20 min read
In Asgard, a long time ago, there was a pup named Fenrir. One of the three children of Loki, he was feared from the very day he was born. The other two children were sent away to locations that Odin and other gods deemed safe, but they believed the wolf pup would be the most dangerous of all, for there were prophecies that foretold he would be part of Ragnarok, the downfall of Asgard, and that he would swallow Odin whole. So they kept him close so they could keep an eye on him, in Odin’s stronghold in Asgard.
Though he started out very small, Fenrir was already feared and only one god, Tyr, was brave enough to feed the beast. The wolf pup grew quickly, and so did his appetite. Soon, he was as large as the room they put him in, and was cramped against the walls. They moved him to a larger hall, and kept watch over him. Many of the gods were concerned about how to contain him, and made fetters, shackles that closed around his legs, to bind him. Fenrir did not know how to distrust them yet, and they didn’t want him to be suspicious, so they made putting the fetters on a game. They told him it was a challenge to break the fetters, and he gleefully agreed to try each collar on and break it, proving his strength. Each fetter, heavier and larger than the last, was broken by Fenrir and he enjoyed proving his strength. Finally, the gods decided to ask the dwarves to create a fetter that would not break. They made it out of impossible things: the breath of a fish, the sound of a cat’s footfall, the beard of a woman, the sinews of a bear, the spittle of a bird) and called it Gleipnir. The dwarves presented it to the gods to put on Fenrir.
The gods thanked the dwarves, and decided to take Fenrir to a far off island called Lyngvi. Fenrir was suspicious of the fetter. It was lighter, smaller than the rest; it moved like a serpent and was a light as silk. He could not see how breaking these fetters would prove his strength or be an impressive feat. He said, “I will only put this on if one of you takes a vow of good faith that this is not a trick.” None of the gods would take the vow, so Tyr came forward and pledged that he would release Fenrir if Fenrir could not break the bonds. Fenrir, who’d been fed by Tyr his whole life and raised by him, sniffed at the fetter, still wary. “Put your hand inside my mouth; if your vow of good faith proves false, then you will lose your hand you hold your sword with.” Thinking that his threat was enough to convince Tyr not to lie, Fenrir opened his giant maw, and as Tyr placed his hand in Fenrir’s mouth, the fetters were placed around his legs.
Fenrir tried to free himself as he had before, and failed. He flexed the muscles of his neck, and nothing budged. He kicked his legs and writhed. He pulled against the fetters, struggled and raged and… nothing. Lighter, smaller, the fetters made of impossibilities had trapped the impossibly strong wolf.
Hurt, betrayal, fear, and finally rage filled Fenrir’s eyes. He gazed directly into Tyr’s face as he snapped shut his jaws upon Tyr’s arm, tearing the flesh and cracking the bone at the wrist. Blood dripped from his mouth and he snarled so deep the earth shook. It did not matter though; he was trapped. Chains of the same strength had been tied to the fetters, and he was sent to the farthest away part of the universe, on a dark planet, all alone. To keep him from shutting his mouth and biting anyone else, they threw a sword between his jaws, piercing deep into the top of his mouth. He howled with anger, chained to the planet in darkness, until a red foam began to spill from his mouth and became a river of blood and agony.
But this isn’t the story of his despair. This is a story of love. In places forgotten, in stories from long ago, there are forgotten players that are hidden in time. Tyr was not the only one to know this beast; there was another, a kinder soul who saw not a monster, but an animal torn from its mother, cursed by the infamy of its father, placed in a beautiful prison, left alone. We often hear of the gods who fought wars, who died valiantly, or who caused trouble. These are not our only heroes. For Fenrir, the only one who mattered, was Soley.
Soley was a light elf from Alfheim. She had been part of a diplomatic peace trade, and served as a sort of ambassador servant, and had to leave all that she knew behind. She had been tasked with being a servant of the goddess Freya. However, Freya saw in her magical potential, and took an interest in her. When serving her goddess, she learned from her magic. Not very much, but enough to be troublesome if she’d wanted. Freya was fond of her, and as the goddess of fertility, sex and lust, taught her many things about the ways of seduction and lovemaking. She had looked into Soley’s eyes and decided that she could see Soley’s future. Then and there, Freya took so much of a liking to Soley that she taught her secrets that only someone who ruled over the fallen warriors of the battlefield would know, like how to heal those close to death, and how to commune with the dead.
