Thursday, December 18, 2014

12-18-14 Writing Warm-up
7:53 AM

12-18-14 Writing Warm-up

12-18-14 Writing Warm-up
Artwork © ???, All Rights Reserved - 
Story and Characters © R. R. Hunsinger, All Rights Reserved 
Brought to you by Four Fools Press: “Crazy Good Stories” 

The snow muffled her tread through the wood, concealing her movement, yet revealed her path to those that pursued. Elowen, daughter of Bran, wife to Bjorn, the Jarl of Svilgard dropped to her knees to the frozen forest floor. Her breath steamed in the freezing air as she knelt, sweat beaded her fair forehead from the exertion of her run through the wood, and the battle that had stained the sword in her grip.

They had come out of the mist, raiding knarrs that had braved the ice-choked fjord to surprise Bjorn and his folk. The watchmen had been stalwart in their task, blowing the horns to warn the people. They had died with their warnings echoing off the surrounding hills. The men of the hall were true warriors and had kept their blood worms near at hand. Quickly and without fear, the men armed themselves to meet the attack. Her husband had been with them and she had been by his side.

She heard the snap of a branch, a deliberate sound.

Elowen did not move, but cut her eyes up to see a looming figure in blackened mail and bear-skin cloak towering above her. The black helm shadowed the features above the thick, grizzled beard that framed a grinning mouth. Pale eyes seemed to glow within the dark recesses of the face guard. The warrior’s fist gripped a rune etched dark steel blade. A shield hitched over his shoulder, as well as the amassed skins he wore added to his sheer bulk.

She knelt there, wondering now, why she ran. Better that she had stayed and fought, to fall with those that served Bjorn, and through him, her, so faithfully. She led warriors and fought in the shield wall. They held for a time, but the raiders that came against them managed to force a wedge between her men and the rest of Svilgard’s defenders. They gave ground grudgingly, each falling only when three of the foe had been sent ahead of them. But fall they did, her men urged her to fall back, to save herself as the wife of the Jarl. With a heavy heart she left her friends, the huscarls of her husband, to fall without her.

Elowen stood, her chest burning with the cold and exertion further drained her strength. She gripped her sword, her father’s sword, Thorn. She would not allow them to take her alive. She would send many ahead to serve her in death. “Come then, let us finish this!” She could see the rest of the huge warrior’s men moving among the trees, grey shadows like shades of Hel.

“You have a familiar look to you, child,” the huge warrior rumbled. A strange statement for the reaver, she thought. He seemed to take little notice of her fighting stance, or the blade she carried. The raider’s bright eyes studied her. “You would not be the child of Bran? Elwen?”

“Elowen, and I do not know you. I warn you, do not try and take me for ransom! I will kill myself if you manage to take me alive.” She stepped back, her grey eyes flashed, and her jaw set, preparing to attack before the rest of the men closed..........?????????????

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