At noon the dusting of snow was gone. Buri, sticking his nose out of the cave, teased Aegir, “I didn’t know how hot you are! Look, all the snow is gone!”
“You are the hottie, Buri!” touching his friend with the forefinger, “Gee, I burned my finger! My gosh! Are there red-hot embers below that black skin?”
“Believe me boy! That special finger of yours was so hot last night that my bum is still burning like fire!”
“Buddy, buddy! I guess we both will have problems walking today.”
“It’s not that far to the trader’s point! At nightfall we should be there. Come on let’s eat and then start!”
On the trail along the rushing river they walked like lovebirds, trying to touch each other as often as possible. Not even the roe buck crossing the trail could arouse their attention.
Aegir was more than curious about the adventures of Buri´s parents in the oasis, but he didn’t dare to break the spirit of the day with questions. Buri on the other hand didn’t want to bother Aegir with sad details. At early nightfall they arrived at the trader’s point, a settlement of about two dozen houses at the edge of the mountains where a fast running creek coming from the west merged with the river coming down from the Eagle-clan’s cave-dwelling. Together they formed a meandering watercourse running through the wide valley of the Bredd-ström emptying its water in the broad river. The houses of the settlement were widely scattered on the mountain’s side above the junction of the two waters. Most houses were no more than roofed cabins, but the big traders mansions were more comfortable and included a main house, several barns for storing of goods and open sheds used for bartering.
It was nearly dark, when Aegir and Buri entered the main room of the biggest mansion. The light coming from the fire pit was reflected by Aegir’s the red hair and immediately aroused the attention of the people gathered around the fire.
“Hi young man, you are not from around here!” was the welcome of the trader, the head of the family.
One of his women preparing the evening meal of soup added. “You are welcome! Orderly visitors are always welcome in our house!”
The oldest of his wives squinted towards the entrance, “Who are you, there in the dark? My eyes are already too weak to penetrate the dark. Come closer!”
“Yeah, come to the fire!” the landlord invited Buri, “Step forward also young man that I can have a look at!”
Buri did that hesitantly and when the light finally revealed his features, the youngest wife shouted in surprise, “Is that you Buri? You, the nice dark-skinned youngster from the Eagle-clan?” and another of the wives added excitedly, “We missed you when your clan passed by some days ago. The shaman told everybody you did break your neck and mighty eagle has taken you to his aerie!”
“Do I look like a dead man? Look!” flexing his muscles, “I am not dead! I am alive and jumping!” pointing at Aegir, “My friend of the north found me half dead after…!”
Aegir quickly interrupted Buri’s report, “Yeah I found him unconscious and had a hard time to bring him back to life. He still has a big bump on the back of his head!”
Realising that Aegir intended to keep secret that the shaman had attacked him, Buri lamented. “I still have a headache and I feel giddy!” This aroused the pity of the women and the grey-haired one took him to the fire to check the bump.
The late arrival of the two travellers was soon the talk of the village and soon the room was buzzing with old and young people. Aegir was the centre of attention. His fire-red hair tickled the imagination of the girls and soon they made mooneyes at him, while the boys wanted to know “Do the girls of your clan also sport these flaming red hairs? Is their skin as white as yours? Do they have as many freckles as you?”
When Aegir answered with a nod, the most daring of the young men teased him, “Can you get me a girlfriend with red hair and snow-white skin. I will trade in my fair haired sister!”
His sister, a girl with long blond hair, poked her tongue out at her brother, “This arch-scoundrel doesn’t deserve a nice girl, but I would like to marry a man like you!” whispering she added, “Would you like to have some fun tonight?”
Aegir was happy to be in the focus of interest. He answered all question asked and explained why he was on his voyage to the south, “When I was small boy I decided to look for a place where the sun us shining all year long, even in winter-time. May be I can find the house of the sun and ask her to come with me to my home-village!” However he didn’t disclose the other reason of his voyage. He just gave Buri a wink who was meanwhile successfully trading two of Aegir’s soft beaver furs for a big bag of roasted hazelnuts, a bag of beech-nuts, another one with vetch seeds, four chunks of dry meat and last but not least an old fur coat, he needed for himself and a pair of run-down shoes.
