From Bad to Norse

This is a Sunday Photo Fiction submission. It’s a little flippant after some very moving entries and there are a number of historical, cultural and, for all I know, geographical inaccuracies. But it is fiction, even if it isn’t Sunday anymore.

The title may or may not work, but I like it.

Thanks to Al for the photo


-Where’d you park the longboat?
-I dunno. On the beach.
-You want to be more specific?
-…Can’t you do that thing with the keys?
-What thing?
-Get them to make the lights flash.
-Yes, Thordar?
-It’s the 11th century.
-So, even if there’s any point having central locking on a longboat, they probably haven’t invented the technology yet.
-Ah…Best keep looking then.
-… I don’t know why you couldn’t have gone before we left.
-I didn’t need to go, then
-It’s a long way from Denmark to India. You could’ve gone anyway.
-To be on the safe side.
-…Yoy were the one that insisted on stopping off in Iceland for mead.
-Look, .If I get another stamp on my loyalty card, I get a free flagon.
-A free flagon?
-Yes, Eidur.
-Of mead?
-That’s it.
-But, Thordar, these services have a massive mark up.
-But it’s free, innit?
-(sighs) You’ve already paid over the odds for the mead. You’d be better off bringing a calf-skin from home.
-It’d’ve got warm.
-Whatever. And I wanted to stretch my legs.
-Look, I’m sorry, I forgot about your brother.
-It was a fit-up.
-I’ve always said the rack should be seen as cruel and unusual punishment. Why it’s not outlawed by the Valhalla Convention, I’ll never know.
-Just shut it.
-I said I was sorry.
-…It’s your fault we’ve been landed with finding a passage to India, anyway.
-If you hadn’t glued horns on Erik’s helmet, he’d’ve probably given us a cushy job pillaging in England.
-I was just having a laugh.
-They say the pillaging’s great there.
-I didn’t become a Viking for the pillaging.
-Or Normandy. I hear that’s nice this time of year.
-Full of smug ex-pats these days.
-So you prefer risking certain death…
-You can’t RISK certain death, Eidur.
-You’d prefer certain death on the high seas to listening to a bunch of well-off retired Vikings bragging about their swimming pools and moaning about the old country going to the dogs?
-Wouldn’t you?
-But this is exciting, isn’t it? And if we find the route to India, we’ll be heroes.
-Maybe we’ll be rich enough to buy a timeshare in Rouen.
-Perhaps. So…
-Where are we?
-Where are we?
-This land. Due South West of Iceland, on the way to India.
-I dunno. It’s not on any maps.
-How can it not be on any maps? it’s massive.
-Who knows? It’s a dump, isn’t it?
-…Are you thinking what I’m thinking?
-What’s that?
-Let’s sack it off. Go home.
-What’ll we tell Erik.
-Tell him we ran into a Kraken.
-A what?
-I dunno. I just made it up.
-I like it.
-Great. So we’re agreed?
-Let’s go home.
-Yes, Thordar?
-Where DID you park the longboat?



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7 responses to “From Bad to Norse

  1. Al

    That is so funny. Had me laughing all the way through. Brilliant 😀

  2. There have been some great stories this week. And this is one of them! 🙂

  3. They are lost, lost, lost. Great dialogue.
    But no mead in Iceland in the 11th century. No bees! Honey is a recentish import.

    • Thanks for reading. And thanks for the tip re: honey. I knew there would be some geographical/historical innaccuracies but I hadn’t realised that would be one so it’s been instructive.

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