We sat by the fire, each of us grasping our own weapons, listening intently to the wind howling outside the cottage.
He would come soon.
Mum looked at me, and grinned as she shook her rolling pin. She was always eager whenever the time came, said she loved fending off the evil that tried to enter the house. Apparently when she was a young girl her not-so-fortunate friend did not manage to prevent the monster from coming in, and when Mum saw that, she was determined to never let that happen to her.
Me? I wasn't so sure. This was my first time, of course. I breathed in, and clutched my golf club tightly as I remembered the legends passed down from each generation…
Every 24th December, at the stroke of midnight, evil fat men in red suits known as San Ta De Klausses begin their assault upon almost every house or dwelling in the world. Their mission? To spread their presents and ensure that at least one enters a house. If that happens, those gifts open up and that house experiences misfortune and weird things occur for the rest of the year. No one really knows why the Klausses do this every year, but what is sure is that if any gift box lands in the house, bad things happen. Cakes refuse to rise, the broom sweeps the ceilings, the food fights back, and door to door salesmen show up every day.
That's why it's so important NOT to let the Klausses into the house, and why we need to fight back, and exactly why I'm sitting here in front of the fireplace at 11:45pm holding an old dented golf club.
"Mum," I said, "since there's already a fire in the fireplace, then the Klausses can't enter, can they?"
"Oh you silly young thing. Klausses use their wind power to extinguish those fires, so they can slip in. They always get stuck halfway through, but they somehow they manage to get through in the end." She replied.
"You'll see," she frowned and looked at the clock. Midnight was nearly upon us.
My brother Alvin got up and stood a safe distance away from the place, cocking his shotgun and aiming at the fireplace. I gulped. The wind had suddenly died down, and it was as silent as a graveyard.
It began with a scratching at the top of the chimney. Faint at first, then it got more and more incessant and impatient in nature. Someone was coming in!
"HOHOHO! MERRY CHRISTMAS!" a deep, guttural voice echoed from above. Dust was beginning to fall from the top of the chimney and down to the fireplace now, which was getting weaker and weaker.
"Ah, I see you've got a wee fire going on. That can't do now, can it? Here it comes!" the voice chortled and a foul wind suddenly descended from above, extinguishing the fire immediately. I retched out of impulse, while Mum and Alvin wisely pinched their noses. Apparently a Klauss's "wind power" was not as pleasant as I had first thought it to be. This particular Klauss smelt of gingerbread cookies, garlic and tacos. Gross!
"Here I come! WHEEEEE!" the voice bellowed, and then I heard a loud thunk as something large fell through the chimney. A second thunk. Something had gotten stuck. An evil fat old man wearing a red suit getting stuck in a chimney was kind of funny, but then I remembered what would happen if he came in.
Wheezes and groans came from the chimney now, moans and strangely sexual noises (oh god I did not just think that) coming from them as the Klauss struggled to make his way down.
Alvin was already making his way forward, as he charged forth, put his shotgun up the chimney and fired off several shots.
Then the grunts and moans continued, as the Klauss made his way further down.
"Oh no," Mum murmured, "This one must be fatter than the others. An obese belly is the only thing effective against shotgun blasts."
Alvin swore and threw the shotgun down, then reached for a pitchfork. It seemed we could only wait for the Klauss to descend…
A cloud of dust spiraled from the fireplace, making us cough and wheeze. As it slowly cleared, Alvin and Mum struck up defensive poses with their weapons, anticipating the attack.
And then I saw him.
He was old and fat.
Yeah, that's not really much else to say, so if you were looking for a vivid description of the Klauss in his full pictured glory peppered with similes, metaphors and whatever literary devices, look elsewhere because you're not going to find it OH MY GOD HE'S ATTACKING!
The Klauss sprang at Mum first, probably because she was holding a rolling pin and that reminded him of Mrs. Klauss waiting back at their hovel. The wives never approve of their husbands going out so late.
With all the expertise of a veteran Klauss fighter, Mum dodged him easily and swiftly brought up her rolling pin, striking him on the head. But the Klauss simply snarled and jumped at her once more. This time, however, he managed to get a hold on her. The duo struggled, rolling on the ground.
"Mum!" Alvin yelled and jabbed his pitchfork into the Klauss's back, eliciting howls of pain from him. Unfortunately, it seemed to have little effect as he was now wrapping his hands around Mum's neck.
But she was more skilled than she seemed, as years of Klauss fighting had taught her well. Adjusting herself, she kicked him hard in the groin. The Klauss's eyes widened, his grip slackening on her neck. Seizing the chance, she pushed him off and delivered a karate chop right in his stomach.
The Klauss fell to the ground, winded and clutching his groin.
"OW OW OW OW OW! You humans…. are so going to pay for this!" he yelled, hopping from one foot to the other.
Alvin dashed forth and smacked him in the face with the pitchfork, then pinned him against the wall.
"You were saying?" he said.
Well, that was cool.
The Klauss suddenly grinned, and snapped his fingers.
High pitched yelps and shrieks came from the chimney, as a bunch of tiny creatures in ridiculously colorful outfits singing disturbingly cheerful Christmas carols came raining down.
"Elves!" Mum yelled and reached for her personal flamethrower.
I swung my golf club desperately across the floor, sweeping the tiny little creatures back into the fireplace. Even as I did so, tons of them continued to pour forth, overwhelming me.
"Stand back!" Mum yelled as she finished preparing the flamethrower.
A wall of crimson flame shot out as it engulfed the chimney, burning the tiny little elves to a crisp. They wailed and shrieked, but continued caroling nonetheless. The burnt smell of gingerbread filled the room as the dying elves sung their last line of "Jingle Bells".
In all the chaos, the Klauss had managed to escape from Alvin. He fled towards the chimney, and sneered at us.
"Time for me to go now. Merry Christmas and here's your present!" he chuckled, reached into his pocket and flung out a small red box at me.
"NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" I heard Mum and Alvin scream in slow motion as the red box went flying towards me. I knew if it touched the ground, we would have lost the battle.
Time seemed to slow down as the box continued whirling in the air. I raised the golf club, felt the cold steel sting my hand somewhat.
I swung outwards, felt it connect with the box and sent it right back at the Klauss.
Now it was his turn to scream as the box hit him right in the face, before exploding into a burst of candy canes and eggnog. He disappeared quickly under the sweet and sticky mess, reduced to a puddle of ooze.
"Well done! You did it! And your first time! Merry Christmas!" Mum yelled with joy and Alvin whooped.
I laughed along with them, and helped Mum incinerate the puddle of ooze (she said you could never be too sure).
Merry Christmas, indeed.