You’d like to skip Christmas altogether, and there’s one person who wishes you would. In the new book Krampus the Yule Lord by Brom, you’ll meet him.
Jesse Burwell Walker had been drinking. But he wasn’t hallucinating-drunk at 2 a.m. that West Virginia Christmas morning.
He really saw someone in a red suit, running for his life from six gray-skinned, glowing-eyed creatures that jumped like deer and chased the red-suited guy to a sled yoked to reindeer. The sled flew up, the red-suited dude fighting the whole time, until whomp! One of the devil-things fell right through Jesse’s trailer.
After the ambulance came and carted the gray-skinned thing away, Jesse went to see if his trailer had been damaged. There wasn’t much in there – it was supposed to be temporary anyway – but he found a red velvet bag.
The bag, which must’ve also fallen from the sled, seemed to billow and breathe. Its inside was black-as-black, and Jesse could smell something dark in it. Still, he dared to reach into the bag, and when he pulled out the exact toy he’d wanted to give his daughter, he knew he held something important.
Krampus’ Belsnickels were late. He could be patient a little longer, though. He’d already waited 500 years to be released from the cave in which Santa Claus had imprisoned him, and after the Belsnickels returned with the velvet bag, Krampus would finally be free to get his revenge. But they came empty-handed, and he sent them back with a command they were powerless to refuse: bring the bag.
So they did, and they brought Jesse with them.
Looking for a traditional warm-fuzzy for your holiday enjoyment? Ho, ho, no, this book is about as far from that as you can get.
Nope, Krampus the Yule Lord is dark and sometimes scary, with a few moments of humor and a hint of holiday hope.
Author Brom loosely based his story on mythology and old European folklore, then placed it in an area known for “its long history of colorful characters.” That lends authenticity to the vile Yuletide magic of this “anti-Christmas” Christmas novel.
You’d better not shout. You’d better not cry, although this novel might make you want to do both.