Changing my future

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Chapter 1 - How it all started

My name is Freyja, I do not have a surname like you do it is tradition from where I was born that you take your fathers name with either son or daughter next to it but as my father did not want me, I did not get that honour, sometimes if your mother has done something incredible you would be given her name as your surname but my mother was just a woman, I was Born a viking princess, well I should have been, you see my father is King Ultred of the southern viking kingdom many believe that he is a good king but he is not and you will soon why he is not, when my mother gave birth to me and he learned that I was a girl, he ordered his first in command to slit my throat but I did not know at the time why Aldred did not do as he was ordered but I was somehow smuggled across the sea and left on a small island that only had a church on it and it’s only residents were holymen, I was left at their door in a basket with a note left for the men of the church, it read as follows

To Father Thom

The young girl in this basket is the daughter of our king and her name is Freyja, her father wished for her to be killed because she was not a boy and he only wants a boy as his first born, I do not see the need to kill an innocent child, she is no threat to anyone whatsoever.

Raise her in the way that you see fit, teach her what you can to keep her safe, one day my kin will reach your shores, I wish you all the luck of the gods

I hope that you are all keeping well and I apologise for what my kin will do to you when they arrive, I know that you are good people and thank you for the help that you gave me many years ago

From Aldred Ragnason

The holymen of the island raised me amongst them, teaching me everything that they knew, which included the language of my kin, the holymen never once lied to me about who I was, (although they did not actually tell me until I had been alive for 8 winters), being holymen you would think that they were peaceful men and unable to protect themselves but that was not the case, they all knew how to defend themselves and taught me everything that they knew, I was eight years old when they told me who I was, we were all sat in the great hall having just eaten some food

“Freyja do you know why you were left here and why we taught you the norse language?” Father Thom asked

“I do not” I replied “it is boring anyway I would rather be fighting” I added

“Freyja you have been taught these things for reason” Father Thom said

“Why then was I left here?” I asked

“You were left with us by a man named Aldred when you were only three weeks old, your father wanted you killed and Aldred got you away and had you brought to us” He replied

“Why?” I asked

“Because you father only wanted son to take over” Father Thom replied

“take over what?” I asked

“You father is the viking king Ultred of the southern kingdom and that makes you a princess” he replied and I couldn’t help myself and I burst out laughing

“Why do you laugh?” father Thom said

“If I was a viking princess I would not have been left on this shitty little island” I replied

“Freyja watch how you talk” Father Thom said sternly

“Why it is how father Damian talks” I said back

“Father Damian has to pray for forgiveness for they way that he talks” Father Thom said

“Sorry” I said and looked down at the table

“And whether or not you want to believe that is what you are and that is why you have been taught what you have” Father Thom said

“Why would this Aldred man leave me here and how do you know that he is telling the truth?” I asked

“Aldred is a good man and not like the rest of them, many years ago when he was a very young man, he was out on a raid when the ship he was on sank and he got badly injured, he arrived on our shores and we helped him to recover, he was here for nearly 3 years and learnt our language and taught us his, he never once tried to hurt us and he never will” Father Thom said

“And why leave me here?” I asked

“Because he knew that we could teach you everything that you need to know” Father Thom

“But I don’t know anything about them and I don’t want to” I said

“You have little choice” Father Thom said

“But I live here and not there” I said

“They will soon be here at our doors” Thom said

“And what has that got to do with me?” I asked

“you will go with father Damian and he will begin to teach you about your people” he added

“They are not my people you are” I shouted

“Freyja just go with Father Damian now” Father Thom said

“Fine” I snapped and got up from the table, I walked out of the room and too Father Damians teaching room, he came in moments later and smiled at me

“Why is he always a grumpy shit and why do I have to learn about them, when they wanted me dead?” I asked

“There are lots of things in life that we do not want to do but one day it may save your life” Damian said “and he is the way he is because he is old” Damian added

“Who are the vikings?” I asked

“They are very violent men that live across the sea, they go out on their boats, going from land to land and taking whatever they find” He replied

“Why would they do that?” I asked

“Because it is their way of getting what they need,” he replied

“Why not trade like you do, you make the wine and trade it to the mainland for food and cloth?” I asked

“Because they are nothing like us, they all want to fight and die in glory on the battlefield” Damian said “they are not civilised people as we are” he added

“But why would anyone want to die?” I asked

“Because that is the way they are, they believe it to be glorious to die and meet their gods at the gates of their heaven” he replied

“Valhalla that is their heaven” I said “I remember that from the language that you taught me” I added

“Yes that is right” Damian replied smiling at me

“Why do I need to know this?” I asked

“Because they are travelling further and further away from their homeland and towards us” Damian replied

“And” I said

“It means that they will soon be here and they will take you” he said

“What do you mean they will take me?” I asked

“They take any woman that they find and kill most of the men, you will be taken as their slave” Damian asked

“Why would they take me?” I asked

“It is their way it is how they get the people to run their farms, they will also take your body” he replied

“What do you mean they will take my body?” I asked

“It means whichever man takes you home will force himself upon you and he will do it whenever he feels like it” Damian replied

“What if I do not want them to?” I asked

“You will have no choice Freyja and if you want to stay alive, you would be best to do whatever they ask of you” he replied

“I won’t let them, I will kill them all,” I said

“You will not” he said

“But you have taught me to fight and to talk their language” I said “why would you teach me to fight and teach me their language if you do not want me to stop them?” I added asking

“Yes we have taught you all of that but if they know you can fight they will kill you and you should live your life and you must never let them now you can talk their language” he said

“Why?” I asked “why would I want to live my life as their slave?” I asked

“They would not be happy to find out that someone from another land talks their tongue and they will torture you to find out and even as their slave you would still be alive, being alive is much better than being dead, you are far too young to be in the presence of god” he replied

