Every year one of the giants made the pilgrimage. This year it was the turn of Eindride.
The village came out to see him off. The ritual sacrifice to the Gods was part of the Summer Festival, an offering to ensure their safe protection for another year. Armed with only the clothes he was wearing and a walking stick, he set off across the land.
Nobody knew exactly how long the journey would take, because no one had ever returned. All that Eindride knew was he had to keep walking east until he met his fate.
After the first day the rocky mountains of home had disappeared behind him. To stop and rest was forbidden, he pressed on through the night and into the following day.
The landscape he strode across now was green and made up of rolling hills. There was little sign of life apart from the odd, small animal who eyed him warily as he passed.
Eindride became lonely and mournful. Fear began to oppress him as he awaited whatever destiny was in store for him. His faith carried him forward. This was his duty, this is what the Gods demanded of their followers. On the third day, he grew tired and began to stumble and stagger. Hunger gripped him, but to eat was also forbidden on the journey.
He became weak and dizzy. He began to see and hear things – laughter, noise, voices. Disorientated, he slumped to the ground. He felt hands pick him up before he drifted off into sleep.
When he awoke he was lying on a rug. Around him other giants were eating and drinking. Merriment was in the air. Eindride focused on the faces and saw that he recognised them. There was Mathilde, who had made the same pilgrimage the previous year. And that was Henrikson, his old friend who had left the village over five years ago.
Henrikson saw that Eindride had awoken and came over to greet him.
‘What is this place?’ Eindride asked.
‘This is where we have all ended up at the end of our journey, old friend.’
‘But where are the Gods? Where is the sacrifice?’
‘Don’t you see? It is all myth and legend. There are no Gods. Here we get to live like Gods, like Kings. Everything is plentiful, we want for nothing and we are free to enjoy life on it’s own terms.’
Eindride stared at the debauchery that surrounded him. It was as close to heaven as a giant could hope to find.
‘I think I shall like it here,’ he smiled at Henrikson.
‘Of course you will. Come, let me get you some wine.’
Copyright Sue Vincent
I’m excited to announce my second novel, ‘State Of Denial’, a sequel to last year’s ‘A Justified State’, will be published on the 27th September 2019.
You can watch the teaser trailer for ‘State Of Denial’ below:
The paperback version will be published simultaneously on the 27th of September.
Thank you to all those who have already bought and read ‘A Justified State’ and for the many kind reviews and comments. I hope you will enjoy the sequel and how the story continues just as much.
For those who want to see how the story begins, ‘A Justified State’ is available now on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle: