Day 18

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I woke alone and confused.

For a moment, I could not see, and at first, I feared I was blind. How that might have occurred, I had no idea.

But when sleep cleared from my thoughts, I saw I was not blind but in a world of darkness. Sitting up, I reached for my Colts and found they were not there.

I was, I realized, naked.

The air was warm, and the place I was in was silent.

Crossing my legs beneath me, I waited.

I’m not certain how long it took for the place around me to brighten, but when it did, I found myself looking at a small patch of woods. There was nothing else. I sat on nothing, from what I could tell, and the branches and plants grew up from the same.

The heavy thud of large wings reached my ears, and soon, a raven landed in front of me.

It preened beneath a wing, and I waited.

Finally, the bird turned to look at me, both eyes bright, the feathers glowing with a dark beauty.

“I bring word from the All-Father,” the raven informed me.

“I could not be dressed for the message?”

The bird chuckled. “We are dreaming, Blood. The two of us together. You are not naked, and I am not a raven.”

“What are you?” I asked.

“Not a bird. Of that, I can assure you.”

I nodded. “What message?”

“The hounds approach from the south,” the raven stated. “The wyrm goes to rest in his lair. Your mother’s mark is upon it.”

The last sent an angry chill racing up my spine. “Is she here?”

The raven shook his head. “No. But she has been.”

“Hm.”

“There is more to tell,” the raven continued.

“My apologies.”

He ruffled his feathers, then said, “There is illness creeping toward you. While it will not touch you, Blood, it shall move like a scythe through your men.”

“My men?” I asked.

The bird chuckled. “Because you do not wish to see it does not make it so.”

“Aye, you’re right.” The soldiers were mine. From Mikkelsen down to the youngest private soldier. They would fight and die for me. And I would do the same.

The bird stretched out its wings but paused. “There are reapers coming. Listen for them.”

Without another word, the raven flew off, and I sank from my dream and back to sleep.

Soon enough, I knew, the fighting would begin anew.

#Denmark #supernatural #monsters #paranormal

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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