Now all poetry and later down the line the collection of short stories that I am currently working on (Live, Die, Repeat) will be available all on one place on Wattpad. Right now you can go check out “Restful Night” the poetry collection! Tomorrow as promised the second part of the short story is coming here! Hope you are all having a great day!
The ship couldn’t last much longer. The last punch that the ice made almost broke the hull, making the weary and tired men dump the excess of water out. Hellnar knew the old bucket won’t float for much longer, and that land should be imminent. If not they will meet their fate at the cold grip of the sea and by Odin, that was no good death. Many moons had passed since they set out to find the rich lands of the west, but instead they found a storm that destroyed four ships that were with them, and what was left of his men, the cold took already. 40 they were when they had set sail, now only mere 5 remain. The brothers, Feki and Aldur, the old man Orm and Olaf the Bone Crusher. And him. Son of a great warrior, wanting to fill the shoes his old man left, desperately needing to escape his shadow, he accepted to lead them to glory, towards new lands, new riches, new glory. But look how it all turned out. He lost most of his army, and what’s left of his ship is barely hanging by a threat. “Land!” Someone yelled. Finally they will get rid of this snowy terrain, escape this ice, and seek glory among the green pastures of the western lands.
All of the remaining men came to the bow, standing in excitement, as they broke through the thick mist. The land of the green shall be theirs, shortly after so much loss and suffering, their blades shall bask in the blood of the enemy, taking the riches of the unknown land, shortly the long journey shall be over. But as the bow of the ship had cut through the mist, another cloud would appear, then again another. As if the uncovered vail was infinite, never ending. But they didn’t despair. They were certain of their destination, as the dark smudge of the land was still on the horizon, even if they couldn’t see it clearly. Their patience prevailed, but still after so long on the open sea, some of them were eager to embrace the hard solid soil. “Come on, come on…”, young Feki nervously tapped his feet on the wooden floor, wanting the ship to sail faster then it already was. But Feki spoke what everyone was thinking. They were all anxious, nervous and eager to get off this wooden coffin, knowing it was by sheer luck and by the choice of Odin, that they were picked to live while watching their comrades drown and die from starvation and winter. Even if they wanted to shout and scream, they were warriors, leaving the nervousness to the younger pups. As the ship finally broke from the thick mist, to their dreadful surprise, they were greeted by something completely different then the promised green lands they were told about. A land of ice and snow, stretching far as the eye could see, with hills steep and unforgiving, making them fall to their knees. “No…”, Feki sighted under his breath. Another struggle after the already hard fought journey. There was nothing left but to pull the ship on the uninviting shores.
The wind blew chunks of the ice from the surface, carrying it to the sea. As the ship gave its last efforts , the crew jumped out, knowing there was no going back. Hellnar, leader of now what was left, stepped first on the frozen ground of the new shores they would suppose to call home. Knowing that they would only find their end here, no riches or glory, he got down on his knee, holding his blade to the ground. “Allfather, the one who shapes worlds and holds our destiny, please hear my voice. My men had suffered great loss and pain, only to be greeted by a land even harsher then our own. Even if the gold and silver we were promised elude us, don’t let these men die in vain like their brothers. I beg you. If all fails, don’t take the destiny from these people, my people, to earn a chance to sit by your side…” As Hellnar prayed to the Allfather, his men strolled around these strange land, looking around in hopes of finding life. But to no avail. It was an uninhabitable land, only filled with ice, snow and rock. Most of it was flat to the side, so they easily saw in the distance the nothingness that it had to offer. All except few hard rocky hills that stood before them, only ice was their companion. Ice and the death it brought with it. Orm stood by his leader, waiting for him to finish his prays so he could advise with Hellnar about their next step. Aldur, the more mature and calmer individual out of the two brothers, tried his best to calm his hot headed brother who out of sheer rage took his sword and swung it around hitting the snow. “In the name of the Aesir, what are you doing?”, he asked his younger brother. But Feki, with steaming blood in his eyes continued to hit the ground in sheer rage. “Would