I figured my next #linocut project. It’s perfect for the upcoming holiday season. I’m sticking with the Dance of Death theme but I’m including my favorite Xmas baddie: Krampus.
Krampus is a horned, anthropomorphic figure described as “half-goat, half-demon”, who, during the Christmas season, punishes children who have misbehaved, in contrast with Saint Nicholas, who rewards the well-behaved with gifts. Regions in Austria feature similar figures and, more widely, Krampus is one of a number of Companions of Saint Nicholas in regions of Europe. The origin of the figure is unclear; some folklorists and anthropologists have postulated a pre-Christian origin for the figure.
I mainly read this because a Slenderman story sounded like it might be interesting and also because I’m reading through varied genres and demographic group’s stories to get a feel for what other folks read and write out of professional interest. It was a cute story. It was not to my personal taste but that doesn’t mean YOU won’t like it. Frankly I was not taken with the central character, I was a bit annoyed by how almost willfully obtuse she was even when things were clearly revealed. She would go about her business as if nothing had changed. BUT that’s beside the point. I tend to expect my protagonists to be a bit more on the ball but I gather from reading other comments that Emma Frost is supposed to be a bit of a fluff headed gal who is sweet and lacking in cynicism. The story is a rather straight forward mystery. Part of it requires you to be familiar with the history of the character to understand why some of the events are happening to Emma but as to the core of the story centered around Slenderman, that was fully contained within the book. I really liked the use of letters found in Emma’s house to tie the past to the murder mystery taking place in the present. It all wrapped up a bit too neatly for my taste but it was well done regardless. For the right audience this will be a good read. While I enjoyed it well enough, I wasn’t enamored enough with Emma Frost to want to follow the series. Your mileage may vary.
The drums echoed throughout the corridors. The low ceilings and stone walls pulsed with the beat, the heart beat of the drums calling them to war.
Man, woman and child, they prepared. Uniforms were hastily donned and protective gear was pulled into place and checked – then checked again by the person nearest.
“Forward to victory,” shouted their leader as he marched down the central corridor.
The others poured from their stone rooms to fall in behind the leader.
He was resplendent in his military uniform and cap. Anyone looking at him instantly knew that this man was in charge. The others fell in behind. Their short pants and blue shirts with the wide white collars made them look like a scout troop going on a hike, but they were soldiers marching to war.
Through the long stone corridor the growing ranks marched. Drums beat, metal clanked and banners ruffled. Up the slope they trudged until they burst from their subterranean world into the open air.
“To war,” the leader shouted and pulled his breathing mask over his face.
The legions of followers donned their masks. The air above the surface would soon lay them low as it was missing vital components of their lower world. Once they had conquered the surface dwellers the leader promised they would start the factories and fill the air with the soot and particles that made up their air.
Today was the beginning of the end for the surface dwellers.
With a muffled cheer the legions of mole people charged forth.