L

Her body was thrown against the earth.

Slick with sweat and peppered with dirt, she rested in the dirt.

Her lungs began to work again, bringing sweet cool air down her dry throat.

She licked her cracked lips and, tasting dirt, leaned to her right and spat.

Sweat was pooling on her back, she could feel. The gentle breeze around the open plains was cool.

She had no time to dwell long on it though, he was heading towards her, not missing a beat.

With one swift dart he lunged at her, grabbing her neck.

The man spoke to her in an ancient tongue as she gasped, robbed of the cool air.

His other hand tore at her feet singlet, tearing it off and revealing her plain black bra underneath.

She struggled, kicking her legs, but the man, dressed in a light grey uniform she couldn’t recognise, forced himself upon her.

His full weight now on her, her chest felt tight.

The man spoke again, his voice guttural and raw.

His free hand moved down to her dark brown corduroy pants, his fingers slipping underneath the waistband and dragging them down.

She felt the earth in her dark hair, she felt the gentle breeze start to hit her thighs.

Kicking did nothing. He tore her pants off relentlessly, revealing her plain black panties, the ones with the cute little black bow she had picked just this morning.

Throwing her pants aside, the man’s free hand returned to her chest and it was only a matter of strength for him to pull it off.

She felt like her back was going to explode before the man grunted in annoyance, speaking again as he forcibly rolled her to her side to unclasp the bra.

Dizzy from the fall, and from the choking, she forgot to scream until her small breasts were bare, catching the breeze.

He silenced her with his free hand across her face before she could emit a single sound.

She didn’t give up though. As his free hand traveled back down her body, she squirmed beneath him, fighting to urge to gag from the smell of sweat off his body.

The man shouted something roughly, his throat crackling.

The tangle that was her black panties came off as he lifted her ass, now bare, up to free them off her legs.

She swore at him all the way.

When she was fully nude, he stood up slowly, uttering something quietly.

For a moment he watched her, panting and swearing and sweating and nude, her clothes strewn around her.

When she stood up, she felt young. Humiliated. Vaguely ashamed. This was not the way she was taught.

He spoke once more and laughed. It was a bitter laugh. Vaguely sympathetic.

As he turned to leave, she swung at him, letting loose a string of curses.

He simply backhanded her, leaving her reeling, leaving her feeling something she couldn’t quite make out.

After she dressed and made her way back to the edges of town, it came to her – the last thing he said before he disappeared, as if he were an illusion.

Now you are reduced to nothing.

On some nights it was a nightmare, on other nights she clawed at her clitoris, moaning in both relief and frustration, frustration at what everything meant and why.

But no meaning came.

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Valhalla, Ch. 11 – Past Lives

CHAPTER ELEVEN

 

PAST LIVES

 

 

 

Ryan came to.
His chest felt heavy and his vision was a blur.
He could make out the table across from his room; he could definitely make out the light that flooded in through the open window
Did you open that, mum?
And he could feel the breeze on his exposed feet that stuck out the side of the bed.
Had someone woke me? He wondered, rolling on his back to face his bedroom door, expecting to see Eira.
No one came.
As he sat up in bed, he felt a dull pain crisscross against his chest. As if someone had held the handle of a…knife…against his chest tightly.
That’s when his eyes fell upon the item resting on the bedside table. It was a piece of parchment, faded yellow.
Ryan swung his legs out of bed and scooped up the parchment, his eyes scanning the jet-black ink.
The writing seemed feminine, he noted, as he began the first line.

Ryan,
I have been summoned by my All-Father to
Seek out a new soul.

Please forgive my absence, I

Shall return shortly.

 

In the meantime, training

Resumes as normal. Do see

Battle Mistress Mist if you require

Any assistance.

 

Eira

 

 

Rubbing his chest where it still felt constricted, Ryan re-reads the letter.
A new soul.
Does that mean her loyalty now belongs to this newcomer? Or do we share? Or…
Ryan dismissed the thought. He had to get dressed.

 

***

 

Ryan found Mist standing to the sides of the large empty field. Around them, men and women sparred, their grunts echoing across the field.
Ryan looked to his left, then to his right.
The field he was standing on was as large, if not larger, than the Etihad Stadium in Melbourne.
In the distance he could see another group of gathered warriors, their cries echoing back down to him.
As he stood in the shadow of Valhalla, still stretching inward from the morning sun, he watched the woman and man spar. The woman, a fellow warrior Ryan noted, swerved to the right and out of the man’s swing, meeting the attack with a fierce jab of her elbow.
With a cry, the man fell back on his ass. The woman laughed and cracked her neck.
All Ryan could think of was that he could never fight like that, like her.
“You are the one Eira brought recently.” Came the stern voice beside him.
Ryan turned in the direction of the voice, only seeing Mist, her back straight, hands behind her back rigidly, as she regarded the field.
“I am. Uh, Ryan. Ryan K-“
“You look concerned.”
Mist’s head moved in his direction, her body staying perfectly still.
“Well, I’m not a fighter, I guess. The last fight I was in was when I was eight. I…”
“All this can be taught. What matters…is the spirit. Which is why you are here…”
Ryan wasn’t a fighter. He had avoided any of that. The only fights he had been in was any high school jock picking on him as a teen, in which they did most of the punching. Ryan always took it. He didn’t know how else to react.
Anything after high school were verbal confrontations, defused with words or separation.
The last fight, his fourth physical fight in his lifetime, ended his life.

