The Nightmare Before Christmas Contest Entry

Pen Name: BloodSoakedBombShells

Title: Christmas Things

Summary: Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the Ward, the creatures were stirring, each out of their gourd. Bella and Jasper's Christmas with the family.

Disclaimer: We just own the plot. Not Twilight. S. Meyer can keep her sparklers.

Author's Note: Thanks to everyone who voted for us in the contest! We wound up taking home 'Best Use of Gore', fitting, no? Many thanks to SweetT129 for editing, even if she did vow to commit the both of us. Read at your own risk, and enjoy.

Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the Ward, it's creatures were stirring, each out of their gourd...

"Oh Jasper," she said, sitting beside him. "Where is your family now?"

"It's Christmas Eve, Bella," he replied, flicking the laminated white bracelet that adorned his wrist. "They're doing the Christmas things. Christmas dinner, Christmas presents. "

She hummed, cocking her head to the side. "And what does Jasper get for Christmas? Where are Jasper's Christmas things?"She asked, her voice no less breathy and high then it had ever been. Jasper found it creepy.

She was his only friend.

His eyes were empty as he stared at the T.V., which blared "A Christmas Carol" for the fourth time that day. "I'd imagine they're at my house," he replied, no inflection in his voice. The pills had taken that - the inflection, the feeling. "Christmas dinner. Christmas presents."

Her look was pitying, as pitying as it could be. Large eyes were larger, framed in a fall of tangled, knotted hair. "Oh Jasper, my Jasper," she said, so solemn. "I'll be your family now," she promised, laying her spindly pale fingers on his arm. "I'll give you all those Christmas things."

"You'll be my family now?" he asked, turning to face her. "I had a father once, you know? Dr. Carlisle. He loved me very much."

She cackled, sharp and cold. "Oh did he, now?" She asked, pale pink lips turned up into a cruel smile. "Jasper's Daddy loved him much, but locked him up with pills and such!" she sang, loud and frightening. "Daddy C, he was a doctor, he had a son who was off his rocker!"

Jasper frowned, turning back to the T.V. "I hate it when you do that."

"No you don't, you don't, you don't,"she sang, leaning closer in. "I've written you a song just now. It can be a Christmas thing. Would you like to hear it?"

Jasper said nothing, he rarely did, but turned to his friend and nodded.

Laying her hands into her lap, she smiled as she recited, "Jasper had a friend you see, and he loved his friends to death. Loved him so, he chopped him up, and watch him breath his last breath. Then Jasper's Daddy locked him up, and threw the key away. 'Cause Jasper's mad, don't you see, for his friend's skin he did flay."

"Sing more," Jasper said, though he couldn't tell you why. Bella had always had that effect. She was perhaps worse than the pills, but Jasper liked her still.

Bella smiled wider still, fingers curling in her pants as the words fell from her tongue. "Now the good doctor, he hides in his house, sparing his son not a glance. He's locked him away with white walls and white pills, giving his boy not a chance."

"My father loves me," Jasper protested, but his words were lost in the song.

"His son is a skeleton kept in his closet, his son is a secret he will not say. His son is a mad man, his son has a mad friend, and together they'll both run away." She grinned, reaching into the pocket of her Ward-appointed white-cotton pants. "I've found a key, you see."

"A key to what?" Jasper asked, eyeing the tiny metal thing.

"The key to see your family of course," Bella said flippantly, tucking the key away. "After all, I did promise you Christmas things. Don't you want to see your Daddy, Jasper?"

Plans were made with painstaking care, with hopes that Daddy still would be there...

Jasper's feet were freezing. They crunched on the snow, bare and turning blue as he followed Bella away from the hospital. The cold didn't seem to bother her at all; indeed nothing seemed to bother her. She pranced lithely across the parking lot, humming under her breath. He widened his step to catch up with her.

"What are you humming?" Jasper asked quietly, for if the world was going to be this quiet, who was he to disturb it? Bella turned, never stopping, but walking sideways. Her pale face was speckled with drying flecks of rusty red; their escape from the hospital hadn't gone as smoothed as she had planned, but it was no matter now. Her smile grew impossibly wide.

"Lizzie Borden took an ax," she recited in her sing-song voice. "She gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one." She reached out and touched Jasper's arm, the cold tips of her fingers brushing his arm as she scraped her nails lightly across his skin. "I've always found the rhyme very inspirational."

Not knowing how to respond, Jasper put his hands in his pockets, searching for warmth, but there was none to be found.

