They’d all gathered for the Festive occasion, it wasn’t a usual get together for them, they weren’t the closest of families, they only got together during events like Christmas and birthdays. No one really wanted to be there, they all had other places they’d rather be.
There was Dad, at the head of the table, bored with life, would have preferred to be at home staring at his TV screen watching re-runs of anything than sitting at the head of the table acting like he in some way leading the family as it’s figure head. He was wearing a bright blue Hawaiian shirt with matching shorts, the clothes his daughter-in-law insist he wore for reasons only known to her, thongs on his feet and a gaudy Christmas Cracker hat that barely fit his grey haired head.
To Dad’s left was Jenny, daughter-in-law number one (only because she’d been around the longest), married into the family 25 years prior. Jenny wore a bright pink floral summer dress, the perfect dress for the warm Australian summer, only it was at least three sizes too small and too often bulges of flab crept out of the dress. She wore a red Santa hat with mistletoe stuck to it and the words, “Kiss me 3 feet under the mistletoe.” written on the fluffy white brim.
Headed around the table and next to Jenny was Peter, Jenny’s husband and eldest son of Barry and Dianne. His long hair dropped half way down his back covering most of the full coverage back tattoo which he insisted on showing off by not wearing a shirt on any day over 27 degrees. His four day growth which he pretended was a beard was made worse by the grey tinges running through it and his three missing teeth just added to the wonderful image that was a middle age man not embarrassed by looking like a bum.
Then there was the twins, 18 years old, their first Christmas as adults, their first Christmas where they were allowed to have alcohol with their meal. Of course Grandma Dianne didn’t agree, she was a non-drinker and thought all people should be like her but Adam and Adrian thought they deserved their beer just like their Dad often said he deserved a beer when he got home from the dog races. Both boys thought the world owed them a better deal than they were getting and both boys blamed everyone but themselves for not getting it.
Sitting next to the boys was Sam, daughter to Jenny and Peter. Sam was 16 and had spent the hour prior whining to all who would listen, and those who wouldn’t, that it was unfair that the boys got to drink and she didn’t. Her whole argument was based around the fact that she was more mature. Although her whining to have some may have indicated she wasn’t as mature as she thought she did have enough decency not to mention how much she disliked sitting next to her grandmother.
Then of course came Dianne, grandmother of 5 and wife to Barry. Sitting at the opposite end of the table to her husband because they disliked being close together Dianne constantly had one cigarette burning in the ashtray in front of her. None of the family appreciated Dianne’s smoking, or her drinking of scented tea which made the cigarette smoke even worse, but they were all powerless to stop her and the room had a smoke cloud hovering above the table.
Rounding the corner and coming down the other side of the table the family unit started with, Ben, youngest son to Barry and Dianne, moody, tired and recently diagnosed with the debilitating Hypochondria. Although that’s not exactly what he’d told his family when they asked about his latest health scare, preferring instead to tell them he had leukaemia. He was a class act and someone who’d spent most of his life trying to convince doctors there was something wrong with him.
After Ben there was Destiny, 10 year old daughter to Ben and Sharon, her only fault was being born to the wrong parents who did love her but had absolutely no idea how to raise children.
Sharon was the last of the family sitting around the table, despite the heat of the day Sharon chose to wear a flannelette shirt and jeans which a pair of knee high leather boots tied all the way up to their top eyelet.
There was one empty seat at the festive family gathering, that seat belonged to Hope, four years old and sitting smack bang in the middle of the table with the 12 inch carving knife in her right hand. The knife dripping blood on to her beautiful pink and white Barbie dress which she’d got only hours before.
Hope sat in the middle of the table with a huge smile on her face not fully realising the impact of stabbing each and everyone one of her immediate family and leaving then sitting in their Christmas chairs, in their Christmas best, leaking blood into deep red pools on the floor under each seat.