“Remember the past. Acknowledge it, even. But move forward, strengthen yourself.”
“Do you re….”
Mist was watching him closely, her deep blue eyes intense and focused.
“I do.”
She remained stiff, never faltering, never relaxed.
“Not every fighter, not every Valkyrie recalls their life. Some have fragments, some grow consumed by it, and some choose to forget. I choose to remember what we are fighting for. What I am fighting for.”
Mist turned her gaze from him and bowed as warriors approached Mist and bowed themselves, before beginning their duel.
“In another life, I was took part in the Marines. My squad featured some of the fiercest warriors I have ever met, some of them were even chosen to serve the All-Father along with me.”
There was a ghost of her smile on her face.
“Líf was one of them. “
Líf stood thirty metres away on the field, fighting against another Valkyrie. From where Ryan stood, she was a blur.
“My life would come to end earlier than hers, however. Amidst liberating Kuwait, something searing hot-“
Mist’s face drew into a scowl as she spat out the word hot. Her eyes became fierce.
“Clipped my neck. I woke up her. Before the All-Father and Mother themselves.”
“And you remembered?”
Ryan asked, his mind racing with thoughts.
“Not at first. The All-Mother spent some time guiding me on what they were trying to achieve. After the first few months, the dreams came. And after a while, so did the memories. Now…”
Mist turned to face Ryan once more. “I choose to remember. I just do not let it control me…”
She turned back to face the field, raising her hand in the air.
Líf, who had beaten her opponent in the spar, saw the signal and headed towards the two of them.
“Ragnarök is coming, Ryan. We need all you can give to us.”
Ryan felt a lump lodge in his throat as Líf approached. She fell on one knee.
“Battle Mistress…”
“No need of formalities, Líf. Care to spar with this gentlemen here?”
Líf’s golden eyes fell upon Ryan and her face lit up in a smirk that was strangely charming.
“Gladly, old friend.”
As Líf cracked her neck, Ryan gulped.

 

***

 

Líf beat Ryan, to be sure. By the time they broke for lunch, his buttocks were sore from falling over and his legs were aching from practicing the stiff defensive stance.
Yet through all that, Líf never grew impatient. She encouraged him, helped him up where he fell. Gave him pointers on reacting to her blows.
Despite all this, she did not hold back her blows, landing several hits that Ryan could tell would welt by the morning.
By the evening, Líf left Ryan at the entrance to his bedroom with a formal bow. She had asked if she would be needed for the evening, but Ryan politely decline, causing her eyes to darken and her brow to frown. Regardless, she bowed again and continued on down the hall.
When Ryan collapsed on his bedroom, he could feel the familiar dull ache of his chest. It was still tight from the morning, hanging around with that familiar dull ache.
It didn’t take long for sleep to find him.

 

***

The following morning, Ryan sat by himself in the great hall, around a table that smelled of mead. It was too early in the morning for him for mead, however, so he settled on a coffee, hoping for a caffeinated boost to the system.
Eira was still absent. Kára too, he noticed. Both must’ve been given the task of accompanying a new soul (or souls) on their journey to Valhalla.
When the doors to Valhalla creaked open, silencing the music and the hall itself, Ryan joined everyone’s head in turning to see who was arriving.
A group of Valkyries stepped forward, their soul either standing beside them, or behind them. Ryan tried to count as they stepped forward and got as far as ten before he saw Eira emerge, walking beside another woman outfitted in a pale grey dress. The woman brushed the dirty blonde hair out of her eyes as she looked around the room, her eyes widening.
Eira searched the room, her face in a frown.
It was only a matter of time before her eyes found Ryan, sending chills up his spine for reasons unknown.
Was it that she found him amongst the crowd? Or that he was thinking that this new woman might be Eira’s new focus?
Ryan hoped the coffee had the answer and would provide him with it shortly after the caffeine boost.
Eira didn’t make her way over to him, Ryan noticed. Rather, she stood in a line amongst the Valkyries, bowing her head.
Ryan’s eyes moved to the front of the great hall, where Odin sat, his piercing grey eye looking out amongst the newly arrived warriors.
In stepped more warriors and Valkyries, and more still. Ryan stood watching, cradling his coffee, thinking on what Eira said about the size of Valhalla and how many warriors it can hold.
Amongst the crowd, Ryan spotted Kára step through the doors, walking with a posture as perfect as Mist.
Beside her was a man.
The man who had ended Ryan’s life.
Ryan’s chest began to ache.