They walked to the road, moonlight making Bella's skin seem even paler than usual, causing the blood spatter to stand out harsh in contrast. By the time they reached the main highway, they had both begun to shiver, making their teeth chatter in their heads. Taking Jasper's forearm in her grasp again, Bella pulled him into the snow-covered trees surrounding the highway. The pine boroughs hung low on their branches, heavy with snow, but the tree trunks kept the wind from their faces, if only for a moment.

Bella's hand remained on his arm as she tilted her head to look up at him. "We'll need a car, my Jasper," she said, her words accompanied by puffs of visible air. "It's much to cold to walk all the way to the darling Doctor's house."

Jasper nodded. He didn't wonder about what she had planned for when they reached his father's house. The daily rainbow of shiny pills still coursed through Jasper's blood stream; he didn't wonder about much at all. As Bella whispered her plan to him, Jasper licked his thumb, and began gently wiping the blood from her face. Bella grasped his wrist, and pulled his hand away, to stare at the bloody fingertip.

"Leave it. Red is such a festive color, is it not?" she asked him. Bella sucked Jasper's thumb into her mouth, and removed all traces of the aforementioned color. "Come with me, my Jasper," she whispered, still holding his hand in hers, as she lead them both back to the highway.

And the children were nestled all snug in their beds, unknowing of the lovers who came for their heads...

The house, so familiar to Jasper, was lit merrily with twinkling crystal Christmas lights. Their breath fogged the glass as he and Bella peered through the windows. Jasper blinked, then blinked again.

"You see, my darling," Bella's lips touched his ear as she whispered to him, her breath scented with the peppermint candy cane she had stolen on their way out of the hospital. "You've been replaced."

"Who are those people?" Jasper asked her. Bella would know, she always knew. Bella had the answers.

"They're your beloved Doctor Carlisle's new family, Jasper." Bella's hand found his. Her cold, cracked skin was abrasive against his own, but Jasper welcomed the feeling, any feeling at all. "Daddy C, don't you see, with his four new children and a wife. He's no need for a son like you, when he's bought himself a new life."

Jasper saw his face reflected back at him in the window as he watched his father hand a boy a brightly wrapped Christmas gift. The boy looked to be no older then seventeen, no older then Jasper, and Doctor Carlisle smiled upon him dotingly. He had never smiled at Jasper that way. Jasper closed his eyes, blocking the picture of happiness out with vengeance. Bella was humming a meaningless tune, rocking back and forth on her bare heels when he opened his eyes again, and was shocked to see a tear fall from his eye in the reflection of the window.

"Daddy C's new life, you see, hangs by a tenuous thread. So very easy will it be, to take off his pretty wife's head."

Jasper looked over at Bella and found her smiling back at him, hope shining on her face. "We can make him hurt, my love. Just like he's hurt you."

Jasper was surprised by the churning of rage in his gut. It was then he realized that the medications that had been flowing continuously through his body for the past years must be wearing off. Leaving his blood, just his blood, the only thing his father couldn't take away. This only heightened Jasper's feelings of betrayal. Father had taken every thing else away, and for what? What had Jasper done? He had only been curious. Peter had been his closest friend, and had, after all, volunteered to play the patient when Jasper suggested they play doctor. Jasper just wanted to be like his daddy.

What was wrong with that?

"You're right," Jasper said, the tone of his voice no longer dead and lifeless. "We can make him hurt. We'll make them all hurt." Bella raised the candy cane to her lips again, flicking her tongue over the end that had been sucked to a glinting pink point.

"And what's that I hear?" she said, moving her head to the side. "A creature was stirring, but it wasn't a mouse. Something is moving out behind the house." Bella turned, bare feet crushing into the undisturbed snow, and gestured for him to follow as they made their way through the shadows.

A blonde girl, tall and statuesque, maybe sixteen years old, was hunched under the back door awning, smoking a cigarette. Smoke swirled in silver ribbons into the sky as she exhaled, flicking the ashes away from the glowing red ember. She hadn't heard them yet, lost inside her own pretty head. With the grace that only the insane could carry, Bella walked up behind her smiling madly, and simply tapped her on the shoulder.

Having witnessed what Bella had done to the nurse guarding the doors at the hospital, and then again to the driver of the car they had stolen, Jasper could only anticipate what was going to happen. Now, though, instead of watching with detached indifference, excitement churned within him. These people, these impostors, thought they could take Jasper's place. He and Bella would show them just how wrong they were.

The girl gave a start at Bella's touch and whirled around. Wide blue eyes took in Bella; her thin, hospital-appointed, blood-stained clothing and matted hair, then up to Jasper. Recognition flashed in her eyes for a split second before terror overcame. Jasper could see Bella's head tilt to the side as she smiled innocently. It happened so fast, Jasper wasn't sure what had happened until it was done. The blonde girl gave a shriek of pain as the pointed end of Bella's candy cane pierced her cheek. Blood welled up slowly around the red and white confection as Bella jerked and pushed, shoving the now dulled point through the girl's cheek again.

