‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring… except that thing that just ran by the window? What the??? Did you see…never mind, now where were we… oh yes- Tot’s stocking was hung on his bedpost with care. We don’t have a chimney, so he hung it there. The little fellow was nestled, all snug in his bed. While Transformers transformed inside of his head. And I with my shotgun and fitted black 47’ Brand hat, would go outside to see what in the hell was that? As I loaded up with shells, ones that would scatter, something hit the gutter sounding quite like a ladder? So out into the front yard I ran really quick,

slipped and fell on some ice and injured my…elbow. I got to my feet standing in two feet of… snow? That stuff wasn’t here just a few minutes ago! When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but some weirdo on the rooftop acting quite queer.

Queer as in peculiar, strange or odd. Not queer as in a derogatory reference to homosexuals. It wasn’t like he was up there doing…gay stuff, just being really creepy. Of course to be honest if a homosexual or heterosexual were on my roof, at night, doing stuff, gay or otherwise, it would be considered creepy and my reaction would be the same; I shot him. Caught him with a blast mid-torso and blew his sorry a** right off the roof. I gotchya ADT right here, bub! What? The rhyming thing? Oh, sorry, got caught up on rooftop queers for a moment there. Anyway..Sexuality aside he seemed quite aloof, scratching and clawing as he fell off the roof. Quickly I reloaded whilst running around, and bore down upon him as he rose from the ground.

He was dressed in some poor department store Santa’s skin, with horns, hooves, a red coat and terrible grin. A bundle of demonic toys he had flung on his back, it was a sight that could make you start smoking crack. His eyes — how they twinkled — his dimples how merry! They were from the dead department store Santa and that made it scary.

While standing there pondering this yuletide incursion, I realized it was Von Krampus…the Hollywood version. It was quite tragic and sad without a doubt that this mythological German anti-folk hero had truly sold out. He was now a novelty toy on a Xmas store shelf and I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.

With a twitch in his eye and a twist of his head he gave me to know he was still something to dread. He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work. He let out a long moan; then turned with a jerk. Then he unleashed his evil toys from his sack, but I knew my yellow, stuffed bear sidekick John Q. had my back. He had an evil angel, stuffed bear, gingerbread man and jack in the box WTF? John Q. had a machete, a shot gun and the Tot’s Power Wheels truck. As he led them away John was shouting out “Weeeeeeee!” So now all that was left was Krampus and me.

It was then that he started his anti-holiday rant, nothing significant that I could recant. A lot of b****ing and moaning about the state of the world. He was tired of delving out punishment to too many bad boys and girls. Then he paused haltingly with some apprehension, when he realized that I wasn’t paying attention. I said just gimme a moment and I’ll deal with you, but first I must catch a Santa hat Pikachu. He said, “I don’t have that one yet!” and wouldn’t ya know Krampus yanked out his cell to play Pokémon Go. So we caught Pikachu and then a few more—two Bellsprouts, three Eevees and one Bulbasaur. When we finished he relaxed and slid out of Santa’s skin, so I decided to chill and invite the goat/demon in. (We weren’t watching Netflix.)

We sat and had coffee while John Q. ate a s’more, sorry Krampus your toys won’t be back anymore. Krampus laughed and dismissed it with a wave of his hand; he’d got what he came for though not as he planned. He said, “You defended your home in a manner quite brave and I can easily discount you being a knave. Despite your short comings,” he said as he stood, “deep down where it counts, your soul is quite good. And though oft misguided you do what is right; even inviting a stranger in on a cold winter’s night. Now my work here is done…yes that ought to do it.” He winked and said “Now I’ll let you get to it.”

Was that some yuletide test or was he just slighting. Then the wife poked her head in and said, “How goes the writing?” I was just getting started or maybe just ending, or was I starting to finish the tale I was bending? It felt like I was writing this all over again, but the best place to start is where you begin. So, ‘twas the night before Krampus—a fun holiday story. Nothing like the movie that was confusing and gory. Maybe some humor mixed with some heart, perhaps something from Dickens is the best way to start.

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring… except a laughing voice calling out in the dark of the night… something in German.

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