Fugitive From Hel
After many millennium of misery and misfortune Hel thought that there was little if anything that could shock her. However, the Queen of Niflheim was not only surprised by what Hafr told her, but was greatly angered by it as well !
" Nefr ! Soti ! " she cried out through her cracked lips.
" Yes mistress ! " They replied in unison as they came running up to her high seat.
Hel pointed to Hafr before speaking to her guards.
" Go with Hafr, and bring to my hall this human corpse who has dared to kill one of my minions ! " she yelled angrily.
Nefr and Soti bowed before their queen.
" At once mistress ! " they exclaimed together.
Serkr listened as the door to the hall at Nastrond creaked open, and heard multiple footsteps enter the hall.
" Did you come back to collect the body of your dead friend ? " Serkr said with a laugh as he pointed his spear towards the noises he heard near the door.
Hafr placed his finger over his lips to indicate that Nefr and Soti should be quiet. Then he motioned with his hand telling them to circle around and place themselves on either side of the corpse.
With his acute hearing Serkr could hear splashing on both sides of him. They were trying to be quiet, but were failing miserably.
" I hear that you have brought with you a friend ! " Serkr shouted as the splashing came closer.
Then from both sides Serkr heard what sounded like two large beings running towards him through the venom. Frantically in his blindness he poked the spear to the left and right at his attackers. What Serkr failed to hear above all the splashing was Hafr who stood right in front of him. As his two comrades stood stationary running in place he had moved up to within striking distance. With an anger he did not know he had in him Hafr thrust his spear deeply into the walking corpse's stomach.
As Serkr felt himself being lifted off of the ground by the spear in his front, he was run through on both sides as well by sharp blades. He dropped his spear and cried out in pain when they slowly began to carry him out of the great hall of agony on all three spears. Serkr could do nothing as he dangled on the spears like a hanged man from a tree.
It did not take long for the guards to approach Hel's great hall, which loomed out of the thick mist with its high walls and large gates. When they came close enough to almost touch the gates they slowly opened as if by some great unseen hand. From here the guards carried Serkr a short distance beyond to the doors of the massive hall. This door too opened as if by magic. Once inside the guards kept their spears in their prisoner, but slowly set him down upon the moldy floor in front of Hel's high seat in a kneeling position.
It took a while for the pain to subside enough for Serkr to function, but when it did Serkr became as combative as ever !
" And who do I have the pleasure of meeting this time ? " he asked sarcastically.
He quickly followed up his question with a comment.
" Judging by the way you snort as you breathe I would have to say that you are some sort of filthy swine ! " he said with a chuckle.
" SILENCE ! " Hel shouted in an uncharacteristic show of temper.
Then another much more calm voice chimed in.
" Who is this human corpse, and why has he been brought here ! " Loki asked his daughter.
Hel looked over at her father with tired eyes.
" He has killed one of my mighty guards at Nastrond, and will now be sentenced to his final fate ! " she replied.
Loki's eyebrows rose in astonishment at what he had heard !
" This wretch of a human killed one of the Jotun guards at Nastrond ?! " Loki asked himself under his breath.
" Too bad ! I believe that I could have a use for such a person. " he thought to himself.
Then Loki stroked his chin.
" It would be a shame if he were to escape. " Loki whispered.
Hel frowned as she watched her father who seemed to be deep in thought.
" Have you something to say, father ? " Hel asked warily.
" Me ? No ! .... Please continue ! " Loki told his daughter pleasantly.
Loki stepped back into the shadows and half listened to all that was said.
" Raise the prisoner up ! " Hel commanded.
The Jotuns lifted their spears, and like a puppet Serkr was standing. Serkr cried out in agony as the blades cut deep into his innards. Serkr wanted to scream, to maim, and to kill ! All he could do at that moment, however, was shake from the pain that ran through his body like a lightning bolt across the sky, and listen as Hel spoke.
" You, the one who in life was called Serkr, have killed my mighty guard and........
Loki too was listening, but his own thoughts began to drown out his daughters words. Loki had been trying to find a way of getting even with his Asgardian friend Odin. Long ago he had taken a blood oath of brotherhood with the Lord of Asgard that bonded them in honor. Over time, however, Odin had shown time and time again that his respect and friendship towards his fellow Asgardians was more important than the oath he took with him. The recent incident at Aegir's drinking hall was the latest insult, and now he was looking to make the great Odin pay for his disrespect.
He had been present when Frigga and Odin argued over the King of the Goths. King Geirrod had recently become the leader of the Gothic peoples, after the death of his father King Hrauthung. Odin and Frigga had helped to raise Geirrod and his older brother Agnarr, in the guise of human peasant farmers. Eventually Geirrod returned to his father's kingdom, but Agnarr decided to dwell in a cave with a Giantess instead.
Loki overheard Odin when he was telling Frigga that his adopted son Geirrod was becoming quite wealthy, while Agnarr seemed to be doing very poorly. Frigga replied that Geirrod was so rude and evil that he tortured his guests when they became too many. Odin vehemently denied the accusation, and the God and Goddess entered into a wager to see if this were true.
Loki, who knew the future as well as any Seer, saw that Odin would be disappointed by Geirrod, but would not want to place his brother Agnarr on the Gothic throne. Loki had looked further into the future and saw that the Norns had weaved that Geirroth's son, Agnar, who was named after the king's brother, would eventually win Odin's favor and be awarded the crown.
But if Geirrod's son Agnar were killed Odin would have a very unsavory choice to make. He could either leave Geirrod on the throne, who at this point he would surely despise, or he would have to give the crown to the the king's brother, the older Agnarr. .... and his wife Frigga would win the wager. Loki grinned from ear to ear as he thought of all the embarrassment this would cause the great ruler of Asgard. Loki was still smiling as he slowly came back to the hall from his deep thoughts.
"......... therefore I sentence you to be forever chained in Nidhogg's cave to be slowly eaten by the great beast, over and over without any relief ! " Hel finished.
"Nefr and Soti ! Take this piece of meat back to Nastrond and carry out my orders ! " she commanded her guards.
" Hafr ! I wish for you to stay. I have much to say to you on this most disturbing matter ! " she told him angrily.
As Nefr and Soti picked up Serkr and began to leave the hall, Loki stepped in front of them. He grabbed the human corpse by the throat, and while avoiding the spears pulled him close to him.
" You will cause no more trouble here ! " he told Serkr.
Loki secretly passed a dagger to Serkr with his free hand before ripping his body off of the spears. Loki pressed the human up against the wall next to the doors and whispered into his ear.
" Kill the guards, and meet me by the Gjoll river if you once again wish to walk in Midgard ! " he told him.
" No more trouble ! " Loki screamed at Serkr again.
Loki winked at Serkr, and then turned to Nefr and Soti.
" Make this piece of human excrement suffer by walking back to Nastrond ! " he told the guards.
Nefr and Soti looked back at Hel for confirmation. Hel nodded, and then waved for them to leave.
After the guards exited with their prisoner Loki wished his daughter well, and left the hall to find his brother Helblindi, for whom he needed a very special favor from.
- End Chapter 8
- Next : Chapter 9 : Freedom !
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ) , © Copyright, 2016.