 

The End of the Chosen arc.

 

 

And now, some notes:

For some reason, I have designed Valhalla like a comic book, divided up amongst several arcs – with one leading into the next and continuing little plot points that I had been building to.

This chapter acts as the end to the introductory saga (as a draft anyway!) with more to come in the near future.

I don’t know what to do with this series just yet. I have, as of March 2018, 25 chapters planned of this story, characters and their relationships and I am considering a novel, or just putting all this away in a box in my house because maybe it’s not good enough.

 I mean, maybe it isn’t? Maybe it just needed to be written. It is still a draft, one I will no doubt be rewriting to the end of time, but being the perfectionist anxious bugger I am, I don’t know how skilled or entertaining I am of a writer.

 

In any case, this is going on hiatus for now.

Valhalla, Ch. 9 – Adjustments

Due to the length of this chapter, I decided to break it up into two seperate posts so it is easier to track and read.

CHAPTER NINE

ADJUSTMENTS, Part I

 

 

1

Eira struck the match and lit the candle on the table before her.
With the match still burning, she moved the flame to the candle just opposite to the right of lit candle.
Four candles sat in the shape of a square on this wooden table, their small flame helping the light of dawn engulf the room.
In the centre of the square shape rested the Valknut, the symbol representing Odin and his bond to the Valkyries.
Eira, completely nude, save for the collar gifted to her after the completion of her training, knelt to her knees and begin to recite her morning mantra.

***

 

Outside of Valhalla, resting on the verge of the Fensalir forest was a natural spring formation.
This was a place sacred to the Valkyries, gifted to them by the All-Father.
The spring was primarily used for bathing but the site also allows for recreation for Valkyries – a place for rest and rebirth.
If one were to stand in the crystal blue water and look out, trying to spot the hall of Valhalla, all they would see would be the enormous lush-green trees, shielding all view of the outside world.
Running in a circle around the spring, built neatly into the rock formation, was a wooden walkway, made of the very trees that guarded the place and acting as grip to guard the Valkyrie that stepped out of the spring.
Eire emerged from the trees into the area hidden from view. Ahead of her, emerged at the other end of the spring, were three Valkyries talking softly.
At the sight of Eira, Herja raised a hand out of the water and waved at Eira, flashing her smile. On either side of her was Elisabet, a slender and tanned Valkyrie with long black hair and intense dark eyes, and Göll, golden eyes, blonde hair and perky breasts, who whistled at the sight of a nude Eira stepping into the spring.
Eira planted herself down on the smooth rock formation that acted as a bench. In a moment she would begin to wash her body, but for the moment she wanted to take her time to soak up the pleasing water.
The combination of cool water on her skin and the warm morning sun beating down upon her energised her.
She began to think of Ryan, interfering with that man who stabbed him. Eira had watched from the sidelines, invisible to all, ready to fulfil her assignment.

Now that she brought Ryan to Asgard, as his guide for the time being, she didn’t know what to do. With the others, she knew. She knew exactly how to behave, what was required of her. Ryan was different somehow, he was kind and polite and reserved.
It was his personality that took her aback. He wasn’t demanding for any kind of sexual release – he was gentle.
The word ‘gentle’ brought to mind the way he smacked her the other night. Fighting off a smile, she could, all of a sudden, feel the delightful sting on her skin.
Eira had been smacked before, by Mist, her teacher, by Kára for a fault in her training, by warriors she was assigned to. But there was something about the energy behind Ryan when he struck her. There was rage, there was anguish, there was something she couldn’t quite understand.

All this and yet he was reserved.
Reserved, thought Eira. I can recall feeling that somehow. How did I overcome it?
He needs time, a part of Eira began, voicing its way to the forefront of her mind.
When Eira heard the rustling of the trees next to her, she turned to see Kára emerge, herself completely nude and glistening in the sunlight.
Kára did not wave to anybody, nor did she greet Eira. Instead, she silently dived into the middle of the spring and dunked her head under.
Eira watched the area where she dived; the nude shape of Kára swam underneath, the image rippling along with the water.
The image of her stopped and began to swim up, breaking the water and emerging into the warm sun.
Eira glanced at Kára as she moved towards the side of the spring, a few metres away from her.
Kára lay back in the spring. Her dark entangled hair lay out across the shape of her breasts.
She was a beautiful woman, Eira thought, stormy, gruff – but beautiful.
Feeling Eira’s gaze, Kára opened her eyes and looked up at her.
“I can feel you looking at me, little sister. Is there something on your mind?”
Unwilling to incite Kára’s gruff attitude, Eira shook her head. “It’s nothing.”
She rested her head against the smooth rock and looked up at the sky.
The thought of Ryan came into her head then, and she wondered….

