A few minutes into the longest night of the year, in the chill west wind, Ylva bent over the paddock fence with Hjalmar, a stable hand, plowing into her from behind.
The ponies snorted and snuffled through the snow, looking for grass, unbothered. Ponies fucked out in the open, after all. Ylva wished humans were more like that.
Hjalmar was one of Ylva’s more reliable partners in indecency, and he pounded right into that sweet spot so hard that Ylva saw stars.
“F-fuck, yes,” she whispered. “Harder!”
Hjalmar obliged, and Ylva’s vision blurred to sweet bliss.
Then, suddenly, he stopped and yanked her upright. “Someone’s coming,” he hissed in her ear.
That someone should be me, she thought.
Ylva and Hjalmar straightened their coats, which hid their state of undress, and leaned against the fence just as Hjalmar’s boss came around the corner of the barn.
“Allo,” he said.
“Allo,” Hjalmar replied.
The older man took his time sorting through the firewood piled behind the barn.
Ylva pressed her legs together, desperate for any sort of sensation. In response, her own wetness ran down between her thighs.
As Hjalmar’s boss started back in towards the barn, Ylva wiggled eagerly, eager to resume her activities.
“Aye, since you’re free, Hjalmar, I need yer help gettin’ the fires goin’.”
“O-Of course, sir.”
Hjalmar glanced back apologetically, then scurried after his master. With a little twinge of sadism, Ylva wondered how long he’d have to keep his coat on before he found a way to tuck his cock back in his trousers without anyone noticing.
She sighed, the puff of air trailing off on the wind. Ylva considered finishing what she and Hjalmar had started… but then a bell clanged from the town square.
Ylva grunted with frustration, then gave up on satisfaction and hasted towards the sound. The Krampus run would start soon, and she did not want to be late.
Ylva crunched across the snow and into the town square, sidling up to one of the basins of mulled wine simmering on a wood stove.
Baker Aki, a plump man with a full brown beard, distributed clay cups of the hot drink.
The cup was nearly in her hands before Aki narrowed his eyes and pulled it back.
“This is for the Krampus run,” he said.
Ylva turned to survey the crowd of men already drinking. They wore scraps of fur over their clothes and held homemade masks with frightening faces and long curved horns. Most of them were already totteringly drunk, with two of them pissing against a nearby building at that exact moment.
“They look like they’ve had enough,” Ylva said, “And I just wouldn’t want your hard work to go to waste.”
“Tch. Naughty child,” Aki said, but he handed her the cup with a wink, like she’d known he would.
“That’s their job to take care of, isn’t it?” Ylva said, blowing on the hot wine. She’d learned the hard way a few years back that Aki always served the wine so hot that if you took a drink too soon, you’d burn your tongue and taste cotton for days.
“Yet it doesn’t deter you from coming back every year,” Aki said.
Even from the time she was a toddler, Ylva had never been afraid of the Krampus run. She thought all the frightening faces were good fun. She liked how each costume was unique to the person who’d made it, even though they all represented the same character. Some looked almost like a real goat’s face, while others were exaggeratedly grotesque.
She’d made her own Krampus mask her seventh winter, pieced together with shed pony fur, old rags, and chicken bones for the horns.
Her father had smiled. Her mother had thrown it away. Ylva had never understood why only the men were allowed to have fun.
Every year, the brave children would dare each other to venture out during the Krampus run, then race away as soon as the men came near.
Ylva would dare the other boys to see how long they could spend in the middle of the crowd, where birch branches lashed and drunken elbows flew.
Her tenth winter, Ylva had emerged proudly with a black eye and a bloody cheek—winning a bet and losing permission to attend the run again.
Her eleventh winter is when Ylva learned how to sneak out.
Her fifteenth was when her breasts were coming in, and Ylva’s mother sat her down. Men do rude things to young women, Ylva. You have to be careful.
Ylva was not careful. They were rude, yes, but never cruel. And drunk enough to easily avoid.
Besides, Ylva liked the groping, the pushing, the birch branches flying—it was exciting.
As a man came up for more wine, Ylva scurried up the street in the direction she knew the Krampus run would start. There, a few teenagers and the bravest of the young children waited to see the start of the run.
Petrie was there, with his little brother hiding behind his leg.
“I thought you were old enough to be a Krampus,” Ylva said.
Petrie frowned and looked down at his brother. “The brat begged to come and Mama made me promise to watch him. The run is stupid, anyway. I don’t get why it’s such a big deal.”
