The cathedral was quiet. In the back rows, people prayed. Near the front someone lit a candle, another talked to a priest. In the confessional sat a well dressed young man with hair as black as night and eyes that sparkled like emeralds.
"Forgive me father for I have sinned," Loki began. "I have never done confession."
"Never confessed in your life?" The priest asked as he looked across through the screen.
"I never felt a need to. I will admit have I have committed grievous acts in the past, and that is all. Why put out my nature to others when there is no need?"
"Then why confess now?"
"I am troubled old one," Loki said.
"Are you Catholic?" The priest shot Loki a doubtful look.
"Yes Father," Loki lied. "Shall I continue?"
The priest nodded.
"I am troubled. I feel guilt. It pains my nonexistent soul. I have killed."
"Killing is a grave sin young man," The priest said. "It is not easily forgiven."
"I tricked him and led him to his slaughter. I thought it was for the best, and told myself that time after time. But he haunts me. I feel remorse. I mourn."
"As it should," the priest said. "Sin pulls us away from God. The accumulation of sins from the beginning of time has strained God's relationship with us. To take blame and responsibility for those sins is to reconcile and heal that relationship."
"For humans," Loki said. "It works on them. A story of how two foolish beings damned them all for an apple. It won't with me."
"You understand the weight that the sin of murder carries?"
"Of course I do. I'll go to hell. I've been there. And let me tell you it's exactly how everyone imagines it."
"But how do I live with what I've done? I could try to forgive and forget, but I know that my actions have hurt more than just me."
"You must mean your forgiveness," the priest told him. "And you shouldn't lie."
"I'm not lying," Loki hastily said.
"You've been lying since the moment you walked in. I know the tricks liars play. But what is clear that is that not only you have been lying to others, but to yourself." The priest leaned as close to the screen as he could.
"The truth stings, but the lie is poison. Truth can cause pain but subsides. Like poison a lie seeps through you and the damage lasts for a lifetime."
The priest proceeded to absolve Loki of his sins. When it was over Loki briskly exited the church. He had tried many methods to deal with his guilt; drink, denial, therapy, and this Midgardian ritual. None seemed to have worked. It wasn't as if he could break the cycle of lies that easily. He would have to start small.
He was one of the first who arrived when he heard about the death. The god of thunder leaned over the corpse of the all seeing Watcher. His face was stained with fresh blood with gaping black holes where his eyes had been. The eyes lay by the body's side. The veins near the iris pulsated; the pupils stared at Thor's approaching body. Thor picked up one of the eyes, wondering how it could still function. It felt slimy and warm.
Suddenly Thor felt the ground under him shake. The iris began to glow a bright blue. Images flashed in his head. Thor saw a boy holding a small black and white bird. He watched as the boy brought the creature to his lips and tore at it with his teeth. Blood streamed from the boy's mouth as he devoured the magpie whole. All that remained were the bones and thick black feathers that scattered around the boy who had fallen to the ground. He choked, his body shook, his hands reached out as if to grasp something that would support him.
"I win," Thor heard the boy defiantly whisper as tears fell from his bright green eyes.
Thor wept after the vision ended. He huddled close together, his arms across his chest as if he embraced his younger brother.
He went to confront Loki. The trickster god seemed shocked that Thor had found out the truth.
"I trusted you! I gave you a chance!" Thor shouted.
"It was for the best at the time! You're still looking at your brother, the body is the same!" Loki retorted.
"You tricked me! You tricked all of us!" Thor was trying hard not to lunge at Loki. "You murdered the soul of an innocent boy!"
"I regret it!" Loki yelled back. "I know now I shouldn't have! You don't know how this guilt plagues me!"
"You could be lying to me for all I know!" Thor hissed. "You could be planning to kill me! Take over Asgard! The Nine Realms!"
"Those days are over Thor. I've changed!"
Thor glared at Loki, his fist clenched up.
"That's what you've always said," Thor growled. "I don't believe you."
"Brother!" Loki exclaimed.
"You're not my brother."
Thor turned and walked away. Just before he passed the door, Thor punched the wall. Pieces of wood fell to the floor. Thor's hand had gone limp and was bruised. He left.
Loki stared at Thor's departing figure. He felt the tears run down his cheeks. He collapsed on the couch where he began to sob.