Ikea

I was bored tonight so did a bit of creative writing.  I was inspired by Jonathan Coulton’s song Ikea.  I hope you enjoy this quick little story.  By the way, I didn’t do research into the founding of Ikea until after I wrote the first portion.  So the use of the name Ingvar was completely coincidental and creepy when I looked it up.

 

THE BLACK SEA – 1042 A.D.

Ingvar the Far-Traveled clutched the scrolls in his hands as if they were the most important thing on Earth.  It was all he could do while the ship tossed and turned in the boiling, storm addled sea.  High above his head the gods battled with the ferocity of beasts paying little mind to the men below.  The Rus Vikings who traveled with him were not afraid of much, but tonight it was clear that there was a deep fear in them all.

Ingvar covered his head as splinters of wood embedded themselves in his body.  Mjolnir had broken right through the masthead of the ship causing it to explode all around him.  One of his men fell dead as a large fragment staked his heart.  Ingvar watched in horror as ship after ship was consumed by the fight.  Lightning was striking all over the sea.  Ingvar questioned whether Thor remembered that he and his men were below the fight.  He had to, he reasoned, before they had set sail the God of Thunder had appeared and handed him the scrolls he now clutched.  He had assumed that meant that their quest was ordained by Odin himself.

Ingvar’s skin burned as a beam of pure sunlight pierced through the storm clouds the Thunderer had brought and incinerated the ship next to them.  The boiling ocean caused by Baldr’s sun beams and tossed about by Thor’s storms were proving too much for Ingvar’s command.

The gods got nearer to the men.

“Why do you fight me brother,” asked Thor.

“I have been told of your plans,” said Baldr.  “You know I cannot let them suceed.”

The brothers continue to shout but Ingvar could no longer hear them above the roar of the sea and the sound of thunder.  He knew that whatever was in these scrolls caused the gods to fight though.  Ingvar had little idea what to do now but cower with his men and hope the gods’ fight did not take their lives.

“What do you fear Ingvar,” asked and unfamiliar voice.

Behind Ingvar stood a spectacle he never imagined he’d see.  Dressed in all his pageantry was Loki.

“By Odin,” exclaimed Ingvar.

“I’m afraid Odin has no time for you today.”  Loki snatched the scrolls from Ingvar’s hands. “So this is what Thor gave you.  I hope it is worth all this trouble.”

“You,” exclaimed Ingvar.  “You’re behind this!”

“Of course,” replied Loki.  “Thor was watching his precious Midgard so closely.  I had to distract him so I could get this.  It didn’t take much to manipulate Baldr into thinking these were the plans for Ragnarok.  Odin’s sons are so easily manipulated, if I let you live remind me to tell you my plans with mistletoe!  Now let me see.”

Ingvar watched in horror as Loki opened the scrolls he’d been entrusted with by Thor.

“What on Midgard,” exclaimed Loki.  “Thor has clearly gone mad!”

Ingvar glanced at the scrolls.  They made no sense to him.  Some sort of drawing.

“No matter.  I can still play Thor the fool.  Say farewell Ingvar.”

A jolt of pain unlike anything he’d previously experienced touched every fiber of his being.  Ingvar closed his eyes and faded into Oblivion.

Almhult, Sweden – 1942 A.D.

Ingvar awoke.  His head was pounding.  The boy got out of his bed and looked into the mirror.  Was that a dream?  It seemed so real to him.  He tried to make sense of everything swimming through his head.  He thought back to last week when he and his men had first met Thor. No wait, what?  No. Last week he had been in Stockholm buying matches.  His head was a mess.  The more he tried to think the more he found two sets of memories.  Those of Ingvar Kamprad and those of Ingvar the Far-Traveled.

One Year Later

A year later and Ingvar was much better at understanding the two sets of memories he now possessed.  Which set was the real Ingvar was a question that could not be decided though.  Whatever the trickster Loki had done to Ingvar the Far-Traveled now plagued Ingvar Kampred.

Ingvar looked over at his Uncle Ernst.  They were sitting at the kitchen table.

“Before I forget,” said his Uncle.  “I have something odd for you.  Let me go get them.”

Uncle Ernst walked down the hallway and the curiosity of young Ingvar was piqued.  Ingvar the Far-Traveled was more weary about something odd though.  His Uncle returned and Ingvar was suddenly filled with fear as the scrolls of Thor were placed on the table.

“These came in the mail for you today.  Quid odd.”

“Quite odd indeed,” came a new voice.  It was a familiar voice to Ingvar.  The man chugged his Uncle’s beer and slammed the glass on the table.  “Another,” he shouted.

“Uncle Ernst,” said Ingvar.  “Meet Thor the Thunderer.”

“When they called you Ingvar the Far-Traveled they weren’t joking,” exclaimed Thor.  “Nine-hundred years!  Another hundred and you’d be a gargoyle.”

