The Rune Stone
Helheim And Jotunheim
" You can't exist ! You don't exist ! Modgud is a character in mythology ! " Terje told the large Jotun woman who was lumbering towards him as he rubbed his eyes.
Modgud could barely stand the human dead who passed over her bridge into Helheim. The living, however, she hated with a passion. And this Midgardian was beginning to make her very angry. With a hand that was much faster than her size and weight should have allowed, she drew her sword and stabbed it through the human's hat.
" If you wish to cross my bridge you must be dead. Is that what you want you little puny human ? " the battle weary maiden asked.
Before Terje could answer Bente stepped forward in front of the professor. She looked the Giantess in the eyes as she gently removed his hat from her sword.
" I would consider it a personal favor if you would allow us entry into Helheim. " Bente told the guardian of the Gjallarbru.
Modgud was about to turn her sword on Bente when the Giantess noticed something strange about her eyes. In an instant her expression changed from one of anger to surprise,... and then to an expression akin to fear.
Modgud stepped back, placed her sword into it's scabbard and turned to go back to her station on the other side of the bridge. With her back to the humans she spoke only three words.
" You may pass ! " she stated gruffly.
Terje took his hat back from Bente, and looked at her with a new found confidence.
" You seem to have a way with these characters. " he said nervously.
As they proceeded forward Bente replied matter - of - factly.
" Do I ? "
Terje and Bente left the bridge behind and soon came to a massive gate in the center of a huge wall that surrounded what they assumed was an immense hall. Terje grabbed hold of the rusted bars of the gate and then turned to Bente.
" Well ! If my memory serves me correctly this must be Helgrind. The problem my dear, is that we do not have an eight - legged horse to jump over it ! " he explained to his student with a grin.
Bente smiled at Terje. The professor, who only days before had been an atheist, was beginning to accept that these mythological places and beings were real and not a figment of an older generation's imagination.
" If we knock maybe Hel will invite us into Eljudnir . " she told her professor.
Before Terje could react and stop her Bente had grabbed hold of the corroded brass knocker and beat it twice up against the gate. To his dismay he heard a door creaking open in the distance, and the sound of footsteps coming closer and closer. What scared him most of all, however, was the rattling of a heavy chain that accompanied the footsteps.
A loud metallic bang made Terje jump, and as the gates slowly opened the nervous professor, unlike his student, retreated several steps back down the path. The only reason Terje didn't turn and run was because Bente did not seem at all concerned over what would come out from behind the great gate.
"Hello ! I was hoping we might come in and have a bite to eat ! " Bente asked the shadowy figure as it emerged from behind the tall hinged gate.
Terje was flabbergasted by his student's calmness. Even more so when he saw the figure standing in the dim light that filtered through the mist. There, standing only a few feet from Bente, was a slightly hunched over female Jotun. Half of her body seemed still and lifeless. Blue - gray skin hung off of the bone, and in one spot, above the right eye, he swore he could see her skull protruding through the rotting flesh. The other half of her body made her appear to be very sick. The pale skin seemingly drained of all color hinted of disease or possibly plague. But what disturbed Terje most of all was what Hel had at the end of a short rusted chain that she was holding. And when his gaze met the great hound's red eyes Garm reacted with a violent fit, growling and barking as if he wished to rip him apart.
" I think we should be going Bente ! " Terje shouted as though he was half scared out of his mind.
Bente turned around and frowned at the professor.
" I thought you were hungry ? " she asked.
Terje ripped his shirt pocket as he pulled the notepad out !
" I am not that hungry ! " he announced before reading what was scribbled on the pad.
" Froem, Bynar, Willop, Danira, Pistil, Mistil, Kistil ! " he shouted.
Transported at the speed of light, and by the power of lightning, Terje and Bente found themselves in another world,...a cold world of blue ice, and mountains that rose up miles into the sky.
"We should not be here ! " Terje whispered hoarsely to Bente.
Bente placed her hands on her hips and shook her finger at the professor.
" Well, this was your choice ! You did not want to stay for a bite to eat at Eljudnir ! " she rudely told Terje.
Terje gave Bente a startled look.
" Really ! Do you know where we are ? ! " he asked louder than he had meant to.
Bente looked around.
" Ancient blue ice,... mountains so tall that you cannot see their summits,... and freezing cold temperatures,..... I would have to guess Jotunheim. " she told him with a smile.
Terje was about to curse his student's words when he heard what sounded like an avalanche off in the distance. As the professor followed the sound he saw coming down from every mountain what appeared to be hundreds of blue - gray Frost Giants.
" Oh, my ! This is bad,.... this is really, really bad ! " he exclaimed.
Terje reached for his notebook, but his fingers, numbed by the cold , and shaking from fear, fumbled with it and it dropped to the ground. He first looked down at the notepad in horror, and then up at the Frost Giants who were converging on their location at a fast rate that did not seem to be physically possible. Terje was about to scream when Bente calmly reached down, picked up the pad, and held it out in front of the professor.
FROEM, BYNAR,WILLOP,DANIRA,PISTIL,MISTIL,KISTIL !!! " he screamed at the top of his lungs.
The last thing that Terje saw in Jotunheim was a sword made of blue ice slicing through the cold air towards his neck. And then it was gone !
- End Chapter 8
- Next : Chapter 9 : Svartalfheim And Ljosalfheim
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravenheart ), © Copyright, 2017.