It had been deliberate. Nine year old Samantha Wilson was walking across the street from her primary school to join her friends at the ice cream shop when the car barreled around the corner and slammed into her. She was thrown high in the air, landing on the bonnet of the car, her head smashing into the windscreen. After her unconscious body rolled off the car it sped away, leaving her in a crumpled heap on the road. She lay in the hospital’s Intensive Care ward now, fighting for her life. Her father, Dave Wilson sat by her bed, holding her tiny, pale hand as the machines beeped and clicked, keeping her alive by inches.
* * * *
Loki sat on the border wall just outside the Great Library, reading a book on Midgardian animals. The hair on the back of his neck stirred and he looked up to see Heimdall running his way. The big sentry was breathless and upset. Loki dropped his book and shot to his feet, every cell in his body on high alert!
“My Prince! It is Dave Wilson’s daughter!”
“What?” Loki asked, adrenaline whipping through his thin form.
“She has been run down in the road. She clings to life!” Loki felt all the blood drain from his face.
“Take me to her!” The boy shouted. The two ran back to the Observatory and Heimdall pushed the sword into the lock, sending Loki to the Hospital car park. He flew inside and asked where the child was.
“Are you a relative?” The nurse asked.
“Yes! I am her brother!” The boy lied, not caring about the consequences. He was directed to go up a set of stairs and down a long hallway. He ran, still dressed in his princely rainments.
Dave sat next to the big bed, holding the girl’s hand. She looked so tiny in the contraption. Loki gasped, tears springing to his eyes. Dave heard him and turned to him, tears in his own eyes.
“Oh Loki!” He cried, falling into the young prince’s embrace. “Can you help her?” Wordlessly, Loki pried himself away from Dave and walked up to the unconscious child. She lay on her back, two IV drips, one in each arm fed her blood and a clear fluid. Both of her tiny legs were encased in plasters. Her head was bandaged and her face was obscured by an oxygen mask. Loki gently pulled the mask away and lay his hand on her chest. A green mist emanated from his hand and into her body.
In seconds, both arms spat out the drips. The bandage unraveled and fell away from her head and both leg plasters cracked and fell to the floor with a clatter. Her blond eyelashes fluttered and opened. A huge smile spread across her face as she sat up in bed. “Loki!” She cried, throwing her arms around the boy’s neck and kissing his face repeatedly. Dave flew to the bed and Loki lifted the child, handing her to her father. Dave wept with joy and relief as he held her in his arms.
“Oh, Loki! Thank you! Thank you so much!” Loki smiled, tears tracking down his cheeks. Suddenly, a young nurse burst into the room and dropped the tray of syringes to the floor. Her expression was one of shock! Dave ran past her, his daughter in his arms and grinning ear to ear. Loki walked up to her and imparted a sweet, adorable kiss to her forehead.
“You dropped something.” The boy said cheekily, smiling as he passed her on his way out.
* * * *
Mike Phillips scrubbed his bumper with a chamois, trying to eliminate all traces of his crime. His heart raced as he hurried along, intent upon removing all suspicion connecting him to the fact that he nearly killed the Wilson child. He stood, finally satisfied that the blood was gone to find himself toe to toe with Loki! The young prince’s expression was dark and predatory. He didn’t give him time to run or protest. Loki punched the thuggish boy squarely in the face and proceeded to beat him mercilessly. He broke every tooth in the other boy’s mouth. As his victim lay on the ground moaning, his mouth bloody and toothless. The angry teen looked down at him and spat in his face. He lifted his foot and stamped the muscular teen’s leg, snapping it! As Mike lay screaming, Loki kicked him in the head. “That was for Sammy.” He growled, disappearing like a ghost. The screen door banged and his father stepped out to find his son laying on the ground looking as though a truck had hit him!
* * * *
The Bifrost wave crashed into the ground just outside of Dave’s house. Odin All Father stepped out of it and walked to the back door. Dave snatched it open thinking it was Loki. He smiled at the huge man. “Come in!” he said, smiling. Sammy, hearing the sound outside scampered into the kitchen and ran up to Odin, hugging his legs. The elderly god lifted the child up and hugged her, giving her a gentle kiss on the cheek.
