When Magic Ruled The Worlds
" Land ! "
Vilmeid, however, did not curse the Light Elf for his ineffective magic, but instead praised him for the spell the sorcerer had earlier cast to protect him from the destructive power of this sun. For the little Dwarf knew all too well that without this protective charm he would long ago have turned to ash and been blown away upon the winds. To repay Svarthofdi, and the Jotuness as well, for all they had done to help him, Vilmeid used one of his rune sticks to turn the salty water into fresh clean water for them to safely drink. The Dwarf, was more than happy to help, and was no longer surprised when his magic worked, because now he fully understood that it had not been his spells that were defective, but his lack of belief in them which had caused them to fail. And with every success, now matter how small, Vilmeid became more and more confident in his abilities as a wizard.
Nine sun rises came and went with nothing on the horizon but an endless sea that continued on well past the curvature of this world known as Midgard. On the eleventh day, almost as though the Goddess Jord had heard their pleas for mercy, the clouds finally covered the blue sky, producing a light rain, which gave the travelers a welcome relief from the blistering heat. When the darkness came, however, the skies cleared, the stars shone in the heavens, and as they lay down to sleep each knew that the next day would once again be a difficult one under the scorching sun.
Svarthofdi was the first to awaken the next morning. And as he and the others had surmised the night before the great yellow sphere, that haunted them since they began their voyage, was beginning to rise once again in the east. The little Elf shaded his eyes from its glare as he kneeled at the edge of the raft to wash his face and hands in the sea water. Unlike the Dwarfs, who lived in the dirt and filth of the ground, Light Elves needed to be clean, and the washing process that they performed upon themselves was to them almost a religious ritual. By the time Svarthofdi had finished bathing himself Midgard's star had risen well above the horizon. As the Elf dried his hands on a towel he noticed something below the yellow disk that he had not seen before.
" Land ! Land !! " Svarthofdi shouted out of relief as much as the sheer joy of finally seeing solid ground.
Vilmeid rolled over and hugged his blanket tightly around his chest.
" Be quiet. Let me sleep just a bit longer. " he replied groggily without opening his eyes.
Vidolf, who was also wrapped in a fog of sleep, lifted her head off of her shirt, which she was using as a pillow, and asked wearily :
" What ? "
Svarthofdi pointed to the east and in a slow sarcastic tone repeated what he had said earlier.
" L-a-n-d ! "
Vidolf jumped up as if she had been bitten by the timbers that she lay upon. Their tiny craft became rocked so violently by her sudden action that it almost knocked the little Elf overboard. This great disturbance also served to fully awaken the Dwarf from his sleepy stupor. As Vilmeid sat up he rubbed his eyes repeatedly.
" What did you say ? " he asked, hoping he had heard the Elf correctly the first time.
Vidolf ignored the Dwarf as she carefully walked to the edge of the raft, where the Elf had fallen to his knees, and was clutching onto the edge of the raft's timbers with white knuckles to prevent himself from falling into the sea. With the loving touch of a mother lifting her child out of its crib, the Jotuness raised Svarthofdi up and placed him gently back onto his feet.
" I am sorry my friend ! I sometimes forget what effect my weight has upon this tiny craft of ours. " she told him as she peered out at the welcome sight of land to the east.
Svarthofdi nodded that he accepted her apology and pointed towards the distant shore.
" You do see it also,...., yes ? I mean it is not a mirage right ? " he asked cautiously.
Vidolf placed her massive arm around the little Elf and hugged him gently.
" Yes, my little friend ! You are correct in describing what you see. We have reached the eastern shore of this great inland sea. " she assured him before kissing him on the top of his head.
Vilmeid, realizing that he was missing being a part of this moment, jumped up and began to run over to where Svarthofdi and Vidolf were embracing. Just before he reached his fellow sailors the blanket he still held around him wrapped itself around his feet and the Dwarf fell head first overboard. The Elf and the Giantess tried their best not to laugh at their companion, but the sight of Vilmeid slapping at the water to stay afloat was much too comical not to enjoy.
" Help me ! Help me ! " Vilmeid cried out as he bobbed up and down in the water.
A moment later he went under ! Vidolf stopped laughing and lay down on the edge of the raft. With her left hand she braced herself up against the timbers, while she reached out with her right hand and searched the water where they had last seen their clumsy friend. When his rescue seemed to be taking far too long Svarthofdi pulled out his wand and was about to recite a rescue chant, one similar to the one he used to bring back Vidolf's axe, when the Giantess lifted the Dwarf out of the water and threw him onto the raft like a fish.
" Are both of you crazy !? I almost drowned and you just stood there laughing at me ! ? " he yelled after he spit up a mouthful of water.
Svarthofdi walked over to Vilmeid and playfully kicked him.
" Well, ....., quite frankly it was quite the humorous moment. " he told the Dwarf with a huge smile.
Vilmeid gave the Light Elf an evil glance before looking over at the Giantess with a sad look upon his face to gain her sympathy.
" What ! It was funny ! " she shot back at Vilmeid before rising up and walking back to the rudder to steer the ship towards a sandy beach that lay just off to their right.
Shortly after correcting the raft's course Vidolf became silent and stared straight ahead as if she were frozen in time. Vilmeid was too preoccupied with his anger to notice, but Svarthofdi immediately walked over to the mast and grabbed hold of it as though it could somehow protect him from what the Giantess was seeing in her mind. When her eyelids blinked, and her eyes once again moved within their sockets, the Light Elf inquired about what she knew about the land they were about to beach themselves upon.
The Jotuness was no longer smiling as she replied.
" I dreamed last night that Vilmeid could not breathe, and that we were powerless to do anything about it. " she told the Elf.
Svarthofdi breathed a sigh of relief.
" Yes ! And you just saved him from drowning, so your prophecy was correct ! " he replied happily.
Vidolf looked over at the Dwarf and then quickly looked away.
" We were already on land when this happened. " she explained sadly.
Vilmeid reached out and picked up his bag. He then pulled it close to his chest so he could feel his magic rune sticks through the cloth.
" Will I survive ? " the Dwarf asked nervously.
Vidolf shook her head slowly from side to side terrifying the Dwarf further.
" I do not know. I woke up before I could see the conclusion of the dream. And just now the vision ended at the same moment. " she told the Dwarf.
Vilmeid hugged his bag against him as though it were a woman, but remained silent. As he turned and looked at the approaching beach the fear in his widened eyes said it all.
- End Chapter 9
- Next : Chapter 10 : Titanoboa !
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2019.