‘Sweet Krampusnacht’ by Samantha Braham | Krampus Crackers
Back in November we announced the winning authors of ‘Krampus Crackers‘ – an innovative flash fiction project from Brisbane-based publisher Tiny Owl Workshop. Run in both Australia and the UK, Tiny Owl Workshop sought 12 short stories to be illustrated by artists (including Terry Whidborne, Simon Cottee, Kathleen Jennings and Gustavo Ortegar) before being made into Krampus Crackers – replacing our conventional Christmas cracker jokes with the winning flash fiction.
The short stories were all inspired by the mythical Christmas demon Krampus and we published a sneak peek into each winning author and their story here. After their launch on December 4th, the crackers are now available to pick up in venues across Leeds including Mrs Atha’s, Outlaws Yacht Club, Heaven, Friends of Ham, Leeds North Bar, Sandinista…and many more.
Over the next couple of weeks in the run up to Christmas, TSOTA are bringing you four of the twelve winning Krampus Crackers stories that you may well find in your cracker. First up we have Samantha Braham and ‘Sweet Krampusnacht’, illustrated by Gustavo Ortegar…
by Samantha Braham
Illustration by Gustavo Ortegar
Krampus sighed as he bit the head off the mini chocolate replica of himself. How has it come to this? He thought. I used to be feared and dreaded. People were terrified of me. Mothers told their children terrible stories about how I would haul them kicking and screaming off to the underworld if they weren’t good.
For years the stories had been repressed, first by the Catholic Church and then by the fascists, as the tales were believed to be too frightening, too horrifying to be heard. Krampus had been forced to hide away in his cave, biding his time until he was heard and remembered again. He knew the time would come.
Stories of demons and devils and bogey-men were never forgotten for long. So he had waited patiently until, finally, the moment arrived.
Krampus had shaken with delight when he heard his name being whispered once more. He’d dusted off his chains and bells. He’d polished his horns and sharpened his fangs. He’d even bought a new bunch of birch twigs from a woodsman who lived nearby. Krampus could hardly contain his excitement when the whispers became louder and louder until they had turned into shouts which hurt his ears and set his fangs on edge. But, somehow or other, he’d managed to control himself and keep his emotions in check. That was, until tonight – Krampusnacht.
As the sun slipped away over the horizon, Krampus had rushed out of his cave with a deafening roar, whipping and thrashing his chains and bells around his head with a ferocity not even he knew he possessed. He had stomped into town baring his fangs and brandishing his bundle of birch twigs at all he passed. But no-one had been scared. Nobody had screamed, trembled and tried to run away. Instead they had laughed, pointed and taken photos of him on their phones. One child had even dared to hand him the mini chocolate replica of himself with not just a smile but a hug.
“I’ll show them,” Krampus muttered, ripping off the replica’s arm and swallowing it whole. “They’ll all be sorry when they see who I really am,” he growled, stuffing the mini chocolate Krampus’ legs into his mouth. “Just let them wait. I’ll make sure they’ll never sleep soundly in their beds again,” he snarled, ramming the remainder of the sweet-tasting figure between his lips. “But first,” he said, licking his fingers, “I’ll have to have another one of these.”
Author biography: Samantha Braham loves writing flash fiction and short stories as she has a short attention span and couldn’t sustain anything longer. Follow Samantha on Twitter @BrahamSamantha
Follow the Krampus team on Twitter @tinyowlworkshop & @vickykpointing and for more on the Krampus Crackers project and where you can pick yours up from, visit vickykpointing.wordpress.com/krampus-crackers
All 12 stories are available in the limited edition crackers around Leeds – the challenge is to collect them all! You can find the first 8 stories published by Leeds Big Booked – bigbookend.co.uk/category/blog