How I ended up in Valhalla

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Abandoned


How I ended up in Valhalla

 

Concept by Ian D Mooby

Written by Danni Lee

 

I wake listening to the water, the ground cold under me and I can’t remember how I got here.  I sit up and look around.  The river is only a short distance away, and the color of blood.  The land is beautiful.  I am by the edge of a forest, tall fir trees projecting skyward and can not only see the red river but also the tall mountains that bulge in the distance.  The sky is a remarkable shade of light teal. I am nowhere near my home.  There is a camp down the river, I stand up and dust myself off.  I’m still in my pajamas and the last thing I can remember was going to bed.  I was writing a story, by hand, as I huddled for warmth during a thunderstorm and that is why I went back, to the pencil and paper.  I wouldn’t lose anything if the power went out. 

I start to walk toward the camp.  It’s a good thing I don’t were lingerie anymore, I think still dusting off my top.  The soft pink and white polka dot pants would be hard enough to explain to anyone, and the top, soft pink with long sleeves and open neckline, would also raise questions.  I remember I had left my socks on to keep my little feet warm.  I hate it when my feet are cold.  The camp is getting closer and I can see the people there.  They are all men, and for a moment I have second thoughts about disturbing them, but this is a dream, right?

The group of men spot me right away, but who wouldn’t, I’m all pink against a forest green back drop.  They stood for a moment in wonder and then the group look at each other, I could swear, that they are checking, to see if they had all seen the same thing.  They picked up their weapons and charged my direction.  I stop and wait for them.  They are moving fairly quickly with long blades and a few battle axes.  The clothing they wear reminds me of something out of the dark ages and I can see how even the color of my clothing confused them.  They are in furs and kilt like skirts, I would have laughed if it were not for the battle axes.  I face them bravely in my pink attire. They stop about five feet away from me, and I see how large they all are, a good foot taller than me. I can’t read their expressions through the beards, but by the way they glanced at each other, I’m sure they are deciding who would talk to me. One man eventually steps forward.

“What the hell are you?” he asks, and I watch his eyes widen.

“I’m a writer.” I say calmly.  “What the hell are you?”

“We are the border guards of Valhalla.”  He turns and smiles at his companions. “Now, raise your weapon,” he says raising his battle axe, and giving me a fierce look.

I hold out both of my hands in front of me.  “I don’t have a weapon.”

“Then you can’t come in.  You have to prove yourself in battle to be here.”  He steps toward me.

“Wait,” I say stepping back. I had to have something on me, I always did, a lighter in my bra or something.  I pat down my chest and my small pockets in my pajama bottoms.  There was nothing.  I reached up to scratch my head and caught my hand on something. A pencil fell to the ground.  I often tuck one behind my ear, so I have a spare.  I bend down and pick it up.  It is the only weapon I know how to use.  “This is my weapon.”  I hold it out to them.  They stop, their weapons slowly lower and then they all erupt in laughter.

“What do you do with that?” he sputters through his amusement.

If this is a form of heaven, then I might have a power here.  I know I can pour so much emotion through a pencil with thought alone.  I look at it and grin.  I need something to write on, but what?  I look around me, there must be something I can write on.  It didn’t need to be big, just a smooth surface.  There’s a tree that has fallen not too far away, and I can see that the bark has peeled away on the trunk.  “Give me a minuet and I’ll show you.”  I walk away from them, their laughter still ringing in my ears.  I get to the fallen tree, it wasn’t big, but I kneel down and stroke my hand across the trunk knocking off anything that might stop my mighty pencil.

I close my eyes and think, before I start to write.  “You are powerful and at my command, you will defend me fiercely from a ragged band, my crocodile.”  The wood moves under my hand and I stand, believing in what I have written, conjuring thought and word into an aggressive beast.  The dead tree folds in on itself and became what I wrote it to be.  It turns its long snout my direction and I reach out my hand to stroke its head.  “Come with me.”  I say turning and walk back to the men.  They’re not laughing now, and I smile at them.  I stop a few feet away, they are still in shock, their mouths open and their eyes watch the beast by my side. “Take me to your leader,” I say folding my arms across my chest.  The crocodile rumbles next to me and hisses at them.

The axes and swords came up, I step back, and the crocodile lunges forward.  Its jaws snaping at the air and threating the men.  I’m afraid, for the crocodile, and close my eyes and push all my thoughts into its existence.  I can hear the axes bite deep into the wood and the thump the swords make not being able to find a purchase in my beast.  Oh, I want to watch, but I concentrate my thoughts on the animal, giving it life, and the strength it needs to survive.

“Call it off!” someone yells.

