By Aleksandar Nikolov

We were a pretty strange family, but we were a family after all. It was just my brother, my sister, my mom, and me. They told me that dad is a God, a tiny human God. Mom on the other hand was a giant, my brother was a snake and my sister, well she was born dead in a way. She was walking and speaking and playing with us, but half her body was rotting, and falling apart. 

For the first 3 years of my life, we were in the cold planes of Niflheim, a cold and dark place, mom told us that it was safe, she had a deal with grandpa and they would never come here for us. Even though it was cold and dark we had some pretty fun times. I am the youngest, so I spent the majority of my time around mom and my sister in our cave. My brother was training with the other boys to become a protector of Niflheim. The fact that he was a snake helped him a lot, he was smaller than the others, but he was just as fast, he was more agile and he did not need weapons to fight, he had his weapons merged with his body. 

Everything was going pretty well, I haven’t seen dad, but mom always told us he will not abandon us and he will return, after all, he was a child of Niflheim. One day mom was out at a clan meeting or something and two strange human men came to our cave. I thought one of them might be our dad and I sprinted outside, Jörmungandr – my brother and Hel – my sister came out with me. There in front of us, we saw a blond human swinging a big hammer, jumping around, and shouting something about a god of gods or something. The other man was ginger and he seemed calmer, he did not say much but he wiped out his sword, it looked like they were ready to fight. 

Jörmungandr, remembering his training, leaped forward to attack the blond man, but he was able to avoid it. They looked into battle, so now I and Hel had to worry about the ginger man. My sister, with her fragile body, could do much, but she was quickly overpowered by the ginger man. I was still a pup at the time, so I could not fight, and he just put some shekels on my paws and put me in his pocket. 

After a really short journey, actually, a beam of light came over us, we were transported in a hall of gold, with a single person standing there in the middle holding a giant sword. He did not say anything. The two strange men led us to a big building in the middle of their city, in the building we saw an old man sitting on an enormous chair. The old man was missing one of his eyes, but he seemed strong. 

The man decided that my brother and sister were not fit to live with him, so he sent them somewhere. I do not know where he sent them, but I knew I couldn’t be good, as he seemed furious. I was small and he thought I was harmless probably, so he kept me at an arm’s length. I lived in their home, but I was outside. I may say this home was better, I always had food, and the ginger man was frequently coming to see how I am doing. His name was Tyr. Eventually, he told me the old man’s name was Odin, and he is the father of my father, but I have still not seen my father, he never came to me. 

I missed my mom, my brother, and my sister, I wondered how they were doing, but I assumed that grandad would be taking care of them as well.  Over the years I grew bigger and learned how to use the human tongue. The ginger man was named Tyr, and apparently, he was one of the strongest warriors of the kingdom. While he was playing with me, he was honing his skills, which made us both grow bigger and stronger than before. 

Then one day Odin called for us. He had some chains and challenged me to break them. They seemed flimsy, but I accepted. They put the chains around my body and told me to try now. With just a little twitch of my body, I felt the chains breaking. That was easy. Odin seemed a little pissed, but he dismissed us. We went back into the yard and continued training. A few days later Odin called us again. He had the same challenge for me. I guessed it was a test of strength. This time the chains were bigger and heavier. I never really spent time in chains, except that day when Tyr took me in his pocket. I did not like the feeling of those bigger chains, they seemed more ominous. Tyr was there, so I did not mind and took the test of strength again. This time it took me a while before I could break the chains, but I still managed. Tyr was happy for me, but Odin was not so much. This time he seemed dark, troubled in a way. He turned around and started walking towards his room, without even looking at me he dismissed us. 

He did not call me for a while. I saw some dwarves entering his chamber one day. They never came out, not that I could see that. After a month or so, Odin called for me again. He had new chains, this time they seemed flimsier than ever, they were thin but golden. He instructed Tyr and some other man to put the golden chains on me. That he will be testing my strength again. It felt wrong this time, I tried to refuse and talk with him, I wanted to understand him, but he just got angrier, and tried to force me. So, I struck a deal, I would do it only if one of his servants puts his hand in my jaw while I try to break it. Tyr volunteered. When he approached me, I saw little tears on his cheeks, I winked at him to let him know it will be okay. I opened my mouth and he put his hand in it. I started struggling to break the chain, but something was wrong. Every time I moved, they were getting tighter and tighter.  At that moment I heard Tyr’s voice, he was whispering something. 

Next thing I know, I see my friend lying on the ground without his arm, I am also lying on the ground still chained, but I have a sword in my neck. Odin standing above me with a determined face. He shouted something at his subjects and everyone scattered, some people took Tyr, and another group took me. They put me in a cage on the outskirts of the city, where no one would ever dare set foot. 

 Over the years I realized what Tyr had told me that day. Odin did not care for me; he was afraid that I might do something to him. He did not take care of my brother or sister. They were sent away. My brother, in the depth of the ocean at the end of the world, and my sister in the realm of the dead, the ones who did not die in a battle. I have been here for years and yet I still have not seen my father, he could have been sent away as well. 

 I stayed there; it is not like I had a choice. I stayed and waited patiently, I felt the chain getting tighter on me, but I knew if I continued to struggle, if I do not give up, this chain will also break, and the cage will be easy. I stayed. I always watched in the direction of Odin; I could smell him. My name is Fenrir, and I will be the nightmare of Odin, I will be what he sees last in his life.

Aleksandar Nikolov is a 22-year-old student in the American University in Bulgaria.

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