Thorn Rose

Faylin, a nun devoted to God, never thought that there would come the day her peaceful home would be raided by vikings. She hates them with her entire being - heathens. When the Jarl takes a sudden interest in her Faylin vows to not stray away from her convictions.

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1. Premonition of Disaster

 

                                                                                                  ***

                                                                                          CHAPTER 1 

 

853 A.D – Wales

                               

The wet mist blinded the sight of those who awakened, in monotonous routine, within the clarity of the very first rays of the morning sun. Only a few came out of their houses as the previous night had drained them of all strength.

 

Although short in height, Faylin had managed to see it all through the small window from the confines of the library, which belonged to the monastery.

 

Her dainty feet ached; the stiff neck that had prevented her from having a good night's rest was a consequence of her great stubbornness. Still, not a sound of complaint slipped from her rosebud mouth.

 

Instead, a small smile graced her slightly freckled face. She believed it a small pay to bear for being able to see, once more, the occasional festivities that had taken place in the small town she had been born and lived in for six summers of her life.

 

Faylin cupped her hands into the water surrounding her body and brought them to her face, making sure to remove any trace of sleep. She tilted her head back and felt the weight of her drenched hair down her back. She sighed in pure bliss, something the warm baths never ceased to give her.

 

It was not a big town by any means, but the villagers made it up for it. She still could remember the sound of wood burning, the whistling wind mingling with the joyful songs being sung, barefoot moving around the bonfire, people dancing to express themselves, the freedom…a bitter word Faylin had learned to be deprived of a long time ago.       

 

Letting her nude body slide down, she submerged herself into the middle of the big wooden tub, holding her breath.

 

It is not that she chose a life in seclusion. God had a plan, a path for her as Father Mannus had told her many times before since that rainy day. She believed him; after all, Father Mannus had received her with open arms when her own flesh and blood had denied her.

 

Suddenly she felt her lungs burning. Her head getting lighter - She was chocking.

 

As a bolt of lightning that unexpectedly strikes the earth, Faylin came to the surface struggling for breath, her quick movements sending droplets of water splashing onto the floor. God, her thoughts almost cost her life.

 

Ignoring the shiver that ran through her body she wasted no time in getting out of the big wooden tub and grabbed a linen strip of cloth. As she dressed, she peered outside and faltered on her movements when she noticed a crow sitting on a branch of a tree with its gaze fixed in her direction.

She swallowed.

 

Undeniably, she had took notice of the water coldness, it almost seemed like a warning… a warning for the needed caution she should have from now on or perhaps something worst was coming. She hoped not.

 

The brown long tunic held together by brooches stuck to her body - she had barely dried herself off. Opening the wooden door, she walked as fast as her legs allowed her in search of Mother Agnes – the abbess.

 

She had a bad feeling and Faylin dreaded every time she had them, for they were never wrong and she felt hollow knowing there was naught she could do to stop them from happening.

 

Before she could reach the baptistery someone pulled her back and spin her around. Her eyes travelled from the small hand clutching her arm towards the person's face. She masked her grimace.

“What’s the rush, sister?”

 

Faylin did notice the mocking tone. She still could not understand why Sister Elsa loathed her so much. The girl, unlike her that had peasant parents, came from a wealthy family.

 

Faylin pitied her. Even though Sister Elsa made sure to rub her background on her face and rejoice the lighter work she was given due her “position” such as spinning and embroidery, in the end both of them had walked in the same direction path. Rejected by their families. The only difference was Faylin had accepted it a long time ago.

“Im looking for Mother Agnes… it is an important matter. I must hurry now before our recites begin, sister”

 

Before Sister Elsa could make a remark, the sound of the bell reached their ears. They both turned around and Faylin frowned, running towards the town location. Her heart started beating quicker as she neared. From the inclined top position the monastery was in Faylin saw what had caused the commotion.

 

There was no mistake. Long and strong built oak ships reached the beach. Her mind still reeling from the shock told her to gather her wits and make a quick conscious decision. She never saw such devil thing.

 

Even as she screamed and alerted everyone, the image of those tall carved shaped-dragons keep appearing on her mind. 

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