Linda wakes, and as soon as she rolls over in bed, she is up running to the bathroom. She barely makes it before throwing up. After she finishes, she brushes her teeth, and returns to bed. Ludvik is up in the kitchen. He hears her and comes to investigate.
“Baby, what is wrong?”
Linda chokes out, “I think it’s that sushi I had last night.”
“I ate it too. I don’t think that is what’s wrong baby.”
Worried she may be getting sick, Ludvik walks over to the bed, and feel Linda’s head.
“No fever.” He tucks her back into bed. “You think you could eat some broth?”
Linda smiles, “I can try.” Noticing it is dark outside. “What time is it?”
“Three in the afternoon. You have slept most of the day.”
“I must be getting sick. I never sleep this much.”
Ludvik kisses her forehead, “I’ll be back with soup, you stay in bed.” Linda nods, and smiles, remembering how her mom use to take care of her this way when she was younger. Ludvik disappears from the room, leaving Linda to her memories.
A little while later, Ludvik reappears at the bedroom door, tray in hands. “How are you doing baby?”
“I feel somewhat better. I think I might be able to eat something.” Ludvik places the tray across her lap, right up against her lower stomach.
Linda noticed, a small bouquet of lovely fall flowers, resting on the tray in a pottery jug. A cup of what appeared to be chicken broth and a small glass tumbler with ginger ale and ice. Ludvik had even added a few saltine crackers to the tray.
Linda smiles, “You are sweet Ludvik.”
Suddenly Linda’s stomach shifts, or more accurately something in her stomach shifts pushing the tray over. Linda freaks out. “What in the hell was that?”
“I don’t know baby, but I’m sure it’s nothing to worry about.” Ludvik’s hand touched Linda’s calming her magically. “I think I am going to give Troy a call.”
Linda nods. She, picks a saltine from her bed and begins to nibble on it. “You do that.”
An hour later, Troy arrives and examines Linda. He feels her lower stomach and there is a small round bump. He pulls out his stethoscope and tries listening. Suddenly he hears what it is. A heartbeat, strong and steady. He smiles and says “Congrats Linda, you’re pregnant. I’m thinking you must be in at least your second trimester.”
Linda looks at Ludvik, “That’s not possible, right?”
Troy says, “Let me run to work. I’ll pick up the portable ultrasound machine and be back here in about twenty minutes.”
Linda doesn’t speak. Ludvik says “Okay.” He walks Troy to the door.
Ludvik is back in the room with Linda. He is pacing the floor. Suddenly he exclaims, “Linda, there is really something I need to tell you.”
Linda’s eyes grow large as she worries the mugger had done more to her on that first night they had met.She blurts out “Just say it then.”
Ludvik bites his lip and brings his watch up. Taking his right hand he twists the dial to midnight on his watch. Right there before Linda’s eyes Ludvik turns into a gargoyle.
Linda lets out a blood curdling scream. She then says “I’m dreaming. I need to wake up now.”
Ludvik quickly changes back. He moves towards her, and sits on her bed. He reaches over and carefully takes her hand.
He says, I’m sorry, but showing you was easier. He then says “Ek Elksa Pik”.
“I love you as well. But Ludvik, how is this happening? I understood you. How can I understand Norse?”
“There isn’t much time at this moment. I have a lot to tell you. After Troy leaves I will answer any questions you have, okay. For now, you should know I am the Norse God, Vidar.” Linda took a deep breathe. “I am also a gargoyle.”
Linda stares in amazement. Somehow she knows he is telling her the truth.
Ludvik walks over and kisses Linda on the lips. “I will be back when Troy returns. I have to go for now.” There is a flash of light, and he is gone. Linda feeling rather at ease with all of this, as if it fits somehow, crawls from bed and goes into the kitchen in search of food.
Ludvik arrives at the gates of Valhalla, extremely upset. He enters the great hall, and immediately yells “This was your plan Mimir!”
“Calm yourself Vidar.” He then adds, “Yes. It was decided. This will ensure our survival. Besides, she only needed a small nudge. A bit of “Arrows of Spring” added to her wine on Halloween, and the rest as they say is history.”
Vidar then tries thinking back, to the night of the party. He faintly recalls a beautiful woman working the bar. He scoffs, “Freya? She was who slipped it to her.”
“Yes, she was pleased to ensure Linda became pregnant by you with this special child. It is what is best for everyone. Had Fenrir fathered her child, it would have ended all of us, Linda included.”
Vidar paces, “She should have been given a choice.”
“And you? Would you have liked a choice as well?”
Vidar then understood, Linda wasn’t the only one who had been drugged at the party. Vidar grits his teeth, “Yes, but I have never been given a choice about anything. I was created by my father, for the sole purpose of ending Fenrir. And as long as he is alive, I shall truly never know rest or happiness as I should. So, you taking away my choice is nothing new to me. My father has been doing it since the day I was created.”
At this, Mimir softens a bit. “My boy, both your desires for one another were there. We merely helped it along before Fenrir had a chance. Besides, the next day, that was all you and she. She was pregnant by then and the effects of the “Arrows of Spring” had worn off.”
Vidar blushes, he had temporarily forgotten his life with Linda was on display for Mimir, and anyone else Mimir chose to show. Mimir walks over and places a hand on his back.
