-Vikingr now has a prologue, so here it is!-
Erikr felt his eyes dart to and fro in their desperation to avoid the ghastly sight. He heard the incessant throb of his heart pounding in his ears. He could not understand what he was seeing, unable to make sense of it.
Looking down at his arms, it seemed like they were wrapped in crimson gauntlets. Thick blood clung to his skin, crusting around his arm hair and running down between his fingers.
He tore his gaze away from the mangled thing on the ground and blinked at the sudden, harsh sunlight. Hot tears stung in his eyes, breaking the fierce glare into many blinding rays of light.
Looking away achieved nothing. The image of what lay at his feet remained like a horrific tapestry hanging at the front of his mind. It was a savaged pile of flesh, carved and disfigured. Blood was daubed across its pale skin like furious red brush strokes. Dark pools spread out across the wet earth around it.
He knew that it was nothing more than a limp sack of meat. But Erikr could not stop his thoughts from returning to the fact that it had been his friend. Beneath the torn skin, sightless eyes and still breast, there had once been a person like him. Now they would never again hope for the future or long for the past, experience the joy of love or the pain of loss.
Erikr lifted his arms, opening his bloody palms so that his companions could see them. He saw his own white-hot grief reflected in their contorted faces. In their eyes, he felt as if he could read something of their thoughts. They were accusing him, cursing him to die a thousand excruciating deaths.
He had killed their friend and they would never forgive him for it.
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