I open my eyes, looking at my beast.  An axe and two swords were stuck deep into the back of the animal.  “Come,” I call out to it.  It turns and comes to me.  The men are huddled in a group and breathing heavily.  I bend down and stroke its long face.  “You have done so well.”  I lean down further and kiss its rough head.  “Sleep now, and be what you were.”  Its eyes close and the body lengthens, broken branches sprout out of it.  It was a tree again and I sigh at its loss.  I turn my attention back to the men.  “Is that enough?” I ask.

“Come with me,” says the same man I had spoken to before.  I follow him, glancing at the others that are trying to get their weapons back from the fallen tree.

“How far are we going?” I ask glancing down at the socks on my feet.

“Not far.  Can you ride?” he asks me as we come around the camp structure.

“I used to ride when I when I was young.”  The thought made me smile and remember my first pony.

The steads were big and black, I’m admiring their beauty and wondering how I’m going to get on.  They are huge, like a big draft horse, but war horses had to be big, not just to carry the man but weapons and other provisions.  The man hands me a set of reins and looks at me.  He shakes his head and takes the reins back to put over the tall horse’s head.  I step to the side of the horse and the stirrup comes to my hip.  He starts to chuckle, and I turn my head to glare at him.  With one quick stride, he’s next to me, puts his hands on my waist and lifts me up to the saddle.  I grab the horn and put my leg over the animal.  I haven’t been this high up in a long time and I’m frightened that I may fall.  He’s still snickering as he mounts the other horse.  He starts off at a walk, I follow, and he moves the horse into a gentle lope.  My horse picks up the pace to match.  He’s right, it wasn’t far and with the horses at the easy pace, it felt like we are there in no time.  The Great Hall is massive, the sun glints off the golden roof of shields and I’m in awe of it all.  We stop the horses in front of the large entrance and my riding companion jumps down.  I sit on my mount and look down at the ground.  He starts to laugh but comes over to the side of my horse. 

“Put your leg over,” he says, and I put my leg over the horn.  He put his hands on my waist and helps me gently to the ground.

“Are you all so big?” I ask feeling childlike in my pink attire as well as my height.

“Only the best warriors are allowed into Valhalla.”  He stands tall with pride.  “Follow me,” he says turning and walks up the large steps.  The steps are the height of my knee and I sigh just looking at them.  I take them one at a time and I’m about a third of the way up when I hear him laugh, again.  I glance up and he’s bent over with his hands on his knees and his face is red with laughter.  I shake my head and continue the battle of the stairs. When I finally reach the top, his laughter is under control and he’s wiping the tears from his eyes.

“It’s not funny you know.”  I put my hands on my hips.“I’ve been short all my life.”  I glare at him.

“You’re funny Writer,” he says turning towards the large door.

“I don’t write comedy,” I say under my breath but follow him.  He pulls the massive door open and walks in.  It takes me a moment for my eyes to adjust to the darker interior.  Rows and rows of tables are lined up on either side of us.  I can see a man, sitting in a chair up on the dais and he is bigger than the others. I’m five feet and five inches, the other men I have seen are over six feet tall, so, this fellow must be about ten feet tall.  Oh my God, I think, all they need to do is step on me, and I can die again.  We are almost to the end of the walkway when the man I’m following stops and bows his head.

“Wait here,” he says over his shoulder, he should have said it under his arm, I would have heard him better.  He walks up and talks to the giant man.

They whisper to each other and I look around at the hall.  The tall tables and benches are going to be hard for me sit at and still reach the table.  I wonder if they have booster seats.

“Writer.”  The voice booms through the hall, I snap my head around to look at the giant man.  “Come here.”  He points to the step by his feet.  I look at the steps of the dais, they were taller than the ones to get into the hall.  I sigh and shake my head.  I hear the laughter, that I know all too well by now.

“She’s going to need help,” he barely squeaks out. The giant man reaches out and pushes against my companions’ shoulder.

“Valkyrie,” the giant man says and suddenly there was a woman at my side.  She was as tall as the men and the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.  “Give Writer a hand.”  She put one strong arm around me and the other hand on my elbow, gently lifting me up off the ground and it was like we flew to be in front of him.  He nods his head at her and she is gone.  I’m still in shock and stand in front of him with my mouth open.  “Show me this weapon of yours,” he says looking down at me.  My eyes never leave his as I reach a hand up to my head and take the pencil down from behind my ear.  I hold it out to him and his eyes narrow as he leans down to look at it.  “Show me how it works,” his voice commands. 

“I need something to write on, something flat and smooth.”  I’m having a hard time keeping my eyes off of him.

“Go find her what she needs,” he says to my companion.  The man walks past me down the dais steeps.  I stand uncomfortably while the giant man looks me over.  “What are you wearing?” he asks me.

