Tyler wanted to go in the snow, but he was stuck at his home. It was an X-mas Night after all! His mother had spent the last night wrapping gifts for Amber, his six years old sister. Of course, he did not want gifts over some stupid Santa myth. At ten years of an age, he was grown up to understand how the whole concept of Santa was fake. Every year, parents would just try to be their sweetest self, pack some gifts for their children and tell them the fairy tales.
He had discovered the myth himself three years back. His dad took it too far when he decided to dress up like Santa and present the gift himself. It was an unfortunate night that killed his dad. Due to his oversized costume, he could not look at the toy car that was lying unattended on one of the stairs that led to his room. His dad has slipped over it and rolled back to the floor, bouncing and hitting his head in the process. Although, they had called for an ambulance, he had died on the spot. When the noise woke him up, he found his mother holding his dad’s head and sobbing relentlessly.
Sometimes, he contemplated that his dad’s death was his own fault. After all, he was the one who had left behind his toy carelessly on the stairs. However, with a few months in his muse, he began blaming X-Mas and the whole idea of Santa Claus. If it wasn’t for Santa Claus, his dad might have been alive.
He did not want to celebrate the festival anymore, but his mother was adamant, especially because Amber was too young to understand anything. He could smell the roasted turkey that was still being cooked inside the oven. Undeniably, he loved mincing the turkey’s meat in his mouth, but at the same time, he wished he was the one to kill it.
Two years ago, their neighbor’s cat had sneaked in their house. Tyler had found it lazing on his bed when he came back from the school. It was not the poop on his bed that had angered him; it was the broken photo frame that held his picture with his father. He had jumped up on the cat and caught it by its neck. Anger had surged in his veins and he had pressed his grip further, while twisting its neck. The cat had tried to escape his grip endlessly and even scratched the skin on his arms with its paws, but had ultimately given up.
It was his first kill and the satisfaction that it had given him was nothing like he had felt before. He had thrown the cat in their basement and pushed a table over its neck. When his mother had found the cat due to the dreadful smell of its decomposing body, she had informed their neighbors and everything was forgotten soon enough because it had died of an accident.
He had lost the count now. The best part about the whole thing was that he was not alone now. He had found like-minded people in his school from the senior classes who loved hurting animals. Together, they had also started bullying geeky kids. It was fun for them, but things had gotten out of hand recently when one of them had brought a butterfly knife with him. Although, the guy had not used the knife, Tyler couldn’t help but ponder how would it feel to slide that knife on a human flesh and slit it open.
“Dinner is ready,” his mother called and he could hear the footsteps of Amber running in the hall. No, she wasn’t hungry, but she was interested in finding out her gifts that Santa had left for her. “After we finish the dinner, we will go back to the X-mas tree and find what Santa has left for you this year,” his dad would tell him. The same fiction was being developed for Amber now.
They said a prayer before taking the first slice of the turkey on the dinner table.
“It’s delicious,” Amber said.
“Thank you honey,” his mother reverted with a smile. “Do you want some more, Tyler?”
“Yes please, I love it,” he said chewing the meat.
“I’m so excited for my gifts. I wonder what Santa will bring for me this year,” Amber said excitedly.
“There is no Santa,” Tyler mumbled under his breath.
“Tyler,” his mother called. “Can you help me with the dessert in the kitchen?”
“How many times have I told you to stay quiet about the whole Santa thing? Why do you have to make it difficult for us than it already is?” she said, the moment they were alone in the kitchen.
“How can you enjoy it so pompously when you know it was the same day dad died?” he blurted out.
“Do you think I don’t miss your dad?”
“I don’t know, but if anybody enters our home today, they can’t be sure,” he said blazing out of the kitchen. Her mother called after him, but he did not stop until he had entered his room and shut the door behind him. He felt wraith and to calm his nerves down, he opened the window of his room. As the cold wind rushed inside, he relaxed, holding his head in hand.
“We are going to the backyard to find out what Santa has left for Amber this time,” his mother called after a few minutes. He sighed. He was not interested. While he was cursing his mother, the lights went out. He looked out of the window and the entire street was dark.
He traced his steps back to the door and slowly climbed down the stairs. A light was emerging out of the door that led their backyard. “Candles! I might have to be a part of the stupid myth this year after all,” he thought while walking towards the door and opened it.
It was a pair of giant cat-like eyes, wrinkled animal-like skin and razor sharp canines that he noticed at first. The horrifying horned face was looking at him directly with a menacing smile plastered on its face. Tyler screamed at the top of his lungs, but that only made it crack into a terrifying laughter. Scared beyond imagination, he fell down on the ground and noticed the legs of a goat. He began crawling back, but it had bent forward and its hand had grabbed him before he could move anywhere far. The long pointed nails pierced his skin at several places while it tied Tyler to the chain extending from its waistband.
As it hung Tyler on his back, tied with the chain, he found his school friends being tied as well. They were screaming for help and crying out of their wits, but there was no one to listen. As Krampus stood up on his feet and began walking towards the exit of their backyard, Tyler noticed his mother and sister by the X-mas tree, opening the gifts. He shouted at them, but apparently they could not hear him or even see them.