Unsure About How To Write In To Me? Please Read This…

 

Every so often – probably to the point that maybe it’s redundant? I cannot tell – I like to put up little messages encouraging anyone whose contemplating about writing in to do so.

 

Whether it’s just to say hello (I love meeting anyone), whether you wanted to write to me about a piece in private (I encourage any criticism) or whether you had a question regarding BDSM or kinks (I am driven by a desire to help), I encourage you to do so.

 

If you are reading this and you’ve wanted to write to me but you fall under these mindsets –

 

  • He must be busy. I won’t bother him.
  • I know I’ll sound like a noob.
  • Everything I write sounds stupid.
  • I’m too young / old.
  • My shyness is a huge barrier.

 

I want you to know that I check my email daily and if I am busy, know I’ll reply ASAP.

I don’t mind any inexperience. I was young and inexperienced once upon a time as well. I don’t hold that against anyone. It’d take a cruel human to do so.

 

I probably should care about age restrictions – I am a stranger and some exploit that – but it’s a tricky thing – I was a naïve teenager scouring the net for help. I was a struggling adult looking for a place to belong. I wish I had help with these things. So know that even if you don’t need help, you’re not alone. I’m here; this blog and its community are here too.

 

Honestly, ‘just write’ is the best advice I can give to anyone that’s hesitant to speak up or email. I used to hate it. I sometimes still do. Why do you think I started this besides wanting to help? To combat my own anxieties and hesitancies.

 

Sit down, write to yourself or to me, just let any frustration out. It doesn’t matter how long, it doesn’t matter how coarse or unrefined it is – it’s out now. And maybe that’s a start.

 

So please – you don’t have to do it alone. If you feel lost, if you feel backed in the corner, if you feel like a freak, just know that my email is always open to you. I have never closed it and still check.

 

And if you don’t need help, if you still feel like a fool, if you think your interests make you a freak, know there is nothing wrong with you. This is the beginning of a beautiful journey and no matter what, you’ll be fine. If someone like me can find a spot in the sun, then so can you.

 

Everything in between is a baby step.

 

For those interested in contacting me, my email is darkanddominant@hotmail.com

-TD&D

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Regarding My 1950s Midnight Rant

Regarding my previous post – a late night stream of consciousness thought process about the time period that was the 1950’s – there was a discussion held privately about the notion of existing in such a time.

 

At first, it was about the love of the culture, filtered through the lens of fantasy, but it soon became a discussion about gender politics, which got me thinking about a few things I wanted to address to the readers that take their time to read my stuff.

 

First off, it needs to be said – man or woman, regardless of how you identify, regardless of sexual oreientation, I have absolutely no problem with. That would go against my very nature and what I have been taught. Not only that, I would never begrudge someone for something that stirs within their soul.

 

What I wanted to address though is the relationship this hypothetical me would have to this hypothetical 1950s woman.

 

When I wrote that piece yesterday, it stemmed from a love for that culture and from my own roots – a primal mind and the ever-strong desire to understand someone’s mind.

 

If I ridiculed or berated a submissive, it would be part of an established setting and something both parties agreed to. I am very much all for a comfortable setting, a relaxed submissive and basically, just a lovely time altogether.

 

IF I was in the 50s, and possessed everything I do currently, I certainly wouldn’t exploit her innocence, nor would I force her to submit. Everything that’s beautiful to me is that choice to submit. That’s on a submissive to decide.

 

The idea I was trying to present was of a person, and in this case it was me but hey, it could be anyone, living in that time and exploring themselves. It was intended to be a giddy reminder of our own experiences.

 

Valhalla, Ch. Five – ‘The Passage’

Previously on VALHALLA:

Heading home after work one night, Ryan Kennedy intervenes in a mugging-in-progress and is killed. He wakes up in Asgard, realm of the Norse Gods, and befriends a quiet Valkyrie by the name of Eira, who introduces him to rituals and customs of the Valkyries, the Gods and the souls on their way to Valhalla.

Together, they board a longship that will take them straight to the shores of Valhalla.

CHAPTER FIVE

 

THE PASSAGE

 

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Ryan could smell the ocean as the longship made its voyage to Valhalla. The salt that drifted up to him from below tickled his nostrils. He stood on the side of the longship, resting his hand on wood of the railing that was smooth and polished.
The dizzying aspect that screeched this was all a dream did not leave his mind; rather he looked upon the sunset of his second day in Asgard and felt a daze drift over him.
It came back to him then.
His first kiss as a sixteen year old with Susie Parker from Religion. They kissed in the bedroom she shared with her little sister, while they were alone. Nervousness slithered its way through his stomach.

