The cold now on my bare feet, trying to melt beneath me. My lungs trying to get air as I run, my breath trying to steady. I end up hitting the tree branches on my way to safety, looking behind me every so often; it was still coming after me. One wrong step and I fell, hearing my own heart race as the monster screeched. How did this happen?
I was at my family's cabin, the place where we always went for Christmas ever since my grandparents died in a car accident a few years back. We came to the cabin to feel a piece of my grandparents since the cabin was theirs. It was a way to connect with them. I didn't see a problem with it. I loved being in the memory of my grandparents. The only thing that I hated was that the cabin was the only thing around for miles, and we were the only things out in the forest, or so I thought.
It was the 23rd of December. The wind was blowing hard as I sat on the couch, listening to the fire crackling in the fireplace and faintly to my mother humming as she made dinner. I watched the Christmas tree as my father put presents under it. The weather hasn't been this bad for a few years now. On our way here, I saw the sky, seeing dark clouds coming over us. Mother said that it was snow clouds and that she was excited for a white Christmas this year.
My father stood up, turning on the tree lights. He stepped back and sighed in awe. He then told me that he was excited to see what tomorrow might bring and smiled. My mother called us for dinner, and my father patted me on the shoulder, then walked to the kitchen. I didn't move. I had the worst feeling. The feeling that I should be scared.
I tried as quickly as I could to get up, and once I did, I tried to run, feeling sharp pain down my leg, my body telling my brain that I was injured. I used the nearby trees to help me walk, knowing that was a bad idea. Not even a second later, I looked behind me and saw its red cloak in the light of the moon. I felt it, the feeling that I was already dead. I tried to run and think of it I should attempt to climb a tree, but then I felt it, its claws on my back.
After dinner, we all went to bed. Once we all walked upstairs, I hugged and kissed them goodnight. I walked into my room and closed the door behind me, sighing. I could hear the sound of the tree branches tapping on the window. I quickly changed and got in bed.
I couldn't sleep at all; I wasn't even tired. I just laid there and listened to the tapping on the window. For what felt like forever, I closed my eyes, my body trying to relax. Thump, what sounded like a heavy crashing sound appeared from the roof, jerking me to sit up and stare at the ceiling. A scream from my mother vibrated throughout the house. I moved my blankets and got up, running to my parent's room.
I thought it was my mother having night terrors again. She always has them around this time of year since her parents died. But when I opened the door, I saw a figure standing at the bottom of my parent's bed. It was wearing a long red cloak with white fringe on the ends of the hood and the bottom of the cloak. It had horns like goats, but they headed three feet long towards the ceiling. I could see its feet, goat feet. It had glowing red eyes and an animal face. Its arm was out holding my father by its neck.
My father whispered something that I couldn't make out. The creature looked at me and slowly growled. Then my mother, who was still safely in bed, yelled at me to run. I did and as I did, I heard the sound of liquid popping and a body dropping, another scream from my mother being silenced. Another big thump on the roof, following me throughout the house.
I ran down the stairs and flipped the light switch. I thought that maybe it was a dream, a nightmare, but the lights didn't come on. I ran outside and into the forest, a cry from the monster filled the trees and my ears. It wanted me, too.
I screamed. Its claws were sharp but they weren't in my skin. I pulled away and continued running. I made it out of the trees, tripping over a log. I landed on my back, pushing myself up on my elbows, trying to find it. It wasn't there; it wasn't in the trees. I dropped myself, trying to catch my breath. Then I heard shoes clicking together next to me. I turned my head, seeing its feet inches away from my face.
I looked up at it, seeing its eyes looking at me. Rump, an item it dropped landed on me. I picked it up off my chest, feeling the thick chain freezing. I looked at it. It was a tree engraved in a gold-colored pocket watch. It was my grandfathers. When he and my grandmom died, my mother wanted it. She wanted it to help keep their memory. They didn't die in a car accident, it killed them. Water filled my eyes, the tears running down the temples of my face. I tried not to make any crying noises. I thought that if I didn't, it would think I was dead and leave me alone. It kept staring at me for a few minutes, until it walked away, sat under a tree a few feet away from me, showing its body, covered with fur. I closed my eyes. I wanted to die.
It was Christmas. I opened my eyes to see it snowing. It was very bright outside, birds were singing, and I saw birds flying over me. They looked like vultures. My legs were cold and so were my arms. I looked over at the creature to see that it was still looking at me. Now that I saw it in the light, it now no longer looked scary. I saw wild animals around me, like it killed them, not to eat them, but because they were a danger to me.
I placed my arm out to him. His cloak looked so warm, his fur too, and after saving me from the wolves, the least I could do was thank him. The creature stood up and walked to me, kneeling by me and pulled me to him, putting his cloak over me. For a mintues, I didn't do anything, just looked at him. I then pulled my arm out and placed it on his face. He leaned into my hand, closing his eyes. He was comforted. For the first time in days, I smiled. A light from a reflection caught my eyes. I looked and saw that he was wearing a tag. With my other hand, I felt it, trying to read it. His eyes opened and he looked at me. I read the tag and ran my fingers over his engraved name.
"Krampus," I whispered, looking back at me.
His eyes stayed focused on me. I felt words on the other side of the tag. I turned it over to read: OWNED BY KATHERN. I looked back up at him, seeing him smiling. I was chosen. He belonged to me. I felt the air on my toes, seeing us get higher and higher in the sky, he jumped.
He didn't try to kill me. He was trying to save me. He came after me because he knew that he belonged to me. He only killed my family to get to me, to know where I was. This was my new life, with him. I felt the pocket watch on my torso and I grabbed it. I pulled my hand back out and dropped it, letting it go, falling back into the trees. I left behind everything that was left of my old family.