The Melancholy Viking

Valkirk brooded on a stump at a bend in the fjord. He scrawled a poem on a scrap of birch-bark with a chip of charcoal pinched between finger and thumb.

My sword is broken
My shield is split
I lay in frozen
Blood and shit
the crows have feasted
the battle’s done
the armies scattered
my life is gone

Aelrik called out to him, “Valkirk! When you’re done writing your saga, could you give me a hand with this net? Inggrid is going to mend it but I need to bring it to her hut.”

Valkirk tossed aside the lump of charcoal in irritation. “What use a skein made by the hands of men? A few fish caught will not stave off the inevitable. Death’s hunger goes forever unsated.”

“Oh, for crying out loud, Val. Can you just help me with the damn net?”

–Steve Kilian

From Space to Destroy

Signs We’re In A New Depression


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