Every Christmas day, children around the world wake up to presents from their favourite fat man. Some get toys, some get snacks and some get to see their loved ones but a special lot of children on the ‘naughty list’ of Santa get a lump of coal, something so worthless in the eyes of a child. They mostly throw the coal away into the garbage can (some stupid ones eat it, thinking of it as some sort of unusual candy). Parents think that Santa must have done this to probably teach the kids a lesson, so that they may behave next year. This is not the case. Listen to this story of a winter night, which happened during Christmas Eve and watch your views change.
Sam was sitting on his balcony, looking at the night sky as snowflakes twirled around in front of him. Sam was not a blessed child, he had over-demanding parents that asked too much out of him. He excelled in every activity but apparently that was not enough for his parents. Anything, even a step away from perfect was unacceptable and outrageous. He was enjoying one of the rare moments of rest that he had very much deserved. He looked at the other houses out there, all lit up with rainbow coloured lights, decorated and ready for Christmas. He could smell all the delicious food being made from the apartment below him. Gingerbread cookies, hot chocolate, a turkey which was probably going to be set out tomorrow morning for the children and parents to eat while discussing their sweet memories. He sighed and laid back in his chair and looked up, not at anything particular. He was only wishing that maybe his parents would start caring for him. Maybe he could wake up to some Christmas dinner. Maybe someone could take him away…far away to some land where he was appreciated.
He suddenly felt drowsy and started to fall asleep. He let the heaviness take over him. He crossed his arms and made himself cosy in his chair and drifted off to sleep.
Sam woke up with a start to that sound. It sounded like a bell. A sleigh bell probably. He got up from his chair and looked around.
“S-santa?” He said, without thinking.
He saw a figure in his room, holding a staff and it seemed like he had enormous amounts of hair on him. It curled and swirled and dropped down abruptly. It also looked like the person was carrying some sort of sack, from which he was trying to take something out.
Sam, being only a twelve year old boy, gasped in amazement. Santa was real!! He was real!! After all these years, he finally got a visit! His parents had told him that Santa thought that he did not even deserve a lump of coal since he was such a ‘brat’ but finally he got to meet Santa! He stumbled into the kitchen and approached Santa to hug him. He jumped at the figure, screaming “Santa!!” and tightly held him.
He felt weird and ticklish hugging him. He was so furry and soft, a small bit prickly in some places, mostly the front. He thought it was probably his suit…until he heard his voice.
“Who. Touch. Krampus?”
Sam froze in place. This was the gruffest and deepest voice he had heard in his life, making even his father’s seem like a rat’s squeak. Krampus…he realised why ‘Santa’ was so furry. This was…this was…
“Get off of Krampus!”
The beast shook ferociously and threw Sam across the room onto the sofa. He let out a screech as he had hurt his back.
His parents ran into the room. His dad was holding a bat and had raised it up high to knock anyone out with it.
“Sam!! Are you breaking the furniture?!” his dad screamed.
Sam got annoyed and said, “REALLY!?! Can you not see the goat demon in the kitchen!?”
Krampus glared at his parents and said, “Bad man. Bad woman.”
He held up his staff which had bells attached to it. He rang it from side to side slowly and Sam’s parents followed its movement, like cats who had their attention fixed to a toy. He then slowly lowered the staff and his parents hit the ground, passed out on the floor. Meanwhile, Sam was looking at this scene, terrified of what will happen next. He scrambled to turn the lights and then finally got a good look at the goat demon.
Krampus was furry all over with red glowing eyes, large nostrils and huge ram-like horns. He had a belt of bells across his torso, a basket on his back and what looked like a kilt was the only thing he wore. Other than that, he was all fur and hair.
Sam backed away from the beast in horror but tripped on his carpet and fell down. Krampus looked at him and rumbled in a lowly drone. This was a beast that punished children who go too far into evil’s grasp. In childish stories he was said to spank children with a birch tree branch but in stories told by the adults, Krampus was said to take these children away with him in his basket to be drowned in a river or sent to hell.
Sam started crying. Tears flowed down his cheeks as he held his breath, looking at the demon in front of him. He closed his eyes shut, waiting for it to do something to him. Shove him in a basket, drown him, send him to hell, beat him to death. Anything.
Krampus raised his hand and put it over Sam’s head. Sam whimpered a little but nothing horrible happened to him. The beast was stroking its hand from his head to the back of his neck, then put it back on his head and down the neck again and again and again and again…
It opened its mouth and gurgled in its deep voice, “No afraid. Child safe with Krampus.”
Sam opened his eyes in surprise, only to find a beast with sympathy and guilt in its eyes. Sympathy for this child, abused by his parents to be the best, bringing him down for any miniscule mistake made by him and guilt for scaring him and making him think he was going to die. Krampus had frightened many children but it did not mean to. It only wanted to bring a gift for them. A small gift.
It spoke again and said, “Saint Nic, send Krampus to special children. Like you. Children who have bad man and bad woman taking care of them. Krampus get most valuable gift for special children.”
Sam felt like he was dreaming. This…was the Krampus everyone was afraid of? “Special children? What do you mean?” Sam asked
It shook his head, “Children with great cap….capy….cappylil..” “Capability?”
“Yes, yes. The long word. You,” it put it’s finger near his heart, “have power to change world. Make world good.”
“Me?...But I am a failure…”
“Child not a failure. Child is prodigy. Big brain smart prodigy.”
Sam giggled under his breath. The sentence reminded him about some funny photo he saw online.
“So, for uh…child name?”
“Sam.” He said and smiled.
“Sam! Yes, yes,” it started rummaging through the basket behind him and found a little green box, tied by a red ribbon, “Krampus bring Sam special present from Santa.”
Sam skittishly took the box and opened it with utter caution and care, only to find a lump of coal within it. He sighed, he must be a failure after all but Krampus intervened before anything else was said.
It said, “This coal be special coal. Turn into gem when boy reach full potential and funny thing is, this coal is anthracite coal, meaning it not far from becoming gem for boy. You one of few kids who get anthracite coal as starting coal. Most get bituminous and then very naughty children get lignite but they all turn into gem.”
“But why tell me all of this?”
“Santa tell to never see boy or girl but Krampus think Sam boy should know, else Sam boy may become bad person if they see they get coal without knowing magic property.”
“What about the others? Does everyone throw away this coal?”
“No, not at all! Some child keep coal and after child becomes good person, they get special gem, like ruby or amethyst or emerald or sapphire or….oh no! Krampus must go, need to deliver coal to all child!!”
It raised it staff and violently shook it to make a loud and annoying jingling noise. Sam felt dizzy after hearing it and passed out on the floor.
Sam woke up slowly and batted his eyes, trying to get the drowsiness out of them. He held his head and murmured to himself, “What…happened? Why am I in the living room? Wait…where’s the coal?” Wait…coal? Why was he thinking of coal and what was so special about it?? He started looking around and found it kept on the dining table in the kitchen. He held it close and smiled. He felt warm while holding it, like a good swig of hot chocolate was being poured into his soul. He did not know why but he felt that this was some special Christmas gift given to him by Santa. He hid it inside his cupboard and frequently kept coming back to it, making himself smile. His life was never miserable after that day.
Author: Aditya I Editor: Jia B