The Light In The Darkness
Just North Of Hordaland
" No ! I did what I had to do ! " he whispered to himself through chattering teeth.
Unfortunately, the Harothi of Hordaland did not quite feel the same way, and came after him, and his family, with a strong sense of justice in mind. He had barely made it out of Hordaland with his wife and son alive ! As the storm continued to rise in ferocity he wondered if it might have been better if they had all been killed by the Harothi further south where it was warmer, then to slowly die here in the north in a prison of ice and snow.
If Rangi had been alone he would have surely laid down in the snow and allowed the cold flakes to bury him alive in a grave of ice. The sacred responsibilities of a husband and a father, however, kept his feet moving ever north, deeper and deeper into the storm.
There does come a time when words such as honor, pride and responsibility are not enough to keep a man's soul going on, and Rangi stopped and held his family close to him when he finally reached that breaking point. With tears in his eyes he was about to say goodbye to the one's he loved most dearly when he caught a glimpse through the near blinding snow of a dark gray object, of immense proportions, looming up ahead. And then, to his amazement, he saw what appeared to be a light near the top of the unidentified structure. Rangi swatted furiously at the snowflakes, as though they were annoying gnats, to get a better look at the light that shone up ahead.
It took several moments for Rangi to realize that what he saw was real, and not a figment of his imagination brought on by the effects of the bitter cold. When his wife Gylla cried out that she too saw the flickering light in the distance, Rangi grabbed her hand, and his son's, and began to plow through the snow as fast as he could towards the dark grey object that loomed closer and closer with every leap and bound.
When they finally reached the base of what turned out to be a great mountain rising up out of the relatively flat plain they were all exhausted and could go no further. Rangi, before he began to feel faint, lamented the fact that they had made it to their objective, but the light, which had seemed reachable from a distance, now loomed beyond their grasp far overhead on top of the mountain. Just as the overwhelming need to sleep came over him Rangi felt himself being lifted and carried away.
" Is this what it feels like to die ? " he asked himself before his senses felt no more.
Rangi, startled by an unfamiliar but sharp sound, jumped up and fell onto a hard surface. When he looked up he saw a pretty little girl looking down at him.
" Ha, ha, ha, ! You're funny ! " the little girl stated as she pointed a finger down at him.
Rangi rubbed his head before looking around frantically in all directions.
" Who are you ? WHERE IS MY FAMILY ?!! " he suddenly yelled.
The little girl's smile quickly turned into a sad little pout.
" You're not funny anymore ! I don't like you now ! " she shouted at him as tears welled up in her eyes.
It was then that Rangi saw a shadow come into the light and speak.
" Now Kjallandi,...., that man is simply disoriented and wants to be with his family. " a female voice said to the little girl as she hugged the child close to her.
Rangi never saw the other person emerge from the shadows. It was not until the strong hands grabbed hold of him that he realized that there was yet another being in the room. As the creature, who possessed great strength, placed him back on the bed it spoke to him.
" I think you will be much more comfortable under these bear skins than on the floor. " he explained in a kind voice.
Rangi looked nervously up at the creature, who appeared to be a small man with a very large head, and no neck.
" What,..., who are you ? Where am I ? " he asked in rapid succession.
The creature's lips parted into a smile as he replied.
" I am Sviar, and over there is my wife Grottintanna, and my daughter Kjallandi. " he explained as he pointed in their direction.
Then Sviar quickly added.
" And your wife and child are sleeping peacefully over by the fire. " he told him to ease his mind.
Rangi reached up and grabbed hold of the man's hand.
" Did you save us ? " he asked.
" I had to ! My wife would never have forgiven me if I didn't ! " he said with a wink.
Rangi frowned deeply.
" How did you know we were out there ? " he asked in a confused tone.
Grottintanna gently pushed her daughter away so she could walk over to better answer their human visitor.
" I saw you coming, so I invited you here. " she began.
Kjallandi ran back over to her mother's side and interrupted.
" I was told to go to the mouth of the cave and wave a torch for you to see ! " the little girl replied enthusiastically, with a huge smile once again upon her face.
Rangi shook his head.
" But how did you know we were out there in the storm ? " Rangi asked, still not understanding their answers.
Grottintanna stroked her daughter's beautiful blonde hair before she replied.
" I am a seer and was foretold that an important human was coming. " she explained.
Rangi hung his head low against his chest.
" I am a murderer and a fugitive. I am not this man of importance you were foretold about. " he replied with much regret.
Grottintanna pointed a bony finger at the man.
" Is not the seed important that turns into the wheat ? And the wheat not necessary to make the flour ? And the flour not vital to make the bread ? " she asked.
Rangi, confused by her logic, shook his head back and forth.
" I am afraid I do not understand. " he told her.
Grottintanna then continued.
" You have a son. Your son will have a son. His son will then have a son. And one day the descendant of you, and your son, will be a king over a great land. " the seer assured him.
Rangi looked over at his wife and son who were still sleeping near the fire.
" And how do I make this all happen ? " he asked.
Grottintanna walked over to Rangi and handed him a piece of bread.
" You will stay here for 90 risings of the sun. And then you will head northeast to Haddingjadalr. The Norns who have weaved your fate will take care of the rest. " she assured him.
Sviar reached down and patted Rangi on the shoulder.
" I will get you a bowl of stew to go with that bread. " he told the human with a kind grin.
Rangi looked down at the bread, and then glanced up at Grottintanna. As he lay there he kept asking himself one question over and over.
" Who will be the bread,...., the one descended from me who rules over a great land ? "
- End Chapter 1
- Next : Chapter 2 : King Siggautr
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2018.