Creative Writing Piece: Black Christmas

Zoe Mackey

It snowed this evening. The cold solidified ice fell from the sky threatening to freeze even the most durable soul to an early demise. “Why are you always so quiet?”, my cousin asked. “Seriously, out of all of us, you’re the only one who doesn’t like to have fun”. With much determination to end the conversation, I say, “I like to have fun, but in a silent way”. I love my family dearly, yet they can be very difficult at times. However, one thing I absolutely adored was their telling of stories. This tradition was held every year on Christmas Eve. All the children sat in a circle around one of the elders of our family. While we did talk about St. Nicholas, we also spoke of another existence. A being so vile, so terrifying, a creature feared by Lucifer himself. It is said that he is the mix of a satyr and a demon, horrifying features including sharp teeth, a long tongue resembling a wire, and a sac on his back to carry away all the naughty children to be painfully devoured at once. “Those fables are just stupid ways to get us to act like goody goodies until the end of the year”, Bernard says while waving his hands in the air. “I believe them. You seriously fail to listen what grandmother tells us, don’t you?” “She’s just kidding cousine! What, like a big scary satyr is going to eat me for breakfast? Oh cousine, you believe everything that is told to you”. Bernard was always the one to not believe in folktales of our elders; it was honestly disgusting. “Whatever, I just want to hear the folktale, it’s not only hilarious, but pretty dry. I wish he would listen to the tales though, out of everyone, he is my favorite cousin. Kommt, Kinder, lasst mich euch die Geschichte erzählen, die erzählt wird.”, my grandmother says in her calming aged voice. As tradition tells, we gather in a circle around her, awaiting the story she expresses every year. She begins her tale of caution, knowing she has everyone’s attention. Like many good things, she was interrupted by Bernard, once again this year. “Why do you tell us this every year grannie?! Seriously, we aren’t children anymore!” Not only Bernard, but Ida, the twins, Heidi and Helga, Alma, Maxi, Oskar, Alexander, and Emil start to question the matriarch and the folktales told by her mother and father. This went on for about 10 minutes until I heard something from my grandmother that I never heard: anger. “Genug! Sie sollten sich die Geschichte von Krampus anhören. Unfazed by this reprimand, each of my cousins jump up and scream, “Krampusse gibt es nicht!”. I just sat there thinking, “Why are they so loud?” That was when I heard the most guttural, infernal scream I’ve ever had the misfortune of hearing. My grandmother, once a sweet, elderly woman with high rosy cheeks, seemed to be the source of this scream. This scream, not lasting long, was interrupted by laughter. Not the one that you receive from fun and merriment, but one that was vile and sinister. As her laughing continued, we discovered to our horror that she was transforming. Two sharp horns burst from her forehead, in place of her dentures, long yellow teeth that looked like they could tear through a single person, leaving nothing left, in place of her porcelain skin, dark unwashed fur and her hands and feet, claws that could kill in one swipe. I’ve never seen such a frightening sight in my lifetime, so deplorable, so disgusting, yet so comforting. “Was für ungezogene Kinder, wie könnt ihr es wagen, nicht auf eure Ältesten zu hören?”. At that moment, I saw something in Bernard’s eyes that I never saw before. Fear. No… terror. Pure and utter terror. To be completely transparent, his reaction was satisfying to me. It is true that those who didn’t believe were always sought by him. “WHAT?! How could you be real?! You’re just an old folktale!”. “SCHWEIGEN! Wenn Sie auf Ihre geliebte Großmutter gehört hätten, sollten Sie wissen, was mit Ungläubigen passiert.At once, Krampus took out his famous sack and within a blink of an eye, snatched and smothered all my cousins into his sack, satisfied at the fact that he has found nine nonbelievers for him to feast on.Finally, the last of the non-believers in these snowy mountains.” I say with a smile. Truly, those who didn’t believe were met with a cruel fate, but what is done is what must be done. “You have done well, my child, now come, we shall be on the hunt for another.” At that, she changed back into her comforting infernal appearance. As a human, she wanted to look normal enough for other humans to recognize and feel safe with. This time, that seemed to work. As he swung the door open into the blistering cold that took presence in the outside, I quickly followed, both of us on the hunt for another.