Talking Heads

The messenger of the Vanir arrived as the sun went down, as the feast of the night was beginning. He was escorted to deliver his message to Odin at the front of the hall, where he brought forth a package wrapped around in strips of cloth. The package was moist and filthy, and had an unsavoury odour.

Odin bid a servant to bring it to him, and he carefully unwrapped it. He knew what it contained, he could feel it the moment it crossed into his domain, but the ritual had to be observed and a silence filled the hall as the revellers looked on. As he unravelled the object, the features of a man were revealed beneath, a wise old face that was well-known to Odin, that was well-known to them all.

Grimly he lifted the head of Mimir, their wise advisor. The skin was grey and loose, the eyes closed. Gasps broke out across the hall, the flames flickered in a sudden and haunting breeze. Blades were drawn as attention turned angrily to the messenger.

‘What is the meaning of this?’ growled Odin.

‘His wisdom,’ replied the messenger coldly, ‘was found wanting.’ And he turned and swept back down the hall. There were enraged cries from the crowd. ‘Kill him!’ they shouted. ‘Take his head’. 

Odin held up his hand. ‘The laws of hospitality demand that we bring no harm to him’.

The messenger allowed himself a tight-lipped smile as he swaggered to the doors. He didn’t see the hammer coming, as Thor smashed his head open. There were a few cheers, and a few concerned mutterings. Odin scowled, and then a voice like the wind in the trees drifted across the hall.

‘That was ill done,’ said Mimir.

Silence and horror filled the shadows as everyone looked towards the head, held aloft in Odin’s hand. His eyes were open – they were grey and hard and unnatural. Dry lips parted,

‘You should prepare yourselves for war’.



This little sculpted head is a tester for a disembodied head project. Like my human-skin-bound book of my Face Book post, this is intended to be cast in latex and painted.

It will be reconstructed as a head, ideally with some contraption within that will play strange sounds and mutterings, as if Mimir is still offering his wisdom, all these centuries later.

Also on the list for consideration are: Medusa, John the Baptist and Orpheus.

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