Krampus is the cloven-hoofed, curly-horned, and long-tongued dark companion of St. Nick. Sometimes a hero, sometimes a villain, within these pages, he’s always more than just a sidekick. You’ll meet manifestations of Santa’s dark servant as he goes toe-to-toe with a bratty Cinderella, a guitar-slinging girl hero, a coffee shop-owning hipster, and sometimes even St. Nick himself. Whether you’re looking for a dash of horror or a hint of joy and redemption, these 12 new tales of Krampus will help you gear up for the most “wonderful” time of the year.
Featuring original stories by Steven Grimm, Lissa Marie Redmond, Beth Mann, Anya J. Davis, E.J. Hagadorn, S.E. Foley, Brad P. Christy, Ross Baxter, Nancy Brewka-Clark, Tamsin Showbrook, E.M. Eastick, and Jude Tulli.
A Friday So Black
‘Twas the day after Thanksgiving, on a Friday so black,
And Krampus was in need of switches, chains, and a sack;
You see, Krampus lives on through a family curse,
And after arriving from Germany, Petrissa had little left in her purse;
She was on a budget for sure, but Krampus wanted his wares,
Thank goodness her niece had an idea, from the top of the stairs;
She could find some great bargains, from what she was told,
As long as she was brave enough to venture out into the cold;
“I grew up in Bavaria,” said Petrissa to her niece,
“A little wind and snow won’t bother me in the least.”
Her niece just laughed, “No, I mean the bloodthirsty mob,
Who, for a 60% off Elmo, would shank you like a kabab.”
As her niece explained on, she was shocked by the tale,
What was wrong with Americans, who would kill for a sale?
But she took a deep breath, and they headed out to the ride,
As bad as they sounded, she had the spirit of Krampus inside;
Her niece jumped into the car, so lively and quick,
While Petrissa looked around until she found herself a stick;
Her niece did approve, wishing she’d done the same,
Saying, “If you want to strike fear, you should give it a name.”
“You mean like: Dasher or Basher or Crasher or Splitzen?
Or Bumper or Stumper or Thumper or Blitzen?”
Her niece raised her brows, and sat back in deep thought,
Changing the subject, she asked what needs to be bought;
“I need a large sack, and some long lengths of chain.”
Her niece looked at her cockeyed, “You’ll have to explain.”
“Do you not know of Johan, your grandfather many times great?
Or of his daughter, Basina, whose curse sealed our fate?”
Her niece shook her head and claimed her memory was hazy,
What she wanted to say was that the old gal sounded crazy;
It was a family history that needed to be taught,
“It all began,” said Petrissa, “in the town of Fluchstadt.”
Their heritage was not discussed, so the niece was all ears;
Petrissa went on, “This story goes back one thousand years.”
“When it came to pagan priests, Johan was ever devout,
Which lead to a struggle when the Christians wanted him out;
They desecrated his shrines, and vicious rumors were spread;
They chained him and whipped him, and left him for dead.”
The niece sat in silence, shocked by the ancestral strife,
Never had she been told such a sad story in her life;
“Don’t worry,” said Petrissa, and into a smile her lips curled,
“Vengeance was indeed meted out, by Johan’s little girl.
Heartbroken, Basina ran from the villagers to a sacred field,
Where she beseeched the pagan god Nerthus, and there struck a deal.
And Nerthus granted her wishes that would last for all time,
But the price was a curse placed on her family line.
In our blood slumbers Krampus, the spirit of Christmas dread,
Who seeks out the naughty, with horns on his head.”
Petrissa’s niece shook, near paralyzed with fear,
“So we become monsters around this time of year?”
“It’s more than a curse, for our family wields great power,
Which is why we are outside Walmart at this ungodly hour.”
“I hope that it’s all true,” her niece said out loud,
As the two of them pushed their way into the crowd;
Everywhere there was screaming, and crying, and fighting;
Everyday people throwing elbows and biting;
Walmart was packed, no matter the aisle they picked;
It was all overwhelming until Petrissa was kicked;
“Enough!” said Petrissa, who called on the power within,
And with the strength of old Krampus, overturned a DVD bin;
The niece stared in wonder, as her aunt charged on through,
With claws that sprouted from fingers, and horns that grew;
Petrissa became massive, snarling, hairy and tall,
And had no trouble getting her items, collecting them all.
Standing at the checkout, a monster by her side,
The niece looked up at Krampus, beaming with pride;
Krampus handed the cashier coupon clippings from an ad,
Who was unfazed, Krampus not being the weirdest customer he’d had;
And now with new chains and a naughty-child-size sack,
Krampus was ready for Christmas, thanks to a Friday so black.
Meet Brad P. Christy!
Brad P. Christy is the author of the short stories: Miseryland, Angel Dust, ‘Twas the Fifth of December, and Cape Hadel. He is a member of the Writers’ League of Texas, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Creative Writing and English. Brad lived in Germany for three years where he immersed himself in their culture and folklore, and now resides in the Pacific Northwest with his wife.
Want to purchase Brad’s novels?
He Sees You When He’s Creepin’: Tales of Krampus
O Horrid Night: Chilling Holiday Tales for the Black-Hearted
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