Cold Iron Christmas

Cold Iron Christmas cover.krampus

Six and a half years ago I stood by, shrieking, while a dark fairy transformed my then-boyfriend, Finn, into a hobgoblin. I didn't even try to save him.

“That’ll teach you, human, not to stare at what isn’t yours.” Then the fairy disappeared into a swirl of green and black dust along with its beautiful companion. The one I’d been admiring.

Before that incident, I was a foolish teenager who knew everything and dated bad-boys. I’ve since learned humans have nothing on the fae when it comes to bad.

At first, I rationalized Finn might enjoy his new life as a hobgoblin. When the imps came to collect him, I bid farewell with a minimum of guilt.

Three months after Finn changed, a pixie approached me. I tried to ignore her, as I do with all the little people. It was late December.

Finn isn’t the only one cursed. I’m one of those unfortunate humans born on December 25th to a mother with the same birthday. Seeing the fae is my curse. I see them sticking out their tongues, tangling Christmas lights, souring milk and tormenting small animals. If they notice that I notice, it gets worse. They love an audience.

The pixie glared up at me, tiny fists on hips. “Hey you. Wendy. I know you can see me. Finn told me.”


“How is he? Enjoying a life of carousing?” I laughed.

She shook her pretty blonde head and kicked me in the ankle. “Finn thinks far too highly of you. You’re an idiot. Not only is he miserable, but Krampus is about to make an example of him.”


The pixie gestured impatiently. “Cousin to St. Nick. You know, Santa. I assume you at least know who that is. Krampus is the black sheep in their family.”

Fairy tale, I thought, but wisely kept my mouth shut. Instead, I nodded.

The pixie continued. “Krampus is an ugly creep with cloven feet who likes to rattle chains and beat children with birch sticks. The imps help. He’s their king. In other words, Finn’s boss.”

“Oh.” I didn’t know what else to say.

“You got him into this mess.”  The pixie’s face flushed red. “You can at least try to get him out before they finish transporting him to prison. Grab something high in protein and come on. There’s no time to waste.”

Against my better judgement, I complied.

She led me down several dark, snowy alleys and I’d begun to fear a trap when we turned a corner into a dead end.

“Shhh.” The pixie held a finger to her lips and pointed into the shadow of a metal dumpster. “Our luck, the guards are asleep.”

Two portly imps clad in purple livery lay slumped and snoring against the brick wall. Less than a foot away, a hobgoblin wagon was hitched to a pair of black sewer rats. Their beady eyes roved and their twitching noses made me want to climb on top of the dumpster.

Cold Iron Christmas continues...
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Reddit
Pin It

About KT Wagner

1 3
KT Wagner occasionally ventures out of her writers’ cave to spend an hour or two blinking against the daylight, or reacquainting herself with family and friends. Several of her short stories are published and she is working on a sci-fi horror novel. She puts pen to paper in Maple Ridge, B.C., organizes more Ears Writers and an annual ghost story writing retreat. She attended SFU’s Southbank program in 2013 and The Writers’ Studio (TWS) in 2015.
  6 months ago · in response to Mitchell Toews

    I appreciate the read, Mitchell. Thanks and Merry Christmas!
  6 months ago
I will think of Finn and his new job when I nibble on some yeasty Christmas snacks this year. Thanks for a look at a nether world I knew not.

Poem of the Week

Dumb as a Box

Story of the Week

Bottom of the Ninth

Most Popular

Naked Girls In Cars

Poem of the Week

Dumb as a Box

Story of the Week

Bottom of the Ninth

Poem of the Week!

Dumb as a Box

Story of the Week!

Bottom of the Ninth

Dervish it