I walk down the uneven cobblestone street, darkness growing ever stronger by the minute. The sky is darker than night, not a star to be seen. All is blanketed by clouds, which flash dimly every so often with flickering's of lightning, followed by the softest hint of thunder. I watch as the lamp men light the oil lamps that rest every few feet down the road, futilely trying to stave off the night.

I continue on my way, leaving the light behind, if only for a short while. Tonight, my wandering will take me to Fortunato's palazzo. He throws almost nightly parties, for he is not only a connoisseur in wine, but a notorious drunkard and infidel, with some saying that he takes a new mistress with every party thrown. But I am not one for rumors. I walked silently, lost in thoughts, until I bumped into a metal gate. Fortunato's home is extensive, and full of light.

I could hear the distant strains of music emanating from the house, and I can immediately tell where they are, as that is the brightest spot in the entire area. I sighed, then strolled up the steps to the house, taking them slowly, as I had no wish to be amidst a throng of loud, rowdy, drunken nobles. The house was dim, and silent; all light and life is centered in one area: the center, where the ballroom is. I came across the doors, which were ajar, letting light and sound pour out. I stepped in and was immediately blinded by the sheer light of a thousand suns that suddenly assaulted my eyes.

Everything was luminous, from the glittering black and white marble floors to the diamond windows draped with grand purple damask curtains, to the decorations of rare materials on the antique mahogany tables. The Fortunato family was eccentrically rich, and never was afraid to shove that fact in your face and flaunt it around. I took a silver goblet of wine from a passing server and wound my way through the crowd of nobles, drunk and swaying to the band playing classic melodies. I made my way over to the grand fireplace, full of roaring flames. Luchesi stood in the partial shadows besides the fireplace. He looked up, spotted me, and smiled.

"Montresor! Well met my friend!"

I smiled and shook his offered hand, "Well met, just like last night, and the night before, and the night before."

Luchesi smirked and shrugged, "Fortunato is quite generous to throw nightly parties until carnival."

I snorted, "More like an excuse to party."

He laughed, "True! He will find any excuse to get drunk and lure some unsuspecting broad into the bed!" he took a gulp of wine from his glass, then pointed behind us, "Speaking of…"

I turned and looked. Fortunato was in the middle of the room, drunk, and laughing boisterously, his arm around a drunk girl.

I rolled my eyes and turned back to Luchesi, "What's this one's name?"

"I've honestly lost track of them at this point."

"At least he doesn't go after the married women. Yet."

Luchesi laughed uproariously, wiping his tears, "True!"

"Does his wife even know? I mean, the entirety of the city know, so why wouldn't she?"

"If your wife cheated on you and everyone knew, would you even want to know?"

"Yes."

"Maybe Lady Fortunato doesn't want to know, or she does, and she just ignores it."

"Maybe."

"Though honestly, if Fortunato was my husband, I would have divorced his behind twenty years ago."

"I would've said absolutely not to my father and ran away to a church to be a nun."

We chuckled quietly over our wine. Fortunato must have been looking around for someone to pick a fight with and spotted the two of us, because Luchesi and I both jumped when he called out loudly to me from across the room.

"Montresor! My good friend! It's good that you've finally come out of your catacomb of a house!"

The nobles around him tittered as he smiled in victory, "Come over here my good friend mason, and join the party"

I called back to him, "First, my name isn't mason, and second, I'm perfectly fine to join the party from here!"

Luchesi snorted quietly into his drink while the nobles smiled nervously.

"Come my good friend, is that how friends treat each other these days?"

"How would you know? You only have mistresses."

Luchesi barked in laughter while the nobles gasped. Fortunato narrowed his eyes, but kept smiling.

"For the love of god Montresor, get over here."

"Like I said, perfectly fine to stay right here."

"MONTRESOR!" he barked.

"FORTUNATO!" I yelled back.

He snarled in irritation while the throng of guests laughed.

"Will you just come over here?!"

"Why don't you come over here?"

"MONTRESOR!"

"FORTUNATO!"

"GET OVER HERE NOW!"

"YOU GET OVER HERE!"

"WILL YOU JUST LISTEN TO ME FOR ONCE!?"

"WHY WON'T YOU LISTEN TO ME?"

"MONTRESOR!"

"FINE!"

I strutted over to him as the nobles were bent over double from laughter. Fortunato glared at me the entire time, until I stood next to him. Then he smiled.

"Now, was that so hard?"