“Hello my friend.”
“Hello sir! I guess you already know Loki saved Sammy’s life.”
Odin sighed heavily and sat down. Dave joined him. “Yes, I am aware of that.” His expression was grim.
“What’s wrong?” Dave queried.
“Loki also went to the boy who hit her and beat ten bells out of him. He lies in the same hospital.”
“Good!” Dave replied. “Justice has been served.”
Odin nodded solemnly. “Yes. Loki did exact justice and for that reason his punishment will be lighter.”
“Punishment?” Dave said, frowning. “What has he done wrong?”
Odin sighed again, scrubbing his face tiredly. “Loki knows he must ask permission to do what he has done. Also, he very nearly killed that boy.” Odin might have said more but the crunching of car tyres on the gravel drive caught everyone’s attention. It was Dick Combs, the Sheriff. Dave uttered an exasperated ‘oh no’ and stood, walking out the back door.
Dick’s face was grim. “Hello Dave, is Loki here?” He asked.
“No, but I have some explaining to do.” Dave said, inviting the portly Sheriff inside. Dave introduced Dick to Odin, netting a surprised reaction out of the policeman. Half an hour and a pot of coffee later, Dick knew everything. Loki’s true nature, the existence of Asgard, all of it. Dick sat shell shocked at the table, staring at Odin with amazement.
“My son is possessed of a strength that people of your World would call powers. On Asgard he is just a young boy of about sixteen years in human terms.”
“Loki thought it was seventeen.” Dave said, making Odin smile.
“He has always been in a hurry to grow up.” Odin said.
“I am glad you are here, Dick.” Odin told the sheriff. “Loki has beaten the Phillips boy nearly to death. I will remove his powers and give you permission to punish him in any way you see fit.”
Dick sat frowning, looking over at Sammy who sat perfect and healthy before him. He carefully weighed the fact that Loki had healed the child against his actions on her attacker. Finally he spoke.
“Look, if I weren’t a law man I would say fair enough. I mean, that punk is a really bad egg. He only got what he had coming. And Loki is such a good boy…” he cleared his throat and looked into Odin’s one blue eye. “I think if he deserves anything it’s a spanking.” He finally said. Odin nodded, smiling.
“I agree. I leave it to you then.” The All Father said, rising. Just then, Loki walked up the driveway to the house.
“Speak of the devil.” Dave said. Sammy flew out the door, banging the screen door behind her and into Loki’s arms. She kissed his face as he carried her, smiling to the door. When he caught sight of Dave, his father and the sheriff, his face fell and he sat the child on her feet.
“I guess I’m in a lot of trouble.” He said softly, his head bowed. Odin walked over to his son and kissed the top of his head. He placed a hand on his head and Loki’s powers drained from him. He staggered on his feet. “I leave you in the capable hands of the good sheriff, my son.” He said, smiling as he went out into the yard and the Bifrost swallowed him up. Dick watched this process with wonder. Loki looked up, his eyes growing huge. The sheriff! Fear of the big man and what he could do to his bottom surged through him, draining the colour from his face.
“Son of a gun.” The portly sheriff said under his breath, still flummoxed by the Bifrost and everything else. He looked down at the young prince who looked so small and frail. Loki looked absolutely terrified.
“I su…su… submit myself for p… punishment.” He stuttered meekly. Dave walked over to Sammy and picked her up, leaving the house wordlessly. Dick loomed over the frightened boy and his shadow crossed over Loki’s face. The boy backed away a few steps, trembling all over.
“What’s wrong son?” The amiable sheriff asked.
“I’m frightened of you.” Loki squeaked timidly. “Please don’t hurt me.”
Dick stepped forward. Loki’s eyes grew even larger as the big man lifted his chin and looked into his eyes. “Don’t be scared of me son. I wouldn’t hurt you for anything in the World. I want you to know that I’m very proud of you for what you did for Sammy. Now I have to spank your little bottom but I promise I won’t really hurt you, okay?” The big man said. Loki shuddered, nodding silently. The enormous man pulled a kitchen chair out and gently drew Loki’s lanky body over his knees. The size difference made the young prince look like a child on his lap. He started to cry, obediently letting the man position him with his hips over his right leg, putting his bottom in perfect position for spanking. The soft sound of the frightened youngster’s crying stabbed at the sheriff’s big heart.