“These are my pajamas,” I say and watch as his brows furrow. “I sleep in them.”

“You died in you sleep?” he asks, and I can see that it offended him.  My companion came back and hands me a wood plate.

I hold the plate in my hands and think for a moment.  I sit down on the steps, putting the plate in my lap and I write on the plate.  “A plate you may be, made of wood they see, that is not what you are to me, and so a butterfly you will be.”  I feel it move in my hand, I tuck the pencil behind my ear and stand up.  I close my eyes and press my thoughts into what I wanted.  I throw the plate out into the hall.  It folds in the air and the wings expand from it.  It is massive and beautiful, the wings blue and black flutter lightly in the air.  Valkyries came out of nowhere to look at it, the women stood with smiles on their faces and the closet one to the butterfly held out her hand.  The butterfly went to her and lands in her large open palm.  She turns her head and beams a smile at me.

“I see.”  The deep voice boom behind me.  I turn my attention back to man.  “I am Odin, and this is my hall.”

“It’s an honor to meet you,” I say and bow down to him.

“This,” he says reaching out and putting a hand on my companion. “Is Herlief, and he will see to your needs, but first I would like see you use this weapon again.”  He stands up and walks past me down the steps.  I’m left there watching his back.

“Come on Writer,” Herlief says scooping me up in his arms, and starting down the stairs. He carries me through the hall and one of the Valkyries smile at me, as we pass.  I would never be able to keep up with the long strides of these men.  Herlief follows Odin out of the hall and down the stairs.  Odin turns and walks down the side of the grand hall.

“Where are going?” I ask Herlief.

“I don’t know Writer,” he says following Odin.  There are building here alongside the grand hall and some of them look unused, the grass tall around them.  Odin stops and Herlief comes up to his side and sets me down.

“Use your weapon on that,” Odin says and points at an old building.  It was covered in vines, the wood cracked and some of the boards broken.

I walk toward the building.  The cracked wood would break the lines in my words and that may break the spell.  I walk around the large building looking for a smooth place to apply my pencil.  Herlief comes up behind me while I’m inspecting the wood.  “What is the problem?” he asks.

“The wood is cracked, and I need it smooth.”  I turn and look at him.

He takes his axe off his back, places the sharp edge against the building and uses the blade to plain the wood, leaving a smooth surface behind.  “Will that help?”  He turns and smiles at me.

“Thank you Herlief.”  I take a quiet breath and pluck my pencil from behind my ear.  “A building is not what you want to be, Oh so large and strong taller than the tree, you will become what I write you to be, Oh Cerberus of mine go and protect me.” The building starts to shake, dust burst forth, and vines start to snap.  I back up and Herlief grabs my hand and pulls me away.  Wood splinters, expands, or contracts and the Cerberus is made.  I watch in wonder at the beauty of the beast.  The three heads inspect their surroundings, large jaws opening and closing exposing sharp fangs.  I hear a battle cry behind me and see Odin with a bright smile on his face, his double headed axe in his hand.  Herlief let go of my hand and joined in with his own battle cry.

I put my hands over my ears and close my eyes.  I couldn’t watch the men destroy the beauty I had created.  Tears stream down my cheeks and ground shook under my feet as fight raged on.  Cerberus howled and I could feel it all the way through my body.  I could feel it crack, the thing I created, and I gave it a push in my mind.  More battle cries join in and I can’t help but give to the beast.  I start to hum, rocking back and forth trying desperately to block out the sound, giving power to the Cerberus.  I drop to my knees, the buzzing in my head was becoming too much to take.  I feel a hand on my shoulder and let my body fall that direction.  The power ebbs and I feel the dark settling in.

I hear voices and laughter.  I open my eyes and I am in the great hall. There is a cold cloth on my head and start to sit up.  I am laying by Odin’s seat at the top of the dais.  A Valkyrie is there, the same one that smiled at me, she takes the cloth from my hand and reaches out to touch my cheek.

“Back with the dead I see,” Odin says, and I look at him.  He is smiling, there are cuts on his face and bandages on his arm.

“What happened?” I ask.

“That was the most excitement we’ve had for a while.”  He reaches out and touches the top of my head.  “You belong with us Writer.”  The tables of the great hall were crowded, and the men cheer.  Odin took his hand off my head and waved a Valkyrie over.  “Get her something to eat and drink,” he orders.

“So, I can stay?” I ask a little apprehensively.

“Oh yes, you are staying right here,” he laughs, and it boom across the tables in the great hall.

 

And that is how I came to be in Valhalla. Oh, and the red river, turns out its wine.


Submitted: December 05, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Danni Lee. All rights reserved.

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