Beneath The Glass
Eyes as red as blood. Hair as black as night. Bring me your heart, my dear.
The Mirror-keeper sees all. Past, present, future. Above all, he sees the Truth.
He sees the thunder-wielding huntsman bring down a buck with an effortless stroke and carve out its heart. Sees him come home and lay the glistening organ before the ones who had demanded it. Hears the claim of his half-brother's head being shattered by a last act of magic before he could take it.
Heimdall looks out across the Bifrost and wonders why the god of mischief had not escaped to Midgard, or to another realm that might have hid him.
Silvertongue; Liesmith; the dark prince. Always one for self-preservation. Always a survivor, hidden cleverly in shadow. He could have turned into a gnat, a bird, and flew with the wind. Why not, when it came as easily to him as breathing?
Why had the trickster's senses deserted him at the hour of his death?
The Mirror-keeper is wise. But he does not have all the answers.
* * *
The love of his brother is blinding as the hammer comes into contact with his hardening flesh.
- everything hurts -
Beneath his enchantment of glass, Loki cannot tell if he is merely wounded, or broken inside and out. Something about his body feels fragile; numb; not quite there. The strength of his magic holds him together in a case woven from both skill and instinct, and - yes - the terror of destruction. Terror he had never felt in all his life.
Would he still be whole if the armor holding him were to come off?
In the shadowy depths of Loki's subconscious, that last scene played over and over. He had planned it; mulled over it before his brother had emerged from the shadows to take him down. The decision was hardly emotional (or so he liked to believe). It had seemed the only logical way to neither live nor die. Or perhaps both.
Logical, and a dance with destruction.
It was the ultimate bet with himself: to see if he could cloak himself from the blow of the invincible Mjolnir, gift of the finest dwarven smith in all the Nine Realms. It seemed he had won. Or had he?
He remembered the thunder of its blow. Its first initial contact with the side of his head as everything slowed to a sonorous heartbeat for the briefest moment...and then -
- the world turned to pain -
It felt as if every bone in his body was being crushed by gigantic hands determined to turn him into dust. Perhaps he screamed. Perhaps the screaming was in his head and his lips, along with his whole frame, was already being sealed in frosted glass.
For days and months the scream would continue to echo in the recesses of his mind, even as his mind slowly deadened beneath the unmoving glass. Finally, as the skies changed and the sun rose and fell, the echoes grew softer and faded into velvet black. Velvet like the cool damp earth that cradled his self-made casket.
Two more seasons came and went. Loki's mind grew still as what life he had receded deeper into the core of his being. Perhaps this was death. Fading away. Growing smaller.
* * *
The golden-haired sentinel is suspended in vigilant half-slumber.
The woods and all its children are still.
The icy surface of the glass shell, half-embedded in earth, gleams faintly in the moonlight.
Then something breaks the silence.
Small sturdy feet march beneath the drooping boughs. A low rumbling song, as ancient as the oldest trees, carry over the lands. Coal-black eyes shine under helmets and hoods.
The Svartalfar are hunting tonight.
Some back-story on the Svartalfar, the dark elves - or dwarves as they are also known