This is a short story I wrote for school a little while ago, based on the very first Viking raid.
“A beautiful day, isn’t it, Eli?” I looked up from my studies and gazed out the window. The beautiful sea rippled gently, sending barely cresting waves onto the shore. The sea reflected an orange, early-morning sun.
“Yes, quite beautiful, Aaron. The Lord is good to show us such beauty in His creation,” I replied.
“Indeed.” Aaron studied the scenery for a moment. “Eli, have you seen a boat like that before?” Aaron pointed out a small boat on the horizon, barely close enough to tell it was a boat. The shape of it was odd, however; nothing like the boats normally spotted around the monastery.
“No, I have not. I assume it is just a fishing boat.”
“Perhaps, but I have an odd feeling about it.” Aaron stroked his chin thoughtfully.
“I am sure it is nothing. Don’t worry yourself, Aaron.” After a moment, Aaron nodded and left to go back to his studies. I resumed my work, concentrating on copying the material without a mistake.
I was concentrating so hard I barely noticed the odd ship land on the shore a few minutes later. I stopped my work to have a quick break and saw it out of the corner of my eye. A boat unlike any I had ever seen perched on the shore. A huge dragon head was carved into the front of the boat, mouth open in a menacing snarl. Dozens of men poured out of the boat, all armed with axes, daggers and other weapons. They rushed up the grassy slope, straight for the monastery!
“There are armed men coming this way!” I cried, leaping up from my chair. I ran into the hallway, yelling warnings all the way.
“Eli! What is it?” Aaron grabbed my shoulders and looked at me in the eye.
“A boat full of armed men stopped on the shore. They’re running this way! Hurry!” Aaron’s eyes widened and he ran to warn the others. That’s when I heard a scream and plodding footsteps. One of the men appeared around the corner, holding his ax, ready to strike.
Heart pounding, I ran as fast as I could. I heard him behind me, but I was pretty far ahead of him. I took a sharp left, not really knowing where I would end up. Unfortunately, in my haste, I forgot that that hallway ended with a dead end with no escape except for the window.
Hearing the footsteps get louder behind me, I quickly scanned what was below the window. Thankfully, it was not a very high window, and that part of the building was right next to the ocean, so close that waves crashed gently against the stone wall. Not having anywhere else to go, I climbed to the windowsill and jumped.
I have never enjoyed swimming, especially not wearing a robe, and especially not after jumping from a window escaping a maniac with an ax. But I had no other choice. I pumped my arms, trying to get far away from the monastery and the odd dragon boat. When I was satisfied that I was far enough away, I swam to the shore. I slumped to the sand and observed the scene.
The men were running all over the place, gathering anything worth money in the building and bringing it to their ship. The monastery was being destroyed. Many were dead. I covered my mouth to stifle a gasp.
Trying to think clearly, I stumbled towards a huge rock. I was pretty far away, but I could still be seen, so I hoped that the rock would offer some protection. I plopped in the sand behind the rock and prayed.
Several minutes later, I heard fast footsteps. Was it another maniac with an ax? I held my breath.
Aaron came around the corner! “Aaron!” I called. Aaron spotted me behind the rock. His face lit up with relief.
“I couldn’t find you, Eli!” he said, joining me in my hiding place. His relieved expression changed to sorrow. “I feared the worst. Many people have died. I thought I was the only one who survived!” His eyebrows pulled together in concern. “I guess we should stay here until we’re sure it’s safe.” I nodded. We huddled together until we saw the boat float away, taking all of our wealth and hard work with it.