The Time Before Is Again: An Icelandic mystery-horror (Blog 18) Dan Watt and Gunnhildur Gudbjornsdottir (the Icelandic translation may take longer)
The Gullskinna (Goldskin) “the book that could not be burned” is a grimoire of staves no one but Jochum Magnús Eggertsson (b. 1896 d. 1966) has ever seen. Jochum wrote under the pseudonym Skuggi (Shadow), his most famous work being the Galdraskræða (Sorcerer’s Screed).
As they talk to the professor her father’s cellphone ringtone to the tune of Björgvin Halldórsson’s “Don’t Walk Away Renee” comes on. Brynnhildur knows that means her mother is calling.
“Ástin mín,” her father says with a loving tone. She keeps quiet while he listens to her mother. “Professor Pétursson’s,” he says after a few moments. “I think so.” Turning to the professor her father asks, “Can I leave Brynn with you? I must get back. Andrea says the hudafolk think they know where some of the children are. But she can’t see the folk so I need to be there.” Looking at Brynnhildur he asks, “Are you okay to go with the professor Bryn? Your mother and I will join you as soon as possible.”
“Yes,” she replies torn between fear and excitement.
She watches as her father, still talking to her mother on his phone, leaves.
“We have to go to Lagarfljót now where the worm is?” she asks the professor.
“No, Galdra would not have gone that far. As I said there is more than one. Others are like the Hudofolk, they make strange waves in the water that baffles sailors and fishermen but are otherwise invisible to most eyes. You and I will go to Hofsós and see if we can contact the Hofsóssormur.”
“How?” she asks. Her head hurts from trying to comprehend invisible giant seaworms. She sees Professor Pétursson pull out a gold coloured book that looks like it is made from some kind of skin. “What is that?”
“Gullskinna,” he replies as he diligently opens the book. He flips through the skin pages with their staves that appear to be drawn in blood. “Yes,” she hears him say to himself. He pokes a stave. “When we get to Hofsós I will need to draw this symbol in the sand at low tide. When the tide comes back in it will wash the message to the Hofsóssormur.”
Brynnhildur looks at the size of the professor and wonders what type of truck he drives. He scoops up the Gullskinna and the other grimoires and two motorcycle helmets. She follows him through the Univerisity to the outside parking lot.
“No,” she says, her eyes lighting up. She has never been on a motorcycle and this one has a sidecar. Its ruby red paint glitters.
“It’s an electrically powered Triumph Rocket Three. I asked for a sidecar so I could carry supplies for overnight field trips.”
As she adjusts the helmet straps she warns, “Don’t let my father know you took me on a motorcycle.”
“Oh, what about your mother?”
“She would be jealous.”