Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Tree That None May Ever Know - Part 1

He dreamed of falling. At first it was a pit of darkness and only the streams of color that surrounded him as he fell were his companions. In their light he saw the outline of his hand, his arm, his legs stretched before him. He rushed downward but only the streaking colors told him that he moved. He felt no rushing wind, no air to breath or need for breath. He reached out and felt no wall or face of stone, no substance. His hands, his feet and legs, his body had a sense that was only the memory of flesh. In the darkness he burned and became a flame and when he struck the frozen lake he shattered the ice and turned the air to steam. 

The cracks in the ice ran from side to side in the lake and the great river Elvigar shuddered and split. The fire that was Ragnorvald burned upon the steaming ice and a great mist arose and a fog drifted across the banks as not had been seen in Niflheim since the days of creation.

In the chilling water the burning flame became flesh, became Ragnorvald and he swam to shore. The bank was rising as the ice became mist and then water. Ragnorvald was a terrible swimmer and swallowed mouthfuls of the rapidly cooling lake. He flung his hands out for the half-melted edge, pulling down clumps of sticking mud till he touched upon its frozen core. Shaking with the effort his newly formed muscles spasmed and his teeth chattered and chomped till he thought they would break while he lay naked on the shore.

"Cold, you certainly look," came a soft voice. 

The fire still lurked within Ragnorvald, was Ragnarvald, and the shivering and teeth chattering stopped. His muscles burned, and his skin burned with the fiery touch of cold. His bones felt as though they would crack as he straitened and gathered his legs beneath and pushed himself like the rising of the first tree onto his feet and up.

A wolf stood looking at him on the frozen shore and nearby was the frozen stoney edge of a mountain that rose higher than sight and all about, beside the steaming lake, was wasteland, ancient ice and a grey twilight that wrapped itself around Niflheim that did not see the sun.