Interested in Viking Berserker stories? My Bogerd is a berserker, but a decent one and a grandfather, too – perhaps something like Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd in his declining years? I thank editor Michael Pennington for including it in this issue of Aurora Wolf!
Well, Bogerd’s an older viking than this guy, but a viking still. I’ve long admired Fritz Leiber’s writing and especially his characters Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. I eventually couldn’t get the idea of a grandpa Fafhrd out of my mind, so I created Bogerd. I’ve written four stories for him set in and around Nordheim, his fantasy city. Bogerd’s Bad Day is the first to be published. I thank editor Michelle Lawrence for including it in her new anthology: New Legends – Caster, Castle, Creature. Here’s the Amazon link if you’re interested:
The era of Viking raids and invasions that began in the 9th Century is among the least understood and most neglected periods of history. John Miller and I are taking a shot at opening this period for 7th grade students through another Minecraft unit. I’ll add a link when we have one, but here’s a writing prompt to sample until then.
The spear’s tip glinted in sunlight as it flew toward me and I entered battle time – every second became a minute and each minute, an hour. I stepped left as the bright point neared me. I let it pass my head and snatched the shaft with my right hand.
The man who’d thrown it turned and ran. I twirled the spear, reversed it and threw it one motion. It sped true and plunged into the back of the fleeing man’s right let. He screamed and fell.
I walked to him. He wore a steel cap and a leather jerkin. He whimpered in pain and reached behind him to touch the spear’s shaft. He whimpered again, trying to decide if he should try to pull the spear free.
I saved him the trouble. He screamed when I jerked it out. He rolled onto his back and held his hands out to me. I pulled Leg-biter from its sheath. The cowardly soldier opened his mouth to beg for his life, but I acted before he could speak. I plunged my father’s father’s sword through his heart.
I am Ragnar, Viking. I am sword-thegn to Gofraid and sail in his longship Barden. We raid with Ivar the Boneless. Loot and slaves will be mine after Gofraid declares a sharing. Land is promised to me after we reach the English city of York. Something moved beneath a bush to my left. I whirled and faced the threat.
A pale girl with dark hair recoiled beneath branches covered with red berries. She was a child, nine or ten. Her thin limbs trembled when I took a step toward her. I stared into her eyes – black eyes, not blue like mine. I pointed my sword at her. Blood dripped from its tip.