I tried shrugging off my encounter with the mystery man, attempting to immerse myself with thoughts of the hammer. I was assigned to investigate this hammer, not some random guy who happened to look like my dream boy. I sighed, and continued scribbling notes in my notebook. As his image finally started to fade from my mind, I felt a soft tap on my shoulder.
I turned my head around to see who it was and nearly shat my pants. It was him – “Mystery Man.” I looked at him with wide, shocked eyes as he smiled down at me pleasantly. “It’s quite a find, isn’t it?” he said, turning his gaze to the hammer. I felt my cheeks burn as I blushed. “Yes, it is a very rare find…” I smiled nervously, my hands shaking as I held tightly on to the notebook Coulson gave me. “I see you’re taking notes - are you scientist here at S.H.I.E.L.D.?” I almost forgot how to speak when he looked me in the eyes. I felt like I lost all verbal skills as he loomed over me. “No, I am not,” I said, shaking my head. “I was hired to try and identify this hammer’s origin. I have to figure out what it might possibly be.” I smiled slightly, looking at the hammer and attempting to shake off these nerves. “Well that sounds rather exciting,” he said with a wide grin on his face. “May I touch it?” he said, pointing at the hammer. “Yeah, that’s fine,” I said, a little surprised at his question.
His long, slender fingers grazed the shaft, his fingertips tracing the pattern of the leathery wraps. His face brightened with a nostalgic, closed-lip smile as he grabbed the shaft. He pulled at the hammer a couple of times, unsuccessful at lifting it off the chunk of earth. His face went cold, and his eyes shined blankly as he realized he could not lift the hammer. He looked up at the ceiling above him, almost as though he were searching for an answer as to why he could not lift the hammer. His expression intrigued me as it was a mix of sorrow and slight pain. I examined his face, looking at him, almost feeling sorry for him for some reason…
There is something about this man… I thought to myself as I looked back down at the hammer. “It won’t budge,” he said with a serious tone of voice. “It’s very heavy,” I said, trying to regain my senses after getting lost in his mysterious beauty. “I think it’s more than weight my dear. This hammer doesn’t belong here. It’s meant for someone else’s hands.” He looked at me, smiling slightly, as I took into consideration what he said. He extended his hand out in front of me, and I shook it. His hand was icy cold against mine, and I felt as though my whole body went down in temperature. “See you soon, lovely,” he said, as he slowly walked away. I watched him in awe, blushing, his words swirling around my head. I watched him open the door, and then he turned his head in my direction. He looked at me for a split second -the longest split second of my life- as he ran his eyes up and down my body, turning once more to leave. I watched the door shut behind him, wishing I could catch a glimpse of him once more… Dozens of questions scattered my brain as he left.
Who was he? Where was he from? Would I ever get to see him again? I wondered hopelessly, and looked down at the floor. What’s wrong with me? Why am I so intrigued by a man I don’t even know? I turned to the hammer once more, losing almost all interest in it. “Kathryn! Did you get to take some notes?” I heard Coulson say from behind. I stood up, turning toward him. “Yes, here they are.” I handed him the notebook and pen. He flipped through the pages and smiled. “Great, I’ll look through these tonight. See you tomorrow. You can go home now. I’ll have Agent Jones take you.” I smiled, relived I could finally leave the facility. The day was finally over, and I could finally get this encounter off my mind; Erase his image from my head, and just clear my thoughts. But even as I walked with Agent Jones I couldn’t help but replaying his words in my head. His image was embedded in my mind. His haunting beauty resided within my head.
I tried to gather my thoughts as I sat in the car. But it was no use… His simple little words were stuck in my mind, replaying like lyrics from a favorite song. I closed my eyes, hoping I would see him soon. Once more I heard the soft echo of his words, and I couldn’t help but smile.
See you soon, lovely…
When I got out of the bathroom, I noticed my phone had one missed call and a voicemail. I checked it and it was an unknown number. I listened to the voicemail. “Hello Kathryn, this is Agent Coulson of the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division. I received a phone call from your father, Agent Byrd, in regards to the offer I had set up for you. I am glad to hear you accepted. At exactly 1:00 pm I will arrange a ride for you. Please be ready, as time is of the essence.” I looked at the time on my cell phone and realized it was 12:40 pm. “Shit,” I muttered as I scrambled to arrange an outfit and get ready.
