The Vikings Are Coming!

Reads: 98  | Likes: 2  | Shelves: 1  | Comments: 2

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Fantasy Realm

'The Vikings Are Coming' is based on true historical events.
In 793 A.D. Viking raiding ships landed off the North East Coast of England at the small community of Lindisfarne. They butchered the villagers and killed the Monks at the nearby Priory.
This is a fictional bloody tale of those events.

The Vikings are coming!

 

Across the cold North Sea, the dragon ships came.

Skald; Ursa Yoracsson

 

 

 

‘Row, Row, Dog brothers, Row.’

Thorkil Iceheart Magnusson’s gritty voice merged with the thunderous storm that rocked their longship from side to side, as the violent churning North Sea smashed against its mighty sides.

The thirty Viking crew of, The Draugr, pulled on their oars, their iron muscles straining from the effort as they shouted out in timed unison. Huffing and puffing as the dragon prow of their mighty oaken ship split a wave in twain like a war axe through the skull of an enemy.

The wind howled. The sea churned, and the sky lit up with lightning streaks. Seaspray washed over the men as they concentrated on their oar strokes. Driving their vessel onwards across the cold North Sea to the shores of England, and the promise of silver and gold.

The draw of treasure burned in their eyes like a golden flame.

Skald; Ursa Yoracsson

 

‘Row, Dog brothers, row for your lives. Show the mighty, Thor, the god of thunder and lightning, that we are worthy of his favour, and we will weather this storm that he has sent us as a test of our mettle. By Thor’s mighty hammer, Mjolnir, we will come through this victorious.’

 

Thorkil’s words of encouragement to his men worked, for they all hooted together as one, and stamped their feet, as another icy wave broke across their bows, drenching them in its freezing embrace.

 

Their bearded faces were cold and grim.

Skald; Ursa Yoracsson

Thorkil looked to his left and then right. His yellow hair hung soaked and plastered to his broad shoulders. His ice-blue eyes were keen and bright, and a smile crept across his bearded face as he saw the orange bobbing lantern lights from his other two ships still keeping pace with him in the swirling storm.

As he set his gaze ahead, his heart lightened, through the murk, he spied the dark landmass of England’s shores edging ever closer to them. And high up on a hill, the unmistakable glimmer of lights from buildings, could be seen.

 

‘Row, Dog brothers, Row, for the shores of England lie ahead, and its riches will soon be ours. Your war chests will be heaving with their gold and silver, and fame and glory will be yours for the taking.’

The crew of the Draugr hooted once again. Their warrior’s blood boiled in their veins and gave them renewed vigour, breathing life into their aching bodies from their relentless rowing.

Their Pagan hearts were full of sin.

Skald; Ursa Yoracsson

 

The longships came to rest on the Northeast coast of England, in the Kingdom of Northumbria.

The rain fell from the dawn sky, the Vikings gathered in groups on the beach, clasping each other’s arms and laughing with relief at making the perilous sea crossing, alive.

Within the hour they had bonfires burning on the beach. And thankfully the rain began to abate. They prepared for themselves a meal of gruel and roast chicken and unloaded kegs of ale.

Laughing and stretching their aching bones from their relentless rowing, they filled their drinking horns with frothing beer and drank until the kegs were dry.

Thorkil Iceheart Magnusson welcomed his fellow, ship chiefs. Gunnar Redbear, a mountain of a man, with plaited russet hair and a long, well-groomed beard, he was proud of.

His other chief was, Einar Crownose, named for his long beak of a nose, which he liked to paint black with a matching band across his eyes, for a more, sinister appearance.

The Chieftains clasped arms and exchanged words of friendship.

Gunnar wiped a large calloused hand over his face and pulled on his beard, ‘So what is the plan?’ he simply asked and squeezed a nostril shut and blew out a bothersome snot from the other.

Thorkil grinned, a dark spine chilling grin, and drew his precious Ulfberht sword, made from the finest Frankish steel, and pointed inland with the deadly blade, ‘We march on the village over yonder and kill everything that walks on two legs, and take everything that glitters.’