"Yes. It was hard. Practically impossible."

The nobles laughed as Fortunato scowled.

"You are a most notable coward, an infinite and endless liar, an hourly promise breaker, the owner of no one good quality."

The nobles gasped and recoiled at his outburst.

"Go, prick thy face, and over-red thy fear, Thou lily-liver'd boy! I am sick when I do look on thee. I'll beat thee, but I would infect my hands. I scorn you, scurvy companion! Methink'st thou art a general offence and every man should beat thee. More of your conversation would infect my brain. You poisonous bunch-backed toad! Thine face is not worth sun burning."

The nobles now had a wide berth around us, and Fortunato's mistress had left his side after his outburst. He wasn't done yet.

"Thou art a plague, a boil sore. Thou art as fat as butter. Thou art unfit for any place but hell. Thou cream faced loon. Thou clay-brained guts, thou knotty-pated fool, thou whoreson obscene greasy tallow-catch! Thou damned and luxurious mountain goat. Thou elvish-mark'd, abortive, rooting hog! Thou leathern-jerkin, crystal-button, knot-pated, agatering, puke-stocking, caddis-garter, smooth-tongue, Spanish pouch! Thou lump of foul deformity!"

His outburst kept going, and he kept picking up steam.

"Your mother was a hamster and thy father smelled of elderberries! Thy wife's a hobby-horse! She is as loathsome as the toad, and like the toad, as venomous and ugly! Thou art pigeon-liver'd and lack gall!"

I blinked, "Know what? You're drunk. I'm not doing this with you tonight. Goodbye."

I turned and made for the door, with Fortunato still shouting after me.

"Away, you starvelling, you elf-skin, you dried neat's-tongue, bull's-pizzle, you stock-fish! Away, you three-inch fool! Away you craven shard-borne giglet! Away you frothy flap-mouthed fustilarian, you spleeny half-faced haggard, you dankish bat-fowling bum-bailey!"

I could hear Luchesi calling after me as I stormed out of the room and out the door. The world outside had worsened. The storm had grown to a perpetual maelstrom. Lightning flashed almost continuously, and was followed immediately by deafening peals of thunder. Wind slammed against the buildings, attempted to rip trees and bushes from the ground, and make men airborne. Rain pounded against everything, making the road slick and dark, as the rain had put out all vestiges of light. As I looked around at this bleak world, I felt a deep, cold know of dread grow in the pit of my stomach as I wondered if something had changed tonight, rendering the world forever changed.

…..

I sat despondently in a lounge chair in a small parlor of my house. Luchesi sat across from me. Neither of us could stop thinking about what had happened the previous night.

Luchesi shifted in his chair, "Well… he was drunk."

I raised a flagon of mead to my lips, "Yes. He was. Doesn't change the fact that he did it."

"Well, you of all people know what happens to drunk people."

I set the flagon down on a table next to my chair and leaned forward, "What exactly are you insinuating?"

"I'm not insinuating anything. I'm just saying that you should know that drunkenness shows the worst in us, changes who we are."

I raised a finger, "Let me stop you right there. Getting drunk doesn't change who we are. It just removes our inhibitions. Shows the real side of us, the side we hide from the world. And Fortunato's side is the most hideous thing I have ever had the misfortune to lay my eyes upon."

"That's a little harsh, don't you think?"

"I beg your pardon, but did you not hear him yesterday? I honestly didn't know he had that sort of language in him." I chuckled and lifted the flagon back up to my lips, muttering into the cup. "Turns out the worm has teeth after all."

"Montresor…"

I looked at him, feigning innocence, "What, did you hear something? I didn't hear anything."

He rolled his eyes, "Honestly, sometimes I wonder what goes on in that head of yours."

I smirked, "Would you even want to know?"

"Oh good God I'm scared already." He lifted his flagon to his lips, then raised an eyebrow and set the cup back down, "Or is calling on the name of the Lord inconsiderate, considering your, ah… family history?"

I took a sip from my cup, "I haven't the foggiest what you're asking."

"You were telling me about your ancestors the other day. Something about the Norse, Vikings, something about being descended from a god… or was it a giant? I can't remember."

"It's both. The forefather of my family was a giant, but he was also a god."

Luchesi took a sip of the mead and frowned, "Well you'd think that the descendants of gods and giants would know how to make a decent drink."

"Hey!" I shook my finger at Luchesi, "That's the finest mead in the world, imported right from Icelandic breweries. Respect the masters, please."

