Friday, September 3, 2010

Beware of Greeks Wearing Versace

Recap: Thoki & Lor have been journeying across the Mediterranean towards Egypt. Thoki's wants to learn more about the Source of Ultimate Chaos and use it to rule the world. Lor wants to learn "where the bread goes" when he makes toast. 

Young Thoki entered the dark cave. He’d never been here before, his mother had wished to spare him the pain until he’d been prepared. What pain? Thoki and his father had never been close. Even now as he descended into Loki’s prison, Thoki was urged on by curiosity not compassion. He would hold the bowl. He’d promised his mother that, and he would do his best to keep the poison from falling on his father’s face. Still if his hand should slip or during those moments when he had to empty the bowl, it’d be interesting to see his father writhe in pain.

His feet grew heavier as he approached the interior chamber and he hesitated. Odin had told him not to go, that it could lead to disaster, but he had to go, to see. Most of all, Thoki wanted to know that his father was finally in a place where he couldn’t hurt him anymore.

Thoki heard laboured breathing and rounded the last turn of the narrow passageway. There he was. Thoki remembered his father being handsome. Like all the Aesir, Loki had been the epitome of his sex and forever young. Now he looked gaunt and withered, his mouth still scarred from where leather thongs had once bound his mouth shut. His fiery red hair was streaked with grey and lines framed his boyish face. As always his eyes were black coals, twinkling with disarming energy. It was impossible to hate Loki, not when he went out of his way to make himself appealing. It was the trickster’s mark. It had never worked on Thoki, however, since Loki had never cared whether the boy’d liked him or not… until today.

            Loki lifted his heavy head, and smiled charmingly at his youngest son through his marred lips.
            “Hey, sport. How’s it going?”


“You’ve got everything you need?”
“Yes, Thoki,” answered Lor.
“You’ll remember to eat three times a day?” Thoki asked the lumbering giant.
“Yes, Thoki.”
“And not just junkfood, okay?”
“Yes Thoki.”
“I’ve done your laundry for you. Your Thomas the Tank Engine shirt is on top. I know that’s you’re favorite.”
“Yes. Thank you, Thoki.”

Thoki shouldered his backpack, full of his few possessions and prepared to leave.
“Look, I’m really sorry about this. It’s nothing personal, you understand.”
“I understand.”
“It’s just I think we need to go our separate ways.”
“Yes, Thoki.” Lor only nodded with no expression on his hammy face.

It made Thoki’s stomach feel even more squeezed by guilt. He tried to swallow it and walk away.
“You know I’m not coming back, right,” he prompted.
“I know,” answered Lor.
Thoki grimaced and walked out the door to the youth hostile. Lor, seated on the flat bug-infested bed said nothing. There was no need. Thoki always came back.

Thoki felt like scum as he walked down the streets of Bastia. After a grueling month or two adrift at sea (he’d lost count of the days) he and Lor had run aground on the island of Corsica. It had come as a relief somewhat, since Jormungandr had been singing show-tunes at them the entire time. After a day the serpent had run out of songs and started repeating them. Thoki reflected that if he ever heard “One Day More,” one day more he’d have to suppress the urge to make a pipe bomb.

It was colder these days, and Thoki wrapped his zip hoodie tightly around himself as he walked without direction. He just had to get away. He had been getting closer to Lor, and that was dangerous, so he left. Oh, sure, he’d left about eight times already and always ran back when the loneliness became so depressing he’d thought he would die. But this time was different. He was leaving for good this time. Friends were a liability. They made you vulnerable–made you weak.

He found that his feet were taking him to very swanky part of town. The shop windows were full of handbags, and shoes, and silk shirts, and absolutely no price tags. Tanned women and men were strutting down the sidewalks in designer clothes and sunglasses. Thoki suddenly felt shabby and inadequate… and very pale. He wondered what he was doing here, why had he felt compelled to wander into this district? And then he saw the reason.

A bronze-skinned young man in a floral silk shirt and scarf was seated at a wrought iron café table. His dark brown hair was expertly styled, his white pants dazzlingly clean and immaculate. Thoki sniffed at the leather purse dangling on the back of the man’s chair. He’d heard of a “manbag,” but had never seen one before. Then again, he’d never seen a man in lilac silk before either.

The man had a carefully calculated air of casual elegance. He was sipping a cappuccino and admiring the beautiful women that clipped past (Thoki amended that–beautiful women and men that clipped past). While he leered, the man absently fingered the gorgeous silk scarf around his neck.

