The Spirit Tamer
" How To Kill A Brunnmigi "
Unable to keep his fears to himself, Evaldr rolled over, and placed his hand on Thorkel's shoulder. As he gently shook the farmer, Eyvaldr whispered loudly :
" Thorkel ! Thorkel ! Wake up ! I need to speak to you ! Thorkel !! " he repeated several times.
Thorkel had trouble getting to sleep the night before as well, and was not particularly happy with being awakened at such an early hour.
" Eyvaldr ! For the sake of the Gods let me sleep until Sunna has risen. ! " he told his friend before he rolled over and faced the other direction.
Not to be discouraged Eyvaldr got up on his knees and shook Thorkel again.
" I am sorry, but we need to talk ! " he told him again, this time with a sense of urgency.
Reluctantly, Thorkel rolled back over and raised himself up on one arm.
" What is so important that it cannot wait until morning ! " he replied in a very annoyed tone.
Realizing that he had finally gotten Thorkel's attention Eyvaldr sat down and crossed his legs beneath him.
" Don't you think that we should have killed the Brunnmigi last night ? " Eyvaldr asked.
Thorkel took a long deep breath, and rubbed his eyes, before responding.
" I personally would rather have taken care of the situation last night. But neither I, nor you, know how to kill such a vile creature. " he replied with a yawn.
Both men froze as they suddenly realized that they were not alone. Somehow, without making a sound, Naddoður had gotten up, and now stood over them.
" So ! You would like to know how to kill a Brunnmigi ? " Naddoður asked in response to their concerns.
Eyvaldr arched his head straight back to look up at Naddoður.
" Well,.... we were both wondering how it could be done. " he replied.
Naddoður sat down in between the two men, and crossed his legs under him in a fashion that made both Eyvaldr and Thorkel cringe. The Shaman smiled when he saw their reactions.
" It is actually quite a comfortable and soothing position. " he informed both men.
Naddoður's smile changed to a much more serious look as he began to tell the two men a story.
" I learned how to kill a Brunnmigi from King Hjorleif of Hordaland. It seems, the way the king told the story, that Hjorleif set his ship's anchors one night in the Gjardey Gulf. While his men made a huge bonfire on the shore two of his warriors went to a nearby brook to get some fresh water that trickled past an outcropping of rocks. A moment later the two warriors came back with their buckets empty and quite a story to tell. They had seen a Brunnmigi and asked their Lord what it was that they should do. King Hjorleif immediately took matters into his own hands. He placed two long spears into the blazing bonfire. When they glowed as red and hot as Sunna's fiery glow, he took them out and ran down to the brook. The king then shouted at the creature : ' Leave the water ! Do not wind me up. Go home you Thrall, you pathetic thing ! Hey, wretched creature, I'll send a singeing spear, that will wet your whiskers with blood ! ' The king then threw the first spear, but missed when the troll - like creature jumped up onto the outcropping of rock. Hjorleif then took careful aim with the second spear, and hit the Brunnmigi in the eye, knocking it off of the rocks to it's death. " Naddoður told his comrades.
Eyvaldr nodded that he understood.
" Then we must travel to the next well to the east, heat our spears in a blazing fire, and kill the Brunnmigi before it can defile any more wells. " he said confidently.
Naddoður smiled, and pointed to the brightening sky.
" Yes ! But we must get there early and make everything ready. For we may only get one chance at this ! " he explained to his comrades.
The journey was a short one, as the next spring was only a few miles away from their camp of the night before. They arrived at the well just as Sunna reached her highest point in the heavens. While Eyvaldr and Thorkel unpacked their gear, Naddoður walked the entire area around the well, which was actually nothing more than an underground aquifer that bubbled up to the surface. As he studied the lay of the land it did not take the Shaman long to come up with a plan.
" Eyvaldr ! Thorkel ! Come here please ! " he called to his assistants.
The two men eagerly ran over with their spears in hand.
" Have you devised a plan ? " Eyvaldr asked.
" Yes ! Tell us ! Tell us ! " Thorkel chimed in excitedly.
Naddoður smiled as he described what they would do to kill the creature.
" If the Brunnmigi sees only one human chasing him he may turn on that person and attack. From what I have been told of this creature it is very strong, and can easily kill a human. With two warriors coming after it, however, I think it will flee in the direction we force it to go, and it is there that I will be waiting to kill it. " he told his eager assistants.
Thorkel patted Naddoður on the shoulder.
" Then that, my friend, is how we will kill this awful creature ! " Thorkel told the Shaman.
Naddoður had them make a small fire behind some rocks far enough away from the spring that the smoke would not be detected, and yet close enough for them to make their attack. It was there that they heated the tips of their spears in the fire, and waited for their prey.
It had just become dark when the crickets stopped chirping and there came a rustling sound from the woods just behind the spring. While Thorkel and Eyvaldr watched the brush, Naddoður pulled his spear from the fire and began to run through the brush, and around the clearing, to where the Brunnmigi would both emerge, and try to escape.
When the bushes behind the well began to shake Eyvaldr, and Thorkel grabbed their spears and waited. A moment later the Brunnmigi slowly lumbered through the brush and made it's way to the spring. Thorkel wanted to wait for it to reach the spring before running after the creature, but Eyvaldr did not want the Brunnmigi to spoil another water source.
The creature had just reached the spring, and looked about ready to lift it's leg, when it was startled by a loud noise coming towards it, which made the great beast put it's leg down, and take on a defensive posture. Naddoður had just reached his position when he saw the Brunnmigi lower it's leg, rear up on it's hind legs, and roar menacingly at his two companions. And then to his surprise and horror the great beast took off after his comrades.
Naddoður, already winded from his run around the clearing, jumped through the bushes, and ran after the creature as fast as he could. Eyvaldr and Thorkel, however, who had expected, as Naddoður had told them, that the creature would turn and run away from them, stopped dead in their tracks.
" Oh,.... this is not good ! " Thorkel nervously commented.
Eyvaldr gave his friend an angry look before shouting :
" Throw your spear ! "
Thorkel, with hands trembling badly, threw his spear, but he missed the creature completely. Eyvaldr, who was not quite as scared as his friend, aimed carefully at the great beast that was bearing down on them, and let his spear fly as well. To his great disappointment the spear hit the creature in the shoulder, which slowed it down a little, but did not kill it. There was little left for them to do. Both men drew their swords and awaited death.
Naddoður was surprised that at his age he could still run as fast as he was right now. The Shaman felt sorry for his comrades who had begun to scream as the great beast hovered over them ready to rip them to shreds with it's sharp claws. As horrible as their screams were, they allowed Naddoður to run right up behind the creature without being detected. With all his remaining might the old Shaman jumped high into the air, and using both hands drove the spear through the back of the creature's head. The Brunnmigi remained upright for only a moment longer before tumbling over to the ground.
Eyvaldr and Thorkel expected to soon be covered in blood, but they had thought it would be their own. As Thorkel scraped blood, fur, and what looked to him to be one of the creature's eyes off of his chest he could no longer keep from vomiting. Eyvaldr soon followed his friend's lead.
Naddoður cringed when he saw the two men retching, and turned away from the disgusting sight. With his back turned he spoke to his two comrades.
" Well ! It did not go exactly as planned, but the result was a good one. The Well Pisser is dead, and the rest of the wells and springs in Sygnafylke are now safe ! " he told his assistants proudly.
Thorkel vomited one last time before he finally managed :
" I want to go home ! "
Naddoður could not help but smile as he whispered to himself :
" Men who have no stomach for such work should stay home ! "
- End Chapter 4
- Next Chapter 5 : " A Deildegast ! "
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2017.