My Prince Loki
It was on my ninth birthday when Steven expressed that he had enough with my imaginary friend. My ninth birthday started just as all my previous birthdays had with Loki around. I was woken up at dawn with a strong hug and kisses on my cheeks from the God, him laughing and joining in on my cheers of, “It’s my birthday!” and the promise of being older . Then as always, Loki took me out to our chubby house to give me his present.
Loki’s presents, while they were not exactly what children would regard as exciting, were my favorite around my birthday or Christmas (which was something Loki never understood or liked celebrating). It was mainly because Loki’s gifts were always from Asgard. They were either something what other children would regard as plain such as hairbrush or goblet; or something beautiful like a golden hair piece or some sort of flute instrument.
That year Loki surprised me with a beautiful sapphire Asgardian rose. It was very delicate flower, the blue bright against his pale fingers.
“It’s an enhanced rose,” he had told me he passed me the flower. I took it with care petting the delicate petals lightly,
“I fashioned it so it would forever be in bloom alternating its color to Earth’s seasons.”
“It’s blue because it’s winter right?”
Loki smiled snickering under his breathe, “Yes Princess.”
I had touched one of the pricks then not to feel any pain, “The pricks will not harm you, just as I shan't.”
“It’s beautiful Loki,” I told him in awe kissing him on the cheek;
“I love it.”
He chortled pecking my forehead before the two of walked back inside to get a glass of water to put the flower in. The rest of the morning went the usual way of my Mum cooking me my favorite breakfast of banana pancakes giving me my gift afterwards.
For my ninth birthday I had received a book filled with the Viking Mythology stories and a new pale blue dress. Mum and I spent that morning reading out loud my favorite stories on the couch snuggled and ducked under Loki’s arm.
I thought it was going to be like this for the whole day. Just Mum, Loki and I having a lazy morning and early afternoon till my friend’s turned up for the sleepover I had planned. But then Steven turned up “unexpectedly”, both Loki and I sighing heavy slumping down in the family’s leather couch when he walked in the door.
While Steven was heavy involved in my Mother’s life, in my life I didn't want him to be. Yes he was in my home environment every weekend and did interact with me; I still didn't want him around. I hated his presence just as much as I believed he hated Loki’s and especially didn't want him there for my birthday. Nor did I want the present he gave to me.
It was a wrapped up in cheap cheery wrapping paper with a matching cheap card on the top. I remembered Loki looking at me with concern like Steven had just given me a bomb rather than some sort of present. After reading the plain and forced “cheerful” birthday message I unwrapped the present with caution to see what he given me. The smile on Steven face I recall at that time looking sick and twisted as I pulled the last of the wrapping away. Loki making a growling noise with a lengthy Asgardian swear under his breath, his voice filled with the same disgust I was feeling when I saw what was underneath.
To this day Steven’s present was the most insulting gift I've ever received. Not even the crude presents I received as a teenager or an adult could ever top what he gave me for my ninth birthday.
Facts of Life - S. Meredith
“Why did you give me this?” I asked with angrier I can still feel to this day.
“I thought you’d want to know what’s coming ahead as you mature and plying on childish fantasies will not help you in the real world.”
I remember looking back to the present then back up to Steven thinking about how much I wanted to throw the grown up book at him and scream. I also remember Loki being extremely silent and that scared me not to hear his witty or angry reply. The look on his face though told me he was as infuriated as I was with his clenched jaw, his thin upper lip seeming to twitch, his green eyes bright with angrier. I could feel his angrier merging with mine, his breathe hot on top of my hair as it panted out. He’s angrier was so real, just as Steven’s smug presence was thinking he had outsmarted and shut me up with his passive aggressive present.
“He’s real.” I arrogantly told Steven glaring at him, Loki grunting with agreement.
Steven glared at me from his height. He went down to my level, Loki growling dropping down to look him straight in the eye.
