Heather felt a tug on her necklace. It pulled her down a dark tunnel. She took a deep breath and tried to quiet her racing heart. Finding Sean and Maddie had to be her only thoughts. She didn’t have the time or energy to be afraid.
She suspected this had something to do with Sean’s secret. Not that he had ever told her there was a secret, but she had secrets of her own that went back to when they first met.
Why she hadn’t told him, she didn’t know, but it made no difference now. The secrets finally caught up to them and dragged Madison down with them. Yes, she knew what she had to do. She needed to find her father, needed to end the blackness. Madison wasn’t prepared to battle the blackness her secret created. How could she convince her father to put an end to this feud and forgive her for running away with Sean?
She stepped out of the tunnel into a darkened room. A large picture window stood across from her, framing a tall, broad-shouldered man, her father.
“I’ve been expecting you.”
“Why now, Father.”
“Because, the time has come for you to take your place in the family.”
“What about Sean and Madison? They’re family too.”
“That man you married in defiance of me can never be one of the family. He isn’t worthy. And your daughter, there may be some hope for her if we get her away from his influence.”
“That will never happen. We are a family.”
“Then you leave me no choice. They must be eliminated, so you can assume your place.”
“How can you be so cold? She’s your granddaughter, your blood.”
Her father stepped toward her. “She also has his blood. If that cannot be overcome then it must be destroyed.”
“That is not something I can accept. I love them.”
“That has always been your weakness. I had hoped by now you would have outgrown that, but I can see you haven’t.”
Heather turned back to the tunnel. “I won’t let you destroy them.” She thought of the photograph laying on the floor and the presents under the tree. “And I won’t do as you say.” Heather stepped into the tunnel.
“Walk through that tunnel and you are no longer welcome in this family.”
“That’s fine with me. If you cannot accept my family, then I want no part of you and your black legacy.”
Heather removed the necklace, dropped it and stomped on it crushing it under the heel of her boot. Her father screamed as if in pain and a flash of light filled the room.
She closed her eyes to block the brightness. When she opened them she was back in her living room, her father’s screams still echoing in her ears.
Madison looked up from the map. “Dad, why is it darker over our house? Who was that man Mom was talking too.”
Sean kneeled down and hugged his daughter. “I don’t know baby.” He looked imploringly at his father.
Santa shook his head. “Like you Heather has secrets and until you can be honest with each other, there is no hope you can save Christmas and the world.”