Tyr watched the procession of gods, each coming to touch Balder's body among the funeral trappings. When Odin leaned to speak into Balder's ear, Tyr pressed the stub of his wrist hard against his side. Tears stung his eyes. He wouldn't say their grief was even, but he felt the same pang of loss now as the day he lost his hand.
Odin straightened and waded back to shore, his one eye closed, and was lost in the crowd.
The water was cold when Tyr approached Balder's pyre. Waves lapped against him, rocking the boat to and fro gently as he reached a hand to touch Balder's pale, beautiful face. So young. This was a child's funeral."Sometimes I hear them singing at night. I hear it over the land, and I know the world isn't as empty as I thought it was."
He brushed his knuckles against the child-god's white hair. Tyr narrowed his eyes against the sea salt and called silently for them over the waves.
A moment passed, then their great dark humps broke over the waves, bodies undulating through the water like weaving in a tapestry.
Tyr grabbed the edge of the boat and pulled it farther out away from shore. A second pair of burly hands caught the other side. Droplets of water clung in Thor's wiry red beard, his ruddy face a mask of pain, but his grip was sturdy as ever. They walked until the water slapped against their chests, the boat now above eye-level.
"Let go," Thor bellowed over the ocean's roar.
Tyr let go and took a slow step back. They were waiting a few yards out still, close even now to beaching themselves. Thor gathered himself, pulled the boat back along his side, then pitched it forward with all his strength. The boat cut a clean path through the swells. The large forms gathered around it and turned, bearing the boat and its lone passenger out to sea.
Tyr watched as the whales faded into the distance until a wave knocked him over. He floundered, the sea trying to pull him along Balder's path, until Thor's large hands gripped his arms and pulled him up. Tyr sputtered, coughing up sea water while Thor walked him back to shore.
Tyr nodded, wiping water from his face. "I hope he'll hear us at night and remember not to be lonely."
The Death of Balder
City of Asgard