A flutter of midnight feathers alighted on a lone, knotted tree.
"Brother Munin, where have you been?" asked a large raven, hopping towards the disturbance. Another raven, identical in size and appearance, stepped out of the snowy tangle.
"I have been searching, Brother Hugin," he said. "I have not heard the OdinCall in many seasons."
"No, I have not heard it either. That's why I wanted our meeting," Hugin said, lifting one wing and rapidly poking his beak beneath it to capture a rogue flea. "I have been learning, listening, thinking."
Munin huffed in annoyance. "You waste your time on this, Brother Hugin? It is our duty to report to Odin. Have you forsaken him? I still remember the scent of the Allfather, I still keep his stern voice in my thoughts. Would that Odin found out-"
"He will not find out!" Hugin cried and flapped his wings. "I will not let him know, and you will never tell on me, brother." There was a moment when the two of them sat silently on the tree that any passer-by would see nothing more than a pair of birds preening themselves. But there were no people, no buildings, no cars. Only scrub, rocks, and a lazy dusting of snow. Even the grey sky was free of contrails. An insect flitted between the ravens, the solitary witness to the encounter.
"They do not believe, Munin. The humans, they do not talk of Odin. They do not fear him." Hugin turned and followed the insect with interest.
"Nonsense, Hugin. I still see the Allfather in their art."
"Mindless spectacle! They do not know the old stories. There is no fear, no awe. They invent new stories, Brother Munin. They tell new tales." Hugin jerked his head towards the insect, but it flitted out of his way.
"It matters not. Let the humans forget; I will remember. When we find the Allfather, he will make them remember, too."
Hugin stepped over to the trunk of the tree, staring at his would-be snack. "Why does he not call us, then?" he asked. "Does the old man not need our help?"
"Brother, I do not question Odin's ways. I only keep them." Munin tilted his head to the side as he watched Hugin strike at the bug. In an instant, Hugin was sprayed with a foul odor that clung to his black beak. His brother let out a caw of a laugh.
"Wretched bug," Hugin spat, bouncing on the branch and tossing his head around. Without warning, he stopped in his tracks. "Brother, I cannot remember the OdinCall. It is lost to me. What if there never was an OdinCall?"
Munin lowered his gaze. "What are you saying, Hugin?"
"I have heard the humans talk, but never of Odin, or Asgard. I have not seen the Aesir, or even the Jotun. Tell me, Brother, where is Bifrost, the Rainbow Bridge? I cannot find my way out of the human world, can you?" Hugin stared off into space with wide eyes that were filled with fear.
"No. I have not seen home in countless seasons. But I will not stop searching," Munin said.
"Brother, what if Asgard is just another human story? What if Odin does not exist, and we are searching for nothing?" Hugin quickly turned to his brother with a speed only birds possess. "If Odin is not real, then we are not-"
Where Hugin had stood, a mass of nothing had taken his place, creating a rather pleasant "POP!" Munin hopped forward, shaking his head. "Brother, I will search for the two of us." He snapped his beak at the insect and tilted his head up to swallow it more easily. Then, with a flurry of darkness, he took flight, following his memory.