Lob Lazy at the House of Silence:
480 words, writing the ritualistic fairy-tale linkage between eucatastrophe and dénouement while it's hot. Or, in this case, while pleasantly crisp and chill.
This has been giving me some interesting insights, not only into the Kateverse's alt-Scandinavian cultures, but into the things they know that maybe I don't. This linkage stuff, for instance, strikes a seam in their folklore that... well. There are Deep Mysteries in this world that Katy Elflocks knows about, and the gods and the Elvish Court and suchlike; but here's plain proof that at least one other mortal once learned them too. Likely in more detail than Katy, who has other cares and interests she considers much more wholesome.
I wonder now who this world's Woden-figure really was. If he wasn't exactly Mercury after all, but knew something of the god's ways... and didn't mind screwing around with some heavy necromantic crap... Oho! He could be my ultimate source, and plenty more. I wonder whether I'll ever get to develop any of that. Not in anything I'm writing at present, either way.
And here, as a special bonus because it is gibbering away in my head, is a little riddle-chant those healthy hearty Nordic nannies like to teach their children.
Old King Dead, his drink is red:
He'll sup you up from your sleepy bed.
Old Queen Rot, she's on your slot:
She'll suck you down to her creepy grot.
Young King Cold is stark and bold:
He'll stoop for steel and spurn at gold.
Young Queen Clay is fair as day:
She'll steal the gallant and the gay.
Dead or Rot or Cold or Clay,
Who will take your time away?
Rich or Low or Rude or High -
Who will have your soul for aye?
There is probably a reason that all the Nordic-descended cultures seem to have drifted towards bland mainstream neo-Olympianism.