“A Little Tale”…
The battle had been long and hard. The enemy was strong and numerous; they seemed infinite. They just kept coming and coming at him and his men.
He had lost a number of good men under his command today in this battle; men who trusted him and followed him without question. He would miss each and every one of them.
As he thought about them, each of their faces flashed before his mind’s eye one by one and his eyes began to fill with tears. He forced them back. He was a warrior, a Viking, and so were they. They know the risks, as he did. Death always walks next to a Viking warrior in battle, waiting to snatch him to Valhalla.
He took comfort that they died bravely in battle, like men, Viking men, and that the battle was for the good. When one fights for the good and defeats evil, then a man’s death is not in vain.
As was always his custom after a battle, after he cleaned the blood from his sword, he set out two hand forged cups and his carafe, which had been his father’s. When his father died in battle, it passed to him, the eldest son. The carafe’s top was pierced with the blade that had slayed his father, as well as his father’s dried blood. And, each time he set out the two cups, one for himself and one for his deceased father, he relived his beloved father’s death years ago…
He was a young man. The idea of battle excited him and he fought hard. Since he had little experience in battle or witnessing death, he was fearless. But, on this one particular day, he grew wise quickly when he saw his own beloved father, their chief and his hero, slain. He had been stabbed by a dagger when he and the enemy were both knocked off their horses. The young man ran to the site of the stabbing and with his sword, with one swing, cut off the enemy’s head.
Then he ran back to his father’s side, pulled the blade out of his father’s chest, and held him tightly in his arms, begging him not to die, as he bled to death. He held his father, in the midst of the fighting going on around them, until his body was cold. He then stood and fought as he never fought before. He killed and killed with such rage and such pain. When the battle ended, he picked up his father’s lifeless body and carried it to his tent.
It was that day he created his post battle ritual of setting out two cups, one for his slain father and one for himself. It was also the day, he took the dagger that had killed his father and rammed it into the metal cap of the carafe, where it has remained all these years. He drank the entire bottle of liquor himself, toasting his father, and then, passed out from both the shock and the liquor.
Tonight, as a man, he relived the day’s battle in his head, as well as his slain men’s names, toasting his father and each one of his dead Vikings. As he drank, he felt his body relax and knew the liquor allow him to sleep.
The life of a warrior, Viking, and soldier is a hard one. In spite of the fact that they are fighting for a cause which they believe in, they still are left with horrific memories, pain, and loss. For each time, they take a life, good or bad; a part of them dies too.
~Marsha J. West, Author
This “A Little Tale” (story) and Viking Set creation may not be copied, reproduced, republished, edited, downloaded, displayed, modified, transmitted, licensed, transferred, sold, stolen, distributed or uploaded in any way without my written permission. My work does not belong to the public domain. Marsha J. West ©all rights reserved.
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