When she turned back to Jasper, he could see that Bella's face was alive with excitement.

She grabbed the hooked-end of the candy cane and began tugging the blonde away from the house. "Oh do shut up," Bella spat at the girl, who had begun to sob hysterically. "I'm not going to hurt you. Much."

Jasper followed as Bella dragged the girl to his father's tool shed, leaving a trail of blood in their wake. He was silent as Bella pushed the girl down into the snow, and began rummaging around in the shed, finally emerging with a double-sided ax. Bella fisted her hand in the girl's golden blonde hair, and forced her onto all fours, pausing only to brush the hair away from her neck. Jasper crossed his arms over his chest and watched as Bella swung the ax back and forth in front of the girls face. The girl began to cry in earnest, her weak voice barely penetrating the thick winter air.

"What are you doing?" She choked on her words as she tried to look up at Bella. "You said you weren't going to hurt me." Bella cackled. When she laughed like that, it was apparent how truly mad she was.

"Oh, silly girl," Bella chuckled, leaning in close. "I lied. Crazy people do that, you know." She straightened, gripping the ax firmly in both hands, and brought it up, high above her head. Bella made eye contact with her friend, then took her aim, and brought the ax down. Jasper saw nothing but the maniacal gleam on Bella's face, the blood spraying up, covering Bella's chest and arms, and the heavy movements of her breathing. Bella dropped the ax, and practically pranced over to Jasper, her movements giddy.

"Why so glum, Jasper?" she asked as she reached him, leaning up to brush hair out of my eyes. "Smile a little, darling. Lets paint this town red and get you into the Christmas spirit, yeah?"

And the mother had baked the cookies, and the father had hung the lights. And the whole family was stirring on this cold Christmas night...

The door opened with the tiniest click, warm air exploding across their faces as they slipped into the house. It smelled of Christmas, of cookies and love, and Jasper wanted to set the thing on fire.

"Patience, love, we'll get them in time," Bella cooed, lacing her blood-sticking fingers into his hair and tugging him down. "You've a bit of blood on your face," she whispered. "Let me get that for you."

Her tongue was fire against his cheek, cleaning a line of cold skin through the blood. She kissed him lightly on the mouth and let him go."The father comes last, save the best for the worst. But you're a gentlemen Jasper, so the ladies come first," Bella sang, dancing silently down the hall. She walked two finger tips along the walls, trailing a line of bloody fingerprints across the pale paint like Gretel and her bread-crumbs.

They found the mother in the kitchen, in an apron and dress, a picture of perfection slaving over the stove. Carols filled the air, Jingle Bells and the like, and Bella showed no fear as she slipped into the light, so close to the woman that she could breath on her. Laid out across the counter, in color-coordinated casserole dishes, was a Christmas feast of stuffing, yams and and a golden Christmas ham.

Bella turned back to Jasper, flashing him a smile where he stood in the shadows. The mother was clueless, humming along to Silent Night. How perfect, Jasper thought, how fitting, for they had been silent so far. Bella followed the woman step by step, plucking the thermometer from the ham, and twirling it through her fingers.

"We've come for your sons, we've come for your daughters," she said quietly, and the mother spun on her heals, barely a gasp escaping her mouth when Bella struck. "We've come for your family, the lambs to our slaughter."

Bella sank the thermometer deep into the woman's throat, shoving her forward against the counter. The slide of metal against wood was all that was heard as she took up the carving knife. The mother made to scream, but it fell silent, blood gurgling from her mouth instead. "Hush love, let's say grace," Bella crooned, pressing the woman down across the marble top, and yanking her had back by her hair. "Jasper darling, would you do the honors?"

Jasper stepped out of the shadows and watched the recognition brighten the strange woman's eyes. "Good food, good meat," Jasper winced as the metal slid through the flesh, but the sound of struggle and arterial spray was no match for the rowdy rendition of Rudolph emanating from the living room. "Good God, lets eat." The woman gasped and gurgled in Bella's hand. He grabbed a roll of the counter, and took a bite as they watched the woman bleed out across the counter, still struggling against the blood loss. "She so pretty, Jasper," Bella said, petting the woman's auburn hair. "She'll make the most beautiful centerpiece."

