“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! ;}