Friday, October 19, 2018

Rainbow Snippets - Valraven

The raven flew above the battlefield amidst a bickering horde of his blue-winged brethren, waiting for victory to signal their turn below. Soon they would feast on the vanquished.
One of the others, too impatient to wait for the men to quit the field of war, landed at the edge of the struggle and hopped forward. A warrior sprawled on the ground stained red with his spilt blood. But when the gluttonous bird would have feasted, a drengr stumbled back and nearly trod upon the foolish creature.
The man brought his shield up to block an ax strike aimed at his undefended neck. He moved slowly and the blade bit into the wooden round, catching on the rim. While the ax-welder ripped the shield from his hands, he seized the opportunity to sink his sword into his opponent's gut.
The hot scent of blood followed by the sour stench of bowels filled the air. Not the last to feed war's followers this day.
Drawn off balance by his shield, another's spear point breached the hollow of his shoulder. He fell forward and clipped his head against the haft before it shattered under his weight.
The battle raged on without the warrior. The man would be his.

Valraven from valravn/valrafn. Val means the dead fallen in battle. Valravn is a raven who feasts on the war-fallen. In some versions of the mythos, if a valravn eats the heart of a king, he becomes a knight. For the vikings, this was not as distasteful as it sounds to modern readers. Ravens were revered because this is a culture built on war and glorious death.

The above is a snippet from the prologue of my newest story Valraven, a viking age paranormal story of war and betrayal.
For more snippets check out the Facebook group Rainbow Snippets.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Rainbow Snippets - Currently Untitled Ice Age Story

Wall painting of Megaloceros
My current WIP is set during the Ice Age approximately 11,000 years ago. Once again, I am creating a culture based on a few scattered facts and the cultures descended from them. I am filling in a lot of blanks.

I feel fairly comfortable stating that any individual "fact" was likely contemporaneous to the existing cultures of that vast time period. But did they all co-exist in one group of people? There's no way of knowing.

I am having nearly as much fun researching all the prehistoric techniques for fine starting, shelter building, stone knapping, basket weaving, hunting, fishing, preparing food and anything else like this wall painting I run across.

I hope to provide a colorful background on which to base my story of heartache, loss, and learning to live again.

So here is my snippet. I hope you enjoy it.

Kantu slipped his spare snowshoes on and slung his pack onto his back. Behind him, The People rested once more in their home with all their possessions. Black smoke boiled into the sky, alerting their enemies that one still lived.

Turning to stare up at the cave mouth, Kantu let the old words slip from his lips. Words as ancient as The People themselves, words that only the now-dead shaman had understood. His clan was gone. Once he died, no one would sing the sacred words to calm the spirits and guide him back to his lover's side. Without the clan to remember them, the ancestors' fires would go out one by one.

For more snippets join the Facebook group Rainbow Snippets.