The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by Kathleen McCluskey
Astrid watched as the men began to gather their weapons and shields. She knew that the invaders from the south would not be stopped. She used her powers of foresight to see the end result. A large shudder ran across her back as she saw her beloved Bjorn awash in the fjord. She begged him not to go but as a Viking he had no choice but to fight for his land and his honor. She prayed that the gods would be merciful and spare the land she called home from the invaders.
As she watched the boats leave she could hear the winds calling to her. She closed her eyes and listened intently. They spoke of the gods, of glory on the high seas and of death. Astrid opened her eyes and went to see the great seer.
Opening the door to the home of the seer, a large gust of wind spoke to her of trepidation. She knew there would be a price to pay to save her homeland and her people from the impending doom. The seer was propped up on one arm amidst soft furs and pillows. He played with the fire, running his hand across the flame. “You have come to save the kingdom? What have you brought as a payment?” Astrid began to cut a large piece of her long blond hair. Without looking at her he raised his hand, “Stop. I have no need for hair, child.” He paused, “Come close and I will tell you the price and what must be done.” She knelt beside him and he whispered in her ear. Then gave her a box, he motioned with his hand, “Now go, you know the price for what you seek.”
In her home, she opened the box and took out the lantern. She knew that calling upon the god Ullr to bring down the cold, snow and ice was fatal. She lit the flame, took her knife and opened up her arm. As the life faded from her she saw her beloved Bjorn coming home unscathed. She could see the kingdom restored as the invaders were frozen by the mighty Ullr.
Fiction © Copyright Kathleen McCluskey
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Kathleen McCluskey:
The Long Fall: Book 1: The Inception of Horror
Lucifer always cunning and intelligent challenges father to a battle of wits. Being the angel of light he casts a judgemental eye upon mankind. He begins a war with his fellow archangels and God. Michael, along with his siblings defend their home and mankind from their deranged brother. Broad swords and hand to hand combat drench heaven in blood. The four apocalyptic steeds are released, each having their own destructive power. Betrayal and lust are at biblical levels. Understand the very creation of evil and the consequenses that transpire in the first of THE LONG FALL series.