Jasper helped Bella drag the slender, bleeding woman to the table, sprawling her out across the crisp white linen. The pretty china dishes were knocked askew by her awkward limbs. "Something is missing, but what could it be?" Bella asked, walking two fingers across the mothers stomach. "Ah-ha!" She said triumphantly, slamming the long, curved carving knife into the whimpering woman's soft stomach with both hands, wielding it like one might a sword. Jasper felt it hit the table, sinking entirely through the pretty mother. "What, oh what, is a centerpiece without pretty candles?" She asked, pressing her knee into the tables edge to yank the knife back out with both hands. She set it aside gingerly, snatching up a fresh white tapered candle from one of the silver holders and sliding it slowly, perversely, into the bleeding wound. "Perfect. The red really makes it pop, don't you think?"

When in from the living room, a girl made a clatter, coming to see what on earth was the matter...

"Mom, what're you do-" the kitchen's swinging door opened, and a tiny girl of maybe fourteen walked in, her words cutting off when she saw the display on the table. She opened her mouth, as if to scream, but Jasper snatched her up, clamping a hand over her mouth; only her large, liquid black eyes were visible over his fingers. She was the one they had seen while looking through the window, sitting on the piano bench with the copper-headed boy.

Anger, fierce, beautiful anger twisted Jasper's guts-that had been his mothers piano. His mother, whom his father had driven away. His arms tightened painfully around the girl, but Bella calmed him with a simple touch of her fingers.

"Upstairs, my love. Is there an attic?" Tears splashed against the side of his hand from where they overflowed from the girls eyes. Jasper nodded, and lifted the girl off the ground, leading them through a door off of the kitchen that led to a rickety back stair case - one used by servants many years ago. Bella's steps were feather light behind him, the girl in his arms completely still, her breathing hitched, ragged.

Up three flights they went, and the attic door loomed ahead. Bella slipped around him, pushing it open, and the musty air enveloped them as they entered, stale and dry. Jasper dropped the girl to the floor, where she landed with a soft oof!. Her wide, terrified eyes peered up at him, and she managed a small scream before his foot connected with her side, effectively knocking the air out of her and shutting her up.

"Now, now Jasper," Bella whispered, crouching in front of the girl. "No need for brutality. We're better then that, love." Jasper snorted, and turned away from both of them, his eyes moving over the cloth-covered furniture, and dust-coated boxes and plastic tubs. He saw a box marked "X-mas" and moved over to it, flipping the top open.

"Who-who are you?" The girls voice was timid, tentative, and her eyes flicked to Jasper as she spoke, expecting another blow. He ignored her, staring down into the box.

"The question is, dear girl," Bella said, "who are you? Why are you in my Jasper's home?"

Jasper didn't want to hear any of this. He didn't want to know how they had gotten there, he didn't want to know how perfectly happy his father had been while he'd been left to rot in that hospital. He didn't want to hear about the perfect replacements.

"I don't know what you mean," the girl said, her gaze transfixed on Bella. "I'm Alice, and I live here with my family. My brothers and sister, my mother," her voice tripped over the following words, "and my father."

Jasper's hands dug into the cardboard.

"No," he said, newly restored emotion in his voice, "you mean my father." The child gave a squeak at the sound of his voice. He still didn't turn, but instead continued rummaging through the box of discarded Christmas things, tucked away and forgotten, just like him.

"Well, little Alice," Bella's fingers twirled across the full of Alice's skirt, the layers of crinoline crinkling underneath, "are you enjoying your Christmas? Christmas is such a pretty holiday. Such pretty colors, pretty little Christmas dresses. Like yours, such a pretty, pretty dress. Red. Red is my favorite color, you know. If you don't, you will." Bella's voice had taken on a high tone, and Jasper knew that, like him, the steady stream of drugs were beginning to make their way out of her blood. "Your mother looked quite lovely in it."

Alice had begun to cry quietly, and the noise grated on Jasper's nerves. He knocked aside glass ornamental bulbs, and uncovered an old, tattered, plastic angel. The angel that he used to love situating just right atop the lit tree while sitting on his father's shoulders. Bella's voice came again, smoothing over his frayed thoughts.

"I love rhyming, little Alice, did you know that?" Alice cried harder, more afraid of Bella now. "I just simply adore the way the words just... fall off my tongue. Would you like to hear one? I'm rather good at making them up, so I'm told." The girl didn't answer, too hysterical at this point, but Bella went on anyhow.

"Little Alice, so beautiful and pampered, unaware how her life would be hampered." Bella reached up, fingertips brushing the girls rosy cheek. Alice shrunk away, shivering against the back of the old couch behind her. "Spoiled and rotten, the youngest one was, taking up Jasper's stead," Bella's hands cupped the girls cheeks now, the nails on her thumbs scraping back and forth, back and forth against flesh, leaving brilliant red welts across the white skin. "How could she know that Jasper would come, and take of her pretty little head?" With that, Bella brought the girl to her feet, swung her around, and flinging her at Jasper.

