I'm sure you can guess where the rest of the chapters are going =)


There was a rested, mournful quiet that fell over the house at this time of the year. Snow, bright and thick, lay across the grounds of their home. It served only to remind him of the whiteness of her skin, untouched by age nor marred by experience. And the coldness of that very skin when it was pressed against his. But his mind, though far more pleasant when occupied with matters of her, was being challenged by others. Morticia was quite the task master at this time of year - particularly when it came to the festive decorations.

"A little to the left," she smiled, tearing his attention away from the window. The master of all she surveyed, from her viewpoint on the chaise lounge, he followed her command. His perfectly clean shirt was now damp with sweat and creased from the exertion of heaving about the piece of lumber that he was currently balancing between his shoulder and arm. He had untied his tie, removed his waistcoat and pulled his scapula all in an effort to please her. It smelled of rot and all but a few of the green pines had fallen from the branches. It looked delightful.

"A little to the right."

"You mean back to where it was," Pugsley grumbled, pulling on it with all the force he could muster.

"I guess that will have to do," she came towards them as they heaved it into place in the base, made form the finest pewter.

"It is splendid Gomez," she smiled, stepping back to observe all seven feet of it.

"Isn't it," he lit a celebratory cigar, having sated her need for aesthetic perfection.

"Just over there Lurch," she pointed to the corner of the parlour, where the butler dumped a number of boxes, overflowing with the decorations they had accumulated over the years.

"I get to put the topper on," Pubert pulled out the angel, complete with black wings and pitchfork. Morticia admired it, he could see, with unbridled delight. She smiled at her youngest son and took the decoration from his hand.

"But of course you can," she laughed lowly, placing it on the sideboard, "But right now, we must start with the lights."

Electrics, Gomez had always thought, were no where near as thrilling as they could be - every retailer insisted on making them safe. This meant that every year, when Morticia bought the fairy lights, he spent hours stripping them of the wire-casing; hands gentle and patient. They made the tree sizzle ferociously, and made quite the visual spectacle. Next came the decorations, Thing lending a hand of course, to hang the small bird bones, the stuffed mice, and broken baubles that they had collected over the years. They hung the black satin ribbons that Morticia had hand-made the first year of their marriage with nostalgic care. Mamma, thoughtful as ever, had made cyanide and blackcurrant candy-canes, which they had to insist that Pugsley did not scoff with ardour before they had the chance to decorate the barren branches with them.

Gomez hoisted his youngest onto his shoulders and all of them, Pugsley, Pubert, Lurch and his wife stood back to admire their work. He looked at the tree, glittering with malice, and thought of how this time of year only ever produced the most vivid of memories. He looked at his wife- her serene, usually unreadable face glittered with muted joy.

"The topper!" Pubert swung the angel in front of his face.

"Alright little pup," he stepped forward and allowed the boy to place it on the topmost branch that extended to the ceiling. He swung the little boy onto the floor and stretched his arms out.

"Excellent job," he laughed into the warmth of the room, "And all at the behest of you, my dear."

"Wait! Wait!"

The door the parlour swung open and Wednesday came in, full of unusual urgency. Gomez thought it odd that this season changed the women in his family so much. Wednesday seemed to soften a little, Morticia seemed more open to the less sophisticated joys of life, Mamma made more treats for the children.

"Wednsday, we looked for you, but we couldn't find you."

Morticia smiled gently and motioned her daughter over. Under the pale skin he saw the fire of a red blush and his daughter took her hands from behind her back. In it she held a partridge, blood pouring from a shot-gun wound to it's chest.

"I was out getting this," she offered by way of embarrassed explanation, "Doesn't every real tree have one?"

She walked up to the tree and placed it gently on a middle branch which sagged under the weight of the lifeless body and the blood oozing forth from the carcass.

"Now," Morticia smiled at him, "That is a Christmas tree."