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Norway, 1025 A.D.
I sat in the cold around a small fire. Alone. I kept the mead hall at my back. The biting cold blew hard, then abated. My strength, my sight and even my once keen hearing deteriorated in my old age, but I still heard cautious steps moving through the snow toward me.
I placed a casual hand on the hilt of my hunting knife. In one motion I unsheathed it, spinning around to meet my first attacker.
“Erik Lambskin, put that away. I’m not here to avenge myself on you.” Hilda Bearroll stood before me. She was old. Not quite as old as me, but time had not been kind to this once beautiful woman. Her hand rested on the handle of her dagger.
I sheathed my blade, turning my back on her and returning to my fire.
Shouting against the wind, still with my back to her, I said, “You should not be here. I have rejected the people’s will at the Thing. I am an outlaw. Someday one of you will come here to claim my lands, my weapons and what’s left of my treasure-horde, after they’ve claimed my life.”
"Snow and Ash" by Nathan James Norman
The Orchard Church
Background on "Snow and Ash" and My Year in Hell
Additional Narration: Kristin L. Norman
"Snow and Ash" originally published in The Crossover Alliance Anthology Volume 1
Reviews by Peter Christian Fiction Reviews by Peter Younghusband
Good Snakes Flash Fiction Contest
"Snow Bank" by Doug Hoyer Lic. Storyblocks