#16 A veterinarian
Summer nights are bright, the sun merely kissing the horizon. I’ve taken a seat on the tiny front step to the small cabin – and as I sit here I let my eyes wander.
The red painted wooden houses, and the small yard in the middle – then the tree line closing this place in like a secret. I can see why Venla speaks so fondly of it – and it’s the perfect meeting point being so close to the border of the Elemental Realm. It’s been interesting to observe another realm, but I can’t wait to get back.
Of all the realms, this is one that sort of remind me of my own. It’s a bit more extensive, from what I understand. Then there are other realms, like Alfheim, Njordea, Jotunheim, Muspelheim and some. Several of these realms are not possible to visit – like Muspelheim – which is a fire realm. Not even fire elementals can survive there. And some of them can control lava, so it says a few things.
There’s the distant hum of a ‘car’, and a moment later Hräsvelg returns.
“I found them,” he says, and seconds later the metal machine rolls up the driveway, sand and smaller rocks complaining as the wheels crunch them.
“I’ll see to the evening meal,” Hräsvelg tells me, and walks briskly towards the forest line. My eyes are glued onto his back until the forest swallows him up.
Linnea leaves the car and extracts her packing. With her backpack hung over her shoulder, she approaches me. She looks a little tired from the journey, and her hair is tousled.
I feel a little out of sorts too.
“Feeling better?” she asks, apparently having decided she likes me. There’s no suspicion anymore, just ease and friendliness.
“Better,” I reply. There’s no need to lie. “Hräsvelg left to hunt for food.”
“Wow, he does that?” Linnea says as if this is something remarkable.
“He does,” I say. “I thought your father did too?”
“No, it’s not like that here… If you own forest, maybe you can… Dad hunts for sport, and sure when they catch something they split the meat between themselves…,” she explains, looking at me to see if this makes sense to me.
It doesn’t really.
“Humans have spread out too much, impacting wildlife… We’ve interfered with the ecosystem. Now were forced to hunt a certain number of animals every year to keep the fragile ecosystem functioning,” she explains, and I feel sorry.
“I didn’t realise,” I say.
The thought of affecting nature in such a way both an unfamiliar and a very frightening thought.
“I take it your realm is different,” Linnea says.
“Yes. You can hunt for survival. But you have to be careful. Not all animals are animals. Some creatures have animal skins…,” I say.
“Like you… And Hräsvelg,” Linnea observes.
“Yes, like us. Then there are beasts… Fae beasts, Lindwurms and more. I don’t recommend hunting these. Some are aggressive, and others might belong to someone.”
“Oh, okay,” Linnea says, and there’s a spark of interest in her eyes.
“You like animals?” I ask.
“Yes, I’m a veterinarian,” Linnea explains on a smile.
“Aha,” I grunt, looking at her with new eyes.
The creatures who care for animals, no matter which realm, are known for their big hearts. I feel as if I know Linnea much better, simply from learning this.
“What about you?” she asks. “What is your profession?”
“I’m an ambassador,” I explain.
“It sounds very grand,” Linnea says.
“It might, but isn’t necessarily,” I reply with a shrug.
I can’t tell her why I chose this position to begin with. The words are not ready to come out.