Tired by their activities during the last night and the long hike in the afternoon they made their bed in a quiet corner of an adjoining room. Just when Aegir closed his eyes and was about to fell asleep, a slim body squeezed himself into the bed between him and Buri. A moment later someone else crawled inside too. Feeling up the intruder next to him Aegir was sure it was the blond girl who asked him for some hanky-panky. Buri’s chuckling signalled that the other overnighter was a girl also. What Aegir lacked in experience in bed, the girl’s experience did more than compensate for. The same seemed to be true for Buri and the other girl. After a moment of amazement Aegir remembered Buri’s tale about the first lovemaking between Hödur and the mysterious nightly visitor in Râ-Kedet. Aegir did his best to please the girl. The moaning of the other girl proved that Buri did a good job too. But before the final consummation both girls took off giggling leaving the still hot teens behind. Therefore neither Aegir nor Buri could find out, what was more satisfying, doing each other or doing the girls. Before closing his eyes Buri whispered into Aegir’s ear, “We have to find out about girls another time. But I promise you will always be my best love!”
“Hey boys, the early bird gets the worm!” the old trader aroused the Aegir and Buri at the first light. “We are leaving by boat for Nifrun on the Bredd-ström. Take your chance, come along, that will save you time and footwear. Once there, you have just to cross the stream and then it’s not even a half day’s walk to the summer camp of the Eagle-clan at Lake Fjäder.”
While Buri hesitated, Aegir beamed, “Are you going with dugouts or are you using rafts? I haven’t used a dugout since I left home. I long to use paddles again.”
Early in the afternoon the little trader fleet arrived at Nifrun on the left bank of the big stream. Aegir and Buri said good-by, took a boat to the other side of the river and off they were on the way to Lake Fjäder.
Marching along the small creek arising at Lake Fjäder Aegir called out to Buri walking in front of him, “I am glad we are alone again, Curlyhead! It was fun with the chicks, but I missed something!” Buri turned around lifting his loin cloth, “Did you miss this?” pointing at his dick, “You will have a chance to get it to night! I promise!”
It was already dark when the two finally caught sight of Lake Fjäder. The ripples on surface of its dark water reflected the crescent of the rising moon. On the other side of lake wavering lights revealed the location of the lake dwellings. They counted four. Buri told Aegir, “The one at the north end of the lake is the dwelling of the Eagle-clan, it’s the smallest. The other three are bigger and older. The dwelling besides the one of the Eagle-clan’s is called Heron-aerie. It’s the largest. The Heron-clan dwells there ever since then. This clan lives there permanently not like the Eagle-clan and the other’s who come here in the warmer season only. The Herons make their living by catching fish and shells and keeping ducks, big flocks of ducks. They sell the surplus at Nifrun. We should visit Heron-aerie first to get food and news about the Eagles.”
“Buri, isn’t it to dangerous for our undertaking if you show up at their village? The Eagles surely will have told them that you were killed in an accident and they sure would get big eyes if you show up alive and kicking.”
“You are right, a piece of news like that would spread like wildfire and we would lose the advantage of surprise.”
“I will go on my own to collect information while you stay in a hide-out. They do not know me at all and will not get suspicious.”
“I know a safe place. It’s close to the Eagle-clan’s dwelling on a wooded hillock. It’s a run down, disused shelter. We can spend the night there and if we don’t light a fire nobody will know that we are there.”
After a cold meal of roasted hazelnuts, beech-nuts and some bites of dried meat Aegir tried to relax in the shelter. However he felt sweaty and dirty because he hadn’t had a bath since winter solstice. “Buri” he asked, “Can we walk down to the beach and clean us, my skin is itching. The water seems great and it is so attractive to take a bath after the long winter time. I haven’t had a bath since last fall.
“Redhead, Redhead, you are turning me on, sweaty or not! You should know that by now! But my last thorough cleaning was last fall also and my skin is itching too. Swimming in the moonshine is great even if the water is still cold! Let’s go down to the lake. I know a hidden cove!”
