“Those clouds look dark and nasty,” said Benjamin. “It looks like winter is just around the corner.”
“Yes,” agreed Lovable Viking. “It does look that way.”
“The crew and I want to know if we can go on another raid soon,” said Benjamin. “I believe we would have time for one more before the snow flies.”
“No,” said Lovable Viking. “I don’t want to go on another raid. I actually want to give up raiding. I think we should start to settle down.”
“Are you serious?” asked Benjamin. “You want us to settle down.”
“Yes,” said Lovable Viking. “We aren’t getting any younger.”
Benjamin couldn’t believe that Lovable Viking was serious. He thought that maybe Lovable Viking was sick. Then he thought of something else. Maybe Lovable Viking was in love.
Benjamin saw Franklin, another crew member waving to him.
“What did he say?” asked Franklin, when Benjamin came over to where he was standing.
“Lovable Viking does not want to go on any more raids,” said Benjamin. “He is wanting all of us to settle down.”
“Settle down,” laughed Franklin. “Has he lost his mind? Is he sick?”
“I thought that too,” said Benjamin. “But I think it is something else. I think Lovable Viking is in love.”
“That makes sense,” said Franklin.
“That is why he wants to settle down,” said Benjamin.
“The question now is, who is he in love with?” asked Franklin. “There are a few very eligible maidens here in Tara.”
“Yes,” said Benjamin. “Maybe it is Jessica.”
“She is very pretty,” said Franklin. “However, I have never seen the two of them together in public.”
“True,” said Benjamin. “However, we have seen him with Vivian.”
“That is right,” said Franklin, remembering that Vivian sat next to Lovable Viking at the last feast. “It must be her.”
“I agree,” said Benjamin. “Vivian happens to be the prettiest and youngest maiden eligible for marriage.”
“She comes from good stock,” said Franklin. “She is the only daughter out of fifteen children.”
“Yes,” said Benjamin. “Very true.”
The next morning, the whole village of Tara was talking about Lovable Viking and Vivian. It came to no surprise to anyone when Lovable Viking announced that he was going to get married in three days. The whole village assumed it was Vivian he was going to marry.”
“I am so happy for you,” said Vivian’s mother to Vivian, that evening. “Lovable Viking will make a very good choice for a husband and father of your future children.”
“Yes,” said Vivian. “However, if I am to marry Lovable Viking, does he not have to ask me if I want to marry him.”
“Yes,” said Mother. “That would be proper.”
“He hasn’t,” said Vivian. “He hasn’t said a word to me.”
“Well,” said Mother. “That is rather strange. There is still three days left until the big day. Maybe he will ask yet.”
“I guess we will have to wait and see,” said Vivian.
“You do want to marry him?” asked Mother.
“Oh yes,” said Vivian. “He is the leader of Tara. He is strong and handsome. I would be a fool not to marry him.”
“Do you love him?” asked Mother.
“Oh yes,” said Vivian. “I love him very much.”
The next morning a dark ominous ship anchored at the Tara docks. The most beautiful woman came ashore and asked for Lovable Viking.
All the villagers of Tara were stunned and shocked when Lovable Viking introduced this mystery woman as his future bride. Vivian was crushed. She really hoped that she was going to be Lovable Viking’s wife.
“I don’t believe this is happening,” cried Vivian. “It really thought I was going to be his wife and who is this mystery woman. She is very beautiful but there is something about her I don’t trust.”
“I understand,” said Mother. “You aren’t the only one that doesn’t trust her.”
Mother hugged Vivian tight. She was angry that her daughter was so hurt.
That evening Lovable Viking went to see his future bride. He stood at the doorway of her cabin and watched her. She was brushing her long golden hair. He was so much in love with her.
“Jillian, my love,” said Lovable Viking. “You are breathtaking.”
“Thank you dear,” said Jillian.
Something on Jillian’s dressing table caught his eye. It was a black leather book with bright gold letters that spelled WITCHCRAFT. Lovable Viking was so angry. He picked up the book and threw it across the room.
“You are a witch!” he screamed.
“Shh,” whispered Jillian. “The whole village will hear you and yes, I am a witch.”
“I don’t care,” said Lovable Viking. “Get out of my village and don’t ever come back.”
There was nothing more despicable to a viking than a witch. Lovable Viking was so angry because he potentially could have put his village at risk. Sorcery has no place in a viking village.
Jillian left Tara quietly. However, she did leave her book in her cabin. Lovable Viking went into the cabin to make sure there was no trace of her left and when he saw the book, he set the cabin on fire. He wanted no trace of Jillian and her witchcraft whatsoever.
All of the villagers gathered around the burning cabin except for Vivian. Lovable Viking saw that she was missing and he went to find her.
“Vivian,” said Lovable Viking when he found her walking along the beach, crying. “I made the biggest mistake of my life bringing that evil woman to my village. I don’t know what I was thinking. I am the leader of Tara. I put the whole village at risk. I wouldn’t be surprised if everyone hates me, including you.”
“I could never hate you,” said Vivian, wiping tears from her eyes. “I love you.”
“You do,” said Lovable Viking.
“Yes,” said Vivian. “I do.”
“Will you marry me?” asked Lovable Viking.
“Oh yes!” yelled Vivian, happily. “Yes, I will marry you.”
Vivian and Lovable Viking were married that very day and the whole village was ecstatic.