"Ah, yes. I forgot. The Vikings take their mead very seriously."

"The Vikings were groups of renegades. They are really not a good example of who are people are. And yet, they'll be the only thing people will remember about our culture."

He swirled his drink around in the cup, "So… you're not doomsday criers?"

I gave him a death glare, "Word of advice. NEVER mention Ragnarok in this house, or around my family. It is a sure way to start an argument that ends with several mutilations, numerous murders, and quite a few explosions."

He lifted an eyebrow, "Your family takes it quite seriously then I take it?"

"No, it's a complete load of stercus."

He shrugged, "Well, getting off the supposedly dangerous topic, we should try again tonight."

I took a gulp of mead, "Try what again?"

"Fortunato."

I slammed my cup down on the table next to me, sloshing it a little, "ABSOLUTELY NOT!"

"Oh come on, he was drunk!"

"That is not a verifiable excuse!"

"You stood your ground!"

"That's because of my family's history. We're good at standing up to people. But we also don't put up with rude people."

"I'm sure he didn't mean to be so rude. He was probably… just caught up in the heat of the moment."

"What heat?"

"You were sassing him pretty badly."

I huffed, "It runs in the family. And he most certainly deserved it."

"Let's just try again tonight. You can wear a hood and mask so he won't recognize you, and you can hide in the shadows."

"I'm not going. I'd rather get drunk at home, where you can trust people."

He threw his hands up, "Where's the fun in that?!"

"Home is where you can trust the toilet."

He blinked, "What does that even mean."

"It means you can stick a wine bottle up your butt. I'm not going."

"Really Montresor?" Luchesi rolled his eyes, "Grow up, you're acting like a toddler."

"Don't care. Still not going."

Luchesi stood up and started pacing. I sat, watching him, drinking my mead. It was slightly fruity, with a heavy nut taste. Very delicious. Luchesi folded his arms behind his back and started muttering to himself while pacing. I settled myself more comfortably in my chair, happily sipping my mead. I closed my eyes, smiled happily, and gave a contented hum. Luchesi stopped pacing, and abruptly spun around to face me.

"If you agree to go to the parties I ask you to go to, I'll worship you like the gods you say you're descended from."

"Doesn't your bible say that's a no-no?"

He waved a hand and sighed sarcastically, "Yes or no?"

I tipped my head took another gulp of mead, then looked at him, "you would have to agree to never complain about the taste of mead ever again. And…" I paused for a dramatic effect, "you have to say yeet every time you throw something."

He looked confused and horrified, "I have to say WHAT?"

"Yeet."

"I repeat my question. What?"

"Yeet. Say it or no deal."

"Fine. I'll say it. I have no idea what it means, but I'll say it."

I nodded happily, "And since I'm a god, you've got to do everything I say now."

He sighed, "Yes, sure. Whatever. Can we go tonight? Please?"

"Well, I had other plans. I am a busy god, as you doubtless know… but, since I am a generous and merciful god, I'll allow it."

Luchesi gave me a mock bow, "I'm so grateful."

"Fre sha vac a do."

"You're drunk aren't you?"

"A little bit."

He sighed, "Well, at least you're loosened up beforehand. Let's go."

He hurried me out of the house, down the streets, and up into Fortunato's house. I didn't notice anything. The mead was incredibly strong, even when you watered it down. I never water it down. I was incredibly drunk, chuckling over the random nonsense that poured into my head. We walked in the doors to the party and hovered quietly at the edge of the group. Fortunato was, if possible, even more drunk than me. He once again had an arm around a poor drunk woman, a different one, I noticed, from last night. He was talking loudly.

"He is a plague, a boil sore. He is as fat as butter. He is unfit for any place but hell. He is a cream faced loon. He is clay-brained guts, He is a knotty-pated fool, and He is whoreson obscene greasy tallow-catch! He is a damned and luxurious mountain goat. He is an elvish-mark'd, abortive, rooting hog! He is leathern-jerkin, crystal-button, knot-pated, agatering, puke-stocking, caddis-garter, smooth-tongue, Spanish pouch! He is a lump of foul deformity!"

I turned to Luchesi, "I wonder what poor sot has the brunt of his anger tonight."

He frowned at me and put a finger to his lips. I turned back to Fortunato. He kept cussing out whoever it was he was cussing out. My vision started to go blurry, and I started to nod off into my cup of wine. I snapped back to attention when I heard a particular word.

