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3 years ago  ::  Dec 18, 2011 - 11:40AM #1
John_T_Mainer
Posts: 1,658
Young Pitor Miles stood over the body of his dog. His Irish setter Eric (for
Eric the Red), had bled out having fought to keep something from the chicken
coop. The chickens were torn to pieces all over the snow, and Eric had been
ripped right open, his ribs carved as if they were cheese strings not strong
bone. At twelve Pitor stood nowhere near his future height, but he was man of
the house while his father was away with the army. No coyote did this, and
whatever did this might return for another meal. He had a younger sister and
two more dogs; he must hunt this creature down and kill it, for he must go to
school and cannot always be here to defend his families land. Though he knew it
not, the blood of the Volsungs ran in his veins, the get of the Allfather
himself, and a warrior-king's heritage was his. Returning to the house, he
placed back his rifle, for the .22 was no use against anything that could kill
proud Eric, he would have to use his bow; slow and hard to draw, heavy to wield,
but able to drive a hand wide steel broadhead lengthways through a bear.
Without a word to his mother, who would only worry, he took down his father's
bow, and six of the hunting arrows. Eric had died defending Pitor Miles' family
land, he would be avenged.

Young Haeti stood in wolf form above the body of her pack mate Grimnir. She
smelled the blood of her own pack, the rich blood of the deer carcass Grimnir
had died defending, and the hated smell of the ever-hungry; the wolverine.
Winter was a hard time for wolf packs, man's hunting thinned out the deer, even
as man's spread thinned out the range and made prey scarce. No love for men had
she, for hers was the blood of Skoll, blood of the first of wolves, the
sun-hunter banished forever to the sky's by Odin's trickery in a hunt that had
no end. While the magic of her Jotun ancestors allowed her to take their shape
when moving in man's world, she had never seen a man with the courage of a wolf,
nor the loyalty of the pack. The killer scent ran from her woods towards the
land of men, she would have to take their form for this hunt, lest they turn
their weapons upon her too.

Deep snow made the trail easy for Pitor Miles, and his snow-shoes made decent
time over the acres of his land. He moved in an easy lope, eyes always
searching for signs of the bear, if bear it was, that killed Eric. While the
wounds were deep and savage as a bear, and the power to tear apart the wire
fence said bear, the tracks were low to the ground like a badger, and the smell
was more like skunk or weasel. If Pitor was right, he was tracking a wolverine
through the deep snow; chasing the most savage ambush hunter through his chosen
killing ground. His eyes seeking, his ears sharp in the winter silence, and his
nose trying to catch any scent in the bitter cold, for the wolverine was more
prone to attack than flight if chased.
Haeti gripped her short spear, knapped flint on strong ash, a weapon made as it
had always been before the coming of man and his metal. She saw a boy move into
the clearing and pause, drinking the air as if his poor scent blind race could
sense anything! With a start she realized his eyes had seen her, even as her
fur clad form held still beneath the trees. Ice blue eyes met the same as two
killers gazed across weapons at each other, a scene as ancient and dangerous as
the blood each bore. Shocked to see a human catch her, she lowered her spear as
he snapped his bow aside. She smiled, he seemed like something from her
mother's tales, a bow hunting warrior upon the snows, as once mingled their
blood with her own before men turned away from the land and its ways.

Pitor moved into the clearing, bow at the half draw, for this was too wide a
place for the wolverine to cross so far in the open, unless he knew himself
hunted and wished to draw his hunters into a place from which he could be taken.
He felt eyes upon him, and turning he drew the bow full to find himself gazing
into eyes as blue as his own. Shocked he snapped the bow aside, something
stirred within him; there she stood, like a Valkyrie from granddad's stories,
fur clad and spear wielding in the forest as if this was a thousand years ago,
not modern day Canada.

While the two shocked younglings shared a gaze, a shocking roar split the air,
as the Wolverine burst from the snow-cave at the clearings edge and charged them
both. With the rage of his kind, he sped across the snow faster than a snowshoe
hare, and Pitor Miles tried to draw and spin completely around, only to fall as
his snowshoes caught him. The arrow he loosed was not full drawn, and stuck but
lightly in the dread-beasts fur. The wolverine's charge knocked the boy to the
ground, and with savage jaws he bit through the boys coat and broke the bone in
his forearm, causing him to cry out and drop the bow. In the way of the wolf,
Haeti struck the flank as her foe faced the boy, but since the wolverine was
spinning when she struck, her well-thrust spear bloodied but did not pin the
fearsome beast.
Screaming its rage, the wolverine turned upon the girl, with a sweep shattered
the strong wood spear. Scrambling back, Haeti swiftly resumed her native form,
and a she-wolf snapped at the sweeping claws. Knowing herself doomed, she faced
the wolverine trapped against the banks of snow, with nowhere to move save
through the sweep of his claws. She prepared to strike, preferring to die with
her teeth in Grimnir's killer than like some helpless prey when another scream
shattered the air. Screaming the name of his murdered hound, the boy struck the
flank of the wolverine.

Pitor fell when the wolverine hit, and felt it bite deep in his arm, crushing
the bone. He feared the wolverine would finish him while he was tangled in his
snow-shoes, but the girl struck the wolverine with her stone headed spear, and
drove him off. Pitor fumbled to draw his knife with his left hand, and cut
himself free of the snowshoes. When he looked again, the girl was gone (fallen
in the snow?) and the wolverine was tearing into a wolf, just as it had his poor
Eric!
With the Volsung blood burning in his viens, Pitor screamed Eric's name as he
threw a football tackle on the wolverine, driving the knife hilt deep into its
side, just beneath the ribs. Fearing the wolverine would turn with his
bone-crushing fangs, he saw the beast begin his turn, only to be caught in the
jaws of the wolf. The wolverine writhed and thrashed, but boy and wolf held to
their killing grips, working knife in body and fangs in throat, until the
wolverine bled out upon the snow; just as Grimnir and Eric had. Ice blue eyes
gazing into ice blue eyes, Pitor realized the wolf had the same eyes as the
fur-clad Valkyrie, and wondered if he was to die now. With wonder in his eyes,
he saw her shift from wolf to woman, as they lay their panting over the body of
their foe.
"He killed Grimnir of my pack; he was mine to kill" she spoke at last
"He killed Eric, a dog of my family or pack, he was mine to kill" the boy
answered.

They stood there smiling at each other, covered in the blood they had shed to
balance the scales. Perhaps, thought, Haeti, the tales were more than just
stories. Perhaps she would watch this boy when he grew into a man. There might
just be some that still held the courage and loyalty of the wolf, there might be
some she could share the land with.

"I thank you" She said, thinking he would make a fine wolf.
"I thank you" he replied, thinking she made an awfully pretty woman, and
beautiful wolf, which somehow didn't bother him as it probably should.

Each walked away to their own world, he on two legs, she on four, but each
pausing to watch the other in silent wonder. While each would go home to kin
that would want to know all about the wolverine, for Pitor and Haeti, the story
would always be about Pitor and the wolf.
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