I woke up in the middle of the night, or did in my dream. I wasn't sure what state it was other than it felt real.
Freya was sitting on an overturned five gallon bucket maybe five paces from me. Her hair was unbound, golden, and gleamed in the moonlight which was strange as the sky was overcast with clouds.
"How do you get your hair to gleam like that?"
I wasn't surprised to see her, in fact it seemed pretty natural for her to appear sitting on a bucket in the middle of nowhere.
She replied straight faced "Unicorn urine."
For half a beat she had me believing that but she started to smile and I caught myself.
"That's nice. Pony piss is supposed to be high in vitamins too." I stretched, smiled back, and asked "Bring any cookies?"
Her smile went away. "No. Everything is stale that used to be good. Before you kill people can you ask if they know how to bake?"
She asked it seriously too. Just as seriously I replied "No."
We both stared at each other for a couple of beats, then she grinned and told me "It's good to see you."
"Thanks. Whats up?"
"I've come to bring you home." She looked over at Zane and Woof. Woof was awake too and watching the both of us. She looked over at the sleeping Zane and said "So that's him. The once and future king."
"Somehow I don't think that's Arthur."
She shrugged. "I like saying that. It reminds me of the old days. So that's Max's kid. Kind of scrawny."
That should have taken me by surprise. It didn't. "When did you figure that out?" I was expecting her to tell me she had seen it from afar in the stillness of a pond or a crow had told her. Instead I got "Looks like him and Max is not exactly Mr. Celibate."
"Oh. Okay." Somehow I wasn't really comfortable with the idea of discussing Max's sex life.
"Yes." She looked off into the distance for a second, I heard a crow caw three times, then she said "Warriors are not supposed to be. It's part of the job description." She paused "Well it used to be."
I really hoped this wasn't going to turn into one of those Freya speaks in cryptic phrases conversations. That shit got old fast. "So how far away are they?"
"Maybe twenty miles as the crow flies. Max will send a team to meet you. Just keeping going north when you wake up."
"I thought I was awake."
"No silly man. I'm not going to walk this far unless I have to. Now go to sleep."
That was all I remembered until I woke up just before the dawn. The weird thing there was a five gallon bucket exactly where I dreamed it was.
"Wake him up Woof."
Woof got up and Zane moved. I told him "Wake up kid. We got some walking to do."