Not A Creature Was Stirring

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
A sad spin off of Twas the Night Before Christmas

Submitted: January 13, 2012

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Submitted: January 13, 2012

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The man looked over at his sleeping wife. He thought about the information the private detective he had hired had given him earlier. She was cheating on him. He stared at her sleeping, thinking about their earlier days when they had been so happy together. He thought about their college days and how they used to be inseparable. Now she spent every second she could with anybody but him. The house was silent. He reached into the desk next to his bed and pulled out a bottle of vodka. He poured himself a glass and threw it back. He liked the way it burned down the back of his throat. He looked out the window. It was snowing outside. It looked peaceful. Like the entire world was asleep. He looked at his wife, and then down at the empty shot glass in his hand. He sat down the glass and picked up the bottle, taking a big swig.

 He felt his head get a little fuzzy as he walked into the hallway. He drank more, wanting to get the image of his wife screwing some other man out of his head. He stared at the half empty bottle, and stumbled down the hallway. His daughter’s room was the closest. She was 16. Being 16, she no longer wanted anything to do with him. She was constantly screaming that she hated him and that he wasn’t cool and that he just needed to leave her alone. A far cry from the little girl who used to come home from school every day and sit on his lap and tell him everything. She used to adore him. Now she took everything he did or said as either an invasion of privacy or a personal attack. It seemed that she no longer needed him. He opened her door and looked at her sleeping. Her room was dark, and he could hear her soft breathing. He sighed, and took another swig as he quietly shut her door and moved on to his son’s room.

His son. His pride and joy. He provided everything for him. Gave him everything he wanted. Maybe that was his problem. His son just sat in his room all day playing video games. He never went outside and whenever his father suggested he go play catch, all he got were complaints and blank stares. He had tried everything to get his son to be the person he wanted him to be. Nothing seemed to work. In the end, it seemed he just didn’t understand the boy. He shook his head, and then drank the bottle down to a third.

He continued down the hallway until he reached the stairs. He finished the bottle as he climbed down, clutching the stair rail so he wouldn’t fall. He reached the bottom, and turned left into the living room. There, by the blurry pinpoints of the tree lights, was a dark red figure, bent over the tree. He knew who this man was, and he stumbled to the couch and watched as Santa put presents under the tree and filled the stockings. He thought back to when he was a small child. Christmas had meant everything to his mother. She would spend all day cooking the meal, and would decorate the house so beautifully. She made sure that the day was special for everyone. The man glanced back at Santa, who was going back up the chimney.

Christmas had never been a good time for him, except when he was a young kid. The Christmas Eve when he was 12, his mother and father had gone to a Christmas party together, and his father had been drinking. His father refused to let his mother drive home, and they skidded on the icy road and spun until they were t-boned by another car. His father was fine, just a few scratches, and a sore back. His mother however was brain dead. He and his father sat by her side for a week, hoping she would get better, but in the end, they had to take her off life support. Since then, his father was never home, and Christmas became nearly nonexistent. It just consisted of him and his father sitting around the table, staring at the TV dinners his father had splurged for, and each pretending that the other person in the room didn’t exist.

 The living room was bright. There was a Christmas tree, lit up with what seemed like a million little stars. There was a golden angel on the top of the tree, and she seemed to look down on him, judging.  He gazed at the presents under the tree, and thought about all the time and money and effort that had gone into picking each gift. There were so many piled under the tree. He imagined each person’s face as they looked at their new whatever was inside, and felt slightly better. But judging from previous Christmases, they probably wouldn’t even acknowledge his hard work, and each would hole back up into their spaces and not talk to him.

He watched the fireplace. There was no fire. The only light in the room came from the tree. But everything was getting blurry. His bottle of evening pain meds came into focus on the desk next to him. He picked it up, staring at it. He opened it, and poured about 40 pills into his hand. He stared at it. He grabbed the glass of milk they had left for Santa, and downed the pills. The world became more and more fuzzy until all he could see was the light of the Christmas tree. And then that too faded as he drifted to sleep.

 


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