" I Will Kill All Of You ! "
From behind a large pile of debris, that was once the village chieftain's great hall, two Jotuns watched in great fascination as the Thunder God released his fury into the now blackened skies over Midgard. Forad understood all too well that to attack the son of Odin was to invite death. But he was also fully aware that if he and his comrade Hruga could kill Thor that they would be hailed throughout Jotunheim as the greatest heroes who ever lived !
Using hand signals Forad instructed Hruga to move around to the right of Thor, while he moved to the God's left. This was in keeping with a new strategy the Jotuns had devised to kill Thor. The theory was that the Thunder God could not strike, or defend, against two simultaneous attacks from both the front and the rear. With the element of surprise in their favor as well Forad felt confident that it was worth taking the risk of trying to kill their most hated of enemies.
Hruga was not as sure as Forad, and with wide eyes shook his head indicating that he felt it was a bad idea. Forad, however, pounded his fist into his hand, and then pointed once again to the right. Hruga gave his Jotun colleague a reluctant stare, but eventually, and quietly, he began to move around the village to get behind Thor. When both Giants were in place Forad thought to himself excitedly.
" Now we have got you, Thor of Asgard ! "
Both Jotuns thought that they were about to attain a complete surprise attack on the Thunder God. What they did not now, however, was that Thor was not alone ! Directly behind Forad another set of eyes looked down on him and watched his every move. When the Jotuns jumped up ready to attack Thor, Jord, in the form of a great oak tree, began to fall in the direction of Forad. The Jotun, hearing the cracking of wood tried to run, but made it only a few steps before he was crushed under several thousand pounds of living tree.
As Jord fell upon her prey she yelled out to Thor :
" Behind you son ! A Jotun ready to attack !! "
Thor spun around quickly and raised his hammer high in the air ready to defend himself. There was nothing there ! As Thor listened closely he heard something, or someone, running through the forest away from the village. Thor threw Mjolnir with all his might in the direction of the sound and waited.
Mjolnir cut through trees as though they were paper, and cracked boulders in two as it flew to its destination. The problem, however, was that Thor had not seen his target, and had thrown Mjolnir blind. Thor's mighty hammer always hit what the God saw, but it could not kill what went unseen, and returned to the Thunder God's hand without completely performing its task. Thor grinned a little, however, when he saw that Mjolnir was dripping blood, but the moment he heard the assailant's footfalls in the distance his anger began to rise again .
" I will kill all of you ! " he screamed at the distant rustling in the forest.
Hruga started to run the moment he saw the large tree tip, and begin to fall on his friend Forad. He had not wanted to attack the Thunder God in the first place, and considered his friend's misfortune to be his luck as he took to his heels without hesitation. As he ran away from the village he heard trees cracking behind him, and then the even more ominous sounds of boulders exploding from hard impacts. When he turned to see what was following him he spotted Thor's hammer flying straight for his head. At the last possible moment Hruga dove out of the way, but though he had reacted quickly he felt a burning sensation on his right cheek as he hit the ground hard.
Hruga rose up onto his knees slowly, and carefully felt around his cheek with his fingertips. The Jotun' s stomach quivered as his fingers felt the blood moistened tissue that Mjolnir had exposed when it struck. When Hruga reached a point near his ear he felt the large flap of skin hanging by a thread that had once covered his cheek. Hruga tried to hold back his emotions, but his stomach wretched involuntarily when the flap of skin came off in his hand.
Despite being almost killed Hruga considered himself to be lucky as he picked himself up off of the ground, and brushed himself off.
" A scar on my cheek is a small price to pay for my life ! " he whispered to himself.
" I had better hurry to Tunsberg and meet up with Hrimgrimnir ! He will need to know what happened here ! " he told himself as he looked around to gain his bearings.
The smoke that rose from the valley was visible from miles around. Hruga knew that the smoke marked the location where the town of Tunsberg once stood. The Jotun tried to smile when he thought of how weak these humans were, but the searing pain from the open wound on his cheek quickly turned his smile into a painful wince. The town was quiet except for the crackling of burning wood . Hruga was certain that Hrimgrimnir and his fellow warriors were still here because he and Forad had been told to meet them here.
" Hrimgrimnir ! Oskrud ! Grimling ! Hringvolnir ! Where are you ? " Hruga shouted as he walked through what was left of the dwellings.
The Jotun was about to give up when he heard a rustling sound at the edge of town.
" You are late Hruga ! " Hrimgrimnir shouted as he emerged from the woods.
" I ran into a little trouble back there in Oseberg ! " Hruga replied.
" We did not really require your help to destroy this little....... " Hrimgrimnir stopped when he saw the bloody bandage on Hruga's face.
" What in Nastrond happened to you ?! And where is Forad ? ! " Hrimgrimnir asked loudly.
Hruga ran his hand over his wound before answering.
" Forad was killed by Jord, and I was attacked by a very angry Thor ! If not for my quick reactions I would have lost my head instead of merely the flesh of my cheek ! " Hruga replied.
Hrimgrimnir shook his head in disgust.
" Fools ! Thor is almost impossible to defeat when he is alone. Here in Midgard, where Jord exists everywhere, and in every living thing, he is untouchable ! " he told Hruga in an angry and disappointed tone.
Hruga grabbed Hrimgrimnir's arm, and looked him straight in the eyes.
" If we do not kill Thor, then we cannot stay here ! " he explained to the Jotun leader.
Hrimgrimnir pulled his arm away from Hruga before replying.
" In that you are right my friend ! But we cannot kill the Thunder God here in Midgard where our every move is watched by Mother Earth. We must go back to Jotunheim, where Jord cannot follow, and wait for him there ! " he told Hruga.
- End Chapter 3
- Next : Chapter 4 : The Trap !
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart), © Copyright, 2015.