Feathers and lore,
There’s much, much more,
I didn’t realise walking would take so long. Ravens don’t normally walk for long stretches. We fly. But since Linnea and her father don’t fly, walking is our only option. For a long time, I’ve had no choice but to accept my circumstances. This is just the same. I just have to accept what is […]
#15 A moment to myself
Travelling by wing is infinitely better than travelling by machine. And you all know how I feel about changing into my raven skin after centuries trapped in it. Still, this is freedom. I find myself rethinking the ways in which to be imprisoned, and I wonder if perhaps my sister is too – somewhere in […]
#14 Maybe we should fly
Pizza lacks enough meat to satisfy my raven and is completely drenched in melted cheese. Remind me to never have it again. My stomach is still rebelling, and it’s known to be made of steel. It might also be the means of travel upsetting my stomach. I’m no longer trying to follow the road with […]
#13 What if it’s a trick
Everything is a flurry of motion. Linnea is here, then there. Making more calls. Someone’s at the door collecting a set of keys to her ‘practice’, and by the time Linnea’s father shows up, she’s all set and ready to go. I’m impressed, despite myself, of the efficiency completely disguised by chaos. “Ást, Hräsvelg, this […]
#12 And then they were four
“I need to make a few calls,” Linnea says, and goes to collect a strange, flat device. When she flicks her fingers over the glass surface it lights up in different colours – just like magic. I study it, pondering what she means with making a few calls. Are we visiting people? A beep is […]
#11 “I thought she was dead,” Linnea says.
Linnea’s eyes grow impossibly wider, and at first I’m convinced Hräsvelg’s appearance crumbled what little progress I’d made with Linnea. But she takes a few deep, strengthening breaths, then looks between the two of us. “Wow,” she says, and shakes her head. Her hair is even lighter in colour than Queen Venla’s, and it’s tied […]
#10 The realm of machines
The morning sky is the same, yet different. Another realm – it’s such a strange and uncanny feeling to be here. I’m further from home than I’ve ever been. “Where to?” Hräsvelg asks me. I can’t believe he’s still here, and yet, undeniably he is. He kept the fire going all night, then he got […]
#9 Please steal me away
We’ve stayed the night at the Gränstorp central inn – a small, quiet town where reality wears a crack. A good night’s sleep has at least restored some of my patience. Still, I don’t blame the innkeeper for the wary looks he’s giving Hräsvelg. My ‘companion’, despite the large variety of elementals visiting this small […]
#8 Friend or foe?
I’m still staring at him – this stranger that I’ve apparently flown into unwittingly. I can’t wrap my mind around how it happened. I was so careful reading the winds and the landscape – I should have noticed another flying creature. Well, I’m supposing he flies, how else could he have been up there in […]
#7 A stranger
All set. I take one last look at the petite city behind its protective wall, surrounded by tall mountains. There’s something about this place – wild and tame all at the same time. The stone cottages, and the winding streets. A restless part of me can’t wait to leave, another can’t wait to come back […]
#6 Been underground
I’ve just come back from an ambassador assignment. It took me away from writing. Perhaps you’ve learnt by now that there are many, many kingdoms in the Elemental Realm? Or Fairy, on the other side of the thin borders, faultlines – or whatever you choose to call it. I’ve just come back from Fenilya, which […]
#5 The secrets of the vaults
My raven ancestors have always been carefully keeping notes of the realm, the different elementals, the kingdoms, special occasions, interesting decisions and fates – it serves as our lore, inspiration and guidance for future reigns, future leaders and elementals. To falsify the historical notes was considered a very grave crime, not only in the present […]
#4 Your true talent
Hamingja is an internal part of our self, of our spirit, but something that’s still been regarded as a separate entity. Some believed that their ‘hamingja’ could be inherited by children in their linage, to which I’m doubtful. But what is ‘hamingja’? It translates as ‘luck’, and has over the ages deteriorated down to skill […]
#3 Hamr and hugr – and changing skin
Perhaps you are aware that many elementals (elementals are human-like beings with affinities for different elements like air, fire, water and earth) have more than one skin – ‘eigi einhamir’, meaning ‘not of one skin’ in the old language. Hamr is our body, our skin – and because of my raven nature I can alter […]
#2 Where I grew up
I’m restless when I’m here, back in the little town of Ravnea, and the raven kingdom, that I suppose will always be home. I’m observing the folks that do call this home, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t feel the same. Where I find Ravnea a quint, little town, the shops satisfactory […]
#1 When I’m only thought
Black feathers, and a croak that’s heard for miles. I’m not aware of time when I fly. Endlessness and eternity breathe the existence – and all I am is thought.