“Louie…” Steven growled smirking at the end, I remembering felling a stab of fear hit me but I didn't look away,
“I can’t see him or hear him,” He pronounced every word like a snarl,
“So HOW is he real?”
I remember standing myself up taller pressing my little shoulders back, my chin up ,
“Just because you can’t see, feel or touch something, doesn't mean it makes it not real!”
“Louie, Loki is a character from Viking mythology…”
“I know, but he’s real! He’s not just from a story! He’s my friend and he’s real!”
I look back on this incident now and wonder why I didn't just stay quiet. At the time I felt like I had to stand up for my friend but now I just wished I had just been smart and shut up. If I had just been quiet and just taken the, “abuse” in the way I had taken it with my Father, I probably wouldn't have caused the situations that followed.
I was about to tell Steven how much I hated him and his stupid book till my Mother came in with lunch. Before I could react Steven pulled me into a tight hug, Loki snarling calling him insignificant and how he had no right to touch me.
He pulled away just as quickly, his smile aimed at me and then my Mother telling her about the book he gave me. My Mum looked at it grinning broadly commenting to me how nice it was that Steven had gave me a gift which only added to my angrier.
All I was thinking for the rest of the day was how much I hated Steven instead of enjoying my day. I even complained to Billie and Jenny when they came over that night for a sleepover. The two of them, while they did bitch about Steven with me, were still were annoyed that’s all I wanted to discuss was how much Steven hated Loki rather than the usual things nine year olds talk about.
Because, at that stage my friends were more on Steven, “side” than mine. At nine I really should have shut my mouth and stopped talking about Loki. I should have been smart like other children with imaginary friends and kept quiet about Loki. I should have acted like I understood the idea that seeing people that aren't actually there is a not normal. But like I've said before Loki was so real to me it was hard for me to do that. I just wanted people to believe me when I said he was there because they used to when I was a child…
Why would it be any different?
Later on that night after my friends and I had fallen asleep I was woken up again by a delighted Loki.
“Louisa! Louisa! Princess wake up!”
After I stretched feeling the fatigue of only what felt like a couple hours sleep I flinched up at my Prince,
Grinning he held up my Mother’s big tub of duct tape she usually kept hidden.
“How did you get that?” I had asked startled, Loki’s smile only spread more,
“Your Mother is not as endowed at concealing things as she believes.” He snickered but I was still confused,
“Why do you have it?”
“Remember that program we watched where the heroin mouth was shut by duct tape?”
Realization had hit my little nine year old conscious then, my blue eyes widening,
“Are we going to duct tape Steven’s –?”
He snickered with a shake of his head,
“Fear not Louisa, I did it for you.”
I grinned up at him feeling his scheming glee mix with mine,
“Did he wake up?”
“No, the oaf was in a sleep that even the All Father would be envious of.”
I giggled into my hands, Loki’s grin softening,
“I did it for you Louisa.” He held my face again looking straight into my eyes,
“That book was inexcusable and is a dishonor to your name and nature. “
I smiled back at him,
“Thank you Loki.”
Loki laughed a little under his breathe shaping the hair near my ear telling me to lie down and go back to sleep. Closing my eyes I don’t think I honestly really wondered what would happen in the morning or whether I’d get blamed. I just felt safe and secure under Loki’s glaze thinking he’d be there forever for me.
The next morning I was woken up by the sound of Billie and Jenny packing up their places on the floor.
“What are you doing? Why are you packing up?”
I asked rubbing the sleep out of eyes sitting up. Billie and Jenny both nudged their heads towards the door where both Steven and my Mother were standing, both of them looking infuriated.
“What’s going on?” I asked the adults, both of them just gave me a look of daggers before telling my friends to hurry alone.
I glanced over at the foot of my bed where Loki was, his intense gaze focused on the ground, his thin lips set in a concentrated almost guilty frown. He gives me a glance smirking at me before looking down again.
Before I could even start wondering why Loki was looking this way my Mother ordered rather than told me to walk my friends out. Feeling extremely confused I did what I was told, again asking my friends what had happened to make them go home so early.
