Bear Shirts: shock troops of the god. Howls of hot metal plunged into blood baths. Bare of hauberk or byrnie, gnawing on the affront of a linden shield.
It begins with a shiver, a sudden chill. Teeth chattering, the face goes strange, like the map of an unknown country. Not bear, but a bear-shaped terror — the wariness of the perpetually hunted, turning to hyperarousal & an ecstasy of rage. Then steel cannot cut, fire cannot burn, tenderness cannot reach.
And in the aftermath, weak enough to perish in the fair-haired hero’s crushing hug.