Fugitive From Hel
Vengeance Is Mine !
Serkr followed the forest path a short distance to the place where he was killed by the blood eagle. There, still tied to the tree, was the skeletal remains of what he had once been !
" Me ! That is me !! " he whispered to himself.
At first the fact that he was looking at his own remains rotting out in the middle of a desolate forest terrified him. Then he pictured Lofarr in his mind, and relived the intense pain of the blood eagle. The fear quickly turned to anger, and all that was left for him were thoughts of revenge ! He would kill Agnar the younger for Loki, but first he would visit Lofarr and avenge his own death.
On the second day back in Midgard Serkr came upon a traveler's camp. He killed the old man, and took his horse and his few meager belongings. Then Serkr mounted the old man's horse and began the journey back to Holmestrand. Serkr quickly found that the rising and setting of the sun was both a blessing and a curse. In Niflheim time had no meaning. Eternity truly was eternal ! But here in Midgard the sense of time placed a burden upon one to either speed up, or slow down, depending on which side of a time frame you were working within. Although it sounded absurd to him Serkr actually began to believe that he preferred some aspects of Niflheim, such as the freedom of not having to care about anything.
Serkr rode the unfortunate traveler's horse almost to the point of exhaustion. He wanted his revenge, and he wanted it right now ! However, when darkness fell, he decided to rest his lathered horse, and start again at first light. He had no need to eat, or the warmth of a fire. Comfort meant nothing to a draugr, for he was not alive, he merely existed ! Serkr lay up against a tree watching the stars most of the night. Sleep too was a thing of the past for a corpse such as himself. As he watched a shooting star cross the sky Serkr wondered if the one known as Forseti knew of his escape, and if he were looking down upon him. Serkr quickly decided he did not give a damn if he was, or wasn't, up there watching !
By dusk of the next day Serkr had reached the outskirts of the village of Holmestrand. From here Serkr dismounted and entered the woods behind the village. The forest seemed much as it had been before, though it did seem a little bit denser and darker. As he emerged from the thick forest he noticed that Lofarr had rebuilt his great hall on the same spot where the previous structure had stood. This told Serkr that he had not returned to Midgard right after his own death. But how much time had elapsed ?
This question was answered when he saw Lofarr exit his hall and walk towards the treeline. The chieftain's hair, what he had left of it, had grayed, as had his beard. As Lofarr walked to the edge of the forest to pee Serkr also could not help but notice that the chieftain walked with a pronounced limp, and his posture was slightly more hunched than he remembered. This man was a far cry from the robust energetic leader of Holmestrand who had captured and killed him. Serkr, however, was not to be denied his revenge no matter how old and decrepit the chieftain had become !
Serkr reached down and took out the knife that Loki had given him. He circled around the hall as darkness began to fall over the village. Lofarr had his back to the hall, and was just finishing relieving himself when he heard a twig snap behind him. With his reaction time dulled by age he failed to face his attacker before the cold steel of a knife was thrust against his neck.
" Cry out old man, and I will cut your throat right here ! " he exclaimed through gritted teeth as he slowly removed Lofarr's sword from its scabbard.
Lofarr did not dare resist despite his personal guards being only yards away inside the hall.
" Are you mad ! Have you no idea who I am ! ? " he asked his attacker.
Serkr laughed !
" Oh, I know exactly who you are ! " he told Lofarr before he blindfolded the chieftain with a cloth .
" We are going to move slowly through these woods back to the edge of the village. And if you make even the slightest sound I will not hesitate to kill you ! " he whispered into Lofarr's ear.
When they reached the horse, that he had left tied up in the woods, Serkr gagged Lofarr and tied a long rope to his hands, which he then attached to the saddle of his horse. Then Serkr stood directly in front of Lofarr and removed his blindfold.
" Surprise ! " Serkr yelled in a hoarse whisper.
Lofarr could not believe his eyes ! How could this be ! ? What evil had allowed the killer of his wife and child, who he had personally killed, come back to life to once again plague him and his village ! ? Lofarr tried to yell, but the cloth muffled his cries for help.
Serkr slapped the chieftain in the face with his backhand and laughed.