As Eira pondered, Ryan came to.
As his eyes adjusted to the light, he climbed out of bed.
There was no visit from his mother, he thought as he pulled on a fresh pair of clothes, so what was happening when he saw her that one time? Was he going mad?
He sat on the bed a few moments, his eyes and mind adjusting to the stillness of the room, with the light of dawn filtering in through the balcony, and then he got out of bed.
As he exited the door, he bumped right into someone, connecting his chest with his or her elbow.
“I am so sorry.” Ryan began. “I didn’t see you there..”
“It’s okay” came a soft voice.
The Valkyrie twisted her elbow back and forth with a laugh.
Ryan went to speak but stopped – he recognised her as the Valkyrie that told Kára to hush when she scoffed at Eira masturbating in the great hall.
The Valkyrie looked back at Ryan with her dark violet eyes and smiled.
“Have I seen you before?” she asked, brushing her raven black hair behind her ear.
“No, I don’t believe so. I’m Ryan.”
“New?”
“Yeah. Is it that noticeable?”
“Some have a glow to them, it is known.” The Valkyrie replied. “My name is Ástríðr – but everyone calls me Astrid. I am something of a medic here in Valhalla. Speaking of, has someone established a psychological profile of you?”
Astrid spoke really fast and without a breath, barely hesitating to pause between words.
Ryan frowned. “Uh…No?”
Astrid grabbed him – rather roughly – by the hand and pulled him back into his chambers.
Ryan’s arm twisted, his neck craned – and he was back in his room again only moments after leaving.
“Forgive my actions, Sir.” Astrid said in another jumble of words. “Punish me later if you must, but I wanted to ask. How have you been sleeping?”
Ryan gave the question a thought.
“Fine, I guess?”
“No broken sleep?”
“I’ve been sleeping okay-ish.”
“Is Okay good?”
“I think?”
Astrid stood really close to him, her violet eyes scattering back and forth as she peered into his.
“Any hallucinations? Auditory? Visual? Tactile?”
We haven’t seen you in so long, son.
Ryan looked in the corner of the room. Astrid caught the glance and looked behind her briefly, then back to Ryan’s eyes.
“Is that a hint? Can you talk? Are you seeing something now?”
Ryan cleared his throat, covering his mouth. Astrid was really close to him. Nude and really close to him. Her hand was still on his.
“I’m sorry, what is this about?”
Astrid looked down at his hand, then looked back at him with an embarrassed laugh. It came out in a husky wheeze.
“Being the one assigned to such a role as the medical officer – “
“Aren’t you all Immortal magical beings?”
“We can be injured, Ryan. We can die.”
Astrid’s face took on a stern look.
A beat.
“We like to eat too. But regardless, my job is to look for a schism in newcomers.”
“A schism?”
“Some souls remember their deaths and accept, some have trouble accepting but eventually move on, some minds see this – a life beyond Midgard – and simply disconnect. Falter.”
Ryan looked at Astrid as she spoke breathlessly.
We haven’t seen you in so long, son.
“Usually it’s because the mind is in two different places and – overwhelmed, it…folds in on itself. Are you folding in on yourself, Ryan?”
Astrid kept her gaze on Ryan, looking at him intently.
“I….saw and heard my mother?”
He couldn’t believe he was mentioning this to a stranger, but it just tumbled out of his mouth.
“In the corner?” Astrid asked, tilting her head in the direction of the corner behind her while still looking at Ryan.
In turn, Ryan nodded.
“Hm. Have you seen or heard her – or anything – again?”
“No.”
Astrid clicked her tongue as she thought, her eyes moving away from Ryan and focusing off to the wall beside him.
“That could be anything – a dream, your mind adjusting. That’s a typical side effect. It can take anywhere from a week to a month for a mind to adjust.”
Astrid sighed. “It’s when it happens on a frequent basis that it becomes a problem.”
“What happens to those that have this schism?”
“Hmm. If they can’t overcome it? Comatose. Beyond that, a second death.”
A second death? Is that even….where does one go when a second death occurs?
“In any case, keep me posted. I have to see to others now, excuse me.”
Astrid let go of Ryan, gently patted the spot where she gripped his wrists and moved to the door to exit.
As she did so, the door opened, revealing Eira standing in the doorway, her hair damp.
“Eira!” Astrid proclaimed, bowing.
“Astrid. I’ve been meaning to bring Ryan by for his psychological evaluation.”
“Hmm. We bumped into each other just now and we had a chat. His strength is good, he’s coherent but he’s keeping me posted on that, excuse me.”
Astrid squeezed past Eira and disappeared from view.
Eira closed the door behind her gently and turned to Ryan.
“She’s uh…eccentric.”
“Mm.” Replied Eira, walking over to Ryan. “Are you feeling okay?”
Ryan nodded. That was the truth of it. He was okay, all things considered. The sight of his mother, hearing her voice again, shook him deeply to the point that every time his mind brought it back up, it was like somebody had stabbed a knife in his gut and was leaving it there to twist later. But the sights and sounds around him distracted him. That was the best he could do for now, be distracted.
Eira extended a hand and placed it on his shoulder. “Come, let us have breakfast together.”