Gunnar and Einar both laughed uproariously with approval.

‘I like this plan!’ Einar cawed with laughter and hefted his Dane axe; garishly engraved with Jörmungandr, the world serpent, twisting its coils around the edges of the axe blade. He threw the axe into the air, watching it spin around, and caught it in his outstretched hand, and made as if he were chopping into the neck of an enemy. 

 

The men gathered around their bonfires and made their prayers and pledges to Odin and Thor, before lighting their torches.

Thorkil slipped on his steel helmet, it was garishly decorated with a bronze hawk-head crest, he slid the eye guard down, and then raised his spluttering torch, and led his men onward over the dunes toward the settlement of Lindisfarne.

Flaming torches burned in their hands

Weaving Like a fiery Wyrm across the land

Skald; Ursa Yoracsson

 

One hundred bloodthirsty Pagan, Viking warriors, looked down upon the sleeping settlement of Lindisfarne.

The dwellings were scattered about like wheat in a field. wicker animal stockades were attached to the roundhouses with their overhanging straw, thatched roofs.

‘It is time to wake up our sleepy heads down there!’ Thorkil grinned at his men. ‘Light them up, men!’ he shouted as he raised his sword and bellowed his war-cry.

The heathen army surged forward toward the unsuspecting Christian settlement, screaming like devils and casting their burning torches onto the straw roofs of the buildings.

The folk of Lindisfarne fell to sword and axe

Against the Norsemen raiders, they were no match

 Skald; Ursa Yoracsson

 

Elga was awoken by shouts coming from outside. She slipped from her bed where her husband Godric snored in a deep sleep, and hurried to the window and drew the curtain back.

Outside, thick black plumes of smoke filled the air from several of her neighbours' roofs had which were burning.

And then she saw them, moving through the smoke like wraiths. Some wore leather vests with iron links stitched to them. Others wore full chain shirts. They all wore garish helmets with nose and eye-guards. Some carried rounded shields, painted with mythical beasts on them. Others had flowing animal skin cloaks draped over their broad shoulders. They all brandished deadly swords or axes, and some hefted long spears.

Elga felt her legs weaken at the sight of these devils who had invaded her quiet little home. She ran over to the bed and shook her husband awake, shouting in his ear in sheer terror.

 

‘The Vikings are coming! The Vikings are coming!’

Godfric’s eyes snapped open in alarm. He leapt from his bed and went to look out of the window.

Just then their door crashed open splintering wood across the floor.

Elga screamed as a huge figure stepped into their home.

He was a devil from hell itself, Elga was certain of that. He was a mountain of muscle and armour with an evil grimacing smile and his face painted like a crow.

The Viking grinned at them and stepped forward.

Godfric’s eyes could not hide the sheer terror he felt deep within his soul at this huge murderous stranger before him. His bowels ached to empty their contents in fear, and Godfric’s legs threatened to give way beneath him, yet he had to protect his beloved Elga from this monstrous intruder. He reached for a broom and raised it as if he were going to simply brush the iron thewed warrior away like a bothersome little dormouse.

The Viking simply knocked the broom out of Godfric’s trembling hands with a sweep of his axe and growled, baring his teeth, and then he raised his axe.

Elga screamed in horror at the sickening crunching sound the axe made as it bit deeply into her husband’s skull, sending up a spray of blood splattering over her face.

Godfric collapsed to the floor, he twitched several times and gurgled before coming to rest with his blood pooling around his head.

Unable to move with shock, Elga just stood transfixed to the spot as the Viking grasped her nightgown and ripped it violently open, exposing her breasts to his leering stare.

Elga fell back onto her bed and grabbed her shawl to cover up her nakedness. It was then she felt her brooch. Without thinking, she grabbed it and leapt up screaming and jabbed the pin straight into the Viking's leering face.

The warrior staggered backwards dropping his axe and yelled in agony. The pin sticking in his left eye and blood pouring down his cheek.

