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    Happy music played loudly from the Greene family’s house.  Simon burped, bored, eyes closing.  It was the holidays.  Christmas was his least favorite time of year.  It reminded him too much of his father, who passed away suddenly on Christmas Eve.  The pair had been close.

    
His new stepdad, as of July, tried to connect with him.  Jim was trying to be kind to Simon, and trying to soothe the boy.  His father had died 6 years ago, after all, when Simon was 15.  But the bond the boy’d had with his dad was so strong that he still resented Jim.

    There should be some kind of Ghosts of Christmas Past thing going on here,
Simon thought bitterly, staring daggers at Jim and his mother, Vicki.  They looked happy.  It made Simon angry.  Why had his mother moved on and he couldn’t?

    
“Hey, Si, Merry Christmas.”  Jim lightly tossed him a brightly-wrapped package.  Simon caught it in his off-hand, startled.  Also?  He hated the nickame ‘Si’.

    
“What the hell?” Simon muttered.  “It’s too early to open presents.”  The Greenes never opened gifts until Christmas morning.

    
“Call it a special occasion.”  Jim exchanged glances with Vicki.  “Humor us.”

    
Simon ripped open the paper.  Underneath was a plain shirt box, which he opened carefully.

    
Inside was an old picture of Simon and his father.

    
“What is this?” Simon accused them.  “I already feel bad enough.  I don’t need the reminder of Dad tonight.”

    
Jim sighed.  “We contacted a medium.  If you go upstairs, he’ll meet you at midnight.  Your dad, we mean.  We want you to have closure.”

    
“Yeah, right.”  Simon barely kept from swearing as he stomped upstairs.  It was dark except for the twinkling white fairy lights everywhere.

    
“11:30,” he muttered as he shut his door forcefully.  It made a satisfying slamming noise.  “If my dad’s ghost doesn’t show up by 12:05, I’m moving out.”  He was only staying to help with the rent, anyway.

    Simon flopped onto his bed and grabbed his Kindle.  He started to read something historical, but couldn’t focus through the tears in his eyes.  It made him angrier.  He tossed his Kindle onto the pillow and buried his face in his arms.

    A familiar voice woke him.  “Simon.”  It was 11:59 pm.

    “Mmm,” he murmured.  “What?”

    “C’mon, champ.”  His dad’s ghost floated beside the bed, pale grey and transparent.  

    Simon sat up carefully.  “Dad?”

    “Hi, son.”  The shade hovered about six inches above the floor, adding to Gerry’s already impressive height.

    “Dad,” Simon repeated, breathing shallowly.  “It worked?”

    “Yeah.  But I don’t have long.  What’s wrong, buddy?”

    “Well,” Simon began.  “Mom--mom--”

    “Your mother and I had discussed a long time ago what would happen if I passed away unexpectedly.  I didn’t have much in an insurance policy, but--well, Jim was a good friend.  He promised to take care of you guys for me.  My heart wasn’t that healthy.  It wasn’t as unexpected as you thought.”

    Simon stared.  “Wait, what?”

    “I had congenital heart failure.”

    “Dad.  I was old enough.  You should have told me.”

    “There was never a good time, Simon.”

    “You should have told me,” Simon yelled at the top of his lungs.  Gerry winced and floated back a step or two.

    “I should have,” his dad said meekly.  “I thought I had more time.” 

    “That’s a bullshit excuse and you know it.”  Simon was shaking with rage and sorrow.  “You lied to me.  You never lied to me about anything else, but you lied about the most important thing of all.”

    Gerry slowly rolled his head from side to side, stretching it--an old habit from his living days.  He did it when he was nervous.  “I’m sorry, Simon.  I was wrong.  How can I make it up to you?”

    “You can never come back,” Simon snarled at his father’s spirit.

    “Simon,” Gerry said, taken aback.

    There was a long silence as Simon stared into the icy shade of his father’s green eyes.  “Come see me once a year, on Christmas Eve.  Maybe I’ll have forgiven you in a few years.”

    Gerry nodded, translucent eyes filling with tears.  “Whatever you want, son.  I can’t promise I won’t check in on you, but I won’t come see you except on Christmas Eve.”

    “Ok.  Great.  Thanks.”  Simon was shutting his father out.  He felt it.  But he didn’t care; it was too painful to deal with this.

    Gerry faded without another word, and Simon stomped downstairs.

    “Merry damned Christmas.”  He threw the picture of himself and his father into the fire and stomped back upstairs to think in the dark.
Untitled sort-of Christmas story
I am taking a creative writing group/class kind of thing until after the New Year, and this was what I wrote at group yesterday.  I thought I might as well put it up so my gallery wasn't completely empty.

Informal critique welcomed.
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I can't promise I'll be writing a lot to post here, because I write very slowly, and for publication only these days--this is mostly a watcher account :P Don't ask me why I don't re-up my old account.  This just feels right.

I hope you can forgive me, and still let me follow you.

Take care,
Cel
I'm just trying to decide what to post with this account.

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CelestinaStar
N. Celestina White
United States
Disabled writer. Spoonie. Chasing my muse with a coffee mug in my hand.
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:iconpiasecka:
Piasecka Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2017
Thanks for :+fav: :aww: :heart:
:huggle: :love:
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:icongiusynuno:
giusynuno Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2017  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I'm so sorry this comes so late, but Thank you so much for faving! It means the world to me:heart:
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:iconfenifire:
fenifire Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2017   Traditional Artist
thank you so much for the :+fav: :hug:
I'm so happy that you liked my work :happybounce:
:damphyr:
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:iconbluediscord:
bluediscord Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2016  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thank you so much for the favorite! Snowflake 
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:iconcelestinastar:
CelestinaStar Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2016
You're welcome! Beautiful work.
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:iconbluediscord:
bluediscord Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2016  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Huggle! 
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:iconseppukuu:
seppukuu Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2016
Thanks for the :+fav:! :)
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:iconcelestinastar:
CelestinaStar Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2016
You're welcome! :heart:
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:iconlaurana0607:
laurana0607 Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2016
Thank you so much for the watch :D
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:iconcelestinastar:
CelestinaStar Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2016
You're welcome! :)
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