To answer several questions about where my idea for MYSTA came from, and to hopefully temp you into purchasing the book, and in anticipation of book two which is coming soon, I am releasing Mist, the short story that started it all, here on this blog in episodes every Friday for the next eight weeks.
Here's today's episode. I hope you enjoy!
Mist studied the raging battle from the back of her white stallion, floating high above on a cloud conjured by her own mind, spear sheathed at her side. She had been reassigned to this battle group by Odin, the god of gods, and spent her time familiarizing herself with the coast of the recently invaded Celt territory, when she noticed the assassin.
She kicked to get her horse moving, streaked across the sky. The villain targeted the Commander, of course. Sigvarðr was her charge now, and by Odin, she would keep him alive. Strange how she’d become his guardian. She’d never protected life before. No, normally she dealt in death, selecting Odin’s warriors for the afterlife.
But when he’d ordered Commander Sigvarðr’s demise, she’d pleaded for his life, unable to tolerate his passing, regardless that his soul would live on in Valhalla. The thought of his death, even in the glory of battle, clenched her heart with a pain so strong, it robbed her breath.
“Please, Odin. More time you must give him,” she’d pleaded.
One bushy, white eyebrow had lifted. “Indeed. For what reason should he be spared when here he is needed. He shall lead me army for Ragnarök, the impending battle between the gods.” He stroked his long, white beard.
“A boon I seek.”
A smirk cocked one side of his mouth. “Have I not impeded your marriage to Ormer?”
The breath shuddered from her lungs. She nodded, though her heart sank.
He moved closer. “Enlighten me. Why should Sigvarðr be spared?”
Mist turned away from Odin’s potent gaze. “A warrior of great might is he, and ready to lead your war even if brought here at the very last moment. I…I never wish to see, me Lord, such a gallant warrior end.”
A slow smile formed on his lips; a knowing smile.
After much negotiation, she’d brokered a deal. Odin reprieved Sigvarðr. It meant, however, that Mist would be solely responsible for his safety, as the god of gods lifted the protective shield he placed over his fearless human leaders until chosen for death. With talents far less than Odin’s, the Valkyrie hoped determination, and the ability to fight hand to hand would be enough.
Now the Commander fought skillfully, taking on two swordsmen who’d cut him off from the rest of his men. Metal clanged as the battle intensified. The enemy snuck around in the tree line for an attack with bow and arrow–the tip no doubt poisoned, ensuring the target would die regardless of point of entry.
Hiding herself in the fog of the forest, she snuck up on him. For a few steps she matched his pace. Liquid particles swirled. Her body and that of her steed materialized. Shock contorted the assassin’s features. With her spear she ripped the long bow from his hands before plunging her weapon into his chest, twisting, plucking his heart from within.
The Commander severed the head of one opponent; whirling, he thrust his sword through another. He turned to see Mist upon her white horse with her spear extended, the heart dripping blood.
The body of the assassin wavered before falling. She flicked the organ to the ground where lay the body of the coward who’d tried to kill her charge. With a chant, she cast his soul into the Underworld. She caught Sigvarðr staring. His enemies lay in a bloody heap at his feet. He gave a slight nod of his head in thanks for her intervention. Mist returned his gesture from atop her horse and rode away, disappearing into the clouds.