Prose: Krampus Waits

Published December 5, 2014 by admin

Happy Krampusnacht!

Now this is a part of December I can get behind.

For those who don’t know about Krampus, you’re missing out. He’s coming back into his own, but he’s still fairly unknown throughout a lot of the world. It’s a pity, because tonight’s his night. You see, in the old days Saint Nick (tonight is also St. Nicholas Eve) had a sidekick to deal with the naughty children. Granted, this sidekick differs from country to country, but in Alpine regions and Bavaria, it’s Krampus.

Who is a demon. Who either delivers switches to naughty children, uses his chains on them, or, you know, puts them in his sack and drags them to hell. You can read all about him here.

Really puts the meaning back into the season, right?! I know I’m excited! At any rate, if you’re not in an area that celebrates Krampusnacht and has a parade or other celebrations, what do you do?

If you’re like me, you dig up all the Krampus stories you’ve started and look for ways to force them on people. Because apparently I’m not allowed to run around giving sticks to people or put them in sacks. Believe me, I know. I took a poll. So, in lieu of that, enjoy a little bit of dark holiday cheer that’s perfect for tonight!

***

Krampus Waits

The snow was crisp and the air cold, giving a pleasant tint to the scenic view. Trees sloped downward to the valley and mountain after mountain rose on its other side.

Soon.

Everyone in the tiny villages below was readying themselves for December sixth, for the feast of Saint Nicholas and all the good things that would bring. Somewhere, though, there were also those who shuddered, knowing that to get to those pleasant times, they had to get through December fifth.

The creature smiled at the thought. The cold couldn’t touch him through his heavy, dark fur. His claws twitched in anticipation and tendrils of saliva trickled off of sharp teeth.

Soon.

Wood smoke and pine curled his nostrils, but his keen sense of smell could pick up other smells, too. The smells of hot blood and young meat, the scent of youth and innocence just slightly tainted with disobedience. Children.  Naughty children.

The demon smiled, his long tongue lolling out of his mouth in anticipation. It had been a whole year and he’d worked up an appetite.

Very soon.

He could just make out the worried cries.

“He won’t get me, will he, Mama?”

“Is he real?”

“Have I been good?”

The innocent pleas of children. Parents reassured them, but they were nervous, too.  Terrified of the one who came down and helped the good saint. The one who would judge their children. The one who would drag them to Hell if he found them lacking.

Soon the old one will come for me. Soon it will be time to deliver gifts and good cheer…and other things.

It’s my favorite time of year.

Krampus cackled and went back to his den to wait. Far below in the village, for  no apparent reason at all, little children began to cry.

 

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