This is a possible prequel to my current WIP (work in progress) which has the working title ‘Anglo Saxon horror story.’
I’ve written the novel, which is 75000 words long, and am currently editing it.
However, it’s a modern horror story which is of course set in the modern age, not in the Anglo Saxon age.
This means that there is no historical content, there are no scenes or sub plots that are set in that age.
This made me wonder whether I should write a prequel to the story which does contain some historical content.
It might or might not be a good idea to do this; if someone reads a horror story they expect to read horror fiction, not historical fiction.
On the other hand if I decide not to use it as a prequel maybe I can use it as a short story, novella or even a full length novel.
One other thing.
It occurs to me that the Anglo Saxons were pioneers, that they suffered the similar hardships as for example the pioneers of early America, or early Australia, New Zealand or Canada.
On second thoughts maybe they suffered greater hardships than these pioneers.
They rowed, not sailed, across hundred of miles of what is now called the North Sea, in open boats, with no shelter from the elements.
One absolutely last thing.
I wonder what it was like for the women and children in these conditions; maybe I’ll try to capture some of these harships in the next episode.
Anyway, here it is.
Wulfgar adjusted his fur robe and waded through the waves which broke along the shores of East Anglia, England, with his sword in one hand and his battle axe in the other hand.
Beyond the breaking waves lay the Saxon longboat which had conveyed him and his people across the North Sea from their homeland, in Saxony.
It was packed with heavily armed Saxon warriors who had rested on their oars and were waiting for his order to land on the shore.
But there were also a few women and children among them, and even some livestock – six chickens and three pigs, lying trussed up in the belly of the boat, together with some primitive farming tools.
Like their chieftain, the warriors warily studied the sand dunes beyond the shore, in case the foreigners, the ‘Angelcynn,’ their word for the English, were lying in wait, ready to ambush them.
He turned around and looked at them appraisingly.
Were they sufficiently fit to fight a battle?
They were cold, wet and exhausted after rowing the long boat across the Great Northern Sea from their homeland, and some were sick from the constant motion of the boat.
Yet it was impossible to turn the boat around and return to their homeland now, they lacked the strength to row any further, and they did not have sufficient food and water for the long voyage.
They had no choice.
They would either defeat the people of this hostile land or they would die in the attempt.
Finally, he decided.
He shouted out a command to the warriors in the boat and after hesitating for a few seconds they reluctantly agreed.
He turned around and waded through the waves until he was standing on the shore. But he could not properly stand upright for a while.
His body was accustomed to the constant motion of the long boat and it had to accustom itself to the lack of motion of the land.
His warriors would have the same problem, when they landed on the shore, he realised, they would also be unsteady on their feet for a while.
If they were unsteady on their feet they would not be able to defend themselves against an attack by the ‘Angelcynn.’
He had not considered that possibility until now, he admitted to himself.
He could order some of them to come ashore with him, so that they could also accustom themselves to the lack of motion of the land.
Then they would be able to defend themselves against an attack by the ‘Angelcynn.’
But if they were killed there would not be sufficient warriors to row the long boat further out to sea, where they would be safe, at least for a while, until the ‘Angelcynn’ launched their boats.
There was only one thing to do.
He would go into the sand dunes alone.
If he was killed it would at least give the rest of his people a chance to escape.
He was now becoming accustomed to the lack of motion of the land, he realised.
He whispered a prayer to his god and began to walk towards the sand dunes with his sword and battle axe held high in his hands.