...because fiction is our greatest escape from reality...

Norse at Starbucks

This is the rough of a reader challenge I had on my first blog site.  I ended up with two winners and told each they could give me any topic in the world to write about.  Both took me very, very seriously.  The other topic is in the tab under Valen Greer.  

Norse Gods At Starbucks

No easy topic from the Doc. We’re lucky he didn’t go with his first, gut reaction and instead gifted me with this. I’ve narrowed it down a bit to leave room for the challenge. I’m also typing this at around 1 a.m so forgive any spelling or other errors. (g)

He’s given me four Norse Gods.
Rinda (Giant Ice Queen and Odin’s third wife)
Vidar (Odin’s giant son born to revenge his death by slaying the wolf, Fenrir, with his one big shoe)
Elli (Goddess of Old Age who kicked Thor’s butt)
Ullr (newly christened God of Snowshoes)

They are sitting down over coffee at Starbucks. He wants to know who has what kind of coffee and he’s set it the morning after Ullr found out he was the God of Snowshoes. My job is to write that conversation.

Hope you all like. (g)


The loud rumble of a diesel engine outside didn’t hold a candle to the whir of espresso machines inside. Two of his table companions had no trouble speaking over the din, but then, they were giants –barely fit into the coffee shop anyway. As it was, Rinda’s feet were outside the door, which made the shop employees furious. Especially when the birds started swooping in to snatch pastries by the dozens.

He watched as Vidar stuffed a handful of muffins into his mouth.

Not one of them was getting the utter seriousness of the situation.

“By Odin’s Arse! I was the God of Death and Winter! I was a God of important things, not some mamby-pamby –”

“What kind of big, manly God says mamby-pamby?”

Ullr narrowed his eyes at Elli. He loathed interruptions. Slamming his fist onto the small table, he took heart in the rattling of coffee mugs and the sloshing of what he’d thought was some watered down old woman’s brew. Instead, a black, thick sludge spread slowly on the surface. He wrinkled his nose at the strong odor of dark beans, cinnamon and what could only be tree bark.

Ancient, papery skin sagged over the sliver of gray that passed for her eyebrow as Elli lifted it. Nothing old about that glare.

Or the warning behind it.

He shrugged. “I do not care if you did kick Thor’s arse! By Odin’s–”

This time he was interrupted by both Rinda and Vidar. “Stop using that name!”

Ullr slumped in his chair, not sure he still had all his powers, not sure he could take down two angry giants. Just in case, he casually laid his hand over his yew wood bow. This called for a little distraction. He pointed to Rinda’s tall cup.

“What is it?”

“Chai cream frappuccino.”

Even the espresso machines went silent.

She leaned over the table and he looked up into a nostril bigger than his head. “I like the buzz,” she said. When she leaned back against the wall, an ominous rumble sounded as the building settled. Her attention wandered from him once again.

Ullr tapped his fingers on the table fast. He couldn’t even get a rise out of this frigid ice queen! Not one of them shared his indignation and it pissed him off. To be a God of such power and magnitude, to have the very power of death to hold over twittering human heads and now… now he’d been stripped down to a mere God of … of… snowshoes.

Enraged, he growled and curled his fingers around the smooth wood.

“If I’d known you were planning to weep and spew like a wom–” Vidar broke off when he caught sight of Rinda’s glare. He curled his lip. “Human, then. If I’d known you were going to cry like a human, I would have brought some creamy cow’s milk to lessen the strength of that manly Columbian brew you have there.”

“It’s French roast.” Rinda casually flicked a couple of buzzards off her arm. She curled her lip at Vidar.

Truth to tell, none of them really liked him. He had a nasty, bigoted disposition and he smelled of dirty feet.

She sniffed. “Your father had the nose of a hound and you can’t tell the difference between Columbian and French roast? Has your espresso warped your senses?”

Vidar’s mouth dropped open. “Who gives a raging Valkyrie!” He pointed to Ullr. “He only passed on his usual sissy caramel latte because he’s been completely emasculated.”

“I. Have. Not.”

Ignoring him, Vidar continued. “And why must we always meet here among these useless humans who argue over silly politics and show preference for this constant drone of disgruntled lesbian music in the background?”

“I like disgruntled lesbians.”

Ullr peeked at Elli. She might be the Goddess of old age, but Elli had no trouble making herself heard. Pure, untarnished steel laced a voice that sounded as if it came from Frigg herself.

She stared at Vidar and something in that stare had Ullr grasping his bow again. “That was incredibly rude even for one of Odin’s useless sons. What has your leggings in a wad?”

“Yeah.” Ullr jumped right in, glad the old biddy hadn’t turned that look on him. “What’s the deal, you one-shoed wonder?”

Vidar leaned so close to Ullr, the stink of his breath chased all the good air away. “Did you not see what happened to Fenrir?”

“I saw what was left of his jaw. Proves nothing.”

Vidar pounded a fist on his chest. “Twas my sword that pierced the life from that wolf!”

“Oh, shut up.” Rinda winked at a young, human male who was way too small for anything she had in mind before turning to the son of her dead husband. “That wolf did us a favor by killing Odin.”

“A favor! A favor! Some famed ice queen you are! I would bet my precious silver on you dragging that stupid human home for… ” Even Vidar was at a loss as to how that would work. He actually gagged. “How dare you speak so of the dead? Of my father?”

He tried to stand but instead knocked over the table, spilling the rest of Elli’s coffee. She snarled and began getting to her feet.

It would take a while.

Ullr quickly set the table to rights before brandishing his mug of coffee at Vidar. “I can’t believe this! None of you are upset about my being stripped of my title! I’ve been reduced to lording it over shoes!”

“There’s nothing wrong with shoes. At least you have two!” Vidar’s yell, followed by the massive wave of breath rot, ran a few humans out the door.

“Madre de Dios!”

Ullr dropped his mug as every hair on his body stood. The cursed thing had spoken.

All watched as tiny feet popped from the bottom and beady, black eyes materialized on the ceramic cup.

“So you’re the God of Snowshoes! So what? Here you stand braying like some donkey’s ass when years from now the greatest athletes in the world will say blessings in your name over their shoe blades!”

There came a sudden spurt of Spanish cursing. Ullr only had time to make out a mumbled prayer to Juan Valdez, before the mug jumped off the table and stomped behind the counter, muttering the entire way.

“You don’t have to listen to the constant belly-aching complaints, the teens prattling on a caffeine high, the do-overs on silly things like “decaf, low fat, mocha, chai lattes with twists of lemon.” No, you get something cool like snowshoes. At least they have a purpose! You try being the God of Starbucks, banished to this stinking mug.”

Latest Book Release!


Fun Pics from 2015 RT Convention!