Legends never die,
When the world is calling you,
Can you hear them screaming out your name?
Legends never die,
They become a part of you,
Every time you bleed for reaching greatness,
Relentless you survive.
I let out a breath as I sit down in my regular seat in the classroom.
‘’Though ride Mari?’’, my friend Amalie is asking me.
‘’You bet,’’ I answer breathlessly back.
She smiled and nodded as she took out her laptop, getting ready for class.
I was born and raised in Trondheim. Which is basically in the middle of Norway. My dialect was thick and usually made fun of in southern parts of the country.
The university we both are attending is NTNU (Norwegian School of Science and Technology) and is one of the biggest universities in Norway. It’s situated in Trondheim.
Amalie was from the outer north of Norway. Like, as north as you can get. Almost at the border to Russia. Her dialect was therefore quite different from mine, but I really liked the northern dialects.
This is our last year on our masters. We were really looking forward to finish. To start working.
Amalie and I were a part of a bigger group in class. We call ourselves ‘Coreology’, because we are the core of it all.
Hilarious, I know.
We consist of seven people; Amalie, me, Inger, Gudrun, Bernt, Olav and Didrik. It is always fun when we hang together, and I hope we can continue having fun together after we finish our masters.
Class goes by in a blur, as I have never been able to focus during any classes.
It’s a wonder to me how in the world I’ve made it this far. but I’m a firm believer that you don’t necessarily need classes to understand the subject. I have always been better at just reading the material and learning from what I’ve read.
Today is Friday, so I have work after class. I work at a local café, which I love. It’s only for five hours, so it’s manageable. the student loan the Norwegian government offers is not enough to cover both rent, food, bills another costs life has. So, I need to work to cover all of my expenses and live somewhat comfortably as a student.
I can see the clouds getting darker and darker as I pedal as quickly as I can down the busy city streets. Don’t want to get caught up in the rain.
If I take the shortcut through the popular hiking trail, I’ll probably get home before the pouring rain starts. I didn’t bring a raincoat and my backpack is filled with books for the upcoming assignment that is due within the next two weeks.
The music blaring through my headphones keeps me focused on the task, as I continue cycling as fast as I can through the hiking trail.
I get to the part which is most dense, with trees blocking any views around me. The only thing I can see is the rocky trail ahead of me.
The wind is picking up, a sign of the incoming rain.
I pedal even harder.
It’s pouring by now. It’s a pain in the ass to try and look through your glasses when it’s raining. Even worse; when it starts fogging up as well.
My phone is buzzing constantly. I slide it out of my pocket quickly, trying to answer as I cycle through the woods.
Didrik asks if we want to head out for some drinks tonight, and I’m not turning an offer to go out for drinks down with ‘Coreology’.
As I hum the melody of Fall Out Boys’ Centuries and mouth the lyrics with a bit too much enthusiasm, I notice something stir in the woods. I usually never take notice of it, because this is a well-known hiking trail for everyone living in Trondheim.
This time, though, it was a bit too much of a rattle from a tree that it could have been a bird.
I pause the music and come to a halt. I push the big headphones off of one of my ears, as I try to listen. For all I knew, there could be a potential rapist or murderer behind those trees.
You’re probably thinking that I’m overreacting, and you’re probably not mistaken either.
I squint my eyes a little more and look around to see if there is anyone else on the hiking trail that might have seen or heard it too. There was none.
Well, fuck me.
The tree rattles heavily again. Pieces of pine fall to the ground. God damn. I just have to check it out. Maybe a cat or dog is stuck and need my help?
I get off my bike and take some hesitant steps towards the trees. I try to be as quiet as I can manage. My breathing has quickened out of instinct.
Please, please just be a bird.
As I’m nearing, I can hear talking. Er, well, I’m not quite sure if it’s talking. It sounds more like a ramble of sounds I’ve never heard before.
Even if I wanted to, I couldn’t detect that language. Judging by the voices, it sounded as if there were three individuals talking.
I endure an inner battle within me, maybe it was better to just leave this be and head home? Probably a good idea.
As I start backing away from the scene, ready to bolt – those voices started to near.
Hell, they were getting out of the woods.
Who are these people? It’s not even nighttime!
It’s not a fucking option that I get caught in a crossfire like this. I turn, ready to bolt. My heart in my throat. This is too much tension and adrenaline for me, I’ll just peacefully head back home and go out for drinks with my friends and forget that this ever happened. It’s probably nothing. Nothing at all.
I freeze in my tracks.
I’m staring right at some white-clothed person. The clothes were wide, and only fitted by the waist. The fabric was unfamiliar, and I frowned. I had never seen anything like it, when I think about it.
