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Nightmare

By Pengping

Children / Adventure

The Truth Behind the Myth

Myth

One day Loki saw a chance to do mischief. Sif, the wife of Thor, was lying asleep outside her house. Her beautiful golden hair flowed all round her. Loki knew how much Thor loved that shining hair, and how greatly Sif prized it because of Thor's love. Smiling, he took out his shears and he cut off the shining hair. She did not waken while her treasure was being taken from her.

When Thor returned home he found Sif sobbing, a veil on her head. Then she took the veil off her head and Thor saw that all her beautiful hair was gone. She stood before him, shamed and sorrowful, and he grew into a mighty rage. And Thor went off to the Council House.

Once there, Thor told of the cutting of her beautiful hair. A whisper went round the Council House. "It was Loki did this-no one else in Asgard would have done a deed so shameful," one said to the other.

Then Odin sent out a call that all of Asgard would have to listen to. Loki heard it, and he had to come and enter the Council. When he looked at the rage in Thor's eyes and the sternness in Odin's face, he knew that he would have to make amends for the wrong he had done to Sif.

He was such commanded to return Sif's beauty to her. Loki, unsure how, thought he might get aid from the Dwarves. They were little, twisted creatures, who were both wicked and ugly, but were the best craftsmen.

So he went to where the Dwarfs working in their forges.

Loki said to them, "Have you got a bar of fine gold that you can hammer into threads-into threads so fine that they will be like the hair of Sif, Thor's wife? Only the Dwarfs could make a thing so wonderful."

Flattered by Loki, the Dwarfs there took up a bar of fine gold and flung it into the fire. Then they beat it into threads that were as fine as the hairs of one's head. But that was not enough. They had to be as fine as the hairs on Sif's head, and these were finer than anything else. They worked on the threads, over and over again. The threads were as bright as sunlight, and when Loki took up the mass of worked gold it flowed from his raised hand down on the ground.

However they demanded payment and Loki gave them naught, only flattery and false promises. Their anger raised, they took the color from the hair, making it brown and black. So when Sif got her hair back, it retained that plain color. She did not mind however for hair she had once more.


Reality

A gentle breeze circled the room, keeping Sif cool as she brushed her long golden hair. Her hair made her the most beautiful of the Æsir, and she took care of it. It was as bright as sunlight and thick and silky soft, finer then could be imagined. Its beauty was also the reason why Prince Thor showered her with flattery.

One hundred strokes, and then a hundred more. Satisfied, she set her jeweled brush down next to a pair of scissors she kept to take care of the rare split end.

It had been seven days since Loki had almost drowned, and five since Odin's second son had used the Tesseract to drive off Nira. In those five days, Loki's true colors as a trickster had thrived. He had become the life of the palace, his tricks never harmful but always funny – even when he levitated a mug of ale over a Star Guard's head and dumped it. Foolish, childish pranks.

Four days ago – and Sif would admit it to herself only grudgingly – she had gone too far with her insults. Something in Loki's eyes had snapped and the newly fledged mage promised he'd get Sif back for what she said. Sif wasn't worried. If Loki could do anything he would have by now.

She ran her fingers through her hair one last time and stood, admiring the way it glowed in the moonlight. Then she closed the balcony doors and went to bed.

A sleeping potion a certain prince had slipped into her cider took effect, trapping her in a sleep that would last throughout the night. Then her scissors started glowing with the power of a curse and levitated off the table towards her, snipping softly.

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