Chapter 1 revised 1.5
Avon and his company of three and a Durham cow pulling a full cart of fine wool on the Salisbury road.
“Come me lads, the fair does not wait” Avon said walking beside the cart.
James a hearty lad prods the cow to hasten the pace. Bruce broad of weight from too many birdies and beer; tarries the pace.
“Slow down ye be breakin’ me legs” Bruce complained.
Kyle the youngest at twenty runs ahead.
A crossbows bolt buzz hit with a resounding thud found the cows wooden yoke, a second strikes James back shoulder, with a mortal cry he drops; quickly Avon kneels at James side, pulled the bolt from his shoulder, a shadow loomed its graced, Avon responds wheeling his saber, a hand and mace tumble to his feet The shadow now has a face, a Viking raider, Avon reacts; reels his saber finding the neck, the head cascade to the ground, ‘we’re under attack’ lemmas found no time to leave his lips.
Avon focused now, sees a craze hoard of Viking berserkers;
he glances back at James saw he had rolled under the cart safe for now, Avon fending off another attack, bracing the attacker’s arm leaving the ax lodged in the carts wheel. Avon ran him through and then slashed his throat. A fight for their life out number five to one, Avon sees Kyle in the road lying, arrival without his head. He looks to Bruce dismembered body resemble a half eaten birdies.
James finds his feet and a pike joins Avon side holding the pike in one hand braced against the cart wheel, leaping a craze berserker; the berserker’s ax found deep in James chest, the pike coming out the back of the assailant.
A blow dances Avon head and a sharp pain broke in his side, Avon fell and was left for dead.
The raiders turn their attention to the cow, like a pack of starved wolves, tearing, pulling, at the flash, and eating the meat, repugnance the charge, making waste of it. Finding a cast of scotch, setting fire to the cart, they feast and boost of the victory kicking Kyle’s head about.
Hours past, the moon is raging Avon racked with pain see a chance to seek shelter, a hundred yards an oak grove, a place to hide and regain his strength. Avon finds his feet and make for the oaks, unnoticed. Pain rape his mind, each step his life weeps form his side. The ground pitches and rolls, the oaks toyed, first close then far. Avon folds to the ground twenty yards from safety. He lay for some time, the cool tall grass wet with dew; caress his head giving life to press on. Avon came to his feet check to see if he has made good his escape.
”that one’s lives, after him” yelled a drink craze raider.
Avon lunged onward, the wet grass pulled at his legs begging him to stay. He makes it to a tree, hugging it as if it were a long lost friend, he felt his side; finding something lodge in his ribs. He tries to pull it out but the pain pushes his hand away. He looks and sees dark figures coming fifty yards, coming fast. He scrambles on snatching branches to keep his feet. Stumbling his grip failing he falls into the brushes and down a hole hitting his head on some rocks.
Four raiders reach the grove and start searching.
”There is no one here, you’re seeing ghost” said one of the raiders.
“I tell you I saw someone” was a reply.
“You have had too much mead” shouted another.
Down in the ground Chrisween is waken by Avon’s limp body rolling to her. She growls loud and low and then barks a louder freezing growl. The sound carries echoing amplified by the dens walls, was heard thundering, booming, from the ground.
“OODIN, ODIIIIIN.” Hearing this a searcher turned pale as a ghost.
“Odin is coming for the dead, RUN” a berserker said screaming running past his comrades. The other joins running stumbling tumbling to the light and warmth and safety of the fire. Screaming
“Odin comes, Odin comes”.
Joining the rest of the group they tell of the encounter.
“Burn the dead” The leader said.
They hastily gather all the body and through them on the fire and anything that would burn including the half cast of scotch. Fearful of Odin they lit torches and force marched, double time, back to the coast.
Chrisween sensing no sign of fear or movement from Avon edged closer. Sniffing and licking the wound on Avon forehead; Avon wincing a whimper wine. The smell of blood and the scent of the field flowers, the musk of Avon. Avon whispers stirred feelings deep in her; feelings of being needed, of motherhood, feelings of love, consumes her. Chrisween continues to clean Avon’s wounds. Having finished she lies her head on Avon’s abdomen, Avon stirs reaching for his side, his hand rest on the nap of Chrisween neck, they sleep.
