((Taking a slight pause in my current tale (Happily Ever After) to bring you this.))

((This story was written by me several years ago. Many on FFN have requested I post some of my older fics so since its Christmas and all I brushed this one off and polished it up here and there. Hope you all enjoy it! Happy Holidays all you K and A fans!))

The Greatest Gift, A Voltron Christmas Tale

Originally Written 2004-05, Re-Write Update for Christmas 2011

This story is set in the world of the 1980's Voltron Cartoon

A Voltron Adaptation
Original story concept by Philip Van Doren Stern
Story adaptation for the big screen by Frank Capra
Further adapted by me, borrowing from both the authors' classic tales.
This is a stand alone tale, not pertaining to any other story I have done.

Legal Stuff
Voltron, Defender of the Universe and its characters property of World Events Productions, Ltd. 'The Greatest Gift' originally written by Philip Van Doren Stern. Story adapted for the big screen by Frank Capra. This story is for entertainment purposes only. Original characters and story-line are property of the author, please do not use, reproduce, or repost without permission.

Rating M
The M rating due to sexual situations, violence, drug use, and strong language.
So, if you don't care for that kind of stuff- stop now! You've been warned.
And yes, even with all that, it really is a Christmas tale.

So if you dare, grab a fresh box of Kleenex, a cup of cider, dim the lights and dive in.

The Greatest Gift
A Voltron Christmas Tale
Chapter One
Why Keith Hates Christmas

There was a fresh dusting of snow on the ground as a little four year old boy was running as fast as his little legs could carry him looking for any place to hide. He saw a large oak and made a beeline for it. Running behind it he hid, leaning up against the trunk, trying to catch his breath.

The voices trailing behind him started getting closer. "Oh Keithy…Keithy where are you?" An older girl called. "Come on we promise not to try and dress you up again." Another voice chimed in as well.

The little boy started to cry and dropped to the ground behind the tree and began yanking ribbons out of his raven hair, tossing them to the ground.

"Come on out. We wanna play house some more."

"Leave me alone!" The boy cried.

The two girls rounded the tree. "Aw come on. We need someone to be the baby."

"I'm not a baby!"

"Okay, you can be the girl then."

"I'm not a girl! I'm a boy!" He tossed down another ribbon, his face dripping with tears.

"But you're so pretty."

"Am not!" The boy leaped up to try to escape but the girls tackled him. He squirmed, kicking and screaming but it was all in vain. He was caught.

A group of older boys approached to enjoy the show, the ringleader pointing at Keith who still had some ribbons left in his hair. "Hey, look at the girl. Isn't she pretty?"

"I'm not a girl!" Keith screamed trying to kick free of his captors. He managed to break loose enough to stand but they had his legs and he couldn't get away.

"Go on go play with your girl friends, little girl." The boys all gathered around, laughing, pointing and clapping as the girls wrestled little Keith back to the ground.

A sharp whistle cracked through the air and the cheering boys all scattered revealing the two girls holding Keith. "Let him go now!" Their teacher bellowed. "Annie, Rachel, I'm surprised at you! You're old enough to know better than to fight."

"We weren't fighting Mrs. Kray we were playing house and..."

"Playing house? Keith, did you want to play house?"

The boy sat up on the ground wiping his eyes and shook his head.

"That's not very nice you two. If he doesn't want to play you can't make him. Now apologize."

The two girls dropped their heads and musically chime in together. "We're sorry, Keith."

"I expect to see you both in my office after class. Understand?"

"Yes, Mrs. Kray."

"Now get going!" The two girls ran off. The teacher knelt down in front of Keith who was sniffling and frantically trying to remove the rest of the ribbons from his hair. "Let me help you." She began to free the remaining ribbons. "Are you okay, Keith?" The woman looked into the little boys tear soaked face stroking his hair. "Do you want to go home?" The boy nodded slightly. The teacher picked up her com finding his contact number and called it. "Hello, Mrs. Kogane. This is Mrs. Kray, Keith's teacher. Can you get free and come pick him up? He's had a bit of a rough day. He's fine, just a little upset…. Great. I'll see you in a bit." She put away her com then smiled at Keith. "Your mothers on her way." She stood, taking Keith's hand in hers and they walked out of the schoolyard.

The boy waited in the teacher's office. To comfort him, she had wrapped him up in a blanket. He had his knees gathered up under his chin as he stared at the floor. His mother soon entered the office, seeing him she raced over swooped him into a big hug, blanket and all, spinning him around. "Keith! Are you okay my little one? Did someone hurt you?" She looked into his still red and wet eyes his long lashes sticking together.