you stop it? Stop!”, Aldur held his brother, hugging him, preventing the young warrior to continue his fight. “We will die here…”, Feki said, “After that fucking storm, eating the maggots that infested our food and watching our friends die out of the unbearable cold, we will meet the same fate. For what did we endure? What did we do to earn this… this cruel joke? Shouldn’t we fight the westerners by now? Being bothered by the hot sun on our face, the smell of fresh grass? Not shivering by this fucking cold!” As he finished he broke form his brothers grip, looking at the ground for a few seconds, then like from the dream, he quickly broke concentration, focusing on Hellnar, who was still kneeling, holding his sword. “You…”, Feki pointed at Hellnar as he walked to him. “This… all of this is your fault. You were suppose to lead us to the new lands. But you disrespected the Gods and now we are all being punished for it!” He came close to Hellnar, when Orm pulled out his sword, ready to fight the much younger man. “Watch your tongue little boy… one more word out of you and I will make you mute!” Feki just laughed at the sight of the elder, not seeing him as a threat. “Really now old man? What are you going to do about it? You are the one who should watch it! I am not sure your hips can handle a proper sword fight!” But Orm just laughed at the boy, being amused by his words. “Aye. I might be old. But if you do not fear a man who watched young fools just like you die all his life and most I had cut down myself, then you will indulge me by teaching you that even an old wolf still has teeth sharp.” Feki was furious, allowing his anger get the better of him, as he pulled his sword high, ready to strike Orm down where he stood. But even before Orm could act, Feki’s sword was blocked by Hellnar, who in two swoop moves disarmed Feki in such speed and strength, that the boy was left stunned and shocked. Knocking his blade to the ground, Hellnar looked at the shocked expression of the kid who just couldn’t believe what had happened, as he met Hellnar’a fist, putting him on his behind into the thick snow. “Get up.” Hellnar extended his hand to the kid who held his nose bleeding, being angry and humiliated. “Yes this is unexpected. Yes we endured much of the pain that was put in our shoulders. But at the end of the day we are warriors. Fighters! And we won’t squander and argue like bunch of children! Do you understand? DO YOU UNDERSTAND?” Hellnar shouted as all of them nodded in silence, as Hellnar told Aldur to help his brother. “SETTLEMENT!” A thunderous voice came crackling from above the hill. The Bone Crusher made it on the top of the steep and sharp stones, managing to climb above while they were all fighting. As soon as they heard, all of them ran up the steep hill.
The Bone Crusher stood up tall, being built like a mountain, tough as steel, he was the strongest of them all. A man of few words he was, but the few he spoke they all listened. Hellnar stood side by side with all of them, looking at the horizon. “What do your eyes see, old friend?”, Hellanar asked the warrior. Silence was his manner, even in battle, so it wasn’t surprising when his leader asked him, that he firstly let no words disturb his gaze. “Walls, there, few yards ahead. Look down, behind the snow and wind, you can see the interrupted line. Walls, definitely, most likely destroyed. Perhaps the inhabitants are long gone, nothing to steal, no one to fight. But at least it will provide good shelter from the storm.” Hellnar looked down the never ending snow planes, seeing the image his big comrade spoke off. It would be a one way trip, as the wind that carried the heavy flakes grew stronger by the minute. Either they camp here, risk that the wind won’t make graves of ice for them, or they take a walk across the white planes to the unknown dangers that laid ahead, behind those walls. Hellnar knew his men, he knew the sheer amount of their collective strength. He knew what they were capable off, being raised in harsh and unforgiving land, he knew they would probably make it through the night if they camped on the shore. But unworthy death of the elements that they saw take their friends during this journey made them on edge. Nerves were thin, hands twitchy, eager to grab swords. He feared of the heavy toll that it would take. So in his mind there was no way but forward. He looked around at them, seeing his men all looking down the icy planes. “We move. If we stay here the snow will bury us. Perhaps behind the wall we will find cover. So, steel on the ready, if there is anyone left living, be ready to send him to the land of the dead.” The rest just nodded, looking back and forth to each other. They were all that was left of the great raid and now with the same fear they had looking at their friends die on the ships, they walked down the hill, towards the distance, not intending to make their deaths in vain.
