“A-ha! There! Do you see it before us, brother? I told you the gods would see us safely home, was I not right?”
“Be at ease, young brother, we are not home yet. We’ve still to traverse her icy cold waters, and narrower passageways.”
“Bah, you’ve no faith, my brother! The gods would not have brought us this far to see us fail now. Perhaps the trickster, but not the hammer, he wishes to see us die in battle. Come, brother, do not tell me you fear drowning more than death by axe or cudgel? Smile, fate and life lay ahead, our journey nearly complete.” Pouring two horns of mead, he offers the fermented honey concoction to the man standing beside him. “Drink, celebrate with me; celebrate our return to this, our homeland!”
Glancing into the carved keratin vessel his younger brother has handed him, and back again to the high cliff walls of the fjord, he steps to the side of the boat and pours the mead into the waters below.
“Brother! You waste so much when we have so little left after this voyage? Why?”
“Do not question my actions, little brother. An offering to the gods is of far greater value than sating my thirst for celebration. I offer them this drink and ask that with it they grant us safe passage through these cliffs. Honor them as I do. Honor them or we shall all suffer. Heed my words, young brother, your youth blinds you.”
“Bah,” the younger man drains his horn into his gullet and tosses the hollowed carving overboard. “The gods have no use for sentimental offerings. They want us to live as men, as warriors, not as scared sheep!”
The sky now darkening, clouds swiftly rolling in. Their boat caught in the unsteady waters of the fjord, the younger man looks dubiously upward as the crew grumbles of bad omens. The older brother stares at the younger, resigned to what fate has cast upon them as the waters begin to froth and the wind picks up speed.
© Copyright 2013 Nina D’Arcangela. All Rights Reserved.
I’m doing the 2013 Blogging from A to Z Challenge! Pop back everyday but Sunday through the month of April for a new letter prompt to spawn my deranged ramblings! ;}
April 6th, 2013 at 7:52 am
I have sailed some of the fjords in Norway, they can certainly be dark and mysterious.
JO ON FOOD, MY TRAVELS AND A SCENT OF CHOCOLATE
April 6th, 2013 at 9:54 am
Hi Jo! I haven’t had the pleasure, but my imagination has many times (I’m terrified of deep water). Viking lore is one of my many passions. 🙂
April 6th, 2013 at 10:47 am
April 6th, 2013 at 11:33 am
Thank you 🙂
April 6th, 2013 at 3:27 pm
One of the most original “F” entries I’ve read today. I enjoyed this! 🙂
April 6th, 2013 at 4:05 pm
I’m glad you enjoyed it! It is a bit of an odd ramble, but I’m trying to have fun with the blog postings. There will be some quirky ones popping up amongst the doom and gloom. 🙂
April 7th, 2013 at 9:43 am
I love this one. My favorite in your series so far. In fact, I wanted more of this story! I wanted to see if the gods would punish everyone or just the unbelieving brother. Great work! Thanks for sharing.
April 7th, 2013 at 12:48 pm
Thank you Jaimie!! There is another half – it was actually a longer story. Maybe I’ll use the other half on a other letters! 😉
April 7th, 2013 at 12:58 pm
I enjoyed this, Nina! This monthly challenge is really honing your literary “tongue” again! lol Awesome to see & read!
April 7th, 2013 at 1:12 pm
I didn’t realize my literary tongue needed honing, but thanks. I’m glad you enjoyed it. 🙂
April 7th, 2013 at 1:17 pm
lol Sorry, Nina…I didn’t mean it in the sense you needed practice. Far from it. I meant it’s awesome to see you cranking out these varied pieces. Each has been razor sharp!! 🙂
April 7th, 2013 at 1:20 pm
I know – I just couldn’t help busting your chops!! ;}
Thank again for the comp’s!!
April 7th, 2013 at 2:02 pm
Interesting, up to F already. I want to participate in this now, it looks fun!
April 7th, 2013 at 2:10 pm
Ask if you join in and start with the G tomorrow! The link is on the side of my wall here… 😉
April 7th, 2013 at 2:18 pm
I might be misreading this but it looks like the entry section is now closed. What, they got an upper limit of 1900 participants or something???
April 7th, 2013 at 2:35 pm
They may have closed it because it already started, but there can’t be any harm in diving in and doing your own posts and visiting the posters on the list. Most visit back. 🙂
April 7th, 2013 at 2:45 pm
Cool! I’m thinking Groovy ought to be my first… too cheesy?
April 7th, 2013 at 3:23 pm
Absolutely not! DO IT!!!! I think it’s Grooo-veyyyy! Gimme some sugar, baby! ;D
April 8th, 2013 at 3:02 am
Damn, I changed it! Sorry but the name stopped being perfect and began being kind of on the nose. But I still managed to keep it to a G name. Hope you don’t mind it, it’s kind of long!
April 9th, 2013 at 3:56 pm
There is nothing wrong with that! It’s all about inspiration and what strikes you at the moment! 🙂
April 9th, 2013 at 5:00 pm
Yeah, did you see it yet? Drugs play a big role in the story, and hence the name Groovy seemed way too on the nose!
April 9th, 2013 at 5:25 pm
I’ve been holding off on reading it because of the word count. We’re prepping for this month’s eZine right now. But I’ll get there asap, I promise!! 🙂
April 9th, 2013 at 5:46 pm
Ooh, what’s the theme this month?
April 9th, 2013 at 5:51 pm
It’s simply Men in Horror – we did Women in Horror for February, so it seemed only fair to give the guys an issue for themselves. 🙂
April 8th, 2013 at 2:05 am
April 9th, 2013 at 3:13 pm
Thank you! Not my usual write, but it’s what most of my showers monologues sound like in my head! Rambling to some tragic end… LOL 🙂
April 8th, 2013 at 3:07 am
Vikings, I knew it! Nothing says Fjords of Scandinavia like a good Viking longboat working her way up a narrow river valley!
April 9th, 2013 at 3:15 pm
Who doesn’t love a good Viking tale! There’s nothing like men who started out smelling like farmers, fought on foreign shores, and spent weeks, perhaps months on a boat without bathing! Good stuff, that!! 😉
April 8th, 2013 at 5:41 pm
I keep reading your stories and thinking, there’s no way we should get to enjoy them for free! I pay good $$$ to read stuff that isn’t half this good.
April 9th, 2013 at 3:11 pm
LMAO – thank you Hunter! You da man!!! (and I could sell you a copy if you want – Lobster Girl is a bottom feeder!) 😀
April 15th, 2013 at 3:16 pm
I agree with Hunter
Love the Viking theme (going to second half now)
April 15th, 2013 at 3:38 pm
I’m glad you enjoyed it, Leslie. I always say that as a writer, I write for those who appreciate what I do, not to gain appreciation for it. Subtle difference, but one that makes all the difference to me. 😉