“Shhhh, it’s okay son.” Dick whispered, feeling like a heel for spanking this terrified teen.
He lay one hand on the narrow back and raised the other, administering a sharp swat to Loki’s pert little bottom. The leggings he wore were thin and did nothing to impede the sting of the spanking. The boy flinched and gritted his teeth at the stinging blow. He squeaked, tears pouring from his eyes. Dick spanked Loki soundly, his large hand crashing down on the small target, lighting a fire on his bottom! After the tenth swat Loki began to yelp with each one. Dick’s heart broke with every cry from the thin boy but he knew it was for his own good. He was careful to make the punishment sting but not enough to bruise or injure him. It was painful but Loki knew the spanking could easily have been much more severe. Altogether he gave the Loki about twenty five swats, leaving his small bottom stinging madly. He cried pitifully throughout, feeling a mixture of guilt and terror of this huge, uniformed authority figure. The terror magnified the sting tenfold.
When it was over, Loki lay still and obedient, his chest hitching pitifully, waiting for permission to rise. Relief flowed through him when he realized the spanking was finished. Dick flicked a tear from his own eye and pulled the youngster to his feet, gathering him into a warm bear hug. He held the boy until his tears stopped and whispered in his ear.
“Good boy. It’s alright. Yes, I know that hurts. It’s all over now. Poor little fella.” He rubbed Loki’s thin back, wincing at the fact that he could feel every rib. Loki broke the embrace and swiped his eyes with his sleeve, reaching back to rub his sore bottom.
“I’m sorry sir. Th… Thank you for correcting me.” He said, offering his hand to shake. Dick took the offered hand, amazed.
“Well, I forgive you, Loki. I’m sorry I had to spank you, poor little fella.” Loki looked up at him, wide eyed and sad.
“You don’t have to be sorry sir. I deserved it.” He said, still rubbing at his throbbing bottom. Dick patted his back affectionately and Dave came back in with Sammy in tow. She flew to her beloved Loki, hugging his legs and patting his sore bottom gently. He smiled and lifted her into his arms, happy that she was well.
“You okay son?” Dave asked worriedly.
“Yes sir. My bottom hurts but I’ll be alright.” He replied timidly.
“Aw!” Dave exclaimed, hugging the thin young prince.
“May I lie down for a bit?” Loki asked, his bottom aching.
“Of course.” Dave said, patting his face. “Goodbye sir.” He said to Dick and walked slowly to his room and closed the door. Seconds later the two men could hear the boy crying behind the door. Sammy began to cry in sympathy. “Oh Lord that poor kid.” He said, looking at Dick.
“I know. It was all I could do to spank his poor little rump. He actually thanked me afterward!” Dick said, shaking his head. Dave gathered his daughter into his lap and cuddled her.
“I had the same problem. But he is a child. He needs discipline.” Sammy’s tears dried up and she too looked sleepy. Dave carried her to her bed for a nap and joined Dick in the kitchen over coffee.
“I’ve never seen a more polite, decent boy in my life.” Dick said. I’d like to talk to his parents to ask what their secret is.”
“I did. They just said they treat him like the child he is and spank his little backside when he’s naughty.” He huffed a laugh and Dick smiled.
“Well then it must just be in his nature. In any case he’s a really fine boy.” Both men stopped talking and noticed that Loki had fallen silent. Dave stood up and walked to his door, peeking in. Loki was sound asleep on his stomach, hugging the pillow. He looked like a small child. It squeezed Dave’s heart. He felt such love for this young prince. It was as though Loki were his own son.
“He’s out like a light.” Dave reported quietly, sitting back down.
“I spanked him pretty hard.” Dick said, feeling like a heel.
“Yeah. I did once, when he told me a lie. Even then he did it to keep from upsetting me.” Dave said wonderingly.