No one ruled over Freya, but Soley was not so lucky. She was not of Asgard, and so her invitation to stay could be rescinded. When she was caught whispering incantations to herself, she was given a choice; leave Freya’s side and serve elsewhere, or be thrown out of Asgard. She chose the latter, and became a servant in the palace, hidden away from Freya’s affections.
While Tyr was brave enough to feed the beast Fenrir, he was not so interested in caring for the pup. There had been attempts to have servants clean up after Fenrir and keep an eye on him, but so far, all had been too fearful, or too stupid. Some had made unfortunate mistakes and been injured by the snapping of Fenrir’s teeth.
Soley was in a position to be punished, and being a quiet servant in the halls that Fenrir roamed was her punishment.
He was still young when he met her, but so very, very large. He smelled her as soon as her footsteps lightly padded outside of the door. As she entered, her scent filled his nostrils and he crouched low, near the far end of the great hall that was his home, waiting.
With a creak, the door opened. A guard shoved Soley inside, and quickly shut the door behind her. No one wanted to be inside the hall with this enormous wolf.
Soley stood near the door, her hands clasped. She was barefoot, and wearing nothing more than a simple silk dress colored sage green that softly contrasted against her golden skin. Her dark hair had small, white flowers braided into it and fell just below her breasts.
Soley peered into the darkness. She could smell the scent of Fenrir, as well. His musk was heavy in the room. It mixed with the scent of old blood and excrement from the animals he’d been fed by Tyr. As she looked at the floor, she noticed the filth that none had attended to, and saw that the entire hall was generally unkempt.
Fenrir waited in the shadows across the hall, his large body still lay low against the ground. He had an idea. She could not know whether or not he was awake, so he decided to pretend to be asleep, and see what she did. If he did not like her, perhaps he would surprise her and attack her.
Soley crept across the hall, stepping around bones and debris. The great wolf was in the far corner of the hall, still and quiet. Her heart sped up. She’d never met such a large beast. She crept closer until she, too, was in the darkness and could see him more clearly.
Fenrir waited, his muscles tense. Her smell was overwhelming, she was so close. He could snap her in half, if he’d wanted to. He wanted her to know that he could; a good scare should teach her this. His eyes were closed so he didn’t see that she had reached out her hand…
Soley came close to Fenrir. She was told he was a beast, but all she saw was a sleeping beauty. His muscles were strong, his head large and heavy, his coat needed brushing but was fine and thick. She reached out her hand and placed it on his flank and began to softly, so softly, stroke his fur.
Fenrir was completely alarmed. His muscles relaxed, but his mind was more alert than ever. Something strange was happening. He felt… what was this feeling? Whatever it was, he waited more. He opened his eyes and lifted his head to look at her.
“Hello.” Soley spoke softly, and directed her gaze right into his eyes. She didn’t stop caressing his fur.
“Hullo.” Fenrir said, his voice rough and deep.
Soley began to remove her hand from his back, and Fenrir made a sound of disappointment very similar to the huffing of a dog.
“Oh, you like that, do you?” Soley smiled. “Lay on your side, and let me come close to you.” Fenrir, still shocked at his response to her, did as he was told.
Her fingers pulled through his fur, untangling some of the fur that had been matted, and then traveled down to his belly. She massaged his muscles and scratched the hard-to-reach places. Fenrir’s eyes began to close and Soley saw his lips pull back in a relaxed grin.
Soley looked at this gigantic beast, laid out on its side, acting like nothing more than a pup wanting love, and then she suddenly saw herself, small and fragile besides him. He could rip her apart if he wanted. When she was sent here to clean up the great hall that he lived in, she knew deep down that this punishment could be a fatal one. She mourned being separated from her goddess, Freya. She looked back at Fenrir, and something stirred within her. She saw this great beast who so yearned for her touch, a touch of kindness and care, and she knew that he was lonesome here. Her heart felt for him.
