Before there was the novel, there were the stories...

by Nan Hawthorne, who also writes under Christopher Hawthorne Moss, Books and Stories b ChristopherHawthorne Moss at

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Roaad To Paris: Sif's Pride

Falni made her way over to where her brother, Ranigg, inspected fishnets. “This calm is about to drive me mad,” she observed irritably. “If we don’t get a wind soon, our catch will be worthless.”

Ranigg looked up and sideways at his diminutive sister. “But the welcome from your husband will be quite the opposite. “ He winked.

Falni smiled at him wanly. “If we are late, he will be hard to calm down even with us in sight.”

“Or you in his arms.”

Without realizing it, the Norsewoman put her own arms around her breast, hugging herself. “Yes, though it will be all kissing and embracing, as you well know.”

Ranigg looked down at some debris he was working out of the netting. “Falni, I do know, but I also have to say for such a chaste marriage, you both do a good semblance of passion.” He glanced up again. “Do you think you will ever overcome your problems in that area?”

Falni shrugged, but thought to herself, “That, I think, will depend on Shannon. The more things he does to me that don’t involve actual coupling, the more I think I may sometime soon be interested in more.” Aloud she said, “I am not sure it is a choice, my brother. “

“Yours is a marriage made in Asgard,” he replied with a broad grin and a twinkle in his eyes. “Who could have been better found for you both?”

But Falni’s attention had been drawn to the horizon and she did not hear his comment.

Ranigg did not comment but stood and peered in the same direction. “Well there’s a ship not becalmed, thanks to its oarsmen. Who is it?”

Falni’s demeanor had gone stern. “I don’t know. But we’d better get ready for the worse.” She turned to where her crew sat on the deck with nothing to do without a breeze. “Hrothgar! Snorri! Harald! To arms! We have company!”

Ranigg had dropped the net and gone to the small hide enclosure for his and the others’ weapons. They did not have body armor any more substantial than boiled leather for heavy coats of mail were death if a man went overboard and, besides, they were not Vikings but only fishers. All carried swords or axes however. Pirates and enemies were not unheard of in the North Sea.

Falni in her own leather best and holding her bow with an arrow notched squinted as the larger ship came closer. She had the youngest eyes so was the first to see the gleam of the sun’s light on weapons. “Thor and Loki,” she exclaimed. “It’s those Frankish raiders!”

The crew of the fishing boat exchanged grim looks. Ranigg grinned. “Well, my friends, if nothing else you will find yourself feasting with the Battle Maidens in Valhalla as the night draws nearer. Not bad for fisher folk, eh?”

Falni struggled to keep tears back, thinking of Shannon’s heartbreak when he learned he had lost her.


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About the author

Nan Hawthorne now writes under the name Christopher Hawthorne Moss. You can contact Christopher at .