Months and months ago, I don’t remember exactly when, a call for tales inspired by Krampus for Burial Day Books’ sixth volume of their Gothic Blue Book went out across this wide writerly world.

Great glowing Christmas lights! I desperately wanted to write a Krampus story and, though I didn’t think I stood a chance, submit it. I had to try.

When faced with a submission call, one problem must be dealt with…the blank page, leaving the mind swirling with dark ideas and thoughts. So many. Too many.

My mind latched onto one thing, the final scene of the movie Krampus. I watch it every Christmas, and the last image of the family trapped in a snowglobe always delights me. Why did my brain like that so much? Because so much focus is on Krampus coming to get those naughty souls, but what about after?

What does happen after Krampus stuffs you in his sack and carries you away? A snowglobe? Or something else…

Images popped into my head: a burning Christmas tree, a house with crooked Christmas lights in a snowy world of gray, a dark castle, and that magnificent looming figure of Krampus himself.

So how to weave these pictures into a tale? One dark and creepy and Krampus-y enough to even have a chance to be accepted…

Ten-year-old Grayson spoke up, a story of lost hope and of a child trapped in anger, pain, and fire. He left me pondering. What happened to make him lose his Christmas spirit? What made this child stop believing?

Big life-altering moments leave scars and questions and a mess of emotions. Anger. Fear. An inability to cope. Leaving a need to react, but our actions follow us, haunt us, and any other choice disappears in the haze of those emotions.

Hurt overpowers love in Grayson’s story, and one simple action devours his hope and belief, calling Krampus to act.

Now Grayson is stuck on a path. One he chose. One he can never escape. If you want to know what happened…you’ll have to read “The Path”.

Here’s a wee tiny snippet lurking beside the gorgeous cover by Abigail Larson…

Go check out this book of Krampus inspired stories and poems. There’s 31…one for each day of December to delight your holidays. The best part is that my Midnight Society fiends Mary and Victoria have stories in this anthology too. From the writing, to submitting, to waiting, and finally to sharing the news that Krampus had accepted all three stories, this journey brought so much joy and lifted our little evil writing souls. *BIG HUGS* Their posts on how their stories came to be will post on the 3rd and 4th.

Thank you to Burial Day BooksCynthia Pelayo and Gerardo Pelayo…for this opportunity. I’m thrilled and honored to have my story in this anthology. I’m but a small skeleton in this giant graveyard and certainly happy to be here.

Cheers and nightmares,

Kathy