Fortunato was roaring with laughter, "He calls himself a mason! Can you believe it?"

The nobles around him tittered.

"And another thing!" he took a huge swig of wine." He dares call himself English! His is only English by marriage! I feel sorry for his poor wife. Married to a Norseman!"

My eyes narrowed as my foggy mind tried to piece together what he was doing.

"He is no better than his raider ancestors. Claiming his family is descended from a god!" he laughed "Preposterous!"

I got up to face him, and punch his words back into his mouth, then I did an about face and stalked home, leaving Luchesi to his party.

The next day went in a similar fashion. I had breakfast with my wife, and she went out to gossip and have tea with friends. Luchesi came to bother me around lunch, and we proceeded to get plastered on mead, and discuss affairs in the country, and joke about Fortunato. He dragged me right back to Fortunato's palazzo for yet another revelry. Fortunato was, once again, drunk, with one arm around a woman, loudly cussing me out.

I sighed despondently as I listened to his ranting. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed the woman laughing. Something about her felt familiar, and I felt a cold sense of dread creep into the furthest corners of my mind. I looked closer. Her cheeks were flushed with wine, her skin free from blemishes, and her glossy blond hair was loose around her shoulders, rumpled and somewhat ratty. She looked up at Fortunato with hazel eyes glittering with tears of laughter, misty with alcohol, tears streaking down her face.

I felt my heart drop to my shoes and my blood turned to ice. It was my wife, Ophelia.

I stood in shocked horror and disbelief as Ophelia laughed at his lewd jokes and batted her long eyelashes at him. I knew she wasn't particularly fond of me, because as soon as she married me, out of love, her parents died in a carriage crash, and all her friends left her. She never said anything outright, and she found new friends, so I thought that while things were tense at times, she was over it.

My heart climbed back up into my chest, filling my entire body with fire. It didn't stop there. It climbed up into my brain, filling it with a seething, blinding rage that filled my entire brain. I wanted to storm to them, rip Fortunato's entrails out through his mouth and hang him with them. I couldn't even put words to the rage I felt towards my wife.

I felt myself start to move in their direction, but right before I stepped out of the shadows and made my wrath known to them, the fire died. I felt chills creep up my back, turning my blood cold, making my spine straight and hard as rock. I felt a lump in my throat. Pushing it down, I turned and crept out the door, silently, leaving my unfaithful wife to her lover.

The night was cold, windless, and starless. There was nothing out, not even bugs, or owls. I walked silently, my footsteps echoing off the walls of houses I passed. I felt the icy anger creep into my soul, turning my entire being colder than the night around me.

I stayed silent as I climbed the steps to the house I shared with her. I passed portraits of her family, from the earliest generations. I paused in front of the newest one, made only three years prior, or our wedding day.

She had been radiant that day, beaming, eyes shining with love. Her white dress complemented her pale skin and blond hair. In contrast, I was tall, gangly, vivid green eyes, in a tight tux, with thin black hair that hung in low locks framing my face.

She had loved running her fingers through it while she leaned against my side as I amused her with tales of the Old Norse. Her face was filled with life when she laughed, her clear voice filling the air, her joyous smile lighting the room brighter than a thousand suns.

She had loved me once. Now, I didn't know what had happened. The painting started to get blurry, and I realized I was trembling with rage. I turned away from the portrait and silently stormed up the stairs to our shared room.

I threw open the door, lit a candle on the dresser, and sat on the edge of my side of the bed. I stayed like that for hours. I glance up when I heard footsteps.

Ophelia stumbled in, walking awkwardly, my first sign. The second was that I could smell their scent from across the room. Third, she had a fresh love bite on her neck, which she didn't even bother to cover up. Her dress was rumpled, her cheeks red, and her breath came heavily, like she was trying not to pant.

She looked up at the candle, then to me sitting on the bed. Suspicion filled her tired eyes for one second, then a look of innocence.

"Did you wait up for me all night darling?"

I silently shook my head, staring at her, revealing nothing.

She looked at me, then turned to the dresser, placing her small purse down, "How was your day dear?"

I sat watching her every move, "Luchesi came over. We talked for a bit, he dragged me outside."

She removed her shoes and jewelry, let her hair down from its messy bun, giving her head a shake to send the locks tumbling down to the small of her back, covering the mark on her neck, "Luchesi is a good friend to you. You've been reclusive lately. Where did you two go?"