He nuzzled his face into her long black hair. "I don't wanna go to school. I wanna stay wit you. Day make fun of me, call me a girl cus the girls keep chasing and teasing me."

Mrs. Kray entered the office. "I'm afraid he is quite the charmer, whether he knows it or not. It seems he already has two adoring fans."

His mother smiled at her son, her emerald eyes lighting up. She hugged him tighter and whispers. "Oh, Keith…when you grow up, you might not mind so much." A look of utter panic washed over the boy's face and his body tensed up. His mother smiled. "Come on then lets go home. You can help me get the house ready for the Christmas party tonight. Will that be alright?" Keith nodded his head still buried in her hair. His mother turned to his teacher. "You and your family are coming aren't you?"

"Are you kidding, Angelica? Miss one of your Christmas parties? Not on your life. It's not Christmas Eve without it. We'll be there!"

"Great! See you later then. Thank you for helping Keith."

"You're very welcome. Keep the blanket I'll get it back later. And Keith, just so you know, those girls will be washing today's lunch plates." She winked at Keith and he slowly started to grin.

Carrying her bundled up son Angelica left the school and walked across the common areas of the military base and headed to their home. "I love you my little Christmas Angel." The woman cooed to her son as she rubbed his unruly hair. "Are you feeling better?" He nodded. "Good, I don't want you sad on Christmas Eve."

"When's daddy comin?"

"Soon, He will be home tonight. He's up there right now." She pointed up to the sky. "Do you see him yet?"

Keith's eyes rocketed up searching the sky. "No. I don see him."

"Oh, well keep looking. He's up there and getting closer and closer."

The boy watched the sky the rest of the way home.

The house was completely decorated top to bottom, as it has been since Thanksgiving. Keith's mother's favorite holiday was Christmas and she had always gone all out, decorating every wall and every surface. For a kid, it was paradise. Keith loved every bit of it. Two weeks ago they were decorating the tree, putting up lights and tinsel. Keith's mother has a story for every ornament and she would re-tell it every year as one by one she unwrapped them and handed them to her son to put on the tree. Eventually the tree was all decorated and the two stood back to admire their work.

"Keith? You forgot one." His mother bent over to pick up the angel that should crown the tree.

Keith shook his head. "No dats for Daddy to put on, not me."

Keith's mother smiled at her son, picking him up into a hug. "My little Christmas Angel." She kissed him and whispered again. "My little Christmas Angel."

Later that night the party was in full swing the little house was packed full of people, all enjoying the season. Everyone that is but one little boy who had snuck up to his room in the attic of the little house where there was one small window. He lay down beside the window and looked out to the sky, hoping to catch a glimpse of his father, but seeing only darkness. As the night grew late he heard the guests below and outside as they slowly began to leave but still he didn't take his eyes off the sky. Eventually the house grew quiet, time became meaningless as he still he looked out, never taking his eyes off the sky.

"I thought you might want to help me put an angel on the tree."

Keith blinked. He sat up to see an imposing figure standing in his doorway. A tall, muscularly built man in a Galaxy Garrison Special OP's uniform was standing before him. His strong chiseled features softened by a thick head of long raven black hair falling softly around his face. His black as night eyes were studying the boy. "Well?"

Keith leaped up and raced to the man. "Daddy…Daddy!" He jumped and the man caught him, pulling him into a bear hug.

"Oh, Keith, I missed you so much." The man started to cry as he rocked his son in his arms. "I missed you."

Keith's mother entered the room and joined the hug. "We missed you too, my love."

The three headed downstairs together, Keith's father still holding Keith on his hip, his other arm tightly wrapped around his wife's waist. When they reached the family room which was still in total disarray from the party, Keith's mother went to retrieve the angel handing it to little Keith, who smiled and handed it to his father. His father nodded and walked up to the tree placing the angel at its peek. He stepped back to admire the tree still holding Keith tight. "Did you decorate the rest of the tree?" Keith smiled and nodded. "You did an excellent job."

Keith's mother walked up to the two men in her life. "Well, it's midnight. If Santa is going to come, someone is going to have to go to bed." Keith frowned and clamped onto his father tight, afraid to let go.

