Monday, December 26, 2011

Old Nick to Krampus

By Verna Bewick

A response came in from Old Nick to Krampus.
Beware, this is not the Santa we know and love.

Merry Christmas!

You were not my love, nor my first “wife,” and you should not have written that letter. Mrs. Claus is the woman who showed me the way; she’s the one who taught me that all is not lost, that redemption is always possible. People look at me now with adoration, not the fear and loathing that I received while with you. They still leave gifts by their hearth, but out of love and welcoming, not fear. The fear is gone. They even leave their precious babes asleep alone upstairs. I cannot belong to you. I belong in this world now.

I do remember those nights on the sleigh, but over the centuries, it became tiresome. I could no longer stand the hatred borne upon me by the children’s families. They were naughty, but Mrs. Claus has shown me that there is goodness in each of us, especially the children and even me.

Do you still have the big, black kettle hanging in the fireplace? I remember the sweet taste of stew made from potatoes, turnips and the flesh of bad little boys and girls. But I am no longer that person. I don’t even eat reindeer meat.

I must admit, I do think of those nights, locked away together while the year passed.  What I remember most is the sour sting of our sweat and soot upon my tongue, and the smell of copper. To this day, I always keep pennies in my change pocket and sometimes even slip one into my mouth. That was another world with you, another time. The world has moved on.

I went on the run last night. It is long and tiresome, but I know I spread joy. You recall the little people who inhabited this land long before we ever arrived? The ones we hunted mercilessly in those early years? Now, they live in our village, caring for the reindeer and maintaining the sled. The sled no longer has bone runners, but is instead made of hickory – the very same wood that goes into our baseball bats and doll houses. 

I did get fat. And are you still the serpentine creature that I knew so intimately for centuries on end? I can still feel the slip and slide of our bloody bodies against each other. I really didn’t mean to bite off your toe that time I was licking your feet, but it did make me want to suck even more. I’ve never had a more delicious orgasm.

Krampus, remember when they feared us? When they hid in cellars and prayed we wouldn’t come. Now they throw tantrums to get X-Boxes and I-Pods. Whatever happened to little tin horns and little toy drums? Not only do they request, but they expect. Due to “self-esteem,” I am not allowed to drop coal into stockings. The missus thinks I should take each year as it comes. She says it’s only a parenting phase and will soon end.

The children need to learn respect.

She loves me, Krampus, in spite of the babies that I ate, in spite of the horrible “accidents” that we always manifested near Christmas Day – the candle lit trees that happened to catch fire and sleds with loose runners. Mrs. Claus has shown me the Christ, and he is love, just like her. I cannot leave her. I cannot let her down.

But then, that leaves you in that hole with no one. Does the fire stay stoked? Are you lonely 364 days of the year? Have you found another?

Mrs. Claus has her God, her Jesus, and her elfin friends, but you are all alone.

Is a cat wrong for killing a mouse or a bird when it is only in the cat’s nature to hunt? Oh Krampus, you should never have written me. You should have left me behind that wall. I fear you, the temptation of you. I fear


I have killed the reindeer. Krampus, I am alive! I have ripped my fangs into their soft flesh, looking in their eyes and knowing they see the terrible knowledge that it’s Santa’s talons holding them down. The ermine on my coat is dripping and I’ve thrown the pennies into the snow. I can see my toes again, and the old member, disused these many years, is ready for action.

Mrs. Claus is singing softly to one of the newborns. You will have your Christmas wish in spades, my love, and once again we will take back the night.

I can hardly wait for next year.

Yours forever more,

Old Nick

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