Hermods Ride to Hel


Her voice is like the cawing of crows breaking through the wailing of mourning women. The anger boils over, constantly, into rages against all she sees. Her enemy is her fortune and her sex, she cannot be who she isn’t, and who she is is pathetic. A sorry sort of human far past the years of glory and knowing as much. A believer, a fighter, a follower, yet none of that comes close to what she wants, for that is the impossible. Utopia. Perfection. The opposite of every movement of her fingers and the vibration of her throat.

I stand it because it benefits my wallet. I “go with the flow”, as my father advised. The winds of her words and her commands, folly as they may be, pull me west when she requires east. South, when north. She wants arrows, but demands steel swords. Nothing works, nothing ever works, and its never her fault. Never.

This is a woman lost. Forgotten. Her name mud and ash, yet pride goeth beyond all reason. She works with me, and I am a peasant in the industry. I am not of the clan that exiled her. I have never, nor ever want to, work with that lot. The Beggar Queen, to paraphrase the books I’m reading now. The Cart Royal. Her feet fail her. Her face fades and fades. Her children, wounded, both overt and below the skin to the essences of their lives. One broken, the other smothered with regret of the first. The psychology would make a great paper.

I raised my words with her. I took her on. I had no more patience. I had no more reason. I was a day’s ride past the walls and the comfort of civilized debate. She barked, I growled. She equipped worn teeth, I moved not an inch. The fight was hopeless, to be forgotten with a smile and a false motherly tone so the work could go on, but it needed to be done. Weeks of contact, proximity and talk, I had taken my last glancing blow and return with controlled fury.

The waters are calm now, the river under the banks, but I know she won’t forget. I won’t yield to the ways of the sore female’s feelings, nor her politics, nor her wisps of perceived intelligence or pragmatism. She ranks above me, but I am the skilled one. I am the back her litter rests upon, and I can, and have, tipped it at will, when the fat pride rolls off and graces me with touch. My honor and my pride in my job do not take kindly to the ribbon whips of a lost cause.


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