302. The Old Warrior
His sweating brow lovingly wiped by his tearful daughter,
Fever was slowly consuming both his body and his mind,
In his delirium he was transported back to earlier days.
Memories flashed within him as intense as Thor's lightning,
Once again he manned an oar on a large dragon ship,
Then in an instant he was part of a hundred man shield wall,
Next he was slicing his way through the enemy with his sword.
He remembered the faces of the warriors who fought by his side,
Recalled the memorial rune stones raised for those who were lost,
Had pleasant visions of the many women he bedded along the way,
And saw the beautiful face of his loving wife, now long since gone.
Then slowly the trembling stopped, and the living world dimmed,
As darkness encompassed him, he felt the strong hand of death,
His last sensation a tender kiss placed gently upon his forehead,
And then there was only the numbness of being between worlds.
Time stopped, how long he lay motionless he had no way to know,
Through eyes, not of his own body, a presence he became aware,
A shadowy figure dressed in a hooded cloak appeared before him,
Surprised, but not afraid, he asked in a calm voice: "Are you Hel ?"
The visitor slowly pulled back his hood to reveal his true identity,
Odin then answered : " You were too good a warrior to die in battle ! "
As the helmeted Valkyrie lifted the old warrior off of his deathbed,
Valfather smiled. " Did you really think I would forget you old friend ? "
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2014.