The Valkyrie's Daughter
" I Took A Life To Save A Life ! "
The newest member of the einherjar could not keep his eyes from darting from one exquisite structure to another. Eirik became lost in what he perceived as the Christian heaven. It was not until he heard the creaking of doors behind him, which forced him out of his trance, that Eirik had a much more wonderful thought.
" Valhalla ! " he whispered to himself as he turned to watch the golden doors slowly open.
The same force that had awakened him, now made him rise up and walk over to the doors. When Eirik peered inside the hall he expected to see a dark smokey chamber lit by several torches. To his astonishment what he saw was a huge golden hall that without any torches at all shone brighter than the twin Sun lit world of Asgard.
Eirik could not resist the power that pulled him into the great hall of Valhalla, and even if he could somehow manage to resist the magic that controlled him, he saw no reason not to enter. With every step his eyes beheld something incredible !
The benches were gold, the tables were gold, and even the walls were made of gold. The rafters that held up the roof were spears that shone brightly. And the roof,... the roof was made of golden shields !
As he walked up the main aisle, between the many tables, Eirik's eyes met those of the great warriors who had come before him. Some nodded, while others smiled as though they were remembering their first moments in Valhalla. All seemed to have a gleam of pride in their eyes for the newcomer who had been chosen by Odin to feast in the greatest hall in all the nine worlds.
Halfway down the main aisle Eirik saw two very imposing figures sitting at the very end of the hall. One was obviously Odin. He was much as Eirik had imagined him. The All-Father was old, but not elderly. His face showed the scars of battle, and yet it was handsome in spite of the patch that covered his one eye. Despite having no crown upon his head, he had a look more regal than any king on Earth.
The woman who sat next to the All- Father, on a golden high-seat of her own, could only have been Frigga. She was very pretty despite being of the same age as Odin. Her hair, which had hints of gray in it, was braided around her head, while the rest flowed modestly down to her shoulders. As Eirik followed her hair down he noticed a very pretty young woman sitting on the floor next to the All-Mother. Apparently she was one of her handmaidens, for she appeared to be subservient to the Queen of Asgard.
Eirik stopped several feet from the high-seats, and knelt down on one knee.
" All-Father Odin, and Mother Frigga ! I am so very honored to be invited to Valhalla ! " he told them with his head bowed.
Odin lifted Eirik's head with the power of his mind, and stared at the warrior for a moment before addressing him.
" Welcome to Valhalla Eirik Ospaksson ! Come sit with me at the head of the feasting tables ! " he shouted jovially.
Eirik felt the pull of Odin's magic diminish, and it allowed him to stand and face the All-Father.
" I am not worthy, and I do not believe that I deserve to sit with someone as great as yourself. " Eirik replied humbly.
Frigga raised an eyebrow, and pointed to the empty golden bench at the end of the table.
" You are worthy if my husband says you are worthy ! " Frigga corrected the newcomer.
Eirik was not about to argue with the Queen of Asgard and promptly sat on the left side of the table. A moment later Odin and Frigga sat themselves at the head of the table.
" The feast will begin in a moment,.... but we must wait for someone. " Odin explained to Eirik in a whisper.
Hlaðguðr Svanhvít stood with her back to the door to the serving maiden's quarters. In her hands she held a great dagger, which was pointed down at her belly. The Valkyrie was summoning the strength to plunge it into her body when the door to the chamber suddenly flew open.
" Odin wishes to see you at once sister ! " Hervor Alvitr informed Svanhvit.
Hlaðguðr gave an involuntary tremble of relief, as she lowered the knife and placed it on the table. Before turning she took a deep breath to compose herself.
" I will be there momentarily. " she replied nervously.
Hervor slammed the butt of her spear into the floor of the chamber.
" You will come now ! " she demanded.
Svanhvit walked into Valhalla with her head hung low. She did not know why she had been shamed into becoming a serving maiden, but she was sure that she was about to find out. As she walked up the aisle the Valkyrie decided to be bold ! She held her head high, almost defiantly, as she stared across the hall into Odin's eye. Her attitude changed in an instant, however, when she saw Eirik sitting on the golden benches of Valhalla.
Hlaðguðr Svanhvít gasped in shock when she recognized that the einherjar sitting near Odin was the man she loved. Odin, however, was delighted by her reaction, and clapped his hands as he laughed.
" I know what you were about to do ! And that is why I took a life to save a life. " he told her.
Svanhvit tried to remain calm, but her eyes teared up, and she began to tremble despite her best efforts.
" Why would great Odin waste his time saving someone who has twice disobeyed him ? " she asked.
Before her husband could answer Frigga abruptly stood up and walked over to Svanhvit.
" If you wished to kill yourself over this human, my husband would have gladly allowed you to commit suicide. Odin saved you only because I asked him to ! " she explained.
Svanhvit wiped her eyes.
" Why does the All-Mother care if a Valkyrie lives or dies ? " she asked.
Frigga smiled slightly.
" I do not ! " she answered.
" But I do care about the child who is growing in your womb ! And I will not allow you to kill a defenseless child ! " she told Svanhvit angrily.
Odin reached over and gently grabbed his wife's arm.
" It is over now. Eirik and my Valkyrie Hlaðguðr Svanhvít can be together, and there is no longer a reason for her to kill herself, or her unborn child. " Odin told his wife calmly.
Frigga nodded and then slowly returned to the seat next to her husband. Her anger faded when she noticed that Svanhvit, who had no idea she was with child, began to gently rub her belly and cry.
" Sit ! There is no reason for tears. You will remain here in Valhalla as a serving maiden until your child is born, and then you can return to your other duties as a Valkyrie. " she explained to Svanhvit in a kinder tone.
Eirik did not know quite what to do or say. When Svanhvit sat down next to him on the bench he held her in his arms. And as they kissed all of the einherjar erupted into cheers. When the hall finally calmed down Svanhvit put her head down on the father of her child's shoulder. Eirik grinned as he put his arm around her, for he proudly considered himself the luckiest dead man in all the nine worlds.
Odin drained his horn and glanced over at Frigga.
" What do you think we should name the Valkyrie's daughter ? " he asked.
Frigga chuckled at her husband's arrogance.
" Not even your great status as Lord of Asgard gives you the right to name their child, my love. That is entirely up to Eirik and Hlaðguðr ! " she told her husband.
Hlaðguðr Svanhvít suddenly jerked her head off of Eirik's shoulder.
" Daughter ! I am going to have a daughter ! ? " she asked.
Odin grimaced as Frigga laughed !
" Oops ! " Odin exclaimed as he rolled his eye.
The hall erupted into raucous laughter at the All-Father' s mistake.
Eirik Ospaksson and Hlaðguðr Svanhvít ignored everything that went on around them that night, for they had each other.
- The End
- Next Story : The Marriage Proposal
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2017.