The Grey Wayfarer (Fantasy Serial) – Chapter 3 – Awakening (Wayfarer)

Happy Saturn’s Day

The man in the bed stirred.  It was the first time he had moved on his own power since the whole thing began.  His eyes fluttered open but he immediately shut them again.  Things were too bright.  Gods his head hurt.  No telling where he was now.  He was either in his intended destination, the hospital or the morgue. If the last was true, he was waking up to what lies beyond the veil of death and that brightness was the afterlife.

Somehow though he suspected that it was not the afterlife or the hospital.  You don’t hear the sounds of lovers making love in a hospital that often and he could smell smoke of a fire. No, unless something truly unplanned had happened, he had arrived in his intended destination.  He just couldn’t move or speak or see it in truth yet.  He opened his eyes once again and the blur came into focus.

He was in a room with a bed and a wash basin on a small wooden stand.  There were  towels draped over the stand as well and the fabric was exquisite.  Not made by a machine but much better in many respects.  He tried to move his arm and succeeded only to lift it a little. Then he looked a little to the edge of the bed only to see the face of a huge white wolf staring back at him. Their eyes met and strangely he didn’t feel afraid of the wolf.  The wolf looked at him for a few moments and then walked out of the room past the curtain that separated it from the main room.

A few moments later a large man entered the room. He was muscular but looked older with hair that was white.  He only had one eye and the other was covered with a patch. He was wearing a simple grey tunic and on his shoulder was perched a large raven.

“Well, you live after all.  I will wake up my wife and she will tend you,” the man said in a commanding deep voice.

Then he disappeared.  The man stirred a little more and after a couple of minutes a woman in a white dress came in. She was blond, blue-eyed and stunningly beautiful.  She smiled at him but he could see a knowing sadness behind her eyes. He wondered about that, but she came along and sat beside him and touched his forehead and chest.

He couldn’t get over how beautiful she was.  Her proportions were perfect and her skin flawless.  He eyes were stunning like they looked right into your heart and her golden hair radiant beyond belief.  No super model, with the most skillful of Photoshop work done, could look like she did.  It was then he realized his nakedness under the blankets and began to feel a little self-conscious.  She smiled again.

“Be at peace, you are safe here,” her voice was like soft music.

She leaned a little closer like she didn’t want to be overheard.

“Besides, you have nothing to be ashamed of.”

He blushed slightly and found his hand absent mindedly going to the Thor amulet around his neck.  It was still there.  He wondered at it now as the story that had been told him had been true.  It was magical.  It had drawn him to this place, wherever that was.  He began to relax a little more.  It was hard not to do so in this woman’s presence.

“You know you have been under my care for a day and I still don’t know who you are?  Can you speak?”

The Man looked at her and smiled.

“My name is Beorn Erickson. I guess you could say I am a scholar of sorts”

“Well Beorn, I am Frigg, goddess of motherhood and home. Welcome to our home.”

Beorn didn’t show any reaction to the statement that she was a goddess.  He actually  relaxed even more. The amulet had worked and now he could move on to other things.  He decided to choose his words carefully.

“So the mythology isn’t mythological after all.  So the man I saw; he is Odin, the All-Father?  Your husband?”

Frigg raised an eyebrow.

“Yes, he is Odin.  All Father and King of the gods of Asgard. It is not often that mortals hear of the gods and react as you do.  How is this possible?”

“You could say I have been looking for you.  Mostly though I wanted to prove this amulet worked.  The magic in it is unique and very powerful.  Besides if legend is correct, the gods and goddesses of Asgard prefer actions of worship, not the groveling prayers of other religions.”

“A wizard, not just a scholar then? My husband might be very interested in that.  He is a wizard himself and a warrior.”

“Yes, some of the legends and stories remain.  Many are lost though.  I guess you could say this was a research trip in that regard.”

“A seeker after knowledge.  Yes, My husband will respect that.  The issue he will have is whether or not you are willing to pay the price for knowledge that is sometimes needed.”

“Yes, those stories remain.  His hanging from the world tree and his sacrifice of his eye.  They also speak of your powers to see men’s fates.”

Frigg’s smile faded; but it was not anger that replaced it, but a sadness.

“Yes, I can, but it is not very helpful.  There is little that can be done to change the fates of men.”

Beorn decided not to press this.  He knew she was speaking of her son Balder and he didn’t want to bring up painful memories.

“Well, I suppose that would be a heavy burden to bear. I didn’t mean to cause you sadness.”

“No, it alright.  It was a long time ago that I lost Balder…that Asgard lost Balder.  You seem strangely emphatic for a wizard and scholar.”

“I wasn’t always a wizard and a scholar.  I once was a priest. A Christian priest.”

“That explains your gentleness.  You gave that up?  I wonder what reason you could have for that?”

“I am not very good with celibacy for one.”

Frigg laughed and Beorn with her.

“I can also say that celibacy would not allow you to share one of your better assets with the world either.  You shouldn’t deprive women like that.”

They laughed again.  Beorn felt so at ease in her presence.

“I imagine though that there are other deeper reasons.”

“It was the beliefs.  The god of the cross doesn’t make sense to me anymore.  So I went looking for others.”

“Well, it seems you found a couple.”

“Yes, I have. The amulet worked and drew me to you.”

Frigg paused.  The two looked at each other for a moment.

“Well Beorn, I can’t see that you are ill or in any way sick.  Just drained of energy.  I will make some food to help with that, and bring you something to drink.  My husband will want you fully rested and restored before he speaks with you.”

She got up and headed toward the curtain.  As she started to pull it back, Beorn spoke once again.

“Frigg, thank you for your hospitality. There was one other reason I left the priesthood.  Love.”

Frigg smiled.

“I would say that was related to the first reason you gave, but I understand. I suspect you broke her heart or perhaps…”

“She broke mine.”

“Ah, well perhaps you will find love again.”

“I hope so, it’s a good thing to be in love but also dangerous.”

“Yes, it is.”

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.


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