Just because the idea was stuck in my mind and I had to write it;P
How Soccer Came to Asgard
Whenever life in the palace became too dull or felt suffocating because his oh so beloved brother wouldn't stop grating on his patience Loki would slip out of the palace. His favorite realm to travel to was Alfheim, their luscious gardens and wide variety of birds always fascinated him. Or Vanaheim, whose halls could even rival the beauty of the rainbow bridge.
Traveling there however was usually out of question since they possessed magic users and could potentially find him if they knew where to look. Negotiations were already growing thin with Alfheim, who were less than impressed with Asgardian behavior and Loki could not blame them. Arrogance was never something that one wanted in an ally. So that of course left Midgard which was less eye pleasing than the other realms but the easiest to remain inconspicuous in. And although Midgard's developments in the magics was lacking they made up for it with their variety of culture and of course food.
He had of course been to Midgard various times but today Loki was burdened with great purpose. He required a game which was playable but nonviolent, one that targeted the pleasure of playing rather than simply a victory. This he would teach to the children in the capital city who had begged him to bring something new back from his travel to the other realm.
Andrew Roberts was a simple late in his middle ages man who ran a shop in the small town of Greenmount, a small settlement close to the city Greenfield Massachusetts.
Roberts had lived a hard life. His son had passed on in the war in Afghanistan and his business was failing ever since the new plaza opened up two years ago only miles away from the town. He was already retired and his house was bought out so he was greatly saddened that although he could simply close down the shop he would be closing down a generations old family tradition of running it and of course after paying back his loans he would sadly have no money left to give his daughter for a good wedding and a down payment on a house she wanted to buy in Greenfield. He wasn't a particularly religious man but he did believe there was something. And he hoped this something or someone would answer his prayers and help him out though being more of a realist in the sense he doubted such a thing would ever happen.
It was one of those Sundays when the sky was grey and the weather was sketchy always threatening to rain but never resorting to even drizzle. The children were kicking around a ball in Mr. Jason's backyard which was two houses down from his own shop; their laughter was heard even over the high wall that had been built years ago when Mr. Jason's still had a dog. His usual customer Joe who came in to buy a pack of beer had just left and he resumed to watching a football match while tallying up his weeks losses.
The door on his bell tinkled. This didn't faze him much since many times the kids came around to buy ice-cream or chocolate bars. A man walked in and what surprised him was he had never seen him before. Being a small town, everyone knew each other and knew everyone's relatively extensive family since they drove in once every blue moon. The man was wearing a black coat and a green scarf. And although he would fit in by city standards he looked altogether too refine to be entering his small shop. But a customer was a customer. I turned off my small TV.
The man began looking around like as if looking for something. Noticing a picture I put up to cover a decaying area of paint in the shop, a copy of "Last Judgment", he walked up to it and studied it for a moment. "You need something?" I sounded too gruff for my taste but his mildly curious façade reminded me think he was sightseeing and strange as it sounded at the time now when I look back at it I think he was.
He studied me for a moment. "Perhaps you may assist me?" His accent and manner of speaking sounded foreign to my ears perhaps he was British?
"I'd love to help what can I get ya?" Then I added as he contemplated my face rather rudely, "You're not from around here are you?"
"No, I'm not," He pursed his lips and tapped them with his index finger I stared at him rather at a loss of what to say. "I require a game, similar to the one I have just seen played. It includes a ball and I believe two nets."
I stared at the stranger. "Where are you from?" I suddenly asked thinking I was dealing with ET or possibly a nutjob.
"Far away," he replied, his eyes narrowed, "And I assure you I have all my wits about me.
"You have to be more specific than that there are tons of games with nets."
"The one where you use your feet to move the ball?" He offered.
"You mean soccer?" I asked rubbing my nose sighing.
"Yes, and if you teach me I will buy a ball from you."
He gave me a rakish grin as he twirled a soccer ball from the toy section on his finger. Perhaps I can also assist you with that, his eyes motioned to my numbers. How did he know and what was his angle?
I sighed looking at a photo I had of my son. How bad would it be to teach someone how to play a game? It's not like I would really have any customers today and he didn't look like a nut job…
I opened the back door leading to a small backyard of grass. For the next few hours I taught him how to play the game. Explained all the rules and even played a match with him. He obviously won being the younger of the two. He asked me questions about my life and I being human talked about myself and didn't think twice on him letting me do all the speaking. People do love talking about themselves after all. Strangely the time I spent with him reminded me off my son in a sad and nostalgic way. It began to drizzle so we went inside. Before I knew it was time to close shop. My visitor walked up to the counter to buy the ball as he promised though I had forgotten all about him doing so or him being a total stranger in the first place.
"How much do you need?" He asked.
I laughed it off waving a hand away. Keep it, it's a gift. He was pensive for a moment. "But if I could give you what you needed how much would it be?" I frowned. This was starting to give me a rather strange ominous feeling. I sighed doing the quick math twenty thousand for the loan and about forty more if I wanted to get my daughter all she needed with good furniture. "Around sixty thousand," I mused allowed.
"I see," he replied as if that solved everything. "What is the highest form of currency you carry?" That should have unnerved me more than it did but I brushed it off since I did spend most of the day telling him about my own life. I opened the cash register and pulled out a hundred dollar bill. His hand briefly touched its corner a thin glow flowed as if he was trying to see exactly what it looked like and for a moment I wondered if he was going to rob me.
His eyes unfocused and he seemed to be doing some sort of calculations. He then reached into his pocket and pulled out six stack of one hundred, one hundred dollar bills in each one. I stared at him in shock. I would have assumed he was some drug dealer or something except the stacks of money were too big to even be able to be kept in his pockets!
"I think this should cover my expenses." He said smoothly taking the ball in his hands and walking toward the door. "Wait!" I called as he reached to open the door what's, what's your name?" His eyes briefly flicked toward the painting. "Mikael," he smiled, "But I'm really not supposed to be here so if anyone asks you didn't see me."
He walked out into the rain which had half an hour ago escalated into a storm. I ran out to catch him and ask him if he had a place to stay, to tell him I didn't want his money. But he wasn't there. Not down any streets.
I asked around the next day but no one seemed to know anything about the stranger. I don't know whether his real name was Mikael or if he happened to use it because that was the name of the painter of the "Last Judgment". I was never a religious man but now I do believe in something, if heaven does have a g-d then he for sure had to be one of its angels.