An Act Of Desperation
Freyr ran out of the hall, down the steps, and mounted Blodughofi . The Vanir God rode into the great darkness determined to reach Gymir's hall long before Skirnir arrived on the scene. With great Mani lighting his way Freyr was able to ride almost as fast as if it were a clear and sunny day. As Blodughofi weaved in between trees, and around boulders on the narrow path of land that lead to the home of the Jotuns, Freyr's anger, fueled by passion, began to rise to a fever pitch. He would show Beli that a God of fertility and life could also be a great harbinger of battle and death ! As he controlled the reins of his horse with one hand he reached confidently down to grab the hilt of his great sword. He groped once, then twice, before remembering that he had given his trusty weapon to Skirnir. " No matter ! " Freyr said out loud. " I will kill him with my bare hands if I have to ! " he shouted to Mani.
This time when Blodughofi galloped by the mound the sheep were not blocking his way, but were sleeping off to one side of the plateau, as was the herdsman whose fire was now nothing more than glowing embers. As he headed down the path to the evergreen forest he slowed Boldughofi to a fast walk. He was hoping not to alert Beli, or his vicious pets to his presence. Freyr wanted to sneak up on them this time, and surprise them. At the edge of the forest Freyr dismounted, and walked off the path through the woods to the gates as quietly as he could. It was hard to see, but he could tell he was getting closer and closer by the ever increasing amounts of bones that littered the ground beneath his feet. When he had gotten within earshot of the gate, where Beli stood guard, he spoke up : " You told me never to come back, and yet here I am you ugly Jotun ! " he said in a hoarse whisper.
The great beasts began to bark and howl as their sharp eyes honed in on the intruder. In her bed Gerdr awakened, and sat up. Beli raised his hands as a signal to the great beasts, and they lay back down on the ground, and became quiet. Gerdr took a deep breath, and said to herself : " They must have seen a forest animal as it passed by the hall. " the maiden said to herself. Then she laid back down, and returned to her dreams.
Beli stepped forward, and confronted the little God who stood before him. " You should not have returned Vanir God ! " Beli yelled angrily. " But not to worry, it is the last mistake you will ever make ! " The Jotun told him with an evil smile. " I think that you have misjudged me as an opponent my large friend. I will be more than a match for the likes of you ! " Freyr shouted confidently back. " I am going to pound you into the ground, and then feed what remains of you to my pets, you insignificant little God ! " Beli shouted as he raised up his heavy stone club menacingly in Freyr's direction.
Freyr was surprised at how fast the Jotun could swing his stone weapon. He had to bob and weave to miss Beli's first couple of tentative blows, but when the Jotun swung with all his might, Freyr had to do a head first roll to avoid being smashed to bits by his weapon. At first the Vanir God was too busy protecting himself, and avoiding the stone club, to attempt any blows of his own. It became obvious to Freyr that if he wanted to deal the Jotun a fatal stroke he was going to have to bring the Jotun down to his level. After barely avoiding a violent club swing, freyr rolled head first on the ground, jumped up, and then ran with all his might into the Jotun's leg. Freyr hit the Jotun with a sickening smack, but Beli did not budge at all ! The Jotun then used his stone club to flick Freyr off of him as if he were nothing more than a bug. As he lay upon the ground stunned by the blow, Freyr could feel Beli's hand wrap around his throat. As the Jotun squeezed harder and harder he leaned over and placed his large ugly face right in front of Freyr's, and stared him right in the eyes. " All you have to do now is die little God ! " Beli told him with an evil laugh.
Freyr, however, smiled as he looked the Jotun in the eyes. " Now I have you right where I want you ! " Freyr said with a choking laugh. Beli gave the dying God a puzzled look as he squeezed ever tighter. Freyr had seen the weapon he needed out of the corner of his eye. The Jotun, for his part, was too busy staring into Freyr' s eyes to notice the Vanir God as he picked up a hart skull with the antlers still attached. Freyr knew that the Giant had his one hand on his heavy stone club, and the other of course was around his neck, so there was no way for the Jotun to defend himself. With all his might Freyr swung the hart's skull at the Jotun's head. He felt it hit Beli, and then he drove the antlers through the Jotun's eyes, and into his brain. Beli immediately cried out and dropped his club. A moment later he let go of Freyr's neck. To his great surprise the Jotun did not die right away, but walked around for a few moments like someone who was groping for something in the dark. Then slowy the Giant began to sway back and forth, before finally falling to the ground with a great thud !
With his mind racing in all directions, Freyr took a moment to compose himself, and to regain his breath. He then walked slowly back through the forest to where Blodughofi waited faithfully, and began his journey back to his hall. As he left the evergreen forest he could hear behind him the great beasts that guarded Gymir's hall howling . They had smelled blood, and wanted a taste for themselves !
The Vanir God did not want to be anywhere near Gymir's hall when Gerdr discovered her brother's dead body, and of course he did not want to be there when Skirnir arrived at the hall. He carefully walked his horse past the herdsman, so as not to wake him, because he did not want anyone to be a witness to his presence there. He knew that if Gerdr even suspected him of being her brother's killer she would never agree to marry him. He would go back to his hall now and wait. He had done all he could to help his cause. Now everything was up to his faithful servant Skirnir.
End Chapter 5
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2014.
Next : Chapter 6 : Gerd' s Dilemma !