Written for the last day of the WDC Birthday week Writer's Cramp event. :)
|Each day at the rising of the sun I fly from Odin’s shoulder to cross the world. I follow the sun so that true darkness will never touch me. I am Muninn, the raven of memory and this is one of my many tales. A tale of twenty-one days.
In a small village there lived a girl. I knew her well, had watched her grow up. She was now a mother of two, watching her own children grow. She braided her daughters hair. She nursed her small boy. She was not yet twenty-one. On a rain slick day she fell and hit her head. This was the first day.
She slept for the next three.
When she woke she did not remember herself, her life, her man or her children. She took care of them still but her eyes were empty pools, as dark as my wing.
I heard her man tell her that everything would come to right. That they could build their lives again. Learn each other again. I thought, why that? Why couldn’t I help her remember instead? This seemed a fitting gift for when she turned twenty-one. This was the sixth day.
On the seventh I asked Huginn what he thought. He told me that my ambition knew no bounds and that if I felt the need to offer her something, have it be something small. Something to sparkle in her eye and then perhaps to spark in her mind.
I flew to the dwarves and begged of them a small parcel of raw gold. I carried it back to her. She was outside, gathering herbs. I landed before her. She recoiled slightly but then stayed where she was, still and watchful. I carefully opened my beak and let the gold drop the the ground at her feet.
She bowed her head and thanked me before she even picked it up. Once she did, she turned it over in her hands quietly. When she looked back up at me, her face was the same empty shell of what it had been. I cawed and the flew back through the skies and back to Odin’s shoulder. This was the ninth day.
I gathered what other trinkets that I could over the next days, a pearl from the deep sea that matched the near white color of her daughter’s hair, a diamond shaped like a tear in memory of the ones she had spilled. I brought many other things that reminded me of her. I had hoped that this would help her remember herself.
I could see that this was not working, so I went back again to Odin and I asked him what to do. He saw with the eye that lived in Mimir’s Well. He said that I had a choice and it was only mine to make.
I returned to the dwarves. I asked them for something to drink from the cauldron Odrorir, where they stored the mead of poetry. I kept the liquid tucked into the back of my throat and flew back to Odin. I spit it into a goblet and rested for a time. This was the nineteenth day.
I flew to her but for the first time, I took something rather than leaving it. I pulled one long hair from her head. I carried it all through my journey for the day and when I returned to Odin, I paused to drop her hair into the goblet.
I swiftly pulled a feather from under my wing and dropped it in as well. Decision made then. A part of my power of memory in order to restore her own. The place I pulled the feather from was tender and would remain so, a part of the price to be paid for magic.
The mead of poetry is golden, like honey. When I added my feather it dissolved and the color muddied and mixed and blended. It changed to a beautiful ice blue, the exact shade of her eyes.
The next day was the twenty first and it was her birthday. I left the goblet like an offering on the rock behind her hut. She saw it there. She sat before it and stared for a long time. She was deciding.
She quickly grasped the goblet and drank down the potion as quickly as she could. Like me, once she made a decision she didn’t hesitate.
The goblet fell from her hand and she raised a hand to her lips. A small smile peeked around the edges of her fingers.
She looked up to find me and said, “I know who you are now, Muninn.” She bowed low, “And I thank you,” she said.
I cawed and ruffled my feathers and flew away. I heard her call the names of her children. I could hear the smile in her voice, floating upward on the wind.
Author's note ▼