Friday, May 17, 2013

Using a clay bowl, sShe scooped some water out of a large pottery jar into a clay bowl and gave it (the bowl) to me. It The Water tasted stale and flat (?). It didn’t matter. I was thirsty.
She watched me drink it all.
“Now you must leave,” Hella said.
“Are you kicking me out?”
“No kicking,” she said raised an eyebrow at me. “But you should go.”
“I only just got here.”
“It is too dangerous for you to be here.” 
I wasn't sure if she meant for her or for me.
“But it’s dark…and freezing-bloody-cold out there,” I whined. I sounded so pathetic. Some brave Viking warrior, I was. Even in this light I could see Hella’s raised eyebrow, her smirking lips.
"You might stay alive in the dark and the cold," she said.
"Maybe..." I muttered.
(break here next two lines drop to new section below)
 “There is no more food. You must go into the mountains … join with Stig.”

She lifted the lamp onto the floor and drew a map in the dirt to show me where to go. A slanted tree, a standing rock with a sign carved in it, a cleft in a cliff face. I wished I had something to take notes with. And on.
She gave me a hat made of some matted fabric. It smelt funny and for a moment I wondered if it doubled as a smoked fish holder, but I took it anyway. I picked my knife back up and put it through my belt.
“Got any arrows?” I asked. I thought it was worth a try. (where’s the bow been all this time??)

I jogged, even though my limbs seemed to be made of pulse with lead and my lungs felt raw inside. It was dark and freezing cold – keeping moving felt like the best option. Still, the sound of five precious arrows knocking around in the quiver/horn (research) at my shoulder back cheered me up. Hella’s quite a magpie. And it wasn’t just the arrows and quiver. The thick blanket slung over me and pinned with a brooch at my shoulder was pretty handy as well.
She’d said head east and south, although all my orienteering experience (half a day a few years back for EOTC – check first book) had been in daylight in the southern hemisphere. I had no idea how to tell the direction at night.  And how slanted was the slanted tree (she told me to turn right at)? 25degrees, 45 or 60 perhaps? I hadn't bothered asking Hella. Like me, I couldn't imagine she was much chop at trigonometry.  

Just in case you wanted to know what I've been up to, amongst other things

1 comment:

Penny said...

Sounds to me like Book 3 in Jack the Viking ...?