Saint Nicholas’ Helper
by D.K. Thompson
Saint Nicholas looked just like he did in the picture stories: tall and thin, with a grand white beard that flowed to his waist. He wore a red-fur trimmed coat, a tall bishop’s hat, and clutched a gold staff. He smiled and said something, but Greta wasn’t listening. She hid behind her elder sister Heike and stared at the saint’s demonic assistant, Krampus.
A wooden mask covered the demon’s face, a wicked smile carved into it that did not shift. Krampus tilted his horned head, his black pupils focused on Greta through the eye slits. His dark coat of damp furs smelled of decay, and he was wrapped in chains that he shook at the children.
They’d come every year to her house, the saint and his assistant, but back then Greta’s father had been there to protect her.
Krampus brandished a long, thin switch and hissed.
Heike put a hand on Greta’s shoulder and whispered, “Don’t be scared. You’ve been good, right?”
About the Author
D.K. (Dave) Thompson is a good name to know if you spend any time around Escape Artists, Inc. (So is “California King,” or “Easter Werewolf”…) He’s a pretty awesome guy, even if he disparages pumpkin beer. He lives outside Los Angeles with his wife and three children. While he can tweet up to 175 characters, he refrains from using this power for chaos.
About the Narrator
MARIE BRENNAN is an anthropologist and folklorist who shamelessly pillages her academic fields for material. She is currently misapplying her professors’ hard work to the Victorian adventure series THE MEMOIRS OF LADY TRENT. She is also the author of the doppelanger duology of WARRIOR AND WITCH, the urban fantasy LIES AND PROPHECY, the ONYX COURT historical fantasy series, and more than forty short stories. More information can be found on her website, Swan Tower. The third Memoir of Lady Trent, VOYAGE OF THE BASILISK, was released in March, 2015.