Elga picked up the axe in trembling hands, its blade dripped with her dead husband’s blood. Anger and rage suddenly ripped through her. She brought the axe down onto the Viking’s head. Only this time the sickening crunching sound it made as it split his skull, brought a smile to her face.

The Viking collapsed onto the floor. Elga fell upon the Viking hacking relentlessly at his head, over and over again until there was nothing left but a bloody mess. Elga finally stood back from the Viking’s corpse at her feet. She was covered in his blood; it dripped from her hands and matted her long dark hair.

Then another shadow appeared in her doorway.

Elga just looked impassionedly at the Viking standing there looking at her, in his shiny chain shirt with his face hidden beneath his helmet with a bronze hawk-headed crest.

The bloody axe slipped from her hands. She just sobbed with grief. She had not the strength to fight off this burly barbarian. She stood before him a broken woman waiting for his sword strike to end her life for killing one of his own.

And then to her surprise, the Viking just raised his sword in salute to her and walked away.

 

Thorkil turned away from the sobbing blood-soaked woman. A cheeky grin spread across his face, ‘There will be no seat for you this night at Odin’s feasting table, eh! Crownose, killed by a woman with your own, axe! Ha!’ he laughed.

 

Gunnar Redbear looked around and smiled at the carnage and chaos his men had Meted out on these pathetic Christians. Chickens squawked and ran around his feet, two of his men were butchering a pig with sword and axes to his left. The poor creature squealed as they hacked it to bits and laughed at its awful bloody demise.

The screams of women filled the air as other Vikings committed acts of atrocious debauchery on the defenceless maids of this hamlet.

Gunnar was having a good day and enjoying himself. And then his eye caught a farmer making a run for freedom. Gunnar grinned, raised his arm and threw his spear at the fleeing farmer.

The spear flew as straight as Odin’s mighty spear, Gungnir and skewered the farmer in the back. Gunner let out a great triumphant guffaw and ran over to the farmer, pulled his spear free and kicked the poor devil over.

Blood trickled from the farmer’s mouth, staining his beard red. His breathing was ragged and raspy.

Gunnar leered down at him with all of the sympathies of a stalking wolf and jabbed the iron tip into the poor wretch’s right eye and bellowed, ‘ODIN!’  dedicating his kill to the All-Father of the gods.

Thorkil joined Gunnar on his killing spree and slapped him on the back, ‘How’s it going?’ he grinned.

‘Everything is good, my friend, and you?’

‘No complaints!’ Thorkil nodded.

‘Have you seen, Crownose, anywhere?’ Gunnar asked.

‘He’s dead!’ Thorkil spat.

‘Oh!’ Gunnar grunted nodding his head, ‘Oh well, death comes to us all eventually. I will raise a drinking horn to his memory when we get back home, eh! So what is the plan now then?’

‘Time to go visit the monks. They always have plenty of nice shiny trinkets hidden away, eh my friend,’ Thorkil grinned.

Gunnar slapped Thorkil on the shoulder, ‘Lead the way, then!’ he laughed.

The Northumbrian land was stained with blood and gore

As the Vikings dedicated their kills to Odin and Thor.

Skald; Ursa Yoracsson

 

‘The Vikings are coming! The Vikings are coming!’

The noviciate shouted in terror as he looked down from the scriptorium window and saw the plumes of smoke in the distance, coming from the burning village on the mainland. And marching across the causeway toward the priory, an army of axe-wielding Vikings came. Their voices could just be made out singing a war song in their barbaric, pagan tongue.

Aethelbert was a young stripling of a boy; he had only just reached his fourteenth year. He burst into the chapel swinging the wooden doors open with a loud clatter and stumbled forward, tripping and losing a sandal.

There was a gasp of shocked annoyance from his brethren,  at the noisy intrusion into their silent, pious prayers.

‘What is the meaning of this outrageous disturbance, boy?’ Father Osric growled; his round face beamed an enraged scarlet at this unforgivable show of disrespect, in the house of God.