“It never ends” Came a voice, knocking Ryan back into Asgard, all these years later.
He turned to see her approach, just as her silver wings faded out of view, tucking themselves back behind her.
“What does?”
“The ocean. There is no end to it.”
“How can that be?”
Eira’s matter-of-fact face, calm and serene, regarded him for a moment, before her eyes left him to look upon the water.
“It is not like that in Miðgarðr, is it?”
Ryan shook his head and turned to look at her. Suddenly that serene expression of hers gave way to something sad and unspoken.
“Do you remember anything about your life, Eira?” Ryan found him asking.
A frown formed across Eira’s face as she stood glancing at the ocean.
“I…remember….ice. Everywhere.”
“You mean snow?”
This time Eira glanced from the ocean up to Ryan, her eyes slipping back into that quizzical look.
“Snow.” Eira said flatly. “Snow….is that the word? We don’t get that here.”
“Is Ice all you remember?”
Eira frowned and looked out across the ocean again, only nodding silently.
Silence fell between them, giving way to the sound of the longship cruising against the water beneath it.

Ryan looked ahead of him and shielded the rays of sunset from his eyes as he gazed upon something in the distance.
When Eira saw him squinting ahead, she followed his line of sight to what loomed far beyond in the distance – Valhalla.
“What happens to me when we get there?” Ryan found himself asking.
“You train with the rest of the souls, as best you can.”
“And you? What happens to you and I? Does that mean our….courtship….ends?”
Eira opened her mouth to speak, but nothing came out.
Did Valkyries shrug? Ryan wondered. Did she even know the answer to his question?
“You should get some rest, Ryan Kennedy. There is a long effort waiting for you on the ‘morrow.”
The sadness that Ryan thought he saw earlier crept back over his face. He wanted to ask why and what was on her mind, but the sheer suggestion that he should sleep brought fatigue to the forefront of his mind.
Eira extended her arms across to the railing and stood silently watching Valhalla in the distance. As she did so, Ryan once again caught a glimpse of the pale scarring on her upper arms – thin white slits that seemed to stretch up to the palms of her hand.
He remembered he had seen these markings before, shortly before his arrival to this realm, but what had happened to her?
He stood for a moment, hoping she’d turn and say something, maybe even reveal she was telepathic and answer his question – but nothing happened. To her, it was almost like he was already gone.

Mulling over this behaviour, he said his goodnights to her and made his way to the cabin Eira had directed him to upon arriving on the ship.
Around him, creatures of all shapes and sizes he didn’t recognise sang in a song he couldn’t understand.
Mead splashed on his tunic as he passed, turning on the side to move between two Elves, skin as pale as the moon and eyes blood red, and pardoning himself as he went.
The wooden hallway ahead of him was empty, dimly lit by the lanterns on the wall above him, evenly spread apart from one another.
He moved quietly through the corridor, ignoring a creeping sense of sudden dread and ignoring the sudden urge to break the silence by clearing his throat.
From a few doors ahead of him came the sound of voices, low and hushed.
As Ryan crept closer, he could hear it was a woman. No – not one woman, a few. They were chanting, in time, again and again, as if in prayer.
Stopping just at the door from he room, he glanced inside.
The room within was low lit with the lanterns that sat above the doors in this corridor. Nine Valkyries, nude and head bowed, knelt in the centre of the room, gathered in lines of three in front of a shrine made of wood.
The shrine itself was surrounded by candles and bore a resemblance to three triangles, interlocking with one another.
“The Valknut” Came an equally hushed voice from behind Ryan.
Ryan turned around to see Kára leaning against the doorway, her dark eyes looking back and forth at him.

“It is the prayer given to us by The All-Father, meant to remind us that we are always with him and He with us.”
Ryan looked from Kára back to the room full of Valkyries chanting alongside one another.
“As we are His, we are to recite it in the nude morning, noon and evening. Though some, as you see, choose to do it together”
Ryan turned back to Kára and kept his voice. “You don’t?”
“I choose to keep to myself” Said Kára, a smirk forming across her lips.
“Say, walk me to my cabin?”