I was finally done getting ready around 12:53. I managed to tie my long black hair up in a high bun, and found some black dress pants and green blouse to wear. I was eager to leave, as I didn’t know what to expect. I heard the doorbell ring, and as I looked out the peep hole I saw a man dressed in a suit waiting outside the door. I gathered my things inside a purse and opened the door. “Hello Ms. Byrd, I am here to take you to the base. Are you ready to go?” I smiled nervously and nodded, locking and closing the door behind ME. “This way, please watch your step.” He helped me get into the black SUV, and closed the door. He got in the car, looking around – probably to make sure no one was following us.
In a matter of 30 minutes or so we arrived to the makeshift base. It was enormous – several large white domes were interconnected through a series of white, plastic hallways. Before I could take it all in, the man opened the door and made a gesture with his hand for me to get out. I got out, and took a deep breath. “Okay Ms. Byrd. Before I escort you in to the facility there are some things I have to tell you. First, you are prohibited to tell anyone what goes on here. Everything that happens here stays here, and if you are caught leaking any information you will be prosecuted. Is that clear?” I nodded nervously, and said yes. “Very well, follow me Ms. Byrd.”
I followed him through a maze of hallways, until we arrived to an office. He opened the door and inside was Agent Coulson, smiling warmly from his desk. “Hello Kathryn, please come inside.” He looked at the man and said, “Agent Jones you can leave her with me.” The agent nodded, and closed the door. I sat down in a chair in front of Coulson and smiled back at him. “Well, Kathryn, I have a lot to share with you. Do you know why are you are here?” I looked at him nervously, holding tight on to my purse, which was still hanging off my shoulder. “From what my father told me, he said you needed me. He mentioned that you needed someone with a degree in mythology to help you further understand a hammer you found in a field.” I had said this hesitantly; unsure that this was the answer he was looking for. He nodded, “Your response is partially correct. This is no ordinary hammer however. We found this hammer approximately 52 hours ago and we want to know more about it. We don’t know where it came from, and we don’t know who it belongs to. It’s not entirely tangible due to its weight… It is too heavy for one to carry around. We had to use a special crane to lift it.” He paused for a moment, and looked me in the eyes. “You see, this hammer doesn’t seem like something that would be casually lying around in a field. I need you to understand that what we’re dealing with here isn’t just some hammer – it’s far more than that. I need someone like you, who understands mythology to help me identify what it may be. Even if it sounds farfetched – we want you to tell us what you think it might be, and who it may possibly belong to.” I looked at him, shocked that he would believe that this hammer were something other-worldly. It just didn’t seem ethical for someone to believe this.
I opened my mouth, but I didn’t really know what to tell him. “Uh, okay… are you going to show me it today?” I said, nervously. “Well yes, of course. But first I need you to sign some papers to verify that you won’t share anything that goes on here. It is vital that you understand that if you tell anyone other than your father what is going on, you will be held for arrest immediately. We are dealing with something very big here. Any leaked information could be disastrous. Do you understand?” “Yes… I understand,” I said as he placed a packet of paperwork in front of me. “Good, now sign these documents while I prepare an ID for you.”
I signed the paperwork, careful to read it the fine print on each page. After I was done, I got my picture taken, and Coulson handed me my ID. “Alright Kathryn, you’re all set. Let’s take a look at the hammer. I’m sure you’re eager to see it.” He smiled, and opened the door for me. We went through a series of hallways, and one of them caught my attention as I passed through it. There was a giant hole torn in the wall, as if someone broke through. I tapped Coulson’s shoulder and pointed it out. “Did something happen?” I said curiously as we passed by the huge hole in the plastic, white wall. “Yesterday we had a guy break in to the facility. He was trying to steal the hammer.” “Steal the hammer? Why would he want to do that?” I looked at him with a confused expression, and he looked back at me. “Well, that’s what I have to find out today. We have him detained; I’ll be questioning him soon.”
