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I am lost and do not know where the gods have put me. I fear that I have been abandoned not just from the gods and those I call family but from death itself for I do not know why Odin did not value me so to take me along with the rest of my brothers who now drink so bibulously in Valhalla. Instead, I am left to wonder this accursed land that presents itself with nothing but trees and the occasional fog that consumes the wet ground. I choose to stay on the shore with what remains of my vessel listening to the crashing of the waves over and over longing for my wife and children back home. I chose not to eat or drink for I wish not for life and survival but for death which I believe may be the only way to leave this accursed place and never lay my tired eyes upon it again. I am not satisfied with the location of my death and the manner it occurred but at least my children will never know what really happened and they can argue for the rest of their lives on how their father was killed. Morbid thoughts I know but it will do for the last remaining moments I have on this purposeless area of which the earth has so distastefully brought into existence. 

It has been a day since I have landed and aside from the few raindrops that have sneaked past my lips, I have not consumed any foods or liquids that will keep me alive. I am growing weaker and weaker by the minute and am getting happier for I am venturing that much closer to death. As my eyes are about shut for what I hope permanently I see someone or something lurking in the forest beyond the shore. My eyes are forced open by this sight, for I thought I was the only inhabitant of this godforsaken place. I have yet to see any living creature and now I am finally greeted by as my sight begins to daughter? I begin to say that it is all in my mind and I am starting to hallucinate due to the lack of water and food.

I shut my eyes hoping this vision will go away and I hear a voice call out to me. “Papa” I hear and my eyelids are lifted again to see she was still there staring and then she called out the same word as before “Papa”. I get up for the first time in what feels like a decade. I proceed to walk over and the image keeps getting clearer and clearer. I keep telling myself that it is not my daughter but an illusion but my eyes keep telling me otherwise. As I get even closer to where she lies in the dark gloomy wilderness her features become much more distinct and then I gaze upon a sight that disturbs my being to the core of what's left of my beating heart. Under her right eye there lie a birthmark that resembles too closely to my daughter's mark. The shape and size are identical and she also carries her piercing blue eyes and soft fair skin that holds all of her beautiful precious features. When I am finally arm distance away I say her name in an utter disbelief. She tilts her head then looks at me with a puzzling look. I say her name again and then express on how much I have missed her and my emotions take control of me and I embrace my daughter. Not wanting to let go for I believe this to be the last time I will see her whether she is real or not this will do. Tears begin to run down my dry dirty face and then I hear her speak a sentence that fills me with such confusion and sadness to that in which I did not understand. 

“You’re not my Papa,” she said with such confidence. I let go and look at her face again. She is my daughter I swear by the gods she is my daughter. She slips away and runs off into the dark wilderness beyond. Without any hesitation, I chase after her leaving the shore and my vessel behind. It does not take me long to get lost in this treacherous land. I could swear I am passing the same trees over and over until I start crying out for her, my daughter. I sink to my knees while tears begin to block my vision. I begin to cry out from the top of my lungs. I bury my head in the muddy wet ground, clenching my fists. I start to wonder what must I have done to deserve such a fate. It is bad enough I have to spend my final days in this horrendous most treacherous place but to have my own daughter deny my existence and drive me mad. I cannot take it anymore, I grab my damaged axe which is just sharp enough to end this miserable existence once and for all. As I press the cold steel against my hard dry wrist I think of my beautiful children and beloved wife back home and I did something that I thought I would never do in a place such as this.

I smiled, thinking of my family and also realizing that escape from this accursed land was only a moment away. I took a deep breath and cut deep. I made sure it went slowly to feel the true pleasure of finally leaving here. I then cut my other wrist, but this time I sliced quick for I needed no more time to dwell. I sunk down to my knees and looked up at the grey cloudy sky and then down to the brown wet ground. My vision began to fade and then I begin to feel a hand being placed onto my shoulder. I look over expecting to see my daughter but It is not my daughter but that of an older woman. I try to get a good look at her but to no avail. The world was done with me and me done with it. I fall down face first into the cold wet ground and drift away into nothingness. 

Suddenly I awaken gasping for air and I find myself submerged under water. I break through and am greeted by sight of the hell I just tried to escape. I look around and see that I am inside a pond. I proceed to make my way back to land and as I start to walk over I hear a voice as if the person speaking to me is right up to my ear. I turn around and see nothing.

Suddenly something begins to emerge from the filthy pond. It is the woman that I saw moments before my death. She resembled that of a young woman with a very pale but fair skin tone. Her body was that of small stature and it held only a torn white gown with an opposing black garment underneath that exposed her shoulders and different parts of her body. She had bright beautiful blonde hair and a beautiful face that held her striking blue eyes with dark circles underneath, her colorless lips were also present and a small pointed nose to finish it off.

I was speechless and frozen by her presence. I then managed enough courage to ask whom she may be and why I am still here. She tilted her head and gave me a gentle smile. She then proceeded to walk over to me and I could see her more clearly than ever now. She then spoke for the very first time. “You are dead,” she said with an almost blissful tone. I demanded her to give me a real answer. She looked up at me and put her arm on my shoulder. She smiled but this time it did not look as peaceful and gentle as the one before. This looked more of a devious and mischievous type of smile, almost like she were a child. Then I felt a blade plunge deep into my stomach. I then looked down at her in confusion and fear. She pulled the jagged blade out from my flesh and something caught my eye when I looked at the blade. There was no blood upon it. She then slit my throat, I fell backward and landed in the filthy water that made up the pond. Again there was no blood on the blade. She knelt down over me and I asked why is this happening what does it all mean?

“This is your reality and your home, you cannot die for you have already died before. You died along with your men when your ship sunk during a storm on your way back home.” I told her that is not possible and then proceeded to ask where my brothers were. “Your brothers are in a very familiar place as you are and are in the same torment you are living right now.” I could not believe what I was hearing. If we are all dead why aren't we in Valhalla right now with our glorious Odin the Allfather. The young woman then said very blatantly “The afterlife you dream of does not exist, not for you, not for anybody. It is what you made out of your first life and the emotions you felt during that life.” I looked around and when it all finally hit me I could not control myself. I began to sob like a child and the woman then leaned over and laid a kiss upon my forehead and began to walk back into the pond. I asked her who she may be and she turned her head and bestowed upon me a sympathetic smile. She then disappeared into the pond and I then pushed myself to the dry land next to the pond and laid there on my back looking up at the dark cloudy sky.