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Category: Writing and Poetry

my book - chapter one - part 1

it was too long to fit in one blog so i broke it up (the other 2 parts are in my blog)

part one    part two    part three


Sigyn was tired. She had been pulling the wagon for nearly three hours now, the sun having made its way towards the distant peaks that surrounded [insert land name here] . Her boots chafed, the back of her neck was likely peeling and raw from sunburn, and there wasn’t a part of her body that wouldn’t be sore the next morning. It was well into the winter months, and yet heat still blazed across the Valley as though Hel herself had some personal vendetta against the barren landscape. 

Sigyn set the cart down and let go of the ropes that she’d wound tightly around her hands. She didn’t regret selling her donkey, however tiring pulling the wagon was. She would need whatever money she could get her hands on once she reached Jonsgård

Shaking her hands to chase away the prickles where her circulation had been cut off, Sigyn looked back at the path she had traveled so far. The road from Bakkeheim, her home up until now, wasn’t particularly treacherous, only unrelentingly, mind-numbingly bland. The longer Sigyn stared at the rocky scenery broken only with pitiful sprinklings of dead brush, the harder she had to push against the unease building in her head.

Delightful as it was, Sigyn knew the unpleasant journey was just the beginning. She’d left Bakkeheim with virtually no money, no company, and no real plan. Her move to Jonsgård was a rash decision- albeit one Sigyn would make again. As far as the village wives were concerned, Sigyn was much too sure of herself for a mere girl of seven-and-ten years. Much too naive to be in charge of her own market stall, much less travel the thirty miles to live on her own. 

Fru Gertrud, who Sigyn thought of as the leader of the pack, had plenty to say on the topic, reminding Sigyn almost daily that she might as well give her greetings to Heimdall, her head was so far up in the clouds. Sigyn was sure that the news of her departure would remain the discussion of the wives’ gossip for a long while. She almost missed her old neighbor’s remarks, having accepted them as part of her life’s routine in Bakkeheim. Almost.

It wasn’t as if Fru Getrud and the others were wrong, however. It was possible, Sigyn conceded, that she spent too much time in her own head. Instead of adding to her betrothal collection (which she never intended to make) or taking care of her family (which she didn’t have), Sigyn spent her time retelling her mother’s stories over and over in her mind.

The stories of Odin, the gentle and caring father to them all. Of Frigga, the beloved matron protecting the skies. Tales of the brave Balder and the black-hearted Loki accompanied Sigyn as she went about her days. Keeping track of all the individual gods’ histories and adventures filled Sigyn’s mind, crowding out the thoughts that crept up on her occasionally. As a young girl, she had been closer to any one of the heroes that graced these stories than the village children- who, quite frankly- were dull at best. Many a time had come when Sigyn had called upon the legends to distract her from the torments of the butcher’s son. 

At least she wasn’t one of the Sisters, those pious old bats who would give the village children withering glares if they so much as whispered the All-Father’s name in vain. As a child, Sigyn had made a point of cursing Odin at every small misfortune in front of them. Needless to say, the Sisters tended to steer clear of her. Sigyn doubted they would shed tears over her absence.

The sun had dipped well below the horizon before Sigyn finally stopped for the day. She could see the outline of Jonsgård in the distance, about a day and a half’s walk from where she was. 

She could feasibly continue through the night and next morning, with the only real danger being exhaustion. No bandits bothered to take the main road through the Valley, for there weren’t enough travelers crossing to make it worthwhile. This would allow her most of the day in Jonsgård to at least attempt to find work. 

She couldn’t stop now, Sigyn concluded. Jonsgård was a short trek away, and the prospect of waiting one more night seemed agonizing. She wound the straps of the cart containing all her worldly possessions (not that there was much) around her blistered hands and resumed her walk, although at a slightly faster pace than before. 

As the hours wore on, Sigyn’s thoughts turned to her mother. They had imagined making the crossing to Jonsgård together all those years ago. Sigyn supposed that her memories would have to be enough for company.

Sweat ran down her face in rivulets, stinging her eyes. She ripped off a strip of fabric from her underskirt, and tied it around her forehead in an attempt to catch the drops. She trudged forward and forward and forward as the mountains seemed to get farther and farther away.


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