Sparks o' a Story: The Carven Warrior

Well, I did WRITE this yesterday, but events conspired to keep me from posting it until today. C'est la vie. 
Day 3:

From the perspective of an inanimate object

Viking Woman | Carl Larsson
Sword raised high, the carven warrior kept watch from the back of his ever-eager horse. Birds and insects, unfrightened by his warlike pose, hummed a sweet life-song that trembled among the first brave wildflowers growing at his foot. Spring sunlight warmed his stone to its very core, and a gentle wind caressed him.

His mound gave him vantage to look out over a sprawl of houses and farms and to the deep blue of the fjord beyond. A ship was readying there. Men and women bustled to and fro with barrels and bales in response to a captain's gesticulated orders. The attention of every person seemed to be focused on the ship, with the exception of a fair-haired woman who walked purposefully toward the mound.

She carried a happily babbling small boy on one arm. An older girl skipped along at her side.

"Mama!" The girl piped up, "when will we go to the ship?"

"Soon enough." The woman replied with the patient air of someone who had already answered far too many questions for one day.

"And how long will it take to get to the new land?"

The woman shrugged. "Longer, most likely, than any of us will like."

They had ascended the mound, now, and the woman stopped in front of the stone. She slowly reached out her free hand and traced the warrior's outline. Head bowed, she spoke low words that were lost on the breeze. The birds and insects stilled, the baby left off his chatter to grasp as his mother's shining hair. Wind-whispered silence reigned, for a moment, on the mound.

"Look!" The girl squealed. "they have finished! They are waving to us."

"Very well." The woman let her hand fall to her side. Shoulders square, she turned and walked swiftly toward the waiting ship.

Behind her, the stern warrior began a long, long wait.

Find my other writing challenge pieces HERE.
Read Clara's HERE.


  1. This one has too much backstory! I want to know more!
    Why are the people leaving? When will they come back? What special connection draws the fair-haired woman to the carving? Who is she? Who has she been before?
    Short sparks are cruel in their shortness, sometimes, leaving readers hungry for the rest of the story. ;)

    1. I'm not really sure, myself. But I suspect that the stone was raised in honor of the woman's husband, who died in battle. She's now fallen on harder times, so she's off to Greenland or Vinland to start a new life.


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