Don’t worry. Everything will be fine. It always is, right?
Everyone’s heard the line from family, friends, maybe a girlfriend or boyfriend, maybe even a teacher. Anyone remotely close.
Over fifty times, I think, for me. I lost count some time ago. I was only reminded by the crimson marks deep in the crystal of my necklace–a six pronged star glowing with life. The source, a gift from the first woman I loved, the first victim of…all this.
I was there when her soul left her body. It dived into my chest. Because she was killed in cold blood, without mercy or thought. She was perfect angel taken by demons, taken by the enemies I’d imprisoned, or thought I had imprisoned.
I stretched my back against a girder. My shoes lit up with pinks and purples, and the backpack hummed to azure life.
I awoke from my daydream. There was some slight crumbling in the background noise. Tiny movement vibrated through the ground and walls. I carefully set the necklace against my skin. It melted into my flesh, connected to what was left of my heart. A tiny glow of blood beat below my muscles and spread like ink across every vein. I ripped and discarded my haggard jacket. My undershirt burned off my blackened skin while the muscle strands cemented together. Rivers of crimson shoved its way through my coal skin. As my arms pulsed and crumbled, refined into two diamond arms, capable of full movement despite the crystal structure. They were unbreakable. They were art.
“We can smell your mead-blood.”
Their dark voices vibrated the air. Made it difficult to breathe. Sulfur, molten rock, gold–they’d transcended humanity. The last seven surviving members of this cursed Norse family. Everyone knew them as gods. I only saw arrogance. Some knew them as beasts. I found them as monsters.
My crystal crusted heart beat with the same frequency once given by my wife. It wasn’t them who murdered her. But that didn’t mean they got to live.
“And I can smell yours, Odin.” I said, making sure it sounded as spiteful as possible.
The structure shuddered again.
All in seconds, my eyes blinked into matching diamond, and the girders warped.
“You will not live,” the voices yelled. Six other brethren spat in the background, closer to Greek sirens then Norse trolls.
They were simple minded, the Norse. Old shadows. Primal. Strategic but easily manipulated.
Pillars erupted, giant hands made of the same material, honed in on my biological signature.
So simple. All seven surrounded and swarmed me. I took a few steps back to redirect their childish magic.
The first mistake they made was challenging me out in the open.
The second was allowing me to slide down the side of the building.
The third mistake–
I tapped my fingertips against the fiberglass windows. Time slowed. I uttered my backwards spells. My arms flashed a blinding light. Every piece of glass kicked up by my skates shredded into the fake deities. The people in one realm hurried away from the deadly pieces. Odin in the Glass Realm stood no chance.
I commanded this realm.
Time moved at a twelfth its normal speed. My abilities receded so I could look normal again. Animal screams echoed along the glass, until it peeled away, and I was integrated into the crowd.
Time reversed any damage. The once ancient family disappeared into the air streams.
Panic ceased, and no one suspected anything out of place.
One down. Thirty-two to go.