The elements tested them. Walking on the planes of snow proved to be more difficult then they imagined. The uneven terrain was unforgiving, as with one step they would fall through the ice, the other would hide spikes of sharp stones. But holding together, picking up their brothers and going against the blowing wind, they managed to carry one another to the large walls that with every step they took towards them, grew larger and larger. No one really expected it to be so big, as the horizon hid the lie of their size when they looked ahead from that hill. But now standing below them, they could see the sheer size of it. It was bigger then anything they came against, as the walls stood higher then any building they made. Twice as big then the tallest house in any of their city, build with a strange material, they looked in awe to the colossal walls. But something broke them, as when they came to it, they clearly saw a big hole that was carved in the walls, interrupting their perfection. “What people build this kind of thing?, Feki asked shocked. Orm took his glove off, feeling the strange material. “Steel? No…”, he said. The rest followed his example, except Aldur, the smartest of the bunch, who took his axe and gently hit a part of the wall. As he did, the axe vibrated from the impact, shaking his entire hand. It took a second for him to realize his braking though. As the second he needed to gather his thoughts passed, he took his axe and swung it with all of the strength he had in his body, striking the wall. The axe just chipped the wall, sliding, easily braking the weapon in half. They all stood speechless, witnessing Aldur’s actions. “No… not steel. Something much stronger.”, said Aldur looking at what was left of his axe. Hellnar touched the wall, looking at the top of it that was caught in frost and snow, asking in what land did they found themselves in. “What matter of men could build such things?”, Feki asked. Orm looked around, not being sure at what to make of it. “I was in France, England, I saw the settlements of the westerners. This is no work of the unbelievers. They had stone walls, but steel or whatever this is, no…” They all basked, looking at the unknown, with a certain dose of fear being present among them. “Men? No, men did not build this…” From behind them, the Bone Crusher spoke, keeping his distance, looking down at the snow. “What are you speaking of you fool? If men did not build this then who did?”, Feki’s arrogance spoke. “Who said we are still in Midgard? The storm spun us around the sea for so long, months went by without seeing any land. And the first land after that while we see, is this?” As the Bone Crusher spoke, he got the attention of everyone, as they all collectively turned around to him. “What bothers you old friend?”, Hellnar asked his comrade. Something spooked the big man, making him nervous all of the sudden, as he turned around, looking back and forth, expecting danger. “This land, filled with nothing but snow and ice, it reeks of death. After this long, perhaps we are further from home then we think. And seeing this walls, bigger then anything we ever saw. Makes me wonder, if we left Midgard in those treacherous waters.” All of them respected what the Bone Crusher told, except Feki, who just laughed at him, provoking him further. “Are we seriously going to listen to the ramblings of this dim wit? Fine, I’ll indulge you. If not he westerners, then who build this massive walls?” The Bone Crusher looked at the boy with rage behind his eyes, not really wanting to say it. “Giants…” It all just make Feki laugh even harder, almost falling to the ground. But he was the only one who did that, as the rest took the Bone Crusher seriously. Feki realized he was the only one who found it amusing, looking at them asking if they were serious. “What makes you think of that old friend? Giants are things of old, things of legends. Things that belong to Jotunheim , not here in Midgard.” Hellnar came close this his friend, showing his support. “The land of snow, ice and death we find ourselves in, sounds like the folk tales our parents told us. The land of the Frost Giants. And the wall that stretches so far in the air, only one could build. Ymir and his children…” Fear was present among them, as the theory the Bone Crusher had sounded very plausible. But perhaps seeing the biggest of them all shake of fear was the tipping point that made them scared. Hellnar looked at them, trying to figure a way to keep his men straight, as straying away, being consumed by fear would be the end of them. The wind grew stronger exponentially, blowing snow in their faces. “Right now it is still uncertain where we are or who was here. But what is certain is that a storm is brewing. Shaking form fear in the open is the last thing we can do right now. We continue with our intent. All of you! Gather your steel and your strength, sheath your fear away, as Lord Odin does not welcome any cowards at his table. Move!” Hellnar’s words provided the required nudge they needed as they all got in the huge hole in the wall, proceeding further in the unknown. As they went in, he stood a bit behind, taking a final look at the wall. “Do you really believe that? That we are in Jotunheim?”, asked Orm who waited for his leader. Hellnar looked with eyes of dread, not really sure what to make of it all. “I do not know brother. Right now it is not my concern who built the thing, rather what did make the giant hole in the impenetrable wall.” As they both looked at the giant hole that broke the wall, they gathered their belongings and marched on, catching up with the rest.
After a short pause with my work I am back! And the “Last Viking of Norway” had just entered cover wars, so I would appreciate a vote! Thank you to all and stay tuned for more work coming here as now is the time to write!
Want a light read over the weekend? An intriguing story about destiny and legends? A #FreeBook ? Check out my literary debut “Last Viking of Norway” which is free until 1st of September! Share, retweet and leave your thoughts! #WritingCommunity #kindle https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08FGBPYNV
“No nights like these in the big city…”, the boy said, “Do you know why the moon goes red from time to time? My grandfather told me once of a king who lost his army, and his kingdom was about to be destroyed by his enemy. And he was denied a death by the enemy king. So, wishing to be with his loyal servants even in death, he took his sword, intending to rush alone against the great army. A certain and honorable death. But before he could even go, Odin appeared before the lost king. He said that it is his duty firstly to be a king then a warrior. If he wanted to join his servants and brothers and sisters in Valhalla, he would grant him that. But before he does, he would need to vanquish the enemy who threatens the land and who despises the gods. But the king asked the Great Odin how could he do that when he lost his entire army, he was all but himself. Odin said he would borrow the stars above if he would attack at night, only if the king would promise to wash the moon with the blood of the unbelievers, so whenever the moon painted in red would rise it would be a message what happens though those who insult the gods and despise the old ways. The king agreed and marched alone with his swords on the enemy camp. As he came close, he prayed to Odin, and charged one last time. The enemy opened fire, thousand arrows flying in the
air and the enemy sending their cavalry to butcher the lone king. But before the king could draw his last breath, he saw, hundreds of stars falling to the ground, decimating the enemy’s army, washing the ground with blood and fire, and all of the blood, like a river climbing the waterfall, rising into the air, painting the moon red with blood of heathens. So, whenever the moon painted with color of red comes on the top of the nights sky among the bright starts, speaks the tale what would happen to those who defy and seek to destroy the ways of the Viking and insult the old gods.”
