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As I mentioned earlier, I have a new story in the Fantastic Realms anthology. The story included is called The Curse of the Lagarfljot Lindworm and is set within the Viking Secrets universe but features a character not mentioned before. For those that have read Vikings: The Truth about Thora and Ragnar, the story might be a familiar one as a lindworm also features there. This story, though, delves into an older tale, one I mentioned in Thora’s saga but never really expanded on. The Curse of the Lagarfljot Lindworm finally does this.
Included in the anthology are plenty of other great fantasy stories so make sure you grab your copy now — especially since it is currently on sale for only 99 cents!
I can now reveal the cover design for this short story as well as an excerpt from it. All the details are below!
BLURB for The Curse of the Lagarfljot Lindworm
Briet is tasked with a momentous task: kill the creature she has raised from birth.
If she does not do so, the entire countryside will suffer.
Given as a gift, Briet’s mother presents her daughter with a heath snake. However, it grows and grows until it is big enough to terrorize the communities. With the help of two monster-hunting warriors, Briet must do the unthinkable in order to survive.
The icy waters of the Lagarfljot chilled her to the core as Briet ran her fingers through the current. Milky white water ran over her knuckles, turning her skin red with the cold.
It was the perfect place. Yet, it was also the worst.
She tried not to think of how her lindworm would suffer when she threw him into the lake, of how he would struggle against the numbing cold. A single tear dripped down her face as she turned to the beast behind her, the one that she had so tenderly raised and the treachery of what she was about to do slayed her.
“Come here, Ormur,” Briet said as she beckoned the beast.
Slithering forward, she tried to submit the sheen of his scales to her memory. Swallowing back a sob, she fought against the emotion threatening to consume her.
Ormur must never know about her betrayal, not until it was too late.
His body brushed against her leg and she reached down to run her fingers over the cold smoothness of his scales. Muscles rippled under her touch as the animal gently wrapped its body around her and flickered his tiny fins back and forth.
Silent tears fell as Briet closed her eyes. Biting down on her lip, she fought against the lump in her throat. If Ormur discovered what she was about to do, he would turn against her.
She wanted to save her beast, to take him far away. But, if her entire village were to stay safe, she had no choice but to end his life.
Twining her hand around Ormur, she opened her eyes and lowered herself to his level. Briet hugged the animal, allowing herself a moment or two to be lost in his embrace. Ormur coiled around her, his body gliding over hers, twisting and turning in his own version of an embrace.
“It’s time for you to make another journey,” Briet said and Ormur slowly uncoiled himself, as though he understood what she had just said.
His small dark eyes looked at her, unblinking as his mouth opened, exposing layers of jagged teeth and a serpentine tongue as he hissed his response.
Even though she knew he would never harm her, she also knew that anyone who was ever considered a threat to her would suffer the consequence of those teeth.
This was the reason she had to do the unthinkable.
Reaching over the beast, Briet picked him up and Ormur wrapped himself around her shoulders. Standing, she stepped into the milky water. Ormur was heavy in her arms as she trekked out further, her robes drifting in the slight current and her hair tugging against it as the water rose to her waist.
“I will see you again, Ormur, but not for some time,” she said as she hefted the beast over her head and flung him far out into the depths of the Lagarfljot.
Her tears turned to ice as Ormur sunk quickly and she finally allowed her wretched sobs to escape. The sound echoed out over the water and mingled with the gurgle of her sinking lindworm.
And, that’s when the trouble really began.