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…

12 Days of BDSM Christmas 2017 – #2: Silent Night

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Rachel looked at herself in the mirror as she shakily undid her plain black bra, watching it as it fell at her feet and revealed her breasts, red splotches covering her areola and nipples.

“Jesus” She let out in a hoarse whisper, and felt a stab of guilt as she did so, given the circumstances.

Despite all this, her cunt was still alive and on fire, pulsating to its own rhythm, something Rachel wasn’t in tune to. It scared her. She wanted no part in it.

Yet as she peeled off her panties, emerald satin with fine black lace detailing around the edges, she could smell the strong aroma of her cunt.

It was so strong it almost made her gag, not for distaste but because her own scent was intense. She could count on one hand the times she had witnessed that, and she didn’t care to count them out right now.

Rachel needed to shower, scalding hot or freezing cold, both were acceptable. Anything to shake the uneasy feeling that what she had done was wrong, terribly wrong.

But all she could think of was laying back on the bed behind her and finishing what she had started. She could watch herself, which was something she had wanted to do but felt weird about it. Narcissistic. She would only point out the flaws in her body anyway, right?

Well, not tonight. Tonight she wanted to watch her fingers glide over her wet slit and slide –

 

It was the middle of summer and yet when Rachel stepped out of the car alongside her family, steam escaped her lips as she let out a sigh.

When she agreed to make the nine-hour drive from Melbourne to Sydney, she thought she would just be spending time with her family.

Yet somewhere between the first and ninth hour of the drive, the thought did occur to her: Mum is going to make me go to Christmas Mass.

It was, after all, her mother’s tradition. Family, even. Rachel’s mother and father were raised Catholic and so raised their three children, Rachel, Louise and May, in their image.

The thing about growing up Catholic though, you merge with the thoughts of the world. You develop a mind of your own. You start to wonder about how and why and why not and before long, you’re agnostic.

Rachel never wanted to go to Mass. She wanted to just soak in the hot tub and read and not even think about Jesus Christ or our sins.

But when she ran the idea by her mum, and when her mum said, with a roll of the eye – something none too subtle and obviously meant to be taken to heart by Rachel – that she was an adult and can do her own thing, Rachel know then that she was trapped. Her mum – excellent at the guilt trip.

 

So Rachel donned the least offensive thing in her wardrobe, something that wasn’t a dress with zombies on it or skeletons or her beloved Pacman dress. She donned a simple black dress, elegant and tasteful. It ran to her knees, didn’t show any leg or breasts or anything the churchgoers or Jesus might find offensive. She even wore tasteful panties without really knowing why she bothered to wear tasteful panties in the first place.

Does God find Poison Ivy and Batgirl panties bad taste? What about Tinkerbell? She does look like a harlot..

Whatever God’s tastes were, Rachel and her family walked into the church in complete silence.

 

It would be odd to say that the church is an ancient thing, considering most are, but it is – it has sat on the corner of the Western Suburbs of Sydney since 1989, when she was a small child. She had her communion here, she was baptised here, and the same old priest that took her confession after she was caught masturbating in the toilets by Miss Fletcher in grade six was still tending to the local flock at the ripe age of 400.

 

Save for a few rows at the front of the hall, the church was unusually empty this Christmas Eve. The times that Rachel had been, the church stalls were packed to the brim and people who came too late to grab a seat stood in lines with their backs against the walls.

 

Rachel found herself supressing a smirk. Everyone had the same idea it seems, thought she, as she followed her Mum into the Church stall.

Thin padded cushions lined the Church stall seats, though it should be said that that didn’t really help at all. Rachel could feel the wood beneath her, rubbing her boylegs into the curves of her ass.

“Jesus” Rachel whispered as she swung her knees to the right to reposition herself.

It was only when she had grown comfortable again that she noticed her mum, sitting across from May, glaring across the stall at her. She heard me blaspheme, Rachel said, I know she did.

 

Her mother didn’t pass on a message back to Rachel; however, she merely glanced coldly at her.

What more does she want, thought Rachel, I am here instead of listening to the crickets and relaxing.

Then the Mass began and Grandfather Priest waddled to the centre of the altar looking like Death itself. He already had the skeletal outline, thin wisps of facial hair on his chin and looked fragile. All he needed was a scythe.

His voice sounded more fragile than he looked, like somebody at the end of his rope, as he struggled to get out the greeting.

Rachel felt cruel to snicker, but the snicker came all the same to her.

That was when her mother leant across May to tap her on her shoulder.

“Honestly, Rachel, you’re 19. Act like it.”

Rachel thought she was.

 

The last Christmas Eve Mass Rachel attended, she was 17. Still in secondary college – or High School. Back then, living under her parent’s roof, she had to. But now, living out of home, finding her own way in life, even if that was working at the local cinema, she didn’t have to sit through the mind-numbing event. She didn’t have to feel bad yawning during prayer.

Something tickled her ankle and Rachel flinched, to the surprise of her family squished around her.

Rachel caught the eye of her mother – cold as ice – and ignored trying to figure out just what those eyes were saying. Something had brushed past her leg.

I did, came a voice. Smooth. Gentle.

Rachel could hear it but not see it. She turned around to see if her family had seen – but their eyes were forward listening to Father Death.

Down here.

Rachel looked down and saw two golden eyes the size of pebbles and barely visible in the darkness of the space underneath.

Don’t scream.

The serpent coiled into the light, wrapping itself around Rachel’s leg and squeezing gently.

Rachel, it hissed. O Rachel, your mind is running, sweet child.

Rachel looked to her family, who didn’t notice her. Even her mother was looking forwards, eyes serene.

 

The pale green snake reached her knee, its golden eyes watching her closely.

