Kinsman Redeemer

A Tale of High Adventure in 1013

By Ruth Anderson Lawler

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Wiley has sneaked into the great hall during a thunderstorm and mistakenly thinks he’s hidden from King Svein Forkbeard and his men.

“Two ugly Danes seated 10 paces from my bench had gotten up and were moving quickly toward me. Before I could run there was a brilliant flash of lightning and a loud clap of thunder. It felt as if all the air had left the room, as if there were hundreds of angels present and all the angels had sucked in their breath at once. As if I actually saw the angels. Then the wind blasted against the shutters and blew them all open.”

“That wind became a roaring monster now loosed inside the hall. Every torch, fire and candle was immediately snuffed out, leaving us in the pitch blackness of night. The wind and rain whirled about the large room like a mighty hunter seeking its prey. Aside from a few muffled curses everyone was silent, too stunned and too blind to move in the swirling darkness. I was half off the bench, no doubt ready to flee. The moment froze in my mind, as if time had actually stopped and was breathlessly awaiting the next event. It was then that the hunter found me.”