“Have you got mead?” – Freya asked. – “Or ambrosia, or nectar? What does a Goddess do in Paris, when she has to please her palate?”
“She’s got to sit in a street café and drink coffee-late with orange juice and fresh croissant. This here is my favorite – Café de Flore – where writers and philosophers meet. I even met Vivienne here.”
“How lovely! Cafes are my favorite dwellings in Paris. Let’s have a drink in each one!” – proposed Freya joyfully.
“Well, we can sit here – I will treat you a French breakfast.”
Ashton pulled one chair for the Goddess and fixed himself in exactly the opposite chair so that he was able to make only eye-contact. Both familiarized themselves with each other’s appearance, and Ashton smiled out of politeness, and Freya smiled because she felt pleased with the view.
Ashton ordered himself a mint coffee late, and Freya asked what’s the freshest, most indulgent food that humans pride themselves in tremendously.
“Well, dear Goddess, this is the only planet with chocolate soufflé!”
Freya got a chocolate soufflé and poked it with her finger, but it was too hot. Ashton had to show her how to use the spoon. The impatient Goddess managed to burn her tongue with the hot chocolate. But then she felt so happy! She suddenly wanted to learn everything about soufflé, Earth and Ashton.
She leaned her back on the chair and stared at Ashton with honest approval. Then she started with the questions.
“What’s your Sun Sign?” – she went, as she was very astrologically savvy, and could make a nativity chart in the blink of an eye.
“Leo” – he replied. – “But astrology is the most surreal, most irrelevant lore in the worlds.”
Freya smiled. “Don’t you want to know how the stars felt during your birth?”
“What’s Freya’s sign?”
“Oh, I am developed well beyond the restrictions of my astrological profile. When you get enlightened, you will be as well…I want to know you well. So I’ll ask you the questions.”
Ashton beamed, for he loved questions and being the center of attention.
“How did you come upon Brisingamen?”
“I was reading about the Gods and Goddesses of the Northern Mythology in a very old book – legends mostly unfamiliar to people on Earth. We humans don’t believe in Gods and Goddesses to such extent. The book came with a jewel box that opened with a code. I happen to be very good at math and I played with it for a while – and made up a geometrical solution. So when I opened the box after deciphering the code – I saw Brisingamen at night, and it was shining like a star in my palm, and I said to myself: Holy shit, they are real!”
“But you did not abuse its powers?”
“Nah! It’s divine stuff.”
He must be cheating the entire time – Freya thought. She has got this ability to know the stories of objects she touches, and Brisingamen was screaming that Ashton had tried to make use of it on several occasions, but he didn’t succeed. Yes, he was tricky, but she kind of liked that…but then this Vivienne…
“How did you and Vivienne know each other?”
“I came here one early, rainy morning. Quite a busy place, it was not packed, as usual, Vivienne was sitting alone rummaging through old books, she had just gotten from a library. I love old books – this is how I make a living, and I was happy to meet a Parisian girl who reads. We felt so genuinely attracted to each other, that we almost immediately made travel plans.”
”Why travel plans?… This Paris…looks like the perfect world. Isn’t that so?”
“We needed to spend a night in a hotel.”
“What’s a hotel?”
“It’s a dwelling in which you can pay to stay and sleep for a desired period of time.”
Hotel. Freya smiled. Things have gotten badly wrong, but Freya’s smiling. For she feels something she hasn’t felt in a long time. She starts to notice things about Ashton. Each love story of the Goddess started from “I like him a little…”
This Ashton character was smart, very smart. Obviously, he spent a lot of time reading.
“Is Vivienne a good writer?”
“Well, her characters are rather shallow and inadequate, she can’t create conflict for the life of her, and she has got nothing of value to say, but other than this, she is really my favorite writer.”
“Do you know that thin people like you are more intelligent? Especially thin people who own cats! I happen to have a chariot pulled by tomcats – blue and gray – a gift from Thor, my friend. Are you, Ashton Rowan a man of riches?”
“I am rich enough to help the poor.”
I find you very attractive. You know which your sexiest physical characteristics? – You stagger a little…”
“It is because I think too fast.”
“It’s driving me crazy. Somehow, you remind me of my first love, both of you are peculiar in nature. Would you like to hold my hand again? Maybe we should go to a hotel?” Freya smiled.
“I am sorry, Great Goddess, but I cannot respond to your jests…I have someone in my life.”
Freya knitted her eyebrows and suddenly it started raining cats and dogs.
“I will not punish you for repelling me. Although, since now I am wearing Brisingamen, it’s a groundless pretention. Good luck with your Vivienne, I hope everything goes smoothly!” and she walked away from Café de Flore under the heavy rain, without getting wet.
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