By Roald Dahl
Ebook through Dahl, Roald
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Freya walked to the pool and knelt down to peer into the inky depths. She picked up a small stone and was about to drop it in when Roskva gasped and stopped her. ‘That’s a sacred well,’ she said. ‘The Well of Fate. ’ ‘Oh,’ said Freya. She stepped back as if the well had caught fire. ’ ‘She didn’t mean any harm,’ said Alfi. ’ Roskva scowled. Freya thought for a wild moment how nice it would be to dump Roskva down the well. Roskva scooped up a handful of water and sprinkled it on the bark of the giant tree.
Shouted Roskva. ‘Master! ’ There was a rusty upturned chariot, half-buried in the dirt, choked with weeds. A twisted rope of silver tarnished black lay beside it. Roskva prodded her brother. ’ she hissed. ‘No,’ said Alfi. ‘It can’t be . ’ He picked up the silver reins and scraped at the tarnish, revealing traces of the interwoven pattern. Then he nodded. ‘Roskva, what are we going to do? ’ Roskva twisted her hands. Freya noticed how old and wrinkled and calloused they were. More like the hands of an old woman than a girl.
Who did this? ’ he howled. Then, bellowing, ‘Valhalla! ’ he ran towards the remains of a vast, derelict Hall beside a fast-flowing river. Freya, Alfi, and Roskva followed him. They stood inside the ruined walls, unable to speak. Bits of tarnished metal, scrapings from the vanished roof, and a few rusted spears lay scattered in the dirt. This was Valhalla. The Hall of the Slain. The goldbright palace of Woden’s chosen warriors. The dark, echoing wine hall was now only home to the winds. ‘This hall was so bright they used swords instead of fire for light,’ murmured Alfi.