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Krampusnacht

By Fletcher Stewart

 

Twenty moons before Christmas in a blacked out old house
The final squeak echoed from a dying old mouse
The brandy glass clattered on the old silver tray
Set out in offering, to send horned one away
 
The children lay silent shivering in bed
Cold sweat and tears crystalized on their heads
Mum sat up knitting in nerve-jitter trance
While I poked at the flames in their last dying dance
 
Just as the last of the wood gave a crackle
The fire snuffed out from a soul-freezing cackle
I went to the window reluctant and fearful
And saw silhouettes that slayed all thoughts cheerful
 
The twisted old trees seemed to grab at the moon
While horned and hunched something loomed in the gloom
Hot breathe like death clouds methodically pumped
Then with a grunt and a sprunt the thing jumped
 
With a gasp of sheer terror, I turned to my wife
Rocking faster face-frozen, like a doll without life
I saw little things skitter out on the lawn
It was then that I knew we would never see dawn
 
I fled toward the attic where the children lay wake
And heard something huge that made my bones quake
The clopping of hind legs, hooves cracking shingles
A hacking from Hades that made my spine tingle
 
The chimney breast wheezed mortar dust from the banging
When down dropped the chains and the hooks all-a-hanging
Down came the hooves crushing hearth like an anchor
Out puffed a pungence of hideous rancour.
 
Then came the claws with nightmarish clacking
Feeling the floor spiderlike in their tapping
It was then that the beast revealed hideous form
It was dressed all in dead things all rotting and torn
 
Rank rancid clouds plumed out from its gizzard
Sniffing young ones with forked tongue fit for a lizard
Yellow eyes burned, spying something delicious
Arms reached out branchlike macabre and malicious
 
It loped toward the kids, snatched them up like a ladle
Savouring screams in its devilish cradle
It grunted with glee, eyes and teeth all-a-flicker
As it stuffed the children into their prison of wicker
 
I begged, and I pleaded “please give them a chance!”
It clopped, and it bleated in a sinister dance
It hopped through the window with its terrible yield
And bounced basked in moonlight through ash-laden fields
 
The events of that night will poison me ever
Every 5th of December comes unholy weather
The snow falls grey and the crows all flock
To torment my soul on the black Krampus Nacht.

 

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