alex_beecroft: A blue octopus in an armchair, reading a book (Default)

In which it turns out that Freyja added a few bonus warning dreams of her own to the package.  Not that it helped.

For earlier parts check the Loki or Wildfire tags.

Chapter Four.

Priests and Peaceweavers.

Raegn cursed. Aethelbald’s sword had nicked her arm and the slow blood trickled down to her fingertips. She was aware of it’s progress, as irritating as a march of ants. She cursed at herself, for acting like a wife, like a little placid woman who had never handled a sword. Too much thinking, that was the problem. Aethelbald sheathed his sword and said;

"I’m sorry. Is it bad? "

She knocked him down with the flat of her sword against his face. He was lucky he didn’t get it in the eye.

"You don’t apologise for my fault." she said. "If I was of the mettle to be badly hurt by that little scratch I would be using this sword to beat my weaving."

She walked away. Aethelbald rubbed his face, and there was a rueful look on it. Friends laughed at him sitting there in the dust, and his wife walked by and said "You look very well there, husband. You’ve never been more than a fool." Raegn sheathed her sword. She had called it Lufgifu, the love-gift. The men who had tried to get her for wife in the past had found it a sharp bedfellow…

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alex_beecroft: A blue octopus in an armchair, reading a book (Default)

(Previous parts available under the ‘Wildfire’ tag.)  I thought I’d wait until LJ was back before carrying on posting this, but – fingers crossed – it seems to be OK this morning.

Moral of the story so far – when a suspicious stranger comes to the door immediately after your aged grandad tells you a story about suspicious strangers coming to the door and taking over his life, take a hint, for goodness sake!  Don’t treat them like your new best friend.  (This moral courtesy of the “Oh, Alfred, you’re far too trusting,” theme.)

~*~

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alex_beecroft: A blue octopus in an armchair, reading a book (Default)

In which Freyja is as good as her word.

Chapter Three.

Dreams out of Season .

Alfred looked up, staring out into the darkening air with a vacant stare. Sceldwulf was in his thoughts. The old man had told him once, when he was a small boy and sat rocking in his father’s shield, fancying himself a hero in a war-bound long-ship, that there was more to life than fighting. This was what he had said;

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alex_beecroft: A blue octopus in an armchair, reading a book (Default)

By gentle persuasion, a bit of misdirection (and quite a lot of blackmail) Loki has persuaded Freyja to dismiss her loyal elvish maidservant, and agree to do a spot of matchmaking on Midgard:

~

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alex_beecroft: A blue octopus in an armchair, reading a book (Default)

Chapter Two.

The sun came up on Sessrumnir, and when the servants had thrown open the glistening doors it glanced through all the rooms and glittered in Freyja’s mirror. She sat before her glass admiring her beautiful face, rouging her lips with a paste of blood and honey. The yellow light shocked glints of red and gold from her auburn hair, and stroked a gentle hand along the twisted amber and gold of the Brisingamen like a lover departing in the morning.

An elvish maidservant came hurrying in silently bearing scented water in a golden dish. The steam rose like a grey blossom as she walked between the silvered pillars and filled the air with the fragrance of forest flowers. Her dark green oblate eyes were wide with anticipation,her face unreadable. As Freyja washed her red-stained fingers she said;

"My Lady, Loki is at the door."

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alex_beecroft: A blue octopus in an armchair, reading a book (Default)

Comprising the rest of Chapter One

Previously – Sceldwulf, having lived his three score years and ten, decided to stir up trouble with a story of the old gods, and then commit suicide.  Now that everyone is feeling properly on edge, there comes a knocking at the door…

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alex_beecroft: A blue octopus in an armchair, reading a book (Default)

1st part available here: http://alexbeecroft.com/2011/05/since-there-is-no-lokaday/ in which the elderly Sceldwulf is telling his disapproving kinsfolk about how he once met two gods, when they were being hunted out of England by the new faith.

Chapter 1, Part Two – in which Sceldwulf fulfils an old oath.

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alex_beecroft: A blue octopus in an armchair, reading a book (Default)

I will have to post this on a Thursday.  Slightly embarrassing though it is, here is an excerpt of the first ever novel I actually finished.  I hit on the cunning plan of telling lots of short stories – because I knew I could finish a short story – and then linking them together to create one larger tale.  It helped that I set this in the oral culture of early Anglo-Saxon England, where it would (I thought) be quite in character for people to stop whatever they were doing at intervals in order to tell each other illustrative stories.

Nowadays I suspect this is not a great way of maintaining narrative flow, but hey, I was 18 and had never written a novel or read a ‘how to write’ book.  Possibly it shows.

Wildfire.

Chapter One.

The Tale and the Teller

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