 

 

***

 

“How are you enjoying my baby sister?” Kára asked Ryan, as they walked along the corridors.
“I don’t…I mean, the whole sex thing is…”
“Not for you?”
“It is! I just…would rather…getting to know someone before, you know?”
Kára grinned. “I get it. You wouldn’t be the first man or woman in all these years to feel queer about it. But my sister is treating you well, right?”
“Yeah, of course.”
“Good. Valkyries – they can be reassigned should you desire. No fault of theirs or yours.”
Ryan shifted uncomfortably as they walked, hoping Kára wouldn’t notice. Her eyes were ahead.
Kára was dressed in grey silk dress, her silver wings tucked behind to avoid dragging on each side of the walls.
“I do have a question though.” Ryan asked, breaking the lull in conversation.
“Yes, Ryan Kennedy?”
Is she your sister?”
Kára giggled at the answer. She bowed her head and held her hand to her mouth to suppress the giggle.
When she was done, she flashed Ryan a charming smile.
Enchanting was the word that instantly came to his mind.
“Why, we’re all sisters, Ryan.” Kára replied. “I just call Eira my baby sister because she’s the newest to our ranks – Ah! Here we are!”

Kára stopped in front of the door that led to her chambers. She opened wide the door, revealing within a room covered in the light of the moon.
Against the wall to the right of the room, facing horizontally was a feather bed, wrapped in the finest fabrics. To the left was a wooden table and chairs.
“For reflection” Kára replied, catching Ryan’s glance. “Speaking of…”
Kára stood in the doorway and reached behind her, smirking as she did.
With a gentle tug from behind, her grey silk dress fell to the floor, revealing her nude body.
Her body was covered in ink that slinked up her arms and across her torso, while piercings covered each nipple, her belly button and her clitoris.
Kára’s eyes did not leave Ryan. Instead, they watched him carefully for any kind of reaction. Even the smirk from her lips was spreading to her eyes. They glistened with mischief.

“Are you sure I can’t be of service to you, Mister Ryan?” She said, her hands brushing the curves of her breasts on their way down to the thin strip of dark hair that covered her mound.
Ryan felt his face burn. “You don’t have a soul of your own to look after?”
“I do! She has found herself into a drunken stupor in her own quarters – typical of a Dwarf, if you’ll allow me to be outspoken..”
She bowed her head at this.
Ryan didn’t know what to say, so he nodded.
“So again I ask you – Are you sure I can’t be of service to you?”
When Ryan nodded, sensing discomfort pierce his stomach, Kara’s eyes seemed to lose her mischief in a heartbeat.
“As you wish. Good Evening.”
Kára closed the door gently, leaving Ryan standing in the corridor alone.

 

***

 

Despite feeling tired when he rested his head on his own feather quilt bed, he did not find sleep quickly. Rather, he tossed and turned, unable to adjust to the rhythm of the ship rocking.

He laid in bed, staring up at the wooden ceiling, and wondered how his family were, if time moved the same on Earth as it did in Asgard.

When he thought of his mother and his father despairing at his death, his stomach churned.

And he began to cry.

 

To be continued…

The Differing Views on Sexuality

 

IF you were to google, say, CowGirl Dominatrix, just look at some of the images you find – from photo shoots to drawings and 3D Renderings.

I did, myself, after wondering what that would really look like, or what people would think it really look like. Because – let’s face it, there’s no right or wrong answer. People adapt what they like, they shape it into something they like.

I was surprised to find a lot of steampunk influences in what a CowGirl Dominatrix would look like. Steampunk, for those unfamiliar, is a hybrid genre. It’s like taking a 19th century aesthetic but blending it with a futuristic setting. Which makes sense for the Dominatrix visuals I came across in my journey, much like these:

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But it’s not entirely what I, personally, had in mind. Which is fascinating to me, because it’s so different from what I’m finding on google – that and it’s says a lot about my tastes and views.

For example, my defining CowGirl Domme would not be dressed out in black attire seen in these images I posted. It’s more fascinating, more alluring for me to have this Domme hidden in plain sight.

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I’m not really interested in the exaggerated sexed up CowGirl that revels in short frilly skirts and unbuttoned blouses. It’s strange, because as a writer, if I were writing a western themed piece of erotica, my Domme would be this normal next-door Jenny. Tends to her father, takes care of the farm. Whips the curious boy or girl in the barn once the sun goes down.

That’s interesting for me because I can explore daytime Jenny as well as free uninhabited Jenny. Something I strive for with the duality in my life, and something I love to teach to anyone that wants my mentoring.