Just one day left and I am excited, nervous and fighting the lack of sleep. I know perhaps it might not be well received, I keep thinking perhaps no one will even read it, and the few ones that do will hate it. So to everyone who had crossed this path before, you know all too well the fear and doubt that comes crawling in behind your mind, making you wonder why even publish? Even faced with that serious question and even more severe doubt, I fondly remember an advice I got not so long ago from a fellow author. With everyone getting published, some not even being satisfying, you have to ask yourself in that moment of a doubt, why not me? Even if you fail, it is the experience and practice that makes you perfect, and transfer that whole experience into your next manuscript, and you will only keep getting better. You can’t please all, but at least be pleased by yourself and with what you have achieved.
In advance, I would like to thank you all. For your support, your advices, for everything. I am only starting to embark into this world, but I have more to offer, more to do, and I feel inspired to keep on going. And even if most or some don’t enjoy what I wrote, I know I am proud of my first book.
I will bring you a story about honor, about legends and myths that are lost to most in this modern world, but still there are some who cling to them, preserving and honoring the stories told. Stories of heroes, wars and monsters. There are still people who hold honor dear, wanting to maintain its true virtues. But corruption of greed and power can make the strongest of us turn on our friends, brothers and neighbors. If you had an opportunity to redeem those you call brothers, would you take it? Even if it would mean your end? Are there still people who value the life of the collective over their own? Or perhaps like the myths of the old, those are things of the past?
The hardest war we can fight in is the one inside of our own soul, mind. Where our heart is filled with sorrow, rage and anger, pulling to one side, it will make us stand at a crossroad, making us decide. Do we fight for our own gain? Or we understand there are thing bigger then our self? Do we transcend over that greed or we sink further down, accepting it?
“The inner wars, and the outer ones, go on while I pray and struggle; sometimes in the middle of a dark night of the soul I wonder how they became my wars to fight. And then I hear a voice that says, “Why not me?” ― Judy Collins, Sweet Judy Blue Eyes: My Life in Music
The train ran fast through the thick mountain mist, cutting it like a knife with its bright lights that were the only thing visible in the veil that enveloped the high peaks. And what a feeling it was. You couldn’t see anything in front of your eyes, no matter how hard you tried. The front headlights of the locomotive were far ahead, and as you sat in the back, looking through the window, all you could recognize was the occasional flake that the wind blew, so it would get stuck among the rest on the window, creating a snow like puddle on it. And even if it stuck, it wouldn’t last that long, as the trained moved against the wind that would like a brush, sweep away all on its skin. The night made it difficult to see, even to those who knew the path of the tracks. You can focus all you want, have the best eyes of a beast, but all you will find is the cleanliness of the fresh snow that was still and unsoiled by humanity, resting on the near by peaks and backs of the strong mountain cliffs. But that image was familiar to him. But not as before. Before when he was going home, he would look out, and see the same picture of the snow, the rabbits that run away trying to swim in the white dust of it which proven to be high, running from the wolfs and foxes that hunted them.
And when the beast would carry that rabbit between its teeth, he would see a hunter, not a beast, he would see life that would be fed to his younglings, not just a dead rabbit. He would see the cycle or life and death, a hunter that hunted because he must, not because he could. What man saw the nature clear and true, now saw only his own reflection in the glass, facing the person that now stood in place where he stood, once a proud warrior, son of his father, now just an echo of thoughts, slurred and incoherent words that melt with the hum of the rails pulling the train behind, an invisible hand testing its resolve to prove the true worth as not all can run this path to the once unreachable mountain, that gave birth to such legends and warriors that even after generations were still remembered, always in dreams and songs, never forgotten.
The only sound between his thoughts and the train scraping the rust from the metal rails, was Nicklaus and his snoring. Somehow it seemed like in certain moments was above all sounds, as if the bear was doing it on purpose. But it didn’t bothered him, not a bit. Nicklaus offered to accompany him, or if you want to put it to words as he said, “You can say no, but then i would had to knock you out.” He was ever so lucky to have a friend like Nicklaus, and as he would often say, they are more than friends, they are brothers, family. Somehow he pitied Nicklaus, he know how difficult it was to find words to comfort, to find acts that would even come close to fill the gap between the anger and sadness he felt. But if one thing Nicklaus wouldn’t let him forget, was that they were family, that he wasn’t alone.
