As if a giant bearded fat guy who wants you to sit on his lap isn’t scary enough…
I think every child who likes fairy tales is a tiny potential paranormal fan. Sure, some of those people grow up to become responsible adults who actually read all the Booker Prize winners instead of just their reviews in the Times, and speak Very Seriously about the economy and public funding for the arts. But for those who still remember the magic, I’d like to suggest an updated fairy tale for the holidays.
Now Santa has an evil twin!
A few years ago in Austria, I heard about Saint Nicholas’ evil companion, the Krampus. It was only a small leap to the villain in Don’t Touch, whose Krampus is a monster who literally feasts on the fear and terror he inspires in children.
When I chose the Krampus as the villain, I had to explain this monster and the traditions behind him. Christmas in Austria is not for the faint-hearted. While a familiar St. Nicholas does make the rounds, in many Germanic traditions he’s accompanied by his dark twin, a terrifying beast called the Krampus whose job is to punish—and even take away—naughty children. With his curling horns, long red tongue, and tail, the Krampus is enough to chill any heart. So of course, I decided he would make the ideal holiday fantasy story.
[Stop me if I digress. Just try…] I’d like to point out that I wrote Don’t Touch BEFORE the Krampus went Hollywood in last year’s awful movie. I haven’t seen the film, but from the trailer here, it looks like Home Alone Meets the Grinch in Amityville. Possibly NOT what you want the kiddies dreaming about instead of those sugarplums. I don’t know—I’ve never actually eaten a sugarplum, which the Oxford English Dictionary defines as “A small round sweet of flavoured boiled sugar”. Apparently no actual plums are involved, so maybe that scary movie would still be an improvement dreamwise… And anyway—by the time you’ve heard ‘Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer’ blaring from mall-speakers for the eleventy-nine-gazillionth time, you might start cheering for the Krampus too.
This is SO funny, I’d definitely recommend it. Lette (short for Roulette) Simoneau has a rare superpower. Each day, she has a new ‘touch’, which means that on a particular day everything she touches (with fingertips only) will turn into whatever her superpower has decided it will be that day. It might be jack-in-a-box toys, or roast beef sandwiches, or okra (that one made me laugh), or (hurrah!) diamond rings, or all manner of other things, including smells, or levitation. There are some real laugh out loud moments; it’s very clever and witty, and completely off the wall. Barb Taub, I am going to get another Null City book soon, as long as you tell me one thing – what are you ON, and if you have any left, can I have some??!!Totally bonkers, but in the best possible way!”—Terry Tyler Book Reviews “