This individual was abnormally tall.
Like really tall.
He’s not really muscular, kind of just tall. Fit is maybe the right word for it. If I’d give a rough guess on his height I would at least guess 220 cm. I’m 165 cm.
Try compering that height to each other.
I pull myself out of the momentary surprise and look up.
It didn’t help.
Before me, was the tallest man (?) I have ever seen in my life. His skin was so light, with a tinge of blue.
What the hell. My brain just doesn’t register what’s in front of me. His jawline is sharp, thin lips and straight nose. Light, light blue skin. Blue?
His hair is as white as snow, reaching to the middle of his back. It’s pulled back by some other shiny material I couldn’t identify if my life depended on it.
Oh, his eyes.
They were big, with no whites in it. Only swirling blue and yellow. With a black, cat-like iris. Zoomed in on me.
This is not real! What the actual fuck.
Well, he could be one of those cosplayers? If so, his costume rocked. I hope he wins a prize for it.
I choke out; ‘’Just passing by, excuse me,’’ as I try and walk past him, towards the trail and my bike, which his huge body is blocking.
I take a deep breath and prepare myself to bolt as fast as I can to my bike and pedal my ass off until I reach the nearest bus stop.
He grabs my upper arm and pulls me back so quickly, that I’m momentarily startled. He’s bending down now. Down to my height. I try to shrink away. This is just weird. His swirling eyes stares at me deeply. A hint of a frown forms on his emotionless face.
He bares his teeth at me.
I’m not joking. He bares his teeth at me! They were not normal! Not human!
Very, very not human!
And that was probably it for me. The glass spilled over. I scream as loud as I can, momentarily startling him and his weird pointy ears starts to twitch. He doesn’t like loud sounds, does he.
Too bad bitch.
I wriggle myself free from his iron grip and bolts.
My breath quickens as I press the emergency contact button on my phone. Immediately sending out my position and an automatic text to all of my emergency contacts. Thank GOD for technology.
I pick up my bike, which gives me way more speed than he (?) could catch up to. I don’t have any time to look back, I just continue cycling as fast as I can.
I’m passing the fjord by now, it’s some steep hills and a lot of rocks so I have to zig-zag simultaneously as I pedal for my life. Quite literally.
I wish I didn’t have asthma right now. Just doesn’t fit into this situation.
I focus on the trail ahead of me.
He’s standing right there!
How in the world!
I throw my head back and look for a logical solution. There is no way he got ahead of me, there is no shortcuts here. He has a snarl on his face. His stance is completely calm. Not crouching, ready to fight, or even breaking a sweat. He is just standing right up and down. Like a statue.
I have to make a quick decision. Do I speed past him or do I turn around?
I come to a quick halt and falter my steps. I take a quick turn. Not towards the road I came cycling from.
Oh, no. I hop off the bike, and run straight towards the fjord.
I grew up here. I know these waters; I know the area. I have the upper hand. As I jump on the last big stone slab, and make a big jump for it, ready for the cold ocean water to engulf me --- It never does.
I am pulled back by a force, I didn’t know existed. I flew at least 10 meters from the shoreline and fall on the grass with a heavy thud.
‘’Cannot outsmart me,’’ he says in broken Norwegian. Not menacingly, not angry, not anything. There was no emotion in his voice. None at all.
And that scared the actual shit out of me. I was panting for dear life, my lungs not function properly – well, they don’t on a regular basis.
As I gaze up, he’s hovering above me. Emotionless white bluish face. What the fuck is this.
Am I going crazy?
‘’Lungs. Not functioning properly,’’. He states.
I just breathe harder. What’s going on! I grab the grass underneath me, ready to throw dirt in his face and bolt yet again.
I open my mouth and scream as loud as I can – again – and just pray that someone from that emergency contact list is already on their way.
All I need to do now is stall the time. I think his own arrogance gets to him, because when I throw dirt at his abnormally tall frame and hit his face – he looks a bit surprised before blinking rapidly.
I waste no time.
I hear a growl behind me and if I wasn’t motivated enough to run as quick as I humanly can, I am now. I’m yanked back before I even manage to blink. He takes a warning hold on my neck, cold fingers, and looks me directly in the eye.
‘’Nei,’’ he growls.
I wrap my arms around his right hand, the arm that is clenching my neck. If he wasn’t holding me so close to his face, I would have noticed two other figures emerge from the shadows.
They say exchange a few words; in the language I couldn’t decipher. He suddenly presses his forehead against mine, hard.
My brain starts to tingle. Tingle?
He closes his eyes, hard.
I start feeling dizzy. My brain tingles.
By the time he releases my throat, I’m falling unconscious.
Nei - no