It was an even colder day for the funeral. I even thought I glimpsed Skadi. Thruor showed up, clad in black and hiding her face.
She didn’t approach me. What did we have to say to each other? I couldn’t apologize, because that would imply I could have done something.
I had tried. I had tried, and had they been after me, it would have been well. But no, they had set out to kill him. Our weak link.
Kanesha would be next.
Monica, also clad in black, her head covered in a black wig. No. She would be next. I could see it, could feel and sense how the cancer was eating away at her. There was a raven on her shoulder.
She was already half in the spirit world. Mike…
He hadn’t been a father to me, no. He’d been an older brother. He…and he wasn’t really gone. I knew that.
That was the world I lived in. But this also wasn’t something that could be undone. We couldn’t put Mike back the way he was.
He was cremated. Not quite a viking funeral. As close as we could get. And once it was over then, only then, did Thruor lift a black gloved hand to signal us over.
I stumbled on my heels, wishing I hadn’t worn them. Wishing I hadn’t had this occasion to wear them.
Kanesha was three steps behind me. “Come. There’s something else I have in mind,” Thruor said.
“Is his soul safe?”
A slight smile. “Of course. You think I would let it not be?”
She was a Valkyrie. She could have that power. She took him to Valhalla. Or maybe she had given him some choice.
We would meet again. That sudden knowledge flowed into me. We would meet again, perhaps not soon, but we would. It was going to be alright. I took Kanesha’s hand. “Alright.”
I had no idea what she had in mind, but part of me hoped it would involve underage drinking. We could all use it.
We could all use a celebration of life and death. Monica. The two of us. Loki…yes, he was there. Looking almost apologetic.
Perhaps he was wishing he hadn’t left.
But we turned away from the chapel and walked out into the bright winter day to properly mourn…and love…our friend.