She collided with his back, and he dropped the plastic angel that he had held in a death grip. His fingers brushed upon the wires and bulbs of a string of lights, buried at the bottom, and he ripped them out, finally turning to face the two girls.

"Please," Alice begged, her voice thick with tears, "let me go. I want my mommy and daddy."

Jasper snarled at the juvenile endearment. He had never dared to call Carlisle daddy. He saw red as he looped the wires around her slim neck, bringing her sharply back against him. He and Bella could hear the little blubs shattering against the force, and the sharp, broken shards dug into Alice's skin. Thin streams of crimson red dripped down her throat, staining the neck line of her pretty red dress with patches of near-black red. Small hands grappled at the wire cutting off her breath, crushing her wind pipe.

Bella watched with a delirious pleasure as the girls eyes bugged, the white slowly turning red as veins burst. She watched as the muscles in Jasper's arms flexed and tightened as he slowly choked the life out of little Alice, and she felt a flood of desire crash through her, something that surprised her greatly. Bella edged closer, bringing her fingers up to smear at the blood that coated the girls chest, watching her fingertips make sweeping arches through the sticky liquid. Finally, Alice fell slack and the life fled from her eyes, and Jasper let her drop to the floor once again, this time never to rise. His chest heaved as he looked down at the girl's pint-sized body, much to small for her age, really, and he grinned at the satisfaction that ran through him. Bella stepped over the body, skirts splayed out across the floor, and Jasper took hold of her, bringing her against his chest.

All of this... this feeling was amazing. Taking the girl's life had rejuvenated him, and he was still smiling as he lifted Bella by her arms, and their lips met. Her blood soaked fingers brushed his cheek, painting the skin a ghastly color. The kiss was as brutal as they were, and perhaps twice as maniacal. The lovers broke apart, and Bella's feet touched the floor once more.

"Feeling better, darling?" Bella asked, twining her fingers through his.

"Very much so," he agreed.

"Good. I don't like seeing you so glum all of the time. Now," they moved toward the door. "Let's go visit your dear new brothers, and let's see what Daddy has to say about your two different mothers." She led the way down the stairs.

The mother was in the kitchen, and the father in his study. The boys were in their room, and the girls gone and bloody...

Bella placed a kiss upon her Jasper's cheek, before slipping out of the attic with a merry little laugh. "Was this your room, darling?" She asked, quiet as a mouse, dancing her fingers across a bedroom door.

Jasper nodded, his bloody face twisted up in vicious glee. "It was."

"Then I should like very much to tell them so," she chimed, pressing her ear against the wood. She could hear them, the pair quite unaware of a fate they would meet very soon. "Be a dear, would you, doll, and guard the door, and guard the hall? I shan't have my mice running free," she laughed, a throaty chuckle. "And fucking up my killing spree."

And without a moment paused, she pushed the door wide open. Upon the bed the bigger boy laid, and in the chair the other. Eyes popped open, and heads spun, gazes skittering across her tiny, disheveled form.

"Who the fuck are you?" the boy asked, sitting up from the bed.

"Shit, Emmett, that's Carlisle's son," the other said, his eyes locked not on Jasper, but on Bella.

She gave him a fond little smile, and stepped into their domicile. "A smart boy, I like that" she sang. " A smart boy with the face of his mother. I shall save you for last, and start with your brother."

"Wait, wait," the red-head said, stepping between he and the other. He reached out, curling a hand over her shoulder to hold her in place. "Lets, that blood?"

"Smart boy," Bella said again, and kicked him in the groin. He sank to his knees with a pained groan, and she grinned. "Blood of the sisters, and blood of the mothers. I shan't have the set until I've the blood of the brothers."

Bella dropped to her knees, and tapped him on the nose. "Now be a smart boy and stay were I've put you," she whispered, her hand sliding up under his bed to grab the shining bit of metal that had caught her eye.

By this time, the other had risen, his imposing form casting shadows over our tiny Bella. "What the fuck do you think your doi-"

His words were cut short as Bella lashed out with the force of a cobra, slashing his throat with precision only the insane can manage, a size eleven and a half ice-skate heavy in her hand, and dripping with his blood. The cut, she mourned, was hardly deep, but he gaped like a fish and clutched at his throat, bubbling ruby drops of blood seeping through his thick fingers.

"And the big one bleeds such a pretty shade of red," she chimed thoughtfully, shoving him back with rough force. "Staining the sheets as he bled, and bled, and bled." She lashed out again, slicing a long line across his face as he began to fall forward. This one seemed deeper, tearing open his eye, and she grinned to hear him howl in pain.

