Saturday, December 28, 2013

American Tricksters - Story Idea

Lonespark thinks I  should have something to record my phone conversations so that I can just share them all here.

What prompted this was the following idea for a story.

Once upon a time America was rife with trickster gods, at the very least most people have heard of Coyote.  But then colonization happened, mostly by Christians who lack appropriate trickster figures.  Even most non-Christians had fairly Christian mindsets.  And so this new population was lacking in appropriate trickster gods.  (It's not that the gods like Coyote went away, they just stayed with the people who believed in them.)

Eventually it was decided that America needed some tricksters and so suitable human candidates were sought out in America for elevation to this status.

Why did it take so long for this decision to be made?  Have you ever tried to organize and inter-pantheon conference of trickster gods?

Seriously, think about that.

Then after that they need to actually come to an agreement.  It's a wonder it didn't take till the year seven thousand.

To go with the diverse nature of the country there would be a diverse set of Americans elevated to minor-godhood.  They would be chosen, largely, by ancestry.  So someone of Siberian descent would get a Siberian trickster god mentoring them and be responsible for being the trickster god for Siberian Americans.  Trickster gods from all continents would be choosing an American to be the trickster for the descendants of their people in America.  And this includes America itself.  Native trickster gods would recruit people who had left the religion but were descended from their people to function as the trickster god for Americans of that descent who left the religion.

Anyway, this brings us to token white guy, he probably wouldn't be the only white person (Prometheus has to pick a Greek, for example) but he's token white guy.


[Loki does something to get all of the pesky, "How can I know you're really a god?" questions out of the way.]

Human: Who are you?
Loki: I'm Loki.
Human: Pretty sure Loki is male.
Loki: You fail history forever.
Human: We call it mythology, so you fail at culture.
Loki: It's history.
Human: Mythology.
Loki: Did you know that Jupiter has rings?
Human: I thought Saturn had the rings.
Loki: Saturn has the most visible rings.  The point is that Jupiter's rings exist whether you believe in them or not.  The same is true of history.  It happened, that makes it history.  Not myth.
Human: Still think Loki was male.
[Loki changes into a male form, then a female horse, perhaps one or two other forms, then back again.]
Loki: I'm in charge of you because you're of Norse descent.
Human: Pretty sure I'm British.  (Note: shorthand for "Of British descent," person is an American)
Loki: Pretty sure you're Norse.

On fitting in with the other tricksters in training:

Token white guy - "Sorry I'm late."
"You don't apologize for being late."
"You set fire to a nearby building, so you can rescue the people in it and use that as an excuse for being late."
"What is wrong with you?"

On Leadership:

(names made up on the fly)

TWG - "Why are you all looking at me?"
"He's Norse, the problem is yours to solve."
TWG - "Uh, ok.  Alex, Tash, you create a distraction.  Mel, you be on the lookout for anyone taking advantage.  Briana, you save the world.  I'll be here trying not* to to fuck things up."
Briana - "You can't even delegate right."
Ashley - "Calista, you save the world.  [TWG], you provide support.  Tash, Briana, you help me replace the water in the Bellagio Fountains with diet Coke.  Alex, no Mentos.  Everyone else, freelance."
Alex - "What if I got 300 pounds?"
Ashley - "Make it 3,000 and I'll look the other way."

On Saving the World:

TWG is driving, speeding, and then a cop starts to chase.
Calista : Lose them, we don't have time.
TWG: Right now it's a speeding ticket.  If we turn it into a high speed chase the cop will call for backup.
*Pulls over car*
Calista: You do remember this car was stolen, don't you.
TWG: Borrowed. (The plan is to give it back, just not at all where the owner expects to find it.)
Calista: And your plan is?
TWG: Loki is my mentor, do you know what Loki does?
Calista: Cuts people's hair off in their sleep?
TWG: That too, but mostly he sleeps with anything that moves.
Calista: You plan to fuck your way out of-
TWG: Drive off as soon as I have the cop distracted.
*gets out and simultaneously shapeshifts into a form that will turn the officer on, in this case a scantily clad woman*

[conversation with police officer about whether she's into one night stands, TWG isn't interested in breaking hearts, convincing her that this is an ok bribe to take because it doesn't hurt anyone and finally, "Do you want to have sex or not because it's fracking cold out here" recall that TWG shapeshifted into a scantily clad form]

Calista (who is a POC) drives off while the cop and TWG are otherwise engaged, perspective shift to her as she saves the world.

On whether or not cut out to be Loki/Kirk/Bond:

Calista (on couch, not looking up from reading) "Did you enjoy yourself while I did all the heavy lifting?"
TWG, not even noticing the question, still in female form *sigh* "I may not be cut out for this."
Calistia "She wasn't fun?"
TWG, while transforming back to usual form "No, she was great, it's just that the whole one show only no encores thing-"
Calistia "She wants a relationship and you don't."
TWG "No.  I wouldn't have done it if she weren't up for one time only.  I'm the one who might not be able to let go."
Calista: "That's your problem.  Also I may or may not have set up a trap to get back at you for leaving me to do the hard work alone."
TWG "You filled my room top to bottom with fish."
Calista *Shakes her head* "Never the same prank twice.  No.  I'm not going to let you know what it is.  So you'll just have to spend your time constantly on your guard and worried, or ignore the threat and thus be the easiest mark ever.  Either way you lose.  Enjoy."


Or something like that.

I think the idea came to me after a car alarm made me imagine a scene where someone smashed the car with a sledgehammer until the alarm stopped at which point the entire neighborhood opened their windows to give a round of applause to the slegehammerer.


* Originally I forgot the "not" which, given the job description, is still an appropriate thing to say.  Just not the thing I intended to have him say.


  1. There are some good ways of recording phone calls, but they all take money.

    There's a space in this story for someone who completely violates the ethnic phenotype but still has mostly the right ancestry. Particularly if the right ancestry were from one of the African tribes that got pretty much wiped out during the 19th century. "What do you mean, I'm working for Oya now? Please to be noting white skin, blonde hair, blue eyes." "Tough."

  2. This sounds quite awesome! :D

  3. Heh. I approve of this post.

  4. This post made me Think About Things, but, unfortunately, not really about humans training to be trickster deities. My current fandom kind of... involved itself in my thinking process, you see.

    If a malevolent Native American spirit possesses an Easter European immigrant who (repeatedly) violated a certain taboo, would deities and spirits of his home country be okay with that? Do deities and spirits have any protocols regarding such things?

    (Since he's an American citizen now, I suppose local spirits and deities have all the rights to punish him for breaking taboos on *their* territory. "Oh look, yet another white man who thinks he can do whatever he wants. Welcome to America, enjoy your curse.")