I watched as she slid her ripped stocking off. They were damp at the top, "Fortunato's."

She paused, as if sensing danger, then continued to fold her stockings, "Fortunato's? I heard from the ladies that you caused some trouble with him a couple days ago."

I watched as she slid her top off, showing her corset, "If by trouble, you mean I told some jokes, he was drunk, got offended and has proceeded to insult me daily since, the yes, I did cause trouble."

She removed her corset, breasts swinging free, the tips covered in love bites, "Fortunato is an upstanding member of the community dear."

"Yes I know. Doesn't change the fact that he insulted me unprovoked."

She turned to me, "What I'm saying is, don't poke people with a stick. You have a gift for insults, and joking, but some people, like Fortunato, don't have as evolved a humor as you."

"And?"

She started to slip off her flowing skirt, "And, that would mean they wouldn't understand. And you know what happens to things people don't understand in this country."

Her skirt fell to floor, showing she had no underwear. Her area was wet, liquid dripping down her thighs. She must not have noticed, as she made no effort to conceal it, bending over, giving me a full view of what Fortunato had done to my wife, to pick up her skirt and lay it on the dresser next to the top.

She pulled a filmy green silk nightgown from the dresser and slipped it over her head. It had long sleeves, a low cut, revealing a lot of cleavage, and went down to her knees.

She fluffed her hair, making it spill out onto her shoulders, spilling on her breasts, and half limped to her side of the bed.

I watched her, "Rough day gossiping with the girls?"

She looked at me, startled, as she sat down, "Whatever do you mean?"

I lifted an eyebrow, "You're covered in bruises, limping, and are having trouble breathing."

She turned pale, "Yes well, we went horseback riding." She blushed, "I took many a spill. I'm not a good rider."

"I do believe Fortunato would say otherwise."

She stared at me in shock as I continued, "I saw you with him, at the party tonight. Falling off a horse would bruise your behind, or scrape your legs. And I'm pretty sure it wouldn't cause your underwear to disappear, and cause liquid to run down your legs."

She turned paler with every word I spoke, "I know you were upset at me, for being partially responsible for your friends disappearing, but I never thought you would laugh with a man insulting my honor, much less sleep with him."

She opened her mouth, but I lifted a hand, silencing her, "I never took you for that kind of woman Ophelia. I trusted you. Loved you. And I thought you loved me in return."

Tears started to streak down her face, I shook my head, "Stop. It's too late to apologize, or make excuses. I loved you. We had plans for starting a family. I even started to make a nursery. But you've gone and slept with a man who insults my honor, my ancestors, and now, he's taken my wife from me as well."

She whispered "Nari, please… don't. You don't know what happened"

I stood, walked around the bed to face, "I do believe that I do know what happened. You spent some time with your friends, then decided that I wouldn't be going to Fortunato's tonight, so it was safe for you to go. You drank, started talking to Fortunato, and when he started to insult me, you found it funny and laughed. I watched as you batted your eyelashes at him. He didn't have to get you drunk. You wanted him to take you."

She squirmed under my interrogation, "Nari… stop."

I started pacing in front of her, "It must not have taken much persuasion for him to coax you into his chambers. You made love to him, and after he was done with you, you went on your way so as to not look suspicious, failing utterly at that."

She looked up at me in anger, "Stop."

I stopped pacing and faced her, "If you hate me enough to insult my honor, and to sleep with my enemy, why not just say you're divorcing me, and run away to the countryside to live with your cousins. Say you made a mistake. Why run around behind my back and lie to me?"

She jumped up, furious, "Stop assuming that it's all my fault. If I fall out of love with you, it's YOUR fault, not mine!"

I saw red, and before I knew what was happening, I had something in my hand, and I was pushing her into the bed by the throat, attacking her again and again. She tried to scream in fear, but it came out strangled as my weight forced the breath out of her lungs. She raised her hands to stop me, but I was stronger, and just kept hitting her. Eventually, she stopped moving and making noise.

The rage faded from my body, leaving me stunned as I stared at the dead body of my wife on the bed, bruises around her neck, and multiple stab wounds in her chest, made from the now dripping dagger in my hand. Blood came from her nose, mouth, and eyes, streaking down her tilted back head, staining her hair crimson. Her dress was ripped, and stained, as was the blanket, from the rapidly slowing blood flowing from her breast.

I stared in horror at my bloody hand, and the dagger it held. I heard a slow clapping from the corner of the room.