Bella cackled, pushing, pushing, pushing. "It's nights like this," she growled, shoving him hard in the chest, "that I really like to watch the snow fall." Another shove and his back smashed against the bedroom window. The glass cracked, slowly casting spiderweb lines across the pane, and the boy's wet fingers grappled at the windows edge for something to hold, but the effort was in vain. Bella shoved him again, both tiny palms smashing against his chest, and he fell, and he fell and he fell.

"The lady asked that you stay where she put you," Jasper snarled behind her, kicking the red-headed boy in the stomach. "Do as Bella says."

"Tsk tsk, love, what did I say? We are not brutes," Bella reprimanded him loftily. "From the roof hung the ice, such pretty frozen things. Break them off, one by one, and feel how the cold does sting," she sang, reaching out the broken window to snap said icicle from the roofs edge.

Whens she turned to greet her Jasper, he was staring daggers at the boy. "Tsk. Tsk. Tsk. Some one's made the naughty list," she crooned, dropping to a crouch beside him. "Didn't your mother ever teach you it was wrong to steal?"

"I..I..I didn't steal anything!" the boy stammered. "Look, look. You're bleeding. Just...just let me get my dad. Jasper," he breathed, green eyes beseeching. "Let me get Carlisle okay?"

Both Jasper and Bella laughed, sharing a demented smile. "Stupid boy," Jasper snapped. "You think that blood is hers?"

"And here I thought you were a smart boy," Bella huffed, dragging the icicles tip across the boys face. "Stealing and lying. Hasn't your mother taught you anything? Well, if she hasn't, she won't be starting now. You see, this blood," Bella pointed to a splattered stripe of blood splashed across her stomach. "This blood is your mother's. At least I think it is..."

"My mother-"

"Was very, very, naughty," Bella whispered, stroking the icicle with every word. Jasper watched as the clear ice was stained pink with every slide of her hot palm. He licked his lips and adjusted his cock. "Do you know what we do to naughty people?" Bella asked, licking a line up the the ice. The boy's eyes were wide and Bella licked it again, till her lips were wet and shiny. "We punish them."

"Please don't...please-"

"So your mother taught you manners if she taught you nothing else," Bella teased. "I'm making a list, I'm checking it twice," she dragged the ice across the boys throat, and laughed when his breath hitched. "Gonna find out who's naughty or nice..."

"Do it Bella," Jasper whispered, fingers pressed against his groin. Without the medicine, he could feel, and everything he felt was for her. "Make him scream, darlin'. I want to hear him scream."

"I didn't do anything!" the boy cried, shoving at Bella. Jasper growled, stomping on his long, thin fingers, fingers made to play the piano, crushing them with his bare feet.

"Oh but you did," Bella said, swinging her legs around to straddle the boy's hips. She leaned forward, brushing her mouth against his ear, and he froze in fear as the tip of the icicle, sharpened by her stroking, was pressed against his throat. "You stole the family, you stole the home and hearth," she whispered. "When you claimed a father, not yours by right of birth."

"I didn't-"

"Oh, but you did," Bella said, pulling back. "I'm giving you screams for Christmas, darling," she said, looking over her shoulder at Jasper as she raised her arm, bringing it down with demanding force. It punctured the boys soft flesh like butter, sinking through his throat with ease.

He screamed, wet and gurgling, as the blood sprayed, showering them like crimson raindrops. Bella licked it from her mouth and grinned, twisting it deeper even as it melted in her hands. Jasper licked his lips, watching as she slid the ice in and out, as if she were-

The boy's cries were washed away in a wave of red, but Jasper was smiling, and really, that's all that mattered.

Bella peeled herself up from the boy's lap as he fell limp against the boring beige carpet. She danced her way to Jasper's side, as the sounds of foot steps slapped against the floor somewhere in the house. "Merry Christmas, darling," she murmured, cupping her red-wet hand in his. "Come now, I'd love to meet your father."

The blood on the breast of the new fallen wife, scared the good doctor. who feared for his life...

Further back down the stairs they went, passing through the kitchen, not sparing a glance at the mother sprawled at the table. Bella reached out and wrapped a hand around the handle of the knife laying beside the cooling corpse while passing. Her fingers played along the wooden handle as she drug the tip back and forth across her cotton clad leg. Into the den, which was cast in orange from the glow of the fire in the hearth, both their eyes went to the man crouched by a wide window, both hands clutching a poker, watching them with wild fear.

A strangled sound of horrified disbelief came from the doctor when he saw his son, soaked in blood, standing close behind the wild-looking woman.

"Jasper? My God... son, what have you done?"

