Part 2 : The Wanderer
The wanderer put down his walking stick, and propped the man up against the tree. The resurrected man could not raise his head because his neck had been snapped by the rope, so the wanderer placed it carefully against his shoulder. " What is your name my son ? " the cloaked man asked. The resurrected man looked at the stranger sideways, and answered : " My name was Helgi. I lived in the village of Ljarborg, just over the border in Midgard. I was a bold warrior who fought with Jarl Eirik Ravensheart of Agder. " With a little smile he added : " We plundered much from the Britons, and returned home with a great hoard of silver and gold ! "
Helgi studied the man who stood before him carefully. He was an older man, with hair that had gone grey long ago. And yet this older man had a strength about him, and when he spoke there was a tone of authority in his words. Helgi was intrigued by this man who dressed like a peasant, cast spells like a witch, and spoke like a king. The dead man thought that he was surely once a warrior, because he wore a patch over one of his eyes. To Helgi it looked like a badge of honor, which added to the old man's distinguished appearance.
" How did you find yourself swinging from a tree here in Jotunheim my friend ? " The wanderer asked. " Before I answer I wish to know your name stranger, and how you brought me back from the gates of Hel ? " Helgi shot back. " I have many names my friend ! But you may call me Odin, or Valfather. " Odin replied with a smile. " I brought you back with an incantation that is as old as time itself my friend . " Odin added.
Helgi, though dead, was shaken by the revelation ! " I..I...I am very sorry to have been so bold in my speech almighty one.... and I am .... of course ... greatly honored that you wish to speak with me. " The dead man said apologetically. Odin waived away his apology and asked Helgi to continue. " I was a fool Valfather ! " Helgi began. " I began to think that I could conquer the entire world after I returned from our raids on the isle of Briton. I wanted to slay a Giant to prove my greatness, my lord, but I proved too inadequate for the task. Although I attacked with all of my skill and might, the Giant easily took away my weapon, and then he used his rope belt to string me up in that tree to die. " Helgi said in conclusion. Odin smiled as he looked inward. " Yes, my son, I see it all now in my mind's eye. I am impressed Midgardian ! You were able to injure the Jotun in the leg before he captured you. That my friend is a rare feat for a Midgardian ! " Odin told Helgi.
" Now it is time for us to both leave my friend. " Odin stated as he pulled the hood back over his head. " Will I travel with you great Odin ? " Helgi asked in an excited tone. " No. " Odin said quietly, " I travel alone, my son ! You will go with Hildr, but I assure you my brave friend we will meet again very soon ! " Odin said as he pointed to the sky. Helgi could not lift his head to look up at the sky, but he knew that something was coming. He could feel it in his very soul !
As Helgi watched Valfather walk back to the path that led into Midgard, he caught a shadow of a figure out of the corner of his eyes. As he moved his eyes slowly to see the shadow, he was filled with the fear of the unknown. To Helgi's surprise the shadow turned into a beautiful woman in full battle gear. She was easily twice as tall as he was, and was slender, and very muscular in form for a woman. As Hildr lifted Helgi off the ground he never felt more helpless, and yet her very touch healed his neck, and he was able to move his head once again. As the Valkyrie gently placed the dead warrior on the back of her great horse, Helgi looked up at her and asked : " Are you taking me back to Hel ? " Hildr smiled at the warrior and replied : " You are a lucky man, you silly warrior ! Odin has chosen you to reside in the great hall in Valhalla ! " Helgi closed his eyes so the Valkyrie could not see the tears that had welled up in them, and thanked Odin over and over again as he was carried to Valhalla to join the other Einherjar in Odin' s great hall.
End Part 2
- Glenn Bergen, Copyright, 2013.
Next : Part 3 : A Chance Meeting