THE Midgard SERPENT

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
What was it like to be a mythical creature? We hear so much of their tales, their actions, but what was going on inside those mystical heads of theirs?

In this story you will discover just that of one of Norse Mythology's most frightening creatures.

Submitted: July 01, 2010

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Submitted: July 01, 2010

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“THE MIDGARD SERPENT”
Jessica Sumner July 2nd 2010
The sea is often called “an unforgiving mistress.” That is because besides the sailors who devote themselves irrationally to her, she has a lover of her own: the Midgard Serpent, me. The sea and I (though both female in essence), we are deeply in love, and few know or understood the true depth of our union. Odin, supreme god of the heavens, was unaware this bond would form when he tossed me mercilessly to her one winter day. My mother, the giantess Angrbooa, and my father, the god Loki, were blessed with three children including myself. My original name was Jömungdr, when I became a monster I was only known as the “Monster of the Sea” or “Midgard” in my native tongue. Allowing Odin to bring us children on an outing to the sea, my parents became sorry victims to Odin’s evil plan to rid one of their children from his celestial world.
I had an appetite for eating anything in sight. I never knew this would bring me great sorrow and great power. Odin was perturbed by the rate of my growth from infancy. By the age of seven, I was already twelve times the size of the others my age, and my elder brother Fenrisúlfr was dwarfed by me once I reached thirteen. That must have been the moment Odin saw me as a threat, as Fenrisúlfr was a mighty demi-god, challenging many frightening earthly monsters, and winning the hearts of dozens of women. The kingdom of the gods cherished him as an icon of valor and strength. My stature was merely my nature, but many innocent lives have been ruined by the insidious distrust of those in power; I am hardly the first.
I was gazing at seagulls when Odin tossed me from the shore of a Norwegian town, Alesund, and left me to drown. Choking on the cold waters of the dark sea, thrashing the waters in the water body just below the Arctic Circle, I was certain I was to die. I did not. I grew. My skin went from portly and a slippery greenish texture to a scaly and coarse exterior covering that pulled violently at my insides as I stretched and stretched. I thought the pain would never end, as I felt my ribs elongate and reform into an immense lithe form which more and more resembled that of a serpent. My jaws were elongated and sharp as knives teeth cut through my gums. It happened so quickly, yet seemingly forever, that I hardly had time to collect my thoughts, much less contemplate what to do next.
Odin, seeing the transformation, quickly grabbed Fenrisúlfr and Hel to race them back to my parents in Valhalla, Odin’s hall in Asgard where the gods lived. I do not know what happened then, for I was not there, I was too occupied by the sharp scales forming upon my back. They were lovely shades of vermillion and peach, but seemed to serve no purpose. Suddenly my skin became chilled so greatly that it felt as though it were on fire. I felt the waves of the sea comfort me with gentle lapping that reminded me of the smooth caresses of my mother. I was so engrossed in great longing missing her, that I recoiled at the figure suddenly in front of my nose (which was more like a nose on a snout). After some consideration, I realized it was the end of me, touching the beginning of me. A tail for that matter, but more amazing was that it had grown so that it had traveled around the mortal world and struck me right in the face. I was enormous!
I realized something as the sea whispered the epiphany with salty wet spray in my ears; I had the whole world in my coils. I knew exactly what to do.
“All hands at ready!” cried the boat’s captains. The sails fluttered madly as I coiled my body right to left—creating waves bigger than man had ever encountered or named.
“Search from stem to stem for fasteners! We’re in for a rough patch!” The chaos in his voice was exhilarating. “Sails in the wind, dammit! Sails in the wind!” He walked to the edge of the thicker portion of wood encircling the long canoe-like ship. There was no deck and there was little to protect the oars which lined up in a neat row on either side of the Viking’s vessel. I would snap every one.
I shifted my mid-section ever so slightly, and another wave, fifteen feet in height, assaulted the boat. Screams echoed in the still night air. From merely a few feet below the surface, I could see the confusion on the faces of the sailors. There was no ill weather, nor any prior sign of provocation what so ever. It was me, and they would soon know it.
I emerged to a dissonance of screams and the splashes of men jumping overboard with terror. I opened my jaws wide to show the tiny men their last sight in this life.
“A monster! It’s a sea monster!” was all that could be heard for miles in all directions, but there was no one to hear it but myself and the sea. The sea flowed with my every move in approval and support. She was my love and my partner, and she felt the same disdain for these wooden abominations and their intrusive presence. Together we would obliterate every one.
I lowered my head and bit the ship in half. Two sides began to sink quickly, and men scurried both to the tips of the drowning rubble and the waters in the direction away from me. I wished, for a moment, that I were smaller. Small enough to take chase after any one of them, but I was the keeper of the earth, and to truly change my position would mean the destruction of the men and women on land as well.
I once asked the Lady Ocean why I could not move from where my body had coiled itself that day with Odin, and her answer was this: “You have the whole world beneath you. You are holding it together.”
“And?” I asked, uncaring to the fate of the mortal world. I still missed Asgard.
“You are the rope which binds Midgard whole now, my lovely Ungdr,” she told me kindly and patiently, “You must protect the sea from the land-dwellers, and the land-dwellers from the sea.” I nodded within her bitter waves and cried tears that disappeared at once into her cerulean depths.
So here I was, protecting the sea, and enjoying every moment of pandemonium. It was an often enough occurrence that I remained diverted until a god named Thor came for me with a hammer of great strength and power. I hate them, after Odin, and Thos was a particularly stupid deity, always looking for the opportunity to gain favor with the other gods, never considering the consequences.
The sun fell behind dark clouds when Thor made an unnecessarily dramatic entrance from the boundaries of Asgard and parted the gray clumps of sky with his massive shield. In his other hand he wielded a hammer I had seen when my mother’s relatives, the giants, waged war upon the other gods. It was boomerang in quality, as it would return to its owner after striking out. Had I given it a second thought, I would have been more homesick than I already was. I was so entranced by the glimpse of my old home that Thor came upon me with a great speed I did not expect. He lurched upon my neck and pounded my thick skin with his weapon.
“Beast! I shall have you as a delicacy upon my dinner plate! You have terrorized these waters and this world for too long now!” Thor cried, continuing to bring the hammer down in, normally fatal, blows. However, though Thor was the god of thunder and a mighty warrior, he was not a serpent whose length spanned that of the human world. Needless to say, I and my lady the sea, disposed of him quickly. Thor angrily returned to the heavens, never to attack again. After that day, I knew the world of the gods was no longer welcome for me, and the only pleasure I would know would be the death and destruction of any vessel or man who crossed my path. This was not hard to do, of course, as my body covered most of the world covered in water, but it was all I had, and I carried no remorse.
Today I am no longer a fright to the explorers of the sea, and my darling oceanic wonder is raped of her inimitability. Day by day, ships of metal and immense proportion carve through her glassy surface and travel with goods and supplies to every bit of land there is. She has told me she does not mind, that all things must die sometime. Having once been a god, even as a child, I do not understand her concession to the futility of her survival. Black liquid periodically stains her deep green waves and sandy floors, but she does nothing to protest. She does not allow me to wreak carnage upon the transgressors either. I am nothing but a massively curled grey piece of the seafloor, undiscovered by man. The earth has been though changes so drastic it does not need me to hold it together, it is perpetually falling apart regardless what I or any other does. Someday I too will die, but the children of the men I terrorized for centuries and their children will forever remember my horrific visage. Through them I will never truly die.


© Copyright 2017 Jessa Sumner. All rights reserved.

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