“Well, when he wakes up tell him I said he’s a good boy.” Dick rose and shook Dave’s hand before he left.
* * * *
Two hours later, Loki emerged from his bedroom looking pale. His eyes were bloodshot from crying and his lips red. Dave hugged him and went into the den to get him a pillow. The boy sat down carefully, wincing at the soreness in his bottom and looked up at Dave, smiling sweetly.
“Loki I want you to know that if it had been up to me instead of your dad I wouldn’t have let Dick spank you at all.” Loki nodded, smiling up at the man.
“Thank you Dave but I deserved it. Sometimes I forget that I’m just a boy and my elders know better than me.”
“You’re anything but just a boy, Loki. You’re very special. You are a good boy and Dick wanted me to tell you that. He felt awful for spanking you.”
“I know. I expect to be punished when I do something wrong. My father says it’s how I learn to be a good man when I come of age.”
“Loki they weren’t sure my daughter was going to live.” Dave said now, his eyes misty. “I will never be able to repay you. I want you to know that I love you like a son.” He reached across to Loki and stroked his cheek gently. “I wish I could take your pain away. Poor little bottom.” Loki blushed and looked down.
“Thank you. I love you both too. He reached back and rubbed at it, his brows climbing unevenly and a wry smile on his face. Dave chuckled. “My father would have spanked me a good deal harder. The sheriff was merciful. Especially since I tried to kill that boy.” Loki said. Dave looked at him, surprised to hear that Loki had meant to end the other boy’s life. “When I saw Sammy lying in that bed, broken and hurting I went…mad.” Loki said, looking down. “I’m sure he’s in a lot more pain than I am just now.”
“Yeah, well I did too Loki. To tell you the truth I thought about killing that bastard myself.” He said, surprising Loki. “That sheriff is a pretty big guy. You took that paddling like a man.”
Loki nodded. “I was very frightened when I heard he was going to punish me. I imagined a lot worse than he gave me.”
“Well, Dick is a really nice guy. He’s big but he’s usually pretty gentle. Especially with a little fella like you.” Dave said, smiling. Loki looked down, smiling.
* * * *
Two hours later, Mike Phillips’ father walked into the sheriff’s office, demanding that Loki be arrested. “Arrested for what exactly?” Dick asked, spearing the man with his eyes. “What about Mike? I think what he did is called attempted vehicular homicide.” The other man’s face reddened with rage and his fists balled up as he turned and left the station. Dick stood up and followed him to his truck. “I better not find out you’ve been harassing that boy or his family.” Dick said. “If I do I may have to investigate what your boy did.” The other man jumped in his truck and drove away without a word.
Later, Dick was informed by the hospital that Mike would recover. He had sustained a broken leg, fractured skull, three broken ribs, the loss of just about every tooth in his head and various bruises and contusions but his life was not in danger. Dick shuddered, thinking of that small, slender boy way laying the Phillips thug. He put paid to the whole thing and decided to drive out to Dave’s farm and let him know.
The sheriff’s car turned into the driveway of the farm house and Dick parked by the house. Loki was in the barn, brushing Sammy’s Pony. He walked out of the barn and came up to Dick, looking up at him meekly.
“Have you come to arrest me sir?” He said, looking adorably timid. Dick’s heart broke.
“Aw, of course not.” He said, drawing Loki into a hug. “When are you gonna learn you don’t have to be afraid of me? I just came to talk to Dave about the Phillips boy, that’s all.” He said, smiling down at the boy. “How’s your little bottom?” he asked. Loki reached back and rubbed it slowly, his brows climbing.
“It still hurts sir.” Loki answered, sounding like a very small child.
“Aw, well come inside and we’ll put something cold on it.” Dick said, walking the boy to the door with him.
“Come on in Dick!” Dave called, walking out of the den with a handful of mail. The sheriff and Loki came in together.
“You got any ice and a baggie?” Dick asked. Dave looked at him and nodded.
“Sure.” He got a food storage baggie from a drawer and opened his freezer, withdrawing a couple of ice cube trays. He cracked them open and shook the cubes into the baggie and handed it to the big sheriff and snatched a tea towel off the counter, handing it over as well. Dick walked Loki into his bedroom.
