The Tree at World's End

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Fourteen

Fjiorn understood the goat-god all too well.

The god had chosen him for this task; who was he to balk against a divine fate? And he was right, there was no other. Only he, Fjiorn. For he was the chosen one.

He had walked around the whole perimeter of the wood and had seen no way in, no path whatsoever. The goat-god’s words seemed to imply that indeed, there was a way in, but that he had not found it yet. So, he could walk around the wood in endless circumambulations, or stop, sit, and try to imagine another way through.

So, he did just that and seated himself upon a fallen log.

Fjiorn contemplated hacking a path through the brambles, but clearly that would take forever. Fire would have been a quicker alternative, but everything had been drenched in the recent downpours. It was simply the wrong time of the year for fire.

What other way was there? And why could he not see it?

The goat-god materialised on the log next to him.

Fjiorn jumped. He was on the verge of voicing a complaint when he noticed something different about the goat-god, something about his eyes…

“I see you are hard at work,” the goat-god commented. “Maybe that is the problem, are you trying too hard?”

“But all I’m doing is sitting here, doing nothing,” he protested.

The goat-god did a little head wobble.

“Maybe you are doing that too hard.”

“What? I am doing nothing too hard, now?”

The god brightened.

“Ah! But are you? Doing nothing?”

“Yes, I’m just sitting here, trying to work my way around the problem that you’ve given me!” he hissed in exasperation.

The god stood, cupped his chin with one hand and studied Fjiorn for a few long moments.

“But Fjiorn, that is as far as you can get from doing nothing.”

Fjiorn blinked.

“You want me to stop thinking?”

The god did a pirouette on the spot.

“I wonder if you can find a way of doing that real hard,” he commented, and vanished once more.

Fjiorn looked at the place the god had just occupied.

Where does he go when he vanishes?

He was sure that the god was trying to tell him something. The only question was … what?

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