Thorson, Episode 2 — Movie Night
“Who’s not like what?” Lucy whispers, sitting up straight, dislodging my arm from around her shoulder.

The cool air where her warmth had been seemed a perfect echo of my disappointment.

“What?” ‘Yeah, brilliant repartee, Thorson. Are you trying to convince her you’re an idiot?’ flitted through my mind. I’m not sure why the voice in the back of my head always sounds like my best friend, Luca, but it does. Maybe because we’ve been inseparable longer than I can remember? Well, except for lately. Lately I’d been spending a lot more time with Lucy. Which brought me back to my brilliant repartee. Sigh.

“Who’s not like what?” she asks again, and is shushed at by someone three rows below us. She leans in close, her lips nearly brushing my ear, and the warm breath does odd things to my heart rate, and my anatomy. “That’s the sixth or seventh time you’ve said ‘He’s not like that!’ Who’s not like what?” she repeated for the third time.

“Oh.” ‘Idiot. She’s sure you’re an idiot. Say something.’ “Thor.” I manage to say, gesturing at the Hamilton’s movie screen, where “Thor: The Dark World” was currently flickering. The Hamilton is the local second run movie house, and this weekend they were showing a double-bill of “Thor” and “Thor: The Dark World”. I’d seen them both, several times. Surprise, right? But having seen them, I could concentrate on better things, like Lucy’s warmth.

“Of course he is. He’s just like he was in the first movie.”

I turn toward her. “That’s just it. Both got it wrong. He’s not like that. Not blonde and boy-scouty and slow and humorless! That’s not him at all!” This time, it’s my turn to be shushed.

“What’s he like, then?” The screen’s flickering makes Lucy’s eyes dance, and make her lips smile, and disappear, and smile again.

“Well,” I start, unsure how to continue, or even if I should. Mom’s been telling me to keep my mouth shut about my dad my entire life, but I can tell Lucy what he’s like, without telling her how I know.

“Yeah, he’s big. But he’s a red-head, not blonde. And he’s the original slacker god. He partied with the best of ‘em, could drink anyone under the table. Once he drank from a magical horn connected to the ocean, and changed the tides! And he was known for his justice — he sits at the base of Yggdrasil to hear the cases of the Nine Worlds, and settle them fairly. And he makes jokes all the time. Bad ones, but still, jokes.”

Apparently, my voice had risen a little during my defense, because I got shushed again. Closer this time. Or was it a shush? No, not a shush, something more like, well, like harsh breathing. Coming from the opposite side of me from Lucy.

That’s when the stench hit me, and I panicked a little. Draugar!

Draugar, as I’m sure you know, are the Norse answer to the undead. Yep, Nordic zombies. And not the cool, smart, sexy iZombie zombies either. Reanimated corpses, complete with rotting flesh. Also, impossible to kill, being already dead, and nearly impossible to destroy. Iron to slow ‘em down, decapitation to stop them for a bit, fire to turn ‘em into ash, and then scatter the ash at sea, so they don’t pull themselves back together.

Gods damn it. I had no iron, nothing sharper than my wit (‘Hah!’ says Luca, ‘A dull blade at best!’) and hello, we’re in a movie theater, fire’s a really bad idea. They don’t even let you yell it here, let alone use it.

“Lucy,” I say, clearly. “Stay behind me, and get out the other end of the row. Even if I don’t follow you, keep going. I’ll meet you at my house as soon as I can.”

“Sean, what’s wrong?” she asked, but I could tell by the volume that she was moving, and in the right direction. When the gods handed out brains, they gave Lucy a double dose. In fact, she may have gotten my allotment, because I stayed where I was, to fight a Draugar with my bare hands.