Posts Tagged ‘UPG’

Icy river

Part 6: Deals with Death –

 

Tightening my grip on Mordgud’s hand, I steeled myself for the stench of decay, but it was the scent of ripe apples that welcomed me to Helheim. On this side of the wall, the dusty Hel-Road became moist black earth, the barren ground around us a carpet of yellowing leaves, and dead trees were replaced by fruit laden ones. It was like I’d just stepped into Vanaheim on a peaceful Fall day just before Harvest.

“Not what you expected, I gather,” she said, bemused.

“Not at all. Where are all the dead?”

“They’re here, you simply cannot see them, and few come this close to the great wall.”

Over the tree line I could make out the black glassy spires of Elvidnir, twisting their way into the sky as if to pierce it. Even at this distance, Hela’s castle was an impressive sight – made as it was of shiny obsidian rock.

(more…)

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Part 5: Hilt or Blade –

Blue gambeson

Blue gambeson.

A dark foggy path stretched before us as we rode, pierced only by pinpoint stars in every direction. Grey mane in one hand, the other held the Winds, sweat beading on my forehead from the strain. I felt foreboding mixed with hope, now that we were finally making progress, and glanced nervously behind us every now and again. This had been one of the most gut wrenching days of my life, and I feared more misfortune would befall me ere I lay my head to sleep once more.

Our trail ended at a shimmering wall, distorting the stars that seemed behind it. We followed the Deer through, and I got a mouthful of heavy snowflakes as I opened it to speak. Lit by the first hint of dawn, blown by blizzard winds, flakes froze the moisture on my scalp, settled in wet masses on my golden hair, and covered my blue coat with whiteness in mere minutes. I had no power to spare to calm the storm, and it wouldn’t listen to me anyway. The winds of Niflheim were always cranky but right now they were angry with me.

Trapped us, they howled. Free the Four Elders, their hoary voices demanded, their icy breath stinging my face. (more…)

Pleiades_large

Part 3: The Empty –

 

Hooves pounded behind as I jumped off the Cliff of Heaven, finally free from Heimdall’s Seven. Air became solid under my feet, for I ran as only Sky Maidens can[1].

I looked back to my steed following in my escape. But sky ran out and solid air failed as I sped across the border of the Aesir world. Blue sky changed to fog and I lost my footing, only to start slowly spinning out of control. Still I could see Hoof-Tosser behind as I spun; feel him in my head and heart. But when he too crossed the boundary from blue to gray, it all went wrong.

He screamed and struggled as I saw his shape shrink and fold, the ancient curse taking hold once more. Our mind-link was painfully ripped from my chest, and without it he returned to the form in which I first found him: a wide flat drum without voice to speak words, deprived of limbs to direct his motion.

“No! You are free! Hoof-Tosser return to me,” I commanded, knowing full well he had no way to comply.

I extended my arms as far as I could, to catch the rim and re-kindle our link, but he was too far away.

The drum merely tumbled, as did I, deeper into the thickening mist. (more…)

Stratford On Avon historic map 1902 Public Domain image

Part 2: Heimdall’s Seven

 

My steed and I left no traces in the snow as we departed. Mary Arden’s dead body lay behind me; Asgard and my friends just a short ride away through the skies. My duty was clear, yet I stopped, my face hardening in anger. “It’s not fair.” I could see the bridge out of the city only a few streets away.

Hoof-Tosser stopped and let his head droop as he glanced back. “There’s nothing to be done about it Gná. Humans die, children lose their parents, we cannot save them all. They go to their afterlife no matter what.”

“Mary Arden won’t go to the afterlife, nor will her children be reunited with her when they die, will they ?” He didn’t answer. “Will they !” I pressed.

“No need to shout,” his voice said in my head, “I hear you perfectly. And no, they won’t.” (more…)

Gna's house as Mary Arden

By Linda Demissy

Part 1: Thirty and Three

 

I stood across the street, pulling my silvery fur coat tighter against the chilly snowfall. Frost formed at the moist corners of my eyes, making me blink. No wind, or barely any; just cold snow crunching under my boots as I shifted to the other foot.

A six year old boy, whose brown hair matched my braid, peeked over the street level window sill. Eyes wide he looked out, breath forming frost on the glass. The year was 1570.

“I must go.” I whispered as I glanced at the row of white capped roofs.

“Mary!” he wailed, as he wrestled with frozen hinges to open the window wider. “Are you there?” He was scanning the street to the left.

I stepped to the right, stopped, and looked back, wishing he wouldn’t wake the household. I’d expressed my love to the boy, along with my thinly veiled goodbyes, as I put him to bed last night. (more…)

Part 8: Status and Seemings

Brynja cleared her throat, distracting me from my downward spiral. I pulled myself out of my sorrow, lifting my head enough to see sympathy in her face as she said: “Goddess, I could not possibly understand what ascension does to a person, but I have been told I give good counsel on occasion. Would you like me to offer some, which you can pass on to my Lady when you see her?”

“Why not,” I said, “it can’t hurt,” and patted a spot beside me on the stone bench.

“I had a sort of ascension of my own,” she said as she sat, “when I received an elegant dress fit for a noblewoman, made of the finest material with delicate gold embroidery. When I got that dress, a gift from a traveling prince who enjoyed my company, at first I refused to wear it, afraid I would damage it. I was but a bar wench, a free woman but still a menial, and men usually took me for granted along with the ale. After a while, I realized it was silly not to use such a lovely dress, so I wore it around town. People treated me differently when I did, as if I were more noble born than I truly was; it opened opportunities for me and invitations, but It went to my head I fear. I started to look down on my less fortunate peers, demanding respect and obedience to my whims. Oh, I still had to serve tables to earn my keep, but I did so with scorn and superiority, knowing that once I went out with my fabulous dress, these same scoundrels would fall over themselves to earn my favor. Working as a serving wench was demeaning but necessary, and I thought I deserved better. I knew my true self was a noble born lady, while the servant clothes were just a disguise.” She gave a wry smile as she looked up, lost in remembering, before continuing her tale. I wondered if I would become as haughty as she had. (more…)

Part 7: Lady of Dance

The initiation done and my divinity revealed, I inspected myself in the tall mirror of my new chambers. My skin was now a perfectly smooth and soft alabaster white, barely contrasting with the white dress I wore. I saw the rosy tint of my cheeks, lips red as raspberries, and hair golden as the ripened wheat. Gone was my earth brown wavy tangly hair, and gone was my dark skin. My rough Giantess beauty had been replaced by the refined facial features of an Aesir maiden. I daintily brought a hand to caress my necklace – each bead beckoning me to a different dance of power – shocked speechless by my transformation. Even my fingers were delicate, as were my nails, such hands that had never seen hard work. I looked like every story princess awaiting her prince. (more…)

Part 6: The Hired Help

“What do you mean, farmhands?!” Odin bellowed from his throne, voice echoing in the rafters. “Gefjon, I gave you land as you wanted, and now you want to recruit Asgardian Gods to work your fields? Preposterous!” Three steps separated us as I petitioned below, with Frigga’s high chair to the right and Balder’s on the left. Neither were with us, though a shaft of light from the westward window graced the Bright God’s empty seat. This was a private audience.

Throne

Throne

 

My buckskin dress was sweaty, smelly, and clinging uncomfortably as I crafted my response, though it was a relief to cast off the fur coat. I thought my feet would be clean from the snow, but too many trampling boots had made mud of the patriarch’s path. Normally I enjoyed the feel of mud between my toes, but it was now adding a distraction to my rising irritation. (more…)