Apikkaskuld (The Epic of Skuld)
"Skuld, youngest of my daughters, three,
Through the corridors of time, run free."
Those last words slowly faded to a memory in my mind as I became trapped in the throes of a dream.
A corridor of darkness.
Endless clouded windows.
Run! Run! Run, Skuld, you must run!
Curtains that whisper as I pass them.
Endless dark ahead.
Eternity behind me. I turn, round and round and round, a whirling dervish, lost my way. Both paths look the same, a symmatry of time. I am no stranger to premonitions, then forward it is, forward to the future.
But which is the future and which is the past? In my contemplations I became twice-over reversed.
Wait though, are they both the same? I look down the hall to my right, fades to black.
I look down the hall to my left, fades to black.
Right, fades to black.
Left, fades to... wait... it softly glows yet. Orange embers of Gotterdammerung still thick in the air hence I came.
Left! Left! Quickly, Skuld, you must run. Rejoin the battle or a coward forever ye shall be known, not fit a Valkyrie.
I go quickly still as gauze curtains wrap themselves around the ankles of my boots, elven hands tying me to this dream.
Dust from a floor ne'er traveled chokes my pace, I pause and wonder if this is an origin or a destination?
The orange glow grows, so forward I must continue.
Quickly, Skuld! Your sisters suffer as you forsaw, but why could you not forsee this?
I burst out through the wall of orange flame light.
It is autumn, leaves like embers fall upon the ne'er trodden path before me.
The woods? They are aflame, but it is not the fire from midgard, nay, this is a fire of a cyclical life, not a life ended. I step forward, cautiously looking skyward. The air here smells of thick autumn spice.
Slight premonitions, foresight here is weak, how odd.
No birds do cry, no toads do croak.
Mushrooms stand still on roots.
There are no whispers, save for the slowly disappearing call of destiny.
I look behind me for a moment, the dream is gone, only forest.
The one who sees behind was my sister, drawn and quartered for the serpent.
Soft loam earth, rich from work of worms, depresses softly beneath my war-weary boots.
I step forwards, e'er slight, that I may find the end of this elvenpath.
Trees all around me, yet not choking Sol. Gentle oaks, ancient in acorn bearing.
I pause for a moment beside one, admiring the stately branches. I bend down and trace my fingers across a fallen leaf, sunken between blades of grass.
The dew tastes as sweet as the necter-sap from Mimir's Tree's heartwood.
I lose myself in reminiscent visions, the sounds of battle so far away now.
My ears have become deaf in an instant to Skogul's blood-rage and Brynhildr's cry.
Nostalgia for that I ne'er had runs strong, this world, though forgotton, runs surely in my blood.
Hark! What is it I hear? A maiden's chant?
From where? Tricks of my mind? A fae's enchantment?
Nay, from there, east of the path.
I grip Skiif, held fast, alert, though beautiful, a siren's claws tear deeply.
Through brushes I walk 'til I reach a line, a line of trees at the edge of a great plain.
I peer out between the branches, cautiously watching.
The voice softly sang:
"Maaro ky abbadoro,
A girl dressed in strange dark clothes stood amid grass, softly rustling in the breeze.
She ceased to sing for a moment, staring heavenward at the slowly shifting clouds.
"The falcon rises as the tide,
Towards the sky like a wave,
Great light, great light,
The tide of my soul"
The girl's long violet hair dripped from her shoulders as the rains from the heavens at which she looked towards.
Forlorn eyes searching for lost things, not unlike myself.
She then turned her eyes to where I was, still, amoungst the forest. "Skuld, Frihkamohkano ky oorono?"
--End Part I--