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Alairic Seruthsson

Articles
- The truths and legends about King Arthur

Short Stories
- Columbus Who?

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 situation.
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.
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