Soley walked around to face him and sat on her haunches. Fenrir’s large eyes opened, lazily, and he rolled over onto his belly and looked at her directly. His gaze was steady and had the calm confidence of an animal that can kill you, but somehow she saw the playful youth in his eyes, as well. Fenrir had a little bit of trickery and mischief in him. Soley smiled and had an idea. She decided she would tell him stories about tricksters. You see, she was one of the very few who walked these halls that had been beyond Asgard and heard of old trickster stories from those she had met who’d traveled to Midgard. There were stories of coyotes, bears, foxes, and even of human women and men. Fenrir’s ears pricked up, and they would twitch at a particularly exciting part of the story. Soley did this until the sun set and there was a shuffling of feet at the door.
A few guards opened the doors, tentatively. They didn’t expect her to still be there; they had a bet that she’d have run away or been eaten. So, they were surprised when she walked towards them calm, unharmed.
Soley went back, day after day, to do her job. She was to clean and care for the great hall. It had been neglected and become filthy since no others would go near Fenrir. When she was done with tidying up, she would sit down and stroke Fenrir’s head and neck, and tell him stories that she’d heard from different worlds. Fenrir would become so anxious to spend time with her that he actually became a neater eater. Instead of dragging his kill all over the hall, spreading its blood and vitriols on the floor, he picked a place where he would eat and leave the rest of the hall more-or-less clean.
Soley and Fenrir spent more and more time together, and Fenrir’s heart became light, and Soley began to forget her despair in losing her goddess. Then, one day, Soley and Fenrir had been playing a game of hide and seek. Soley knew that Fenrir had an advantage and she’d stolen a large sack of flour mixed with pepper and tied it to Fenrir’s muzzle. Anytime he’d try and take a big whiff and look for her with his nose, he’d sneeze instead. She tied a long scarf around his eyes so he couldn’t look for her with his eyes, either. The only thing he could do was listen for her. She would step so very quietly, that mostly she felt this was a nearly-fair game. This day, as he searched for her, she had hidden close to the smells of blood and carnage from his meals. He got closer, and closer, and closer. She could have stayed still or covered herself in blood so he wouldn’t be able to even try to sniff her (sometimes he could catch her scent even through the flour and pepper). She decided to run.
Fenrir heard her footsteps, heavier and quicker now, and pounced after her. His great head shook off the sack of flour and the scarf around his eyes fell as he landed, two large feet on either side of her body. She stumbled and fell to the floor. Fenrir’s great, big muzzle was just a breath away from her face. His tongue lolled out and his teeth showed in a grin. Soley felt vulnerable, her skin heating up from the hot breath of his panting. She couldn’t help herself from feelings the primal reaction that triggered her need to fight or flee, and her heart raced so much in her chest that the beat of it was like a steady, rapid drum. She felt compelled to reach a hand out and stroke his muzzle, soothe the snarl from his face, and calm them both. Fenrir’s body changed as his muscles stiffened at her touch. He could smell her, too, that the very scent of her sweat had changed. He lowered his muzzle, slowly, until his nose was against her chest. Her hands moved up his muzzle slowly, stroking his fur and reaching the places he had trouble reaching himself. She grabbed his ears and massaged his temples. He breathed her scent in and his whole body tensed. Normally, her touch would relax him and make him want to sleep. Now, Fenrir simply felt that his senses were heightened, that every part of his body was tingling and electric.
Soley felt like every time she touched him, wherever she touched him, that warmth moved from his body into her hands. She felt her heart warm and she realized that it was love that was tingling through her. She began to kiss his nose, and then his cheeks, and then his ears and neck. She reached below his belly and then around his back, wanting to give this love to all the parts of him that she knew, with certainty, had never been loved.
Fenrir began to pant and shiver. Unlike Soley, he had never felt any kind of compassion, and Soley had been the only one to show him any affection for as long as he could remember. This feeling was new to him; he didn’t know that he had fallen into such a deep state of love for her. Nor did he realize his love had turned to lust.