And the most interesting thing here is that someone could come along and say I’M boring, and they prefer the looks above. Or that maybe the looks above are Jenny’s true form. Maybe that’s what she wears when the sun goes down. I don’t know.

I like Jenny, I’m already forming an idea of her. Kinda like a Disney Princess but one that’s been shifted on her head – she seeks adventure out of her daily life. She is getting the feeling she’s pretending to be someone she’s not. Maybe I need to write a series just to give Jenny a life and room to breathe. Characters tend to haunt me if I don’t.

People have different opinions on these natures of things. I love that. Because it’s fascinating to understand why, and after all, it just creates new stories to watch unfold. That’s always a beautiful thing.

Do Not Let Anxiety Re-wire Your Mind

 

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Whether this is taken as a piece of armour to wear into the week or whether it’s taken as a word of good will in the moment, I wanted to tell you that it’s going to be okay.

I know, I know. I talk a lot about anxiety and not enough about kink – but something struck me during a recent panic attack.

If anxiety is so powerful it can alter memories and convince you of the bad, what kind of effect would that have on your future goals?

I’m guilty of avoiding places / people involved with my anxiety sometimes, because there’s a trigger effect that takes time to fade.

And after I had my attack, I wondered: What would this do to someone interested in the lifestyle, interested in rebooting their life, but when anxiety hits, they throw it all away out of fear, and in the interest of keeping things comfortable.

If I just described you, let me give you some advice: Let the fog clear. Take a mental health day, whatever comforts your mind, and let that fog clear. Because when it does, the answers to the questions you’ve been asking will most likely not be fueled by anxiety and will, in fact, be truthful.

When you’re sitting at the threshold of this new world, hand on the door that will lead you to information about yourself you’d never thought of in your wildest dreams, it’s easy to leave that door closed. Hell, I did it for most of my twenties out of pure fear.

What if I told you, leaning on a dark cane, dressed in a black suit and crimson tie, like some sort of BDSM Willy Wonka, that everything you’ve ever wondered about yourself is beyond this door.

That, at the risk of sounding melodramatic, there is a key behind there to your very existence.

I would warn you that there might be a labyrinth Beyond this door. Maybe there’s a limitless number of doors waiting to be opened for you as you progress, with little resting bays waiting in the wings for you to take break when you are feeling overwhelmed.

Enough with the psychedelic metaphors – my message is this: Don’t let anxiety drive. If it does, don’t despair about turning that car around and making up for lost time.

It may often feel that you’re taking one step forward and two steps back but — progress is progress. Even if it’s slow and doesn’t feel like it, you are still moving forward to the next door.

So: Things to take away from this read, if you’re here:

1. Don’t be dissuaded by anxiety. If Silent Hill protagonists can move through the fog, so can you.
2. Remember to take a break from absorbing information if things become overwhelming. It was for each of us, and when you’ve passed by the sensation, you can say the same to the next group of new people.
3. Try not to run from the future. Anxiety will tell you you’re a fool, but you’re not. Let the fog clear and take baby steps.
4. If you feel like you can never break free of anxiety’s funk, you’re wrong. With a little sunshine, and a tonne of patience, you will find you can lead a normal life.

THAT BEING SAID,

If you have any questions regarding this post, the lifestyle, calming techniques for anxiety or just need a mentor for a moment, please feel free to message me at darkanddominant@hotmail.com

And remember, If I can do this, so can you.

In 2018, You Will Be Alright

 

The D/s dynamic.

Master. Slave. Submissive. Dominant. Switch. Primal. New. Old. Divorced. Separated. Isolated.

No matter what you’re feeling, no matter where you are in life, 2018 will be okay for you.

It’s easy though feel fear approaching the new year. What have you achieved? Where are you going? How will you get there? What plan do you have?

The thing is, through hard work and determination, through taking one step at a time – no matter if they’re baby steps – you’ll be perfectly fine. It’s an old saying but it’s something that I found when I was at the lowest in my life – things have a way of working themselves out. What that means for you, time will tell – but things tend to fall into place.

But you can’t expect things to come to you. These things take work. Time. You have to want what you’re seeking. And some days you need to challenge yourself, cauterise the negative thinking and get out of bed.

The same goes for people new to the dynamic, new to exploring where they fit into all of this – whether you’re single and looking for the right partner, whether you’re in a marriage and trying to find the right balance –

All you need is patience, love and the drive to explore and educate. You may not feel up to it every day, some days it will be tough and overwhelming and you will feel like you are about to crash, but keep pushing, keep moving. Keep thinking this is just one day, tomorrow is a new start. A fresh start.