“Vidar, after the initial consummation I blocked everything that occurs in her bed. But I do know you and she were together again. It is as if she was made for you.”
Vidar nods in agreement. “After all of this, will I be returned to the life of a gargoyle?”
“You could ascend.”
“I can’t leave Linda and our child.”
Mimir smiles, “If I chose, you could return to the earth realm. You would have to be a mere mortal, but you could go and live as a family.” Vidar looks surprised. Mimir continues, “You have until the mortal new year. That is when the child will come. Then I must have an answer.”
“I will think on it.”
“You do that. In the meantime, you must return to earth. Linda needs you with her.”
“Thank you Mimir.”
Mimir smiles but says nothing. He hugs Vidar and just like that there is a flash of light and Vidar is gone.
After Vidar’s departure from Valhalla, Odin enters the great hall.
“Good of you to come Odin.”
Odin asks anxiously, “Did it work? Is the girl bearing Vidar’s child?” Mimir nods. Odin smiles, “Maybe when this is all done, my son will know I love him.”
“You only need say it and he will.” Mimir states. Odin scoffs at the thought.
“We are Gods. Gods do not tell one another they love each other.”
“That may be true, but fathers do tell their sons.” Mimir, grasps Odin’s shoulder, as he exits the great hall, leaving him to ponder this.
When Troy arrived Linda was in the kitchen, eating a huge plate of spaghetti with marinara sauce, Ludvik suddenly appeared in time to answer the door.
Troy asks, “Feeling better?
“Yes, but I’m starving.”
Troy laughs, “You and Paige both. When you are finished eating come and lay on the couch and we will have a look.” Linda nods as she stuffs a large bite of garlic bread into her mouth.
After Linda had finished eating, and went to her bathroom, to wash up, she went and laid on the couch. She pulled her T-shirt up and shorts, down to her hip bones.
“Okay, I’m ready.”
Troy smiled down at her. “The gel is going to be warm.” Linda smiles in return. Suddenly there is warm goo in a tiny mound on her lower stomach. Troy begins moving the wand in it, causing it to cover her stomach. He begins clicking pictures. The machine then prints one out and he hands it to Linda, “There is your baby.” He spends a few more minutes looking around. “That is interesting. You’re due around the same time as Paige.” Troy then looks very seriously at me, and asks, “Did something happen to you Linda? I know you were not with Ludvik yet, and I also know, that there was no one else in your life in that way.” He said, “It’s okay, I won’t tell anyone, we can simply say you and Ludvik were together then, that you just hadn’t told anyone.”
Linda smiles and places a reassuring hand on Troy’s arm, and says, “Oh, this is most definitely Ludvik’s baby, conceived the night of Halloween.” Troy started to speak. However before he can utter a word, Ludvik has turned the dial on his watch, and there standing in front of Linda and Troy is Ludvik as a gargoyle. Linda adds “That isn’t all he is.”
Ludvik whispers, “I am Vidar,” as he resumes his human form.
Troy laughs a strange laugh, “Yes, I know your last name.” It was taking all Troy had, not to pass out.
Ludvik says, “No, I am the God Vidar. Son of Odin, Brother of Thor.”
Troy looks unbelieving at Linda. She smiles and nods. Ludvik states, “You are right, about the due date. Mimir told me, my child will be born at the mortal New Year.” Troy just sits, staring in shock. Ludvik adds, “I must swear you to secrecy. No one can know, outside of those in this room.”
Troy pipes up, “And Paige.”
Ludvik agrees, “And Paige.”
“Linda, you will need to know what pregnancy has been like up until now.” Turning to Troy Ludvik asks, “When did Paige become pregnant?”
“Around the end of March or first of April.” Troy admits, “It was a blur, neither of us remember much.”
Ludvik exclaims, “Freya and her “Arrows of Spring”!”
“What are “Arrows of Spring”?” Troy questions.
“It is what Freya gives sometimes to ensure pregnancy.” He adds, “It blurs the memory, as well.”
Troy laughs, “That or we were too drunk to remember. We were on a cruise we had won to Scandinavia.”
Ludvik smirks. “This has all been planned, since before Linda and I ever met. Probably since the day Linda was born. Would you like a beer or anything, Troy?”
“I would honestly love one or maybe even a shot or two of whiskey. However, my shift started an hour ago, and I really have to head back.”
“Then after work.” Ludvik states. “You and I can drink, while our mothers to be can talk.”
Troy says, “We will see you guys in around twelve hours then.”
Ludvik smiles, “Yes, we will see you then.” He adds, “from here forward, Linda and I have been together since St. Valentine’s Day.”
“Maybe I should be the one to break this news to Paige.” Troy asks.
“You must be sure no one can listen in when you Tell Paige. Wait.” Ludvik goes to his bag he had brought with him the night before. He reaches in and pulls out a small spice jar. Handing it to Troy he states, “Sprinkle this around all four sides of you and Paige before you talk. “You know, say around the couch or bed then no one can listen in. You will only need a small dusting for it to work.” Troy takes the small bottle, and tucks it into his pants pocket.
Linda then walks over, and kisses Troy’s cheek. “I’ll see you soon. I am going to lay down and rest awhile. I am feeling utterly exhausted.” Ludvik, then helps Troy back to his car with the equipment he has brought.
©2015 ML Steele