The Valkyrie's Daughter
" I Cannot Love You ! "
After taking a quick look around the forest, that surrounded the entire lake, for the Valkyrie, Eirik ran down to the water's edge to see if she were swimming out on the lake. When he reached it's muddy shoreline he noticed several fish lying on the lake's bank, and he knew that she was out there somewhere on the water. As he shaded his eyes from the glare of the sun off of the water's surface, he finally saw a white head with a yellow bill pop up out of the water.
Only when Eirik found Svanhvit did a feeling of relief come over him. It was then he realized that his feelings had become so strong for her that he had actually entered into a state of near panic when he thought she had gone. This was something he had never experienced before. Not even in battle !
" Is this what love is ?! " he asked himself, only to answer his own question almost immediately.
" Love must be desperation, need, and a yearning to be with someone so badly that you lose all your senses when they are not around. " he replied out loud to himself.
Moments later Hlaðguðr Svanhvít paddled herself to the shore and changed back into one of Odin's maidens. Eirik stood in awe at the whole process of transformation, and he did not move until Svanhvit had completely changed, and her wings were folded perfectly behind her.
" Thank you for the fish ! They look even bigger than the one's you caught for me yesterday. " he told her.
Svanhvit glanced at the human and saw in his eyes what she had once seen in the eyes of the man named Slagfiðr, who called her his wife for seven long years. As she quickly turned away she spoke coldly to the warrior named Eirik Ospaksson.
" I cannot love you. " she told him. " I can only serve the All-Father, and his honored dead. Feelings for the living are not allowed, nor are they tolerated by Odin.
Eirik was stunned by the Valkyrie's admission, and did not quite know what to say to her.
" Then why,....why,.. did you let last night happen ? " he asked.
Hlaðguðr Svanhvít lowered her head and spoke truthfully to the warrior, who Odin had favored, in a shaky voice.
" It was a moment of weakness on my part. I could not help but see how you felt about me, and I unfortunately succumbed to your charm. It will not happen again. " she told him in no uncertain terms.
For a man who had not known love for most of his life her words penetrated his heart with greater force than either of the swords that injured him and damaged his body. Because he did not know what to say, Eirik gathered up his fish, and walked back to where he had cooked them the day before.
As Hlaðguðr Svanhvít watched the brave warrior walk away, with his shoulders slumped, and his head hanging down, she could not decide which was crueler; leaving without saying goodbye to Slagfiðr, Egil and Volundr; or telling this man named Eirik she could not love him to his face. With tears in her eyes she glanced up at the sky.
" A Valkyrie's existence can be so cruel All-Father ! " she said quietly, but firmly.
Svanhvit waited until after Eirik had cleaned his fish for his breakfast, and was beginning to cook them, before she went over to speak to him.
" You must leave here tomorrow ! The warriors you call Baglers will return to occupy the fortress two days from this day. If you remain they will kill you ! " she told him bluntly.
As Eirik placed a stick through another fish he asked a question.
" Do you know where King Sverre Sigurdsson has gone with his army ? "
" Odin has let it be known to me that King Sverre is heading north to Trondelag where people are more loyal to him. " she replied without emotion.
Eirik placed the second fish above the flames and took a deep breath as it began to cook.
Then I will leave first thing tomorrow morning. " he told her.
Before she walked away the Vakyrie added one more thing :
" I wish you well Eirik Ospaksson . " she said quietly.
Eirik did not respond verbally, but merely nodded his head to affirm that he had heard her.
Odin witnessed it all from his high-seat at Hlidskjalf, and immediately regretted his decision to save the warrior. As he sat observing Hlaðguðr Svanhvít floating on the lake, and watching the warrior named Eirik as he sat by his fire, Odin was startled to realize that Frigga had come into the hall, and was standing behind her watching the same scenes play out over his shoulder.
" What will my husband do ? " she asked.
Odin craned his neck around and looked up at his wife.
" There is nothing that can be done. I will not allow my Valkyries to intermingle with the humans any longer. " he told her with a hint of anger.
Frigga narrowed her eyes. This has nothing to do with a Valkyrie, ' intermingling ', with a human. " she corrected her husband.
" You know very well why I wish you to seek a solution to this problem ! " she quickly added in a scolding tone.
Odin exhaled angrily.
" But what can I do ?! " he asked.
Frigga grinned as she kissed her husband on the neck.
I know that you will be wise enough to come up with a proper solution,.....because we both know that this situation cannot remain as it is . " she told her husband.
- End Chapter 5
- Next : Chapter 6 : The Long Journey North
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2017.