" I bet you thought you would never see me again ! But as we all know, sometimes the dead come back to haunt those who have wronged them ! " he told Lofarr with a chuckle.
Serkr was still laughing as he mounted his horse, and kicked it into a fast walk.
" Just as I had to walk on and on to reach Nastrond, you will now have to walk to your final destination ! " Serkr shouted back to Lofarr.
For days Serkr pulled Lofarr behind his horse. He gave the old chieftain no food or water, and he did not stop to allow him to relieve himself. By the time they neared the place Serkr had chosen to execute Lofarr the old man smelled of urine and excrement.
" You are starting to smell a little ripe back there old man ! " Serkr stated mockingly.
" Don't worry chieftain ! We are almost there ! " Serkr added with a sick little giggle.
Lofarr barely heard Serkr's words before he collapsed on the ground. His legs, as well as his mind, could no longer go any further. Serkr, however, showed the old man no pity. He simply dragged the exhausted, and now unconscious, chieftain the last few miles over rocks and through brush.
Lofarr awoke to find himself tied to a tree in the same kneeling position that he had tied Serkr to all those years ago. As his blurry eyes focused on his surroundings, to his horror he recognized the area. When he spotted the skeleton still tied to the tree next to him he was sure where he was. This was where he had killed Serkr for murdering his wife and child !
" Well, good morning to you, Lofarr, Chieftain of Holmestrand ! " Serkr offered up when he noticed that his captive was awake.
Lofarr, groggy, and in pain, shook his head.
" If you are going to kill me, then be done with it ! " Lofarr replied.
" Oh ! It will not be that easy my friend ! I am going to make you suffer as much as I suffered in both life and death ! " he explained in an almost giddy voice.
Lofarr beat his head up against the tree several times before replying.
" You killed my wife and child you son of a bitch ! You deserved to die !! " he screamed at Serkr.
Serkr ran over to Lofarr and grabbed his chin, squeezing it tightly in his hand.
" I am just sorry I did not have enough time to have a little fun with your wife before I killed her ! " Serkr screamed back at Lofarr.
Serkr pulled out his knife, and swung it back and forth in front of Lofarr's face.
" Did you know that as I entered the underworld a vile Jotun named Helblindi blinded me ? " Serkr asked.
Lofarr looked Serkr in the eyes and spit in his face. Serkr was unfazed by the insult, and continued speaking.
" Yes, he placed his fingers in my sockets and ripped my eyes right out of my head ! " Serkr yelled loudly at the helpless chieftain.
Serkr slowly moved the knife point closer and closer to Lofarr's right eye. The chieftain stared in horror as the sharp steel point stopped a fraction of an inch in front of his tearing eye. When Lofarr looked past the knife he saw a wicked grin form on Serkr's face. The chieftain closed his eyes and began to scream when he realized what was about to happen.
Serkr allowed Lofarr to scream for several moments before slowly plunging the knife into the chieftain's eye socket. He laughed, a giddy demented laugh, as he spun the knife around in the socket. As blood poured out of the gory open wound Serkr withdrew the knife, and plunged it deeply into the other socket.
Lofarr began to shake uncontrollably as the knife point went through his eye and into his brain. Serkr let go of the chieftain's face when he began to convulse up against the tree. Moments later Lofarr was still ! Serkr placed his hand on the chieftain's shoulder and shook him. He did not respond. Serkr then placed his ear up against his chest and listened for a heart beat, but there was nothing. He was gone !
" No ! No !! NO !!! " Serkr screamed over and over.
" Damn you ! I wanted you to suffer ! " Serkr screamed as he began to punch the corpse in the face.
Serkr punched Lofarr until his knuckles were raw, and the dead chieftain's face was no longer recognizable. When his anger subsided he cut off Lofarr's clothes, and mutilated his body.
Before leaving for the land of the Goths, Serkr dug a shallow grave, and carefully placed his earthly remains into the pit. He stood for a moment over his own grave mound, and even said a few kind words for himself. For he knew that the only one who had ever cared for the person in that grave was himself.
- End Chapter 11
- Next : Chapter 12 : Hel's Threat !
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2016.