But as he sat back down in his seat, across his very musically gifted friend, he fell to the memories of his village, the houses that pulled from the bottom of the little lake building up as you climb. His house was at the very top, just bellow the lowest mountain, that like a little sibling, walked in front its bigger brothers, who were in some distance, being divided by acres of wood. In the middle of as you went down the steps, the center square resided. What matter of festivals, parties and celebrations were to be held, were so on the main square. But at the day, it was a market, for the locals sold their goods, fresh fish and meat, and occasional trinkets.
The frozen lake at the bottom once fed the entire village, now serves as a hobby to many drunken men to sit at the middle, drink while the midday sun burns the skin, so they can say to the wives it was not the ale that left the red marks. Sure when a life compared from a city one to his village would say the tale of two ways, one he was born in, a life of hunt, stories and glory, and the other was the life he looked in the city, of knowledge, of a new chance and forging his own path. His grandfather taught him to appreciate both, to take them as a learning curve that was his life. And he did. He took them as a whole parts, not judging or denying a single part of each, as he was taught to search of glory in all. Yea, to fight, and to see glory in all he did. Seek a good wife, may she keep you warm. A good ale to keep you happy. And a good friend that you have that ale and a song to share.
And all what he was taught he tried to do, to obey and even write his own ways. And he often thought at the old man, his words, stories and crazy ideas he had. He laughed and taught him to laugh. But there were moments when he would look in the point on the wall, that was not present in the plane of reality or that would shut all around him, making him the only living soul there. He would often catch those looks in the deep and endless nothing, often calling his name, that would require a few tries to get his attention. And he knew, the old man wondered off in his stories, the craziness that grandmother endured was his still wishes of glory, that call his heart couldn’t deny, not completely. He often wondered, would he go and seek glory, if he wasn’t his grandfather, a husband, a leader, a friend…
And when she died, they put her in the hole. And now he is gone. No glory, just as much it could be in a still heart. Heart, no a battle, not a scar… Heart was his end. But still he was a hero, he was a warrior, and that was the question that in this night begged to be fought, that answer he asked to find before he did anything, as he wanted to repay a last wish that was not asked. But who would allow such a thing, as they now have pyres for their lost ones, not for their fallen ones. Now they pray to none, but their dead still are laid in the ground. Even if the people never let the old ways to be forgotten, the gods and heroes of the past are kept in the present, but still out of disinterest or out of lack of honor that came from death in slumber, they just kept burying their loved ones.
“No battles, no more good deaths, now pyres are for the ones that moved away, no more pyres for the ones that died…”, he heard the old mans voice calling on to him as he looked away through the neatly laid snow, trying too figure out where he was. Somehow his thought became distant, alien, and same as before when he saw battles of his dreams play right there in front of him, he now saw his Grandfather, as he sat down next to him, on that log, in the night of the pyre, where the women with the blond light hair danced round the flames, seducing him with her blue clear eyes, making her moves call him to dance and grab her and hold her tight with a passionate kiss he desired so strongly. But he sat down next to his old man, next to his grandfather, who decided to be alone, sit in front of the flames and just watch. And as he told him the words that haunted him, he remembers something he forgot. Eyes. The old mans eyes as he told him how the flames are only for the lost ones, and that the ones who die get the same treatment as the rest of the world. Perhaps it was not the sadness his eyes spoke of the equality we had like the rest, as he thought before. No, it wasn’t the idiotic notion which he had, that his grandfather was sad that night that the authenticity of the way of life they had was invaded by the outside world. The stupid thought he had, knowing his grandfather too well, now feeling like he betrayed him, but in hindsight he realized that the fear of asking about his father made him oblivious to the old man’s eyes, eyes who suffered as he said about the end and how it differed. His father sought glory, his grandfather wanted it, but grandma kept him in one place, reminded him of the duty he had towards her, him and the village. And dad lost his anchor to this world, as mother passed away, so did the already thin lines between the worlds his old man walked and was often lost in. Is this the curse of the men in his family? To search for glory, but never able to realize how far it is in reality as they are destined to always search for it, walk the unknown planes until they ether die or finally find it. But what happens to the ones like his grandpa? The ones who are forced to stay, shove that feeling of wanting, that desire to search and go out, pull it deep inside and deny its calling no matter how hard it feels your heart tugging like its going to be torn through your chest, while your blood boils with the rage of doing nothing, and no matter how hard you try to do anything to kill your time, to fill the life you have with things, that feeling of not belonging, the hurt and pain your heart will feel as you deny its wish to go forth, will never go away. And as he remembers his grandfathers eyes from that night, he understood. He understood his suffering and his sacrifice, as he knew that he betrayed his heart, even tho it loved the wife he had, the son he raised and the village he took care of, the pain he felt was never lost.
