"Mommy's home everyone!" a little boy no older than five yelled to his four other siblings. Johnathan watched in amazement as one by one Georgia's children came to greet her. The usual scowling face Johnathan always received for glancing at her had been replaced with one he'd never seen before. A warm, smiling face.
"MOMMY!" a pair of male twins said in unison.
"Hey mom." A teenage daughter added.
"Good to see you tonight mom." A tall teenager added.
Georgia smiled at her children and hugged and kissed each and every one of them. She held a bag in her hand, filled with what seemed to be fast food and small toys. The kids screamed in excitement when they saw this meal and toys.
"They get excited by the sight of something so small and puny..." Johnathan looked down to see "Terror" curled up near his leg. He bent down and began to pet the animal.
"Mister it's easy to see why they're happy. They have so little but they make up for it in family and spirit. I mean lookie there!" Johnathan looked up and saw the two twins sharing a single burger. The teenage sister offered her's to her youngest brother and the oldest of them stood smiling, an arm wrapped around his mom.
"Merry Christmas mom."
"Merry Christmas DJ." Georgia said. She hugged her son, a single tear dropping from her face. "Wish your little brother was here."
DJ nodded. "So do I mom. But Darrel does what he wants, ain't no point trying to convince him otherwise."
Johnathan sat there dumbfounded. "So why isn't her son here?"
The little boy shrugged. "I dunno. Maybe cause he'd rather be out partying it up with his friends, getting into trouble instead of spending time with family. You know cause Christmas is so wasteful and unproductive."
Johnathan's blood turned cold as he turned around slowly and stared at the boy. "What did you say..."
The boy shook his head and signaled his dog to come to him. "Nothing...just something my old man told me." At that moment something hit Johnathan. He had had a dog named Terror, those words the boy had just said were his words to his own son. The boy's face suddenly seemed very familiar to him, but he couldn't quite put his finger on it.
"Well this family is celebrating a Christmas, no matter how small." The boy stood up and held his hand out to Johnathan. "Let's go." Johnathan nodded and grabbed the boy's hand. Suddenly he felt his breath leave and his body beginning to disappear. In moments they were gone, flying at breakneck speed through the ears.
"Hey mom...you expecting someone?" DJ asked his mom. Georgia shook her head and opened the door. "Mom?" DJ asked, wondering why she was crying. He looked out the door and immedietly smiled. "Son of a gun..."
Darrel smiled at his brother and mom, a large bag in his hands. "Merry Christmas everybody."
Johnathan's head was spinning as they made a sudden landing. "Oh my head..." He shook his head and gazed at his surroundings. A large white house in a neighbourhood full of houses with numerous Christmas ornaments...with no ornaments.
"Geez mister, you really don't like Christmas do you?" The boy said. His dog howled into the air. "Hey mister you alright?"
Johnathan stood motionless staring at his own house. He made his way slowly up the steps and was about to knock on the door when he remembered that he could just walk through it. He took a deep breath and walked through. "Nancy?" he shouted. It was probably a waste of breath, seeing as he was some kind of spirit...thing. However the sound of sobbing caught his ears and he made his way slowly towards the kitchen. His widened a bit at the sight of his wife sitting on a chair crying, his two children at her side.
"Why did he just hang up?" she asked through tears.
His son shook his head. "I don't know mom. But I'm sure he just..got bad connection..or something."
The woman standing on the other side of Johnathan's wife shook her head. Her tied up brown hair reminding Johnathan of his own mother and her strictness. A strictness that was most hated by his daughter. "Jennifer..."
"Oh who knows with that old cow," she said. "He probably shut his phone off on purpose, being the mean guy he is. I mean after wiseguy here ticked him off..." Jason opened his mouth to protest but his sister cut him off. "Just joking little bro. But seriously mom I'm sure he's fine."
"I'm...sure you're right Jennifer," Nancy sniffed. "I just hope he's not hurt." The children embraced their mother who had broken into another sobbing fit.
Johnathan watched the scene, tears now dripping down his face. His wife was crying her heart out for him, a grumpy old man who didn't give a damn about Christmas.
"It was the only thing she wanted to celebrate dad."
Johnathan turned to the boy and then realized why he seemed so familiar. It was his son! It was his son, the resemblance very clear. "Jason..."
"She only wanted to celebrate one holiday as a family dad. And what do you do? Stay at work after hours, ask for longer shifts, say you're busy. You tell us all this and think it'll help. Well it doesn't!" Johnathan backed up a bit at the boy's sudden anger and his dog's sudden snarl. "Me and Jen gave up on you a long time ago but Mom still thought she could knock some sense into you. Guess it was a waste of time huh dad?"
Johnathan didn't know why but that speech by his son made him cry harder. "I'm sorry...I'm sorry Jason," He knelt to touch his son. "I only did it so we could have this house and a good education, and Terror." He turned to the dog and stared in horror as it seemed to go mad, foaming at the mouth. He jumped back and lifted his arms as the dog leaped. Before it got to him a gunshot sounded.
"Remember we had to put him down dad?" Johnathan stared at his son who was beginning to disappear.
"Jason wait-" But Johnathan was again cut off from what he was about to say, his body beginning to disappear into nothingness.