When Magic Ruled The Worlds
The Calm Before The Storm
Suddenly, and before her conscious thoughts could be put to rest, a familiar and ominous feeling hovered over her like a cloak of death, filling her with a deep sense of dread. As her body became tense and rigid, her eyes shot open. Her sight, however, was not looking outward into the present, but searching deep within her mind to find a moment in the future. A point in time that she knew must be ominous, or it would not have triggered the premonition that was rising within her like scalding hot water being forced to the surface in a geyser. Vidolf's eyes began to dart back and forth in her head like bees jumping from flower to flower in search of nectar, as she began to focus on the images that lie, not in this moment, but in a time yet to be established.
Terror filled her as she searched in this darkness for images that she was certain would be horrifying, or at the very least extremely disconcerting. Slowly the sky came back into view, but this was not the sky she had found so pleasant only moments before. The star that lit this land had gone out, and the clouds, once so serene looking in the heavens, had turned dark grey and were being pushed across the sky by an angry wind. Without warning the Midgardian world was lit up by the piercing arcs of lightning, which streaked across the sky from horizon to horizon. Moments later Vidolf's body trembled in both worlds as thunder boomed, and the raft trembled under the force of its sound. Above the din of the atmospheric calamity she could hear Svarthofdi yelling to Vilmeid to help him take down the sail. Before they could accomplish this task, however, Vidolf heard the cloth rip and the mast crack.
The seer felt the waves distort her equilibrium long before she saw them crashing over the raft. Like a great foaming hand they slapped at the Dwarf and the Light Elf as they tried desperately to hang onto the small piece of the mast that remained strapped to their craft. Just as she heard mighty winds begin to howl through the ropes, that clung onto the remnants of the mast as tightly as the two crewmen, she heard Svarthofdi yell over to Vilmeid that they needed to somehow steer the raft into the oncoming waves. The Dwarf replied dejectedly that, " Without a sail, and with no rudder, there was no way to point the ship into the waves. " Then Vidolf's staring eyes shot upwards and widened with fear. In her mind's eye she saw the wave that the Light Elf was concerned about hovering over them ready to strike them down. A moment later she watched as a wall of water washed all of them off of the raft.
Vidolf began to shiver in the present as she felt the coldness of the sea water all around her in the future. As her helpless body floated among the angry waves she could feel the ocean's unforgiving temperature begin to suck the life out of her. Before she lost hold of this future reality she sensed that there was something even more terrifying here than the natural occurrence that had turned this calm water into a boiling cauldron of death and destruction. What she could detect, despite the howling winds, the roar of crashing waves, and the screams of her comrades, was the heartbeat of something evil that was lurking in the black depths of this inland sea. And whatever this creature was it was not waiting for them to sink to the depths where it lurked, for she could sense that it was rising up to meet them !
" Vidolf ! Vidolf ! " Vilmeid screamed at the top of his lungs.
As the Dwarf shook the Giantess frantically to awaken her, Svarthofdi calmly marveled at how Vidolf's pupils had rolled back into her head showing only the whites of her eyes, which were crisscrossed by red arteries that looked like rivers on a land map. The Light Elves curiosity and sedate posture lasted for only a moment, for when her eyes rolled forward the Giantess screamed making Svarthofdi jump involuntarily with fear.
Vidolf's return to the present felt to her like the moment just before you land onto a hard surface from a great height. She immediately rose up and hugged the Dwarf as though he were now the mast her comrades had clung onto for dear life in her premonition.
" It was awful ! A calamity of such great proportions, that it killed us all,...., will kill us all ! " she blubbered uncharacteristically for her.
While Vilmeid gasped for air under the crushing strength of Vidolf's massive arms, Svarthofdi had recovered sufficiently enough from his shock to walk over to the Giantess and stoke her hair to comfort her.
" Tell us what you saw in your vision ? " he asked.
Vidolf looked over at the Light Elf, and immediately released the Dwarf, which made him fall roughly onto the planks below. As she jumped up onto her feet the Giantess pointed to the skies above, which had already begun to darken, and shouted :
" There is no time ! " she told them.
" Svarthofdi ! Take down the sail immediately ! " she commanded.
Then, just as the wind began to rise in intensity, she shook her fist at the bewildered Dwarf.
" Don't just lie there ! Help me make a rudder out of the paddles ! " she screamed.
The storm blew up much faster than she remembered from her vision, but then time seldom had much meaning when a prophecy engulfed her. The images, many times, jumped from one critical juncture to another and passed over the mundane moments that had little true bearing on the situation. As she tied the last knot, that attached the makeshift rudder to the raft, she looked up and saw that Svarthofdi had already folded the sail and was preparing to tie it securely to the deck of the raft to prevent it from being blown overboard.
" Can you not stop these winds with your wand ? " she heard Vilmeid say to Svarthofdi above the ever increasing fury of the storm.
The Light Elf shook his head sadly from side to side.
" I fear that not even the great Vanir God Njordr could calm the maelstrom which is coming! " he shouted back.
Vidolf looked first at Svarthofdi, and then over to Vilmeid. Although she had not completely explained her vision to her comrades she knew that they both had figured out that the coming storm was their next nemesis. What they did not know, however, was that their quick actions this day would probably save their lives from the fury that was beginning to rage all around them. She could have told her comrades this to give them hope, but she knew something that neither the Dwarf or the Light Elf could possibly have surmised. For under them, in the darkest depths of this inland sea, lurked an evil that was much more dangerous than the coming winds, rain, lightning, or even the waves that could swallow up or capsize their tiny vessel. And in her mind she could still hear the heartbeat of this beast !
- End Chapter 7
- Next : Chapter 8 : The Eight Arms Of Evil !
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2019.