It’s Just Not Ragnarök Without The Naglfar
Hey there! Nice toenails.
Now, I know that’s not something you often hear in the locker room, but I really mean it. Can I have them?
Oh, no, no, no. Put away those clippers. I didn’t mean that in a creepy, “Can I have them right now?” sort of way. I’m perfectly happy to wait until you’re dead.
You see, in these times of turmoil and international strife, global warming and civil war, Ragnarök — the great battle between the heroes of Valhalla and inglorious dead of Hel — is swiftly approaching. And when it happens, we under-dwellers and Surtr — Fire Giant of Muspelheim, The One Who Sets the Nine Worlds Aflame — are going to need transportation to said battle. That’s where your feet come into play. We’re building a ship to take us there, the largest ship ever constructed, the Naglfar, the real, prophesied vessel made entirely of dead people’s unclipped toenails.
You’ve heard what the millennials are saying, right? That toenails are possibly the world’s greatest untapped renewable resource. This isn’t going to be just any ship of horrors; it’s going to be a green, sustainable, carbon-neutral ship of horrors. Also, it’s possible that the only thing that grows in the cold, dead, resource-poor soil of Hel is despair, thus making toenails our only resource. But it’s mostly the first thing.
We’ll be riding in style together on our cuticle cruiser at the end of the world, won’t we? Because, let’s face it: you’re middle-aged, you’re in IT, you’ve never battle-axed a berserker or staved in the skull of a shield-maiden, and it’s a little late to start now. You’re going to Hel.
But that’s okay. We have my son on our side, Jörmungandr, who also happens to be a venom-spitting serpent large enough to encircle the entire planet. And who do the gods have on their side? Some doofus with a hammer. I’m just not impressed.
I know. I know. Odin said, “Don’t worry about it, Loki. You don’t have to bring anything special to Ragnarök.” But you know that time when you were invited to that dinner party at your boss Laura’s house and she said, “Don’t worry about it. You don’t need to bring anything,” and when you showed up, everyone else had a bottle of wine and Laura was staring at you all like, “Dude, where’s the wine?”
That’s why we need the Naglfar. Because, everyone will bring something special to Ragnarök. Odin will have his spear, the doofus will have his hammer, and we’ll have the Naglfar.
So let those toenails grow free and wild. The longer they are, the faster we complete construction on our little foot ferry, and the sooner we get to ring in the end of the world.
Do it for me, good ol’ Loki. Because, I swear, if I have to go to my other son/giant wolf, Fenrir, on yet another birthday and tell him: “No, son, I’m sorry. You cannot fulfill your ill-born prophecy. No swallowing the sun this year,” and see that disappointed look on his face/muzzle again, it’ll just break my heart.
And do it for yourself. Because think of the sense of pride you’ll have while riding on the Naglfar, its keratinous hull shining in the water, you caressing the milky yellow gunwale. It’ll be your little piece of the apocalypse. And maybe, just maybe Surtr, Fire Giant of Muspelheim, will look back at you while wielding his flaming sword, killing droves of epic heroes with each horrific swing, and smile at you, winking as if to say: “Thanks for the ride, friend. I couldn’t have brought about the fire-death of the world without your contribution.”
About the author:
L.L. Lamando grew up in the American Midwest, attending public schools K.—Ph.D. He now exists on the internet. You can find his other stories in anthologies such as ‘The Trouble with Time Travel’. Follow him on Twitter @LamandoSciFi.