Wanna Participate in future 7th Titan contests? Our April prompt, “Fool’s Errand” is up and ready for your submissions on the Contest page. Submit by the due date of March 15th for a chance to win.
Chris, Kurt, and Abigail had a little in house competition to lead the charge. Our January prompt? “The Twa Corbies” image below.
Chris took second place for our January prompt with his story “An Eye for a Wager.”
by Wilson Geiger
“You know, that looks an awful lot like Thor.”
“Shut up, Muninn, you can’t possibly think that’s Thor down there, dead and stiff as the Nordic wind.”
Muninn buried his beak into the downy feathers under his wing, digging until he caught the itch. He scratched the spot and peered back down into the field below. He couldn’t be positive, not until he’d taken a closer look, but to him it was hard to argue that the prone form lying very still in the grass paid an awfully exacting resemblance to the God of Thunder.
Besides, Muninn knew that his sight was much better than Huginn’s. The raven made himself so anxious thinking all the time that it was a wonder he could see much of anything.
“Okay, then, let’s have us a little wager, oh great eye of Odin.” Muninn paused, his eyes gleaming. “Well, at least the one that’s not blind.”
“Oh, stop it with the mockery,” Huginn said, snapping his beak shut for emphasis. “Not like you’re any good at it.”
“So, my wager is this,” Muninn said. He shifted closer to Huginn and flexed his wings. “If that is the God of Thunder down there, bleeding out from some grim injury, his eyes should be very much intact, yes?”
“I would think so, yes,” Huginn said. “But it’s not him, so it doesn’t much matter.”
Muninn sighed, at least as much as a great black raven could sigh. “Well, if it is, we wouldn’t be able to pierce those eyes, would we?”
Huginn glared at him with one eye. “Are you suggesting that we take out the poor sap’s eye, just to prove a point?”
“Well, when you put it like that…” Muninn paused. He looked down at the still body below, and then back at his brother. “Well, actually, yes, that is my suggestion. And anyway, didn’t you just tell me a few minutes ago that you were hungry?”
“Hungry enough to poke out the eye of Odin’s son?” Huginn squawked. “I’m not your garden variety idiot. I don’t think so.”
“But you just told me it wasn’t Thor.”
Huginn opened his beak and sighed. “You’re going to force the issue, aren’t you.”
Muninn beamed. Of course he was going to force the issue. “If you agree that that’s Thor down there, I don’t really have to force anything, now do I?”
“This is quite stupid, Muninn.”
Muninn gave his brother a blank stare. “You’re going down there, aren’t you.”
Muninn paused and tilted his head as he looked at Huginn. “I suppose so, brother, but even you have to agree that the man bore an uncanny resemblance to the son of Odin.”
And in truth, the man did look very much like Thor, Huginn thought. Especially as he got close, he realized that if he already weren’t so sure, he might have paused at taking the poor soul’s eyeball on the bet of an idiot.
“I suppose he did at that.” Huginn shifted on the branch uncomfortably. He felt very full and didn’t much feel like moving at all at the moment. “But knowing that he is not, I’m surprised you didn’t take his other eye. A fine meal, to be sure.”
“Oh, I’m not nearly so hungry,” Muninn said. “And honestly, his appearance was disconcerting, to the point that if I had been hungry I’m not sure I could have done it.”
“So, just so we’re clear here,” Huginn said. “I won the wager, correct?”
“You did indeed win the wager, brother.” Muninn bowed low, his beak resting between his feet. “A fine win, and I am suitably chastened.”
“If only it were that easy.”
Muninn ignored the barb, and instead he cocked his head to one side. “Say, do you hear that?”
Huginn followed suit, and now that his brother had mentioned it, he did hear it. A slight vibration, like the tinge of electricity in the air, followed by a rush of wind. Which could only mean one thing.
“Sounds very much like the All-Father.”
Muninn hopped on the tree branch excitedly. He stuck his beak under one wing, and the other. He dug into his feathers with a gusto Huginn didn’t quite feel, not with that heavy meal in his gut.
“Well, Huginn, how do I look?” Muninn asked, ruffling his feathers and settling against the branch. “Clean and proper?”
Huginn sighed. “Yes, brother, you look fantastic. You’re quite the dandy.”
“Shut up, he’s coming!”
There was a spark, followed by a blinding bolt of lightning. A tall man appeared beside the tree, dressed in regal, glittering white robes. A great mane of hair framed a wise, powerful face, and his gray, pointed beard shone under the daylight sun.
“Where have you two been?” The All-Father demanded. “I called for you over an hour ago!”
Huginn exchanged a glance with his brother. He shrugged and shifted his attention back to the All-Father. “Apologies, great Odin. We just stopped for a bite to eat.”
Odin’s jaw dropped. Huginn wondered if maybe they had pushed their luck too far, but then he saw that the All-Father stared past them, at the body in the field.
“Is-Is that my son?”
Muninn stared for a moment, and then he swiveled his head, that knowing, amused grin on his face. Like he had just won a bet.
Huginn, for his part, ignored his brother. Suddenly he didn’t feel very well at all.