Flash Fiction: The Norns

If I were a Norn, what would I be like? Would I gather at the crib of a new babe and rejoice at what his future held? Or mourn what was in store for him? Would I craft their fates from my wyrd, or would I be a casual observer, watching clinically to ensure his fate didn’t get tangled in the tapestry of life?

The Norns at YggdrasilWould I be Udur and monitor his past? Watching over the happy and sad times to make sure all things stayed as they were? Is Udur the cause of forgetfullness? Would I have to sort through old memories and harvest out the unimportant ones in order to make room for more? Is the past that she watches over in a contained space, like a box? Or is it like a never ending ream of paper? If I were Udur would I be tempted to change things? Would I want to go through the chapters of their life and edit all of the abuse, all of the sadness, all of the letdowns and all of the pain until nothing remaind of humanity but happy, soft thoughts and deeds? Would I take my golden scissors and trim away the grit and the dirt until nothing remained except golden opportunities and perfect endings? Is that how Gods are born? Would I take an abused teen, one on the verge of suicide and alter all of his memories with “happy” threads, removing all the “mean” or “sorrowful” threads until he decided his life was pretty great, and taking it was not an option? Could I do that? Could I change the past then? Or are there stricter rules that wouldn’t allow such things to occur?

Do the Norns have supervisors to make sure nothing goes wrong in their factory of life Nornsweaving?

Or would I be Verdandi and have no recollection of anything but what was happening in the present? Would I have no presence of mind but what happened in the split second in which it existed? Would I have time to contemplate a persons fate like my companions? Or would all of my existence be monitoring and saying things like “Percy sneezed”; “Rebecca took a shit”; “Martin died” . . .

Would death register to me? Or would it be like a piece of paper on a busy secretaries desk and get shuffled off into the past as quickly as it came into my vision? Would anything affect me?

Martin died. . . .

People mourned. . . .

Would I cry with them? When something really horrible happen would I gasp and cry out in pain with the lives I was chronicling? Would I look to my Future sister and say “Oh, but why didn’t you WARN me?” And then, when we were sitting around after work having coffee or tea, and Udur said “remember when Cleopatra used Alexander? And then when he couldn’t do what she wanted she moved on?” would I remember? Or would I look at her confused?

Would it be an easy task to be Skuld and see the future? Would I even want to see the end of time? Would that be a heavy burden or would all of the other horrible sights I had seen made me too cold to care? Would seeing the fall of mankind make me meloncholy? Or would I say, finally the cancer of the earth is getting what he deserves? Would being a Norn make me impervious to human emotion? Would I be able to stand at the side of Sleeping Beauty and be impartial to her poisoning? Would I be able to shrug and say: “yep, come 16 she is going to have one hell of a time,” Then write it down and be done with the whole affair? Pass it on to Verdandi (“Oh but why didn’t you WARN me?”) who would then send it to Udur who would then come back to me and say “I don’t like this ending. Instead I am going to take my happy thread and make a princes kiss of true love break the evil spell”?

Is there a kiss that can break any evil?

How would it be to be a Norn, to be a being that was just as much a tool of fate as everyone else, yet because you deal with fate, you are thought to be the masters of it? How would it feel to have people supplicate me, asking for my good fortune, and knowning there wasn’t a damn thing I could do to help them escape what was coming for them.

NornsCancer.
HIV.
Rape.
Politicians.
The sweet release of death.

Would all of these thoughts, all of these emotions toward the banes of life make me feel more for the human race than humans themselves? Could I love something that was so utterly evil most of the time, and twisted everything good that came into their lives? Would I become so jaded with the miserable wretches that when it came time to cut the thread of their life, would I do so joyously.

“There you miserable fuck.”

I don’t think it would be anything like that. Fate isn’t something that can be changed. Maybe if I was a Norn, the greatest thing I would ever have is insight. Knowledge that everything comes to us, and everything must also pass. That every moment we tread into the future is a fresh new beginning that has never ever been touched by any other hand but the glorious makers’.

Then again maybe I would also know that right now there were a million other versions of Travis, all writing this same blog, but all coming to a different end. Maybe the greatest secret of all is that every choice in my life has been made differently, and every choice is like a fork in the road of life, and while I take one turn, the other Travis takes another turn and therefore there is another universe created because one Travis made a choice.

Maybe that is what fate is like. There is NO knowing with being a Norn, because every possible end is being fullfilled by every possible person. So while in one universe my life may have ended, the Norns rejoice because that was only one Travis out of countless others.

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