A Temple Of Their Own
The members of the Johnson's Mill Kindred sat around quietly talking among themselves as they waited for the meeting to begin. The Godi Peter Hansen, whose house the meeting was being held at, and the Godia Joan Bartlett, who was called Raven by everyone who knew her, had called the emergency meeting to discuss recent events that needed to be addressed. Peter and Raven could not have been more different in every way imaginable. Peter was an older gentleman of 53 years, layed back, and was a good listener. He never rushed to judge, or had a harsh word for anyone. He was well respected by the members of his kindred, but was considered a bit of an outcast in the Heathen community because his religious ideas were not mainstream. He believed in a fusion of reconstructionist and modern Asatru ideals, and that did not set well with groups that went one way or the other. Peter, however, was never one to dwell on the opinions of others, and always lived by a motto of " to each his own ". Raven was the other side of the coin. She was only 22, bossy, opinionated, and had a way of getting up in your face, and under your skin. She feared nothing, and no one, which often times got her into a lot of trouble. Peter and Raven did have one thing in common, however, and that was their love of the Gods and Goddesses, and a desire to bring back the old religion.
As Peter sat quietly waiting for Raven, he could not stop thinking of the reason for this emergency meeting. One of their members, a quiet young man named Richard Van Allen, had committed suicide, and now the kindred was having to deal with not only the loss of one of their members but also something that they did not want or need, media exposure. Everyone in the kindred knew that Richard was having trouble coping with the many problems that he faced in his life, and they tried to help him through his difficulties as best they could. Richard's mother was one of the richest women in America. After her husband died she had taken over Van Allen Enterprises, and turned out record profits every year. Her husband Jonathan, had gotten in at the start of the recycling craze and had cashed in on this new and lucrative business. After her husband died she turned her attention fully to her son Richard, and planned his whole life out for him. Unfortunately for his mother, Richard did not want the life that she was trying to force upon him, and he rebelled. Richard dropped out of college, and moved to this small town in the middle of nowhere called Johnson's Mill, where he was slowly building himself a new life. It was in this small town that he heard the calling of the Old Gods, and after a period of time joined the local Asatru kindred.
When his mother found out that he had left college and disappeared, she had a detective find him, and report back with his findings. When she found out that he was living in a small town and had joined a Pagan religion she became furious, and worried about what this would do to her good name. She hired a professional team of psychologists who specialized in interventions for those who became mixed up in cults. Richard was kidnapped right off of the street in front of his apartment and whisked away to a secluded location where he could be made to see the insanity of his choices. Day after day these " professionals " drilled into Richard's head that he had been brainwashed by a cult, and that these Pagans were evil, and not to be trusted. They played with his emotions, and only allowed him to rest when they felt they had reached their goal for the day. The de-programming put poor Richard over the edge. He had barely been able to handle his life before he had gotten to Johnson's Mill, but the life he had built for himself there had started to heal all of his mental wounds. The thought of having to go back to the life his mother had planned for him made him physically sick to his stomach. Richard became so terrified that his mind became muddled with depression, and desperation took over his thoughts. He became so distraught one night that he tied his bed sheet to the bottom of the leg on the bed that was closest to the wall next to the window, and tied the other end around his neck. With tears flowing down his face he sat on the window sill, looked up at the sky and apologized to All - Father Odin, and then jumped out. He fell about six feet before the sheet tore into his neck and mercifully broke it.
Richard was found hanging against the outside of the house the next morning. The local papers had a field day with the whole Pagan angle, printing headlines that read : ' Pagan Hanging ! ' and ' Another Cult Tragedy ! '. It was at this point that the Godi Peter Hansen decided that he had better call an emergency meeting of the kindred members. The kindred had tried to keep a low profile in the largely Christian community by meeting at a different members house each time, and not doing anything that showed them in a bad light. Now they were headlines news, and were fully outted in their community. The kindred needed to address these issues, and try to find answers.
Raven showed up fashionably late as always. She liked to make a grand entrance, and she was sure to walk around and greet everyone who had come to the meeting. Peter and Raven took turns speaking, and from time to time a member would make a statement, add a thought, or ask a question. As the meeting began to wind down Peter noticed a stretched limousine pull up in front of his house. As Raven spoke he watched as the driver got out, and quickly walked over to the rear door, and opened it for his passenger. Out of the limo stepped an older woman dressed in a black dress that even a novice fashion expert like Peter could see was made by one of those world famous fashion designers. As she walked away from the car Peter sensed an air of wealth and power that was projected just by the gate of her steps. He thought it was odd for someone like that to be visiting a little backwater town like Johnson's Mill. Peter considered it to be even stranger when she turned onto the walkway that lead up to his front door !
Just as Raven ended the meeting a knock came upon his door. When Peter opened the door and greeted them, it was the driver who spoke first.The driver, who was a huge man built like a weightlifter, looked at Peter and said in a gruff voice: " Elizabeth Van Allen has come to see Peter Hansen. " Peter looked first at the driver, and then over at the mother of Richard Van Allen, and his mind raced in all directions. Was she here to see him beaten up because of her son's death ? Or was she here to announce a huge lawsuit against him and his kindred ? Peter replied in a nervous tone : " I am Peter Hansen, how may I help you Mrs. Van Allen ? " Elizabeth Van Allen replied in a voice that was devoid of all emotion : " I wish to speak to you alone Mr. Hansen." Her tone did not allow Peter to say no, so Peter opened the door and invited them in. To Peter's relief Mrs. Van Allen told the driver to wait in the car for her. The driver nodded and answered : " Yes Maam", and went back to the car.
Peter showed Mrs. Van Allen into the living room, and seated her on his best chair, just as the last members were leaving. Raven saw something strange in Peter's eyes that she did not like, and asked if everything was alright. Peter assured her that he was fine, and thanked her for coming. As she left Raven took a second look at the woman, and then made the call me later hand signal to Peter. Peter nodded that he understood and gave her the sign of the Triad and said : " Go with Odin's wisdom, Freyja's love, and Thor's protection." Raven nodded, and responded in kind. As Peter closed the door he looked over at Mrs. Van Allen and realized that he was actually afraid of this woman.
- Glenn Bergen, Copyright, 2012.
Go with Odin's wisdom, Freyja' s love, and Thor's protection !