ricknrok Richard E James Ed. D, Ph. D

The Michigan Chronicles Explores Crypted creatures and other spooky events taking place in the State of Michigan. Before you read light up a nice fire and a hot drink in order to keep warm and remain safe from the things that go bump in the night.


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The Other Side of Christmas-Revenge of the Krampus

Michael Jones was out shoveling his driveway on a brisk winter night in December. His body ached and hurt with every turn of his shovel on the coldest day he could remember with not so much as a cup of coffee to warm him.Inside the house, his daughter Diana, was enjoying the warmth provided by a couple of blankets and heat from the furnace. She sat sprawled out in the overstuffed living room chair and played her favorite Final Fantasy game while she listened to her music blasting in her ears. She paused slightly when she heard the scratching and banging of the shovel against the door, and she experienced a surge of irritation.

Her father cried out to her from the porch, “Diana, could you please bring me out a cup of coffee, I'm freezing.” Getting no response from her he stops what he is doing and calls out again,“Hey, Diana, have you noticed me working out here in the cold and you can’t even take the time to bring me a cup of coffee?”

She adjusts her raven black curly hair around her perfectly chiselled faceseemingly belonging more to a Greek goddess than to a mere mortal. Diana, much like the Greek goddess Athena was spoiled and angry since birth especially by this interruption and declares, “How could I not notice when you make so much noise with your scrapping and banging? You know I spend most of my time studying schoolwork and don't have enough time to watch my anime or play my games.”

Michael just looked away turning his attention to the path he was cutting through the snow from the driveway to the porch deeply saddened over the verbal exchange taking place.Suddenly, an owl screeched out somewhere from the dark distant woodline which seemedout of place under a noon day sun. The screech was answered by yet another owl this one much closer. He looked deeply into the snow-covered barren woodline and wondered why they would be so active at midday. Then he remembered an old story his grandfather told him and withit came a twinge of fear. He turned his gaze upward and noticedheavy dark clouds forming and sliding across thesky followed by snowflakes falling and gently covering the ground. By the time he escaped into the house, the snow was comingdown harder coating the ground with a deeper layer of white.

Diana listening to her music ignored him as he began taking off his shoes and brushing the snow from his jacket.

Her father gathered his thoughts and asked, “Did you finish your schoolwork?” Trying to not create more interpersonal conflict.

“Yes, why do you keep asking me that? I need time to do other things besides schoolwork.”

Her father took a deep breath and counted before answering, “I just want you to get good grades and be successful in life.”

Diana looked back at him, considering whether to make an issue of it or not but then responded, “Dad, don't you think I am capable of completing my schoolwork? You are so annoying and never stop asking me those same questions.”

He turned to go to the kitchen to write and it seemed to soothe him and create a fortress of solitude but then an unwelcomed sound intruded. Water ran from the bathroom followed by another memory and an uneasy feeling. He turned off his computer and listened. He heard footsteps and scratching nails across a hardwood floor or was it just his imagination? He entered the bathroom and shook his head finding one of the taps half running and turned it off. He then went to the room of his daughter and opened the door but could not find any source of the noise. The temperature inside the house soon became a bone-chilling cold and outside the house, he could hear the owls. It was then that he realized it had returned.

When she entered, he had to tell her “Diana, we need to leave immediately it’s not safe. Pack a bag we are going to Saginaw.”

She argued with him in defiance, “Why are you being so mean to me? Tell me what’s going on.”

In a hurried desperation his words were returned pressured and loud, “Why can't you just listen and do as I say just this one time before something bad happens.” Micael then looked cautiously around the room and changed his tone and volume whispering,“For God’s sake, don't raise your voice it draws them in.”

Diana again in defiance screams back, “Them who? You're just making up a story…I hate you.” Hissing the words at him like a cobra ready to strike.”

Michael suddenly became haunted by images from his childhood and his grandmother Minnie who had become a prisoner in her own home. He remembered how he was invited over to the home in Ruby, Michigan when he was about ten, and his grandmother showed him something he would never forget.

“Michael, get ready I have something to show you at the church.”

He was not sure he wanted to know but he rode with her across the dimly lit dark gravel roads to St. Joseph’s on the edge of the village and into the old musty church. To his surprise, once inside she locked the heavy doors and dragged himto a pew where he shivered as he looked up at the stained-glass window in front of him depicting a priest in spiritual combat with a demon.

The creature appeared small but terrifying, surrounded by a halo of flames that seemed to stare at him. Minnie sat next to him and whispered in his ear, “Its name is Krampus and it followed our families here from Europe. “In its true appearance it has red shaggy hair with horns and a fork like tongue that it thrusts in and out like a snake. It's half demon and half-goat and beats naughty children, devours them, and has the power to take their souls to the pits of hell. It gainsin size by feeding on fear, sometimes it's a tiny imp and other times a monster. It has the ability to shapeshift and masquerade as other spirits like Santa Claus of Boggarts. It has persecuted generations of your ancestors and you need to remain vigilant of what's in your surroundings.”