“What,” asked Ingvar.

“Oh.  Give it another fifty years and you’ll understand the joke.”

Uncle Ernst stared at Ingvar and Thor as the two discussed their shared past and the future plans.  Ingvar may have not understood the scrolls nine hundred years earlier but today he did.

IKEA – Brooklyn, NY – 2002

Jonathan was on his way past the cafe when he heard a man with a booming voice shout, “Another!”

He was in a rush to get home and measure his tiny apartment to see if he could get the collapsible furniture he wanted but the man made him stop.  He was always on the lookout for the strange and bizarre and this man stood out as such.  He sat at the table shooting orders as he ate his meatballs.  Sitting on the table was a giant hammer and the man looked like he hadn’t showered in a year.  Suddenly the man noticed Jonathan watching.

“Come friend, sit,” commanded the man.

Jonathan found himself compelled to obey.

“Greetings friend!  I am the mighty Thor!  And who may you be?”

Suddenly everything made sense.  This poor man was clearly homeless and crazy.  He was probably going to leave here with a box, call it Asgard, and live there.

“I’m Jonathan.  Here, let me buy those meatballs for you.”

“Nonsense,” said Thor.  “Meatballs are free for me and now for you!”  He raised his hammer and shouted, “free meatballs for Jonathan.”

He was amazed as a serving of meatballs were run right over to him.

“They really listen to you,” he said.

“Of course,” said Thor.  “My Norsemen love me.”

Jonathan lost track of time as he listened to the crazy mans stories.  The man told stories about his viking friends Billy, Ingo, and Karl who served under Ingvar the Far-Traveled who was really Ingvar Kamprad.  He explained that of course Thor was involved with furniture as it was a little known fact that he was also the God of Oak.

After Thor was finally done telling his stories and excused himself, Jonathan decided to take a walk around the building.  He watched as college kids and divorced men looked at furniture that could fit in an apartment maybe even smaller than his if such things existed.

Man, he though. I should write a song about this place.  I’m sorry I said Ikea sucks.

The Future

“What in the nine realms could be funny now,” asked Thor.

Ragnarok had befallen the nine realms.  It was the end of everything.

“It’s just,” said Loki.  “When I had Baldr fight you all those years ago over the Black Sea, I told him Ingvar had the plans for Ragnarok.  Ikea used all the trees on Midgard and it destroyed that realm leading to all of this.  Those really were the plans for Ragnarok.”

Midgard was done.  It was really all Thor’s fault.  He had caused Ragnarok.

 

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Marvel: The Arrogance of Iron Man

Do you remember where you were the day the Iron Man first showed up?

Few people will forget the day that Tony Stark held his press conference announcing to the world “I am Iron Man.”  The arrogance in his announcement was astonishing.  Despite the story that the government was telling us there were rumors that the “body guard” of Stark Industries was indeed Stark himself.  The drunken playboy had finally gone off the deep end.

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In some ways it should have come to no surprise to us.  Tony Stark was the playboy CEO of Stark Industries, the world’s leading weapons manufacturer.  The man was a joke to some.  A villain to others.  A visionary to most.  People worshiped at his feet, and why not?  He was the son of Howard Stark.  Stark Industries had a reputation for excellence.  When Tony Stark took over as CEO of Stark Industries at age 21 he ushered in a rebirth of technological advancements not seen since his father’s death.  The technologies that came out revolutionized the way wars were fought and the way we all lived.

Unfortunately for Mr. Stark his advancements would not just benefit the US.  Enemies would get a hold of his technology as well.  When terrorists captured Mr Stark the world thought it had lost it’s visionary.  Instead we gained something new.  Mr. Stark would return from his encounter and made the announcement that Stark Industries would no longer be manufacturing weapons.  What would Tony Stark do next?

We soon found out.  The fight between Iron Man and Iron Monger would bring to light exactly what Tony Stark had been working on.  The next day would find the announcement that it was Tony Stark’s body guard who had been involved in the chaos in Los Angeles.Image

Christine Everheart from Vanity Fair spoke up on everyone’s feelings that we were being played for a fool.  In Stark’s arrogance he called himself a superhero and revealed himself to be Iron Man.  Iron Monger would remain a mystery until Obadiah Stane turned up missing.  The official story is that Obadiah went down in a small plane crash while on vacation, but most assume that once again we are being fed cover stories.

Stark would then pick and choose his battles.  Many question why he did not show up to stop a rampaging Hulk shortly after his self proclaimed superhero status.  When Hulk and Abomination tore up Harlem there was no sign of this self proclaimed superhero.  If Stark is trying to right wrongs caused by his company then these were on his family’s head too.  It was after all Howard Stark who helped design the super soldier serum that created Captain America during World War II and was the inspiration for these monstrosities.Image

Stark was instead focused on the political front.  He stopped skirmishes between countries and went after terrorists.  As he would later claim he had privatized world peace.  Once again Stark’s arrogance showed strong.  He refused to share his knowledge with our government.  He claimed that no one could replicate the armor he had created.

