I hated the ending of the last posting, so I changed it.Phobos is the God of panic, so I thought it would be neat to bring him into the story. I am working on it slowly. I had a horrible weekend. I hope you like it.
The sky was darkened with shiny beads of light racing towards the ground. With each collision, the fat rain circles chimed into the wind.
“The people have forgotten us,” demanded Ares as he walked to the back of the garden and rested his hands on a small glowing pillar.
“No, that’s not it. The people have no need for us. They have not forgotten us, they have shrines with our likeness centered in their gardens. Our people believe us to be dead and gone because they are defeated,” insisted Phobos. “Yet, there are mortals who still believe in Gods. They are panicking because they feel some great war is about to begin. I have summoned you here because their panic gives life to me and it makes me wonder, father. We can be great again. We can silence the other Gods by taking their believers. We need only one follower who can perform magical works by way of us, and bring back the Greek Gods.”
“We are dead, Phobos, are we not?”
“We are not dead, we have simply been forgotten and left for dead for centuries. What if we can make new followers and bring people back to us, would it not be worth more than anything we have seen? I feel alive again, and I feel the need to thrive.”
Ares looked down at his dark trousers and picked up a small bug. “I know exactly what to do.”
“Wake up, my child. You are needed for the great Ragnarok, go now.” Hertha grabbed her torch and flung it around. “Who’s there? Come out!”
“Go back to sleep, you sackless gurl. The men will be needing that torch soon. You better figure out how you plan to replace it before they figure out it is missing. We have a few more hours before the sky brightens up,” snapped Erica as she pulled the thick elk’s skin, over her shoulders.
“Nei, someone called out to me. The voice said I was needed for the Ragnarok.”
“The Ragnarok, and a twig of a girl, like yourself,” snorted Erica. “You are hearing things. What can a skinny twig of a gurl like yourself, do in the great battle? You my dear, are letting all of the elders get to you with their Odin talk.”
“We all have a place in saving our people’s future. My slenderness makes me quicker than most. What about our ma’s vision? She said we were destined to be special. Do you not recall it? Besides, I know what I heard. I heard it in my own ears. I could even feel his cold breath on my neck,” whispered Hertha as she ran her fingers across the side of neck.
“Go back to sleep, Hertha.”
Hertha shook her head and put on a long dress with a thick brown cloak. “I know what I heard, and it pisses me off that you do not believe me. I’m not going to bed, I’m going for a walk.”
As the sun came up in the morning sky Hertha was able to take in an unbridled look at the land. The snow was ankle deep and the branches were covered with a heavy sheet of icy snow. The white blanket was so heavy that it bent the branches of the trees, causing them to brush against the ground. While the branches were cracking loudly underneath the heavy snow, animals were trying to escape with their very lives.
“Go to the river,” whispered a voice from the wind.
Hertha turned around and looked for the owner of the voice. “Who’s there? Say it again.”
“Go to the river, and stick your hand in the icy waters until your fingers start to burn,” demanded the voice.
“Why should I? Why would I do such a stupid thing? You wish to mangle my hand,” snorted Hertha.
The wind blew violently forcing Hertha’s braid to unravel and fall below her shoulders like a river of gold. Hertha held her cloak tighter against her body and held her head down. “Who are you?”
“I am your protector, your leader,” whispered the wind.
“Are you Thor? Are you sending me into battle, Mighty Thor?”
The voice was quiet for a few seconds. “Just go, Hertha. We are depending on you.”
Hertha moved faster through the thick snow until she came upon the river. “Nei, it’s frozen. I can’t do anything. It’s hard as a rock.”
A large boulder started to roll from the mountain beside the river. Hertha ran behind a large tree as the rock hit the icy river just adjacent to her body. “Go now, swim to the bottom of the rock and there you will find it.”
Hertha placed her cloak on the ground and mumbled a silent prayer. “Gods save me now.” She rushed down into the icy river. As she was swimming downward the waters started to harden. “I’m going to die.” She pushed forward until she made it to the rock. By the time she made it, the water was quickly turning back to ice. Near the ground she saw something shiny shimmering. With her strength fading, she swam deeper until she was on top of the long shiny metal. “It’s a sword.” She grabbed the sword and began her journey to the top of the river. With each movement she could feel her life slipping away. The sword was cutting away at the ice until finally she was near the top. Her body floated to the bank and her eyes closed.
