The Saga of Bjorn Bottlesson and Leatherpants the Lost: Part 1

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An epic saga involving space, time, and no sense of direction.

The Saga of Bjorn Bottlesson and Leatherpants the Lost

Pt. 1. Sunday Morning Coming Down

The Saga of Bjorn Bottlesson and Leatherpants the Lost

Sunday 09:23 am

Whale watching was becoming, well, a little boring if he was perfectly honest. Vern sat in the small cockpit, miserably cupping a mug of lukewarm coffee, desperately trying to stop his fingers going numb again. Two hours in choppy seas on the Hudson Bay and so far he'd been summonsed onto the cold wet deck no fewer than eighteen times by his new bride Cindy. Two hours of filming seagulls, plastic bags and abnormally dark waves.

Not one beluga, not even half an orca.

He was beginning to regret caving in about her choice of 'green' honeymoon. Almost desperate to point out that his choice would have almost certainly offered up close views of wildlife, even if they were behind the glass corridors of Vegas hotels and casinos, he would gamble the cost of the Canadian trip on there being at least one mega-casino having a live killer whale and dolphin show, although maybe not in the same tank.

Frozen fingers once more pressed the delete button on the digital camera as Cindy's excited shouts came once again.

"Vern honey, come quick, you really gotta see this babe!"

He dutifully switched the camera to video mode and forced himself out into the incessant grey drizzle.

Cindy was hopping up and down pointing out into the cold mist. He trained the viewfinder on her fingertips and watched disinterested as the screen verified more cold grey wet waves, not even a plastic bag.

"No , over there, sweety!" Cindy gestured left.

Vern was unimpressed as he zoomed in and out, that is until the wall of slightly greenish fog came into shot. Ok, quite impressive, but fog? Not exactly Jaws or Moby Dick, was it?

Saga part one

He zoomed in on the fog just as the longboat appeared, majestically cutting through the waves, dragon head aiming straight towards the Lucky Lady.

Vern leant outwards framing the ship, oars up, full sail, one fur-clad figure standing one hand on the dragon, the other on a very realistic looking axe. The man was roaring out words that made absolutely no sense to Vern's ears.

"Must be those French Canadians, hon – wow, these guys can put on a show!" Vern beamed. For the first time in a week he had at last found something in Canada he could relate to – that Disney, Universal,Vegas-style razzmatazz!

The ship, now a few yards away and still coming in fast, caused Vern to curse as he zoomed out, making sure he got these French guys on film to show the boys back home that he had more than no -how fish to watch on his vacation.

He could now see the rest of the actors, standing, shields up, swords and axes bristling amid fur capes and long braided beards. Wow, they really did look the part.

Something whistled overhead, and Vern whirled to film the throwing axe firmly embedded in the bulkhead inches above his head.

"Hey! Whoa, guys! That's a little close!" Vern grinned at Cindy, "Take the camera, honey, get me with this!"

Vern backed up, gesturing wildly to the axe and holding fingers and thumb up to illustrate how close these guys had come – must be some kind of movie stunt trick, the axe popping out of the boats walls on cue?

Wow, the crew had done a great job keeping the show under wraps, probably had the Frenchies on standby in case the whales didn't show for the paying tourists. Good job, guys!

"Hey sugar did you ge..."

Vern's question died on his lips as the battle axe arced through the air and neatly severed his windpipe, his dimming vision had just enough time to register the huge furry and very hairy actors climbing aboard the Lucky Lady, then all went black.

Sunday 08:12 (1100 years earlier)

Viking watching was becoming, well, a little boring if he was perfectly honest. Thor sat in the vast Hall, miserably cupping a flagon of ale, desperately trying to stop his mind going numb, staring uninterestedly at the huge fire that was a portal to the mortal world. Two hundred years now and all he'd seen were a few petty skirmishes, some rather crude boat building and a lot of very hairy , very noisy revelry.

Saga part one

He was beginning to regret his father's choice of pastime, he'd much have preferred old Zeus's choice, a bit more entertaining, a little theatre, something interesting!

Instead he was stuck with these morons, everything they did was supposed to please the gods, everything an act of valour that would be sung about and recalled for eternity in Valhalla. What a joke!

Needing some relief from the abject boredom he'd asked his brother Loki to come up with a few pranks to play on the Northmen, something to make the viewing a little more entertaining. What had the prat come up with, what thrilling twist to make the millennia fly? Bloody boats. Voyages of discovery, invading equally backwards countries, tribal wars, a spot of looting and pillaging....boring!

Why, oh, why hadn't he picked Egypt, Ra was a lucky bugger. Mortals would be talking about the Pharaohs for ages, even the Christians would plod on for millennia, but Vikings? A few B movies, kids dressing up in stupid horned hats for school plays and the odd bar or football team with an amusing name, pathetic race. Wait til they found out there was no Bloody Valhalla, that'd teach them!

But he'd be a laughing stock for centuries...oh look, here comes the mighty Thor, master of braids, beer and boat trips!

There must be something that would make these idiots memorable. Just a few thousand years' worth would suit, keep the mortals in awe of the Old Gods til something new came along and he could put his feet up and play cards with Yahweh and Amaterasu for the rest of eternity.

Thor slammed Mjolnir down ( causing huge storms in Indonesia, an earthquake in Peru and a small Wedgwood jug to fall over in a display cabinet on the Isle of Wight)as the idea came to him.

A grin that would put most sunrises to shame formed as he hunkered down close to the god fire portal.

Carefully choosing a burning ember from the twenty first century, Thor gently poked the flames, blowing into the portal, stirring up the Great Sea of Time. He focused on a single ship, hopelessly lost between the Northlands and the End of the World, carefully stirring the firebrand into the ashes of the past, Thor's grin widened as he sat back to watch the show.

Tune in for more action next week!

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