Jasper's muscles went rigid. With a swift move, he plucked the knife from Bella's hands and moved around her. On his knees, he came face to face with his father.

"Don't you call me that," he spat. "Don't you fucking dare. And me? What have I done? What have you done?" The knife dangled in his hands, the sharp point nicking the Persian rug. "You locked me up and never looked back. Not one phone call, not one visit. And why? What did I do that was so wrong?"

"Jasper, please. You're-you're sick-" Carlisle stopped short when Bella crouched behind Jasper. Her small hands came to his broad shoulders, and down over his chest, embracing him.

"Remember, my Jasper. Remember what he's done. This is the man who locked you up with the pills, left you to rot for he thought you were ill. This is the man who left you behind, left you for four children, a wife, and your house in the hills."

"Jasper, come to your senses-"

It was all too much for Jasper. Talking at him, clawing at him, pulling at him; they wouldn't stop. He just wanted them to stop.

"Everyone shut the fuck up." The words were calm, and were met with a shocked silence. Jasper had never spoken to Bella like that, never. Her brain couldn't process this change in demeanor, it was so unlike her Jasper. She withdrew her arms, and turned away. The pretty Christmas lights adorning the tree caught her eye, and she pranced over toward them, clapping her hands, Jasper's harsh words forgotten.

He loved her for that.

Bella always forgave.

Jsaper moved faster than Carlisle could fathom. The knife's tip touched Carlisle's nose, and he could feel it breaking the skin as Jasper moved it from side to side.

"The time for talk is over, Dad. No time for excuses, or reasoning."

"You won't get away with this." There was resignation in the words, and Carlisle knew that this was the end. His son had lost all traces of sanity and humanity. He prayed for a swift death, but he could tell from the look in Jasper's eyes that it would go unanswered.

"Of course we won't. I'd imagine that you called the police as soon as you saw the lovely missus in there, and they'll just cart us back to the hospital." The knife came down, slicing through the tip of Carlise's nose, and the flesh of his cheek. He screamed in pain, and his hands flashed up to his face, the poker dropping to the floor with a muffled thud. "This time, though, this time it will make all of the difference. Because I'll live with the satisfaction of knowing that my betrayer is dead."

Bella still stood appraising the tree. Yellow, pink, blue, green. Silver ornaments. No red, No red to be seen anywhere. What was a Christmas three with out a few splashes of red?

"You're right," Carlisle sobbed, his voice thick. "I have called the police. They're on their way now."

"No time to waste then." Jasper jumped to his feet, vigor and energy coursing through him. He'd never felt this fucking alive, this fucking free. He knew that it would be soon coming to an end though, so why not make the best of what time he had?

Fisting his hand in the good doctors hair, he hauled him to his feet, and turned to Bella.

"I'm sorry for being harsh with you, my Bella" he said, his eyes burning into hers. She tut-tutted and moved toward him, casting a beseeching look up at him.

"And all shall be forgiven. Just make sure it doesn't happen again, or I'll send you to live in heaven!" She cackled, and, with her face alight with glee, observed Carlisle.

"Bella, my dear, don't fool yourself, we're both going to hell, and you know it."

"No... I'm going to heaven." She twirled in a little circle. "Because I say my prayers every night." Carlisle watched with horror as she knelt at Jasper's feet. She nuzzled her face into the crotch of his pants and began to recite. "Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray my Lord my soul to keep. But if I die before I wake, I pray my Lord my soul to take."

"Very well. You'll make a beautiful angel. Now, hold him." Jasper pushed Carlisle away from him, sending him stumbling, and quick as a flash, Bella was behind Carlisle, her own thin arms pinning his. Jasper stepped up, face to face with his father, whom he resembled so very much. Without a blink or a second though, Jasper pushed Carlisle's head back, and with a quick movement and a sickening sound, slashed the blade across the latter's exposed throat. Jasper could hear Bella giggling as Carlisle proceeded to gape, as his children and his pretty wife had, gasping for air that would never come. Blood sprayed across Jasper's face and chest, dripping down onto the floor in a puddle around the three.

Jasper watched with satisfaction as his father bled out, and then he finally released his head, allowing it to flop forward, and Bella released the now dead arms. Jasper looked down at Carlisle's body and sighed.

"Well, that was kind of anit-climatic." he muttered. Bella pranced forward with a laugh.