“Whatever you did, it wasn't funny.” Billie snapped giving me a quick stiff hug walking to her Mum’s car.
“But I didn't do anything…”
“Bye Louisa, see you at school.” Jenny replied and mimicked the same hug I received from Billie rushing away to her Father.
What did I do wrong? remembered thinking to myself watching my friends drive away. Loki’s hand at that moment rested on my shoulder giving me a squeeze, the action triggering something,
The duct tape…
“Are we in trouble?” I asked the God, my voice must have been panicked. Loki clearly not knowing how to answer nodded only once, his expression guilty and irritated.
At that moment Steven had yelled me back in, I slumped myself inside. I was ordered to sit down on the couch, both of the adults standing in front of me with the postures showing how disappointed they were in, “my” behavior.
“I didn't do it.”
“SIT. DOWN.” Steven snapped.
I slumped down sneaking myself back into the leather cushions. Loki sat with me but at an angle facing both the adults and I. It was then when I first got my proper full look at Steven’s face and his impressive red mark across his jaw.
Loki had clearly covered fully when had applied the duct tape. There was visible tearing to the officer’s side burns where Loki had placed it. Steven’s lips had looked torn ever so slightly showing force had been needed to take it off .
“Louisa, what we’re you thinking?” My Mother asked me making me look away from my Prince’s handy work.
“I told you! I didn't do it! Loki -”
“Louisa! What did I say -?”
“It wasn't me! Loki did it!” I interrupted the officer, my voice had been a lot louder with him then my Mother.
My Mother sighed cutting off Steven’s to-be-rant,
“Ok Louisa, Why did Loki do it?”
“Because Loki doesn't like Steven.” I answered her,
“And Loki believed he offended me so he taped his mouth shut so he couldn't do it again.”
I remember watching a flicker of fear cross the adults faces at my answer, the reaction frightening me. Loki on the other hand made a small satisfied sound like it was the reaction he wanted to see.
Steven had swallowed then taking a calming breathe out, the usual patronizing smile had spread on his face,
“Louisa if it was truly ‘Loki’s’ fault, then why was the duct tape near your bed this morning?”
“Because sometimes Loki sleeps in my room.” I had answered with a clear ‘duh’ expression in my
Steven rolled his eyes, both the adults taking a calming breathe out. I remember watching the two of them look at one another feeling extremely nervous and a little annoyed. I knew was going to get in trouble for what Loki had done and that clearly was frustrating me. It wasn't my fault; he did it, not me. But at the same time I kind of proud of what my friend had done for me feeling little smug looking at the red mark across Steven’s face with his facial hair in tatters.
It was honestly the emotions I felt after Loki had told me my Dad had been ‘dealt’ with. Sure I was sad but I felt safer under Loki’s protection. Because after that day I knew he would do anything for me. And that included getting rid of any threats or making a mockery out of them like he had done to Steven.
For these reasons I thought I was ready to take the punishment which I thought was going to mean being sent to my room for the rest of the day.
“Louisa…,” Steven started returning my attention back to him,
“…Your Mother has agreed on the disciplinary act I have put forward to her. So, with this said…”
The officer had sighed like the next words would be hard for him to say,
“… We are grounding you for a week –“
“That’s not fair!” I yelled but the office must not have heard me because he continued,
“- You will have no television, your toys will be held at my house along with your books –“
“No! It wasn't me! You can’t do that! They’re mine!”
“ – And these provisions will stay in place until this Loki business is dropped.”
“BUT HE’S REAL THOUGH!” I yelled hitting the couch with a clenched fist; Loki had jumped away in fright,
“YOU JUST CAN’T SEE HIM BECAUSE YOU’’RE STUPID AND MEAN!” I picked up a pillow next to me throwing it at the cop,
“I HATE YOU!” I screamed running out ignoring Steven yelling at me to come back. I ran to my room slamming the door shut on both Mum and Loki’s faces.