To be continued…

Valhalla, Ch. 8 – Rituals

Previously on VALHALLA

Ryan and the new souls arrive in the great hall of Valhalla, where
they become accustomed to the strange and erotic rituals of the Valkyries
and the fighters awaiting Ragnarök. 

Meanwhile, Eira has to obey an order from the All-Father, one that might
prove to unsettle her new friendship with Ryan.

Chapter One | Chapter Two | Chapter Three | Chapter Four | Chapter Five | Chapter Six | Chapter Seven |

CHAPTER EIGHT

RITUALS

 

There was something comforting about falling through the darkness…
Ryan came to, bolting upright. Cool air rushed down his lungs and chilled his body.
He realised he was panting as he came back into the world of Asgard, free-falling from the depths of his subconscious.
His vision was blurry with sleep, his mind foggy from the fall.
“You’ll be here for Dad’s birthday, right?”
The voice made Ryan freeze from where he sat. It came from behind him, barely audible. But he knew that voice anywhere.
Ryan turned to look over his shoulder. His mother stood there, wearing her old turquoise sundress she wore around the house to relax in. Her eyes, marked with crow’s feet, lit up at the recognition that he could see her.
“We haven’t seen you in so long, son.” His mother said, with a slight hint of eagerness to it.
“Mum?”
Ryan’s heart kicked into overdrive.
“Is that really you?”
“If you can’t come, I understand. Your father and I know that money can be tight. Travel is expensive.”
Ryan felt his head shake ever so slightly. “No. No I manage…”
There came a knock at Ryan’s door, causing Ryan to whip his head back in its direction.
Ryan Kennedy? A voice on the other side said quietly.
Eira, Ryan thought. He looked from the door to the corner of his room. His mum wasn’t there anymore.

As Eira stepped into the room, chills slithered up Ryan’s spine.
What the actual hell?
“Do I disturb?” Eira said, catching Ryan’s face drained of colour.
Ryan waved his hand in the air. “No No. Not at all.”
In Eira’s hands was a large plate consisting of crisp sausages, salty bacon, scrambled eggs, grilled mushrooms and cherry tomatoes. Beside the mushrooms, a glass of orange was balanced carefully.
“Prima normally does her breakfast rounds to those who wish their breakfast to be in bed, but I thought I would deliver yours myself.”
Eira put the plate down beside Ryan carefully. He could instantly smell the food, causing his stomach to rumble.
“Does that mean you like to watch me eat…?”
Ryan delivered this in a manner that would’ve – should’ve – indicated he was being dry in a humorous way, but Eira looked at him with those large grey eyes blankly.
Instead of laughing, she stood there, wings and arms tucked behind her.
“Uh, never-mind. Thank you”.
“Are you feeling alright, Ryan Kennedy?”
“Please, uh, just Ryan. I keep telling you that.”
“I am sorry. Have I offended?”
Eira cast her eyes down. Ryan’s stomach sank further. “No no, not at all. It’s just…casual, yeah? I mean, I’d prefer it..”
Eira nodded, still keeping her eyes cast down.
Ryan cleared his throat as he cut a piece off his sausage. He wasn’t sure if he was hungry after seeing his mum
(It was just a dream)
but he knew he needed to eat something.

Ryan looked at Eira as she moved her gaze to the ground, her eyes darting as she went deep into thought – but what was she thinking about?
When he couldn’t find the answer, he put the bit of sausage in his mouth. It was still hot, and the taste of grease and meat flooded his mouth at once. He was careful, in the presence of Eira, not to look like a complete slob and let the meat juices fall from his mouth.
In fact, the mere presence of Eira standing in front of him as he ate, coupled with the appearance of his mother in the corner of his bedroom, create an anxious ache in his stomach that wouldn’t leave him alone.
If you can’t come, I understand.
His mum seemed so real, as if he could have reached out and touched her.
And I would never be able to come to another birthday again came a thought that brought with it a pang of sadness.
He didn’t feel like eating then, and pushed his food onto the bed, much to the curiosity of Eira, whose eyes moved from the full plate to Ryan.
Eat” Eira said. “You need your strength.”
“Why? What are we doing today?”
What was life in Valhalla like? Surely, they didn’t train or day and party all night. And where are the books or televisions? What do people do here?
“Eira? What is there to do in Asgard anyway?”
Eira’s face lit up in a smile at the question.
The sight stumped Ryan momentarily. Eira, though certainly passionate, had been a quiet one so far in their time together. This moment was one of few times he had seen her smile.
“Why there’s the Fensalir forest behind the walls of Valhalla, that’s to our south. To the east of Valhalla, there is the Djúpr Valley. There’s something so magnificent about those canyons. I like to go there and meditate sometimes.”
Eira had sat herself on the bed on Ryan’s right. The morning sun that filtered in through the bedroom windows lighted her grey eyes.
“You meditate?” Ryan found himself asking.
Eira nodded. “Mhm! I recite my prayer and then listen to the cosmos. I can feel the energy all around us.”

