a cold dark night

It was dark, the ground cold and damp. Freya strained to rise but could not. Her hand, shaking, touched the spot in her gut where the pain was. Her clothing was wet and sticky.

Jack was there. “Papa?” she groaned. What was he doing? Standing over an animal? Were they hunting? Had she been injured?

Her vision focused and she saw Jack more clearly. He was standing over Hezke, who was not moving. Freya shot up, suddenly ignorant of her pain, screaming like a spawn. She did not know how she managed to knock Jack to the ground, but they scrambled when they got there. She pulled her dagger and thrust it into his neck.

Panicked, holding her side, Freya crawled to Hezke. Still no movement. The tears came so fast. Freya wailed into the darkness for what seemed like hours. She collapsed onto Hezke’s shoulder and tried to bury her face into Hezke’s hair and cloak.

She called on all the gods she could name. They did not answer. She was alone.

Almost alone.

Freya turned to Jack.
“What have you done?”
“I couldn’t let her take you away from me,” he sputtered.
“You killed me. You killed me when you killed her,” Freya growled. She found his dagger still in his hand and steadied it upright.

“You killed me.” Freya closed her eyes. Took a shallow breath. Jack protested, but Freya let herself fall upon the dagger and let it plunge into her. She felt the tightness in her throat and the world began to spin as she lay back down on the damp ground.

Her tears came again but she was not strong enough to scream out anymore.

Jack beside her cried as he whispered “my little girl…” Freya said nothing. Jack went silent again.

She was getting colder, but after a few moments, she stopped shivering altogether.

In the pitch black of the forest, she thought she saw the movement of a cloak, thought she felt Hezke’s gloved hands pressing her wound as if it would fix it.

Freya’s breath grew ragged.

Her mind’s eye saw Hezke in Port Melandir, looking back over her shoulder at Freya. Hezke’s half smile telling Freya that it was okay to follow. Hezke’s shield around Freya. Hezke’s secret quiet laugh. Hezke’s voice calling out for Freya – quiet at first, but then louder and more frantically.

Freya wanted to call out in response. She had always called out in response. Freya wanted to say that everything would be okay.

Instead, the darkness overcame Freya. Her mind went quiet and her body grew still as it began to rain.

Leave a Reply