Prompt: vikings, balloons, hope, the sun
The crushing ocean pounded the longboat. Black, ominous clouds towered above, threatening to swoop down and engulf them. The merciless sea occasionally cut into the boat, splashing rowers with an icy mist. A bearded man in his thirties sat at the head of the boat, his body covered in tattered leathers and shards of bronze metal. A chain hung around his neck, a small pendant of Mjöllnir dangling back forth around his chest in rhythm with the waves.
His voice was bloody, beaten down by salt and fire. He pointed his axe at another bearded man in the rear of the ship.
“Baleog! With the haste of Thor, grab the balloons!”
The Viking stood, walking over to a wooden post that was slick with the ocean’s chill. Connected to the post was a cache of blue and pink balloons, each painted with a sowilo followed by a pair of vertical dots. Baleog swiftly untied the balloons, sweat dripping down his brow.
He looked back to the man with the Mjöllnir pendant, string wrapped around his knuckles.
“What now, Olaf?”
Olaf raised his axe in the air.
“Release them! For the blessing of thunder!”
Baelog opened his palm, watching the balloons sail to the skies. As they climbed, the wind began to twist around the ship, yet the sea seemed to calm.
A blast of lightning struck no more than half a league away from the ship, a thunderous crack shaking the longboat. The occupants raised their weapons, screaming back at the skies as hope filled their chests.
Thunder pulsed through the air a second time, seemingly breaking a hole through the dark clouds – the light of the sun shining through. The Vikings beat their weapons against the side of the boat, the roar echoing across the sea.
Blessed by the gods, their victory was certain.