Saturday, 21 June 2014

Happy National Flash Fiction Day ~ Old Norse

'She taught me languages by calling into the air in German, Swedish, Norwegian, rolling her northern dialect off her tongue effortlessly. She told me once that her eyes were from her Viking heritage, a lush green with hints of copper and silver, rimmed with a band of rich hazel. I believed every word she said.

Her mother was Russian, a willowy woman with smooth pale hands. She spoke with a lisp and absently stroked the side of her face when she was nervous, and had a laugh that sounded like a prayer, hollow and darkly warm. Her father was Swedish. He told me he had been born with brine in his veins, told me stories of ice across lakes as far as the eye could see, and the time death missed his hand when he was a foolish light-eyed lad of thirteen. He sailed for a living and his arms were solid and heavy. His hair was cropped short, a dancing play of light between red and wet sand, eyelashes so fair they could be dusted with ice crystals, as if he had walked out of a fairytale wood and never looked back.

I couldn’t see where she went that day, when we walked along the beach in March. She was throwing Old Norse at the sea and it roared back at her. The look on her face was one of intense listening. I laughed. She blushed and said that the waves were asking if I would go looking for her. I felt the words slip from my tongue and lay heavy, unanswered, ‘Why, where are you going?’

If only I had not fallen asleep on the sand. I awoke, my head full of pain and sand crystals on my face. She had gone. Maybe walked out to sea to try and catch a wandering star. She never really belonged to this world, living like a fae with beliefs in magic and things unseen. The last words from this child of other lands was

‘Would I go looking for her?’

I willed the strength to search. I was trying to find a whisper, a myth, my friend. I searched for her footprints but only my own marked this sparse landscape. The beach sighed with me as I listened for the things on the wind that she told me once were there; words and curses, prayers and songs, thrown away as carelessly as they had been created, and that still lived in the layers of the air. I heard a Celtic song sung to a child, an argument between lovers and the heated devotion, all on one gust of wind that blew hair across my eyes.

‘Not just fair, but a beauty. Standing closer than you think. Where the sky and sea meet in a bright light. On a land without sin.’

It was spoken in a rush. I turned, tried to hold onto it, but then it was gone over the grasses, joyous in its escape.'

Happy National Flash Fiction Day! Can you believe its been a year already? Last year I posted Blackbird for my contribution to NFFD and also my piece 'A Collection' was included in Flash Flood 2013 - A whole day of flash fiction in celebration. I am really pleased to say that I have been included in Flash Flood again this year with my piece 'Drawings', it was posted at a minute past midnight - I got the honour of starting the flood :)

I can't believe that 'Old Norse' hasn't been on this blog yet, it feels like this flash fiction has been everywhere else lol. I did post the beginning parts of it way back in 2012 called 'Trees' but it has grown, been expanded on and had a change of name since then. I loved writing this, I love different cultures, myths and languages. 'Old Norse' was a pleasure to write and I just ran away with myself. It has of course been on Morgens Flash Fiction Fridays - where a lot of my flash fictions find loving homes :)

I am writing this now on my new computer! hurray! It's a notebook, it's very small, fast and light years ahead of the old computer. It really made me realise how old and tired the other one was, it was five years old which is about ninety in tech years lol

I hope you all have a wonderful National Flash Fiction Day and a happy Solstice.

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