I thought to myself who in their right mind would want to steal a hammer. “Okay, so this is the dome in which it’s being contained. Are you ready?” he said as we stood in front of a door with a tiny window on it. “Yes,” I said nodding. “Watch your step,” he said as he opened the door. I stepped into the facility amazed at how large it was. I looked up and was surprised to see a balcony looking down over the facility, and in the center lay a hammer on a chunk of what seemed to be dirt or rock. I looked around, noticing a large tear in the wall of the facility. “So this is the hammer…” I said to myself as I walked up to it.
It was impressive; the mallet was made of some sort of silver metal – a metal I could not recognize. The shaft was brown, wrapped intricately with a material I couldn’t recognize either – It almost looked leathery, but I wasn’t sure. Inscribed on the side of the mallet was a symbol which appeared to be Norse in origin. There was small text on it that seemed to be written in a Nordic language. I was amazed at how meticulously it was crafted, as if it was made by the hands of a divine creature. I examined with wide eyes, I was in awe of its beauty. “Has anything caught your eye about the hammer?” said Coulson, as he stood behind me. “Yes, from looking at it, it seems to be Norse. The writing and symbol on it is Norse.” I looked at him with excited eyes. He smiled, “That’s a great find. I’m sure you will find more about it and tell me everything you find. Write down everything in this notebook.” He handed me a small black notebook and pen. “I’ll be back later. I have to interrogate our intruder,” he said with a slight smile on his face. He walked away swiftly, and I turned to look down at the hammer again. I set my purse on the ground and examined it, lightly running my fingers across the mallet’s surface.
The metal felt cool against my touch, and was very smooth. I wrote down a few details about the surface texture and examined it some more. I squatted next to it and got a better look at it, taking my time examining every square inch of its exterior. Then suddenly out of the corner of my eye I could see a tall, thin figure in a dark suit walking around the right of the facility. He stopped about ten feet away from me. I looked up at him in complete disbelief as I caught a glimpse of his face. He was pale, with black hair that was elegantly slicked back. He had a prominent jawline, and striking emerald green eyes. His face was gorgeous, and he looked as though he was carved out of marble. I felt my heart beat wildly as I realized it was him – the man from my dreams. The man I thought I’d never meet. I rubbed my eyes, making sure I wasn’t hallucinating. He looked at me dead in the eyes and I swore I felt as though I was invisible. I quieted my thoughts in fear that they would be exposed. His eyes scanned me like I was the text of a book, and he slowly turned away.
I felt dizzy, and had to sit down on the ground to catch my breath. A staff member came running to me, with a worried look on his face. “Are you alright? I thought you were going to faint!” I looked at him, wiping the cold sweat off my forehead. “I’ll be fine,” I said, nervously smiling as he handed me a cup of water. I drank the water, refreshing my dry mouth. “Thank you for your concern.” “No problem. Please, be careful,” he said smiling. “If you need anything, please let me know. My name is Edward Schaub. But you can call me Ed for short.” I placed the cup of water down, and smiled. “My name is Kathryn Byrd.” We shook hands and I turned red immediately, because my hand was clammy against his. “Nice to meet you, Kathryn, please let me know if you’re not feeling well.” I nodded, and he walked away back to his computer.
I looked back in the direction of the mystery man, and to my dismay he was gone. I sat there, wondering if I’d ever see his face again.
As I lay in bed, face in my pillow, I realized that I should probably stop hoping. He was just a figment of my imagination, and nothing more. I’d probably never meet him, see him, and this was all a cruel joke my mind was playing on me. I remember reading a quote somewhere that said that humans used to be born with 4 arms, 4 legs, and two heads. But Zeus feared their power so he split them in half, condemning them to spend the rests of their lives searching for their other half, to complete them.
It sounds silly, but what if the man I kept seeing in my dreams was my other half? What if he was dreaming the same thing too? It’s so unlikely, but I can’t help but dream. I got out of bed, and headed to the bathroom to take a bath when I heard my phone ring. I picked up and was surprised to see it was my father calling me. I hadn’t heard from him in months since he started working for S.H.I.E.L.D. as an agent. “Hello?” I answered eager to hear his voice. “Hello Kathryn, it’s me – how are you?” “I’m well… I’m doing the same as always. How about you, Dad?” “I am alright sweetie. How’s New Mexico been treating you? Have you made any new friends?” “It’s nice. A good change from New York; a breath of fresh air.” “Oh okay. Well I called you to see how you were doing and to ask you something.” “Alright, what is it?” “I was talking to Coulson yesterday and he needs someone with a background in Mythology to help him out with a case. I mentioned to him how you have a degree in it, and he got interested in you working with him. S.H.I.E.L.D. set up a makeshift base near your town, so he thought you’d be perfect to help him out. What do you think? Would you like to help him? I think it’d be great for you.”
