( Gna's Glory )
A Perilous Journey !
Fulla slowed Lettfeti as they approached the golden gates that have guarded the Rainbow Bridge at the edge of Asgard for untold millennium. Heimdall, as always stood stoically on watch, and stopped the handmaiden as she trotted up to his eternal post.
" And where is Fulla going in such a hurry ? " Heimdall asked.
Fulla proudly smiled as she answered.
" I am being sent to Gymir's hall in Jotunheim to deliver anniversary gifts to Freyr and Gerd ! " she told the sentinel pleasantly.
Heimdall nodded, then stepped over to the gates and opened them for Frigga's handmaiden.
" It is hard to believe that an entire year has passed since Freyr and Gerd were bound in matrimony. " Heimdall told the maiden as he stepped aside to let her pass.
" Yes ! Time travels even faster than Sleipnir can fly ! " she replied with a little giggle.
Fulla gently kicked Lettfeti into motion. She waved goodbye to Heimdall as she passed Asgard's guardian, and then held onto the reins tightly for the ride down Bifrost's steep slope. The handmaiden did not relax her grip until the bridge between worlds leveled out at the Midgard border, and then she settled in for a long uneventful journey.
After crossing several hills Fulla took a well worn path towards a rocky meadow. Just before entering the flat plain, that led into Jotunheim and the high cold mountains beyond, the handmaiden noticed up ahead what looked to be an arch with the top piece missing. Fulla did not feel comfortable riding through the " half arch " and looked for a way around it. Both sides, however, were blocked by rock formations that were impassable. Although she sensed something odd about this place Fulla saw no other option, and gently kicked Lettfeti forward.
" Don't worry my friend it will be alright ! " she told her horse as it neared the rock arch.
As Lettfeti began to emerge onto the other side of the arch formation Fulla breathed a sigh of relief. She was not sure why she felt apprehensive about going through the broken arch, but Fulla did not like what she was feeling deep inside.
Suddenly, Fulla felt herself being lifted off of her saddle. Before she could react to whatever had grabbed hold of her, the handmaiden found herself flying helplessly through the air. Fulla barely had time to brace herself before she hit a large boulder with the side of her body. Then the world went black !
Fulla sensed the being hovering over her long before she could focus her eyes on it. When she finally realized that it was a huge hairy Jotun she tried to reach for her sword. In her confused stupor, however, she was too slow, and the Jotun was able to step on her arm before she could grab a hold of the hilt.
The Giant hit Fulla with a hard backhand ! He laughed at the helpless maiden as he withdrew her sword from its scabbard, and placed it in his belt.
" Stupid Bitch ! " the hairy Jotun screamed at her.
" The Gods must be getting desperate to send such a puny little runt as yourself to Jotunheim ! " he told her with a sarcastic laugh.
Fulla was dazed by the blow, and her split lip made it difficult for her to talk, but she defiantly answered the Jotun despite her injuries.
" When Thor hears that you have attacked one of Frigga's handmaidens you will pay dearly for your evil deed ! " she warned the Jotun.
The Giant became furious when he heard Thor's name, and in an uncontrollable rage he began to rain down blows on the helpless Goddess. The last sound that Fulla heard was the cracking of her arm as it broke when she tried to fend off one of the Jotun's punches.
The Jotun stopped beating the Goddess when he realized that she was no longer moving. After pushing her head from side to side, to make sure she was not conscious, he left the Goddess to die by the bloody rock he had thrown her against. As he turned to walk away he noticed two bags hanging on the saddle of the horse she had been riding. The Jotun carefully walked over to the horse, so as not to scare it away, and when he was close enough he grabbed hold of its reins to steady it. With his other hand he removed the bags and threw them on the ground.
The moment that the Jotun let go of Lettfeti's reins to inspect the contents of the bags, the horse bolted away.
" Run away you stupid animal for you are too small, and are of no use to me ! " he yelled in the direction that the horse had galloped away.
The Jotun could not believe his luck when he opened the bags and peered inside. Glittering before his eyes were a sword with a golden hilt, and a large brooch made from the purest of gold.
" Today is truly my lucky day ! " he said with a chuckle as he gathered up his spoils and began to head for his home.
" And my people say the Gods are worthless to us ! " he joked as he disappeared into the forest.
Lettfeti circled around and came up on the other side of the rock where Fulla lay unconscious. The animal did not understand why the Goddess was sleeping, but it instinctively knew that they should not stay here any longer. Using its nose Lettfeti reached down and prodded the Goddess several times until it was finally able to make her move on her own.
Fulla was barely conscious when she felt something poking at her. At first she feared opening her eyes because the Jotun might hit her again, but she also did not want to die without trying to escape. With a squint she opened her eyes, and once again she saw something large hovering over her. She was about to close them again when she smelled something familiar. Her eyes may have been blurred by the repeated blows to her head, but her nose could clearly smell her horse Lettfeti. With her one good arm Fulla reached out to her horse.
" Help me up Lettfeti ! " she begged the horse.
Lettfeti bowed its neck down as far as it could until the reins fell into the maiden's hand. Fulla gripped the leather as tight as she could and then braced herself for the pain she was sure would come !
" Now ! " she shouted to Lettfeti.
The great horse stretched its neck as high as it could and pulled Fulla off of the ground. With loud grunts of sheer agony the handmaiden was able to get her feet underneath her again. She was able to use Lettfeti's body to balance herself and she leaned into it like a crutch . Then, to Fulla's amazement, the horse knelt down on its knees allowing the handmaiden to slide onto its back with relative ease.
As Lettfeti rose up off of the ground Fulla whispered into its ear.
" Thank you my old friend ! " she told her horse as tears flowed down her beaten and battered face.
Then she added : " Please trot slowly ! "
It took much longer to get back to the Rainbow Bridge than it did to travel to Jotunheim. Lettfeti kept up an even walk all the way to Bifrost to aid his injured passenger, who none - the - less groaned in pain with every step it took. When they finally stood before Bifrost, Fulla was both relieved and afraid. She was glad to be back home, but she was not sure that she had enough strength left to hold onto the reins during the climb up to Asgard's gates. To help herself hold on she wrapped the reins tightly around her hand a number of times and then she placed her good arm around the horses neck. With every step Lettfeti took, however, she felt herself slowly, little by little, sliding off of the horse.
Heimdall heard a horse walking at a strange pace up the Rainbow Bridge, but he did not think much of it until he heard the groaning of a woman who was obviously in pain. Without a moment of hesitation Heimdall grabbed his great spear, threw open the gates, and ran down the Bifrost Bridge to see what the situation was !
When he reached the source of the moaning what Heimdall saw made the stoic sentinel flinch. Barely keeping herself on her horse was what looked like the Goddess Fulla . But it was hard for Heimdall to tell who the rider truly was . The woman's gown was torn and bloody, and her face was bruised and bloated so badly as to be almost unrecognizable !
" Fulla ?! " Heimdall half asked, and half exclaimed.
Fulla looked up from Lettfeti's neck, and began to cry.
" Heimdall ! Please help me !! " she whispered while blood dripped from her injured mouth.
- End Chapter 2
- Next : Chapter 3 : Eir The Healer
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2015.