Lands of Green in Days of White
Lands of Green in Days of White is a story written and illustrated by Iron Eater. It ran in Issue 51 at http://s2b2.livejournal.com/, and is mirrored at http://www.shousetsubangbang.com/mirror/lands-of-green-in-days-of-white.
When it's wintertime at the top of the world, one has to pass the time somehow.
From fairyninjas.wordpress.com: "This is a sequel to one awhile back where a Skraeling finds a Norseman in the ocean, and saves him. It’s about how they are getting along together one year on, with a blizzard on the way."
It was actually a rather warm winter, but that didn't stop the Norseman from complaining about the cold at every opportunity. The Norseman had a name, of course, but he didn't use it much, and since the both of them lived out in the ass-end of nowhere nobody else needed to use it or even know what it was, so "Norseman" and "hey you" did all the dirty work. It made enough sense if you were just going to be called "Skraeling" (or "hey you," but this time with a weird nasal accent). He'd actually made the effort to try and learn a proper language in addition to the noise the longship-riders used, which was nice, but he was so bad at it that he might as well have stuck with Norse. At least it was fun needling him about it.
The Norseman'd stopped fussing about how their food tasted once he'd finally gotten off his ass and started to help with the gathering; for various reasons he wasn't allowed in the qajaq (he didn't know how to paddle it right, it probably wouldn't fit his too-long legs even if he did, and there was the whole "shipwrecked" thing that was just begging for more misfortune), but it was nice having a second pair of hands forage for berries and things, and so long as he was nowhere near the shore during high tide he could sometimes catch something when he went fishing. When the weather wasn't good enough to be outside for long he carved trinkets out of leftover bone. "We can use them to trade with later," he'd told the Skraeling when he'd made the first one, showing how the little animal he'd whittled had legs that went round and around themselves in knots. They looked nice and it kept him out of trouble, so what could it hurt?It turned out they did hurt if you sat down on them unexpectedly.
This story contains mild sadomasochistic themes and isn't too shy about treating a seal as a source of food.
This story features the characters first introduced in the comic The Seal and the Skraeling, and continues their relationship a bit. It still doesn't bother giving these people names.
This story has no related links.
I banged this together in a period of two days (plus another day's worth of beta reading/edits), and since I was originally not planning on submitting a text piece for this issue at all I'm not displeased with how things turned out! Writing their nationality-names out over and over was an exercise in concentration above and beyond the usual "which he am I referring to here" dance. I also went into this with zero idea of a plot, and I don't think one ever really established itself beyond "we continue being in the middle of nowhere, sexily," but sometimes you just want to write a simple story that's done on time and doesn't do anything overly complicated.
The story is set in Greenland some time before the 14th century, and that's about as specific as I feel like making this.
The illustration is even more last-minute than the story itself; the odd handle on the knife is meant to place it as a traditional Viking blade and the funky pattern on the iron was more because I like fussy little hatchy patterns than anything major, though it does halfway simulate hammer blows. The Norseman's sword is gone for good but it was probably some species of langseax. I'm sure the fact that he's skipping out on a weregild will never come back to bite him in the ass, ever, because it's not like paying a fine for killing someone is important or anything, right? It's more fun writing him as a weird but amiable white guy instead of Captain Angstyssohn.
This is yet another of my stories that features a cranky asshole character, and I'm not sorry about that one bit.