Down at the lake one toe in the water, Aegir asked with chattering teeth, “Do you really want to swim? The water is still much too cold for my taste!”
Standing already knee-deep in the cold water Buri tried to rub off the winter dirt from his skin. “Toe dipper! Shame on you! Come here, clean my back!”
“Yuck!” was Aegir’s answer but he complied. Standing shivering behind Buri, he took a handful of fine sand and started to rub his friend’s back, “Do you like it? I try my best.” After a while chuckling, “Oh boy, are you dirty! I can’t get the black stuff off your back!”
“Stupid!” Buri giggled, “Stop! You are torturing me! Do it gently!” After a while, “That’s enough! Let me do you now! Turn around! I want to pay you back the tortures!”
With chattering teeth Aegir turned around, “Hurry up, I am cold. Can’t you feel the goose pimples on my back?”
“Sure, I do! Now let me rub you back till it gets warm again!” First Buri scrubbed Aegir’s upper back carefully with fine sand, however he didn’t stop there but turned his special attention to Aegir´s bum, teasingly “Just a moment more! Now to your bum! I want it to rival the shining moon!”
Their cheerful chitchat was disturbed by voices coming closer. “Hush!” Buri warned Aegir, “Let’s freeze! Maybe they will not notice us, if we don’t move.” At first neither of them understood what the nightly wanderers were saying. But soon they became aware that a young man was trying hard to talk a girl around.
“Come on Sweetie!” the guy said with hoarse voice, “Don’t be so coy! Let me touch your boobies!”
Laughing nervously, the girl seemed to try to ward off his attacks, “No! No! Stop it or I tell my mother!” But then she began to whimper happily.
“Oh sweetie!” the guy groaned in delight, “Oh Sweetie, your boobies are unbelievable soft.” Then they could hear the guy smack her bottom, “And even more so your heinie!”
“Oh, you bad boy!” she purred like a cat in heat.
“Your bottom makes me crazy!” was his answer. Then smacking sound of kisses and making out interrupted the talk for a while. Finally he begged “Let me stick my finger in your honey-pot!”
The girl didn’t answer with words, just groans of pleasure filled the night followed by slurping noises.
“Your juice smells like honey! It tastes like honey. Oh Honey please! Honey, let’s rush to the abandoned sh……..….!
A shriek cut of his flattering, “A ghost! Watch out! There!” The trail the flirting couple was taking had arrived at the small beach where Buri and Aegir were taking their bath. “The water-spirit!” the girl shrieked pointing at Buri standing knee-deep in the cold lake “Look, the black man! A black man with two heads! The lake spirit is about get us!” The girl screamed in terror, turned around dragging the young man in the direction of the dwelling. From the distance Aegir and Buri could hear, “The water-spirit surely wanted to punish us for our wrongdoing! Help Frija! Mighty Frija help us!”
Against the moonlit surface of the lake Buri’s outline really looked threatening as a water-spirit’s might do. The second head of the two headed monster the girl had imagined she saw, was that of Aegir who was hiding behind his friend.
“That was close,” Buri sighed with relief, “Now they know we are here!”
“I am not sure about that! We scared the shit out of the girl. She seemed convinced she had observed a two-headed monster who wanted to get her! She mistook us for the spirit of the lake.”
“I am sure the girl was in panic. I am not sure about the guy however. I listen to their voices and now I know who they are. It was Whurg and poor Fjörgyn. Whurg is a bastard always getting innocent girls into trouble. But he isn’t gullible and cannot be deceived easily. We had better run! I think we aren’t safe anymore!”
“I’m frozen to the bones anyhow. Let’s return to the shelter, pack up our belongings and look for another place to pass the night. Hurry up, I’m shivering with cold!”
Luckily Buri remembered the surroundings of the Lake Fjäder very well and knew another hiding place not too far away. The cave was on the wooded hilltop overlooking three of the four dwellings. It was a called Bear’s den, because in former time it was used by bears for hibernating. It lay hidden in a thicket close to a small spring. The narrow cave was dry and therefore the perfect place to spend the night.