I cried then into my pillow people screaming how much I hated them like a banshee, the rattling on my door that I vaguely remember from my Mum yelling at me to open the door I ignored.
After what felt to me like hours I heard my Prince’s velvet voice near me, his voice covered with empathy,
“Louisa, Princess, I’m –“
I sat up and practically jumped into his arms sobbing into his leather armor.
I didn't seem to care that I was grounded because of him. At that moment I just wanted someone to comfort me and to listen to me shout how it wasn't fair. And that’s what Loki did. He held me tight and had let me vent and whine about Steven till I felt no more words till I just sat there in silence with him soothing my hair listening to the God’s beautiful brisk heart beat .
“I want him to hurt and go away.” I had said after a while looking up to my Prince’s handsome face. He wiped my tears away with gentle eyes,
“I can do that if you wish.”
I knew Loki was proposing to permanently get of rid Steven in a similar manner to how he killed my Father. And for a moment I wanted that, I wanted Steven to be dead. But at the same time, I didn't want to upset my Mum nor did I want any more blood on my Prince’s hands.
“I don’t think like that.”
He brought me back into a hug,
He answered, his voice had held understanding but I also heard some disappointment. It was almost like he wanted to get rid of Steven all together and do it for me or his own self-pride. And I must have felt disappointed as well because after I had said I wanted to take it back. I still wanted revenge for the book, for his discipline idea.
“I want to hurt hum, like you did last night with the duct tape though,” I whispered,
“I want him to hurt like he hurt me and I want to help.” I swallowed heavy a little nervous. Loki had smiled,
“Very well but you must listen and do everything I tell you do and trust me.”
I nodded, “I trust you.”
He grinned mischievously at me and we both set to work.
Again looking back on these following events it really does makes me clench, because while I thought I was doing the right thing at the time, I now know what my actions caused.
Later on that day I was told to ask my Mum and Steven what I deemed as an odd question by Loki.
“Just trust me Princess.” He told me before I went out giving my shoulders a reassuring squeeze. Feeling confident I walked into my living room holding Loki’s hand.
Steven had greeted me first, “Hello Louisa, have you came to apologize?”
Ignoring him I turned to my Mother,
“Mum, am I allergic to anything?” I asked confused. Mum was sitting on the coach with Steven, both of them with hot drinks in their laps, a movie I didn’t care for playing on the TV.
“No sweet heart, why?”
“I’m just curious...”
“…I’m just wondering because Billie, Jenny and I were talking about it last night.” I lied, an impressed sound came from my Prince making me want to smile.
I continued, “Billie’s allergic to red bell peppers and chillis and Jenny just really hates oranges.”
All this was true, the time I was told wasn’t.
I watched Steven smirk, “Billie and I have something in common then don’t we?”
“Are you allergic to bell peppers?” I asked in unison with my Mother, Loki chortling behind me to himself.
Steven nodded shrugging,
“Have been ever since I was a kid. I’m allergic to the pepper itself along with the seeds. After I’ve eaten them I usually get really bad rashes all over my body especially on my neck.”
“So that’s why you never eat my salads!”
My Mum gasped brushing Steven’s cheek,
“Oh baby you should have told me.”
“I didn't want to be rude.”
Loki and I both grunted making the grown-ups look at me confused and a little offended.
“Was that all Louie?” Steven asked with a smirk. I nodded,
I shook my head and then walked away to my room, Loki shutting the door with a wide grin to my annoyed expression.
“I hate him so much.”
“I know Princess but he’ll get what he deserves.”
“So why is it great that Steven’s allergic to bell peppers?”
“You’ll see tomorrow.”
“Tomorrow?! But that’s -!”
Loki pressed his hand over my mouth glowering at me,
“Do you wish to mess this up before we’ve even started?”
I shook my head, frightened of the look and the tone of voice I was getting aimed at me. He sighed taking his hand and looking away almost like he was composing himself before he looked at me again with a small smile.
“Just trust me Louisa, it’ll make sense.”