“Hermes?” inquired Thoki approaching him.
“Yes it is, but it’s pronounced, ER-MAY,” said the man, before looking up. (Thoki thought the word, ‘queer’ instead of ‘man.’ Vikings were not typically raised to be open-minded.)
“Oh you mean me,” said the man with a polite smile.
“Yeah, you’re the guy with the wings on his ankles. Hermes, right?” asked Thoki ducking under the café awning.
“I’m wearing Manolos today. Hello, Thoki, I’ve been waiting for you.”
“Me?” cried Thoki, taken aback. He didn’t think Hermes knew he existed. “What do you mean waiting.”
“We all have been,” said Hermes. “Take a seat, will you?”
“We?” Thoki eyed the seat warily, like it might have poison spikes on it, and eventually decided to sit. He tried not to think about how it might appear to other people to see two men, one in pink, seated at a café table.
“Antonio, please bring my friend a coffee and a selection of pastries,” said Hermes to one of the waiters.
“Yes, Signor Fattorino,” replied the waiter before scurrying off.
“Fattorino? Messanger boy?” translated Thoki, when Antonio had left. “Cute. Real cute.”
“Less is more,” replied Hermes with a shrug. “But let’s talk about you.”
Thoki tried not to look uncomfortable as the god’s dark eyes swept over him with unmasked interest. Hermes, another trickster, was turning on the charm. “The source of ultimate chaos, was it, Thoki?”

Thoki blanched whiter than his Nordic pallor. “How did you know that?”
“I know it. I know more than you think about it, perhaps. The Greek and Egyptian pantheon were united briefly, if you recall.”
“It was after my time,” said Thoki, who wasn’t sure.
“I even know the name of what you’re looking for,” continued Hermes.
“You do? What is it?” said Thoki leaning in.

For the first time since their meeting, Hermes looked uncomfortable. He shifted in his iron chair and glanced towards the street. “I don’t have permission to tell you, but… it’s not what you think it is. This Chaos you’re after, it’s nothing any of us can master or contain. You’re a fool to think you could harness it.”

Thoki bristled at this effeminate nancy-boy trying to tell him off. “Oh really?” he said with a sneer.
“It’s not going to bring him back,” said Hermes gently. “I know you’re doing this to please your father but–”
“EXCUSE ME?” cried Thoki sitting up, abruptly. “Where do you get off? I’m not doing JACK to please my dad. Not all of us are happy with our deadbeat fathers, Hermes. Here in the loosey-goosey Adriatic, you might enjoy being a little bastard, but in Norway, father-son relationships are a bit more complicated.”
“We’re in the Tyrrhenian Sea, dolt,” said Hermes acidly.
“Whatever. Just don’t mess with me, douche-bag. I have my own reasons for doing this.”
“Well, if I can’t convince you… maybe you’d be willing to come with me. I know someone who can tell you all about the Source of Ultimate Chaos.”
“No,” said Thoki.
"You don't trust me?"
“Well at least wait until after breakfast,” said Hermes indicating the plate of éclairs and the steaming hot coffee that had just arrived.

Thoki tried to ignore the heavenly scent that was wafting from the coffee and food. He hadn’t eaten a decent meal in over a year, and he hadn’t eaten solid food for about 2 months. His stubborn pride vanished utterly as he grabbed the cappuccino from its saucer and took a deep drink. It was bitter and very strong, but filled him with gorgeous warmth and caffeine. He then bit into the éclair, and saw stars. He never realized that food could taste like this.

Overcome with fatigue, remorse and emotion, Thoki burst into tears and cried face-down onto the table. Hermes almost regretted clubbing Thoki over the head with a blackjack.


Back at the hostel, Lor hadn’t moved. He was still waiting for Thoki.

Thoki and Hermes

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

4. "DA-DUN"

First published, August 19, 2010

“I think I see it again.”
“Oh, crap, you’re right. Paddle faster!”

Thoki and Lor were on the western side the Atlantic Ocean heading roughly east towards the Mediterranean. Standard forms of travel had been out of the question. Between the two of them, they had managed to save up only $128.34 from various odd jobs and petty thievery. That wasn’t enough to get a plane ticket for Thoki, let alone Lor who would have needed to purchase an extra seat to accommodate his backside. Plus he would have had to hunch the entire way to keep from banging his head on the overhead compartment. 

