A Valhallan Interlude

 

Hoy-at-a-ho! … Hoy-a-ta-ho! …’ The voice echoed across the rooftops. The horse galloping its way across the night sky was clearly not of this world. Nor was the brass-clad young lady riding along on its back. However … well, it’s all very well singing in the moonlight like that, and she had a good voice for it, but she’d just never been able to get the proper … operatic feel for things. 

‘That wasn’t bad,’ said the horse. 

She sighed, deeply. Her brass outerwear clinked at the motion. ‘I wish I didn’t have to wear this thing.’ 

‘Listen, it may not be to your taste, but it is traditional.’ 

‘I’m not cut out to be—‘

‘Nonsense! Come on, one more go — maybe this time it’ll work.’ 

The girl sighed again. Only a little more sadly.

As the horse galloped along on thin air — and into a rather difficult air current — it had a little too much to keep its mind on to look back just then, but if he were a betting horse, he’d wager there was a sparkle of teardrops in the moonlight behind him.

‘It’s no good. I may as well pack it in,’ she said, trying to adjust the traditional brasswear. ‘Woooah—‘ — only some quick emergency manoeuvres by a flying horse of long experience stopped her from falling off — ‘—And I can’t ride worth a damn,’ she added as she got her grip on the reins again.

‘Your singing’s really coming along,’ said the horse gamely. ‘And I think—‘

‘And my complexion’s all wrong,’ she continued, oblivious. ‘I can’t get the iron and storm into my gaze. Who’s going to want a Valkyrie who looks like I do.’

The horse didn’t comment. For one thing, he could see that the girl on his back was obviously feeling extremely low, and for another—

‘It’s not as if this thing even fits,’ she said dejectedly. 

He stayed quiet. Sometimes you can see that anything you can say is probably going to be the wrong thing at the wrong time. 

‘You may as well take us down. Right over there.’

The horse peered. Looked like a bar. Bright neon lights flashing over it. He gave a sort of shrug.

‘Hey, watch it!’ 

‘Sorry. Okay … You’re the boss …’ He started his descent. For the record, he didn’t think this was a very good idea …

 

[Next –> Part 2: A Need for Mead.]

There are 20 comments.

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  1. Kay of MT Member
    Kay of MT
    @KayofMT

    Love your imagination @andrewmiller, please finish the story.

    • #1
  2. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Andrew Miller: For the record, he didn’t think this was a very good idea …

    No great adventure starts in a restaurant specializing in salads.

    • #2
  3. Andrew Miller Member
    Andrew Miller
    @AndrewMiller

    Kay of MT (View Comment):

    Love your imagination @andrewmiller, please finish the story.

    Thank you! :)

    Now, lemmee see here, where did I put that Norse scrying stone . . . (Blasted reception! Looks like there’s a storm coming in . . . Hey, does anyone remember how you tune this thing . . .)

    • #3
  4. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Andrew Miller (View Comment):
    Hey, does anyone remember how you tune this thing . . .

    Tune your mind, and the stone will follow.

    • #4
  5. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Andrew Miller: For the record, he didn’t think this was a very good idea …

    No great adventure starts in a restaurant specializing in salads.

    • #5
  6. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Andrew Miller: Her brass outerwear clinked at the motion.

    Brass armor? Brass is more malleable than bronze. In other words, it is easier to hammer it in (and out) of shape. Shinier, almost as strong, brass is better for bells, horns, decorations, and a number of other applications, but by the time the metallurgists of antiquity were figuring out how to make it, iron and steel had surpassed it for armor.

    Bronze is a copper/tin alloy, and brass is copper/zinc. It is likely that the first brass makers had no idea how they were doing it. The Assyrians seem to have left records indicating that “mountain” copper had different qualities than regular copper. This may have been due to zinc naturally appearing in the copper ore they were smelting.

    But I guess if you’re a supernatural being, you could get away with brass armor.

    • #6
  7. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Andrew Miller (View Comment):
    Hey, does anyone remember how you tune this thing . . .

    Tune your mind, and the stone will follow.

    There is no spoon.

    • #7
  8. Andrew Miller Member
    Andrew Miller
    @AndrewMiller

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Andrew Miller (View Comment):
    Hey, does anyone remember how you tune this thing . . .

    Tune your mind, and the stone will follow.

    *Tiiing!* “Hey! That’s not how you’re supposed to use a tuning fork!” Owww . . .

    • #8
  9. Andrew Miller Member
    Andrew Miller
    @AndrewMiller

    Percival (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Andrew Miller: For the record, he didn’t think this was a very good idea …

    No great adventure starts in a restaurant specializing in salads.

    There may be mead served later . . .

    • #9
  10. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member
    9thDistrictNeighbor
    @9thDistrictNeighbor

    • #10
  11. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    Andrew Miller: ‘Hoy-at-a-ho! … Hoy-a-ta-ho! …’

    No, no, no.

    Hi-dee hi-dee hi-dee hi! (hi-dee hi-dee hi-dee hi)
    Hee-dee-hee-dee-hee-dee-! (hee-dee-hee-dee-hee-dee-hee)

     

    • #11
  12. JoelB Member
    JoelB
    @JoelB

    This story has a bit of the flavor of C.S. Lewis’ The Horse and His Boy, which in my opinion is a good thing.

    • #12
  13. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Percival (View Comment):
    But I guess if you’re a supernatural being, you could get away with brass armor.

    • #13
  14. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Andrew Miller: ‘Hoy-at-a-ho! … Hoy-a-ta-ho! …’

    No, no, no.

    Hi-dee hi-dee hi-dee hi! (hi-dee hi-dee hi-dee hi)
    Hee-dee-hee-dee-hee-dee-! (hee-dee-hee-dee-hee-dee-hee)

    • #14
  15. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Arahant (View Comment):
    No great adventure starts in a restaurant specializing in salads.

    No one ever said “Here.  Hold my salad.”

    • #15
  16. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Andrew Miller (View Comment):

    Kay of MT (View Comment):

    Love your imagination @andrewmiller, please finish the story.

    Thank you! :)

    Now, lemmee see here, where did I put that Norse scrying stone . . . (Blasted reception! Looks like there’s a storm coming in . . . Hey, does anyone remember how you tune this thing . . .)

    Just bang it a few times and sacrifice a virgin of good character.  At least I think that’s what the IKEA manual says.  

    • #16
  17. Andrew Miller Member
    Andrew Miller
    @AndrewMiller

    Well, ya talked me into it . . .

    A Valhallan Interlude, Part 2: A Need for Mead.

    • #17
  18. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    Lovely, Andrew.  I saw your tags.  And I am old, so:

    • #18
  19. Andrew Miller Member
    Andrew Miller
    @AndrewMiller

    She (View Comment):

    Lovely, Andrew. I saw your tags. And I am old, so:

    Thank you! :)

    These things come to us and are let fall, At the Drop of a Hat, so to speak. But you probably already gnu that:

    • #19
  20. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    Andrew Miller (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):

    Lovely, Andrew. I saw your tags. And I am old, so:

    Thank you! :)

    These things come to us and are let fall, At the Drop of a Hat, so to speak. But you probably already gnu that.

    lol.  How do you do?

     

    • #20

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