by Alexander Patterson
Publication date: December 8th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Historical, Young Adult
Richard Örlendr died over a thousand years ago. He lived in Norway during the Germanic Iron Age and trusted in the judgement of the gods. That is not to say he did not question them when they gave him a dragon, nor did he blindly follow their orders when they told him to go to war. But, when one god told him to kill another, Richard was unable to rely on their wisdom. He had to turn to the Norns.
The Norns guide fate. They shape it past, present, and future; however, it is not set in stone. A hero can change his fate. A hero can chose his destiny. The Norns can weave a new life, but what happens if the Norns are dead? Do heroes have greater freedom? Or are they locked into their destiny since there is no one left to weave?
Excerpt from CHOICES
“Be careful.”The light from the fire outside illuminated the base of the shelves, but the top shelves were shrouded in darkness. Vincent could barely see the bars that he used as handholds,“Alright, I’m in. Let’s get-”
as he climbed up towards the vent. The entrance to the vent was clasped shut by two rusted prongs. The first prong fell off with a simple nudge, but the other was held firmly in place. Vincent looked down at Elizabeth. “It’s rusted shut” He whispered. “Hand me up a flashlight.” Elizabeth complied. Vincent held on to shelf with one hand, twisting his body to the right, as he leaned down to take the flashlight from Elizabeth. The shelving shuddered under the pull, but remained upright. Vincent straightened, and gently tested the flashlight against the prong. Steadily pushing harder against it until the prong popped off with a soft click.
The vent entrance collapsed outwards, slamming into the shelf before falling to the ground with a thud. The door was thrust open as two men stormed into the room. The dim light concealed their faces; they each wore an assortment of mismatched garments. The first man wore baggy khaki pants, tied to his waist with a frayed rope, and he wore a leather jacket; in his hand he wielded a long metal pipe. The other man was short; he was wearing jeans and a black duster, which made the short knife in his hand all the more terrifying.They didn’t notice Vincent, but instead turned on Elizabeth who held her flashlight like a small club. Vincent pounced from the shelves with a cry, tackling the man with the club, while Elizabeth lunged at the other man, swinging her flashlight towards his head. Vincent rolled on top, trying to rip the club from the man’s grasp. He clawed the man’s hands, while the man punched at his gut. Vincent leaned forward, head-butting the man in the nose. He felt the crunch of cartilage and bone; the man grunted in frustration as Vincent pulled the pipe from his hands. He turned around in time to see Elizabeth hit the other man in the head with her flashlight. She groaned and put a hand to her chest, as Vincent pulled her through the door. He quickly shut the door behind them and jammed the door shut by wedging the pipe in between the door and the floor.“You okay?” Vincent asked after he had caught his breath.“No.” Came the weak reply. Vincent turned around, Elizabeth was sitting down. Her side was drenched in blood, but she looked oddly calm. Vincent chocked back a sob, rushing to her. He ripped off part of his shirt, searching for the wound. A long, jagged, cut ran down her chest going down to her left hip. He tied the scrap over what looked to be the worst of the wound. He carefully put one arm under the crook of her knees, and the other behind her back. “I have to take you back,” he muttered as he picked her up. Vincent turned back towards the city when more voices came up through the darkness. The words were in the same language as the two other men.“We’re trapped.” Vincent said as he stopped, turning slowly around. “No. No, no, no.” He muttered to himself. “Not trapped. We can still go up.” He started to run up the sloping road. “We can go to the surface. They’ll be help there. Up top, they can help us.”“Vincent.” Elizabeth murmured. “It’s okay.” Vincent kept running. “I need you to know that it’s okay.” Vincent began to cry, hot tears streamed down his cheeks as his footsteps echoed off the tunnel walls. “I want you to know that I love you. You’re my brother, you’re the best brother that I could ever wish for.”“Save your energy. We’re almost there.” The road began to level out, until a gentle breeze started to drift in towards them. “Feel that Elizabeth? That’s the stars. That’s the starlight.”They emerged out of the tunnel and onto a plain. Before them stretched the world, and above them in the night sky lay a blanket of darkness. The stars were smothered, blotted out by the years of pollution and war. Vincent fell to his knees as he cradled Elizabeth. He wept as he looked down at her gentle face. She lifted her hand, placing it gently on his cheek in an attempt to wipe away a tear saying “Don’t cry, I’m going to the stars.”
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