'Qualifications' by O. Westin

Once upon a time, when Odin was away travelling in Midgard, the other gods had a party. Late in the evening, when countless barrels of mead had been drunk, and the gods still were, they came to talk about what ifs.

“What if Thor could be quiet,” Frigg asked, and then continued with a seer’s certainty: “No, I can not see that happening.”

“What if Loki could be trusted,” Sigyn sighed, and all the gods laughed, for they could not imagine such a thing either.

“What if Odin did not return,” Loki said, firelight reflecting in his eyes. “Who would be fit to rule?”

This made all the gods pause and ponder.

“I would not want to,” Njord said. “I would have to leave the sea.”

“I am the strongest,” Thor said.

“I rule the war host,” said Tyr.

One by one the gods declined, or gave a reason they would be the most fit to rule, and there was much debate about the merits of each claim, but no agreement could be found.

Finally, Frigg spoke up. “One of us has stayed quiet. Say, Freya, would you be fit to rule?”

Freya smiled. “Would I be fit to rule? My chariot is pulled by cats.”

At this, all the gods fell silent, for none could trump that.




FlashFlood is brought to you by National Flash-Fiction Day UK, happening this year on 27th June 2015.
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