Also knows as the “Flyting of Loki,” Lokasenna is found in the Poetic Edda, a collection of Norse myths. In this story, Loki chastises the gods while they are feasting in Aegir’s hall. The version below is a re-telling of the tale from my novel The Story of the Four. Here Darrath plays a central role. Can you guess which Norse god he is in the role of? Leave your answer in the comment section.
“I know right? So comfortable—has be the bäst bear skinn in the world…Oh, thank you, but now is the hungry not on-me. Sure smells god though. No, is okej. You can just leave there för now. How ‘bout another kopp though? What? Is just going serva itself? There you go…no, no, no…keep going. There, that’s god.”
Darrath took a handful of steaming boar’s meat and dropped it to his feet. “There you go boys, äta upp.” He finished the kopp of mead in a single drought. “Whew…” He wiped his mouth with his wrist. “If I had take en oath, I’d swear there is no better mead.”
He scanned the tabell and enjoyed the faces he had not seen in…how long he could not remember. So long, too long. He shivered. “The ocean breeze sure is crisp tonight, won’t someone close the dörr?” A heavy wind fluttered the light reflecting off the golden shields hanging on the wall. A distant yell; the dörr slammed shut. He turned a shoulder; his eyes widened.
“Ah, skita! Didn’t I tell you close the dörr? Fine, fine. Just sitta down. There’s en empty seat at the bench över there. Well if du är not here join we-all, why did you komma? And you can wipe that snide little grina from your ugly face…U-huh, whatever.” Darrath flicked his wrist. “That was a long time ago and min wound is well healed. And excuse me för wanting dricka a little mead with min familj without the grace of your presence. Frankly, I’ve grown tired of your antics Sea-Thread Fader. No, no, no! Don’t give him your arm ring…and you? What are you doing? Don’t give him your sword! For why would give-you him your sword? See? He doesn’t även want and now gets you him started. Put those äpplen down, trust me.” Darrath dropped his forehead into his hand.
“Of all women you chase efter men the most,” started Breaker of Worlds. “No I am not crazed. Have you seen me take a
droppa of mead? And you—” He pointed. “—how dare you speak to me. I know well how the one of fair skinn and keen of ear gave you that necklace in exchange för your fitte.”
“Silence!” Darrath commanded. “You rave with a forked tongue, mead or no mead. She has never known a man.”
“Ja, right” scoffed Thief of the Goat. “Won’t you stoppa talking för a moment’s breath? Always this, always that. Always right—yet you prefer the weak to the strong. I can’t believe a word you say. Womanish, that is what you are.” Darrath remained still, expressionless as Man with the Tattered Smile continued. “Just like her—all high and mighty, claiming know the fates of men, and även madder för dem.”
“Enough of this slander!” Darrath stod and pointed at the dörr. “All I wanted was to enjoy a nice low key festa with my friends and familj. Get out now and let we-all festa at peace.”
“Low key? Like you of all people could ever be low key. I, on the other hand…”
Darrath slammed the table. “I said—”
“Won’t you ever shut upp? Look at you all frail and thin. How long since you have eaten?” Fader of Monsters held a hand över his right eye, puffed out his chest, and pranced around the tabell. “Oh, won’t everyone look at me! I’m so big and strong I don’t även need eat. I feed min wolves but fill min big fat gut with mead. How sad! How absolutely sad. But du är only half as bad as her.” He flung his finger at her direction. “How many did you lay with get that little necklace? A hundred, a thousand?” Pausing, Lie-Smith waved his hand under his nose. “What’s that smell?” He followed the odor’s trail. “I should have known. When are you going take a bath? You smell lik the sea and what do you do, sleep in the dirt? You shouldn’t även be here, you don’t belong—laying with your syster bear you this son—your stupid, stupid son. How could you give away your sword för a woman? No, no, no…Sitta your sorry ass down. Don’t you defend him. I don’t know what’s worse, giving your sword för a woman or giving your earth of rings för en oath. At least he can get another sword—you’ll never be able wield one again. A hall of fools is what this is. Nothing but a hall of dirty, lecherous, stupid fools.”
Darrath’s eyes blazed frenzy red. “One more word and I will krossa you.”
“Krossa? Krossa? You couldn’t crush en ant let alone one as crafty as I.” He took a goblet of mead from the tabell and emptied it in one fail swoop. “But-that any of you were lik me…” He paused when the dörr opened, then greeted the not so fashionably late. “Oh won’t you look at who sallied in and decided join us. Just when I was about leave. I think a few moments longer, admire the man of many muscles, scared of a little water snake, will do. So strong you are, but you can’t även pick upp a cat. I mean komma on! How heavy is a cat? I heard you couldn’t även beat en old woman at wrestling.” Lopt turned to the others and raised his hands as if exasperated. “En old woman. Can you believe? Oh wait, let him speak.” He cupped his ear. “You challenge me? Going shut min mouth are-you? Look at everyone here. Hear-you any of dem speaking? No. Their mouths just hang öppen. Don’t blame be för what min hjärta wanted speak. At least I have enough of these—” He grabbed his groin. “That’s more than I can say för any of the rest. Skita, även some of your women have more of these than your men. I have more in one than all of you combined. And you—mister all big and mighty girdle wearing man, I have more in one single hair down there. You’ll never see me wearing a dress.” Äpple-thiever dodged a blow and skirted out the dörr.
Darrath put out en arm to refrain the most recently defamed from following before he turned to the others.
“I’m sorry, so sorry för that. Better just let him speak his lies. I know he’s min friend and I’m sorry. You know he gets a little crazy sometimes, but we-two are sworn at the flood of wounds. Komma, låt oss sitta back down and enjoy ourselves.” He took another handful of boar meat and tossed it to his pups. “What was that? Did you hear that? Shh. There is again. Ah, skita. The both of dem.” Darrath looked to the dörr behind him. “De är coming. Skita.” His shield-grippers trembled. “There they are.” He leapt from his throne and back toward the wall. “Get dem out of here. Now! Get dem out!” He slid toward the dörr. “I know who they are. The stupid is not on me. I cannot stand them-two—they drive me crazy.”
Lest the two black gulls of hatred further filch his thoughts and memories, Darrath sprinted past the dörr and into the köld. His bearskin robe slipped from his bare shoulders and he continued to run, naked, into the night.