You can achieve anything. If I can, you definitely can.

 

Valhalla, Ch. 3 – The First Night In Asgard

Need to catch up? Here’s Chapter One and Two!

CHAPTER THREE

 

THE FIRST NIGHT IN ASGARD

 

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The sight of the orgy made Ryan forget his footing.
He tripped over his feet.
To his surprise, Eira caught him lightning-fast by the elbow, looking at him with those same curious eyes that fell upon him when he refused her body.
The two regarded one another a moment, before a shriek coming from the distance tore Ryan back towards the bonfire.
The towering inferno lit up the clearing around it, painting the people celebrating – celebrating what, Ryan thought, around it.
People whooped and hollered, moaned and groaned, a mix of noises all contorting together around the fire.
Ryan had never seen anything like it in his entire life.
He’d never been to a strip club, wasn’t interested in a dance or watching, it felt impersonal.
And orgies wasn’t something he’d ever thought about joining in on, he was more a one-on-one interaction.
As if reading his mind, Eira piped up.
She was walking in front of him, raising her voice so he could hear from behind her.
“As I mentioned earlier, the Valkyries, every so often, like to hold a celebration for the new souls.”
Something to Ryan’s right caught his eye and he looked to see a raven-haired woman sitting on the ground nude, with her back against a plank of wood and her legs raised above her head, held in place by rope tied back to the plank itself.
Upon closer inspection, Ryan saw the raven haired beauty was wearing a necklace featuring what appeared to silver decorated in the shape of wings.

 

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Her body was decorated in tribal tattoos, black flames curled up her arms and across her stomach.
Between her legs was another woman, her legs stretched out on the ground beneath her, her head buried into the raven woman’s crotch.
Eira saw Ryan had stopped and walked back to see what he was looking at.
“Oh. Would you like to watch?” She asked him, matter-of-factly. Not a hint of a tone in her voice suggested she was excited or jealous the women had Ryan’s eye. To Eira, it was another day.
“Perhaps join?”
Ryan instinctively covered his crotch.
“No” came out of him, and the raven-haired woman looked over at him.
He felt his cheeks burning, his stomach sinking. What on earth is this place, he wondered.
“Very well.”
Eira continued onwards and Ryan followed, passing a man engaging a woman in doggy-style to his right, his groans echoing out amongst the crowd.
A woman passed by him to his right, naked and wearing an ornament on her head that appeared to be made out of wood. It was ablaze, trailing smoke into the night sky.
The woman, her body painted in tribal tattoos, danced around the fire, holding her arms high in the air.
How many people were here, wondered Ryan.
He began to count, dotting the people with a wave of his finger in the air.
He gave up when he counted fourteen.