“Tch. You must not be a real man, then.”
Petrie’s face went bright red as he correctly guessed at Ylva’s second meaning. “Maybe I do get it. You deserve a beating.”
“What are you waiting for?”
Petrie scowled. “Tch. You’re insufferable.”
“You seem to suffer me very willingly.”
“Ylva, I swear on—”
A horn sounded in the main square, and all the children went quiet.
Gudmund, the mayor, leaned hard on two of his friends and stood shakily on a box in the middle of the Krampus crowd. He cleared his throat, and the drunken men elbowed each other until most of them were paying attention.
“Odin, soaring through the sky on that mighty eight-legged stallion Sleipnir, brings blessings to the good and kind in spirit.” Gudmund slurred, but he gave the speech every year and knew it by heart. “But to the naughty and devious, another visitor calls…”
“Krampus!” cheered the men, putting on their masks.
“And we bring not gifts but…”
“Lashes!” they said, raising their twigs and branches high.
“Tonight, we Krampuses…”
“Run!” they jeered, turning the word into a threat as they started up the street.
Several of the children yelped, some with fear and some with excitement, as they turned and sprinted up the road.
The first stretch, they always ran together. Two blocks they’d sprint all-out, a clump of children and the mob of Krampuses behind them.
As they reached the edge of the village, a pair of Krampuses that had been lying in wait burst out of bushes on either side of the path.
Several children screamed with genuine fright, especially as the Krampuses lunged towards them and tousled the nearest children.
The children scattered, sprinting up every side street.
The ambush happened every year, so Ylva had already changed direction. The Krampuses also dispersed, and soon every street of the village was filled with yelps, screams, and growls as the costumed men chased the children.
Ylva slowed to enjoy a few lashes from the birch across her coat and stockings, then sped away again. It wasn’t hard to run faster than a drunk man, that was true, but Ylva was particularly fast.
One man noticed and chased after her in particular. She glanced over her shoulder, made a rude gesture, and picked up speed.
A block later, she glanced back, expecting to have gained distance—but he was even closer.
Excitement pounded through Ylva’s chest as she broke into an all-out sprint, weaving around several sharp corners that usually sent the men reeling. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw the Krampus leap over a low pile of firewood with all the grace of a real goat, and he stayed right on her heels.
She turned a sharp corner, then another into a narrow alley between two buildings. Even though it was nearly pitch black, she wove deftly through the crates and jugs of oil, then cornered hard and slipped into an even narrower alleyway. By the lack of thumping and banging behind her, she was sure she was putting distance between them. Smirk on her lips, she angled for the opening back to the main street at top speed—
Then collided with a furry chest, bouncing off and skittering back into the alley.
Ylva reeled, breath knocked out of her. It couldn’t be the same Krampus, could it? He’d followed her into the alley, she was sure of it. He couldn’t have known which exit she would choose.
But also, why did he smell so good? Her brief collision with his chest had smelled of musk and vanilla and pine, not the mulled wine and piss that usually clouded around the Krampus run—and the slightest hint of rosemary from her token.
With the light of the town behind him, he was just a silhouette. Without the details of the costume, Ylva didn’t have much of a guess as to who was behind the mask.
“Aren’t good young women supposed to be safe at home on midwinter’s night?” he said.
“Isn’t Krampus supposed to be frightening?”
“Tch. Quite a mouth you have, don’t you? You must be very naughty and give your poor mother and father all sorts of heartache. Especially one as pretty as you…”
Ylva’s heart gave a little jump in her chest. He didn’t sound like anyone she recognized from the village. A visiting relative, maybe? A merchant? Or a wintering hunter? Regardless—someone new. Someone exciting. Ylva stood, dusted off her coat, and crossed her arms.
“So what if I’m pretty and naughty? What are you going to do? Beat me?” She half hoped he would. But he’d have to catch her first.
“I think I might,” he said.
Ylva turned to run back up the alleyway, but before she could make it three strides, her feet swept out from under her and she landed hard across fur-covered legs, musk and vanilla and pine surrounding her again.
“How are you so fast?” She hissed, trying to turn to get a closer look. But a firm hand on the back of her head forced her gaze downward and sent a thrill down her spine. She wasn’t sure if she could get away this time.
With his other hand, he turned up her coat and pulled down her stockings, exposing her ass to the chill night air.
