That Which Awaits

Hey guess what, it’s Wednesday. I know, it happens every week no matter how much I try to stop it. I guess that leaves us with one option. Head over to Indies Unlimited and make your mark on my story. Yep, vote for me. You know you want to.

I make no promises but for an enterprising person such as yourself, you may be rewarded for your efforts. I am of course referring to that feeling of love and joy you gain by voting for me. Cause well, I am pretty cool and I am deserving of votes and stuff (heavy on the stuff).

What are you waiting for? Oh, wait, read the story. I mean you should at least read the story first anyway…

That Which Awaits


Among my people, it is said that the vigor of battle brings the warrior closer to the nether world. 


Great significance is accorded to the first animal a warrior sees after combat, for it is said that in this moment, more than any other, we can see what the future holds for us.


My friend Axor saw the rabbit. He would soon be blessed with abundance. Hrull saw the hawk, signifying victory in his next battle.

That Which Awaits

Photo by K. S. Brooks


I kept quiet while the others celebrated. I did not want to admit I had seen the raven. Yet, inwardly, I began to prepare myself…

“Death,” Miriam said. “You walk in Death’s shadow.” Heated words with a somber tone, she hissed them at me.

I pounded my fist on the table and caused many heads in the mead hall to turn our way. “Hold your tongue,” I said. “We are all that know of this. Do you wish to make matters worse?”

She righted the flagon I knocked over. “Do not waste words, nor the drink of the gods,” she said. Her eyes were the hardest to accept. They looked through me, was I already dead to her?

“My war bounty is yours, for the young one.” To be strong,  did it go further than just to cleave my enemies?

She nodded then looked away. “Come to bed tonight,” she said. “Give me a last night as yours.”

I left the hall, eyes forward. Nothing left for me there but kinsman I would see never again. Night’s fall would come soon enough.

 

We came together for our last tryst between the goat skins of our shared bed. Not our first time together of course, Barak the boy came several winters ago. But for this, our last, it held something special. Our nocturnal dance fed my soul as much as it sated our desires.

In the end it was not a blade that took me from her warm embrace. My heart could no longer take the strain of battle. I had grown not only hardened to battles but also the better things of life.

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