Was that his destiny as well? To dwell on things he didn’t do? As he suffers watching in the distance and asks why did his life went this way and why is not out looking for his own glory? Is it all about this, settling for less while the fear of going outside and searching for it clashes with the need you feel to not dwell on one spot, but rather search for meaning and glory despite the crippling despair that the thought of venturing off can provide.
I am proud to present my debut in the literary world with my first book called “Last Viking of Norway”. Yesterday I posted a small part from it and I want to thank all for the good reception I received . As many of you who have several books under your belt know, the fear of publishing your first book is tremendous, weights heavy over you, almost wanting to crush you. So again I am thankful for all of your encouragement. What I found the hardest in this process was answering a simple question, that somehow was the first thing everyone asked. What is the book about? So few days before it is out on Amazon, I’ll try to answer that question.
Destiny. It is what binds is, connects us, it is what burdens us. As soon as we draw our first breath, entering this crazy and twisted world, we are burdened by one thing, finding a purpose. Old Vikings believed that their life is completely in the hands of destiny, from the moment of birth to the last breath they take, everything is planed. With that premonition they lost all fear, as what would they be afraid of when they have no say so in the next step. Our story starts with an unnamed boy, who came to Oslo, studying. But he wasn’t born there. He was raised in a remote village to the north, a place untouched by modern times, were old Viking tradition and stories still matter. But he is lost. Suddenly all he does feels unworthy, like all he does makes no difference. That boy is in pain, as he suffered a loss. His grandfather has passed away, his last living relative. A man he held so dear, a man who he considered a father. He wasn’t there to say his farewell, so now he needs to pick himself up, and face the fact that his father is gone and needs a burial. But the boy feels indebted. The old man was a warrior. Does he really deserve to be thrown in to the ground? Or perhaps he deserves the ultimate honor, of entering Valhalla? But no one is burned anymore. Like the old man said no more pyres for the fallen, as there is no more wars to fight in. But the young man knows that you can either deny the path destiny offers or embrace it. So he will do what he must, he will return to the village, face the elders and honor his fallen father, no matter the cost. Inspired by “Catcher in the rye”, “Perks of being a wallflower” and “Imaginary Friend”, “Last Viking of Norway” puts the perspective in the hands of a young adult, Ragnar, who asks the hard questions that even the adults are afraid of. It’s is a story about destiny and how loud can one man’s actions be. That after all, even the oldest of us, can’t see the errors of our ways, one man can be enough to redeem all. But then again if we take the path destiny offers, should we be afraid of the outcome of that path?
To many “The last Viking of Norway” is a tale of destiny and the question it often presents to us. The question of the story we leave after we are long gone. Be it glory, be it suffering, the echoes of the whispers we leave can ether shake throughout history or be silenced by one word. With our story we can inspire generations or warn them, to heed our steps we took that brought us to our despair. But this story, Ragnar’s story, does not just belong to him. He selflessly bows himself to the elements, to destiny herself, to offer a tale that will be told for years to come. A story of one man who dared to prove he was worthy, against the feeble hearts of men who dared to corrupt. Despite the heavy flow of the river he found himself in, he swam against it, against men who were older and thought with age comes wisdom, honor and respect, as if those were mere things that can be owned and bought. His story belongs to his people, all people, to never forget its hardship, the price it may take, but the story that the path to it entails, as on it we must prove our own worth, make our own honor and tell our own tale. And it is up to us how our story will be told. But the question of this tale perhaps is a more selfish one. Perhaps it is not the matter how others will tell our story even after we are gone, as they say history is written by the victor, or better yet to the ones who are left breathing after we pass. Perhaps the more important task is how we view our own story, as who is better to know the pain, the suffering and joy we endured, but ourselves. It is tale of a young man who goes against his elders, the ones many looked up to lead them. But our protagonist, Ragnar, sees their corruption, the betrayal of the old ways they hold so dear. Even if the truth was that they honor tradition and the past as it sees fit with the power they hold, no one would believe Ragnar, just a mere boy who dares to slander older and more experienced than himself . A son to a father who tried the same, bringing shame to the whole family. But the family name still holds value to his people, thanks to his Grandfather, who led them, helped them and was one of them. But after his grandfather passes away, Ragnar is faced with a choice to honor him, not as a man, but a true Viking. Which meant giving him a proper funeral in their old way. Even