Soley remembered all the magic that Freya had taught her. She’d been taught to please giants and giantesses at Freya’s side, and often been a lover of Freya, herself. “It is not necessary to have the right parts,” Freya said to her, “but it is necessary to have the right attitude.” To be playful, loving, creative, sensual; these were Freya’s gifts to her.
Ah, but she had one more, and it was a spell not given to many. Freya truly did love Soley, and since it was often said that Freya could see the future, Soley realized why Freya might have taught her a magic spell so very different than any other -and one that was never truly used with Freya, herself. It was a spell that turned her into any animal she touched, as long as she had a connection with that animal. The connection had to be genuine; it could not be faked. More importantly, it was a very limited spell, because once she chose that animal, she could not take on the form of any other animal except her original body without causing great harm to herself.
Soley felt the lust and tension in Fenrir. She knew that all this time had not been false or wasted; there was love there and there was friendship. Fenrir had come into his age and Soley was the only one he had ever truly trusted.
“Fenrir…” Soley whispered, feeling shy and nervous. Fenrir’s eyes focused on her, even though they were full of heat and fire, and amongst it, a fluttering fear. “Do you trust me?”
Fenrir nuzzled her and gave her a wet kiss; her chest and face, small as it was compared to him, became wet with his saliva. “You are Soley. You are my light in the dark.” His voice was steady, although there was a strained and haggard quality to it now.
“I want to give you something. Something you’ve never had.” Soley reached forward and touched his face, lovingly, and looked into his eyes. “Please trust me, and don’t be alarmed.” Fenrir looked at her quizzically, but stayed still and listened to her. Soley step back and began to whisper the incantation she had learned, one so very old and secret that she had sworn never to teach it to anyone. She dearly hoped it worked.
It was not as scary as she thought it would be, changing into a wolf like this. It hurt a little, but she’d endured worse pain. She could hear better, see in the dark better, and suddenly the world changed from forms and colors to smells. So many smells! The strangest thing, she realized, was she saw the world from higher ground.
“I’m bigger than I was!” She exclaimed, in shock. She looked at Fenrir now, who was wide-eyed and completely bewildered.
“Soley??” Fenrir knew of magic, but not of this kind. He certainly didn’t expect it from Soley. “Why do you look…”
“Why do I look like a wolf?” Soley grinned and began to pad over to him. Her new body felt natural to her, and she moved with ease. She silently praised Freya for magic that was so elegant. “So I can do this!” Soley pounced on his back and bit him gently on the shoulder. Fenrir’s immediate reaction was to flip her off him and pin her down, which he did with ease. After all, he knew his body well and for much longer than she’d had hers. She began to lick his face and neck. Fenrir realized the kisses made him feel strange. Then Soley wriggled free and nuzzled his belly, nipping and licking him all over. Fenrir’s eyes closed, and his jaw fell open. Then he felt her beneath him, and something so primal and very natural to him occured right then and there…
Soley and Fenrir played with this new experience, sometimes Soley in her normal form, sometimes as a wolf, sometimes somewhere inbetween. She heeded Freya’s advice and was very creative. After, they would lay curled up together, feeling the swelling of their hearts as they both were full of love.
Sadly, as history has shown, this bright Summer of love and light they enjoyed did not last. The Winter of their love was not of their doing, but of the fearful gods of Asgard. The gods had begun to devise plans to chain and bind Fenrir. Now a full grown wolf with love and pride swelling in his chest, he did not suspect their mal intentions. Soley occupied his mind, his time and his heart. While there were a few that questioned how this simple, fragile woman would be able to survive the fearsome wolf, none were brave enough to find out the answers; they remained curious, and Soley’s love for Fenrir was so preposterous an assumption that it was never considered.
Fenrir was fettered and chained, and dragged away never to return until the Ragnarok, when the moon would be swallowed, and the sun devoured, and all light left the world and the end came for all the gods who had imprisoned him. He would die there, never to meet Soley again.
No, he would suffer endlessly, betrayed and alone, his blood pouring from his mouth only because he defied the silence with his howls. In his cries, muffled and unheard, he called for her. She, the only one who could have bound him without steel, iron, or impossible chain for the rest of his days.
“You are Soley. You are my light in the darkness.”
But on that isolated planet far away, the darkness persisted.