We flew through the dark forest.
For a small bit of time I knew happiness.
She clutched herself around me. We rushed towards the fjord, towards the ship, but I suddenly knew that what we had wished for would not come to pass.
The people, the knights of her father, would not let this happen.
There were so many of them: bronzed and golden in their armor, without fear, their weapons aimed and determined for one purpose.
I would not let any harm come to The Darling, so I lifted myself from my steed, told him to go. I kissed Her, faced them.
I spoke in a language that I did not know.
I watched as The Darling One was carried away to Safety, to the ship, to my father’s kingdom.
I did not fit in my very own skin. My voice was sonorous in my own mind and it rang through the forest as it commanded the others to make ready.
I was huge, strong. The sword and the axe that I wielded were so much more heavy than a six year old child could have manipulated.
I was almost in shock: my body, my strength, the horses, the strange words which I somehow knew, the thoughts.
I did not know, could not comprehend the feelings of love that I knew were soon to end my life: I loved Her in a way that I could not understand. I was going to die for Her. I did not understand that which I was doing, going to do, what I had to do.
But I led a charge to form a line. And I remember a fury and ferocity and focus coursing through me that I, yet again, could not comprehend. It was terrible: the screams and the slaughter. Dear friends I had never known; enemies that I hated with a passion but had never seen; the flashing of light upon metal as we crashed into each other and swung at each other with deadly purpose. The arrows that crashed into my body, the pain, the panic of drowning in my own blood. My powerful limbs warding off death blows; falling, tumbling down the steep slope into a small glade.
There was a cool brook there. I had to stand, to fight. But my great strength was leaving me. My heavily armored shoulders and arms began to become so much more difficult to move. I forced them. I was not going to give up: I was the son of a king. There was too much to live for. I was so thirsty. I forced the blood from my lungs so I could breathe. Gouts of blood. I forced it out, vomited the blood out in gouts. But they kept filling, and I began to drown. I tried to stand, but was drowning, could not breathe.
I collapsed next to the cool water, and I saw her beautiful, shining eyes and bright smile. I needed to live, I had to live, if only to love Her. And to serve my King. I was so young. It was too soon. I tried to raise myself from the gentle brook in which I was dying, from which I tried to drink. My strength ebbed away from me though I desperately fought to live.
I died there, in the quiet glade, close to the gentle brook.
The brook became smooth and white.
My limbs became weak, soft, though somehow still possessed of their strength. Over me knelt a woman, bathed in a bright light, surely a Valkyrie.
Was I already dead? She had come for me. I spoke to her as she spoke to me unintelligibly in dulcet tones in a language that I did not know. I asked the angel of the fate of my Love, my friends.
My friends continued to struggle and die, they were scattered all about us, around me and the Valkyrie who gently cradled me in her arms as she strode through space as it continued to change and shift around us. I was large and small, brimming with life and yet dead. Rooms were where the forest should have been; small, pajama-clad arms instead of glaved, heavy sinews reached to touch her face. She kissed me and layed me down upon a couch, where I continued to speak to her though she did not understand me.
I eagerly took into my little hands the warm cup of sweet-smelling cocoa that she gave to me. I crossed my little legs and drank. I became calm. She knelt beside me and spoke again. I smiled at her, but understood nothing but the deliciousness of my hot chocolate. Between draughts of the wonderful drink, I thanked her for being so kind to me. I tried to explain to her what was all around us, that she, my friend’s mother, Jenna, was an angel, but the words I spoke did not make me clear to her.
I was still wary, but the danger seemed to be going away.
And then, The Kind One was there. I recognized her immediately. I rushed into her arms. Though she spoke to me in the same incomprehensible language, I understood the name that she called to me. My terror was gone.
Soon, I was resting in her arms, my small, brown, pajama-clad body limp with relief. I spoke to her, and she listened. I had been so scared, realities kept merging in and out, back and forth, all superimposed, one upon the other.
She was patient. After a time, I began to speak the strange talk, in the language of Jenna, in the language of The Kind One. Little by little, I remembered it.
I nuzzled myself against her warmth as she cradled me, soothing me, whispering love and kindness to me. I was becoming so tired. I was so glad that she was there, that I knew where I was, that I was not dead.
I gently touched her soft, beautiful face, gazed upon her. “Mummy, it’s terrible.”
A slew of new images lashed through me and my body convulsed. She held me tightly until I was again thoughtlessly limp in her arms.
“I don’t like this, Mummy, it hurts.” My eyes began to close, my little arms clutching her to me, “Mummy, I hate it.” I whispered to her.
She soothed me and wept, “I know, Baby, I know.”
She sobbed quietly and rocked me gently. “My baby, my poor, sweet, baby boy.
I looked at her dreamily, into her bright, fawn-like brown eyes, “Mummy, is this going to keep happening? Is it going to stop? When’s it going to stop, Mummy? When?” I smiled at her, hopefully.
Our faces were wet with her tears.
“Baby, I’m sorry, I’m so, so sorry.”