#picturefiction #flashfiction #santa #Krampus #Christmas
Krampus was tired and a bit depressed. His night had gone well, perhaps too well. There were so many naughty children to punish that he had broken his switches half a dozen times from all the beatings.
His lot in life was to only see the bad and it brought him great sadness as he crawled back into his cave to sleep until next year.
A sound woke him from his slumber and he growled a warning.
“Wake up Krampus, I have a job for you,” a booming voice echoed through the cave.
Krampus rattled his chains and growled as he crawled from the cave. Whoever this interloper was he would pay for waking a grumpy Krampus.
Krampus emerged from his cave baring his teeth and then stopped when he saw the big red sleigh. The red clothing and huge white beard quickly told Krampus that Santa had come for a visit. Beside the big man was a lovely woman in a flowing dress, Mrs. Claus.
Krampus growled at the jolly duo. How dare they bring their smiles to his cave of sorrow.
“Krampus you look depressed,” Mrs. Claus said. “I told Santa we had to do something nice for you.”
“You did great work Krampus,” Santa said. “All the naughty children have been punished and I have no doubt they’ve learned their lesson and will be good next year. But come with us, I want to give you a gift before you go to sleep for another year.”
Krampus grumbled but knew he would never be left in peace by these overly jolly elves if he retreated into his cave. With a huff he crawled into the sleigh and hung his head to await whatever indignity the duo would impose on him.
The sleigh took to the sky and flew down to the world of men. Soon it spiraled down and landed in a large courtyard. Hundreds of people, young and old, crowded the space and cheered as Santa and Mrs. Claus descended from the sleigh. A gasp ran through the crowd as Krampus dropped to the ground.
“Merry Christmas,” Santa bellowed. “I’ve brought a new friend for you all to meet. Show Krampus your Christmas spirit.”
It started low but quickly grew. Cheers and shouts of ‘Merry Christmas Krampus’ echoed through the courtyard.
Krampus felt a strange warmth, he had never been cheered before. Santa led his wife and Krampus to a dias with a pair of chairs and piles of toys. The trio sat and children, good children all, walked forward to receive gifts and all wished Krampus a Merry Christmas.
The scary beast did not feel so scary for once. The children smiled at him and thanked him as he handed them presents. Soon he found himself laughing and smiling.
His work had ensured that there were good people to enjoy this holiday and he felt his sorrow lift as he discovered the good he was doing for the world.
The night soon ended and Santa returned Krampus to his cave. As the Christmas Devil entered the cave he turned one last time and growled a thank you to the jolly old elf. He was eager for sleep so that he could awaken next year to once again create a better world and bring joy.
Happy Holidays all. A special holiday greeting to the folks in my picture today. This was my friends Piers and his lovely wife Julie (sorry Krampus I don’t know who was in the costume) from @SantasCauseDc during last year’s @KrampusnachtDC
Check out their pages, its a great charity, and a great fun night.
The tree was covered with tinsel and ornaments. The house was lit and smelled of evergreen and peppermint. Father and mother had gone to bed secure in the knowledge that little Willie was sleeping soundly with visions of sugarplums or whatever visions danced in the heads of little boys on Christmas eve.
Willie waited until he heard his father’s sonorous snores rattle the walls before sneaking out of his bed. He was an expert at lying to his parents. Many a time he had faked a cold or fever to skip school. He was determined to be awake when Santa came to visit.
Jack, from Willie’s third period science class, had said that Santa wasn’t real but Willie was still unsure. He wanted proof. He knew that Santa would come on the stroke of midnight and he was determined to catch the jolly old elf in the act.
He’d show that doubter.
Willie snuck downstairs and took up a station in the bay window near the tree. If Santa was coming he’d have to come down the chimney near the tree. Willie could curl up on the window seat and keep an eye on the fireplace with ease.
The moon was full lighting the snowy landscape outside as bright as day. Willie loved the woods around his home. He spent many hours each day racing between the trees and pretending to do battle with monsters and woodland spirits.
The clock on the mantle chimed. It was the first stroke of midnight.
Willie fairly vibrated with excitement. Soon Santa would arrive and he’d prove that Jack the jerk wrong.
On the eleventh chime Willie began to wonder. Santa had not emerged from the fireplace. He glanced outside, nervously considering that Jack might be right. Far across the yard he noticed a figure trudging through the snow. In the moonlight he could make out dark clothing with light trim and a large sack which trailed the figure as it moved toward the house.
“Santa,” he whispered.
Willie leaped from his perch and raced to the front door. He would meet Santa outside, get his present and finally prove Jack wrong.
Willie pulled on his galoshes, threw open the door and raced out into the snow.
Santa continued to slog through the snow toward him. The sack of toys must have been brimming. Santa was dragging the bulging sack behind him. Wilie could hardly wait to see what it contained.
Santa stopped his forward progress and waited as Willie ran to meet him. He wasn’t dressed like the Santa at the mall, he wore a long robe of red trimmed in white fur with a hood rather than the long pointed hat Willie expected.
Willie noticed that the snow where the bag had been dragged was stained with something dark, something in the bag must have sprung a leak.
“Santa I knew you were real.”
Santa remained silent.
Willie came closer. For some reason Santa kept his head down and refused to look at the boy. Willie noticed that Santa was a lot thinner than he had been led to believe.
“Santa, have you got a present for me?”
Santa raised his right hand and curled a finger to beckon the boy closer.
Willie ran forward, eyes on the bag. Santa’s sack was an off white with dark blobs that looked wet.
“Did something leak Santa?”
Santa remained silent but began to untie the sack. Willie only had eyes for the bulging bag. The stained rope was unwound from the mouth of the sack and then Santa opened it. Willie peered inside expecting gaily wrapped presents but instead the bag was full of balls, furry balls. Willie reached into the sack and grabbed one of the balls. He lifted it free of the cloth and screamed as the ball stared at him with dead eyes and a gaping mouth. It was a head.
“You’ve been naughty,” Santa said in a raspy voice.
Willie looked up into Santa’s face. The elf wasn’t jolly at all. His eyes glowed red and his mouth was huge and filled with piranha teeth.
Santa grabbed the naughty boy with a grip like iron and the last thing Willie saw was the dagger teeth before they closed on his neck.
A horror novella of retribution and redemption.
Krampus, also known as the Christmas Demon and punisher of wicked children, has been entombed for 1,000 years.
A man who feels the world is against him frees the monster who promptly goes on a killing spree.
Santa is Krampus’ opposite.
It is up to Santa and a young girl who is an unlikely hero to stop the rampage before more innocents die.
A novella of terror for a season usually committed to joy.
What reviewers are saying:
“A combination of forgotten myths, faltering beliefs and cycles of rediscovery and redemption. ” – Christopher A.
“A great story that held my attention from begining to end. I never put it down!” – Annette B.
“What if fairy tales are actually based on something real? Real and more horrible than you can even imagine…” – Diana C.
“..a story of sin, violence and redemption and the clash of two ancient powers…” – Dave M.
“A rollicking story. One where the gods themselves appear to reinforce in humanity the consequence of naughty vs. nice.” – Tim T.
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