It wasn’t the first time I’d faced a problem I couldn’t help. I supposed I needed to get used to it.
The fire in me wanted to get out and burn something, but I kept myself under control.
Instead? I was trying to work out how to contact Eir. We had a shoot Saturday morning. Monica looked a little pale until she got her face finished, but otherwise you would never have known anything was wrong.
I hoped I could do something for her. If not, then I was going to do everything I could to take her mind off of it. An odd feeling flowed through me at the thought.
That there… We were done by lunchtime, and as I left, I was met by a stranger – or not a stranger. I recognized her even though I didn’t know her. Skuld. “You want empanadas, right?”
She grinned. “Forewarned, I see.”
“I made sure to find just the place. But yes, Thea warned me.” There were too many people listening for real names.
I set off, and she fell in next to me. I wanted immediately to ask her about Monica. “I…”
“Empanadas first,” she insisted. I led her to the hole in a wall I’d picked out. We found a table in the corner.
I focused on being well, not noticeable. And tried to extend it to her.
She smiled. “You’ve been practicing that.”
“It’s rather useful.” We ordered empanadas…she remained insistent.
And only when she’d eaten half of them did she ask. “So…”
She nodded. “And the first thing you ask is for somebody else. A mortal. Who doesn’t even follow you.”
“She’s my friend.” My tone became defensive. I felt judged.
“Her fate is not quite written, but if you interfere, you’re more likely to make it worse. You need to let her make her own decisions.”
“Don’t worry. She’s an adult. I was hoping Eir would help her, at least a little.”
“Perhaps. But it’s not her I came here to talk about.”
“The prophecy.” I let the words fall flat, as if they were a physical object lying on the table between us. “I either cause it or stop it.”
Skuld smiled. “In a way. If I told you more, it might…” One shoulder lifted. “It would make it harder for you to get it right, not easier.”
“Fair enough. But you came here to tell me something.”
She nodded. “Or maybe I just came for the empanadas. I came to tell you you’re on the right track so far.”
Which from a Norn meant something. She knew more than Odin did about the future. “Thanks. That means a lot.”
“And to give you a tip.” She leaned over. “That demon problem of yours?”
“Oh man. I’ll take any ideas on how to get rid of him.”
“Ask a rabbi.” And she grinned.
Of course, she didn’t provide any more useful information.