A God, a Wolf, and a Giant Walk into a Bar

It's the end of the world. You can tell, because all the expected things are happening. The sun sets in blood, the oceans run with flame, the moon is a jagged and desperate rind waiting to be swallowed at last. Trees fall, stones crack, chains break asunder, fire devours the very air. It's all terribly poetic.

The poetry has a proper sense of endings, at least. Prisoners long shadowed in darkness emerge blinking in the light, thinking agelong thoughts of despair, and final death, and last revenge. Armies gather behind ancient, crumbling walls. Odin assembles the host of Valhalla. In Jotunheim, the giants come to moot, eager to avenge their antediluvian griefs. The dead muster, numbers unguessed, mumbling in wordless murmurs without meaning. The ship of dead men's nails, long wrought in secret, prepares to make sail. Wolves howl at the edges of the world.

The branches of the Great Tree itself are wracked, and all worlds tremble. Nothing, not even death, is a certainty now, and those gods fated to die make grim preparations for a journey with no known destination.

Loki is in the kitchen, making tea.

It's a nettle tea, with just a hint of raspberry. He takes it with more honey than anyone would consider polite.

Outside, the world falls in fire. Old things pass away; new things lie hid under the ash, unguessed. Unfated even, perhaps, but that's the joke.

Loki hums, and considers the art of tea-making. Perhaps tomorrow, he will take up gardening.