"My friend, when the one eyed man comes to take you, you will know.
His hand will break your spirit but his rewards are everlasting in the great hall of victory."
Eyarr Son of Thrain, ca. 561 AD
How long have I been here? I hear the sound of footsteps. They blur into my subconscious. A pulse, gently wakes me. Have I died? The echo behind the pule is artificial, to put the patient at ease. When they told me I would die here, I fell asleep before I could protest.
She is coming for me, to take me away on the boat of nails. I don't want to go. Not yet.
My mind splits under the lights. My friends and family stare at me, cry over me, their farfar. I am not dead yet. Why do you cry as if I have already passed? I will go to the halls of feasting, you will see. I will not be carried away into the darkness. Not yet.
In the old country, a man must die honorably. Take the knife and gouge out my eyes, that Odin may smile upon me. I will not go to the place where the souls of the weak go. They lie there like creatures, lost in the darkness. They are the fodder of Ragnarok, those that will die first. I will not fall to them. No, I will cleave them with my fathers in the final battle.
They tell me that last thing a man sees is his fate. My brethren whimper above me like children. Why are you sad?
Do you know not?
Today I go to dine forever in Odin's hall.
They will see someday. When Baldur the Fair meets his end they shall see.
From the ashes I will rise a new man. And the World shall look on me, remade.
Today I ride, forever into darkness. But I will rise.
I will rise.