Columbus Who? (4 ratings)
by Alairic Seruthsson
Page 1 of 2
"Bleediní ring!" growled Sigurd, as he gave a frustrated kick at the
ornament glinting in the dust. Darn thing didnít know where it was any more
than the Viking hero, Sigurd, did. Of course it had teleported him away
from those vicious ice bears...
Sigurd was about to take stock of his surroundings, as many heroes seem to
find themselves doing, but he lost all this when something whistled by his
head. It was the work of a moment (a time measurement that heroes liked to
use) to throw himself to the ground and cover his head. Scooping up the
ring, Sigurd turned to see a stone-headed arrow embedded in a tree near
where he had been standing. He twisted the ring onto his finger, using the
turn that commanded the ring to enhance his step to five times his normal
span. Taking a small step backward, Sigurd was prepared to make a leap out
of the clearing when he slammed backward into a large oak. As it is wont to
do when one is engaged in slamming oneself against hard surfaces, the world
went black. With a few tweeting stars mixed in for posterity.
A red squirrel in a nearby maple watched dark figures slip out of the
underbrush and carry Sigurdís body away. Well, a few other animals saw,
too, but I mention the squirrel because while the squirrel was watching
Sigurdís body, he was not watching all his acorns being stolen. If that
same squirrel had kept watching instead of gamboling back to his empty
larder, he would have seen the shadowed figures come out of the woods and
into a clearing clustered with long huts made of wood, bark, and hides.
The figures appeared in the sunlight as real people with dark, coppery skin
and long black hair. They dropped Sigurdís body to the ground, then propped
it against a pole, lashing Sigurdís hands behind it. A crowd of these
strange people gathered and gossiped loudly, pointing to his light skin and
fair, golden hair.
Sigurd twitched, but did not wake. Still unconscious, all Sigurd was aware
of were a cluster of singing stars in the back of his head. The Valhalla
Celestial Choir was just making it through the hard part of Wagnerís
Gotterdammerung (though it hadnít been written yet).
One of the men who had carried Sigurd back noticed Sigurd's ring gleaming in
the sunlight. He reached toward it cautiously, then bravely tugged it off.
A stream of flashing blue energy leaped from the ring, and the man was
blasted backward, unconscious, as the ring rolled near Sigurdís feet. The
crowd backed off, whispering fearfully. The shock, though Sigurd could not
have felt it in his state of unconsciousness, began to chase away the
singing stars in his head. Sigurd began to wake up, and become aware of his
His first sight was of the ring, lying on the ground. Still bleary, he
stared and swore silently at it. It was that cursed object that had dragged
Sigurd all over the mapped and unmapped world, and then here, wherever here
was. Probably on the other side of the godsforsaken world. Sigurd knew
there was nothing beyond the ocean west of Norway, where Sigurd had been
born. He even had a crazy friend who had set sail two months ago to find out
if there was something there. They never saw Leif again.
Sigurd, lost in his musings, was brought back to attention when he noticed
the twitching form of the warrior on the ground. Then Sigurd saw the crowd
watching him. Then Sigurd screamed. At this the warrior, his red-dyed hair
standing on end, sat up quickly. Sigurd screamed again.
Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2001 Alairic Seruthsson, sffworld.com. All rights reserved. No part of this may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the author. The author has submitted the work in accordance with and in agreement with the following Submission Guidelines.