I hesitated at the thought of working with S.H.I.E.L.D. – would this be something I could do? It sounded interesting, but would it really benefit me? I thought it through, convincing myself that my dad knew what he was talking about, and that I might actually enjoy this. “Sure daddy. I’ll help him out. When do I need to be there? Do you know anything about the case?” “Ah, at a girl! This is wonderful! I’ll tell Coulson immediately. And yes, I do know a little bit, but I really don’t know much. According to Coulson, they found a hammer in the middle of an open field, and they thought it to replicate something from Norse mythology. I am honestly not sure what the fuss was about, but he said he needed someone who was very knowledgeable so I thought you’d be great.” “Oh, I see… Well that sounds interesting.” “Mhm. Well honey, I’ll get Coulson to give you a call ok? He’ll have the details on when to meet up, and where to go.” “Alright dad… I’ll talk to you later.” “Alright honey, take care.”
After hanging up I couldn’t help but thinking about what I just got myself into. What if I don’t know enough and I waste their time? Why do they need me for a stupid hammer? The only individual who had a hammer in Norse mythology that I could think of off the top of my head was Thor – and the thought of the hammer they found belonging to him sounded incredibly farfetched.
I headed to the bathroom and realized I had a lot of thinking to do while I was in the shower. Today was going to be an interesting day.
Of a color intermediate between green and violet, as of the sky or sea on a sunny day
The sky was a beautiful shade of blue as I walked through a field of grass. The wind felt amazing as it wrapped itself around me, whipping my hair wildly around my face. I had never seen the sun shine so brightly – I had never seen the sky without clouds, as blue as can be. As I walked through the field I found myself a nice spot to lie down. I closed my eyes. The sun warmed my cheeks, and I smiled. The soft aroma of flowers lingered in the air, and little birds chirped in the trees nearby.
I opened my eyes, and to my surprise I saw a man in the distance walking in my direction. He was a couple of feet away, yet he was close enough for me to get a good look at him. He was tall, thin, with marble-like skin and had ebony black hair that was elegantly slicked back. Dressed in black and dark green, he walked toward me, smiling sweetly as he realized I was watching him. The mysterious man held a gold lily in his right hand and walked with a confident stride. I sat up, surprised to see someone else in this vast, never-ending field.
“I saw you from afar, and thought you might need some company,” he said, stopping about a foot away from me. He smiled warmly, and extended the hand in which he held the delicate flower. “I saw this and thought you might like it.” I got up and walked toward him, smiling as I took the flower from his hand. “Thank you, it’s lovely,” I said, as I held it. I couldn’t help but blushing as I looked up at him – he was gorgeous. His smile was radiant, and his eyes were the most beautiful shade of green I’d ever seen. They were two emeralds outshining the sun.
I held the flower to my nose, the sweet scent filling my nostrils. He moved the flower away and lifted my chin up with one of his long, graceful fingers. I looked deep into his eyes, getting lost in their beauty. I felt as though my heart was going to beat out of my chest as he cupped my face. His eye made contact with mine, and I couldn’t help blushing as he leaned in for a kiss. I closed my eyes, preparing for the soft contact. But to my dismay, as I opened them, I was no longer with him. Instead of looking into this mystery man’s face, I was looking at my ceiling.
I covered my face with my hands, dissatisfied that I was once more living in reality. This was the third time I had dreamt about this man, and every time it ended the same way. Who was he? Where was he from? Is this my mind’s cruel way of reminding me I will never find someone? I lay there, frustrated, wondering how long these dreams would repeat themselves every night. I rolled over, burying my face in my pillow, letting out a huge sigh. “I will never find him,” I thought to myself.