He drifts in a haze, not thinking, just feeling. Right now he feels a tug, pulling him in one direction. The haze changes into a blur as he speeds that way, faster, faster, until he is falling, falling through a chaos of gray and green and brown. The blur of speed stops as suddenly as it started. Arvid stands in a circle of stones.

Something is strange here. As his thoughts start to clear, Arvid remembers being in his room, falling asleep in his own bed. And now this. That can only mean he is dreaming. But why doesn't he wake up when he knows he is dreaming? He wants to pinch his arm - but thinks better of it as his eyes fall on the other person in the circle.

She is a woman, still young though older than he. Somewhere in her twenties, he would think. She is wearing a simple blue dress with a broad belt woven in red and white, most white. Her golden hair is long and mostly straight, and even her skin seems to have a slight golden tone rather than normal tan. She is looking straight at him with excited curiosity, as if he was a rare animal. And in front of her, between them, is a single stone cube, around a meter each way, square in the middle of the stone circle. And on this stone lies something he knows. His crystal! The one he picked up earlier today ... before he fell asleep.

"Salami dude!" It is the young woman speaking, in a melodic voice with a strange accent. She continues. "Pastrami at hollow carbs, Minerva at all?"

Of course, this is all a weird dream. Even so, Arvid finds it hilarious that the woman speaks to him in complete gibberish, with a totally serious expression on her face. He can barely keep from laughing out loud. Still, he better not embarass her. "Do you speak English? Parlez-vous Francais? Sprechen Sie Deutsch? Snakkar du norsk?" Now it's her turn to stare at him without comprehending. Heh. This is the strangest dream he has had in a long time.

Stubbornly trying again, the woman straightens up and repeats: "Salami dude!" "Uhm, no offense lady, but I don't really think you want to see my salami." She smiles encouragingly. "Salami at Gwalawala!" Now that cracks him up, for some reason. It's just the way she pronounces that word. "Gwalawala!" He repeats, then breaks down in laughter. "Gwala wala wala wala wahahaha!" Her expression of utter disbelief just makes it so much funnier. "Gwahaha!" Staggering backwards, he passes between two of the standing stones - and falls straight down into a bottomless darkness.

Trying to scream, he woke up, heart racing, hands clutching at the bedsheet.

Arvid sat up. Wow! That was the most crystal clear dream he had ever had. It was like being there! Except of course the mad woman blabbering about salami, and him stepping off the edge of the world. Gave him quite a shock, that did.

Looking at his watch, he found that the night was still young. Too bad, since he was now wide awake. There was a solution for that, however. Norwegian history! He wondered if citizens of other countries also had to remember lists of long dead kings and stuff like that. Was it Olav who begot Magnus, or was it the other way around? There was really no way to know. The only good thing that can be said was that some of those kings had funny nicknames, back in the old days. Eirik Bloodaxe, Magnus Barefoot, stuff like that. He pondered what his nickname would have been if he had been a king. Arvid the Unbeliever? No, it just hadn't the same ring to it.

But the history book worked its magic, and eventually his eyelids grew just too heavy to keep up. The heavy silence enveloped him and all things faded.


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