Mark Maker #8

Posted: January 13, 2013 in Viking novel
Tags: ,

I feel myself being dragged and then I am on a sleigh and the world is flying by like I am on an ice flow or a frozen lake. The aching and bitter cold has sunk deep into my limbs and my brain shuts down again.
When I wake time has stopped and I cannot recognise where I am. There is warm and a boiling broth is being forced into my mouth. My burdens of food are stacked in a corner. My eyes slowly focus on the ginger beard and blue eyes of Ragi, a sheep farmer from the other side of the island.
“Can you speak?” he asks?
I am trying to breathe so speaking is hard. I do not want to know that Valdr is dead. My lips cannot frame the question.
Ragi is patient. He fills the gaps of my answering with his own words.

“Now and then when my ear wants for the sound of a voice, I go to the village. Trade a few sheepskins, some cheese, share some ale.” Ragi squints up his eyes and pauses. The fires crackles and its warmth is unbelievable. “But why did they come here? In the Winter? For what? No one left to tell me who they was… except you. I see they slice you up good too but you must be stronger than most to live as you have.”
It was a question I wasn’t ready to answer.
“My brother !” I croaked.
“I left him to get help.”
“How bad is he?”
“Both legs, one skewered, one mangled. I need to get him food!”
“No, you need to stay here!’ Ragi stands, a stocky man with his ginger beard and blond plait, his face cracked with cold.
“Between the three of us we got three good legs and I own two of ’em.” He places the sheep meat broth within my reach and proceeds to stack up the fire with logs. I give him directions to our farm.
“You rest until I get back. The killers are all gone, whoever they were. Nothing more left for ’em to do, so sleep!”
I need no more suggestion and soon fall again in a deep and restless dream.


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