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It’s a week before Christmas, and all the children anticipate the special day. Fun-filled dreams smothered with gifts and candy canes on trees—oh, how their delight grew.
Forty hours passed; it’s Christmas Eve at last. Time to visit grandmas—a dinner for eight, food galore, just waiting for us to devour.
We arrive at four, pour out of the car and knock on the door. Grandma hugs everyone, but papa sighed. He’s a mean old bastard with a squint in his eye and always destroys the day. Please keep this between you and me; if he finds out I spoke this way, I’ll end up with a broken eye. He’s a tyrant, all right.
After supper, we all sat in the living room. The fire’s flame burns bright from the cherry wood—what a wonderful sight. Charm and warmth fill the room as the Christmas lights turn the youthful faces red with delight; the winter’s night is below the freeze, zero degrees this December eve. Grandma asked, kids in lap, “My dear’s, what do you want for Christmas”? One child came back, without missing a beat, “a hot wheel, please, for me!” Grandma smiled with glee, singing, “We better wait for Christmas to see.”
We laughed and smiled back at Grandma. Out of the blue, another child spoke, “I need a Big Wheel. Yellow, red, and black to go real fast.” Grandma laughed, “Tomorrow, let’s see what Santa brings! Time for bed, it’s half-past ten.”
And in between the fun and joy, we glanced at papa’s face; the look of a madman gone wild, yet he held his peace. The children sensed the old bastard’s tension, but he didn’t react. Or so they believed.
Cookies and milk left on the mantel’s ledge. Off to bed, they went, fast asleep with dreams of Christmas peace. Then at the stroke of three, the bastard, drunk and obscene, entered their room like a disease. One by one, he did what he has done: another Christmas destroyed. They couldn’t scream but planned the deed; once they reached the age and the old bastard felt safe, retribution will reign. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. He does not recognize the rage they obtained from the abuse he did bring. And one day, Christmas justice will ring.
Until then, the children will wait to celebrate.