Michael was frightened to death and he never forgot. By November, Minnie's tale took on life when bruises started appearing on his mother's arms and torso until they merged into a mass of purple and blue welts. Soon after she was having difficulties moving around, secluded herself like his grandmother, lost her sight, and became a recluse.She spent her last months of her life in a state hospital dying mysteriously while asleep and quickly cremated. Even now, Michael still dreamed of the demon in the church window. Sometimes he saw the krampus opening his bedroom door in the middle of the night– a bent, crooked thing dragging chains and holding a hammer in its clawed hand.

He suddenly realized that hours had passed him remaining deep in a trance when he suddenly was jolted and awakened by Diane,“I heard something scraping at the window – it sounded like fingernails.” She shivered. “God, why is it so cold? I’m freezing.” Just then turning to look out the backyard window and glaring into the limbs of their maple tree she saw a barn owl glaring back at her with its glowing eyes. She sensed the presence of something more, somewhere deep in the woodline a creature was also watching.A much more malignant presence was hidden out of sight but staring intently back at them making faint clicking noises.

The creature had an earth-brown face, hairy body and nails like knives, horns on the top of his head that made him resemble a half-man, half-goat absurdity. His form appeared ancient anddemonic framed in the falling snow shefought the urge to bolt and run.It was gone in an instant, but she caught a glimpse of its pointed ears and discolored teeth so frightening she could barely breathe and she grabbed her father and ran out of the room for cover.

Her father pried open her grip and said, “Let me take a look at your arms.”

They both gasped at the small round wounds on her arms as if she had been beaten. “I don’t know what caused these. I didn’t feel or do anything.” The significance of wounds brought tears to both their eyes. “I’m so sorry, Dad.”

Michael shook his head. ” It’s the Krampus” his tone losing all emotion and his volume lower as he whispered, “Itfound us, the last of the Krampus. They are relentless and never give up, never.”

She gripped his hand for the first time in complete fear. “Is it dangerous?”

“It’s more than dangerous its deadly, despite its size. A Krampus is jealous and they feed on anger and conflict but it makes them angry too.”

She was terrified. “That scraping at the window it was trying to get into my room.”

Michael bolted to her room, his daughter close behind. He cautiously opened the door and they saw the scratches carved into the wood.“See, it has a long nail on each hand, sharp like a knife and when it attacks, it goes for the eyes first.”

Outside, the wind was strongly blowing and the snow was starting to fall hard.

Diana asks, “Have you seen – a Krampus?”

He shook his head. “ No, but my grandmother told me that they always carry an axe anduse a bag of clay to blind their victims. When cornered, like any wild animal they fight harder and seek vengeancefor any perceived wrong. When they're around the temperature inside becomes freezing cold which causes them to always seek warm places and they like the sound of warm running water. They have their own eyes but also see through the eyes of owls.

Diana asked in desperation, “So what can we do?”

“It will only leave if it gets what it came for – something it covets, but if it does not like the offering, suffering and death ensues.”

Diana crying says, “So what does it want from us?”

“I don’t know, it has plagued our family for generations and followed us from Germany to the United States. We have never known what it wanted but we do know itis drawn to screaming and chaotic situations.”

“That’s why it attacked me, because I lost my temper with you.” Rubbing the wounds on her arms she said, “I know what it wants, it’s me and I have the perfect gift.”

Michael screamed, “No! We need to go now.”

“Dad please trust me, I got this. Everything will be okay.” Diana turned in an instant and ran outside and disappeared into the night with courage and faith. Despite Michael’s desperate search, she was gone. In the meantime somewhere in the woods she never seen it coming but it was there in an instant ready to take its gift of death. However, what the Krampus found was totally unexpected, it was a 19-year-old girl with a pure heart, clean conscience, and a pure soul. A girl who had so much to share with the world and for the first time the freedom from family trauma to share it.

Daylight broke, after hours of searching Michael finally found Diana sitting silently on the back porch and cried in relief, “What happened and what did it want?”

“When it saw no anger left in my heart it returned to wherever it came from,” she said. “Just like most of us all it ever wanted was to experience love.”

There are many emotional tragedies and traumas that happen in this world. Through hope, faith, and resilience we can all overcome the events from the past that plagues us. Through love, we can leave the world a better place than what we found it.

25. Dezember 2023 08:14 4 Bericht Einbetten Follow einer Story
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The Arts Inc. The Arts Inc.
It is very good
January 10, 2024, 10:47
The Arts Inc. The Arts Inc.
Please continue
January 10, 2024, 10:47
The Arts Inc. The Arts Inc.
Good
January 10, 2024, 10:47

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