Episode Twenty-Seven: Dwarves: Scene 23

Of course, when I actually wanted something to fight and kill, things stayed quiet. What? I wanted to try out the new sword.

But there were no enemies around to stab or slash at, so I settled back into my routine. Well, no.

I settled back into getting ready for finals and graduation. Nothing was going to be routine for a while, and I knew I should be just as glad there was nothing causing trouble. Then again, it would be rather nice to blow off some steam.

Instead, I studied until my eyes crossed, then took a break and got some ice cream. It was finally ice cream weather – not that I would ever actually find it too cold, but people thought you were weird buying it in the middle of winter.

No, I didn’t have antifreeze for blood. Or maybe I did, thinking about it. It was black cherry vanilla swirl, and I sat at the edge of the Mall, watching people go by.

I thought of all the places I’d been, of visiting other realms, and decided I rather liked being right here. It couldn’t last, but it was just…nice…

…to pretend to be normal. But the sword reminded me that I wasn’t, even when I wasn’t holding it.

Maybe that was part of the point. Maybe it was time to really face up to the fact that I was not Jane Rudi, that she was a mask.

I was Siglaugr Lokisdottir, and nothing could change that, no force in the multiverse.

But I could still eat ice cream and pretend. Watch the people go past, wonder if any of them were amongst the few who were aware of reality. Admire the very nice sundress on one woman, expensive, well fitted.

She looked almost too wealthy to be out without bodyguards, I thought wryly. That or she was an escort.

I shook my head, and paid attention to others. Nobody in “range” had any kind of an aura, none of them had more than the little spark of mortal souls.

Vulnerable. Worth protecting. I thought of the dwarves in their mountain. Less vulnerable.

Still worth protecting. Finishing my ice cream I stood up and wandered towards the reflecting pool.

Which I still couldn’t look at without thinking about Thor pushing my father in. The only things in it right now were a couple of bored-looking Canada geese. Above them was a crow. Not a raven, just a regular crow.

It greeted me with a caw nonetheless, crows being quite smart enough to do such things. I waved to it.

Somebody laughed. “Waving to the crows?”

“The crow said hi, why not?” I turned. The voice had been vaguely familiar, and so was the face. But I couldn’t quite place him.

“Point. They do that. Where have I met you?”

“I’m trying to remember that myself.” Nothing unusual about him that I could sense. “Are you a model?”

“Oh! I think I photographed you.”

I grinned a bit, and relaxed. “You aren’t creepy, or I’d remember you, so…”

So, the mystery was solved.

“Do you want to…”

I cut him off. “Don’t change that. I’m taken.”

He laughed. “Alright. Can’t blame a guy for poking a little.”

I rather thought I could, but… He wasn’t even bad looking. “Depends on how you do it. You aren’t too bad.”

He hadn’t said anything else, after all, and he seemed willing to take no for an answer.

“We’ll probably meet again anyway.”

I nodded. “Oh, probably.” A work contact. It felt like a relief and a frustration at the same time. I still wanted, well, something.

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