Viking-Trojan War

Viking-Trojan War
by Deb Houdek Rule

“The Viking-Trojan War” takes place in the present at my alma mater–the University of Southern California School of Cinema-Television. ©1994 D. A Houdek (Deb Houdek Rule)

The Vikings brought out their undead zombie warriors when the green jello squares on lettuce leaves were served.  Truth be told, they didn’t seem to care for the tuna noodle casserole or the decaf espresso, either.  We didn’t release those little details to the press.  While the official version of events is essentially factual, I personally think we can benefit from a reevaluation of the entire situation.

At approximately one p.m., during the annual alumni fundraising banquet, six dragon longships materialized on the campus.  They were spread out from the Commons to just short of where the reception was being held on the lawn by Norris Theatre.  I confess that when the first Viking chieftain (quite resplendent in shield, sword, gold accouterments and an absolutely fabulous hand-woven, naturally died wool tunic) appeared around the corner of the theatre I thought it was another stunt by the Cinema students.

Our staff ought to be commended, despite the later deterioration of relations, for the smooth handling of the intrusion.  Lack of common language and clash of cultural expectations made full understanding impossible, but we learned later that the Vikings expected to be presented to the University’s king, then feasted with our finest cuisine–and in prodigious quantities.

Barbarians.  Did they truly expect to be served the lemon pepper chicken and white zinfandel when they arrived unannounced?  So they didn’t care for the student cafeteria fare, it remains our position that sending four hundred and thirty-two partially decomposed walking corpses marauding through a thousand dollar per plate reception was a disproportionate response.

We lost over fifty alumni and faculty in the melee with a like number of simple maimings.  Fortunately none of those killed were major contributors.  It could have been considerably worse.  The undead move rather slowly and the live Vikings opted to stand back and observe their handiwork while the zombies slashed and hacked their way through the soirée.  The Hollywood mindset–that no sight is genuinely unusual–surely accounted for several of the deaths.  A considerable number of the alumni took the incident as a live-action show and applauded the first spewing of blood.  This hindered their escape when the true nature of the limb-severing carnage became clear.

It should be noted that a properly tempered Viking sword–even when wielded by a disemboweled, rotting corpse–can slice through the door post of a speeding Mercedes quite neatly.

Read the rest of the story in Season of Marvels: Viking Tales, short story anthology available on