I whirled around. A man sat in the chair we kept in the corner, near the dresser, in the shadows. He stood, and stepped into the dim flickering light.

He was about my height, probably taller, but built like me. Our hair was the same, though his was pulled into a bun at the back of his head. His eyes matched mine, though in the fire, they danced with a crazy light. His smile was crooked, and he walked jauntily, sauntering across the room to me, stopping to stare at my poor dead wife.

He looked at me and smirked, "Well done boy. Couldn't have done it better myself. Definitely couldn't have said it better. You truly are my son and heir."

I stood frozen in shock, "How did you get in here?"

He brushed a speck of dust of his shoulder. He was wearing an entirely black suit, with shiny black shoes unlike anything I had ever seen, "Well, I certainly didn't use the door. Let's just say, I have my own, secret pathways to do things."

He leaned over her body, and stared into her cold, dead, empty eyes, "Nice work on the broad."

Anger at this pale, cocky man overrode my shock, "That broad was my wife."

He looked over to me, still leaning over her, "She didn't love you though, did she? Otherwise she wouldn't be like this."

I glared at him, "Who do you think you are, intruding into my house and talking about my wife like that?"

He straightened up, "I do believe I said it earlier. Were you not paying attention?"

"What?"

"I'm your father."

I stared at this strange man, "No, my father has been dead for five years, and he looked nothing like you."

The strange man laughed, "Ah, yes, poor Thorsten. Did you really believe that old moron was your father? With your wit and looks? Your skill in multiple areas? No boy. You're my son."

"How about you put a name to the face."

He sighed and took a mock bow, "Loki, god of tricksters."

I stood in shock, stuttering, "That's, that's, n-not pos-possible. The gods aren't real."

He sighed again, then snapped his fingers. My head spun violently, then suddenly, I was falling off an icy cliff. I landed on a frozen lake, plunging into the icy waters. As I sunk down, a giant snake swum up, looked at me, then swam off. Suddenly, I was spinning again, and I was standing back in my room, dripping wet, my skin blue, covered with white lines, facing the man again.

He lifted an eyebrow, "Believe me now?"

I opened my mouth to say something, but nothing came out. I was too stunned. Loki rolled his eyes, then waved his hand. Ophelia disappeared.

"What did you do to her?"

He looked at me out of the corner of his eye, "I hid her wounds and sent her to the lake on your property, making it look like she jumped in and drowned."

I looked at him as he continued to send magic around the room, hiding all traces that she had left that night.

He turned to me again, "Now that that's over, what is your plan for him?"

I stared at Loki, still in disbelief that I was talking to a god, that was my father, "Plan… him?"

Loki rolled his eyes, "how do you plan to get revenge on Fortunato for taking your wife?"

"Umm…"

He shook his head, "You don't have a plan, do you?"

"I didn't think I even needed one."

Loki sighed and threw his head back, "All right, here's your plan then. Carnival is coming up. Do you know what that means?"

"No…"

"It means Fortunato will be in a constant state of drunkenness. The perfect time to spring a trap."

"Trap...?"

Loki rolled his eyes again, "Yes, a trap. Do keep up. You will lure him down into the catacombs and trap him down there, leaving him to die."

"How do I do that?"

He shrugged, then turned and walked back into the corner, "How should I know? He's your problem, not mine."

He lifted his hand, and a swirling green portal opened. He turned back to me, "Oh, and one last thing. If you kill Fortunato in a grand enough way, with heavy layers of trickery, when this is over, I'll take you from this realm and place you as king in my stead, on the throne of Jotunheim."

He turned and lept through the portal, and it closed behind him. I stood stunned for a few minutes as my brain processed what just happened.

I looked at my hands, the blue and white was slowly fading, turning back to my usual pale skin.

The next few days passed in a blur. I mourned Ophelia, held a funeral, and took over the estate. Luchesi moved in, since he was a single bachelor, and a friend. I made my plan to kill Fortunato, and polished it to perfection. I was pretty proud of my final plan, and was sure Loki would be impressed.

Carnival came around, and I kept trying to implement my plan, but it never worked, as Fortunato never showed up. I was starting to lose hope of completing my task in the set deadline, but, a miracle happened, probably perpetrated by my father.

On the last day, I was walking home at dusk after patrolling the streets all day. Then, I saw him in the distance. Fortunato was walking in my direction, dressed as a jester. My heart sped up as he spotted me and rushed over. It was time to start my plan.