Ylva hardly had time to gasp before a birch branch cracked across her bare skin—harder than she’d ever been hit before. Her whole body echoed the pain, like she’d just plunged into ice water. But then something strange happened—her toes curled under, her fingers grasped at the fur beneath them, her back arched. It hurt—there was no mistaking that. But it also felt good.
The second crack of the branch forced a whimper from between her lips, and then, as her wince relaxed, a subtle tingling drifted up her spine.
“Have you leaned your lesson?” The Krampus asked.
“Unlikely,” Ylva murmured.
Pain burst from the branch again, even sharper.
Ylva yelped, whole body going stiff and then melting deeper into that strange tingling sensation. She wanted more.
The next hit made her moan. It was a dangerous game, making noises like that while in a compromising position, but the Krampus seemed to take his duty seriously, keeping up a slow and steady set of lashes.
Before long, that tingling sensation rose to envelop Ylva, and she lost count. She thought she might melt away entirely into that soft fur and that cozy forest scent.
Just when it was getting to be too much, when her ass was so sore that the sting barely subsided between strokes, the Krampus stopped.
Ylva floated for a long moment, every nerve glowing. A warm hand rubbed her ass, and she had never felt a sweeter touch.
And without the strike of the branch scrambling her brain every few seconds, she realized she was extremely aroused.
Ylva couldn’t help but wiggle.
“You’re not trying to escape, are you?”
“Fuck me,” Ylva murmured. She didn’t know who was behind the mask and she didn’t care—she just wanted cock. Now. She’d deal with the rest later.
The Krampus chuckled. “Well, you didn’t learn your lesson at all.” His fingers trailed down her ass and to her inner thigh.
Ylva trembled, and her breath caught.
His fingers cupped her cunt, just that light pressure sending sparks down every limb. Ylva moaned lowly.
“In fact,” the Krampus continued. “You seem to be enjoying this.”
Her cunt was so slick that his fingers slid easily in.
Ylva whimpered and moaned, unable to stay quiet. Fuck, that felt good.
“Hm, I smell a male on you. Not the first time you’ve bent over today, I see. Naughty girl.”
Before Ylva could think much about the strange choice of words, the Krampus’s fingers pressed hard against that special spot and Ylva’s vision turned to stars.
Slowly, maddeningly, he lightened and then pressed again.
Ylva trembled, yearning. “Please…”
“I guess you do have some manners,” the Krampus said. “But whatever are you asking for?”
“M-more, harder, please…”
“Oh do you mean… like this?”
She meant exactly like that, but could not say as much because she was too busy screaming with ecstasy. She couldn’t tell exactly what he was doing, but she didn’t care. He somehow hit both that inner spot and her clit at the same time, and she writhed with ecstasy. Her fingers curled in his fur again, her back arched, her cunt clenched.
And that familiar heat tightened around her clit.
“Don’t stop,” she gasped. “Don’t stop, I’m—fuck!”
Ylva screamed as she came, the throbbing waves of pleasure too much to contain in her body. He kept up the attention on her cunt, drawing out her orgasm far longer than usual.
As Ylva finally quieted in his lap, she noticed something hard throbbing against her stomach—almost certainly his cock.
But Ylva could hardly move. She was dizzy in the best possible way, tingling all over, whispers of pleasure still echoing in her cunt.
A warm hand cupped her ass again.
“No sooner have you taken your lashings than you’re tallying up new ones…”
Clawed fingers stroked Ylva’s hair, and she shuddered.
“You deserve a proper punishing. Maybe then you’ll learn your lesson… but not if you stay here. Only one thing to do about it, then.”
Ylva’s world upended again and after a rustle and a blur of lights, she found herself in darkness, surrounded by rough burlap. The unyielding fabric pressed her into a tight ball as she lifted off the ground, weight swinging and then settling against a soft cushion that smelled like candlelit forest.
“Oh, are you ‘kidnapping’ me?” Ylva asked, pushing at the burlap—but it hardly gave her any room to move. “Very clever. Are we going back to your place?”
“You could say that,” the Krampus replied.
Ylva counted his steps, listening for anything she recognized, trying to guess where in the village he was taking her.
But from the moment she’d entered the sack, she hadn’t heard anything. No children yelping, no men howling, no branches slapping against window panes, no fire crackling.
Only the hush of fresh snowfall, the distant hooting of an owl, and the soft breath of the Krampus.
Ylva must have been distracted, or spent longer over the Krampus’s lap than she thought, because the only other explanation was that the Krampus had in two steps gone from the alleyway to some place that wasn’t in the village at all.