- Bryce McEfee
Sometimes I Just Need Some Mead Time
Art by Paul Rios
Once again I find myself sitting in my backyard on a fine spring day. A slight wind toying with the chimes at my neighbors, birds chirping merrily and squirrels teasing my cat from the trees while she paces below. I sit sipping the nectar of ancient gods, the golden splendor that is mead. The honey jasmine infused liquid caressing my lips, feeling wisdom coursing through my veins with every sip. The hammering of construction across the street rings like clashing titans, I see Norsemen of old banging frothy mugs together in celebration of their latest triumph. Sip after sip, I become more poetic and prophetic until I fall head first into my glass and become one with my mead.
Bathing in a gold blood pond, I arise sword in hand, my heart beating along with distant war drums. I stand firm on solid ground. Anticipation tingles the back of my neck, I duck and pivot while tensing my grip. My sword lets out a ripping crimson scream. The tingle on the back of my neck fades. Cries, shrieks and clashing metal bombard my senses. I stay calm. Only allowing instinct to penetrate my defenses.
My brothers around me follow suit, ending life with the hand of Odin at the tip of their swords. Carnage litters the ground with our enemies last thoughts. Thick ashen smoke burns my lungs as we blaze our trail through the village. Lifeless eyes stare at me from the ground, searching for a way to stop me, but they’ve come to a dead end. I am invincible. With my brothers by my side, we work our way to the hall of halls without fear. Why fear what can bestow a warriors greatest honor? Death is but a hooded figure we laugh in the face of.
Victory comes with a last deft blow. A metallic thorned crown clatters the ground, with its stubborn head still grasping to its fallen power. Fools die hard. Strength is not hiding under a crown, strength is being one with a sword and releasing fear of its crippling duties.
We sit at the dead king’s table, feasting on our spoils, toasting each other for ending a dark reign. I plunge myself into my goblet of mead, honoring my fallen brothers. Today was a great day to die, but I live to fight another. Gulp after gulp we honor, slipping further and further into our drink. Melodic pounding of mug on wood erupts with boisterous song of victories long passed. The rhythmic beating spins my head and I tumble deeper into my mead.
I wake up. Birds chirping a drill into my head, a slight breeze cools the sweat resting on my face. My head weighs me down, the smell of lingering metal churns my stomach. A cat jumps on my chest and I rise with a start. I am in my backyard, glass empty and a bottle clattering back and forth on the cement with the wind.