if the village held to the old traditions, Viking funerals were forbidden, as they were reserved for only the ones that fell in battle, not people like his Grandfather who died from natural causes. Still Ragnar feels in debt to a man who raised him and to who all looked up, seeing a true warrior. For that he is willing to go against the elders, who hold the power unchallenged. But honoring the old man was not the only thing that haunted the young Ragnar. When he last saw him, Grandfather confessed that his father was obsessed by a legend that even wasn’t told to Ragnar, a legend of a lone and lost warrior, the last Viking, who will be summoned by only the most worthy of his blood, to lead his people back to the age of glory, an age that Ragnar’s father, just like him, thought his people long forgot. His father got lost in that legend, which somehow made its way deep into Ragnar’s mind, making him follow the path to find the lost warrior and redeem his people. Just like Salinger’s Holden, Ragnar sees the world differently than the adults that live above him. He despises their power over all, as he sees the corrupt ways it led them too. Unlike Holden, Ragnar does not let pride or adolescent cockiness cloud his intention. He was raised on old stories of gods and heroes, filled with honor and glory, he understands the burden destiny provides, accepting the duty of bringing the long lost forgotten glory to his people. But even with that high dose of understanding, Ragnar is filled with rage towards the elders, the adults in his world and their blindness to things so obvious. But there are things higher than Ragnar, higher then the elders, his father or his grandfather. No matter what the price is, he is ready to pay it, to endure all the hardship, as the actions of one man can still matter, can still be enough to redeem them all. Because they are Norse, they endure.
Inspired by J.D Salinger and Stephen Chbosky, “Last Viking of Norway” tells the story of a young adult who navigates his way in the adult world. But unlike “Catcher in the rye” or “Perks of being a wallflower”, “Last Viking of Norway” puts its corner stone on tradition, obligation and honor. Unlike Holden or Charlie, Ragnar is raised on premonition of honor and the fruits his actions bring. From childhood, he is raised as a Viking, under strict discipline and strong definition of honor and its important meaning. But the similarity to the two of them is that even if Ragnar is raised in different conditions, he like them tries his best to navigate life in his surroundings. The story asks questions do the young really see problems that the adults deny and can they make a difference, even if as the adults put it, they are merely children. It is a story about obligation, honor, about how important is one man towards many and how hard or important is to honor the old ways, the past, as it comes clashing with the way we live today.
“Last Viking of Norway” out on Amazon on Saturday, 8th of August, 2020.
Dreams were always her sanctuary. It was understandable when the last beacon of peace is interrupted, she would be distressed. But this dream, unlike the rest, the good, was too real. The running around make her lungs heavy, as if it all happened in reality. The strain it took to get away from him left her body feeling so tired, in pain, sore. So much pain, so much fear that made her postpone opening her beautiful green eyes. But shutting them tight wouldn’t prove useful, as the day was gonna go on it’s way, not minding her or her problems. But the bed was her place. That brief fraction of a second where she laid still, without a single care in the world, not belonging to the fade of the dreamland nor the horrifying depiction of reality, where she just… exists, forgotten in time by the world, in that mere second where no obligation can be tangled with her. But it was just a second after all, and not a moment more, as the alarm clock went off. Can she knock it off? Will it brake and reward those few precious minutes that she would normally take for granted? Nah… she can’t afford to destroy it, as broke was the definition of her current monetary status. But who’s fault was it then? Was it perhaps some complex conspiracy theory where the shadowy figures behind the stage curtains were plotting her demise? Nah, nothing of that sort… It was her fault, and unfortunately she was well aware of it, but never admitting to it openly. All those little acts of rebellion that she showed the world (mostly her parents) that independence ran through her veins, resulted in a shitty job signing names in a leger, a 20 square meter apartment that by the looks of it used as her closet, as the little furniture she had was covered in dirty clothes. They wanted her to go for higher education, but to her it wasn’t useful, she probably made some stupid remark how it poisons the mind of scared youth that already don’t know what to do with their life, something along that line. Then came the cold shoulder, not talking or listening to anyone, acting like a complete asshole, cutting her hair far too short, putting a single strain of light neon green in her hair. Then the famous while you live under my roof speech came. And she was gone. She wanted to prove everyone that she needs no one. But the glamourous dream of a stylish city life turned into a struggle. But there was no backing up now. She couldn’t take her tail between her legs. So she started to see goodness in every ugly moment, in every crack she saw an opportunity.