Aethelbert picked himself up and pulled at his cassock, trying to straighten it, and then he pointed back toward the open doors and cried in a terrified voice, ‘The Vikings are coming across the causeway. The Vikings are coming!’

The blood drained from Osric’s fat face his jaw fell open in terror.

Osric’s mouth suddenly went dry and he felt distinctly light-headed and thought he might faint as the chapel seemed to spin around him.

Taking a deep breath, he shouted, ‘Quickly everyone, gather up everything of value and hide them in their allotted places. We cannot let these heathens desecrate our holy objects with their bloody pagan hands.’

The Monks just stood around; their voices filled the chapel as they muttered prayers to god in fevered tones.

Osric felt his anger rising and bellowed loudly, ‘Well, brothers are you just going to stand there like dumb cattle? You have your orders, move to it, quickly now!’ he clapped his hands urgently.

The Monks shuffled off in all directions to do as they were told.

Osric wiped the cold sweat from his brow with shaking hands, and then just turned to the altar behind him and fell to his knees and clasped his hands out in front of him, and began to pray.

Furore Normanorum, libera nos Domine!’ he wheezed, ‘from the fury of the Northmen, god deliver us,’ he crossed himself.

 

Even the pious Monks who lived on the Isle of Lindisfarne

Were rounded up and hunted down by the light of dawn.

Skald: Ursa Yoracsson

 

 

 

Thorkil and his men entered the sacred Christian chapel and stood around staring up at its stone walls and arches and bright vivid decor.

Thorkil was quite taken aback by this magnificent stone structure, for back home in the fjords, such buildings did not exist. Timber was the material used to build their stafr churches. Even the mighty Jarls did not reside in such elaborate structures as this place of worship to the Christian god and his nailed son.

The Monks cowered together like frightened sheep as they subconsciously gathered around Osric forming a protective circle around him from these Wolves of the sea.

 

Osric felt as though he wanted to be sick, the fear of these devils was so far-reaching. They reeked of blood and sweat and smoke, and their clothes were stained with the dried blood of his parishioners. Their weapons were cruel instruments of death, and their faces were hard and cold and grim and full of heathen savagery.

Yet Osric had to show strength and fortitude in this most perilous situation. He gripped his cross hanging around his neck and felt its familiar comforting shape in his hand, and knew God was with him and his brothers, Osric suddenly felt a calmness settle on him.

He stepped forward parting the circle around him as if he were Moses parting the Red Sea and stepped into a shaft of morning sunlight coming through one of the many colourful stained glass windows.

‘This is a house of God!’ he said in a somewhat shaky voice and then coughed to clear his throat. ‘Your presence here is unwelcome, as is your weapons.’ He said, holding his head high and pointing to the bloody axes and swords these barbarians were clutching.

Thorkil, Iceheart, Magnusson stepped forward. His yellow hair was plastered to his face with sweat. Two small plaited strands hung down to his shoulders, his beard was short, his eyes were dark-rimmed, ice blue, hard and soulless. He wore a heavy gold twisted neck torc ending in hammer-shaped terminals. His chain vest had been stained with blood as were his large meaty hands. His bare arms bristled with solid muscles and covered in black weaving tattoos depicting strange mythical animals. He wore several gold and silver armbands and bangles at his thick wrists. His boots were muddy and ringed with wolf fur trim; he was every inch a wild untamed creature.

‘Bring us all of your treasure, Holy Man, and we will leave you in peace.’ Thorkil’s voice was deep and thick in its barbarous accent.

 

Osric swallowed, ‘This is a house of God. We have taken a vow of poverty. We have no treasure here.’

Nervous sweat began to trickle down the sides of Osric’s rotund face as the Vikings conversed with one another in their pagan tongue.

 

Gunnar Redbear had been watching the monks clasping their hands in front of them and mumbling prayers to their god with trembling voices. He seemed intrigued by this strange practice. He pointed at his axe to one of the monks.

‘What is this thing you do with your hands?’ he grunted.