Thus stymied, they had tried to stow-away aboard a cruise ship. This plan had worked for all of twenty minutes. Thoki was still nursing some bruises from when they were arrested and put ashore in Florida. Stupid Disney. Down to their last Benjamin, Thoki attempted to be resourceful. He waltzed into a beach-shop and began to purchase/shoplift supplies. 

Now he was 40 miles out to sea, with his cohort, in a crude raft made of inflatable alligator pool-toys held together with duct tape. Three inflatable beer-coolers swam beneath them, acting as ballast. They were filled with containers of Ensure, Red Bull and Dasani, which were their only concessions to hydration and nutrition. The Red Bull was for Lor, who was currently acting as the outboard motor. He was wearing a large innertube around his waist, and orange water-wings, as his massive legs thrashed the water, keeping up the steady “kick, kick, kick,” they’d been doing all morning. Lor never got tired, he didn’t have enough imagination to get tired. 

Right now, however, he was kicking more frantically as Thoki called out to him.
“Starboard, kick starboard!”
“Is that left or right?” asked Lor.
“It’s that way,” said Thoki, pointing.
“So left?”
“No, that’s… wait. Does it matter which way I’m facing?”
“I think it depends on which way the boat is facing,” said Lor in one of his rare moments of lucidity.
“Oh… so port, then?”
“No thanks, I don’t drink.”
“Too late! Here it comes again!” cried Thoki in a panicked voice. He pulled on the tether holding Lor to the craft, and tried to pull him aboard. After a few close calls and near-capsizes, the giant managed to clamber onto the squeaking wet alligator toys.

The two stared in growing anxiety, huddled beneath a pile of stolen beach towels, as a large dark shape came closer to the boat.
“It might just be a whale,” said Thoki in a whisper.
“Or not,” he added mournfully.
“I’m scared,” said Lor quietly.
“Just don’t make any sudden moves,” said Thoki. “Keep quiet and don’t touch the water.”
"Okie-dokie, Thoki."
“It’s getting closer,” whimpered the giant, trying pathetically to make himself smaller.
The water began to boil and churn as the dark shape got closer and closer. Thoki and Lor, held each other tightly as scales and fins began to flash beneath the surface.
The ocean rose suddenly in a column of green water that erupted from the waves. A terrifying creature rose sixty feet in the air and came down again in a horrible splash. It was a sea serpent that seemed too big to be possible. The undulating coils were larger and longer than a freight train as jaws, the size of a drawbridge, snapped at them. 

“BADA-BUN!” sang the snake-head joyfully. Its breath tore at the two sailors, smelling of death and chocolate milk. In confirmation, a few empty Ensure cans floated to the surface.

“JORM! KNOCK IT OFF!” screamed Thoki.
“Aw, don’t have a hissy-fit, wiener. I was just funnin’ yah,” said Jormungandr, the world serpent. 
“And stop eating our food supply!” Thoki snapped again at his half-brother.

Jormungandr was in his traditionally ‘mythic’ form this time, that of a gigantic cretaceous clidastes. He didn’t exactly run the length of the world–the Ancient Norsemen did like to exaggerate– but he could circle around Australia at least. The giant sea-serpent was supposedly so hideous that no mortal could look on it without going insane, but Thoki was used to it by now and tried to stare down the mad rolling yellow eyes. 

“And do you have to sing the theme to ‘Jaws’ every time? It’s getting old.”
“I could sing the theme to the Poseidon Adventure. There’s got to be a morning afterrrr, If we can hold on through the niiiiiiiii–!
“Aw, you got such a stick up your ass.”
“Can you sing something from an ocean-themed movie where nobody dies?
“Alright. Have it your way,” said Jormungand with a poisonous grin. “Under da Seeea! Under da Seeeaaa!...
“Is he going to do this all the way to Egypt?” asked Lor meekly.
“Or until he gets bored and tries to eat us,” said Thoki.
“I prefer the singing.”
“Me too, actually– he’s not that bad.”
Up on de shore, dey work all day…” sang the serpent.
“This is going to be a long freaking trip though,” sighed Thoki.
“Who wants to hear me sing the theme to Spongebob?” cried Jorm turning happily in spirals.
“Ooh! Ooh! Me!" said Lor, raising his hand.
"I can't heeeere yooou!"
"Aye-aye, Captain!"

