Chapter 23, Oberlin’s Anomaly

Snow lay deep on the brown bear skins draping the shoulders of the huge Sami warrior. The sun slowly crested the spruce and larches of the vast snowforest that surrounded him. He did not feel the biting, arctic wind, but the blind, killing delirium had finally drained away. Darake found himself on his knees with clarity of mind and vision slowly returning. The long hooked blade of the knife in his right hand plunged deep through the neck and up into the skull of his enemy. His left hand held the head down and the body’s bulging eyes leaked yellow fluid. Turning, he saw many more enemy bodies piled around him. Beyond the carnage, men, women, and children sat on the ground encircling him, waiting. He shook his head vigorously to further open his mind. Long braided locks of black hair cast snow and ice crystals through the air. He rose, collecting his juoska bow from the ground beside him.