In Transit: The Development of Loki

by Rebecca A. Watson on August 25, 2015

in characters, Creative Writing, fairy tales, Minneapolis, writing

I helped start a writers’ group awhile back, and one of the prompts we had was In Transit. Since I’d also been reading The Goldfinch and been inspired with the characters, I decided to use this prompt to develop one of the characters in my book, Reincarnating Pandora.


Loki despised air travel in the same way a boxer loathes a right hook to the jaw. It hurt, but it was part of the job. Being Lord over the realm of chaos meant airline passengers, flight delays and luggage loss fell strictly under his domain.

Many people thought it fell to Hermes or Meili, but anyone who’s taken a cross-continental airplane flight during December can attest to the madness that comes over the masses as they’re wanded through security and enter the gates of entropy.

He often had to venture across the planets — through different solar systems — but lately he’d been sticking to North American flights. This seemed to be where the action was, at least in terms of his industry. His latest conquest, Pandora’s descendent or perhaps even Pandora herself (he had yet to confirm — she’d only revealed the tiniest hints to him) had demanded his presence on her turf.

Of course she didn’t put it like that. Her human self had simply described to him the unequal quality of their relationship — her taking two flights to LA and back. Shouldn’t he return the favor? And besides, didn’t he (his human self) miss the old country? His homeland?

Loki couldn’t answer. He hadn’t connected with this Earth body in years. A steady diet of cocaine and cocktails kept him from feeling any forlorn longing for his family — his human or godly home.

loki god of mischief

And so, teetering carefully on the verge of warmly buzzed and outrageously fucked-up, Loki boarded his flight to Minneapolis, praying they wouldn’t search his bags like they did the last time he was in LAX. He liked to fly out of Burbank, naturally. All the stars and gods did. But business generally brought him to the dingy basements of one of the largest airports in the world.

He’d taken careful precautions — adjusting his identification and appearance so as not to raise suspicion. It had been years since the last incident, years before the towers fell even. But he didn’t breathe easy until the wheels lifted off the tarmac and the captain switched off the fasten-seatbelt sign. He was on his way, his mission now in full swing.

He hadn’t allowed himself to consider this part until he was safely floating through the sky, one with the stars and smog. Depending on how self-aware Pandora’s Earth self was, the further up in the atmosphere he was the better. Paranoia had served him well over the years, although he’d never had enough respect for her. Probably because she was technically human and he, being a god, assumed natural superiority. This was his mistake. He would not make it again.

An attractive blonde flight attendant stopped by with the beverage cart. He asked for a Crown and Coke, paid the outrageous fee for the tiny amount of booze and watched her lithe body walk further down the cramped aisle. Amazing the patience of these types, he thought as he took a swig of the drink and carefully unscrewed one of the several single-serving whiskeys he’d brought in his carry on.

He refilled his drink to a more respectable level of intoxication and cursed himself for not asking for the whole can of soda. He thought about chasing down the blonde but decided against it, since he would hardly call what he wanted a mixed drink. He took another mouthful and dumped a second bottle in the glass.

If his calculations (as much as his conspiracy-theory musings could be called “calculations”) were correct, Pandora had been operating as a double-agent for the Olympus faction and her human brethren throughout the last few millennia. Everybody’d heard the stories of her original mission — releasing all sorts of evils into the world, ensuring that much more worship for the gods on the mount.

pandoras box

But there were rumblings too about ties to bloody sacrifices in the Mayan jungles, possible involvement with Cleopatra’s affairs and the spark of the witch hunt in Puritan America. He’d actually seen that with his own eyes.

But when Loki discovered her current mission, he knew Zeus and his cohorts were running out of ideas. A waitress in downtown Minneapolis? I mean, sure, she was a journalist, but she certainly wasn’t making any headway in that regard. He knew this was prime time to ambush Pandora and convince her to change teams. He was sure that she’d make a great agent for Norse chaos — the perfect addition to his plan.

Whatever that plan happened to be.

The captain announced their descent into the City of Lakes. Surprised at the quick flight, Loki glanced at his wrist and laughed. Of course he didn’t wear a watch. He wasn’t pretending to be someone else this time. He had a feeling Pandora would appreciate his candor.

It felt good writing to her, talking to her and not having to act. It was odd to have someone actually see you, he thought. Sometimes he wondered if that was a mistake, but he pushed the thought aside. There was no other way, he thought. She knows what I am. She’s always known.

As he grabbed his duffel and headed off the plane, he felt a stirring of possibilities, something that hadn’t been since, well since he first found out his true strength. He walked out of the arrivals terminal and smiled at his new potential source of power: a tall, brunette, with a smile so brilliant that — unless you were a god yourself — completely blinded you to the anger behind her eyes.

“Ah, there you are my dear. You haven’t changed a bit.”

This is part of my 2015 goal to write more and differently. If you want to read more posts like this, click here. I also recently made a video of me playing the piano, which is another creative outlet for me.

Pandora by Jules Joseph LefebvreArt Renewal Center; Loki finds Gullveigs Heart – John Bauer by John Bauer up a Pandora’s box by F.S. Church – Licensed under Public Domain via Commons

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