“Now that you have found my gift, we must talk.” The tall man bent down and brushed his long dark cloak against Hertha’s face. “Hertha, hear me now. Listen not with your trained eyes, but with your heart. You are needed for a great cause. The Ragnarok will soon be upon us, and only the best of feigra manna, will make it to great Valhalla. I need a guardian like yourself. I will give you the gift of life and you will vow to serve us always.”
“Anything you say, Great Thor,” whispered Hertha weakly.
Ares held his cloak together and smiled. “You have been chosen to die a great death for your people, but you will be reborn. You will no longer be just Hertha. You are now be Hertha the Great Valkyrie and this sword will be your protector, it is called ULFBERHT.”
A wave of confusion washed across Hertha’s face as she slowly placed her hand around the sword's uniquely shaped hilt. The sword was longer than her arm with oddly shaped letters running down the fuller. With shaking arms, Hertha tried to hold the sword upwards in the air, but the blade was too heavy to maintain.
Ares took hold of the sword, and smiled. "Be patient, we are not finished yet.” Ares grabbed Hertha by the face and looked into her eyes. Before her head hit the ground, he was off once again.
The snow started falling once again, covering both Hertha and the sword. The coldest prompted Hertha to open her eyes once again. “Thor, give me strength,” demanded Hertha. She grabbed the sword and thrust it into the cold frozen ground. “Nei, I can do this.” She pulled herself up by pressing her weight on top of the hilt. After she made it to her feet she looked around. Her eyes were now focused. She no longer had problems with seeing objects far away from her. She grabbed the sword and flung it in the air. “By the Gods, I am great.”
Erica reached down for the wooden knob sticking out from the door as Hertha was nearing the entrance. “Are you mad, gurl? I was about to send the men for you. If you don’t want to be treated like a barn, you need to act your age.”
“I’m going to fight in the next battle,” insisted Hertha as she pulled her wet clothes off and placed them in a corner.
“Not this again—we have talked about this. You are not fighting. You are not a warrior. You need to gain the attention of one of the Lord’s sons. He has plenty and you can gain honor.”
Hertha looked at Erica sternly. “The Lord’s sons are all sackless.”
“You can be beaten for that,” grunted an older man holding a stein in his hand.
Hertha laughed and stepped into a pair of trousers.
“What are you doing, gurl?” Erica grabbed a dress and pressed it against Hertha’s chest. “Are you looking for a fight?”
Hertha pushed the dress back in Erica’s arms. “You wear it. I will not wear another dress. Why must I feel a draft drifting up my arse every moment of the day? I can’t fight with a dress. They have on trousers and thick cloaks. They have warm boots. I want warm boots too.”
Erica smiled nervously as the men started to gather around. “For the love of Odin. Just go before you can’t go.”
With a big grin springing across Hertha’s face, she reached for the door. Before she could open it, a large arm landed on her shoulder. “Let me go.”
“Take off those trousers,” hissed a tall man with his hair hanging below his chin.
“Let go of me.” As the words came tumbling out of Hertha’s mouth, the man struck her across the cheek. Hertha reached up and grabbed the man’s beard. She continued to pull him closer until he grabbed her by the shoulder. She placed one leg firmly behind her and grabbed him once again with both hands on his chin. “I said let me go.”
The man reached down and placed his hand on Hertha’s hip causing her sword to fall to the ground. Before she could grab the sword the man picked it up and held it to the light. Hertha frowned deeply and reached for the warrior’s arm. “Give me that, it isn’t yours.”
“It isn’t yours either. Who did you take this sword from? You’re a thieving little, twit. I’ll show you.”
Ares looked down and shook his head. “Phobos, this is your idea. You might want to help your little warrior.”
Phobos smiled as he looked down at the warrior. “Done.”
The warrior grabbed his head and looked around the room. “Where am I? “Who are you?”
Hertha grabbed the sword as the men stood around looking confused. “I have to go.”
Erica looked at the door. “I’ll come with you.”
Hertha pushed the door open and grabbed a nearby torch.“You better hurry, I feel a storm brewing our way.”