Osric was taken aback slightly by the strange turn in the conversation.

‘Er! It is how we pray to the lord almighty and, Jesus Christ, our saviour.’ Osric replied.

Gunnar nodded his head. A venomous smile spread across his hard face; it was a smile that sent shivers down Osric’s spine.

Gunnar pointed to a monk, ‘Come here!’

Selwin, the monk he had pointed to, almost collapsed with terror, at being singled out, but stepped forward on trembling legs.

Gunnar slapped his big hands together, ‘So, Holy Man, you do this to pray to your god, yes?’

Selwin just nodded.

‘Show me?’ Gunnar growled.

Selwin clasped his shaking hands together.

‘So tell me, you have to do this when you pray for your god to hear, you?’ Gunnar asked.

The monk didn’t know what to do, so he just nodded dumbly.

Gunnar turned to two of his men and spoke to them. They laughed and grabbed the monk, who shrieked in shock and began to struggle as they held his hands together and out in front of him.

Gunnar stepped forward and simply hacked off the monk’s hands with his axe.

‘Now pray to your god!’ he laughed, and picked up the severed hands and began to clap them together.

The monk collapsed on the floor, his screams filled the chapel, echoing off its stone walls. His bloody stumps wept sanguine tears from their horrendous mutilation.

Thorkil looked into Osric's shocked face, ‘I say again, Holy Man, bring us your treasure or, Gunnar, here will cut off his feet next, and if I have to ask a third time, Gunnar will cut off his balls and feed them to you.

‘Now, bring me your treasure!’ Thorkil growled menacingly.

Osric stood in silence for a moment, the sorrowful whimpering of his fellow monk was torturous to hear, yet Osric would not yield to these heathens. God was with him and his brothers, they would prevail.

‘We have no treasure,’ Osric finally sighed.

‘Gunnar,’ Thorkil nodded.

The men fell on the poor monk and grabbed his legs as he screamed and thrashed about.

‘Please, Father, give them what they want, for the love of God, I beg you!’ Selwin pleaded.

Osric shook his head as if trying to stop the pleading cries from assailing his ears.

‘As our lord Christ, our saviour suffered on the cross for us, then your suffering will be fleeting, brother. You will sit at God's table, tonight, with his holy angels singing their sweet songs in your ears.’ Osric shouted.’

Thorkil nodded his head at his men. Gunnar grinned as he savagely hacked off Selwin’s feet and then picked up a bloody foot and held it to his face, sniffed it and wrinkled his nose up, and then burst out laughing and threw it into the crowd of bleating monks.

The monks, their faces struck with horror and grief for their brother’s suffering, fell to their knees and wept and prayed to God to save them from these heathens. Yet their prayers seemed to fall on deaf ears, for no angels came to save them or lightning bolts from above to strike down these, Viking scum, who had desecrated god’s house with their brutality and sadistic games.

 

 Thorkil stared into Osric’s face and saw a strength behind those tear-filled eyes, it was a pious strength that would not yield. Thorkil recognized it and for a moment he actually felt a tinge of respect for this bloated Christ worshipper.

Thorkil sighed, he was becoming bored with this game, it needed to end. He wanted the treasure and he was going to get it if he had to kill every one of these damned vermin, as they blubbered on their knees before him.

'Gunnar, shut him up, his wailing is annoying me!’ Thorkil ordered his man.

Gunnar drew his knife and slit Selwin’s throat.

The monk gurgled and thrashed for a moment, choking on his own blood, and then mercifully his suffering ended.

Thorkil shook his head; ‘It seems you care little to nothing for the lives of your brethren, Holy Man?’ perhaps if your own life were at risk, you might be more cooperative?’

Thorkil walked over to the altar and sat down on it dangling his legs over the side; he took his sword and laid it across his lap.

‘Let me tell you a tale of our gods, of, Odin the All-Father.’

Osric just stared at Thorkil with hate in his eyes for desecrating the holy altar.