The notion seemed beautiful to Ryan. He had never thought much of meditation, his life consisted of getting up, working, coming home, eating. Did he lose part of himself along the way.
Noticing Eira was looking at him, he filed the thought away in his mind and set the plate of breakfast aside.
“Give me a tour of this place?” He asked.
Eira led the way.

***

Eira led and Ryan followed.
Valhalla was an enormous structure that Ryan was starting to believe was just a labyrinth of stone and rooms belonging to warriors from all parts of history and from all over the world.
Eira told Ryan what she knew of the place – Valhalla consists of 540 rooms and was originally designed by the two tribes of Gods and Goddesses – the Aesir and Vanir – for a place to come to rest. Soon, conflict arose between the two groups – a conflict that sparked the Aesir-Vanir war.
Eira would not go into the specifics about the war, except to say that ultimately the peace treaty between the two groups has lasted to this day.
Ryan walked beside Eira mystified by the stories but also feeling out of his element. At one point, during Valhalla’s gardens, he had to stop because he was feeling lightheaded.
Something from his past life – that was what it was now, a past life, he is dead. Gone. Finito. – came back to him. A childhood pet, the smell of coffee, his mother with her warm eyes.
With all this came one alarming thought – what did your life amount to? What did it accomplish? And will whatever role he plays in Ragnarök make up for whatever he didn’t amount to in his other life.
He wanted to ask Eira these questions, if only just to get her opinion, but she was in her element leading him on a tour.
Only…
How many of these has she done before? How many people has she led through these halls?Walking back through the halls of Valhalla, chanting began to light up the room. As the two took a few more steps, the chanting grew louder.
It came from a room to their right and, as Ryan drew near, he could make out several voices all at once, speaking in the old language.
He stood at the edges of the doorway and peeked his head in, so as not to disturb whatever ritual was taking place.
Ten Valkyries knelt in the nude, their bodies forming a U shape that curved around a sole nude Valkyrie that stood before them, her arms held up outstretched and her legs parted.
The sole nude Valkyrie, hair kissed by fire, deep blue eyes – stood before an altar lit with candles from one side to another.
Her face was blank, her eyes focusing ahead. Not once did she glance at Ryan.
Standing behind the red-haired Valkyrie was another Valkyrie, with silver hair.
This Valkyrie held her hands behind her back and observed quietly.
Ryan watched the interaction, his mouth agape in fascination while his mind jumped to the nearest logical point – that he was watching a documentary about old tribes he found on YouTube late at night.
“This one is reciting her intiation” Eire said in a hushed whisper.
Ryan looked from Eira back to the red-haired Valkyrie in the centre of the room.
“Initiation?”
“Upon arrival into Asgard, each Valkyrie, should they consent to the role, begins her initiation, followed by her training.”
“Wait – everyone trains?”
“Of course! A Valkyrie must understand not only come to completely understand herself but her place in the cosmos. Awareness, control of pain, discipline. These are things we are trained in.”
A beat passed, then Eira went on. “Each Valkyrie negotiates her contract and terms of her collar to the All-Father. But…there are similarities to each of our training. In the end, this ritual is only the beginning..”
The chanting died down and the room fell silent.
Now, only the redhead Valkyrie spoke, in a shaky, barely audible voice. Ryan couldn’t understand what was being said in the old tongue, but the redhead seemed to grow more confident with each word she uttered.
“Come” Eira said to Ryan. “We have more to see today.”
Eira led and Ryan followed.

***

 

For his first day after arriving at Valhalla, Ryan observed the training process, along with a handful of souls.
These souls sat on the side lines as Eira led a demonstration into training, sparring with another Valkyrie named Líf, whose eyes were golden and who seemed to have a prickly attitude.
Back and forth Líf and Eira danced, their wooden swords smacking against each other amidst their grunts.
The two Valkyries moved gracefully, matching each other blow for blow. Eira was the quicker Valkyrie, by the time Líf had finished her move, Eira was onto her next attack.
Ryan watched in awe, his mind stumped at how this quiet, soft spoken woman that had led him through the forest was now darting and twisting and bending backwards to avoid the Valkyrie named Líf’s moves.

When Eira swung the legs out from under Líf and pinned her wooden sword to her throat, Mist cleared her throat.
“A fine demonstration, Valkyries.”
Eira and Líf found their feet, bowed at each other and then at Mist.
“Fighters as well as lovers!” Mist barked. “The best of the best are here among you, warriors! Soon you too will learn from them!”
Learn to do that? Ryan thought. That would take years to learn all that.
He watched as Eira and Líf stood by either side of Mist.
There, in that line of Valkyries, Ryan saw Kára.
If Valkyries had a special sense of knowing when someone was looking at them, Ryan didn’t know about it. But when Kára looked his way instantly and smiled, something in his stomach twisted.

