The Viking (Chapter 1, page 1 of 10)


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It was near the end of Stefan Rossetti's fourteenth year that his father, the commander of the Viking longship Sja Vinna and its fleet of seven ships, at last agreed to take him aboard. Standing on the beautiful Scandinavian shore, his smile was wide and he was certain no happier laddie ever was or ever would be again. He watched the other men wade into the crisp waters of the bay, toss their gear inside, turn around, lift themselves up until they could sit on the rim of the ship and then easily swing their legs over. It was something he had practiced several times and knew precisely how to do.

Why he failed he would never be quite certain, but he guessed it was because the boat he practiced on was smaller than his father's ship. He managed to toss his extra clothing, a heavy blanket, his warm cloak and even the shield his father had given him the night before into the ship. But when he tried to sit the rim, he was suddenly face down in the water. Just as abruptly, his father hauled him out - one hand grasping the back of his baggy brown long pants and the other taking hold of the back of his red tunic. Stefan was swiftly pulled aboard and abruptly dropped - leaving him wet, face down on the deck and completely humiliated amid roars of laughter and jeers from not only his father's men, but the crowd standing on the shore.

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