“Eira?” He asked when they came to a stop at an empty spot by the bonfire.
“Mm?”
“What….what…”
“I told you. Valkyrie’s are slaves. We, according to the All-Father, live to serve as slaves.”
“Is that just sexually?”
Ryan could feel the heat of the bonfire on his face, could smell that smoky wood-burning smell that he could associate with his youth, hanging around the bonfire with his mates and drinking.
The thought hit him hard. Mates.
He had lost touch with his mates from high school, hadn’t really made closer ones in the jobs he had been in. But still…would they mourn him?
“It is sexually, it is anything the new soul desires.”
“And this is something you’ve done, as well?”
As soon as Ryan said it, he braced himself for ridicule. He knew it sounded stupid, had felt it sounded stupid, but just had to ask, was curious to ask.
Eira just regarded him with a blank face. “Of course”
“What if I wanted, just wanted I mean, a guide..?”
Something flickered in Eira’s eyes. A moment of doubt, Ryan thought he saw, but couldn’t tell, for it was gone a second later.
“Do you wish to request a different Valkyrie? I can suggest-“
“No no, not necessary”
Idiot.
“I just..I’m not a fan of the casual sex thing in general”
“Casual? Hm. Are you interested in…males?”
Ryan felt his cheeks burning. “No, I just…I mean, straight up sex is…I’m not really a fan, you know. I’d like to get to know a person first, I…”
Eira was watching him closely.
“It’s not that this isn’t…all attractive, and you..I mean…this isn’t not a turn on, it is..I just…don’t…right now…”
Eira’s face and eyes relaxed. She smiled, seemingly satisfied with his answer.
“Eira”
A voice, low and commanding, came from their right.
Ryan looked over to see a fellow Valkyrie, tall and dark-haired, walking over to them. She wore the same necklace as the raven-haired woman Ryan saw earlier, her arms were covered with the same tattooed black flames twisting up the length of her lightly tanned arms.
Eira bowed and the woman bowed back, and then regarded Ryan with a half-smirk, her deep blue eyes glistening in the light of the bonfire.
“Your new soul?”
Eira nodded, staying silent.
“Why aren’t you naked?”
“I…”
“Furthermore, why aren’t you wearing your collar? You know the All-Father’s rules.”
Ryan looked to Eira, whose eyes seemed suddenly hurt.
One hand was raised to her neck, feeling for the collar that wasn’t there. Ryan hadn’t even noticed.
“I…I must have left it at my station.”
The dark-haired woman tilted her head at the response, her eyes moving to Ryan, still with that half-smirk.
“We carry that collar everywhere. Everywhere. It represents the All-Father.”
The dark-haired woman bowed with her left hand balled into a fist resting on her chest, while her right hand came outstretched, palm open, and Eira returned the gesture.
Ryan watched on as the two women faced each other.
The dark-haired woman was taller than Eira, with Eira coming to rest at the dark-haired woman’s shoulders.
“Don’t forget next time you go beyond, alright?”
Eira nodded. “Yes, sister”
Sister?
The woman Eira named ‘sister’ nodded. “Oh, and a word away from your soul? I’m sure he won’t mind a look around.”
Eira nodded and turned to face Ryan.
“This shouldn’t take long” She said and offered a little gesture somewhere between a curtsy and a bow.
With that, Eira and the dark-haired woman stepped away from him and Ryan was left alone.

He was suddenly uneasy, unwilling to look up in case he made eye contact with any one in the midst of an intimate encounter.
From across the bonfire, there came the sound of a woman orgasming, her cries echoed across from the other side of the bonfire, sounding, to Ryan’s ears, oh so delightful.
“You’re new” Came a voice, gruff and low.
Ryan looked to his right and saw a dark-skinned creature approach him.
It had the appearance of a dwarf, short and big-bellied. Its curious black eyes regarded Ryan as it sat down beside him, tucking its navy kilt underneath its bottom as it sat.
Ryan could barely hold back his scream. It came out like a hiccup.
The dwarf-like creature seemed to smile, revealing a crooked line of yellow teeth.
Along with the smile, Ryan’s eyes were drawn to its thick light-brown ears twitching on the creature’s head.
“It’s obvious by the bewildered look on your face”
The dwarf-like creature chuckled, deep and throaty.
Ryan stammered – but couldn’t find the words.
Suddenly the world seemed smaller, more dream-like.
He almost wanted to reach out and touch the tuft of fur on the dwarf-like creature’s chin, just to make sure what he was seeing was real and not the sort of characters he had read about in fantasy novels.
The dwarf-like creature’s eyes sharpened. “Didn’t your mother ever tell you that it’s rude to stare?”
Ryan averted his eyes, looked back down at his feet.
The dwarf-like creature threw back his head and laughed uproariously.
It smacked Ryan fair and square on the back, knocking Ryan off balance.
“I’m just joshing with you, lad! I’d expect a human to stare. It’s only natural to be curious.”
Ryan tried to force a smile but he just felt stupid.
“I am Mort, son of Martin. I hail from Niðavellir, home of the Dwarves!”
“Ryan” Was all Ryan could say weakly.
Mort laughed. “Ryan eh? I have not met a ‘Ryan’ yet. I shall journal this on the ‘morrow”
All Ryan could do was nod and avert his eyes. He suddenly felt a bit dizzy.
Home of the Dwarves? Is this really happening?
“My first time was the same, I do admit! Looking around and seeing all…this….there are no words, eh?”
Mort moved closer to Ryan. He was now shoulder-to-shoulder with him.
Not knowing whether to make eye contact or not, Ryan forced another smile, keeping his eyes pinned to the ground.
“It is a big honor, yes? Being chosen for the battle?”
Ryan brushed the smoke out of his eyes, making eye contact with Mort for the first time.
“Battle?”
“Aye, the looming battle! Has your slave not told you about what’s to come? Why we’re here?”
All Ryan could do was shake his head.
Then the curious creature named Mort told him everything.

