The Dark Witch
Experimentation In Ressurection
Every morning for weeks Hella came out to the hanging tree, and sat below the gallows branch to recite the words carved upon its trunk. Every time she did, however, nothing happened. It did not take long for the ten year old witch to figure out that the first section of the text was not part of the spell. But she was disappointed that the chant did not work no matter how clearly she said the words, or how many different ways she tried them. The key seemed to be in the letters written below the chant. But what could they mean ?
Hildigunn was relieved that her daughter did not act as controlling as she did the day she climbed the hanging tree. If not for the expressionless face, and the red glowing eyes with the black pupils, Hella seemed much like any other ordinary child. Of course she did have the powers of a dark witch, and that was something to consider every time she spoke to her daughter.
It bothered Hildigunn that Hella spent most of her days by the gnarled tree chanting spells, but they did not seem to conjure up anything.... or anyone, which was a relief to the worried mother. Hildigunn would often have to take her daughter's lunch and dinner out to her because she would not come in to eat when called. One day as she was handing Hella a bowl of hot oatmeal for lunch she asked :
" Do the Gods speak the same language that we do mother ? "
Hildigunn laughed at the absurdity of the question.
" I do not know my dear. I imagine that they might have a language of their own which is unknown to us. " she told her daughter as she stroked her hair.
Without warning Hella dropped her bowl of oatmeal on the ground, and looked at her mother with wide red eyes.
" Mother ! The letters at the end of the chant ! If they were spoken as words how would they sound ? ! " she asked, strangely excited.
" Ah ... loom...der ... uff, Fa...loo ...hem ," she replied pronouncing each syllable.
As Hildigunn spoke the last word a cold breeze suddenly blew through the trees. With a terrified look in her eyes Hildigunn warned her daughter.
" I do not think that we should speak such words ! " she told Hella.
Hella turned and stood facing the hanging tree. She raised her face and her hands to the heavens, and repeated the entire spell and then ended it with Ah...loom...der...uff, Fa...loo...hem. Over and over again she chanted the magical words until the skies darkened and the winds blew harder and harder. And then.... nothing !
" Damn ! " Hella yelled to the heavens.
Hildigunn stepped forward and placed her hands on her daughter's shoulders.
" Hella ! You should not curse with Christian words where our Heathen martyrs have died ! " she yelled scolding her daughter.
" THAT IS THE ANSWER ! " Hella screamed.
Hildigunn placed her hands on her hips.
" What ? " she asked in a perplexed tone.
Hella ignored her mother and ran over to the hangman' s branch.
" Mother ! Read me a name off of the tree ! " she demanded.
Hildigunn by now knew better than to disobey her daughter when she acted this way. Obediently she walked over to where the Christians had carved the names of the cursed Heathens, and read the first name on the tree.
" Helgi Haraldsson . " she told her daughter.
Hella ran back to her position underneath the hangman's branch, and once again carefully spoke the magical spell. This time, however, she recited the name Helgi Haraldsson over and over again.
Immediately the sky turned as black as night, and a freezing cold wind blew through the forest. Hildigunn tried to speak, but when she saw something that looked like glowing embers begin to revolve around her daughter, she turned and ran for the shack as fast as she could. Hildigunn, did not look back as she jumped all three stairs in one leap, opened the door, and ran inside for protection.
As the winds reached gale force they howled menacingly like a human being in sheer agony. Terrified about what might be happening to her daughter, Hildigunn opened the door a crack to see outside. What she saw took her breath away ! Her daughter was holding the embers, which now swirled as fast as the wind, in her hands. She watched in horror as Hella took a step over to the tree trunk, and slapped the glowing energy up against the base of the tree, and then..... then.... there was a flash as bright as a bolt of lightning ! When the light faded she caught a movement out of the corner of her eye. When she realized what it was she screamed !
Hella grinned when she saw the bony hand punch through the ground to her left. With great fascination she watched as another skeletal hand popped up out of the earth a few feet away. Together the skeletal hands worked feverishly to extricate themselves from the hard packed soil. As she continued to chant the name Helgi Haraldsson a skull broke through the ground, and began to moan in horrid tones.
When the skeleton was able to extend its arms it grabbed hold of the ground and pushed itself out of its moldy grave. It seemed to rest for a moment on its knees as it tried to get its bearings. It was then that the dead man creaked its head to the side and looked over at the woman peering out at him from the doorway.
The moment Hildigunn saw the mud filled eye sockets staring at her she went mad and screamed. She slammed the door shut as quickly as possible, and placed her back up against it as hard as she could. Then she whispered in a crazy voice :
" Odin ! What has my daughter done ! "
- End Chapter 6
- Next : The Return of Jarl Haakon !
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2015.