Training broke for lunch, where grilled chicken and vegetables were served, as well as creamy mead and dessert, the likes of which Ryan has never tasted before – not in his over lifetime anyway.
Training would resume after lunch again until dinner, in which a three-course meal of the finest meats and vegetables were served to the point Ryan was feeling exhausted and stuffed.
Eira was there with him all through the day, answering his questions, helping him practice his fighting stance and swings.
Occasionally, with a glint of shyness to her eye, she’d ask if he would like to engage in intercourse.
Still feeling embarrassed after losing control and smacking her, Ryan found the words to politely decline the offer – and stressed his gratitude all the while.
When the hour grew late, Eira escorted him back to his chambers.
Part worried what Eira would get up to in his absence (though he didn’t understand why), part worried an apparition of his mother would appear in his room, her warm eyes acting as tiny lights that would peer at him in the darkness from the corner of his room, it took Ryan a while to find sleep. He tossed and turned and turned and tossed.
Tomorrow, he would have to observe fighting, maybe even spar himself. The thought curdled the food in his stomach.
For now, he had to try and sleep.

To be continued…

 

The Work Of Gods


‘The Mother and Father made us in their image. We should glory in our bodies, for they are the work of Gods.”

– A Dance With Dragons, Tyrion IV

Apart from being rich in imagination and vast in entertainment and scope, fantasy – or should we say George R. R. Martin – has some wealth of information you can seek out.

Not that you probably need reminding in this here blog – I like to promote self-love in all its manifestations like it was religious. Boil it down to a dogged mind and a persistence in disciplining the mind – and hopefully that of the mind of you, Dear reader. 

Regardless, Martin said it better than me.

‘We should glory in our bodies, for they are the work of Gods’. It’s a powerful sentence, isn’t it?

The work of Gods. 

The scene from the novel describes a Septa – clergy women in the world of the novel who are ‘sworn to celibacy, sometimes serving noble houses as governesses and tutors to the daughters of lords, teaching them in matters of etiquette and history and activities such as sewing…’ (Taken from the Game of Thrones wiki page) – as she uncharacteristically undressed in front of someone for her morning bath and ritual. It’s not a gratuitous scene, it’s not sensationalised, she’s merely bathing. In fact, the scene says more about her as a character and what that will mean in later chapters than anything. 

But back on track…

Sure, we can look down at our bodies and think to ourselves ‘Ha! Cruel Gods, maybe’. But the Gods (or THE God, depending on the individual) surely can only bring us so far. The rest of the way, we have to find ourselves.

For me, the sentence opened my mind. It was a revelation. We are the work of Gods. I like that. The next time I look at the palms of my hand in a quiet evening – or the next time I consider myself lucky to gaze upon my kitten’s freckles in sacred spots no other man will ever witness (For I’ll tear out his throat and shower in his blood), I’ll think on the sentence. The work of Gods. 

We need to think less negative and think more positive. Re-wire our brains to see what’s a value, rather than an exaggerated defect. Love yourself the next time you’re disrobing in front of a mirror. Love yourself the next time you spot a stretch mark, or a freckle. Love yourself even in times of thinking your cock is too small, too big, breasts too lopsided or triangular (unfortunately, in my times of sisters and ex-girlfriends, these words I have heard uttered).

Don’t like your body? Bothered by your pubic hair? (Don’t snicker, it’s a thing) Find a way to improve yourself – so that in your eyes you are Happy and centred. 

For everything else, it’s always a work in progress! 

Manifestation

Do you understand the power of the human mind?Do you understand the strength of that power?

We hallucinate. Our minds play tricks on us. 
When we’re tired, sometimes we conjure up manifestations that aren’t there. Conversations that never happen.
When we wake from our dream, sticky with sweat in the comforting light of day, we are safe from our minds. But at night? At night, you should take heed. Imagination is a magical, unwieldy power. 

So. You can look in my direction, safe with the knowledge you are secure from your lawn opposite the street. You can put your feet up on the couch or lay them across your partner while your babe sleeps. 
You can convince yourself you’re happy with your life, day in day out. Feed yourself, take care of yourself, feed the babe, take care of the babe.

But.

In the dead of the night. When it’s quiet. When not even the crickets will sing for you, find your anchor. Find your safe spot, your warm comfort. Find what light within you that you can.
Because if you think. If you think of me.
I will materialise before you.
Out of the dark, out of the shadows cast by the moonlight that filters in through your window, my form will appear.
And before you can turn on the light, the safe comfort, I will grab you by the ankle and drag you back within my reach. Back into the darkness. 

The more you indulge this thought path, the stronger I grow. 
The stronger I grow, the more I become self-aware. 
When that occurs, where does your original thought, your fantasy, end and my thoughts begin.  