Drama queen,” Thoki muttered.

3. Land of the Vikings

First Published August 5, 2010
“Say it!” said Fenrir.
“NO!” cried nine-year-old Thoki.
“Say it, or I’ll drop you!”
“Alright! I’m a weenie!”
“What kind of weenie?” said Jormungandr in Thoki’s ear.
“I’m a sissy weenie who plays with dolls!” cried Thoki, tears streaming down his face.
“And you eat your own boogers! Say that!” added Fenrir
“I don’t––“
“Say it, or Earth gets a new hole to Niflheim!” snapped Jormungandr.
“Nah, changed my mind,” said Fenrir.

Thoki awoke in a cold sweat. He hated those dreams about his childhood. In them were the memories of countless wedgies, swirlies and pink-bellies doled out by his two half-brothers. This time, Thoki remembered when Fenrir had dangled him (by his underpants) over the Bifrost Bridge. Thoki had seen Earth with crystal clarity sparkling thousands of miles below. And while Earth hadn’t gained a new crater, it did receive a brief shower of slightly warm rain. 

It took Thoki a few minutes to convince himself he was no longer nine years old, then he picked himself off the ground and brushed the pine needles from his arm. They’d been camping in the forest for the last few weeks. He got up, stretched, and poked his traveling buddy, Lor, with a pointed stick. 

“Hey. Wake up.”
Lor blinked and sat up at his usual glacial speed. “Time to make the donuts?” he mumbled, still half asleep.
“I wish,” sighed Thoki. They’d been eating suspicious plants for nineteen days now. “Any clue where we are now? What’s the name of this Fjord?” said Thoki, pointing to the water lapping at the shore.
“It’s not a Fjord. It’s a lake.”
“It’s a big wet thing! Same difference!” snapped Thoki.
“Well technically, a Fjord is a long, narrow arm of the sea bordered by steep cliffs usually formed by glacial erosion; while a lake is a body of fresh or salt water of considerable size, surrounded by land.”

Thoki just stared. Usually he would have argued with Lor, but when it came to “jography” he didn’t question Lor. The wooly-headed giant had trouble reading most 3-letter words, but when it came to reading maps, the behemoth had a talent bordering on the supernatural. Lor being clever unsettled Thoki. It was as if a sheep had suddenly donned a tie and begun offering financial advice.

“This is Lake Superior,” yawned Lor.
“Does that mean we’re in Minnesota?” cried Thoki in excitement.
“Yes. We crossed over from Wisconsin last night. I think we’re near Duluth.”
“HOT DOG!” Thoki’s petite figure broke into an impromptu jig. He stopped as the butterflies rose up in his throat. “Well, I suppose I better call him,” he said with less excitement.
“What can I do?” asked Lor amiably.
Thoki sighed. “I dunno. Go play.”
“Kay,” said Lor, back to his monosyllabic self. He lumbered over to a cluster of cattails.
“Alright… here we go,” said Thoki, psyching himself up. 

He pulled a reel of cofilament, thermal-fused fishing line from his pocket. Only one guy in the world had been stupid enough to fish for Jormungandr, and he’d used an Ox-head for bait. Thoki, who knew his half-brother a bit better than mighty Thor, wrapped the sturdy fishing line around a six-pack of Miller Lite. Using a log as a float, he cast it onto the lake’s surface. Hel said he’d need to fish for Jormungand, “At the great fjord near the home of the Vikings.” Thoki deduced that the only place left on Earth with Vikings, was Minnesota.

Two hours ticked past with no change. Thoki was now nursing a sunburn on his neck and he looked longingly at the chilled beer floating on the lake’s surface. 
“Lor? How you doin’ there buddy?” asked Thoki. Lor was being very quiet, usually a sign that he was doing something Thoki wouldn’t like. That or he was confused by life again.
“Whatcha doin?”
“We were planting seeds in the ground so they could grow into ducks.”
“What kind of seeds?” asked Thoki, glad Lor was being stupid again.
“Duckweed seeds.” 
“Makes sense… Wait. We?” asked Thoki, looking at his partner for the first time.
“Me and Mr. Onion.”
“Mister…Onion…” said Thoki slowly, craning his neck to see what was in Lor’s hands. It was a rock. Thoki shrugged. “Alright. Have fun, you two.” 

