vendredi 27 janvier 2012

Birth of a man

   The oars bit into the cool waters, hardly making a sound as they approached the shore.
   "Half of you, get your weapons." Gellir ordered. The old man tried to sound heroic but Haakon could hear the excitement in his voice. Haakon grasped his spear and looped the leather strap of his shield over his shoulder then looked to the shore where their prey waited.
   Haakon was excited too; it was his first raid, the first time to use a weapon in anger against a real enemy. He realized his teeth were chattering and he clamped his mouth shut and looked again over the boat rim. Soon. Behind him the rest of the crew murmured between themselves in low tones, all of them eager to win some loot they had sailed so long to reach.
   "We go to the church first." Ekill said.
   "It's where they keep their gold." Haakon nodded to his friend's comment and wanted to reply but nothing came to him. "We'll find it all there."
   The first bell rang out, echoing deeply across the grey sea and Gellir urged his men to oar faster.
   "We can't let them get away! Faster! Faster!" Haakon felt his heart beat inside his chest and he knew he was shaking from the waiting. Not long now...
   The boat scrapped on the pebble beach and slowed to a stop.
   "Now!" Gellir roared and with a cry the first men leap from the front of the ship and darted towards the panicked villagers. Haakon was the first, and he charged into the village, visions of glory blurring his vision.

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