“I see, I would rather be in the presence of god than in the presence of savages” I said

“At least in the presence of savages you will be alive” Damian said

“Okay” I said maybe he was right, maybe it was best to live and not die

“You must never show them pain” he said

“Why” I asked

“Pain is a sign of weakness to them and if you do not show them any weakness they will treat you better, the strongest among them are treated with respect and if you show them that you will also be treated with respect” he replied because they knew as well as anyone that the viking savages would soon land there boats on our shores, they would take whatever they wanted and kill anyone that stood in their way, they would also take whoever they wanted, which would include me, I would be taken back to their Kingdom as their slave, for many years I learnt more about them but I had no fear for the day that they would take me I was sixteen when their boats landed on our shores, it took them half a day to reach the church where we had barricaded ourselves in, it took them a further day to actually break through the door.

The holymen had told me not to fight, if these savages knew that I could fight they would kill me and the holymen did not want that to be my fate, two of them stood in front of me so that they could be my guard, the others tried to defend the church but they did not stand a chance against the hoard that had entered the church, once all the others had been slaughtered and only the two in front of me remained, I went to move forward and help them out but Damian looked at back at me

“Do not move,remember what we taught you” he said

“But” I went to protest

“No buts, stay still” he said and I let go of the sword that I had my hand on

One man stepped forward, I took it that he had stepped forward that he was the one in charge.

“Ek heiter Lafrim, ek taka maer” he said to make my story easy for you to read and understand I will write it in your tongue, the man had said that his name was Lafrim and that he would take the girl, which meant me

“If you want the girl you will have to kill us” one of the holymen said

“You talk our language?” Lafrim asked

“We talk many languages” he replied

“Who taught you to speak our language?” Lafrim asked

“We learnt your language many years ago and it does not really matter who taught us” he replied

“You are right,It matters not who taught you, I will take the girl” Lafrim said

“As I have told you, if you want the girl then you will have to kill us” he replied

“I will take the girl” Lafrim said and stepped forward with his sword in his hand, he quickly took the lives of the holymen, Damian was one of the two men that had stayed back to protect me, I ran to him and knelt over him

“Damian” I said shaking him “do not leave me” I said

“You will be fine child our god will look after you” He said

“Please don’t leave me” I said again

“Do not fear child I am going to greet god, remember all that we have taught you,” he said and one of the men had come over to me and tried to pull me away

“Get your hands off of me you pig faced arsehole” I said, I could see by the look on his face that he had no idea what I had said to him, he hit me but I remembered what I had been taught and did not make a sound, no matter how much that hurt “you hit like a little girl” I shouted spitting blood out of my mouth at him, he hit me again

“Do not talk bitch” he said

“Why you can’t stop me you arsehole” I shouted

“Hekndar leave the girl alone” Lafrim said

“She said something” Hekndar said

“What did she say to him?” he asked the man next to him

“She called him a pig faced arsehole and said that he hit like a little girl,” the man replied and everyone laughed

“Well at least she got one thing right and he could not have hit her that hard she did not even scream and they always scream” Lafrim laughed and stepped forward and knelt down so that he was looking right at me, he held my chin up so that I was looking at him and not the floor, he stared at me for a few moments “You will come with me” Lafrim said standing up the holymen had told me that it was best that they did not know that I could talk their language, so I sat there and pretended that I did not understand him and just sat there staring at him “get up now” he shouted and again I had to ignore him, one of the older men in his group stepped forward

“Lafrim my lord, let me talk to the girl,” he said

“Go ahead” Lafrim said

“My name is Grefja, he would like you to come with us, if you do not come with us you will die,” he said to me

“And why would I want to go with that arsehole” I replied pointing at Lafrim

“What did she say about me?” Lafrim asked as he could not understand what I had said

“She asked why would she want to go with that arsehole” Grefja said

“Because she will do as I say” Lafrim said

“Come with us girl and live” Grefja said and held out his hand, I had no choice but to take his hand, I did not want to go with them, but I also did not want to die, but looking at the men what choice did I really have, I took the man’s hand and stood up, as soon as I was up they bound my hands, I was taken back to their ship and placed in the middle of their ship and for four days not one of them spoke to me, Lafrim would sit there and stare at me for hours at a time, we were getting closer to their home, I knew that because of the way they were talking, they had begun to talk about what they would do when they got there, a larger man stepped forward and lifted my face with his hand

“This my friends is the face of innocence” He laughed “I am going to ruin her innocence” he said

“You wish that you could” one of the other men laughed

“I can ruin her better than you ever could” Hekndar said

“You wish you are too old” another man said and everyone laughed

“I am going to ruin her innocence and when I am done with her, I will give her to my sons” he said letting go of me and laughing

“Hekndar sit down” Lafrim shouted

“Why?” Hekndar asked

“Because this is my boat and you will do as you are bloody well told and you will not touch the girl, all of you will share all of the treasure between you but you do not touch her, she is mine” Lafrim said

“You will not deny me the spoils of our victory” Hekndar shouted

“You will not have her” Lafrim shouted “I am the commander of this boat and you will obey me” he added

“”You will not stop me, the laws of our king says that we spread the haul evenly, King Ultred will give me what I want” Hekndar shouted, king Ultred I thought, shit they were my fathers men, I was being taken to what should have been my home, no-one their knew I existed, as sat there wondering what was going to become of me once I was taken back to live with these savages, I looked up to see Lafrim step forward and Slit Hekndars throat and push him overboard, letting the raging sea swallow his body, he cleaned his dagger and then looked around at the others

“All of you here with me now are my friends and brothers in battle, I will take nothing from this raid except the girl” Lafrim said and not one of them said a word to him.

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