The Saga of Vor, Part I

Viking-Ship-storm1Editor’s Note: Camilla, a 19-year-old intern at 826 Seattle, has selected some excellent work that 826 students are producing this summer to share with us on Push To Talk. We’ve divided this story into two parts; the second will be posted tomorrow.

Camilla’s note: This was from a Viking Saga workshop, in which students each created a character and completed writing challenges as that character in a journal format. This saga is able to present a complete story arc with an engaging heroine, and it left me wishing for a sequel.

THE SAGA OF VOR, PART I

By Sophia B.

I am Vor Jarlswife the Fearless, or at least that’s what I have the crew of Sheepscry thinking. I am Vor, that’s true at least, but Jarlswife? Fearless? They think I come from northern Finland, a place I’ve never seen. I do not even know if there is such a place as Sharkbridge, though these people here would never consider that their wonderful Vor the Fearless could really be a liar.

I still feel the sting of the nettle field against my feet and the ache in my legs from months of walking. They can’t see that though.

The Norwegian king, Horic, has asked me, the pretend Jarlswife from a pretend village in Finland, to lead a voyage to explore the west. The news of my “husband” and me has spread to very far away. No one minds that we have black hair and look so different from anyone else around here. That was taken care of when I told them that we had visited Asgard, their land of the gods, and that their King God, Odin, had given us our beautiful black hair as a gift. They ask us many questions about what we saw in their Asgard.

xxx

Now the crew was boarding the Sheepscry. I recognized most of them, but one, an old man who was missing an eye, stood amongst them. I watched carefully, as everyone else climbed aboard. The man just stood there. “Well?” I called. “We’d like to be going!”

“The worlds are collapsing, one by one. Ragnarok is coming to Midgard. It can be stopped. Hurry; time is running out.” With that the strange man disappeared.

One moment he was standing there and the next he was gone. Things like this did not happen to runaways and liars. I had witnessed magic! But I couldn’t let my excitement show.

“Ragnarok? Ha, go around making a fool of yourself. Nice going, Old Man. I did like his magic trick; wonder how he pulled that off,” I chuckled so they knew that I didn’t believe anything that had just happened.

“But that was Odin! Surely you must have respect for the man who you met in Asgard!” Someone exclaimed.

“Of course, I was only kidding.”

How was I supposed to know? Then I remembered: Ragnarok was the day when the worlds were supposed to collapse and then rebuild.

“Oh no, Ragnarok. I am so… scared,” I said halfheartedly.

Somehow, my incredible acting skills were failing me. Acting was my natural talent; I was always proud of how I could pretend to be anything and have people believe me.

My mother would say I was becoming honest.

xxx

I never thought that I would actually be on my crew’s side. I was in this with my friend, the phony jarl. But now our ships were headed toward England, and they were defending King Athelstan from the raid that we were planning. My friend, Johan, had betrayed me. We had journeyed from western Asia all the way to this strange land together, and now this.

We all attacked at once, hopping down from the ship and swinging our weapons. It was a great entrance that I had carefully instructed them to do. Yet this got us nowhere. I was captured, along with the sheep-mistress Astrid Vlatedo.

Stupid Johan was captured by the Sheepscry, which he deserved. Now I am a slave instead of a leader, which defies the entire reason I came to this odd world. I almost want to go home and give all of this up.

All of the years of planning, this long travelling to reach Denmark: all for nothing. But aboard the Serpent’s Poison, a new leader has been elected. So maybe if I stay a while longer and learn how to be a good leader, then one day I can find a new ship and lead it well. Or I can just go home.

              A play of iron

              Took my luck

              No sweat from sun was taken

              It seems as if   

              The day has been a waste

I set my pen aside from where I was drawing useless slashes of ink against the floor of the deck. I had little memory of letters I had learned to write back at home and my attempt at the Viking poetry was not going well.

              A play of iron

              Took my luck

              No sweat from sun was taken

I stared at the black letters drying on the wooden boards. The sweat from sun means gold.

Ottr’s Ransom also means gold. Ottr’s Ransom, I wrote on the deck. I’m not sure but I think that Ottr’s Ransom has something to do with the little girl who lived far, far away in a country so different from this one, who was teased and tormented until she ran away to Denmark and was in charge of a ship, and was then taken as a slave by another ship and then…

Alright, that has nothing to do with Ottr’s Ransom.

Sophia

Sophia is a sixth grader at Hamilton International Middle School.

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