The Viking Sword

Ellica packed necessary things. A pair of jeans. Firm fabric. Extra pair of shoes. Three t-shirts and a red jacket. It was hot and sunny, even here, in the land of the Norse Gods. But the summer would end soon and it would be cold and nasty. It would heavily rain and it always  did in Scandinavia.

She put a warmer jacket into a rucksack. "Ryukzak", her grandpa called it, pronouncing all the consonants hard and clear. Her grandpa, "deda", old Russian nerd, gave it to Ellica for her last birthday. "Here is for your future adventures", he said. Adventures, really, she murmured then. What sort of adventure can you have in the modern Scandinavia, this paradise created by vikings and skalds?

So, here she had it. Adventure. Like in that old book she had read years ago. Was it "Hobbith"? Or "Dragonrider"? Ellica didn't remember.

Hoody. A firm one. With the cover of the last Skillet's album. "Unleashed". Good title, she thought. The dark blue anorak with fleece lining. The nights were cold even in the Midsommer days. Let alone the blood sucking midgets. They eat people alive after the sunset,

Raincoat. Bright red, just for berry pickers. She would be spotted over a mile in this thing. Bad idea. Better buy another one.

 Flashlight. Batteries. Snacks. Thermos bottle. Sleeping bag.  First - aid - set. All types of plasters and bandages. A bottle of antiseptic. It burnt like the fire of Muspelheim. Ellica got the second bottle from the shelf.

What else? What could possibly happen to her? Poisoning? Definitely. Compound wounds? Absolutely. Scorches? Say no more!

Ellica looked under the bed. The sword was there, hidden in black cloths. She carefully took the heavy bundle. The sword was ancient, covered with the futhark runes but it had no rust on it as if it hadn't lied at the bottom of the lake for more than a thousand years.

"I must bring you to the museum" she said loudly.

Oh yes, the voice inside replied. Yes! Bring to the museum! You will get a nice photo for the city web-site. It is just a sword, isn't it? You live in Sweden. Those lands are full of swords and helmets and golden coins and chains and legends. What did you find so strange about this sword? Forget. Bring the sword to the museum and ask for money. Spend them for beer in a pub or buy yourself a new dress.  Why even bother?

Ellica shook her head. She had heard a voice. There, in the lake. At the end of the Midsommer fest when all the boys and girls had jumped into the cold lake and bonfires licked the summer air. She heard it loud and clear in her head. The sword called her. And she came out of the lake holding it in her hands.

Friends and neighbors and strangers laughed and yelled, dizzy with beer and cold air. "Bend the knee before the once and future queen! She got the sword and she is blessed by gods!"

But she heard it. She heard the voice. And the sword lied in her hands as it had been forged for her.

Ellica looked outside the window and spotted the light of the intercity bus. Two hours. Then, it would go from Uppsala to Umeå and she would take the bus to Norway, to Trømso. And then, on her feet or by bike, to the very north.

To the man who called himself the Trolljeger and to the woman, who called herself a völva.




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