Odin is halfway up a tree. It is a big tree. An ancient tree on an ancient, stony mountain, one of many in a grove.
A grove of Yggdrasils.
Odin is halfway up this one Yggdrasil of many. He looks down and thinks: fuck. He is so high up he would die a dozen times if he fell, so he keeps climbing.
But the tree is so gigantic he can’t see the top. And to be honest, Odin is scared. So he starts climbing back down. He doesn’t climb long before he notices a branch hangs over a plateau of grey stone. He climbs out along the branch and dismounts to the stony earth, to his great relief.
He wakes up and there is an angry red scratch on the top of his wrist he assumes he got roughhousing with the cat the night before.
At breakfast he tells his wife about being stuck halfway up an ancient tree. Did the fire department come and get you, she asks.
At lunch he walks to the coffee store and buys a kilo of coffee. Odin can never remember if he wants a kilo or half a kilo and always buys a kilo and notices afterward it is more than he wanted, he should have bought half a kilo.
He looks forward to smelling it when he gets home.
On the way to the coffee store, he saw the grey crow standing by the bench, watching him, so he buys peanuts and a sandwich. When he gets back to the bench, a German woman is parking her car nearby and the crows keep away until she finishes, waiting high up in the trees.
When she finishes and gets out of her car and walks away, two men walk past, carrying advertising from door to door. After they pass, a man walks by with a white dog on a leash. Three boys walk past on their way home from school. Several cars. A man on blue bicycle.
But then the crows come. First the black one, then the grey one.
The black one is eating a sandwich. Then Odin throws him some peanuts. It sets down the sandwich, takes the peanuts, hides them, then comes back for the sandwich.
The grey one does the same thing, except it hides pieces of sandwich too.
Odin guesses rats come at night and feast, and the next day the crows are all, WTF? But maybe not. Instincts are things that worked in the past, right?
“I am your life.” When he dreams, Odin asks his dreams what they mean. The tree said it was his life. Looking up dream symbol information online, a lot of sites say trees are the personality, or the self, or the life, or connections; all things Odin has been thinking about.
What say the slain?
Sometimes life is relentless. It is like the giant shark bending the bars of your shark cage. It is like the monster in the movies that can’t be killed, climbing back in through the window after you lock the door on it. Like an army of zombies surrounding your house. Like whack-a-mole. Like a salesman. Like an infestation of moles. Like ants. Like a tree full of birds, watching your every move.
What does it want?
It wants to give you another chance. It wants to give you exactly what you need. It wants to help you be more like you.
That would be so cool, it thinks.