibberish.”
The Detective pauses.
“. . . How do you know they write gibberish?” The Detective asks.
Joy rubs her forehead.
“I was being sarcastic.” Joy said, putting her hand down. “Now I know how gullible you are.”
The Detective turns away and goes out the door. Joy lowers her head down to the notepad paper. She picks up the pen and continues writing what incredible—and impossible—reason why she stole the coffee cups. They will not believe I did after reading this, Joy thought as she snickers. One part of her tongue stuck out as though Joy had been turned into a child all over again by some unusual force. The side of Joy’s right hand is covered in black ink. An unusual wind gust made cool air brush Joy’s face. Joy assumed the vents had been turned on by the Detective in a rushed attempt to get neat handwriting from her.
“You are not easy to find.” Fandral said.
Joy drops the pen and scoots back the chair. She looks forward--well up, actually—to see this young blonde man with armor and a cape easily screaming he’s not from this era. This man is Fandral, the ladies’ man, sitting in the chair with one foot on the left hand corner of the table. His brown boots look relatively clean.
“How-h-h-w did you get here?” Joy asks, with a ‘This is not a fantasy movie’ reaction.
“Heimdall transported me here.” Fandral said.
The name Heimdall rang a bell in her memory.
“Who are you?” Joy asks, inching away from Fandral. “Are you a god?”
“I’m an Asgardian.” Fandral said, and then he points up at the ceiling. “I come from Asgard.But you may call me the god of ladies—“
Joy throws her shoe at him.
“What’s this?” Fandral picks up the shoe. He acts like it’s fairly new to him.
“Are everyone from your world idiots?” Joy sarcastically said, snatching the shoe out of his hands. “It’s a shoe.”
Fandral looks puzzled at first, but it made some sense in one part of his brain. Joy puts the shoe back on.
“Why do you keep moving houses?” Fandral asks.
“It’s a human thing.” Joy said, as she wiggles her nose and narrows at her eyes at him. “I don’t like to be the one who makes a meme out of this; but, can I not be the totem pole that attracts Asgardians like birds.”
“I was sent by the Allfather.” Fandral said, with a chuckle. “Before he fell into the deep odinsleep.” Fandral tilts his head. “And I’ve claimed Mortals would not stun me, but,”--He makes a circle at her glasses,-“Today,they have stunned me with their. . .”
“Glasses.” Joy said.
“Odd glasses.” Fandral said, straightening his head. “So, I assumed you already met Loki.”
“He’s got skin of steel.” Joy said, flailing her arms. “And he takes everything literal!”
Fandral snickers, putting his foot off the table. He then faces forwards to Joy. Fandral reminded her of someone. This someone she couldn’t put a finger on. But Fandral’s familiar face had her thinking more than she usually did most days. It was not because Fandral had appeared in the chair out of the blue; but, it was familiarity.
“Loki is, or was, the god of mischief.” Fandral tells her. “And he’s powerless.”
“Hold up.” Joy said, waving her hands. “Repeat that.”
“He’s powerless?” Fandral said.
Joy shook her head.
“No!” Joy said “What you said before being powerless.”
“He’s the god of mischief?” Fandral said, tilting his head like an adorable kitten.
“Before that,” Joy said.
“Ladies?” Fandral said, more confused.
Joy smacks her forehead.
“He’s a god.” Joy said. “Why would you leave a god powerless and make me hit him with my Jeep’s windshield?” She gets a confused look from Fandral. “Yes, I hit him with my car by accident!” Joy folds her arms, grunting.
“What’s a Jeep?” Fandral asks.
“It’s a transportation vehicle that we drive.” Joy said.
“I’m surprised the Bifrost chose you.” Fandral said, getting an odd look from Joy. “Loki can get his powers back when, believe it or not, he learns love.”
“. . . Seriously?” Joy asks, scooting back to the table.
“And he’s banished from Asgard until then.” Fandral said. “If you want to help, and I quote Odin, ‘This confused young man’ then set him up on a dating . . .”
“Website?” Joy finishes for him.
“Not exactly.” Fandral said. “But I’ll go with it.”
Joy smiles while rubbing her hands together.
“Can I make his profile a bad-boy?” Joy asks.
Fandral’s eyes grow big, and he gets up from the chair.
“This is not my department.” Fandral said, backing away from the chair.
“Ladies is in your department.” Joy said, pointing her finger at him. “You said so, ‘I’m the god of Ladies’. Help a lady decide whether or not to make a man’s profile a bad boy style.”
Fandral shook his hands like ‘no,no,no, don’t ask me’ reaction.
“It’s up to you.” Fandral said, putting down his hands. “Heimdall, take me to Asgard."
The next minute Fandral was gone; just like the two men in the cloud from her dream. Joy rubs her eyes, then blinks, and pinches herself. First time around it happened was like ‘oh, just a dream’ kind of thing. But now it had become an ‘it is real’ event to Joy. Joy taps on her chin thinking numerous ways she could make Loki’s profile scream ‘bad boy’.
The door opened and in came the Detective.
“Got it done?” The Detective asks, holding a pepsi can.
An ‘I got an idea’ smile appears on Joy’s face as she looks up.
“Bingo.” Joy said.