“Now. I want you to take your britches down and lay on the bed son, OK?”
“Yes sir.” Loki said softly, hooking his thumbs in the waistband of his leggings and pulling them down, wincing as they scraped against his battered flesh. He knelt on the bed and lay down obediently. Dick looked down at Loki’s bottom and hissed through his teeth at what he saw. Loki’s poor little backside was bright red. It looked very painful and made Dick feel like the worst sort of bully.
“You poor little thing.” He said, carefully laying the tea towel over the scalded flesh and laying the ice on top of it as gently as he could. Loki hissed at the contact, grabbing the duvet with both hands. “I’m really sorry, son. I didn’t realize I was spanking you that hard.” Dick said. Loki groaned, sounding like a puppy and it reached right into the big man’s chest and squeezed his heart.
“It’s okay sir.” Loki said sweetly. Dick reached down and patted his head.
“Lay still and let that ice work, okay?”
“Yes sir.” Loki squeaked. He knuckled his eye and yawned, making Dick smile at the cuteness of it. Dick rubbed Loki’s back gently, lifting the ice to check the poor little scalded bottom. Loki soon fell asleep. He looked like an angel.
Dick left the boy to rest and went to the kitchen to speak to Dave. “The Phillips boy’s dad came by to complain a while ago.”
“What did he say?” Dave asked.
“He had the nerve to ask me to arrest Loki.”
“What did you say?’ Dave asked, nervously.
“I told him if I did that I’d have to do the same for his boy and charge him with attempted vehicular homicide.” The big man laughed heartily at this. Dave joined him.
“Is Loki okay?” Sammy asked, coming in from playing outside.
“Yes baby. He’s laying down.” Dave said, pulling his daughter into his lap. She sat quietly, listening to Dave and Dick talk for about fifteen minutes and jumped down, going toward Loki’s room.
“Don’t go in there honey.” Dick said.
“Why not?” Sammy asked.
“Loki isn’t dressed.” Sammy gave him a funny look and shrugged her shoulders, heading for her own room.
“So he’s not in any trouble?” Dave asked.
“Not as far as the law is concerned. I hope his daddy doesn’t take it in his head to spank him. His poor little butt is really raw.” Dick said sadly.
“I think he’s satisfied.” Dave said. Dick stood and picked up his hat.
“I’m going back to the office. Let me know if that fat wad of crap Phillips gives you any trouble.” Dick said. Dave chuckled and saw him to the door. He walked out to the barn and began to shovel hay into the horse stall.
Loki awoke alone in the house. Dave had taken Sammy and gone into town to pick up dinner. He stood carefully, wincing as he drew his leggings back up. The pain was less than before thanks to the ice but he was still very sore. He walked into the kitchen and poured himself a glass of water from the tap and stood, drinking it at the sink. It suddenly occurred to him that the senior Phillips might be planning to count coup on him and he decided to pay the man a visit. He had an idea that would put an immediate stop to all hostilities between the Phillips’ and the Wilsons. The problem was, his powers were gone and he knew he stood no chance if the man got hold of him. Loki walked out the back door and stood in the door yard, looking up. The Bifrost swallowed him up.
Once he landed, Loki walked straight to his father in the throne room. Odin sat upon his throne as usual. The teen walked to the base of the throne and looked up to his father.
“Hello my son.” Odin said, smiling. He held his hands out for his son and Loki smiled, walking up the steps to the top. He drew his son into a warm hug. “Did the sheriff spank your bottom?”
“Yes father. He spanked me very hard.” Loki said, climbing into Odin’s lap and laying his head on his father’s chest. Odin patted his back gently.
“Very well. Are you finished with your business on Midgard?”
“Almost. Could you please restore my powers father?” Odin looked down at his son.
“Let me see the damage.” He said. Loki stood obediently and lowered his leggings, showing his red bottom to his father. “I see, that’s a very sore looking little backside. Very well.” Odin laid his huge hand on Loki’s head and returned his strength. The boy’s bottom was immediately healed and he smiled in relief.
