Chapter Six

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For Heather... Happy Birthday! xoxoxo

           Her fingers tentatively touched the fabric

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        Her fingers tentatively touched the fabric. Meruself closed her eyes and took a deep breath, steeling herself for the revelation to come. She hoped against all the odds that the man from her vision would not be laying under this shroud, his beautiful blue green eyes closed forever.

   Meruself gently and slowly pulled the cloak away to reveal the identity of the man, holding her breath all the while. She folded the material at his shoulders and touched the man's cold cheek gently. The right side of his face had three deep furrows running from temple and brow to mouth and chin, and down across his life vein at the side of his neck. All his features on the right side of his face were mangled beyond recognition, the eye missing from its socket. But the left side of his face was left intact. Sorrow settled like a lodestone in her heart. She felt his dark hair, smoothing it off his brow. She traced his dark brow lovingly and closed his beautiful green blue eye so it no longer stared lifelessly into the sky. Her fingertips brushed his lips and lingered in the cleft of his chin.

   It was him. This was the man she'd seen reflected in the pool. This was the man she saw now laying lifeless on his battered shield. This was the man she'd wanted so desperately to save. Grief stung her chest and she bowed her head against it. She placed her right hand upon his chest, just below the gaping hole where his heart should have been. She would entreat the Norns, though they no longer answered her directly and she feared that they had no care for her prayers, even if they were on the behalf of another.

 She would entreat the Norns, though they no longer answered her directly and she feared that they had no care for her prayers, even if they were on the behalf of another

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   "Goddess Eir, let this warrior's soul find succor at your healing hearth in death as his body could not find it in life. I beg of you aid my prayers to reach the loving ears of the Mother Norns. Mother, Sister, Crone hear my lament. Hear the prayer I beseech Goddess Eir of mercy to bring. Spare this brave warrior's soul from wandering in the dark wasteland mists of Asunderland and from suffering in Hel. Let him find Everrest in Sölustaðir Allra Ævi, your Halls of Ever Life. Let his feet find the cool grasses and his tongue taste of the sweet waters in your Garden of Meru. Or let the Valkyries of Odin watch over his valiant crossing to Valhalla if he so choose, where he can live again and laugh and drink in the halls of Asgard with the other fallen warriors like him. To let him one day fight alongside the Einherjar as they make ready for Ragnarok." Meruself raised her bowed head to the heavens to release her prayers and give them flight, her left hand upon her heart.

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