Letters to Santa Challenge fic #2: 12/12/01
Fandom: The Crow: Stairway to Heaven
Rated: PG-13 for dark themes and violence

All I Want For Christmas
by Cyberkat

Dear Santa,

I can't believe I have to write this dumb letter for English class. Mrs. Simmons must think we're all still a bunch of little kids or something. Give me a break. But we're getting graded on our letters for punctuation and stuff, and Darla says I gotta do my homework. And since she's sober now, she actually checks to make sure I do it. So I guess I'll have to write it. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to say, though.

I never did this before, and I'm kinda lost here, so bear with me, okay, Santa? Darla says even when I was a little kid I never really believed in all that stuff about you coming down the chimney or flying reindeer and all that garbage. She says I'm thirteen going on forty, whatever that means, and too cynical to put much stock in miracles and holiday magic.

She's wrong, though.

Okay, so maybe I didn't use to, but I do now. Maybe not in Christmas-y, Santa Claus-y kind of miracles, but I do believe. Only mine didn't happen on Christmas. It was on Halloween, when Eric came back.

God, I'd missed him so much, you know? So much it actually hurt like I was having a heart attack all the time, like a giant hand had reached right into my chest and was squeezing my heart until it felt like it would explode. Him and Shelly...They were the best. They were my friends and I loved them like...like family. More even, 'cause back then Darla was still more interested in getting to the bottom of her latest bottle than in what I was up to or with who. I mean, homework? Yeah, right. She barely noticed when I was at home, much less whether or not I did my homework when I was there.

Shelly kinda took me in. She and Eric let me hang out with them, like I was their kid sister or something, and it was really cool. Shelly took all kinds of great photos and Eric had his own band. And they both just really liked me, you know? Like they thought it was worth the hassle to find out if I was eating three meals a day and where I was spending the night. Just stupid stuff like that. But it felt...Anyway, I guess I just kinda liked it. It wasn't like at home. It was great.

And then they died.

They died, Santa, 'cause some stupid assholes broke into their apartment and murdered them both. Not 'cause they did anything wrong like dealing drugs or robbing gas stations or something. They were at home minding their own business. And they died.

It was really awful, too. They threw Eric out the window--sixteen stories straight down to the street--and what they did to Shelly...Well, I still have nightmares about that. And then I spent the worst year of my life. Alone.

Oh, sure, Darla was there, but she wasn't there, if you know what I mean. She had her bottle and her loser boyfriend, and I was pretty much excess baggage, just like always. Life sucks, like that's news. That was a lousy year--the year from hell. It hurt just to breathe.

And then Eric came back from the dead.

I couldn't believe it. For all of like five seconds. Then I was just so happy to see him that I didn't care about 'how' or 'why', it was enough that he was there. I asked him if he was an angel and he said no, 'cause angels aren't supposed to be that angry, but I think he is. Because he helps people. He helped me.

I don't know how he did it, but Darla--Mom, I mean--quit drinking. Well, she's still quitting I guess, she says she'll always be an alchoholic, but she's trying and that's more than she ever did before. And she cares about stuff now, like homework. Guess you gotta take the bad with the good, huh?

And Funboy's gone. The loser boyfriend, remember? Eric made him leave us alone, and then the police found out that Funboy was one of the creeps who killed Shelly and they arrested him. He got killed in prison. Served him right, too.

As for Eric...He's still here. He's got a lot to do before he can go and be with Shelly, again. And I know it's selfish, but I'm kind of glad. Because I don't want him to leave again, not yet. It wouldn't be as bad as before, 'cause things are better at home with Mom and everything, but...Eric's my best friend, you know? He's different, now. Really different. He doesn't eat or sleep, and there are times when he is seriously weird, but he's still my friend. Just like always.

I just wish...I wish he didn't have to die in the first place and Shelly didn't and she could be here, too. And I wish Eric could be happy, even just a little, but I know that he can't 'cause Shelly isn't.

So, Santa, if you really do exist how's about a little help here? Bring Eric some of that peace on earth people are always talking about, 'cause he's really hurting inside, just like I was. All I want, Santa, is for you to give him some of that holiday magic, and don't worry about me.

Because I already got mine.

Sarah Mohr