Before you lies my first attempt at writing fiction. This particular story is part of a larger series of stories that I wanted to write, the plot and premise of which I won’t spoil here. This is just a first draft, and I will probably rewrite it at some point. I wasn’t going to post this up at first because I felt really cheesy writing it, but despite the cheese, I am making it available for all to read. Anyway, enjoy!
He wasn’t really sure why the other children decided to name him “Oldie.” The name didn’t offend him or anything like that, but its origin was certainly an object of his curiosity. It was an endearing title, certainly, but the name’s lack of spite or jest perhaps only made him more curious. What was perhaps slightly more odd was the other children’s inability to explain the name: whenever he inquired as to its meaning, he would receive the rather unhelpful reply of “I don’t know. You’re just so old!”
This afternoon found him, as was his usual after school habit, deep in thought as he lay across his bed, staring at the ceiling. The languid sunlight poured through the window, putting him in a rather pleasantly introspective mood; he began to think about the name that had been given to him. “Oldie, huh?” What was it about him that apparently made “Oldie” such an apt title? Was it that he hobbled like an old man? He got on his feet and paced across his bedroom, carefully examining his footsteps; he didn’t notice anything peculiar, except maybe that he planted his feet a little too roughly. He shrugged and continued to pace, as if in serious thought. Perhaps he had a penchant for telling long, boring stories? He thought back on the last time he had told a story only to realize that he didn’t really tell stories.
He stopped pacing for a moment to look out through the open window. He could hear shouts coming from down the block: the neighborhood kids were playing a game somewhere just out of sight. There was an occasional resonating “poit,” followed by bouts of excited yelling; they were probably playing kickball. He lingered in front of the window, suddenly filled by an urge to join them. He lingered perhaps a bit too long, for he quickly found the urge passing and his feet pacing yet again, his mind preoccupied with the mystery of his nickname.
He plopped back down onto his bed, letting his feet dangle off the side as he lay on his back, staring at the ceiling. Maybe they called him “Oldie” because he behaved like an old man, always thinking and looking off into the distance. Perhaps he did think too much. Perhaps he did too little. Perhaps he really was an old man pretending to be a young boy. He stretched; his thoughts were making him uncomfortable.
This position was all too familiar. How long had he spent lying on his back, staring off as his mind wandered through thoughts both mundane and fantastic? How long had he spent doing nothing but exploring his own mind, peering out at the world only through his bedroom window? Too long, perhaps.
But what was so wrong with thinking? He turned his head to the side, watching the dust particles dance in the fading light. He smiled: there was something curious about the way the little specks floated about. Wasn’t his thinking the thing that made such an ordinary scene so magical? Didn’t anyone else see the majesty of the world before them? If they saw it, wouldn’t they be just as consumed by it? Perhaps they didn’t see anything at all. Perhaps they were so concerned with doing that they could never concern themselves with seeing. Such people didn’t deserve this world.
He wondered why he always felt so alone. Why did no one share his appreciation for the world? Why were people so concerned with their plans and ambitions? Why did people turn to evil? Why could people just not be content with their lot in the world? Why did people steal or rape or murder? Why couldn’t they all just stop and look? Had they no eyes? Had they no hearts? Had they no love?
He could feel his darkness rising.
He was starting to get frustrated, and he knew it. He distracted himself by lifting a book from his nightstand: a collection of myths. He had read the book from cover to cover on more than one occasion. There was something comforting about this particular book. It reminded him of when he used to stay up in the dead of night, reading wonderful stories about gods and goddesses, about heroes and monsters, about worlds he longed to visit. He would fall asleep while reading and dream of Midas’ golden daughter, of Odin pinned to Yggdrasil, of the cosmic egg giving birth to the universe. It was just all so fantastic.
He flipped through the pages, stopping to read the passages he most loved. And in the soothing light of the coming dusk, surrounded by the comfort of his imagination, he fell asleep.
A horn sounds in the distance: Heimdall calls the gods to battle. The earth shakes and splits, and soon all is engulfed in flame. Fenrir consumes Odin. Thor battles the Midgar serpent. Mortals and immortals alike perish in the chaos as two young children, hidden away from the flames and the flood, shudder at the distant roar of battle and destruction. But soon enough the thunderous clamor ceases and the earth itself lay still: the gods and their enemies have all but slain each other. The children emerge to an empty, yet beautiful land. Baldur has returned from the dead, and he and the surviving gods await, hands outstretched. The children reach forward.
He was suddenly awakened. The images of blood and fire were slowly replaced by the failing light of the setting sun, pouring in through the window as if in a final show of glory. The war cries and clash of metal on metal faded away, and soon he could hear the distant calls of mothers, beckoning their children inside for supper. It all slowly vanished, and soon he could barely remember what he was dreaming about. Yet something dark now haunted him from the back of his mind. In his heart there was fire, in his mind there was clarity, in his eyes there was a prophecy of the end.
But soon even this was gone, and he lay, somewhat confused, on his bed, wondering how long he had been asleep for. He rose and looked about, stretching his arms and yawning widely. He shook his head, casting out the final remnants of his dreams from his waking mind, and soon he found himself in a familiar reality. Yet something was different; an idea, dark and terrible had been awakened within him, hidden in the depths of his subconscious: visions of purity, designs of fire and blood, a dream of Ragnarock.