Hakon Mjoveson stood diffidently before Jarl Eirikson, “My lord Jarl?”
“Yes, Hakon, what is it?” replied Jarl Eirikson softly.
“Sir, I am wondering if you know anything about the recent events? The men and women of the military are talking about all the strangeness that has occurred.”
“Ah, you’re speaking about the day that seemed like it would never end correct? Yes, it was very strange.” Jarl Eirikson shuddered.
“Sir. I’ve heard many rumors.” Hakon hesitated a moment before proceeding, “Some say that it is magic. Some say that the gods of all of the various nations are angry at us. I’ve even heard some that blame it all on the Ottoman/Aztec war.”
“Well Hakon, you’re not wrong.” Jarl Eirikson sucked in a breath and held it a moment before expelling everything in a great sigh. His shoulders slumped as he sagged in his chair. “I don’t really know how to tell you this. I probably shouldn’t tell you. I’m not even sure I believe it myself.” Jarl Eirikson sighed heavily again.
“Whatever you tell me I will believe my lord. You have never led me wrong before.”
“I thank you for the trust. I wish I could place the same in Mr. Wednesday.”
Hakon looked shocked, “Mr. Wednesday sir? Why would you doubt him?”
“During the day that wouldn’t end I was heading toward Heimdallr’s office to report to him as usual. What I saw there was so…well, I just can’t believe it. But it must be true. I saw it with my own eyes. Would that I were struck blind before entering Heimdallr’s room though.”
Hakon leaned forward, “But sir, why?”
“I saw, Hakon! I saw it with my own eyes! A rip in the very fabric of the world. As I examined the rip I saw 18 men on the other side. Giant, ugly men! One of them looked like Mr. Wednesday only horribly transfigured. As I thought about it I realized that each one of them looked like gruesome caricatures of all the leaders of the world. They were dressed in the colors we associated with each nation. And they were cackling greedily. As I watched, one of them pointed a ham-like finger at an army and it moved. Just like that. Another pointed at a city and I could see it open up so he could start moving all the citizens around with a flick of the finger. It was…surreal. The two beings that represented the Aztecas and the Turks kept bickering back and forth about when they would be able to take their turns, whatever those are, while another kept saying he could ‘unpause’ soon. When he finally unpaused, the endless day ended. Just like that. I ran to my room, and…well I’ve been trying to drink myself into oblivion since. I don’t know what to make of this.”
“Sir, this all sounds, fantastical. But I believe you. What do we do now?”
“We need to figure out what to…”
“ALL RIGHT MEN! THAT WILL BE QUITE ENOUGH!” a booming voice from behind shook the two men from their thoughts. Jarl Eirikson looked around guiltily as Mr. Wednesday stepped from behind a tapestry. “This is something that should NOT BE KNOWN!”
Jarl Eirikson stood defiantly, “But sir, I saw this with my own eyes. It did happen. And I’m going to tell everyone about the rip so that they can see it themselves.”
“No, you will not. The rip has been repaired. And the only two mortals that know of it are standing before me,” Mr. Wednesday smiled, a look that appeared wholly sinister and malevolent on his dark features.
“Are you…are you going to kill us?” Hakon asked in a small voice?
Mr. Wednesday sighed, “No Hakon, you two are among my best administrators. I will not kill you. But you may not know of what has gone on here. Instead you will just…forget…” Mr. Wednesday waved his hand and the two mortals suddenly developed slack-jawed, glazed looks on their faces.
“Now then Jarl Eirikson, I will have your report on troop movements out of the Mediterranean. First thing in the morning?”
“Uhm, yes sir.”
Mr. Wednesday sighed and left the room.