But right as she laid on the bed the opportunity had slipped. The crack between the ringing of that ugly sound made her realize this was one of those moments she couldn’t make pretty, no matter how much she tried. And with one growl of an angry beast, she managed to pull up, throw something on herself from that pile and run off to the mindless work of a drone she was forced to do. Because, hey, we all have to eat, right?
The routine of the morning made it possible to shut her mind off, as the body knew what route to take, what steps to get down, what tram to get in. And suddenly she found her consciousness awake, holding a railing, looking at the floor. Looking around she noticed everyone lost their focus looking down, below, at their devices, probably wanting to numb the pain of the meaningless life they led. But no device, no book or video would make her forget her problems of being irrelevant. Because she was. If she jumped out of this tram, hitting her head on the ground and passing away, who would really care? Parents, who were constantly disappointed by her choices? Her friends, who didn’t muster up the nerve to see even if she was still alive? Yea somehow it seemed like no one really gave a damn, not even her. Gazing through the window she had let her mind wonder, in hopes it would bring a thought of freedom, of salvation. She imagined running on the rooftops, jumping around, soaring through the air, flying as the wind caressed her green hair. But as the tram sped up near those buildings, with the blink of the eye, something about them changed. With every eye movement, those skyscrapers changed their shape, some new became old, rusted and destroyed, while in the places where there was nothing, a new one appeared. She closed her eyes and opened them back again in fast intervals, making it seem more like the affection of a stroke then self will. And with every time her sight was clear, she would be greeted by a new image, as if the environment changed in front of her every time she would open her eyes. Panic trapped her heart, as she wasn’t sure what was going on. Was she losing her mind? Whatever it was, her safest bet was to get her head down bellow, again watching the floor, minding her own business. And so she did. Panting, hyperventilating, she dropped her head down below as much as she could, just trying to catch a whiff of fresh air into her lungs. But all it had done was bringing her body to the point of passing out. Luckily the voice on the intercom informed the passengers that they were getting near the station. Her stop, now she could get out of this tin can that somehow seemed getting smaller and smaller.
As soon as the door opened, she was the first out, rushing out, bumping into people, knocking their things to the ground, not wasting a second to apologize. She didn’t want to risk it. Not now. Something was wrong. The images in front of her changed shape and size, with every blink new objects would appear that usually weren’t there. She required a sanctuary of walls, a safe haven where she knew every crack on the wall, there no more illusions and hallucinations would make real. As much as she hated her workplace, right now it was the only place that would keep her mind safe. Right now what she required was the dullness of that four walls. But to get there she needed to go through all these people, to get down from the platform to the street. Like one of those little cars on the festivals, she bumped her way through the massive crowd, with her head bowed down. No strength was left that was enough for her to lift her eyes straight. Somehow she managed to get down from the platform to the street, navigating herself from memory. “Just few more steps.” She thought to herself, shaking with fear from the unknown. As her feared induced brain was preoccupied with how many steps there were left, she didn’t notice a man standing in the middle of the street as she walked straight in him. “I am so, so sorry!” She extended her apologies to the man, while she still looked down below. But the man didn’t say a word, not even being agitated by her rushing into him. “I apologize sir! I hope you are all right?” No response. She looked at his shoes, noticing how strange they were, almost metal like. “Well I hope you have a nice day, I have to go otherwise I’ll be late for work..” The man still didn’t say a word, neither did he move away, still holding his ground in the exact same position as before. “Oh come on man, do I really need…” As she raised her head to see what was wrong with him, a thunderous scream came from her lungs. The man was motionless, almost as if he was dead, standing on his two feet. His face mutilated, with several scars on his bald head that had some kind of metal plating, and his left eye glowed with a bright red color, as if it was mechanical. His clothes resembled rags of your average homeless man, but with a strange material that she haven’t seen before. As she screamed, the man stared at her, slowly pulling his hand to her, as if he wanted to grab her. From sheer fear, she closer her eyes tight, peeing a little as that was the only action her body seemed to deem worthy in a situation like this. As she held them shut, awaiting her end, she thought about her life and all the poor choices that brought her here. Oh boy what poor choices she made. The pointless rebellion, the failed relationships and friendships. She thought what would life be if only she listened to her parents, to her friends, when everyone around her told her what a massive mistake she was making. She imagined herself in collage, graduating to be something important, someone big, not a loser. She imagined big houses and grand vacations and… She realized that she imagined for a bit too long. Why is nothing happening? Should she open her eyes? No, no way! Perhaps just running away with her eyes shut would prove fruitful. Nah she can’t. She must. She is stronger then this. OK. One. Two. Three! As she immediately opened her eyes, she saw no on was in front of her. Turning around she saw no one was there. “What the…” No! She won’t stay here and think about it. Her legs became again her own, as she used them to run the rest of the way, grabbing what little safety she had from work.