Thoki turned his head, to watch his bobber and screamed. A large, muscular chest was blocking his view. It was clothed in a black T-shirt sporting the legend, “Han Shot First.” Thoki tried to back up and lost his footing. Sitting on the ground, hard, he stared up into the face of Jormungandr, who was busy downing the contents of one of the beer-cans. He belched politely and threw it over his shoulder.

“Hey, wiener,” said Thoki's brother. He was in a human form, but there was a definite serpent quality to him from the blue-veined skin, to his hair the color of parsley. His eyes were the greatest giveaway–yellow, with slit pupils, and a transparent ocular cap which twitched as he regarded his younger brother and opened another can.

Miller Lite? You gotta be kiddin,” he said with disgust.
“It’s all I could afford,” said Thoki. He’d spent his last tenner on it too.
“How touching. What do you want?” 
“You wrap around the world right? You see everything.”
“Everything connected to water, but I concede your point. Continue.”
“I’m looking for something. Something I’ve only read in passing, but I need more information.”
“Jeezus, try the internet, dumbass. Do I look like Wikipedia?” said Jormungandr turning towards the water. 
“Wait!! Jorm! Do you know anything about a source of ultimate chaos?” cried Thoki frantically.

The snake-man paused. His diamond-shaped face looked at Thoki again. There was a strange smile playing on his thin lips.
“Now why would you want to know about that?” he asked.
“Tell me,” said Thoki, drawing himself up.
The ocular cap flicked up again. “Egypt. It’s in Egypt.”
“Egypt! But how––?“
“Not my problem. Ask when you get there. But it’s in Egypt. Later, runt.”
And Jormungandr sank into Lake Superior without so much as a ripple.

2. Dwindled

originally published June 22, 2010

The last one. The very last one. 

“I am going to eat you, last donut,” said Thoki standing over the greasy box of Sara Lee. There was a post-it note that had lost its stick and was now attached to the wrinkled box with electrical tape. It read:
“Shanes’ Donuts. Do not F---ing touch!!!! 

Thoki rolled his eyes. Shane didn’t even have the cajones to write out the f-bomb, just an “F” and four dashes. Like THAT was going to stop him. He wolfed down the stale chocolate-coated delicacy and gave a muffled laugh. He whipped out his pen and corrected the apostrophe.

He then went about eating and drinking some of the other things in the fridge he had been forbidden to touch, scoffing mentally at the pathetic notes scrawled on each one.

“Please don’t eat my lunch. Then I’d be sad. ~Melanie”
“Aw, ain’t that a shame,” Thoki wrote, while shoveling half of Melanie’s chicken-salad sandwich into his mouth. He immediately spat it out into the breakroom sink. 
“RAISINS? Who puts Raisins in chicken salad? That’s just gross!” he re-wrapped in the other half and dropped the squished lump back into Melanie’s lunch bag.

“Did you buy this soda? I don’t THINK so,” 
...said a note taped to David’s 6-pack of Mountain Dew. Thoki shotgunned a can and wrote, “thanks for treating us,” on Dave’s note with his pen, sniggering all the while. 

Jodi’s box of cheeseburger Hot Pockets had a badly-printed picture of a lolcat propped against it. A paper speech-bubble had been taped to the picture that said: 

Thoki had to stifle his laughter as he seized 2 pockets (eating them frozen) and writing “NO CAN HAZ” on the bubble in red pen.

He walked from the marketing department’s breakroom towards the cramped and musty engineering department. He felt a bloated sense of importance from outwitting the 6-figure earners. The engineers didn’t get a breakroom, despite the fact that the technology company basically relied on the bevy of dorks to survive. No, the stupid MFA morons in marketing, who spent all day at “focus groups,” got to have a fridge and a microwave. The engineers only got a coffee-maker that sat on a broken office chair and was plugged into the outlet in front of the ladies’ bathroom.

Feeling full, and a little sleepy, Thoki strolled back to his cubicle to look at the screensaver on his monitor. He had chosen it himself. It was a hi-res photograph of a glacial fjord in Scandinavia. Animation made it look like snow was falling over the landscape and that the sluggish freezing water was lapping quietly at the banks. Thoki imagined he could hear the hiss of snow hitting the water’s surface and the lulling whisper of moving water. He had been to that embankment once. It was the Skjomen fjord in Narvik, and it was the first place he had seen upon his escape to Earth.