‘You see, Holy man, Odin is a hungry god, a thirsty god, but not for food or drink, but for knowledge, for that is where true power lies. So, Odin sacrificed himself on Yggdrasil the world tree, and there he hung for nine days and nights staring into the dark waters that flowed beneath his feet. And whilst he hung there, he mutilated himself with his spear to show the Norns that dictated men's fates with their magical rune stones, that he was worthy of learning this knowledge, which would allow him to rule over the fate of men and this world.’

Thorkil took his sword and jumped up off the altar and pointed his sword at Gunnar.

‘Gunnar here, as you have seen, is a craftsman when it comes to dealing out pain. He has invented a tribute to Odin’s sacrifice; he calls it the trial of Odin. He makes a frame from four spears and impales his victims on it. Two spears tips are pushed under your shoulder blades and two under your collar bones.' Thorkil walked around the trembling monk, jabbing his sword point into his back and chest to emphasize his words.

'Gunnar is a master at his art. He can remove your innards without killing you. He will cut off your manhood and balls, for they are nothing, and I have heard that Holy Men, like you, do not use them?' Thorkil tapped the flat of his blade into Osric's crotch, much to the amusement of his men.

'Next, he will slice open your belly and remove your guts before your very eyes. And when you think your suffering is over, he will run his knives down your spine and peel the flesh from your ribs. Next, he will crack your ribs off one by one exposing your breathing lungs, which he will pull out and rest them on your shoulders.’

Osric's face was ashen, his legs were trembling and it took all of his control not to piss himself with abject fear.

‘So, I will ask you one more time. Bring me your treasure, or Gunnar here, will begin your very own trial of Odin.’

Osric pointed to the altar, ‘the treasure you seek is there.’

Thorkil gave Osric a toothy smile, ‘See, now that wasn’t hard was it?’ he tapped him on the shoulder with the flat of his sword blade.

 

The Vikings went to work, as the monks led them around the priory, showing them where they had hidden all of their valuables.

 

Thorkil and his men stood before three heavy chests filled with coin and holy relics, gold and silver chalices and crucifixes adorned with opals and other precious stones.

‘Take them to the ships, men.’

Osric stood before his Viking oppressor, ‘you have what you came for, now please, leave us in peace.’

Thorkil stared deeply into Osric’s big hate-filled watery eyes; his icy stare sent shivers down Osric’s spine, for they were pools of cruelty and barbarous intent, there was no compassion in them, just a seething icy blizzard of numbness.

‘Just one last thing to do,’ Thorkil grinned. Gunnar! Leave them a message for their King, a message that will send fear into their hearts whenever they think of us.’

Gunnar and his men grinned as they drew their knives and stepped toward the monks.

As the monks prayed to their God to save their lives,

The Vikings cut their throats with cold iron knives.

The killing had been done, the gold had been reaved.

The Vikings returned to their Dragon ships and took their leave.

The folk of Lindisfarne, in their grief and pain

Prayed the Norsemen would never return to their shores again.

Skald; Ursa Yoracsson

 

The End

 


Submitted: May 09, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Celtic-Scribe63. All rights reserved.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments:

Comments

88 fingers

Great story. I lived in Norway in the late 90's. Saw a lot of Viking places and stuff.

Sun, May 9th, 2021 12:59pm

Author
Reply

You can't beat a bit of Vikings!

What makes this more poignant is that it really happened!

Thank you for the read and comments, they are most welcome.

Sun, May 9th, 2021 6:53am

AdamCarlton

Horribly accurate and totally one-sided. The moral of this tale is often denied but really pretty obvious.

Sun, May 9th, 2021 7:07pm

Author
Reply

Lindisfarne is only a short drive from where I live. It is a windswept, solitary, and haunting place. It is quite breathtaking and so very peaceful. Yet its history is steeped in blood. You can almost hear the shouts and screams of the victims as you walk across the grass fields toward the ruins of the priory.

Sun, May 9th, 2021 1:57pm

Facebook Comments

More Historical Fiction Short Stories