A billowing wind began to brew, ruffling the fine strands of the dark hair upon the man’s head as he stared over the rooftops of the small country town. His heart was beating erratically as he thought of his impossible task ahead. A weapon, cold and heavy, was clutched tightly in his hand, his knuckles white. He was terrified, shaking from head to toe.
‘Get a move on, you bastard!’ a voice in his ear bellowed and, cringing from the pain, he wrenched the ear-piece away and threw it to the ground.
His palms were sweaty and the weapon was slipping from his grasp. Taking a shuddery breath, he leapt off the hill and trundled down, sliding with the upmost finesse. Hair flying this way and that, a few tears of fear fell down his cheeks.
Landing with a satisfying, quiet thump, the man quickly ran to his destination: a remote cottage on the outskirts of the village. Its walls were cracked and covered in vines, its windows dusted and grimed. The garden was overgrown with weeds and the footpath was the soil for the grass that grew in-between the splits in the cement. Pushing slightly on the creaky, peeling gate, he entered the front garden and slowly made his way to the entrance.
‘Don’t tell me what I need to do! I am not a child, you fool,’ came a voice, stern and challenging, from the inside of the aged building. ‘I may be married to you but I can make my own decisions, starting with choosing who my friends are!’
Another voice – a man’s voice – began to rise in anger, its accent unknown to the man’s ears.
‘Elizabeta, do you have any idea what is going to happen – ’
‘Of course I do! But you can’t stop me from trying!’ Elizabeta shrieked and the sound of stomping feet made the man dive into an unkempt shrub nearby. The door slammed open and, standing in the doorway, was a beautiful woman with long, brown hair, an orange flower holding back one side. Her large green eyes were alight with a fiery determination and she picked up her lime coloured skirt, stalking away from the house. Almost immediately, a man rushed out, a worried expression etched onto his face.
‘Elizabeta!’ he called after the retreating woman but she was already gone. Swearing loudly, he went back inside, not bothering to shut the door behind him.
From amidst the bush, the man let out a long breath in relief. Good, they didn't see me, he thought. But… what is she doing here? More importantly – who is she?
Before he could make any movement, the gate opened and another man, one with white hair and a smug grin on his pale face strolled up and into the house. The man in the bush let his mouth fall open. Suddenly, in less than a second, his impossible mission had turned into the simplest one he had ever received.
With a feeling of newfound courage, he stepped sneakily into the building and shut the door softly behind him. As he neared the closest room, he heard the two men talking, both with undistinguishable accents to their tones.
‘Was that Lizzy I just saw leaving the house?’
‘Yes… it was.’
‘Why did she leave in such a hurry? She didn't even stop to have a go at me for showing my face like she usually does!’
This was the moment; if he missed it, he would not have another chance. The man gripped his weapon and entered the room, pointing it at the two startled men in front of him.
‘Hands up and don’t move a muscle,’ he ordered, moving forwards. The men exchanged a puzzled look before obliging to the demand. The man with the white hair had his brow furrowed and the man next to him had his violet eyes wide in fright.
‘Switzerland not here to save your arse now, is he?’ the armed man sneered at the purple-eyed male, a cocky smile forming on his face. The frightened boy he was on the hill only moments ago had turned into something more sinister; the weak little thing was only a façade. This was who he truly was: a madman with a plan.
The men’s expressions changed into ones of alarm but then the snow-haired man began to laugh.
‘What are you talking about?’ he asked, one fine, silver eyebrow raised. ‘Who the hell is Switzerland? The last time I checked, Switzerland is a country, not a person.’
‘Don’t think I'm stupid, I know who you really are – how this world really is,’ the man warned, striding confidently to the confused man and pinning him to the wall. ‘I know exactly what is going on around here. You aren't actually human.’
The man leant forward and whispered something in the other man’s ear. The man against the wall looked extremely astonished, his crimson eyes wide as the meaning behind the former’s words sank in.
‘How do you know? No one but our bosses know that!’ he exclaimed, looking fearfully at his friend.
‘Well, there is no point in hiding it,’ the other male said, turning to stare at the man with an indomitable glint in his violet orbs. He is smarter than he looks, he thought, as he let the befuddled man go. ‘But what I want to know is – who are you and what are you doing here and more importantly, how do you know about us?’
‘That is none of your concern,’ he replied, pointing his weapon at both men again. ‘What you should be concerned about is the state of the world – or should I say – your relatives?’
‘Who the hell are you?’ asked the crimson-eyed man, swiftly taking out a sword from the depths of his travelling coat. The man’s eyes glittered with malice as the thought of battle took over his mind.
‘You want to know who I am? Fine,’ he said, aiming his spear at the albino’s head. ‘I am Loki.’