She stood at the grave after the other mourners had left. She snorted. Mourners indeed. Nosy busybodies most likely. A prolonged illness had taken her mother from her. She had always been a frail woman. As soon as Rose had been old enough, she had taken over the farm chores and household choirs. Thankfully, the one farmhand that they had was trustworthy. Today she had released him from his long time duties by signing the farm over to him.
Most people would think this was madness. But, she knew he was coming for her. She had dreamed the dream again last night. The same dream she had had for most of her life. It had started the night her father had died when she was three. She had fallen asleep crying in her mother’s lap.
She was walking in the woods towards the coast. She could hear a large animal coming towards her. Stopping, she stood still and waited. Unarmed, but unafraid, she would greet her destiny.
He stepped out of the woods slowly. Smelling the air as if to see if she was alone. He was the largest wolf she had ever seen. So black that his fur shone a bluish tint. The only part of his body that was not black was one ear. The ear, ripped and scarred, was a snowy white. Looking at her, those ears twitched as if anticipating the sound of her voice. Taking one step forward, she stretched out one of her hands for him to catch her scent and spoke.
“Good Morn, sir. I have been waiting for you.” The wolf had looked startled and abruptly sat down.
It chuffed suddenly and made a sneezing noise. She laughed at the action. “Do not sound so disbelieving. I have been waiting for you all of my life.” She waited a heart beat then spoke his name. “Mikkel.”
The wolf was so startled that he forgot himself and transformed back into a man. Rose then gasped, turned red and averted her gaze.
Realizing that Dougal, the old farmhand was talking to her. “Rose what will you do if you give me the farm? Where will you live?”
“Dougal you have known me since I was a child. You know, even though we don’t talk about it, that I see things. Things that come to be. I have seen my future husband and he will be here today or tomorrow. He is coming to trade in the village and to establish permanent trade. He will trade hides and gold jewelry for goods to take to his home in the North. Grains and seeds for planting, as well as other items.”
The old man was stunned by her revelation. He knew, of course. Most of the whole village did. That’s why Rose was something of an outcast and shunned in the village. Her mother had said once that she came from a long line of Seers. Many in the village were afraid of her and had wanted her stoned. They were afraid to because years ago, her mother had said that the person that harmed her would draw the same harm upon themselves.
“Dougal, I need to get away from everything. I’m going for a walk. How about I pick some berries and make us a pie for dinner.” Without waiting she grabbed a basket by the door and went towards the woods.
“Mikkel, we are almost to the spot where we will tie up. I’ll get the horses ready.” At his nod of consent, his second went to get everything ready. Last year he had sent a emissary to the Chieftain, what they called a Sheriff. The Church also had a Friar, sometimes a Bishop to lead the people. Mikkel was familiar with the hypocritical Roman Catholic church. They used pain, fear and torture to create converts. Thankfully Odin did not require these measure. Neither did his Goddess. He wasn’t sure what he believed in besides his Creator the Moon Goddess. He had been very educated. He spoke French, Greek, Latin, Gaelic, and English. He had also been educated in the Christian beliefs.
Restlessness was beginning to take hold. He had never experienced this before and it was off putting, to say the least. He had told only his second, His Beta, Luthar. Telling him the night before while they were standing on the deck. Telling his friend how expectation sat on him and felt like something dancing across his skin.
“Mikkel we are tied and beginning to unload the horses and wagons. I have your horse standing by with mine. Are you ready to go?” Luthar stood next to his friend and waited.
“Nei. I feel the need to run. Bring my horse and I will meet you at the walls of the village.” Stripping off his clothes, he leaped from the ship a man and landed just at the water’s edge a massive black wolf with one scarred and torn snowy white ear.