“Thank you father.” He said, hugging the ancient god sweetly.
“Be a good boy on Midgard my son.”
“Yes father.” Loki said, trotting down the steps and heading for the Bifrost.
* * * *
Loki was deposited on the barnyard just in time for Dave to pull in with Sammy. He jumped out, carrying a large bag full of Chinese food. Loki took the bag and carried it for him. The three ate a quiet dinner and Loki discovered he really liked Chinese food, with the notable exception of General Tso’s chicken. He tried a bite and told Dave he thought it might contain something other than chicken. Dave laughed heartily. After dinner Loki excused himself and told Dave he was going for a walk. Dave had no problem with that and Loki set out for chez Phillips.
* * * *
The house was quiet when Loki approached. He could see the man through the livingroom window, sitting on an overstuffed chair, drinking beer and watching television. He looked loathsome to Loki. He walked up to the front door and knocked, smiling to himself. The door came open and the huge father of Mike Phillips stood, looking down at him. His formerly white T-shirt was stained and he stank of body odour.
“What are you doing here?” He growled, glowering at the small figure before him. Loki licked his lips and mustered his best puppy dog expression.
“I came to apologize.” He said simply. The man looked down at him, scowling.
“Apologize? You should have stayed at home boy!” He growled.
“Yes sir. I also wish to submit myself to you for punishment.” Loki said, knowing very well the man could do his worst and could never harm him. A hairy arm snaked out and grabbed Loki, dragging him into the house by the nape of his neck. He allowed the big man to manhandle him without protest. He was marched into the front room.
“Is this some kind of trick?” The man asked, towering over him.
“No sir. I was punished by the sheriff earlier and I now offer myself to be punished by you. I know what I did was wrong and I am very sorry.”
“Huh.” The man huffed. “What did that sheriff do to you?”
“He gave me a very hard spanking.” Loki replied, rubbing at his bottom to illustrate.
“Oh yeah?” The man said. “And you came here to let me give you another?”
“Yes sir.” Loki said timidly, bowing his head.
“So if I do whip your skinny little butt that sheriff can come and throw me in jail, right?”
“No sir. I will take whatever punishment you think is fair.”
The big man grunted and grabbed Loki roughly by the ear, dragging him to an armless chair. He plopped down and jerked the boy over his lap. Loki lay still and obedient as the man began to spank him hard! Knowing it would be suspicious if he did not react, he began to yelp and make crying sounds. The harder the man spanked him the more pitiful his cries. He was glad of his Asgardian physicality because this would have otherwise been a horribly painful punishment! After a few minutes of paddling the man stopped. Loki lay still, feigning tears. The man stood him up and he put his hands over his eyes to disguise the fact that they were bone dry.
“Here!” The big man handed him a hanky and Loki pretended to dry his eyes with it. “How did that feel?”
Loki looked up at him timidly. “It…it hurt sir.” He said timidly, rubbing his bottom with both hands.
“Now. No more of this fighting between you and Mike. Understand?” He said, not sounding all that horrible to Loki.
“Yes sir.” He replied. “I’m truly sorry. Please forgive me.”
“Well,” The man began. “I guess I do. I mean you did come here and take your medicine like a big boy. For a little fella like you that’s pretty impressive. You’re a polite little thing too. And Mike did hurt that girl pretty bad. I guess I can see why you did what you did. Okay then. I forgive you.” He said, patting Loki on the shoulder. “Good boy.” He added.
“Thank you sir.” The young prince said, feeling a real tear course down his cheek unbidden.
“Okay. Now go home and behave yourself.” The man said, turning Loki around and giving him a sharp smack on the bottom to propel him forward. Loki smiled broadly when he made it outside and walked home, whistling.
* * * *
Heimdall, who had watched Loki’s plan play itself out, laughed heartily as he walked back to the farm house. Loki stayed the night at Dave’s house and went back to Asgard the next morning. He was surprised when his father came to him and praised his peace making gesture. He told Loki how proud he was of him and ordered Heimdall to keep an eye on the Wilson family. There was no need for worry though. Loki’s peace making gesture worked like magic!