"Nonsense, my love. Let's liven this party up, yeah?" She snatched the knife from Jasper's hands, and leaned over Carlisle, tearing the doctor's shirt out of the way. "Their tree has no red on it, Jasper. No red! Can you imagine?" With a precision that the dead physician would have admired, she made a horizontal slice into his belly. No blood oozed from the wound, all of the sticky substance already spilled on the floor, and Bella looked disappointed for a split second. Then, as if you could see the light blub go off, she leaned forward, her long hair spilling over her face, curtaining her actions

Bella reached her hand into the gaping incision, and felt around. Then, with a loud, Ah-ha!, she withdrew, the long tube of coiling intestine clutched proudly in her hand. "I went fishing, Jasper, and look at what I caught. Some pretties for our Christmas tree." She began pulling, and pulling, and pulling, until there was none of the organ left in the body, instead wound around her arms, like a grotesque snake. "Garland."

Jasper smirked and leaned against the big oak desk, watching her have her fun. Round and round she went, winding his father's long intestine around the tree like garland, singing "Santa Clause is Comin' to Town" all the way.

"There!" she exclaimed, stepping back proudly. "Isn't it just lovely, Jasper?" She clasped her hands in front of her, and smiled back at him. He stepped up beside her, over the body with it's gaping belly, his insides still connected, trailing out of him.

"Beautiful," he told her. "Now, I'm famished. It would be terrible to let all of that food go to waste, wouldn't it?" Bella nodded at him seriously.

"You're right. There are starving children in Africa, you know." Jasper stared at her for a second, and then led the way back to the kitchen, their peals of laughter echoing behind them.

And the bodies were bloody, but the food was still good, as our lovers took their seats, and spent Christmas as they should...

Like a true southern gentleman, Jasper pulled out Bella's chair at the table, and began laying the pretty casserole dishes out around and across the imposter-mothers body. He found a tiny box of matches on the counter top, and tossed them to Bella. "Be a doll and light the candles, would you? I've a ham to carve," he said, brandishing the blood-stained knife.

Bella grinned as them match sparked, tossing it aside as Jasper returned with a platter. He laid the ham out across the woman's thighs and served them both a red-glazed slice. "Lovely spread."

"I do love yams," she agreed, spooning out a bit from the dish on the woman's breast for each of them. Sticky clotted blood from her hands splattered there plates as she shook the spoon, dropping the yams on the good china. Dark blood soaked into the pretty ivory table cloth, sticking to there skin where there arms rested.

Jasper bit into a green bean with a smile, staring at the woman before him. Bella had been right, this was what he needed. He leaned forward, reaching over the woman to push a bit of blood-soaked hair Bella's face. His hands were covered in varying shades of red, from brilliant red crimson to rusty, dried brown. "You were right, of course. The red really does make it pop."

"It's really is a festive color," she replied, spearing a cranberry onto her fork. "Merry Christmas, Jasper."

Jasper licked his lips again, tasting butter and blood there. Neither startled as the front door was kicked in, continuing their dinner as if uninterrupted. "You were right, of course," Jasper repeated. "I needed this. You've given me the best Christmas possible."

She smiled, cold and demented, her eyes narrowed with brutal pleasure. "All the Christmas things?"

"Christmas dinner, Christmas presents," he said with a shrug. "You even met my family."

Reaching over the cold corpse and hot dishes, Bella took Jasper's hand in hers. "Maybe next year, I'll take you to meet mine."

"Don't fucking move!" Men in blue uniforms swarmed into the dining room, guns trained on the young couple gorging on their feast. Jasper paused, a forkful of stuffing halfway to his lips. What did she mean by that? Hadn't she killed her parents? Before he had time to process this train of thought, he was grabbed from behind, and hauled from his chair. Bella's laughter rang through the room as they were both slammed face down onto the floor, faces buried in the thick carpeting, hands cuffed tightly behind their backs. Cold metal bit into his skin as he was shoved roughly ahead of an officer, Bella a few feet in front of him.

"I gave my Jasper his Christmas things, and ruined all their shiny dreams!" Bella sang, barely noticing the bite in the winter air as she swas shoved out the door and toward the waiting police cars. The sound of retching drew Jasper's head around, and he saw a young officer losing his own Christmas feast into the bushes that surrounded the house. He snorted a laugh and willingly ducked into the cruiser next to Bella, moving closer to press as close to her as he could. She rested her head on his shoulder, sighing contentedly.

"I don't want to go back to the hospital, Jasper. The pills, the padded walls, the straight jacket when I'm not a good girl. I don't like it, Jasper."

He turned to kiss her forehead. "It'll be alright. But, Bella?" She turned to look at him. "I think we're both going to get the jacket for a little while."

Bella nodded solemnly. "Jasper?"

"Yes, Bella?" She snuggled against him again, and the car began to move, blue and red lights flashing around around them. That was good; Bella liked red. Bella sighed and furrowed deeper into Jasper's chest.

"That stuffing was a little dry."