***

 

After Kára had finished going over the details for the passage to Valhalla, Eira made her way back to the bonfire.
Her mood was soured. Kára always had that effect on her, had always seemed to enjoy teasing her. Eira never understood why.
Kára was older than Eira and had arrived to Asgard well before Eira had.
She had been assigned to Eira to train her in combat, as well as slave training, and though the two became polite with one another, and Eira followed every training order and stayed out of trouble, Kára seemed to relish in being a strict teacher.
Other Valkyrie’s voiced their opinion about Kára to Eira. They had done so often as they bathed together in the spring outside the walls of Valhalla.
Everyone had decided that while Kára could be a bit of a strict leader, her heart was in the right place, especially when it came to her role as a slave.
As Eira drew closer to the bonfire, she recalled Kára’s ferocious dedication to being a slave, having walked in on her whipping her back while reciting the All-Father’s slave mantra with precise clarity.
Eira admired her.
When Eira arrived to the spot she was standing with Ryan when Kára first walked over, she saw he was nowhere to be seen.
The thought crossed her mind that maybe he chose a different Valkyrie after all, so she walked around the perimeter of the bonfire, side stepping between Valkyries pleasing their men and women.
Ryan was nowhere to be seen.
At least around the bonfire.
This isn’t good, Eira thought. Walking Asgard unsupervised at night isn’t particularly dangerous, but the forest was a labyrinth, one a new soul was surely to get lost in.
Eira walked around the bonfire again, scanning the area more carefully. And that’s when she spotted him, leaning against the tree at the edge of the clearing.
As she approached him, she saw that his face was darkened.

At the sheer sight of it, a chill swept over her bare arms.
“Ryan?”
Ryan looked up, his face never changing from its darkened state.
“Ragnarok?”
Eira’s stomach sank.
Ryan, as if reading her thoughts, spoke again.
“Oh a Dwarf told me by the bonfire.”
He laughed bitterly.
“I was chosen for that? Plucked from my family when I could’ve been saving them when it happens. W-when you could’ve saved them. What’s that about, I mean, life as you know it, as I know it – it’s all going to end right?”
The hurt Eira could see in Ryan’s eyes made her feel uneasy.
“So the All-Father’s dreams have said, yes.”
“And it’s actually happening? I mean, this isn’t some misdirection?”
“Yes, soon The Giants will attack, according to the All-Father’s dreams…”
Ryan scoffed and fell to the ground. Eira couldn’t read his expression from where she stood.
She knelt down beside him and spoke gently and carefully.
“I’m sorry…I was waiting to tell you after the bonfire, after your mind adjusted. It’s why we’re here. It’s why any of us besides the gods themselves are here. We are training for war.”
Ryan buried his face in his knees, which were pulled up to meet his face.
“I already knew. I just needed to remember it from my…previous life”
Ryan choked out the last two words; Eira could hear the strain on his voice.
Without really knowing if she could or should, she rested a hand on his knee.
“You were dying, Ryan. And I had a choice in that moment to let you die and go to Freyja or come to Asgard”
Ryan looked up from his knee, his eyes fierce. “To fight your fight”
The words stung but Eira couldn’t relent. It was important, even in his grief, that he understood. “To fight the fight of the cosmos…”

She went on.
“I saw your strength in that moment, a fighter choosing to stick up for something so little. The passion I felt from you, it was my duty then and there to decide – and I do not regret my choice..”
“Choice? I’m not a fighter. I know nothing of battle!”
Ryan rose to his feet. “And what is all this…this nonsense? People being happy, dancing around? Does no one care about the life they left behind”
Eira rose too. Now Ryan was raising his voice at her and she could feel something burning up within her as well. What was it? Rage? Hurt?
“People are here because they care about the nine realms, about your world. Yes, they grieve but that grief drives them for the moment ahead when everything, everything we know, faces its end. So I am sorry, Ryan Kennedy, that your life came to an end but you are not the only one here grieving. Each one of us lost our lives, just as each one of us has a duty now to save the lives of the nine realms”

Eira could see Ryan’s eyes drift down. She trailed their line of sight down to the thin white lines craved into her fleshed.
The mysterious scars on the insides of her arms, the mystery of her previous life still forgotten to her, suddenly made her put her arms behind her back.
“We need people like you, whether you believe that or not.”
His eyes met hers then and once again, she spoke gently and slowly.
“And I promise you, you will always be able to see your family”

To be continued…