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Wealhtheow stood in the water. Cold waves lap at her legs, goosebumps blossom up her body. Wealhtheow looks out at an expanse of brooding blue-grey water, feels the chill of the wind. Soon, a storm. She thinks of her family, far away. Her fierce father. Her aloof mother. Her brash brother, who would have fought in his first campaign, by now. All lost to her; the doom of distance lay between them. Wealhtheow lost feeling in her feet while the waves grew. She read trouble in the churning of the sea.
She placed a hand on her rounded belly, certain of a son. She should go back to the hall, before she is missed. Wealhtheow waded deeper, reluctant to return to shore. Her name was called. Hrothgar, who found her, was frustrated by Wealhtheow’s wandering. He entered the water, took his wife by the arm, and led her home. She shouldn’t be caught out in the storm, he chided.
Hrothgar saw the sea, but failed to perceive the portents.
He does not know what waits.