Our legs were weak. Bellies empty. After 3 long years of raiding, we had finally returned home.
My men jumped from their Knörr vessels, heaving greatly from the sea to the beach head. I stood strong from my ship, watching my raiding party work with such vigour. We had run out of food days ago, yet the men still pushed hard. Not until we threw open the gates of the great hall could we relax. Tonight, we would be dining with royalty.
We lumbered carelessly up the steep cliffs to Northumberland. We could smell the meat, the mead, and the women. It had been so long since I’d lay with a woman, I don’t know which I wanted more. A good night, or a strong meal.
We burst open the door to the great hall, receiving a standing ovation. All but the King rose to their feet. Without care, we dumped our weaponry and armor into the corner. Twenty, thirty, forty men kept piling up their gear. Soon, there was a large mound of blood soaked armaments.
I drank heavenly mead that evening. Ate the entire backside of a pig, and chose my woman for the night. A free woman. An unmarried dame. Perfect. For she would be my wife. But before I could retire, I had a final matter to attend to.
Walking to the mound of weapons, I grabbed one with the least amount of dried blood. I needed a clean blade. A precise cut. I would not get a second chance. A shimmer from the pile seemed to beckon me. Pulling ferociously, my trusty axe emerges. She is clean, looks new. The battle worn blade is razor-sharp. It is time.
I begin to sprint. Slowly, picking up speed. A large man is not light on his feet. I must count my paces. One… two, three… four, five, six… a full sprint.
Leaping into the air with my dominate leg, showing my fierce viking cry, axe raised well above my head. Striking down with my full force, back arched created the focal point of my power. Cold steel sinks deep into the Kings head and face. My blade – clean no more.
The great hall comes to a stand still. Guards look at each other, confused. Stunned.
“This weak leader said we would not prevail! He said we would not succeed! Yet here I stand, giving you the greatest pillage in our history! Weak leaders must fall, in order for the strong to rise.”
I will say this, “the weak King” did provide us with an excellent home-coming.