And sure enough, it did. As usual Steven was over staying his welcome that weekend and was helping my Mother with the garden and vegie patch. Because of the cold some of the plants, according to my Mother needed to be pruned. So, like I was being considerate (and maybe apologetic) to my Mother and her partner I “volunteered” to make sandwiches for lunch.
“I’m going to put some bell pepper in mine; do you want some Mum?” I yelled as I walked back to the house.
“It’s alright love, I’ll go without. But, if you’re going to cut the pepper, make sure you do it with a separate knife, ok? We don’t want Steven to have a reaction.”
“No of course we wouldn't.” Loki snickered next to me making me want to smile but I kept my poker face.
“I’ll remember!” I yelled back and ran into the house to the kitchen.
Loki and I did use a separate knife for the bell pepper, but we used Steven’s bread to wipe the juices and the seeds on. As we made lunch together we made jokes Steven’s allergic reaction and how sweet the revenge would feel.
Looking back on it I wonder if I really honestly understood what my actions were going to cause. Because I remember joking about Steven turning into a Red Skin lolly with Loki and I thinking that was it. That the, ‘rash’ wasn't going to be all that bad. This may have been because I had never really seen an allergic reaction before, not even with my best friend at school.
After we had finished preparing lunch Loki did something to the Steven’s with his spells.
“It’s so he does not notice the seeds.” He told me giving me the plate back. I walked back outside to see Steven and Mum resting on the grass huffing puffing like they’d ran a marathon rather than attending to the garden. When they saw me both of them smiled brightly as I gave them both their lunches.
“You made sure not to get any bell pepper in mine right Louie?” Steven asked glazing at me again like I was some delinquent.
I nodded with wide grin, keeping eye contact with the police officer,
I felt Loki squeeze my shoulder with encouragement, like he was proud of my lies.
“I made sure to use a separate knife and everything!”
I continued partly telling the truth. Steven gave my hand a tight squeeze,
“Thank you Louie, I appreciate the kind gesture.”
I pulled my hand out of his grip smirking then left to get my own sandwich. As I walked back I glanced over my shoulder watching Steven taking in a massive bite of the sandwich, a satisfied look on his face matching my own.
Sure enough Steven was rushed off to hospital in an ambulance with my angry and distraught mother, my grandmother who was suffering from sore joints and pains having to come over to look after me. I was generally in tears when my grandmother told me Steven could have died from the exposure to the pepper. Loki on the other hand wasn't but he still comforted me telling me everything was ok.
“Why did you do it Louisa?”
My Grandmother had asked after I had calmed down cleaning my face in my child hood homes small bathroom.
“Loki told me to do it.”
I told her in a rush, I could feel Loki glaring at me, his hands falling from my shoulders that he’d been squeezing.
“I wanted to get Steven back for the stupid present and for grounding me he gave me. So Loki had an idea and we did it, but I didn't know it would cause Steven to go to hospital! I didn't mean it!” I told her breaking down into tears again.
“Does Loki tell you do a lot of things?”
“Sometimes…” I admitted, Loki exhaling heavy behind me with angrier.
“…But not a lot! This was the first time in a while!”
I tried to recover glancing at Loki who looked away just at that moment making an annoyed sound under his breathe.
“Do you always do what he tells you to do?”
I watched my Grandmother sigh heavy,
“Well that’s good at least. Now, let me see the book.”
When I turned Loki was avoiding looking at me, the sight making me want to burst into tears again.
“Loki I’m –“
He sighed giving me a shove out the bathroom telling me to follow my Grandmother.
The rest of the afternoon my Grandmother and I spent the time making a sorry card, something, even though I was remorseful, I did half hearty. Loki avoided talking to me for the rest of the day.
I tired telling him I was sorry repetitively throughout the day. The only response I got was when my Grandmother over heard me telling that was ‘enough of that’ and Loki telling me to forget about it. It wasn’t till later on when Loki and I made up with a hug, with the God apologizing heavy.
