“You sure you don’t want to come with us, Lynn?”
“I’m sure, Charlie. I have too much to do here. I’m so behind because of my surgery. You know how Dr. Vario is, “Take it easy, take your time, get well. Get plenty of rest. I need this by tomorrow.”
“Bummer. Don’t work late, Lynn. See you Monday.”
Lynn Ellestad, a visiting graduate student in the Art History Department of Columbia University, is from Norway. In Norway, many still believe in the Norse myths and legends. Lynn was not one of them, but her assignment to restore Arbo’s 1869 painting, “Valkyrie”, followed her to hospital, in a series of meetings with a Valkyrie. She was afraid to tell anyone about the bizarre hallucinations, or dreams–she wasn’t sure what they were. There was one person who might not laugh at her–Dr. Vario, her graduate advisor and expert in Norse legends. It was her first day back….
“Dr. Vario, do you have a few minutes? I need to speak with you about something strange that happened to me in hospital. Actually, it began here, when I was assessing Arbo’s “Valkyrie”.
“Ah, yes. She visited you, did she?”
“You know, doctor? I wasn’t hallucinating?”
Dr. Arbo talked with Lynn for over an hour. He told her how terrified he was when the Valkyrie appeared to him. He had a mini-stroke and he was lying on the floor of his kitchen when she appeared. Seeing her, he thought she was coming for him to take him to Valhalla, as was her purpose according to myth. What she did do was comfort him. In his best Old Norse, he asked for the phone, pointing to it. That’s when he called “911” and she disappeared. She visited him one other time, many years earlier, when his appendix had burst, but he was so horrified to see what he believed was an evil vision, that he chased her away. At the time he was a young priest and was sure that the devil was deceiving him.
“Lynn, you said her appearance began here?”
“Yes, doctor. It was during my preliminary assessment of the painting. I was staring at the “Valkyrie” in the museum when…when I discovered she had dismounted her horse. I was so horrified, that I ran out of the museum. Later, I had the painting brought to me. When I removed the protective wrap, she was on her horse again. Shortly after that I passed out and was taken to hospital.”
Lynn revealed to Dr. Arbo that the Valkyrie appeared to her three times in hospital. Each time Lynn’s temperature dangerously spiked. Lynn had a tough recovery. There were times she didn’t think she would live.
“Why did she appear, doctor? She takes slain warriors to Valhalla who lie on the field of battle. You and I are not warriors.”
“Well, my dear. She chooses who goes to Valhalla. Apparently, we have been chosen.”
“I am going to spend eternity with a bunch of Vikings?”
Flash Fiction Challenge #20– Thain in Vain
Word Count: 500
Photo of oil painting: Discover.com
Painting: “Valkyrie” by Peter Nicolai Arbo, 1869
15 thoughts on “The Chosen”
Compelling take on a old myth. We are chosen, but don’t know. We just know we feel differently. Nice work as usual, Lucy! TiV
Liked the last line especially… spending eternity with a bunch of Vikings! Made me grin (excessively)!
Thank you, excessively. Well, I heard Vikings love to party, but they rarely bathe but I suppose that’s not an issue in Valhalla. That was a tough prompt. I came up with another story line but I like Vikings. Glad I made you grin excessively. Doing 5 challenges each week is quite challenging for me. But it’s fun. Lucy
A great mix of Norse mythology and the week 20 prompt. I liked it very much!
Thank you so much. And thank you for coming by. Lucy
For some reason I thought that this should be a movie starring Tom Hanks 😀
Hahaha. That was a silly little story. Sometimes I can’t think of anything to write about. Like today. I have a flash fiction story due sometime today or latest eary tomorrow morning. I can think of a million things but the words elude me. It’s for Thain in Vain so I can go with murder and mayhem. She loves that. She also loves carnival stories, but I just did Fun House so it’s too soon to do another. I’ll think of something. Poor Thain. She told me the story Massacre on Mars was compelling. I was bad and laughed at her and asked if she was serious. It was far from “compelling”. It was funny. Lucy
I may have to check that site out. I regularly struggle with words.
You struggle with words? Doesn’t look like it. I told you I like the way you “weave” your words. Your stories are like prose. check out http://thaininvain.com
I think what helps is I think of a situation, especially those romantic ones and I try and think of what I would feel in that situation and then literally close my eyes and try and feel it.
I write it down then go back through it and see if it feels real, if it does I post.
Well, you do your writing thing very well. It influenced my style when I write for OMWF. I try to be prosaic but haven’t gotten there yet. Lucy
wow, thank you for the compliment 😀
You are welcome. Thank you for hosting such a fine challenge. You select great photos, too. Lucy
I must admit, for me, choosing the images is my favourite part 😀