Too much Ice
“Oh, how the mighty gods of Valhalla shine their light and glory to praise thy heroes noble and brave…”
“Elfrin, will you be quiet! You’ll shatter the ice with those high notes!”
Elfrin Svendsen just shrugged skeptically and ran his spear-tipped shovel into the icy terrain. He was an ice digger. Ice digging became a new business ever since Hiccup became the new chief of Berk. As of now, Hiccup ordered the ice diggers to haul in new shipments of ice. And since Elfrin was new to the village, he eventually landed a job as an ice digger.
“Elfrin, I know you’re the new guy, so I just want you to follow whatever these guys tell you,” a man older than Elfrin said. His name was Hanson. He had brown hair, blue eyes, and wore an old battle suit. Hanson pushed his sword as hard as he could to cut through the ice. “Gosh, I didn’t even know those blockheads hated my sea chanteys,” Elfrin said. “They don’t,” Hanson said. “They just hate the way you sing them.”
Pushing through the ice with their shears, the ice diggers raised their axes and chopped the ice into blocks. “Hoist the ice blocks!” the head of the ice diggers yelled. Elfrin, along with Hanson, pushed the blocks into the wooden planks. Men on the ship pulled the ropes to lift the planks. As the other men thrust the ice blocks onto the surface, Hanson lent a helping hand to Elfrin, whose strength wasn't enough to lift the heavy block of ice.
“Okay, this is it. Let’s get this done in a hurry,” Hanson said. He then secured the knot on the ropes holding the platform containing the large block of ice. “Ready Elfrin?” Hanson cried out. “Ready!” Elfrin said.
“Hoist the ice!”
Elfrin then tugged at the loose rope hanging, trying to hoist the ice block up. However, because of his build, he was only trying to pull the rope with such gusto. Now he was left hanging on to the rope.
The other Vikings began to stare at him. “Heh heh,” Elfrin laughed nervously. “So, um...how am I doing?”
“Here, allow me,” one Viking said, stepping off the ship. He then took Elfrin off the rope and plopped him back on the ground. He and three other Vikings then pulled on the ropes. And soon, they were able to pull the ice block on to the ship.
As their work continued, the Vikings then prepared to head to another portion of the ice covered landscape. As lunch was now being served on deck, Hanson walked over to Elfrin, who was now sitting on the deck. He gave Elfrin his dinner, and sat down next to him.
“So far, I think you’re doing a good job,” Hanson told Elfrin, patting him on the back. “I guess I am,” Elfrin replied nervously. “I’ve never been this excited than the time I moved to Berk with my mom.”
“Speaking of Berk,” Hanson said, “I wonder what the chief’s up to right now…” "I agree," Elfrin said as he and Hanson watched the sun disappear below the mountains as they sailed back to Berk. "Odin knows just how much the chief has to go through."
Meanwhile, at the village, Hiccup had just returned home after a long day of running the village. Exhausted, he slumped on a chair next to the fire pit. “Tough day of adjusting to your new title as the new chief?” Valka asked her son.
“Gosh, you wouldn’t believe what I had to go through today,” Hiccup told his mother as he placed his legs on the tiny foot stool next to the fireplace. “First, I had to order the ice diggers to go to the Arctic Circle to haul in new shipments of ice. Then, I had to stop a feud between these two girls arguing over some guy they talk about all the time.” “Mmhmm, go on,” Valka said, ladling the soup into a wooden bowl.
“Next, it was down to the Dragon Academy to teach the other guys on how to curb their dragons. Finally, I had to go back and babysit these two new kids, named North and Winter Star.” Hiccup concluded. He rubbed his forehead as he rested on the table. It was evident that he was now developing a headache.
“Gosh, what a rough day. Especially since you’re now the new chief of Berk,” Valka said as she placed a bowl on the table, next to Hiccup’s elbow. “Even your father was frazzled since the day he became chief.”
As soon as Hiccup caught a whiff of the meal, he immediately seized the bowl and began eating ravenously.
“Ah, now what has gotten into my little boy?” Valka ased skeptically. “Mom, I’m all right,” Hiccup said. “I’m just hungry, that’s all. Boy, is it tough being the leader.” Of course,” Valka replied. “Your father would have been very proud of you. Even she would be.” “Who?” Hiccup asked. “Well,” Valka started, “that would be your…”
Suddenly, the door burst open, and Astrid and Thorin came bounding in through the doorway. “Hey, how’s our new chief today?” Astrid asked cheerfully. “Exhausted,” Hiccup replied in agony. “My feet are killing me.”
“Gosh, I have that same feeling too when I’m out hunting with my dad,” Thorin said, massaging Hiccup’s right foot. “Thorin, that’s gross! Don’t do that!” Astrid said in distaste. “So what? He said his feet hurt a lot,” Thorin replied. “Ah,” Astrid said. "It's okay, Astrid. Really," Hiccup said. "I kind of needed that."
"You know, this is the first time I have seen you this tuckered out ever since you brought dragons and humans together," Astrid said. "I agree," Thorin said, warming her hands by the fire. "With balance finally restored in Berk, nothing else is going to stand in our way." But Hiccup was staring listlessly in the fire, lost in thought.
“You okay there, chief?” Astrid asked. “Hrrrrmm?” Hiccup asked. “What happened there? You seemed pretty lost,” Astrid told him. “Oh, nothing,” Hiccup asked. “What are you thinking about?” Astrid asked him again.
“I’m...I’m just thinking,” Hiccup said. “Staring at fire just helps me think.” “Something on your mind?” Thorin asked. “Nothing,” Hiccup told her. “Guess I’m just...looking for something. A hint, maybe...” He sat staring at the fire pit long enough. Long enough for an awkward silence to start forming in the house.
“Well, I guess I better go home before my dragon Squidge chews up my pillows again,” Thorin said, heading for the door. “Me too,” Astrid said. “I bet Stormfly’s wondering where I am right now.” As the two girls headed for the door, they waved goodbye to Hiccup, who waved back.
“See you tomorrow, babe,” Astrid said. “Yea. Good bye Astrid,” Hiccup said. Then, the two girls waved farewell to Hiccup as they left. Now Hiccup was left alone.
After that, Hiccup turned to his mother. “What was that other person you were telling me about?” he asked. “Who?” Valka asked. “That person you referred to as ‘she,’ “ Hiccup said. “I don’t know who you’re talking about,” Valka said. “You forgot?” Hiccup asked. “Yes” Valka said again. Now Hiccup was confused, but he was too tired to remember why. He suddenly fell face first on the table, falling asleep.
Valka watched as her son slept quietly, even snoring loudly. She then draped a blanket over Hiccup and carried him upstairs to his bedroom.
Placing Hiccup on his bed, Valka leaned over and gently kissed Hiccup on his forehead. Then, she blew out the candle and left downstairs.