Genres: Fantasy, Historical, Horror, Paranormal, Religion
Collections: Divine Desires, Down Below, Monstrous Desire, Touched by Death, Turning Tricksters, Undying Passions
Editor(s): Lon Sarver
Cover Designer(s): Siol na Tine
Cover Art Credits: Adapted from photo © Les3photo8 at Dreamstime.com.
Production Editor(s): Erika L. Firanc
Proofreader(s): Todd Michaels
Length: Short Story (9,000 Words)
Publication Date: October 7, 2014
Serialization Date: October 21, 2017
Archive(d) on November 11, 2017
Tags: Divine Desire, f/m, Norse, person(s) of color, Short Story
Content Labels (What they are and why we use them)
The torch spluttered in Unnr’s hand. Despite the illumination, her black dress made her blend into the shadows at the end of the chamber. For a moment, Folkvardr saw only her blonde head, and her hands, and the torch floating in the air.
Huld, Unnr’s slave, stood with her arms crossed and shoulders slouched, turned half away from her mistress. She stared at the wall or the floor, but rarely at Folkvardr, and never at the body of Alrekr.
An oblong stone, of a mineral different from the others in the local soil, bore runes carved into its face. Folkvardr pointed at them.
“We should leave,” he said. “This is a fool’s game. What? We bring Alrekr back in vague hopes he will tell us where his gold lies hidden? We face uncertain loot, but certain curses.”
Huld glanced at him, at the runes, and stared hard at the ground.
“And why say you that, Folkvardr?” Unnr asked, her head cocked to one side.
“Did you not read the runes?” he asked.
“No. Why don’t you read them for me?”
“You can read them at least well as I,” Folkvardr said. “And your slave can read them better than you.”
At this, Unnr scowled and Huld stared harder at the floor. Unnr walked over to the stone, glanced at it, and then stared at Folkvardr.
“If you won’t read them, I will. They say,” Unnr said, her stare never leaving Folkvardr’s eyes. Her voice grew loud. Hard. Hollow. “I call against the spirit of the dead, against the stalking dead, against they who ride, against those perched, against they who plummet, against the wandering dead, and against those in flight.” She stepped close to Folvardr, staring up at him.
“All shall decay and die away,” Huld said, finishing the inscription. Her voice crept quietly from where she stood in the shadows.
“Are we dead?” Unnr said. “No. Not at all. What concern is it to us?” She turned and walked towards Huld, grabbing the slave by her thick, black braids. Unnr pulled her towards the center of the room, forcing the young woman to bend over as they walked. Folkvardr noticed the swell of Huld’s thighs and breasts beneath the dress as she staggered. He felt his apprehension now mixed with excitement, lust now blending with fear until each offered equal measures.
“Those who fear, should fear,” Unnr said, smiling at Folkvardr. She forced Huld to her knees.
“I feel no shame in fearing the rune-master Gyril, only wisdom. I say now before all witnesses here that I take no willing part in this, and what happens, happens not of my will,” Huld panted her words out, writhing as Unnr twisted and pulled at her hair.
“I trust you are more willing, Folkvardr?” Unnr asked.
He nodded, a glazed look in his eyes as he stared at Huld. Huld looked up at him, her large dark eyes moist with a silent appeal. She looked at him, he realized, with a desperate hope that immediately hardened his cock.
“Ah, so much for your rescue, my girl,” Unnr said. “Your hero’s intentions just became visible.”
Folkvardr reached for a sack on the floor, and pulled out a length of rope from it. Huld’s eyes darted from the rope, to the corpse lying not far away on its bed, and back to the rope. Her body convulsed as she made a sudden struggle to escape.
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