Murder (story by R.C. Peris)

I have five brothers and I was the youngest. I inherited nothing when my father died so I left the farm and went to King Harald and asked if I could be a warrior. A Viking. It could be lucrative and would bring me honor. King Harald granted my request.

Two months later I boarded a longship headed for the east coast of a place called England. We left in summer but the air was still cool. When I rowed I sweated but the wind cooled me down so that I shivered as I rowed. It was strenuous and boring. We took turns. When I was not rowing I ate small bits of hard bread and drank brackish water.

Sometimes I would stare at the vast silver water and imagine myself in a great battle with the English. I imagined glory and respect.

After three weeks, our boat landed on shore. All the Vikings began yelling and beating their swords on their shields. We made a great deal of noise as we entered the village. The village was empty and we began ransacking it while looking for treasures. There were none.

In the center of the village was an immense building topped with a strange object. A line going down and then one across. I had heard stories of the weird English. They were said to worship one God. They hated gods and goddesses. I didn’t understand how that could be. They also supposedly ate the body and drank the blood of one of their heroes. They were cannibals.

We busted into the building and all the village people were in there staring in fright. They were also holding treasures. Some were the strange object I had seen on the top of the building but in gold.  All the Vikings began killing. They hacked the people. The air was filled with screams and grunts. I approached a beautiful blonde woman holding a gold box. She did a strange thing with her hands. She moved it four times. Up and down. Side to side. I hesitated. She was too lovely to kill. As I thought that, one of the Vikings hacked her neck so that her head hung to the side. I was sprayed with blood.

I went outside and vomited. This was not glorious battle. It was murder.

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