Who betrayed first?

The dark waves hit the boat over and over again, the storm begs for some dead Vikings, but Sigurd keeps encourages us.

“Calm down crew. He never lets us down.”

His voice is powerful and deep, and he is a good captain, he has a long light brown beard and always keeps his axe in his right hand. He has a big scar on his neck and he is almost 3 meters tall. He comes close to me and whispers:

“Odin never lets us down Gunne, remember.”

He scratches his bald head as he screams different commands for the crew. Everyone looks tired and Jormungand still swims angry under our boat. Sometimes, if I close my eyes I can hear his tail hitting the water.

We finally got to the land of England, Sigurd told us to wait for him in the forest, and don’t make a sound. The forest was dark and cold, we lost all our food in the storm and we were angry and willing to fight.

Everyone seemed nervous, it’s been a while since Sigurd left, but I went to sleep. I trust Sigurd with my life.

***

I open my eyes at the sound of swords hitting each other, people from this land are here to kill us. I get up and fight how my father taught me. Sigurd was not here yet but we managed to kill them. I look at how different they are from us, their faces, clothes and way of fighting. I wish my father was here…my first real fight, my first real war.

Full of fear of death I run deeper into the forest, after a few kilometres I sit next to big aspen to catch my breath. I hear Sigurd talking somewhere close to me, I get up and walk towards the sound, I hear him say “Gunne”. I look through the trees and see him talking with an English man.

I run back to our little camp and tell everyone.

“Sigurd is talking with an English man, I think we’re not fighting.”

“You stupid, he betrayed us!” says another.

As we were heading there, we saw Sigurd coming, blood was coming from his nose and he looked tired.

“I tried to make him an offer, but he didn’t accept it.”

“We came here to raid Sigurd. Raid! Not offers.”

Says Arvid walking angrily towards Sigurd. He was as tall as Sigurd, and he had a ginger beard and long hair, he was my dad’s best friend once. I remember him coming at night to speak with my father about his problems, they drunk beer until the morning.

“I was trying to save our lives and go home with treasures.”

“I prefer dying here than going home a coward with a treasure!

“You are being reckless…You don’t know everything,” says Sigurd.

I go behind Sigurd and laugh.

“You want to kill us like you killed my father?”

I scratch his neck with my dirty knife. I pun my left hand on his mouth and with the knife, I’m looking for his neck scar. I move my knife slow, and I feel the knife deepen.

“Should I cut your scar deeper?”

“I’m here to save your father…that’s why I was talking to the English man.”

“You liar! My father is dead, you told me so.”

I cut Sigurud’s throat, the anger I feel inside me is enough to kill everyone I’m with. Sigurd body is on the ground, on the dark green grass. His eyes are looking deep into my soul, looking like he would take it if he could.

I turn around and look at the others, they are silent, keeping their axes and knives tight. I can’t read their faces…angry or just shocked?

“Who wants to come with me? I’m going to the English man, I want to know what was Sigurd is doing.”

Two men step ahead and nod. We go on our road to the back of the castle we see. The tall stone fence is not a problem for us, we climb it and jump in, some soldiers attack us but we fight and escape. At the castle door, I see the English man, the king. I run to him and scream, but I stop when I’m close enough.

“What was the offer Sigurd made to you?”

“You Vikings fighting for me for a year, and when you leave I give you gold, silver, food, slaves, anything.”

I’m trying to gather my thoughts, I look around, all the flowers and beautiful stones he has here.

“Also the Berserker…”

His accent makes a word I understand seem strange, or maybe is the confusion.

“Berserker?”

Asks one of the men that came with me. He looks at me and at the other man.

“That’s how that man told me is called, the one with a scar on his neck.”

“I know what man…Show me the berserker?”

The English man looks at his guardian and tells him something silently. We are just waiting calmly, being sure he doesn’t know what he talks about. Sigurd wanted to scare the man with words he didn’t know.

A man with a bear head on his head comes slowly, with bare bloody feet, poorly dress and breathing hard and load. He looks up and I see his face, with his green eyes deep in his head, his facial bones very visible and his long dirty beard.

“Dad?”

My dad is the Berserker Sigurd was trying to save, no one ever told me my dad did this kind of thing. How did he get here? On this land, in the castle? I have to figure it out.

BH

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