A small town is transported to an alien world
Jimmy felt as if he'd been hit upside the head with a baseball bat and could still feel the bruises from the slapping the huge man had given him when he'd tried to escape capture. He'd quickly learned these men didn't cater to the wildcat behavior he'd shown, the man carrying him had simply knocked him half silly until he stopped squirming and every time he whimpered he'd get another nasty head bashing. He was worried about Talia, who hung limp in the arms of the giant in front of him. She'd received the same rough treatment after she'd fought like a tigress but she hadn't moved since the giant had slapped her around. He hoped she wasn't dead.
They had been traveling for what seemed like hours steadily heading down the bank of the small stream. The kidnappers acted as if they didn't fear pursuit and often laughed and yelled what he figured were insults at each other. The smaller man in black constantly gave them looks of disapproval when they became too noisy, which they continued to ignore. After a lengthy time, Jimmy didn't know how long because he'd fell asleep at least twice, he was rudely awaken by being thrown unceremoniously to the damp grass along the bank. He heard Talia moan as she hit the ground next to him.
"Where are we," she cautiously whispered?
"Don't know," Jimmy replied, "a long way from home though."
They could hear a man striking what sounded like rocks together, then a small fire begin to glow in a clearing near the river. The planets three moons had yet to rise so their trek thus far had been in almost total darkness. The man threw larger tree limbs onto the small fire which then started to blaze high. He picked up one well burning limb and started to wave it back and forth over his head as if to signal their location to someone out on the river. The other men were standing around the fire tearing greedily into a meal which appeared to be left over meat of some kind and raising drinking skins to their mouths in between bites. The sight of their greedy feasting made Jimmy realize he had eaten nothing since the small corn cakes that he and Talia had brought with them on their fishing trip earlier in the day. He was so hungry and thirsty it hurt to think about it.
"I'm hungry," Talia stated, watching the men devour their hasty meals.
One of the men standing around the fire yelled something they couldn't understand, and then waved his hand in pantomime of striking them. His gesture was obviously meant for them to be quiet, or else. After a few minutes they could hear the grunts and relieved groans of several men in the outlying darkness of the fire as they emptied their bladders. Jimmy knew he'd emptied his own shortly after his kidnapper had knocked him half senseless, but felt the urge coming on again.
Half an hour later they could hear noises out on the river. The man waving the burning firebrand threw it into the fire and said something to the man in black who quickly ordered the remaining members of the party to stand in preparation for something. Jimmy could hear what sounded like wood scraping on wood and the low shouts of men in the darkness.
Suddenly, completely without expectation, the gigantic head of a sea monster or dragon emerged from the darkness to be lit up by the flames from the small fire. Talia let out a small scream, and while Jimmy wanted to scream also, he somehow managed to keep it in. As quickly as the monster appeared, the meaning of its existence also became apparent. It wasn't a monster or sea serpent but simply the prow of a large ship.
"A Viking long ship," Jimmy thought to himself, "I'll be darned; these guys are real Vikings just like in the movies."
A rope ladder was thrown over the side of the ship and the men started boarding. Jimmy and Talia were lifted up to rough hands on the deck and taken to a large pole in the center of the ship. Their hands were tied together then tied with a longer rope to the mast. Rough looking furs were thrown at them by a greasy looking man, who grunted and pointed for them to lie down. Despite the smell and the obvious biting tenants of the ragged furs, they both quickly passed into exhausted sleep.
It seemed like they had slept for no more than a few minutes when they were abruptly awakened by a bucket of muddy water thrown on them by the ragged looking man who laughed and scampered about like a crab. Dawn was just breaking. He threw two large pieces of meat onto the deck near them then quickly untied them from the mast indicating they were to eat. He placed a wooden bucket of river water next to them then stood back warily keeping a dirty eye on them.
Jimmy's hands felt cold and numb and it took a few minutes for the tingling sensation to return bringing with it the painful surge of flowing blood. He shook his hands and then picked up the chunk of meat lying on the deck. It didn't smell like it was spoiled, but it was cold and greasy. A tentative bite brought sudden hunger and he tore into the meat so fast he started to choke. Talia, sitting beside him, did the same. The dirty man bent over and started to fondle Talia's budding young breasts. Suddenly, before Talia could even bite him, the man in black struck the dirty slave alongside the head and sent him sprawling into the side of the ship yelling and whimpering in pain.
"Nein! Nein!" he heard the man yell, along with other words which his young mind identified as being German. He'd known old Mr. Burkhart back in the settlement who spoke words in German which sounded like that.
"He's a German," Jimmy whispered to Talia, "one of the bad guys from the movies. My grandpa fought them in a big war."
The man in black looked at them with a puzzled expression but also with a smile on his face.
"So," he said, "you are an Englander?"
"I ain't no Englander," Jimmy spat back at him, "we're Americans and when Uncle Monday gets hold of you he's going to kick some ass."
"My, such nasty language from so young a one," the man replied, "I assume your parents didn't teach you proper manners?"
"I got manners; just don't talk to dirty ole Germans and kidnappers."
"My name is Oberst Heinreich Doenitz of the Third German Reich young man, you may call me Henri if you prefer. We are not as you call us, kidnappers. You happen to be on land which my friends the Norse landers say belongs to them. We merely brought you along so we could talk with you and the, shall we say, strange young girl."
"She ain't strange," Jimmy blurted, "she's my cousin and my Uncle Monday's little girl. Hurt her and Uncle Monday will kill you and all your dumb ole Vikings."
"This uncle of whom you speak must be a very powerful man?"
"He is," Jimmy spat back, "and he's got a real big army of men and Ionar that'll come and kill you with rifles and cannons if you don't let us go."
"I see," Henri replied, "you come from a group of people who possess modern weapons. How many of them did you say were at your settlement?"
Suddenly realizing he'd said too much, Jimmy returned his attention to the cold meal he was finally managing to gulp down. The man in black, or Henri, turned and walked over and started talking to one of the large Vikings in a guttural language. The still whimpering slave kept his distance from the two young children in fear of being killed by the powerful man in black.