In the morning the cold put an end to their dreamless sleep. Stretched out side by side Aegir poked Buri in the ribs “You have grown lately. When we met first you were half a head shorter than me but now we are nearly of the same height.”
Rubbing the sleep out of his eyes Buri rolled on top of Aegir holding him down, “It’s all your credit my friend, I wanted to become like you and now I have reached your height. But I still need to reach your weight!”
“And you have learned how to kiss too and I I had no trouble teaching you!”
“You weren’t very experienced either big boy. It was learning by doing for both of us!” Buri chuckled and then they began to romp around.
Huffing and puffing Aegir whimpered finally, “Stop this, I surrender to you. You are growing stronger day by day! Stop or I won’t help you to recover the crescent!”
“You are right as always Redhead! Breakfast time! While eating let’s discuss what to do next.”
“Rack your brain Curlyhead, we can’t hide here for weeks and wait till the shaman walks by to return your property.”
The scheme for recovering Buri’s precious property back evolved by itself or better, the people of the Eagle-clan helped to draw up the scheme without realising what they were doing. In the afternoon Aegir went to the Heron-aerie to fish for information. It was market-day and people of the lake dwellings were bartering products among themselves or with traders from Nifrun. Aegir tried swapping ermine furs for salt that he liked for seasoning of meat, and for pyrite and tinder they needed for making fires. As usually his red hair attracted the attention of old and young and of the traders too. Soon he had made his deals.
Looking especially for members of the Eagle-clan Aegir soon ran into the randy guy from last night. “Whurg you bastard!” a heavy woman berated the lanky guy, “What did you do to Fjörgyn last night? She came home shaking with terror!”
“I didn’t do any wrong! I didn’t do anything to her! No! No!” Whurg defended himself red-faced. “We just went for a little walk along the lake!”
“She was crying. She was totally spooked! Fjörgyn was in panic! She claimed she met a head water-spirit, a two headed water-spirit! She claimed the dark spirit waved at her to join him in the murky depth.” Fjörgyn’s mother lamented. “My dear daughter claimed the evil spirit was a black giant with a black head and a white head! He was black like Buri, but had two heads a black one and a white one! She insisted she saw Buri and the white head must was surely have been that of his spirit!”
Whurg went pale, he stuttered, “Yes! He looked like Buri and he had two heads! I know Buri is dead! I saw him dead, I swear! But he looked exactly like Buri to me as well, but much bigger! I have seen Buri naked often enough! It was Buri’s ghost, his shadow! But he had a second head, a white faced one! I nearly peed myself!”
Meanwhile a big crowd had gathered around the two and inquisitive questions were thrown at them. Aegir attempted to stir it even more. “I do not believe in evil spirits and especially not in two-headed monsters! You surely are mistaken! The dead don’t come back to life! Only dreamers or addicts are haunted by bad visions! You have been dreaming or have you been foggy-brained?” Aegir paused for a moment, then snapped at Whurg “Or are you just a loud-mouthed bragger?”
“I wasn’t dreaming, nor have I been high! I am no coward! Why did he haunt us?” Whurg yelled frantically, “I didn’t do any harm to Buri, neither did Fjörgyn! Why did Buri’s ghost haunt me and Fjörgyn? Why doesn’t he haunt the shaman! He was Buri´s murderer! He killed him!”
For a moment the people around looked shocked then they attacked Whurg, “You are a liar! You accuse a holy man, a man of honour, with a crime!” a man accused him, “Shame on you!” a fat old woman berated him, “Shame on you!” then turned to the others, ”Nowadays young people get cheekier every day!”
Whurg tried to run away, fearing that the outraged people would beat him up. He pushed through the crowd, infuriating the people even more and took off for the Eagle-clan’s dwelling.
Feedback, comments, reviews, questions and complaints are welcomed. Please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
And I would like to add, thanks for reading.
My other stories posted in Nifty are in English: Buzzards, Hawks and Ravens (in progress), Chances for Changes, Ran-Dy Va-Mp Visits His Friend, Terry and Sam, A Christmas Story and the first chapters of the story called KeYNamM
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