Friday, December 24, 2010

Door 24

Jack bounced out from behind the Christmas tree and jumped onto his Grandson’s back. He kicked out at the Doorway, hoping to dislodge it, but Damien was too strong.

Jack yelled at Clarice to help him, but she cowered behind the tree. Their carefully rehearsed plan was breaking apart already.

As Damien swung Jack around, trying to fling him off his back, Jack caught a glimpse of Clarice. She was terrified. Her father still intimidated her to a state of fear; even after all he had put her through.

Damien grunted in frustration and ran backwards, slamming Jack into the wall. Jack was dazed, but held on. Damien slammed him into the wall again. And again. Jack lost his grip around Damien’s neck and slumped down the wall, with his body splayed against the floor and his head wedged at a painful angle against the wall.

“I told you to stay in your own time,” Damien said. “Why didn’t you listen to me? You could have ruined everything!”

“You’re making them sick,” Jack said, rubbing the back of his head. “They’re your own daughters.”

Clarice hid on the other side of the tree, searching by her feet to find something to throw at her father. She knew Jack would never be able to handle Damien on his own. And she had already let Jack down once.

“We would have been done by now if it wasn’t for you,” Damien screamed. “It’s your fault they’re still having to travel!”

Jack stood up and faced off against his grandson. Jack was about a foot shorter and 100 pounds lighter, but he walked directly in front of Damien.

“You can lie to yourself, but I know you better than that,” Jack said. “You’ll never be satisfied with what you have. You’re too greedy. You’ll just keep sending them until they’re too sick to travel. Or until they’re dead.”

“No. He won’t,” Clarice said. She reared back and threw an antique snow globe from the mantle beside the Christmas tree. It was heavy; made with a metal base and a real glass globe. The snow globe smashed into her father’s wrist and Damien dropped the charred Doorway. It landed with a loud thud to the floor.

The three formed a rough circle around the wooden calendar, bathed in the glow of the Christmas lights from the tree.

Jack knew this was his last chance. It was almost Christmas. He had to get the Doorway back home.

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