Chrisween senses the days dawn awaken, she slides form under Avon’s arm, slowly as to not disturb the sleeping Avon. With aberrant reluctance she ventures out of the den, too fine food and water. She finds the consequence of the gatherings grizzly feast of the night past; Repulses by the smell of smoldering burnt wool and flesh, she backs away. She finds the cows mutilated remains wet with spice of scotch and mead. Scattering the black bird she ate her fill, taking a shoulder scrap she runs back to her charge.
Returning Chrisween place the scrap on Avon’s chest, she muzzles his hand back on her head falling into a slumber sleep deep with love.
The pull of the spring equinox new moon rises; Chrisween wakes to the faint song of Kathleen singing in the Henge. She slide away and runs to the Henge, too Kathleen. There she pulls at Kathleen to come with her. Kathleen senses Chrisween urgent plea of help and follows Chrisween hurried gate.
In the den Kathleen light her candled lamp.
“What do you have here” Kathleen asks.
Chrisween replies with a sorrowful cry.
“Must be one of those heathen raiders, I cannot do for this one he is of the dead”. Kathleen said.
Chrisween’s cry became a barked command she push Kathleen’s hand to the object in Avon chest. Kathleen pulls it out saying
“This is an Assassin’s Katar”
Kathleen wondering said, admiring the artfully crafted dagger.
“How did you get here? “
Chrisween barked pawed Avon’s chest. Kathleen looked and saw the wound was bleeding more. She grab cobwebs for the dens walls and packed the into Avon’s wound. Taking Avon’s plaid she rapes it around his chest. Chrisween paced and cry like a protective mother, hovering on Kathleen every move. Kathleen rubbed mistletoe, oak, and brunt orchids in her hands making them reveal perfumed oil, she rubbed the oil on Avon forehead wounds. Then placing an oak and mistletoe wreath on Avon chest, she began to chant
“Joro, Joro, come Joro, come Joro, make well this one, Joro come”
The den begins to fill with a bright luminous intensity violet mist, a voice come deep within the back of the den
“Who wake Joro” coming closer the voice of Joro speaks
” why do you seek this man, he is Odin’s”.
Kathleen cower on the ground her face pressing the ground. Chrisween snarls growls barks a warning.
“Speak beast of dogs, you have a tongue”. Joro demands
“He is my mate” Chrisween answer
“You mate with a man; he is not of your kind”. Joro laughs.
“I love him, please; I will do anything, just give him to me”. Chrisween pleaded
“I cannot change him into a dog, he is Odin’s” Joro said.
“Handmaiden, what do you say of this” asked Joro. Kathleen frighten still prostrate on the ground “men they frighten me, I know not of them” Kathleen said. Joro replies “bests you be a dog” Kathleen said “if that is your wish, would I run wild”.
“Enough, of this he is my prize”. Odin roars.
Thor step in
” I will be the judge of this, Odin what is your price”.
“Fifty men in honored battle” Odin snaps.
“Joro what do you say to this” Thor said
“My handmaiden is a dog and the she is a warrior heart sick with love of man” Joro replies.
Thor strikes his hammer and said
“Done, handmaiden you are now the dog, you will hide from men, you will be hunted, you will howl at the moon praying to be release and you will fear man.”
Chrisween now Kathleen back into the shadows cowing low her eyes turn cold and blue of a haloed moon.
“She you are now the woman, you will have your mate. You will know love. You must pay Odin’s price fifty men in honored battle. The Assassin’s Katar is your bond.” Thor commands.
Kathleen now Chrisween stands her eyes turn brown as the ground, her hand holds the Katar.
Thor strikes his hammer, saying
“You Woman and She shall not enter Valhalla, till the debt is paid. Your time will stand here till paid.”
Thor strikes his hammer again saying
” it is written in Stonehenge.”
The thunder roars the lighting flash. And they’re gone.
Avon wakes saying
“Where am I? Who are you?”
“I am Chrisween your mate and we are in the den of a wolf call ‘She’ “