The Dark Witch
The Ring Of Runes
" Come mother I have something to show you ! " she told her mother in a monotone voice.
Hildigunn played along until they came close to the tree, and then she resisted and would not go any further. No matter how hard Hella tugged on her mother's hand she could not make her go all the way to the tree.
" Then stay there mother and I will read them to you ! " Hella told her mother with a hint of anger in her voice.
Hella ran over to the tree and began to climb the tree branch by branch. The ancient tree had grown in an odd uneven way. The right hand side of the tree had many branches, some fairly low to the ground, while the left side had no lower branches at all until about fifteen feet off of the ground where a long thick branch protruded out of the trunk. This was the main hanging branch where so many Heathens had lost their lives over their refusal to convert.
Hildigunn watched intently as her daughter climbed through the myriad of branches on the right side of the tree. For a moment she became worried as Hella swayed awkwardly trying to reach the next branch.
" Be careful ! " she yelled to her daughter.
Hella gave her mother an evil stare that Hildigunn had become all too familiar with. To anyone else it would have been a portent of bad things to come, but because she bore the child who she now affectionately called, " The Dark Witch ", Hildigunn knew that her daughter was only slightly bothered by her comment and would do her no harm.
" Yes, mother ! " Hella replied through tight lips.
When Hella reached a branch on the right side of the tree that allowed her to stand just below the hanging branch on the left she stopped and yelled back to her mother.
" Listen mother ! " she shouted.
Although Hildigunn felt very uncomfortable being so close to the hanging tree, she managed a smile for her daughter.
" I hear you darling ! " she replied.
Hella found the symbols that were carved into the trunk of the tree just below the hanging branch, and began to read.
" These magical words written by a weary traveler will raise the dead, and make them speak. " she read.
Hella then ran her fingers over the symbols that were carved below the others. She had never seen letters such as these, and did not know how to say them or what they meant.
" There are other words here too mother, but I cannot read them. They seem strange to me " ! she yelled back to her mother.
Hildigunn did not like this at all. Magical spells ! Ghosts ! Raising the dead ! It was all too much for her.
" Hella ! " You come down from there at once ! " Hildigunn demanded.
Hella once again gave her mother the evil stare.
" NO MOTHER ! YOU WILL COME HERE AND LOOK AT THIS ! " Hella shot back angrily.
Hildigunn did not want to go to the tree, but Hella's eyes had begun to glow, and the winds were suddenly blowing with such a force that it seemed to be pushing her towards the tree. Finally, Hildigunn relented and walked over to the tree. Hella's eyes dimmed as she looked down at her mother, and her lips rose slightly into what might be considered a smile.
" What do these symbols mean ? " she asked pointing to the strange symbols that were carved around the trunk of the tree.
Slowly, and with great trepidation, Hildigunn looked up at the symbols that her daughter was pointing to. She walked around the tree quietly reading them to herself. When she read the last line she placed her hand over her mouth and screamed !
" No ! No!! NO!!! " Hildigunn cried out.
Hella sat down upon the branch she had been standing upon, and looked down at her frightened mother.
" Tell me what it says mother ! " she commanded with a cold stare.
" NO ! These words must not be spoken ! " she replied fearfully.
Hildigunn tried to run back to the shack, but she found that her legs would not move. She attempted to raise each one in turn off of the ground, but they appeared to be anchored to the forest floor by a force that she did not understand. When it became apparent that the something that was holding her was her daughter, Hildigunn looked up at Hella sheepishly.
" TELL ME MOTHER ! " Hella repeated coldly.
Hildigunn began to cry.
" No ! Please, no ! " she pleaded with her daughter.
" TELL ME ! " Hella demanded.
" I need to be able to walk around the tree to read the runes. " Hildigunn told her daughter as she wiped the tears from her eyes.
Suddenly Hildigunn felt something push her legs forward. She knew her daughter was powerful, but until now she did not know just how strong her magic was. As she walked around the tree she slowly read the runes.
" I command the lost spirits, I walk with the dead, I speak to to those who remain forever upon their death beds. Through these magical chants I can converse with anyone who dies. With the words written below their rotting corpses shall rise once again. " she told her daughter.
" Is that all mother ? " Hella asked already knowing the answer.
" No there is a poem that follows. " she replied.
" Make certain that you are clear in every word that you utter,
For this magical spell will be broken by an inadvertent stutter,
If you do not believe in me then it is true that you need not bother,
This is my advice, and a warning to you, for I am the All - Father ."
Hildigunn said and then stopped.
Hella did not move an inch from the branch as she stared angrily down at her mother.
" Read all of it mother . ALL OF IT ! " Hella demanded.
" I call to the land of the dead with every beat of my heart,
In words as old as Ginnungagap itself I magically impart,
The essence of their soul here to this place to return,
So that from their dead mouths I may hope to learn,
With the creative power of the cosmos I hereby command,
That you come back to this place, and once again stand . " she told Hella.
" And ? " Hella asked.
" The rest are just letters.... they don' t appear to be words.
A..L..U..M..D..E..R..U..F, F..A..L..U..H..E..M.. , is what is carved on the bottom. " she explained.
" Thank you mother ! " Hella said as she ran her fingers over the carvings.
" You may go now mother ! " Hella added coldly.
Hildigunn ran back to the shack as fast as she could and closed the door behind her. Despite the door being closed she could clearly hear her daughter giggling off in the distance !
- End Chapter 5
- Next : Chapter 6 : Experimentation In Resurrection !
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2015.