A runaway mind would lead you to having your clothes torn completely off. 
Could you guess that your singlet top and shorties could be peeled off, curled off, torn off, across the room so easily?
Had you wondered how you might scream to your snoring partner who fell asleep on the couch downstairs? Did you wonder how you could even get out a scream? We both know you can’t raise your voice. You were never good at it. 

When you’re on your stomach, completely nude, your hair down and out across your back and past your shoulders, will this be my fantasy? Or yours?
Would my gaze, resting upon your pale bare ass, be your desire? Or mine?
Would your wet cunt, filling the bedroom with its delightful aroma, be offered to me for tribute? 

And when I pull you up to your knees and back into me….when I take your ass….is this a delicious act reserved for me, for us, in this moment? Or a product of a scrapped fantasy, something your boyfriend shows no interest in?

If you think, just for one second, you open the doorway between worlds. 

If you open the doorway between worlds, you run the risk of inviting me into your bedroom.

That power is yours. 

Memoirs Of A Dominant

Next week I will be turning thirty.
And looking back on the last ten years of my life is a strange and beautiful thing.

I’ve had the gift of life given to me but also of laughter and love and yeah, even Dominance. 

When I was twenty, I didn’t know what I do now. 

You could say I was Dominant, but I was coarse and unrefined. 

I could dominate – and I did – but it wasn’t with any sort of awareness of the bigger picture. I was playing chess one square at a time rather than the whole board.

Unknowingly, I had formed D/s relationships but neither me nor the lady I was with knew that. All I knew was that I had gone from being a loner to suddenly an attractive man – well, in the eyes of others anyway. At 20 I was insecure with myself in a way that I’m not now. 

My twenties were spent outside of anything BDSM related. There were flickers of it: The degradation that came out in my teens also came out in the bedroom. But I didn’t know terms, dynamics, things I wanted. I was coarse and unrefined and in a strictly vanilla relationship. 

It was around the time of my mid-twenties when something inside me awoke. Suddenly I wanted to learn. 

I was afraid to learn – there were times in the middle of the night where I woke from a dream to an ache I had ignored due to some of that catholic guilt I was raised with coming out – but I still had that desire. 

My long-term girlfriend at the time was not interested in the slightest. Not even after me trying to introduce to her some things I wanted to try. We simply were not compatible, though we hung onto each other long anyway.
Her dismissal led me to blogs and sites and that’s where I discovered Fetlife. That’s where I discovered apps like Whisper.

Suddenly I was finding that education I was so scared about. I deleted and signed up to Fetlife numerous times before I created the profile that exists today. 

Through whisper, I met a bubbly young lady. She was eighteen. I was 26 at the time. 
Blonde hair, blue eyes, piercings over her face and nipples. 
I did not have an affair with her, if that’s what you’re thinking. As I write this now, I can see that this was the origin of my Daddy side. 

You see, she came from a broken home. She was constantly in a state of distress. And over the weeks, we would talk and I would help in any way I can – because…well, because she felt like a little sister to me. 

The universe is a strange thing. It brings people together, it pulls people apart. And I guess, in that time, the universe gave me someone to talk to who was just as much seeking answers as I was. 

We would talk about our interests, mainly though, we would talk shit. And it was pleasant. 

I don’t know where she is now, but looking back, I think that was instrumental in forging my Daddy side. My caring side. My nurture side. 

EVENTUALLY my long term relationship with my girlfriend fell apart. We stopped being friends, we hung out in different rooms after work. We simply weren’t compatible. 

At the time, I wanted to fight. I felt that was what I wanted to do – fight for her. But when she showed no interest in fighting back, I decided to drop my compulsion to fix things or solve things and just…let her go. 

In the months after, I sought to explore myself. I moved in with my parents for a while, Iogged back into Fetlife. I took nude selfies despite my lingering guilt post-relationship. I wrote songs too. Really on-the-nose songs, with titles like ‘Penultimate’ and ‘Signposts’. It was my way to heal.

Through Fetlife – through people, really – I learnt what I was once too scared to learn. I spoke to women I befriended. Some I was drawn to on a really primal level. They helped point out what I was feeling. 

I had plenty of fascinating conversations about minds and life just staying in the intimate space of my childhood bedroom. In a lot of ways I was doing a loop, folding over back into my childhood town. Adulthood is weird.

But I learned I was a primal. I learned I was a Daddy. I had a six hour edging session – and I’m not exaggerating to prove something, I spent the majority of that day in bed pushing my limits. I was done crying, I was going to edge damnit. 

So you see, life is strange. Why we don’t accept our minds and our sexuality is stranger. I could lament and wonder why it wasn’t sooner that I had this life affirming epiphany, but you can’t go back. Only forward. 

If you have any questions regarding this post, always feel free to write me at my email. I’m more than happy to help you with your own journey.