(“Trickster, My Beloved” is available at amazon.com.)
Loki: Trouble in the City
By Elizabeth Vongvisith
Of course Loki loves the city! Urban areas present a wealth of opportunities for a trickster – opportunities for trouble…er, fun, that is. What with all the people, noise, distractions and random energies, there’s a lot for an enterprising deity to occupy Himself with. And Loki is nothing if not enterprising. While He can turn up anywhere, these are some of the places where He is particularly likely to hang out:
Nightclubs and bars: From the seediest dive bar to the swankiest private club with ropes and a stuffy doorman, Loki gravitates towards places with alcohol, crowds and loud music. Keep an eye open on fetish night at the local goth/industrial club, or conversely, at drag shows and karaoke bars. Loki loves show-offs, being one Himself, and He can’t resist the spectacle of a six foot tall Amazon in shiny pink PVC tying some poor, trembling soul to a flogging post, drunken businessmen singing “Smoke on the Water,” or the glitz and glamour of a Miss Gay East Coast pageant.
Carnivals, street fairs and festivals: These vary depending on purpose, but most times there’s a wealth of absorbing distractions here – street food, shifty games of chance, cheap merchandise, live music and a random array of people. Loki’s a people person, and as a shapeshifter, He knows better than to judge by appearances and won’t let you do it, either. You might turn around only to see that good-looking leather fairy at the Pride parade give you the once-over despite the fact that you’re a woman, or be surprised as the kindly old lady with the oversized handbag over by the funnel cake stand pokes you in the butt and winks.
Shopping malls: Obnoxious temples of commercialism or not, Loki likes malls a lot. They’ve got lots of people, lots of shiny things to look at and a variety of unhealthy junk food for sale. Who can resist making Him an offering of smelly candles from the home decorating store, a disturbing key chain from the gag gift emporium, and a gigantic cheese pretzel? And to hear Loki comment on the fashion choices of your fellow shoppers is a thing not to be missed.
Tourist traps: If your city has a celebrity wax museum, a 60 foot statue of William Henry Harrison made of crushed beer cans, a hall of taxidermy squirrels or the preserved and meticulously curated home and effects of a local eccentric, chances are Loki has been there or wants to go there, and will insist that you go there, too, just so the look of horror on your face will give Him a good laugh.
On the more serious side, if you find yourself in a jam, Loki is often just the god to call on. He has a fondness for travelers as well as being particularly good at getting people out of upsetting and dangerous situations like bad neighborhoods, potential crime scenes and all-out urban unrest. Be warned that if you call on Loki for help, He may choose to take you on a wild ride that is even scarier than just muddling through on your own would have been, although He will generally make sure you get out of trouble at the end.