Stark must have been in for a rude awakening when shortly thereafter Whiplash showed up in Monaco with a functioning armor of his own.  Iron Man took him down and appeared more arrogant than ever afterwards.  For his birthday Stark threw a party and nearly completely demolished his house.  First as he drunkenly smashed things while wearing his armor and then when Colonel James Rhodes and he came to blows both in full powered suits.Image

Bill O’Reilly brought up the point that we had trusted Iron Man to protect us and he was now acting as a giant playboy with a big toy.  Stark had the most powerful individual weapon in existence and he was playing with it.  Stark was acting as the sole judge of what deserved attention from Iron Man.  Who was Stark to have such power?  Stark selfishly kept the Iron Man technology to himself.

Then Hammer entered the picture.  Hammer announced that he had perfected the technology.  We would no longer need to put our soldiers in harms way.  The Hammer Drone would replace the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine with drones that could fight the battles for us.  With War Machine leading the way all seemed perfect.  Then Stark in his arrogance showed up at the presentation of the announcement.Image

A battle progressed between War Machine, the Hammer Drones, and Iron Man.  Ultimately Ivan Vanko and Justin Hammer were blamed for all the trouble.  Tony Star and Colonel James Rhodes were treated like heroes in the end, but how can we call them heroes?Image

Stark is a narcissist, with self destructive tendencies.  The very villains he has been credited with taking down wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for his arrogance.  My good friend Senator Stern even informed me that Stark actually made Stern call him a “national treasure” after these events.

Of course, here’s where things really get bad for those of us not in Iron Man’s graces.  He has now gone and built himself a superhero club!  Let’s take a quick look at these people that he’s gathered.Image

Hulk.  As already mentioned above Hulk has been rampaging for years.  Now suddenly this team of heroes thinks that the Hulk can be one of them?  The beast is uncontrollable and a menace to society!  On this one it seems that Iron Man’s arrogance has spread to his cohorts.

Black Widow.  There is not a lot of information that we’ve been able to dig up on her.  Those who have seen pictures from the Battle of New York tell us that they believe her code name is Black Widow.  While nothing is known about her powers or abilities with a name like Black Widow you know she can’t be trusted.

Thor.  Yes dear reader, Thor is in the ranks of the Avengers as Iron Man has called them.  This man seems to actually believe that he is the Norse God of Thunder.  While he does appear to have similar abilities we here know that it is arrogance that leads him to believe this.  Is it possible that this one is even more arrogant than Stark?  He believe himself a god!

Captain America.  Honestly I don’t have anything bad to say about Captain America.  Out of all the people that Stark has gathered, Captain America is the one true hero in the group.  Like my son who serves our country as an astronaut, Captain America is a selfless hero.  He served our country in World War II as the super soldier.  His demise was a tragedy to this country and the fact that he was found frozen alive after so many years is a miracle!  Captain America should take a hard look at who his allies are though, I can only imagine that he was sanctioned to assist these “heroes” due to the impending invasion.

Hawkeye.  Once again there is little known about this particular player.  Footage from Germany seems to indicate that he was working with the invading force initially but then switched sides.  Rumors persist that he, along with Black Widow, are actually government operatives.  If they are government that gives me a little bit of hope that we have some real heroes on this, but given Stark’s arrogance I find it hard to believe he would work with the government.

The other question we as New Yorkers have been wondering is why did this alien force choose our city as the home of its invasion?  Based on where this portal opened I would believe that it is once again Stark’s fault that this force even came here.  it was after all, just over Stark Tower where the portal opened allowing this alien force to invade our world.

Many people still claim Stark to be a hero.  I say it’s all his fault to begin with.  All these things that have happened all started that day in California where Stark said “I am Iron Man.”  If Iron Man had been a one time occurrence I firmly believe that the world would have been a safer place.  If he had never pursued the technology beyond when he escaped from the terrorists then we would have never had these issues.

Iron Man is a menace to our city.  His arrogance will show and I am confident it will be only a matter of time before that happens.

Rumors abound that Stark has been working on a project called Extremist.  Nothing is known at this time but an announcement is expected soon.  With a name like that I can promise it will lead to no good.  Maybe the world will wake up and see the arrogance of this man.  We need to stop these issues before they inspire more of these heroes.

I’ve heard stories recently of a wall-crawling menace dressed in red and blue in our city.  Others have reported a school in upstate where more of these freaks live together.  Recently there have been sightings of a man they say moves so quick you just see a trail of silver and a woman dressed in scarlet that I hear may be a witch.  If these are the things that Iron Man has inspired it’s time to bring him down.

Who’s with me?

– J.

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