Krampus was bored. He leaned back on his throne and cleaned under his claws. Looking around his chambers he noticed the cobwebs in the corners and the dust on the chains. He let out a loud sigh.
"Archibald! Archibald, come in here!"
An old man slowly walked in to the chamber.
Krampus waved a taloned hand around in the air, "This place is filthy. Did you notice how filthy it is in here?"
"We are doing our best, sir, but we haven't had a lot of help in recent, well, decades."
Krampus sighed again, "Don't you think I KNOW that?" He rolled his fearsome eyes. "We need to make Christmas Great Again!"
Archibald shook his head, "You've been watching American television."
"What else am I supposed to do? This should be my busiest time of year. I ache to get out there and do my job. But here I sit. Bored. A FEAR DEMON SHOULD NEVER BE BORED!"
Archibald reached out a hand and patted Krampus' scaly knee, "I know. It's not the way things should be done. Have you talked to Nick? He might have some ideas on how you can spend your time."
"Nick? NICK? That sellout. He let them turn him into a joke. An elf for goodness sake. They call him a jolly old elf. He's as much of an elf as I am."
"But at least he's not bored."
"Oh I bet he is. I bet the whole factory is bored. Nobody wants simple toys anymore. They haven't made a handcrafted toy in his shop in almost a century. He doesn't even maintain the lists anymore. At least he used to do that. Though I haven't been able to do my job with them for way too long."
"He still gets around. He gets out and about. I think that is what keeps him from being bored."
Krampus rolled his eyes again. "I'm telling you he is bored. That's why he goes out and does those mall gigs in those ridiculous outfits. At least that way he can pretend he's doing his old job. But it's not like anyone is hiring for me. The one time I tried to do that parade in Germany they turned me away for being too scary looking. 'Krampus is in good fun,we don't want to actually terrorize the children.' NO we do want to terrorize them! That's what I'm all about! When one or two children a year disappeared in to my bag everyone was much better behaved." Krampus looked at the dust again, "And my house was much cleaner."
Krampus got up and started pacing. Archibald knew what was coming next. The coal lecture.
"It all started with the coal!"
Archibald knew his part, "The coal, sir?"
"Yes! The coal! The early warning sign for children to straighten up and fly right. You get a lump of coal in your stocking instead of a toy and your parents knew that you better have a better year next year or I was coming to visit. But no, these modern parents wouldn't hear of that. They saw a piece of coal in a stocking and tossed it out! Not their sweet little Johnny or June. No way. And now it's even worse. You give a kid a piece of coal and they will be on the local news talking about how Santa bullied their little brat. YOUR CHILD EARNED THAT COAL."
"And then they decided that a simple wooden toy, painstakingly hand crafted I might add, wasn't good enough so they started buying expensive things and slapping Nick's name on them. Okay, I'll admit the first time it happened I laughed. The look on his face was priceless. But then when they ignored the coal warning..." Krampus shook his head slowly.
"Yes, sir, it's a real shame."
Krampus walked over to the hooks holding his chains and his bag. "I haven't been able to collect a deserving child in so long I am not even sure I remember how."
"Oh, sir, I am sure it would come right back to you. Like riding a bicycle."
Krampus held his clawed hands out toward Archibald, "Not a skill I ever picked up."
Krampus walked back over and flopped down on to his throne, "I guess we need to call the Merry Maids again."
"Yes, sir, we should. And, sir?"
"Yes, yes, I know, no scaring the help or they charge double. Soft. Everyone has gotten so soft."
"Yes, sir, they have. Shall I bring you some cocoa?"
"With the tiny marshmallows?"
"Of course, sir. And The Nightmare Before Christmas is on tonight. I know how much you love that movie."
"Thank you, Archibald."
"Of course, sir."
Krampus leaned back and resumed cleaning his claws. He was just so bored.