“Why were you angry at me when I told Grandma it was your fault? You weren’t yesterday morning…” I had confused.
Loki soothed my hair sighing, “I was not mad Louisa.”
I had looked up at him, “Then what were you?”
At that point the God had decided to distract me by asking whether I wanted to go play hide 'n' seek.
Later on that night when I was supposed to be asleep, my Mum came home. I was still up talking with Loki as usual about things I forget about now, the door closing stopping our discussion.
“How is he?”
My Grandmother asked alerting my attention to the conversation.
“If he’s lucky he’ll be released tomorrow morning, the doctor guesses the seeds must have been covered heavy to get the reaction Steven showed.”
“Is he alive though, yes?”
“Of course Mum! If he wasn't I’d…!”
“Don’t you DARE finish that sentence Sarah! Your daughter didn't mean for Steven to end up like he did!”
“Oh and how do you know that Mum?! How?!”
“You weren't here to wipe up her tears, I was!”
“I don’t understand why she would do something that monstrous.”
“Did you see the book your partner gave her? It’s downright insulting, I see why she and ‘Loki’ reacted the way they did.”
There was a tense silence that felt like it went on forever making me sit up straighter. After what felt like forever I heard my Mum exhale heavy,
“She’s saying Loki set this up?” Her voice sounded tired.
“Yes.” My Grandmother responded with the same exhaustion.
Another silence grew on that made me get out of my bed walking silently to hide near the sliding doors, still wanting to hear the discussion, Loki following me kneeling at my level holding my shoulder.
“Doesn't it concern you that Loki’s still here?” My Grandmother asked, her voice hushed.
“Yes Mum, of course. Louisa’s got two good friends at school and she’s apparently at the top of her class. She doesn't need an imaginary friend anymore. Grant’s gone now and I’m certainly not violent towards her and neither is Steven.”
“So why did she react the way she did Sarah? She obliviously doesn't like Steven as much as you do.”
“Oh Mum we need to do something about Loki.” Mum cut in exhaling again,
“What if he’s some sort of mental illness?”
Loki made a disgusted sound muttering under his breathe something unintelligent.
“No I’m serious! If he’s putting her up to things like that, what’s next? Mum this delusion, which it has to be now, could hurt her and damage her life!” Mum yelled getting up then to probably pace the room.
Scared I’d get caught and upset on what I was hearing I went running back into my room throwing myself into bed putting a pillow over my head not wanting to hear the rest.
I had felt Loki touch my shoulder, “Louisa…”
I shrugged it off,
“Leave me alone Loki.” I muttered sniffing back more tears; Loki’s hand falling off my shoulder, his sad sigh had just been audible.
I must have drifted off like this muting myself to the discussion; the last thing I remember feeling was his hand gripping the hand on top of the pillow and his velvet voice
“I promise you Louisa, I won’t let anyone, and including me, hurt you the way your wretched Father did.”
He kissed my hand,
“I will by no means harm you. I love you my Louisa, my Princess and don’t you forget that.”
Those words sent me off to sleep smiling,
Loki’s my friend and Prince, he’s not a monster and he doesn't want to hurt me.
NotesI’m really sorry about the month late update. In the time between the last update and this one I had heaps of University commitments such as assignments being due in and exams.
Although, I also wanted to make sure this chapter was good enough (and long enough) to post up.
I like to ensure this story can be as good as it can be for you guys, so that means drafting and writing like two to three versions each chapter till I’m happy with the end product. I don’t want to rush out sloppy chapters.
The next chapters could be up quicker than this one was, but I’m not making any promises.
Oh and don’t forget to comment or let me know what you think! The feedback I get from this story, whether it’s negative or positive, is a huge help to how I write later chapters. I take particularly every concern you guys have with this along with working with some of the ideas you guys give (Even when you’re not aware you’re giving me any).
Once again I’m sorry!! Hope you enjoyed this chapter!
P.S. A special thanks to my Mum for giving me the title to the book referenced in the story along with helping me change the original dialogue.