Ep.66 – For the Mother - Nordic Legend Becomes Bloody Reality!
In a remote estate distant in the mountains something mysterious and bloody is going on, and it's all FOR THE MOTHER!
For the Mother by Mark T.B. Shields
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Astrid’s newly married grandparents had immigrated to America from a small Scandinavian village as teenagers a lifetime before she was conceived . In a similarly small California town, they opened an even smaller general store which grew just enough to support them and their one child; a girl named Synnove. The two of them worked very hard and when their only child grew up and married a fine young man from the city by the bay, they bought a small cabin in the nearby mountains on the lake. After a life of hard work and the birth of their first grandchild, they retired to the small cabin.
Thanks to her grandfather, Astrid had always loved Norse mythology. Growing up she had spent most of her summers with her grandparents by that quiet lake. Her grandfather took it upon himself to tell Astrid the many legends he brought with him from his childhood home. She loved him telling and retelling her fantastic tales as they sat by the bonfire each summer night. He told her tales such as “Sif and her Golden Hair”; “Sigurd and the Dragon”; and “Thor’s Fishing Trip”. He seemed to know them all and when he inevitably retold her a story some night months later , they were always nearly identically. He retold them as if he were relaying history; he retold them with passion;. he retold them like he believed them; and she remembered every word.
Of these stories her favorite was always “The Death of Baldur''. The tragic tale of how Odin's wife Frigga's favorite son Baldur was killed by his blind brother Hodur aided by her adopted son Loki. In the tale, a jealous Loki put the arrow in the hand of Hodur that killed Baldur the Beautiful. She always wept by the time it ended. Forever hoping that this time Baldur would survive.
After high school she applied and was accepted at Stanford where she chose her major, Actuarial Science, as a way to ensure future financial success. Although interesting to her, she wanted something a bit more light-hearted to break up the difficult class schedule. On a whim she decided to take an elective in the spring semester of her Junior year called “Early Scandinavian Folklore & Mythology” . This class soon became the highlight of her week. At first it was the fact that her knowledge of Scandinavian folklore rivaled that of her professor. She became a textbook example of a “Subject-Matter Expert” for the course and it made her very happy that the other students asked her for help often. She seemed always to be the first to answer questions in discussions and to have the last word when it mattered. Astrid loved the class as it was a way to always feel like she was close to her summer home and to help solidify a rather high GPA.
This unintentional mental domination of the other students went on for nearly half the semester when her world changed forever. A handsome young student started to audit the class and immediately put everyone’s knowledge in that hall to shame. He usurped her position at the top of the class by having the ability to fill in holes of every legend they studied no matter the obscurity of it.
The mysterious new student was not only well versed in Scandinavian Mythology, he was what one would call a perfect physical specimen. In his usual attire of t-shirts and cargo shorts one could see an insanely muscular body that was only highlighted by his long blonde flowing locks and sky-blue eyes.
To her girlish delight he introduced himself to her one day after class. It took her by her own estimation a good sixty seconds before she was able to respond. As he introduced himself as Baldur and looked into her eyes her first thought was “Yes, you are a god”.
When Astrid finally spoke all her timid voice could say was her name “Astrid”.
“Yes, you are divinely beautiful” he said and when he asked her to walk with him, she was literally helpless to say no.
That afternoon as they walked around the campus talking; she thought to herself that she was falling in love with a man she had just met. She didn’t know how this was possible, but she knew it was true. That night she lost her virginity to this God among men and less than a month later they were married. From that point on they were bound for life.
Astrid was glad to be finally meeting Baldur’s family. Although they had been married since late spring, this winter trip had been their first chance to come together. During the eight-hour drive from Stanford to his family homestead near Mt. Whitney, her excitement grew.
“Are we there yet?”
Not taking his eyes off the winding mountain road Baldur said “Astrid, we are officially five minutes closer than we were when you asked the same question five minutes ago.” Running her hand down his powerful arm she cooed, “I know, it’s just that I have never met your family and you have told me so little about them.”
“We’re just like most families. We fight, but love each other. Mom is overbearing; dad is solemn; and my brothers are out to kill me if I don’t watch out. You see, a normal family dynamic. We should be at the cabin soon.”
She glanced at the odometer and smiled knowing they were very close. She giggled “Only about five miles out.”
“Correct” was all he said as he turned up a driveway and drove under a stone arch emblazoned with their family's name; Borson. As they pulled around the last corner and the home came into view Astrid was stunned. He said they had money, but the home that sat before her was at least 20,000 square feet.
“How can your family afford this? You mentioned money, but this looks like money should not be a problem for your great-great-grandkids”
Baldur pulled into the eight-car garage and said "It won’t be. We are very financially secure." After he hopped out of the car he swung around and grabbed her door. "Welcome home." She smiled and followed him in.
As they entered the living room his parents sat sipping what appeared to be iced tea.
"Mother. Father. We’re finally here." His dad stood and helped his pregnant wife to her feet. "Are we the last to get here?"
"Yep, your brothers are downstairs preparing for later. This must be the wife."
"Mother, father meet Astrid. Astrid this is my father, Odin and my mother Frigga."
Astrid extended her hand. “Great to meet you. Baldur has told me so much about you.”
"Come now dear, we’re family now. Give your new mother a hug." Reaching out Frigga gave Astrid a hug and Odin followed suit. While still holding her Odin asked if she liked the house.
"How could I not? It is the most beautiful home I have ever seen." “Thank you. The family has been working on it for a while now. It was my fathers and his father before him. When I die, it will get passed on to the next generation. This place is what you would call the family home.”
Releasing the hug Astrid replied “Well, it’s truly breathtaking lovely, and it truly is great to meet Baldur’s parents.”
“Hush dear.” said Odin. “We are your parents as well now. Baldur, let’s go help your brother's downstairs. Leave the women here to get acquainted."
Pointing, “After you Father.”
As the two men left the room, Frigga grabbed Astrid ’s arm, "Come, child. Let’s get a drink,”