“Krampusnacht” sees Charles St. Cyprian and Ebe Gallowglass battle the demonic Krampus in London on Christmas Eve, 1920. It appears in the Miskatonic River Press anthology, Horror for the Holidays, available via the publisher as well as on Amazon.com and its international affiliates, and other online stores.
St. Cyprian set the generator in the center of the pentacle, and arranged the vacuum tubes at the corresponding points of intersecting triangles. “If you-com here Ozzy-if you stay within the pentacle, you should be safe.”
“Should be?” Rawdon said.
“It’s not an exact science, I’m afraid.”
“It’s not a science at all,” Gallowglass said, snapping open the cylinder on a Webley-Fosberry revolver and spinning it experimentally. She loaded the pistol with brisk efficiency, and then snapped the cylinder back into place.
“A good apprentice keeps her comments to herself,” St. Cyprian said, situating Rawdon beside the generator. “Don’t move, no matter what happens.”
“I was just pointing out the flaws in your reasoning, Mr. St. Cyprian.” Gallowglass rubbed her cheek with the pistol barrel.
“Duly noted, Ms. Gallowglass.”
Something banged loudly across the roof. Rawdon started, his eyes widening. “It’s here!”
“It’s been here for some time, Ozzy, scampering across my roof and testing the runes on the windows.” St. Cyprian flipped a switch on the generator and the vacuum tubes began to hum and spark. “Stay within the pentacle.”
“Soot,” Gallowglass said, simply.
St. Cyprian turned, loosening his tie and shrugging out of his coat. Soot tumbled down the chimney, and he could hear metal scraping against the brick. He strode swiftly to the fireplace and reached up, taking down the short-bladed sword mounted there.
Roughly two feet in length, and wide, the sword was a xiphos-a weapon that had been in St. Cyprian’s family for centuries, and had purportedly been carried by an ancestor in the Peloponnesian Wars. Unsheathing it, St. Cyprian swung it experimentally. It cut the air with a near-silent hiss and he nodded.
“Rag,” he said.
Gallowglass plucked a rag out of her back pocket and tossed it to him. The fabric was smeared with the juice of the holly bush. St. Cyprian rubbed the blade with it until the former was glistening. He sighted down its length.
The fire coughed and sputtered as chunks of brick and more soot fell into it. He stepped back, rolling up his sleeves. “I trust you took the proper precautions?” he said, glancing at Gallowglass.
“The bullets were prepared according to Alpine tradition.” Gallowglass cocked the pistol. “They should do the trick right enough.”
“Should being the operative word.” St. Cyprian frowned. “We only have to hold it until midnight. Then, it should depart.”
“There’s that word again,” Gallowglass said. St. Cyprian glanced at her. “Should,” she elaborated.
Smoke suddenly billowed out into the room, carrying with it a foul odor, like wet dog and rotten meat. The trio gagged as the smell swept over them.
And then, with a clatter of rusty bells and a shower of sparks, the Krampus erupted from the fireplace, howling like a lonely wind coiling through the Bavarian peaks…