Kallikantzaros – A Reposting, in Anticipation of Goblin Week

The World Tree - Oluf Olufsen Bagge

The saw bites, deeper into the flesh of the world tree, gouging at its flesh, gnawing through bark and through the cloying, healing sap. Back and forth, back and forth we drag the blades, hacking at the trunk.

Soon the world will fall, tumbling into our world of darkness.

Soon we will feast on man-flesh.

The saw bites, deeper into the world tree. The falling saw-dust rains down like snow, settling into and mottling against the dark fur of my comrades.

Soon the world will fall.

The unbaptised days are coming, though – the days of darkness above, the nights of the dreadful cold. The darkest days are coming. Soon we can rejoice, soon we will dance upon the surface.

Soon the world will fall.

A cheer goes out, the solstice is come.

A cheer goes out, and through hidden tunnels and doorways we pour, out into the winter.

Soon we will feast on man-flesh.

Soon I will sink my steel teeth into the flesh of an unwary traveller, relishing the thick taste of his blood, dancing among the fallen crimson of his blood on the snow. Fearlessly we parade through the night, seeking man-flesh.

Soon we must return to work, but until then a meal awaits.

Soon the world will fall.

The new year begins, the Sun awakens from his wintery slumber – I have feasted, gluttonous, enraptured by the flesh of those foolish enough to brave the night. Sated.

“Back, back underground!” goes the call and we retreat before the Sun can pour down his golden wrath. “Back, back underground!”

There is work to be done.

Soon the world will fall.

The world tree stands, resentful and proud, our brief sojourn above has left us with more work – the world tree has healed, its amber blood has repaired what little damage we had inflicted.

The saw bites again into the flesh of the world tree.

Soon the world will fall.

REPOSTED IN ANTICIPATION OF GOBLIN WEEK

Originally written as part of my series on Under-represented Monsters for the A to Z Blogging Challenge. The Kallikantzaroi (the plural form) are mythological creatures from the Near East and southern Europe (Greece, Macedon, Turkey, Bulgaria and Serbia (although outside of Greece they are called Karankoncolos.)) They seek to destroy the world tree and thus to destroy the world. They saw away at it all year, until Christmas and the winter solstice, when they come out to enjoy the darkest days of the year – but each Epiphany (January 5th) they return underground to see that all of their hard work has been undone. So they begin again. If you live in southern Europe or the Near East, just put a colander outside and they’ll try and count all the holes instead of causing you any mischief. 

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2 thoughts on “Kallikantzaros – A Reposting, in Anticipation of Goblin Week

  1. M. C. Dulac says:

    Wow, I had not heard of this myth before. Well written and scary piece!

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