From up close, the towering shrine rose to meet the vault of heaven. An aged monk with an ornate weapon stood guard.
“Halt! Who approaches?” The monk lowered his shakujō to block the path.
A wanderer in a threadbare cloak pointed to his eyepatch. “I am the one-eyed man, seeking the land of the blind.”
“Your beard is long, wanderer, and your walking stick well-worn. But your songs are sung even on this distant world… Odin.”
“You know the Allfather.” A statement, not a question. “My song magic is weakened. But my children on Earth desperately need wisdom. Let me travel through your gate.”
“My duty is to guard the world-gate from scoundrels and tricksters.” The monk lifted his shakujō. Steel glinted in red sunlight.
Then the red skies between the massive columns faded into clear blue skies of Earth as the shrine gate opened. “Your mission is worthy, Odin Allfather. But Earth people have grown clever in the centuries you’ve been away. Be subtle.”
The wanderer pulled the cloak of his disguise tight around him and stepped forward. “Worry not, fellow-beard,” he said with a glint in his eye. “I will be… low-key.”
The prompt for Fire&Ice 19/19 was to write a story of under 200 words based on the image above. This story also incorporated a mythical character and a non-Earth world.