A Christmas Party from Hell
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A Christmas Party from Hell
“Tell me again why we’re going to this thing,” Trevor said, rubbing his hands roughly down his face as he sat there, praying that someone, anyone would call him with an emergency that would save him from having to go to this thing.
“Because it’s going to be fun,” Zoe said cheerfully for the benefit of their children who were all sitting in the back glaring at their mother for making them do this.
“I didn’t want to say anything, but,” Sebastian started to say only to pause with a heavy sigh, “I can’t go because this conflicts with my religious beliefs.”
The smile on his wife’s beautiful face disappeared and her eyes narrowed to slits as she slowly turned around to face her son. “You can’t go to a Christmas party at your school because of your religious beliefs?”
“Yes,” Sebastian said with a firm nod.
“You’re Catholic so how exactly does going to a Christmas party conflict with your religious beliefs?” she demanded.
Sebastian didn’t miss a beat as he said, “Because it’s stupid.”
“Because it’s stupid?” Zoe repeated, seeming at a loss when it of course made perfect sense to him.
“Yes, I don’t believe in attending things that are stupid,” he said with a straight face that made Trevor lock his jaw and avert his eyes from the rearview mirror, afraid that he’d laugh if he looked at his son right now and wrecking what appeared to be their one and only chance to escape this nightmare.
“I see,” Zoe murmured thoughtfully before she asked, “And do you believe in getting an allowance.”
“I’m a devout believer.”
“Then I suggest that you get your cute little butt out of this car, get in there, laugh, smile and be joyful or I’m going to have to abstain from giving you your allowance for the next ten years!”
“That’s sacrilegious,” Johnny hissed in outrage on his brother’s behalf.
“It is what it is,” Zoe said, opening her door and climbing out as he sat there, contemplating doing something that would probably end with divorce, but right now as he watched the stick thin janitor they were trying to pass off as Santa Claus walk past his car he was willing to risk it.
He glanced at the rearview mirror and met the determined gaze of his children and with a nod, they all agreed that the risk was worth it. He moved his hand to put the SUV in drive when Zoe opened his door, reached over him and pulled the keys out of the ignition.
“I’ll just walk home,” he said, determined to do whatever it took to avoid this party.
“You do that,” she said, stepping back and opening the back passenger door and gestured for the children to get out.
With their eyes narrowed on their mother, they did just that. Knowing that they were good and truly fucked, he climbed out of the car. For a minute he considered making a run for it, but he couldn’t do that to his children. He also couldn’t tell the kids that they didn’t have to go. He loved his wife and would never undermine her authority in front of the kids so he was going to have to suck it up and go, but not without making his terms clear.
He leaned down until his mouth was by Zoe’s ear and whispered, “After we put the kids to bed you’ll have five seconds to strip naked and get on your hands and knees with your ass up in the air to make up for this shit.”
“Fine,” she said with a shrug and what sounded like a smile as she gestured for the children, who were now including him in their glare, to go inside where a night of hell awaited them all.
“Please tell me that you’re kidding,” she said, rubbing her temples as she watched the Donna, the head of the PTA, nervously lick her lips as she took a cautious step back away from the table where up until five minutes ago, she’d been selling slices of pizza.
“I guess we didn’t order enough,” she said with a smile and a shrug as she gestured towards the long line of disappointed parents and children. “We weren’t expecting this big of a turn out so we only ordered a dozen pizzas.”
“I see,” she said, but she wasn’t really listening. She was too busy looking around, searching for something that would save them all, but unfortunately for everyone, all the baked treats and bags of stale popcorn had already been sold.
She stepped away from the line, trying to keep it together. She had to find her children and husband and get them out of here and to a restaurant before they ended up doing something that was going to get them another featured spot on the ten o’clock news. She glanced around the large cafeteria searching for her husband and children, but they weren’t here.
Trying to stay calm, she pulled her phone out and called Trevor, but thirty seconds later she was shoving it in her back pocket and freaking out a tad bit. She should have made sure they’d eaten before they’d left for this party, but stupidly she thought there would be plenty of food here to hold them over. She’d been wrong. So wrong…..
Forcing herself to act casual, she walked into the hallway and…….frowned when she realized that there was no one else in the hallway. She looked to her right and spotted all the abandoned carnival games that had had long lines of children waiting for a turn to win a piece of candy when she’d passed through the halls ten minutes ago. Now, balls, rubber ducks, Ping-Pong balls, candy wrappers, apples and Christmas ornaments littered the once busy hallway.
Swallowing nervously, turned to the left and found the same carnage left behind. An eerie feeling passed over her as she turned around to ask one the many people hanging around the cafeteria doors what happened only to stumble back and mutter, “Oh God, no,” when she spotted her seven year old daughter Jessica standing twenty feet away in the middle of the cafeteria……alone.
Somehow she found the strength to take those ten steps that would bring her back in the cafeteria. She looked around, but there was no one else. In less than a minute the nosy cafeteria had been abandoned, leaving her daughter and the remains of more than two-dozen plates of half eaten meals and snacks littering the tables and floors.
“W-what’s going on here?” she asked Jessica, doing her best not to show her fear, because as she’d learned from watching Dr. Phil and animal shows, showing fear was the quickest way to find herself in a horrifying situation with no way out.
“Nothing,” Jessica said with a smile as she walked over to her and took her hand. “Let’s go find Daddy and the boys.”
“Okay,” she said numbly as she allowed Jessica to turn her around and almost screamed a bit hysterically when she spotted her husband and boys standing in the hallway, all of them watching her and……smiling….they were smiling.
“Having a good time, sweetheart?” Trevor asked with a pleasant enough smile, but there was something in his expression that terrified her.
“Y-yes,” she said, swallowing nervously as she walked back into the hallway and as discretely as possible, looked around. “Where is everyone?”
“Gone,” Sebastian said ominously.
“The party’s over,” Mathew said.
“It was magical,” Johnnie added.
“I see,” she said as she allowed Jessica to lead her to the school’s front entrance. “Did you have a good time?” she asked hollowly, dreading their answer.
“Yes, mother,” they said as one, “we had a wonderful time.”
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