Fugitive From Hel
" You were told to walk to Nastrond ! " Nefr yelled at the corpse.
When Serkr did not respond Nefr poked him again. This time Serkr grabbed hold of the spear, and ripped it out of his hands. He quickly twirled it around and using his acute hearing threw it in the direction of the gasping Soti. The spear head made a sickening thud when it hit the Giant square in the chest. Soti fell backward and was dead before he hit the ground. As Nefr wrapped his hands around the throat of the corpse he felt a sharp pain in his gut. He never saw the knife that stabbed him. As Serkr gutted the giant like a pig Nefr cried out in pain. Moments later the Jotun slumped to the ground and became still.
Despite not being able to see, Serkr could hear the thick slapping sound of the venomous river Gjoll in the distance, and he immediately began to make his way toward it. In his mind rang out Loki's words : "...... meet me at the Gjoll river if you wish to once again walk in Midgard ! " For the first time in a long time Serkr smiled, ......and it was an evil smile.
Helblindi was waiting for the next condemned human to arrive from Forseti's court when he heard someone coming up from behind him.
" What brings you here brother ? " Helblindi asked Loki.
Loki laughed !
" You see better with your ears, than most beings do with their eyes ! " Loki exclaimed joyfully.
Just then another condemned soul made its way before Helblindi. The sightless one pressed his hands against both sides of the dead man's head, and with practiced ease pressed his thumbs into the eye sockets blinding him, and removing the man's eyes.
" My senses will now guide you to Nastrond. " he told the condemned man who was kneeling on the ground in agony.
Loki shook his head from side to side in disbelief.
" You have a ..... an unusual duty..... my brother ! " he told Helblindi.
Helblindi instantly turned to the sound of Loki's voice.
" We are all given tasks to do. Some are pleasant, and some are not . " he replied coldly.
Helblindi walked over to his brother, and placed his hand on Loki's shoulder.
" You have not answered my question Loki. " he told his brother impatiently.
" Why have you come to see me ? " he asked again.
Loki reached out and placed his hand on Helblindi's shoulder.
" I am in need of a favor ! " he told his brother as he gazed into Helblindi's black empty eye sockets.
Helblindi shook his head and grinned.
" Are we being devious again my brother ? " Helblindi asked with a raised eyebrow.
Loki grabbed his brother's head and brought it close to his.
" I seek to gain a little revenge against my blood brother Odin for a wrong he did to me. " Loki replied in a whisper.
Helblindi smiled from ear to ear.
" Then I will grant you the favor you seek ! " he told his brother.
" What is it that you want me to do Loki ? " Helblindi asked.
Loki let go of his brother's head and stepped back.
" I need for you to come to the Gjoll river and give a condemned man named Serkr back his sight, and his free will. " Loki replied.
" How will this human, even with his sight restored, avenge a wrong done to you by Odin ? " Helblindi asked in a perplexed tone.
" I am going to allow him to escape Niflheim, and return to Midgard. There he will kill the son of the Gothic King Geirrod, named Agnar, who the Norns have decreed to be the next king of the Goths. Odin will then have to choose between the lesser of two evils. Either he will have to keep King Geirrod on the throne despite his hatred for him, or make Agnarr, Geirrod's brother, the king of the Goths, and lose a wager he will make with his wife Frigga. And Odin hates to lose ! " he told Helblindi with a smile.
Helblindi raised both of his eyebrows in shock at what he had just heard.
" Hel will not be happy ! No soul has ever escaped her clutches ! " he exclaimed in an alarmed tone.
Loki narrowed his eyes.
" Yes ! My daughter will be angry, but she has no great love for Odin either, and in time she will come to understand why I have done this little bit of mischief . " he explained.
Helblindi shook his head slowly in affirmation.
" Then we shall leave at once. For I have many lost souls who need my attention . " he told Loki.
Loki smiled and then placed his hands on his brother's shoulders. The God of Deceit began to slowly chant an ancient spell. While they remained stationary the world around them began to spin. Within moments Loki and Helblindi were standing on the shore of the Gjoll river.
Serkr could not see, but he could hear in his mind Loki calling to him. Like a beacon in the night he followed the voice. As he stumbled forward he could hear the gurgling of the Gjoll river getting ever closer and closer. When the river's flow drowned out all other sounds he sensed that he was no longer alone.
" I have come as you asked, ....., but I must know why you are helping me to escape. " Serkr demanded of the beings he knew were there.
" Do not be so impatient human ! First things first ! " he told Serkr playfully.
Loki tapped Helblindi on the shoulder and whispered.
" Give him back his eyes, brother. "
Helblindi moved forward and stood directly in front of Serkr.
" You will feel a great pressure in your head. Endure it and you will have your sight back. " he told the walking corpse.
Helblindi reached into a large pouch on the side of his belt, and pulled out two eyes. The blind Jotun carefully placed the orbs partially into each of Serkr's empty sockets. Then Helblindi place his hands on both sides of the human's head, and using his thumbs pushed the eyes deep into the corpse's head.
" I am Helblindi, and I hereby return that which I took from you. Along with the gift of sight, I give you back also your free will ! " he told the corpse.
Serkr let out a muffled scream from the immense pressure that built up in his mind like water behind a dam. When Helblindi let go of his head Serkr fell to his knees gasping for air. While he recovered from the agony of his ordeal he opened his eyes and for the first time in a very long time, he began to laugh, .... an evil, demented laugh !
Helblindi turned to his brother, and shook his head.
" I hope that you know what you are doing Loki ! " He told his brother with a hint of disgust in his voice.
" It will be fine Helblindi ..... and I thank you my brother! " he told the one who guides the dead.
As Helblindi turned to go back to his post, Loki walked over to Serkr and lifted him off of the ground by his neck. When he was standing again Loki released his grip and looked into the human's new eyes as he spoke.
" Odin has a saying, " a deed for a deed, a gift for a gift ". I am willing to give you your freedom, and in return you will do something for me. " he told Serkr in a friendly, but firm tone.
Serkr turned his head from side to side to relieve the soreness of being lifted by his neck.
" And what is it that you want from me ? " he asked suspiciously.
Loki grinned from ear to ear.
" I want you to kill someone for me ! " Loki blurted out.
Serkr nodded his approval.
" I Like the sound of that ! " Serkr exclaimed.
Loki raised his eyebrows.
" It will not be that easy my friend. You are going to kill the son of King Geirrod of the Goths ! He is called Agnar the Younger ! " Loki explained.
Serkr narrowed his eyes.
" Not a problem . " he told Loki confidently.
" Excellent ! " Then I will distract Modgud while you quietly wade beneath the bridge over the river Gjoll. Then walk away from the sound of the venomous flow, and you will be shown the way back to Midgard. " Loki told Serkr.
Serkr followed the river's edge up to the bridge, while Loki walked along the path that lead toward the entrance of the bridge. While Loki engaged the Giantess in conversation, Serkr waded under the bridge unseen to freedom !
- End Chapter 9
- Next : Chapter 10 : Shining Byleistr !
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2016.