"Sharing then is strangely felt

Life itself the key

I seek you not

For I am one of no such urgent need

I seek you not but found you are

For we are bound to be."

The nib lay glistening in its box. The inkbottle, now tightly capped, together with the box of nibs and pen placed back in the wooden desk.

Marlene had finished writing. Her blotting pad she now stored away, a still damp mirror of her dark request.

"Jim. I know how busy you are but you are the leader in ‘petit mal’ cases. This girl is a friend of mine and I am very concerned by the sudden onset of her attacks. Please could you see her? And please may it be soon."

Marlene had good reason to be concerned for it was here, in this room, the latest attack had occurred.

Carolin had come over to discuss the runes as they had planned the previous day. She had brought the rune stone Marlene had given her, clasping it as though it was a precious gem more fragile than glass.

Marlene had finished wiping the dishes, turned off the radio at the end of the news and sat opposite Carolin in the second most comfortable of her floral chairs.

"The Reichstag has been recalled," she said " That horrid man intends to use democracy to destroy itself. Did you know his plan is to set up a dictatorship? Arrogant man. He even dares to tell people his evil plan. In other times he wouldn’t stand a chance. But now! A man with a mandate to destroy; its too horrid to think about."

Marlene was referring to the vice chancellor, Hitler, but this was not Carolin’s concern. She wanted to know about the runes, especially after her dream of the wild man and the wild storm the night before.

Carolin told her story using a brief outline then roused by Marlene’s interest related more detail. The tale about the man in her dream, facing death with such utter rage. A man seething with anger related to himself and the elements that beseiged him.

Marlene listened with increasing astonishment. "Did you know Snorri went to Norway in 1218 and it was after his return he wrote the Edda?" Carolin didn’t think she knew but she may have picked it up without knowing. Perhaps distant memories of things talked about by her father.

Carolin said "What I don’t understand is this stuff about charts. I didn’t think they knew much in the thirteenth century."

Marlene replied " You might be surprised at what was known. It’s a bit surprising if star maps did get as far as Norway but anywhere else in Europe it could easily have happened. There were strong trade routes and documents from the Arab world were particularly sought by the brighter minds of those days. Norway was at the end of the northern trade routes so I guess it could have happened. There was definitely a flow of southern ideas into Iceland in 1220. A monk called Robert wrote a tale of "Tristan and Isolde". Does that surprise you?. A copy of a manuscript of the tale is in our Dresden library. It’s in many public libraries around the world. It could even have been Snorri who brought back this Cornish tale from Hakon’s court."

As Carolin recalled her tale Marlene’s astonishment grew. She knew the astronomical names that Carolin was struggling to pronounce. She knew Carolin’s ‘Alzuthi’ was probably a misheard ‘Al Sufi’, the Arab chartmaker whose star pictures with named stars was the medieval source from which modern star names derive.

However, none of this astonishment matched that as Carolin pronounced "Release these new cursed memories, release them to the coldness of the sea. Isaz!Tiwaz!Mannaz!Raido!" With these words she chanted a haunting unclear remembering of a troubling dream.

Marlene exclaimed "How in heaven’s name do you know that? Isaz – the sea calmer; Tiwaz- protector of the Gods; Mannaz-links between humans and Raido –the rune of journeys. Those are Norse runes. That is a runic chant you have heard. You have just recalled a chant using four of the nine songs to build a protective charm. Those are the runes on your stone, the one you are holding. "

This was not the way either had expected to begin their examination of the runes, those twenty-four Norse symbols used in the arts of poetry, magic and prophecy. And as unlikely as it was as a beginning it also served as end.

Marlene’s eyes linked with Carolin’s eyes. One aroused by unexpected words. The other aware of darkness within. The one aroused perceives the other’s fear; sees the others distant look. Wake Up! Carolin! Wake up! Are you allright? Speak to me!

So it started as it always started, a slight numbness increasing from the hand, white spots, black spots, Marlene more distant, Marlene whom she cannot see.

Deeper, deeper, deeper down, Carolin feels her presence ebbing senses now inturned. Inturned, in tune to that deeper level, the level she enjoys; the level shared with past and future, people of her dreams. But not now, not this time, this is something more, something new, something based on olden fear.

Deeper, deeper beyond that bound, the bound of deeper dreams that lie between the subconscious and that deepest region, the region known as ‘id’. Deeper, deeper, deeper down, deeper into id. "Deeper, deeper, deepness now " the primal mind is calling. "Deeper, deeper, deeper down", the words a whistling chant changing tone with each level reached. Not her words, but they’re almost his and could such words from him bring her, her own disaster? So welcome this in fear.