I was sweeping dust and gravel away around the outside of the shack where I'm held. Not that this broom, in particular, was helping anything-couldn't even brush rocks off of these old chipped boards.
This has been my job every single day since I was taken aboard the boat. since then I've had two responsibilities as a slave; make food for the man and sweep the place. Not too bad as I've seen worse treatment of slaves. I was thankful that the man who claimed me was kind and never defiled me. This man went by the name of Knute. He had been a boat builder ever since he was younger than me. Over the months I've been kept here he has told me many stories of people he'd met or built for. The sound of venturing the sea made my stomach churn with curiosity and sadness as it reminded me of my father. I wonder if they made it out of the house.
Sometimes, when Knute wasn't around, I'd use his carving knives to throw at a log out in the back of his home. I just wanted to have something to do other than my duties as a slave. I could run away from here if I wanted however Lagertha, a shield maiden, has stuck mandatory guards in the surrounding area of Knute's home. I'd rather live out this way than get killed running.
The sun was starting to set as I almost finished sweeping the boards. From the corner of my eye, I could see two men with furs draped around their shoulders. They didn't seem to be as broad as their pelts tried to give the illusion of being. I didn't think much of it until they began walking my way. They were probably here to see Knute anyways.
"Excuse me..." one of their voices intruded my train of thought. His voice sounded sounded so familiar, almost like my brother's.
"Knute is in there, he'd rather not be bothered," I informed them while pointing towards the door without looking up. The two chuckled as the other began to speak up;
"We were actually trying to speak to you if you have time?"
Leaning against the broomstick then tilted my head towards it,
"Does it look like I'm doing anything important?" I say gesturing to the general area I was sweeping.
"Well anyways you are no longer a slave." The second guy cut him off and received a glare from his counterpart.
"Hvitserk you can't just say that with no context..." he face palmed.
My eyebrows shot straight up, my patience was thinning, I did not want to get my hopes up for soemthing that would most likely never happen. Besides I don't believe they have the authority to free me unlike Lagertha who put me here.
"Wait, " I shifted the broom from one hand to the other, "You're telling me, I am now suddenly free from this self-degrading status with no catch?"
They nodded nonchalantly as if this were no big deal, this is too easy.
"Funny joke- I applaud you, trying to trick a poor girl, you got me there boys," I shook my head as I clapped my hands together. "Now run along be with the others."
I began sweeping once more shaking my head.
"Look this is not a joke," the guy on the right lunges forward and took hold of my arm.
"If you could jus-
Out of reflex, my other arm took ahold of the broom's end and swiftly held it against his throat. I had been very paranoid the last couple months and these men don't know what they're dealing with.
"Do not touch me," I said through my teeth.
He gulped in response and slowly backed away.
"Women are so difficult- look we know what happened the night you were taken." The taller one explains.
I stiffened at that, images of blood and dead bodies shot up in my mind causing me to feel sick. My eyes softened as I looked towards the bench to sit down.
"Really?" I questioned looking at them.
"Yes, Lagertha told Floki, who then told us the story, It's actually why you are being freed. You're a cunning warrior and we need someone like you to help in the great army."
I gazed up at them and stared. What great army are they going on about? Plus if I was such a "cunning warrior" why was I put into invisible chains?
"Well how can I believe you two, first you approach me out of the blue, I haven't ever seen you before," my voice asked, "I don't even know your names!"
They both looked at me in slight shock, but hid it quickly.
"What?" I raised a brow, they shrugged, "Am I supposed to know you?"
If they think I'm supposed to know them then they must have quite the ego. Men.
"You're joking right?" The taller one spoke, "I'm Ubbe, son of Ragnar Lothbrok."
His companion shook his head in amusement at his words, "oh brother, you seem to have the biggest ego in Kattegat," he replied reading my mind, "I'm Hvirserk by the way also a son of Ragnar.."
I pursued my lips and furrowed my brows, I've heard the tales of their father when I was home. But they must have thought they were as great as him if they thought I would know them. Well, at least this Ubbe does.
Then it dawned on me. If they were the son's of Ragnar then they must be princes. they really aren't joking.
"Okay then sons of Ragnar," I began, "you're saying you need me in battle for what reason?"
Hvitserk adjusted his sleeves as he explained,
"Our father was killed and we are planning on getting revenge in England."
"You're going to kill everyone?"
"More or less the man that killed him but if it's necessary, yea sure why not" Hvitserk chuckled.
"He doesn't mean that-
"Ubbe, you need to learn sarcasm brother."
"Anyways, if I'm free I need to live else where than knute's home." I brought up.
"Done, we have a Place for you, just have to clear out some stuff and we will move you there tonight."
"Sounds good I'll see you." I turned around to finish my job.
"But you never answered our request." Ubbe spoke up.
"I'll tell you tonight, how about that ubbe." I replied.
The brothers seemed content with that answer and started walking away.
I rewrote most of this seeing as the first draft I wrote when I was half asleep but hopefully you enjoyed this chapter :
Re written 06/01/19