Hel had swung that for him. She’d always had a soft spot for her half-brother, despite the fact she always called Thoki a “weenie.” She was the closest thing Thoki’d had to a childhood friend, but you had to stay on her good side. It took a lot of begging and manipulating to convince Hel to let him out of Niflheim. The “Land of Shadows” certainly didn’t have a revolving door, and actually getting out, once Hel had given him permission, had taken nearly 2,000 years. 

“You need to get out,” she eventually agreed. “You don’t belong here. The underworld is for people who once lived. You’ve never lived a day in your life, Thoki.”
“Thank you,” he’d said quietly as they walked by Nastrond, the shore of corpses.
“It’s not going to be easy,” she warned.
“I know. That looks like one mother of a climb.” Thoki stared up at the twisting labyrinth of roots that made up Ygdrassil, they seemed to go up forever, larger than any ocean, more vast than any night sky, tessellating upwards into infinity. That was the route ahead of him if he was going to get to Midgard: Earth.

“No, I mean it’s going to be very different than it is here. The plus side is that you won’t be DEAD anymore, but you’ll only be an Aesir in name. You can never truly be a god or a mortal.”
“Anything’s better than being in this hell. No offense,” he added quickly.
Hel only shrugged. Being an agent of death she wasn’t partial. To her, everything was equal, but she loved her down-trodden little brother. She reasoned that he was due a little partiality.

Of course, once he was outside he wondered what the big flipping deal was. He’d gotten out of Norway and went to the United States. (He’d watched a lot of television his first week of being a mortal, and that’s where everything seemed to happen). He and Lor had pooled their limted resources and made it to D.C. where they lived in a suburb of Virginia, or rather, UNDER it. They squatted in sewers for shelter; stayed in Libraries researching the world; and stole food from the breakroom fridges where they worked. No one suspected they were an Aesir and Jotun. The old gods had been forgotten, it seemed.

There did seem to be an awful buzz about “Thor coming out,” which had given Thoki some anxiety, until he realized it was a movie. His kind was unknown and unspoken of in this world of electronics and media. He considered it a blessing, for it made his life easier if no one knew what he really was; except for a pocket of weirdoes who believed in the healing power of crystals and smoked all manner of plant life.

Still, this was not the freedom he had envisioned as he stood on the Icy shores of Narvik. To him, the mortal coil was just another hell. He was a prisoner in a 5x5 cubicle, sentenced to another type of oblivion. Hel was right. He had never lived, and at this rate he was never going to. There was only one way to change his lot. 

To escape prison, he had to become the warden.

He grinned at the thought. He had stumbled across the answer in the smallest paragraph of a dusty tome in the reference section. “The source of all chaos.” A shiver had gone up his spine when he’d read that. He knew. He was certain that was the way to improve his lot. He just had to keep at this mind-numbing job a little longer. He had to endure the boot until he’d done his research and scraped up enough cash to go find the Chaos Source. 

The computer screensaver flicked off as an incoming memo flashed on the monitor: 

When he clocked out, Thoki was in a chipper mood. He’d screwed up a lot of things today, but there was nothing for it but to move ahead and keep going. He felt a small sense of triumphs amid the setbacks. He met his friend, Lor, in the Library.

He was in the children’s section reading “Bread and Jam for Francis.” Lor was struggling with reading it; “Francis” being a level 3 reader book. The Jotun was currently at level 2 on his own. Thoki whipped a copy of “One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish” from the shelves and handed it to his afflicted pal.

“This one’s a little easier,” he said to the seven-foot man curled up on a bean-bag chair.
“Thanks, Thoki. How was work today?’
“Ah, I think I need to find a new job,” said Thoki a little wistfully. 
“Oh dear.”
“But at least I get to sleep in tomorrow.”
“Look on the bright side,” said Lor with a slow nod. “What happened?”
Thoki only shrugged.
“Are we still on the H section?” asked Lor. Thoki regarded him and felt a sudden surge of camaraderie for the oaf. He was the last Jotun, just as Thoki was the last Aesir. They were two singulars in a world of plurals.
“Yep, c’mon,” said Thoki, leading him to the reference section after a brotherly punch on the arm. “I sent my sister a present today,” he added, rubbing his bruised knuckles.
“Oh, that’s nice.”

When the police concluded the death of EVERY Marketing Employee for INDTInc was from boric acid poisoning, there were very few clues. When checking the employee records, no one seemed to remember a disgruntled engineer named Thoki Lokisson.