It was a gorgeous day on the island of Heaven’s Veil. The large condo development by the same name always enjoyed gorgeous days. It was a half hour by car from the mysterious island to the mainland. Granted, instantaneous transportation was available to the tenants, but that was off-putting to the mainlanders. The humans who tried to penetrate the fog surrounding the island found themselves oddly turning in the other direction.
Sif had one of her shopping trips in mind. A weekend in their city, soaking up the ambiance of their strange customs. She talked Aphrodite into going, so Ares was single for the weekend just as Thor was Sif-less. “Par-tay, bud,” Thor high fived Ares.
A small one, they decided. Word would spread through the gossip channels anyway. Few at Heaven’s Veil kept to their own pantheon. Those who did weren’t much fun anyway. Ares’ stays gave him a chance to put down weapons, take off armor and be a casual god, just as Thor did.
“We’ll have the party at my place,” Thor decided.
“That works. Everyone will fit through your door. Even me!” Ares joked.
“Being on the ground floor will let us hear if Dionysus or Loki enter the building. Time to break up the party before they crash it.” Thor nodded at his plan.
“What if they come back early?” asked Ares.
“They’re off causing havoc on the mainland,” sighed Thor. “At least it means they’ll get back late.” Ares gritted his teeth. Havoc on the mainland was grounds to throw them out, but the committee was concerned with what Dionysus and Loki would do in retribution.
“The food, Thor. I will bring the food,” Ares said. “No offense meant, but last time your food didn’t go over well.”
“I noticed. Plenty of lutefisk and sheep’s heads left at the end of the night.” Thor agreed. “The mead was popular. Perhaps I should stay with drinks. Aquavit is powerful and the Swedish pear cider is light. Something for everyone.”
“Excellent. I’ll supplement the drinks with ouzo. Naturally, I’ll have some ambrosia and nectar on hand, but I’ll have baklava and stuffed grape leaves along with hummus. Relatively new, but Greek and delicious,” Ares thought aloud.
Thor was in charge of music. Despite his stature and huge feet, he had a remarkable sense of rhythm. His mix CD’s were always a hit, so his oversized porch was used as a dance floor. Baldr brought Nanna along and they seemed happy while they danced. Even Tyr showed up followed by Dellingr, who brightened the room.
The Greeks were well represented. The twins, Apollo and Artemis, arrived early. Apollo clapped Thor on the back, approving of the music, high praise indeed. Artemis brought a small, snowy owl. Even during casual time at the Veil, she couldn’t be parted from her owls. Demeter and Hestia showed up as well. They may be retiring creatures on Mount Olympus, but they partied with the best down here. Hermes couldn’t be budged. “I’m exhausted, leave me to sleep,” he yelled at the knock on his door. Heracles and Isis were fashionably late, a cheer greeting them. Isis might be a deified human, but she was always a hit, creating rainbows which lit up the patio while she danced.
Ares kept an eye on the food. As usual, the ambrosia and nectar were hardly touched. Greek gods got their fill of them on the Mount. Only the curious Norse gods gave it a try. Too sweet for their tastes, they was rarely tried more than once. The baklava and hummus were in need of refilling. Thor checked on the drinks. Predictably, all were running low. Snagging new bottles of everything and a stack of fresh cups, he restocked the bar.
At nearly 2:30am, Thor heard the unmistakable sound of Dionysus’ return. There were enthralled human girls giggling around him. Thor waved to the party to quiet down, snapping his fingers to stop the music. He peeked out the door and saw Loki’s narrow face turn in their direction. A bad sign, very bad.
“They’re back. Small females and males out first followed by the less strong of the larger. NO ARGUING over amount of power, just get out the door before they come in.” Thor said as calmly as possible.
Ares took over, helping to line people up without letting squabbles break out. He used his “god of war” voice when necessary once or twice.
“Let me stay on the pretext of helping you clean up,” Heracles offered. Ares thought it over a moment and nodded.
Ares told him, “Grab a garbage bag from under the kitchen sink. Start on the patio. Just dump the half empties over the railing.”
As though on cue, Loki and Dionysus burst through the door. “A party,” pouted Loki. “And we weren’t invited.”
“You were on the mainland,” responded Thor smoothly. “It was rather spontaneous.”
“Funny how things broke up as soon as we returned,” sneered Dionysus
“You seem to have brought your party with you,” Ares pointedly looked at the girls surrounding Dionysus.
“You would wound me were you incorrect. Time to start our own party. Oh, is that ouzo? I’ll just help myself to a bottle and we’ll be on our way.” Dionysus pranced out the wide door with the girls hanging all over him.
Loki found himself alone with Thor and Ares, Heracles glancing in from the porch. Loki hesitated but put on his game face. “I’m not sure what that is, but I’ll take a plate to the party.” He lifted a plate of baklava.
“Help yourself, there’s more,” called Ares.
The door slammed behind Loki.
Thor and Ares grinned. “Great party, bud,” pronounced Thor. Ares nodded. Another high five.
Heracles came in, laughing. “Glad you didn’t need to armor up this time.”