Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Normandia - 5

Our feet splashed awkwardly in the water as we dismounted from the ship, pulling the longboat onto the shore.  We were Vikings, not fleet-footed elves.  In the rush of men and women were scurrying back and forth in the night scene before us, no one seemed to notice our landing.  We started our soft lope towards the burning town.  Those with flowing blonde hair like Thorax looked like the soldiers of Valhalla.  Those with Aslak’s dark hair looked like King Harald’s warriors.  Strong, sleek, ruthless, we were terrifying.  And suddenly the Franks were aware of it.  A woman standing close by the river screamed in terror and ran back towards the city.  Others followed her gaze, and soon the whole town was scurrying back towards the flames, to an impending doom.
But then I saw him.  All aglow in the vibrant night sky.  Walking alone towards us.  He carried a great casket.  A long fur robe covered him from head to foot, and a great broadsword clung to his side, maybe large enough to match even my own.  He must be the lord of the town.  We had never laid eyes on him before.  He was the commander of their troops and we made sure to always avoid an actual fight, but there he was alone, and unafraid.  In the fiery sky his bravery was unmatched.  It was worthy of a Viking.
I slowed my men to a walk, and we approached him.  He said nothing, only knelt down before us and opened the casket.  Inside were hundreds of large golden coins.  It was probably the entirety of his fortune.  He looked at me pointing at the town and the fire, and then pointed back down at the treasure.  I knew what he wanted, our help, in exchange for the treasure.  His bargaining tools were not well grounded.  We could take his treasure and leave, becoming the richest Vikings to ever return, but we would also have to face the storm, and who knew if we would return with the treasure.  I stood alone for a confused moment.  But just for a moment.  I turned to my men and started shouting out instructions.  We ran to the now forsaken buckets on the beach, and formed a line to the town.
The lord was on his feet again, and joining in the line.  Soon the whole town was there passing bucket after bucket.  At the end of the line stood tall Thorax and myself, large enough and strong enough to throw the water high on the fiery rooftops, we quenched one fire after another.  Bucket after bucket rose and fell, and fire after fire fell into embers, quenched by the rain itself.  Until it was all gone, leaving behind a smoky village, but one that was intact.  As Thorax and I dropped our last buckets, we smiled exhaustedly at each other, and just then we noticed the people around us.  Many of whom were women and children all beaming up at us in thanks.  I glanced at their faces almost disgusted at my decision to save them.  And then in the corner of my eye I saw her.
Her tunic was covered in soot, and her face was dirty like the others, but her jet black hair shone through, and her piercingly fierce eyes met mine.  Her tunic had ripped a little as well revealing a glimpse behind her voluptuous bodice.  I desired her.  I made up my mind, she would, she had to…

She would go with me.

Chapter IV           Chapter VI

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