Rachel felt hypnotised by its gaze, as if she was falling into a dream.

That was it, she thought, I am asleep. I had fallen asleep during prayer.

Doubtful.

The snake’s voice was in her head, its voice oddly calming.

It slithered under her dress. She could feel its oily skin against her bare thigh.

In all the worlds, in all of rhyme, spin and seek and fear the chime.

Rachel could feel the snake slither across her cunt, could feel the tickle of its body against her skin.

In all of the worlds, each one is the same, you see. And you, O Rachel, are the same in all of the worlds.

Rachel tried to speak but all that came out was a whimper through trembling lips.

She felt violated as the snake began to slither up her stomach, next stop – breasts.

Rachel went to stand up, but the snake hissed beneath her dress. She could see it move in a wave, zigzagging across her chest, which tightened with every chest.

Do not move.

Rachel wanted to ask why her, but the words never came. If she moved quickly enough, she could grip the snake from her body and squeeze it till it popped, but would it bite her first? And why could no one see this happening?

Her family rose and repeated the prayer that Father Death had spilled from his elderly lips. No one seemed to mind that Rachel did not move, not even her mother, whose face no longer registered cold.

Rachel felt the snake move across the curves of her breasts and let out a whimper, it sounded deep and unlike her. The sound frightened her more so.

When the snake coiled itself out the top of her dress and around Rachel’s neck, Rachel was shaking like a leaf. The sudden urge to urinate hit her then, and she struggled to keep it back.

 

She could feel the snake move behind her neck, brushing her auburn hair as it slinked its way across her left shoulder to in front of her face, where it watched her with those haunting golden eyes.

For fifteen agonizing seconds, the snake gazed at Rachel and Rachel gazed at the snake, all of a sudden feeling that summer heat on her neck and cheeks.

The pale snake then slithered back around her neck and feeling its absence, Rachel turned to see it slither into the next Church stall and away from view.

Rachel went to let out a cry, to let out a sob. All that came out was air.

 

A gust of wind struck her fiercely, knocking her head back against the Church stall seats hard, sending pain running through her entire her body.

Though the pain soon subsided, leaving through the tips of her toes, a gentle breeze remained, running against her back.

Rachel looked down and saw her own nude body. Horror washed over her, warm and unrelenting. Panic gripped her throat as she tried to scream.

Not one soul in the church looked at her, all eyes were forward.

The breeze was all around her now, on the tips of her nipples, at her bare shaven cunt. It slithered, just like the pale snake, across her arms and down her legs.

Rachel looked forward to see that Father Death’s gaze was directly upon her.

Rachel realised he had just finished his sentence, as faces began to turn to look at her in all directions.

Even her family looked back at her, eyes warm and accepting.

Rachel looked from her family to Father Death, her words catching in her throat. She choked on their sounds.

Father Death extended one skeletal and withered hand in the air and that’s when the churchgoers rose again.

An altar girl appeared from a doorway on the altar. She was a thin, Hispanic woman. Lines of red paint were smeared vertically across her breasts, as if painted hurriedly.

 

That’s when Rachel realised Father Death was pointing towards her. No, at her.

The altar girl turned to look and found Rachel. Even from here, Rachel could see she did not smile; she merely stepped out across the way towards her.

“Well, go on” Said Rachel’s mother, but Rachel just stood there frozen in silent horror, unable to process what was happening.

The altar woman made her way to Rachel, stopping on the outside of the church seats. She kneeled, her breasts swaying before Rachel’s face as she leant down.

Rachel found her sharp brown eyes and slender face beautiful.

When Rachel’s mother gently shoved her, the Hispanic woman rose to catch Rachel in her arms so she did not fall. Rachel found her face nestled in the woman’s small breasts, smelling the strong smell of paint.

 

In complete silence, as the church hymn Silent Night was sung by the churchgoers, Rachel was led to the front of altar. Goosebumps formed across her arms and her hard frozen nipples ached.

Behind her, the churchgoers began to form in a single line, their head bowed quietly as they sang to themselves.

Rachel wanted to scream at them, for someone to help. But nothing came out except tears from her eyes.

When she reached Father Death, she recoiled from him. Up close he reeked of wine and sweat, even with his head bowed down as he himself sang.

The Hispanic altar girl turned to face Rachel now, and Rachel saw that in one hand she had a small bucket and in the other hand a paintbrush. She moved towards her.

“No,” Father Death said gently. “After.”

The Hispanic woman bowed and placed the items back on the altar. Rachel watched all this with a mix of horror and fascination.

“Eyes forward, Child. You have been touched”

Before Rachel could speak or ask why, the Hispanic woman, who now stood besides her, singing quietly to herself, turned her head forward.

 

The line of churchgoers had become two. The line to Rachel’s left lead to the Hispanic woman, whose pale arms rested behind her buttocks.

Rachel watched as the first person in the line to the Hispanic woman, a woman that looked to be in her thirties, knelt before her.

“The body of Christ” said the Hispanic woman.

“Amen” replied the woman, her eyes large and eager.

When the woman inched forward and lowered herself on the Hispanic woman’s cunt, suckling gently, Rachel’s arms and legs fell limp. The anxiety that was bubbling in her stomach drove its way up her throat.

She finally found the strength within herself to scream before something struck her from behind and then she only knew darkness.

 

Rachel woke to a start, gasping, catching glances from her family around her.

When the priest said ‘Go in peace to love and serve the Lord’, Rachel was the first to rise from where she stood and the first to leave the church.

 

Rachel sat on the edge of her bed, her hair strewn across her face, hands between her legs, fingers dripping with her excitement. She held in her gasps as she furiously drove herself to orgasm.

Behind her, coiling along her bed, the pale snake hissed and spoke aloud you are lost within a dream, child.