Keith's father spun on his heel. "Nonsense! I just happened to run into Santa over on the East coast and since he knew I was coming this way anyway, he gave me this to deliver for him. Save him the trip and all." He knelt down by his luggage and pulled out a huge duffel and crossed to the sofa where he sat down, moving Keith to his lap and the duffel at his side. He patted for his wife to sit next to him. She smiled as she rolled her eyes at him and then sat down, snuggling in. He slowly unzipped the bag revealing two brightly wrapped packages.

Keith's eyes boggled. "You… you met Santa?"

"I sure did." He reached into the bag and produced a large box wrapped in red. "And he wanted me to make sure you got this."

"Wow!" Keith took the box, stunned in amazement.

"Go on, open it." Keith's father smiled.

Keith ripped into the paper, pieces flying everywhere. Soon he had the box open and his eyes grew wide in amazement. He slowly pulled out a beautiful plush black lion with a long flowing mane of black fur.

Keith's father grinned. "Wow! Isn't that just like the one you've been dreaming about?"

Keith nodded but didn't speak.

Keith's mother elbowed her husband and smiled at him.

He winked back and pulled her to him into a passionate kiss. "I love you, Mrs. Kogane." They kissed again. "And I missed you."

She looked deeply into his eyes. "And I love you, Keith Kogane." They kissed yet again.

Little Keith jumped on both of them breaking their spell. "There's one for you, Mommy!"

"Huh?" Keith's father looked into the bag. "So there is." He pulled out a green box.

"Open it! Open in! Open it!" Little Keith bounced on his fathers lap.

She smiled at her husband and then turned to the beautifully wrapped package. "I wonder what Santa could have gotten me?" She slowly started to unfasten the paper afraid to damage it.

"Hurry! Open it!" Little Keith started to grab at the package.

She laughed, "Okay, okay." And tore it open, earning a giggle from little Keith. She opened the box and gasped, looking at her husband with tears growing in her eyes. He smiled as she lifted out an exquisitely carved crystal angel which sparkled in the colored lights from the tree.

"Wow, that's beautiful Mommy."

"Yes, yes it is Keith. Just like you, my little Christmas Angel." She started to cry.

Little Keith smiled as his father wrapped an arm around his neck in a playful choke-hold. "Go look under the tree there's more." Little Keith shot up like a rocket and flew off to the tree and was soon under it pulling out more presents, exclaiming at every one.

Keith's father looked at his wife and wiped a tear from her face. "I figured since it has been five years today since we conceived our last Christmas Angel that it was time we tried for another one." He pulled out a slip of paper from his shirt. "I quit Special OP's today and took a teaching position here on base. I'm not missing another Christmas, another birthday…" He tenderly touched the angel statue. "Another birth." He handed her the paper, which she quickly read then threw herself onto him. "Oh, Keith! I love you!"

It was two years later and two weeks till Christmas. The house was again decorated from head to toe. There had been indeed another addition to the Kogane household, two as a matter of fact, twin girls born on September 10th, just fourteen days before little Keith's birthday. He thought they were going to be born on his birthday, giving him the best birthday present ever. But his mom told him that it was too crowded in there so they came out early. The twins were now a little over a year old. And just like Keith they are his mother's little Christmas angels. Keith's father has doted on Keith and the girls constantly since taking up full time residence. Yes, he missed being out in the thick of it but he knew he would miss his family more. He was now content with his life. The teaching job he had taken was rewarding enough. He was now teaching basic combat skills and combat strategy. No one really knew much about his background, it was kept quiet. They knew he was in Special OP's but as to what he did, well it was all a mystery and he was not talking. One of the only ones who knew his past, for she lived it with him, was the woman that shares his bed and his name. And it is something they both wished to forget.

"Your move." Keith's father leaned back in his chair smiling as he crossed his arms across his chest.

A six year old Keith knelled on the floor by the coffee table, elbows propped up on the glass studying the chessboard intently. He reached out, then froze pulling his hand away.

"No cheating." His father warned.

"I didn't touch it!" He then reached across the board moving a different piece and sat back.

His father leaned forward rubbing his chin and made his move taking one of Keith's bishops. "Left yourself open with that one, Son."

Little Keith smiled reached out and moved his queen. His fathers face dropped as Keith uttered the word. "Checkmate!" He then rocketed to his feet and bolted out of his father's office.

"Why you little… You misdirected me!" He tossed a pillow after Keith. His father looked back down to the chessboard. "Damn, that kid is good. Angelica, come here and look at this." There was no answer. He got up and headed into the other room passing by the playpen where the two raven haired girls were sleeping. "Angie?" He went into the kitchen. There he saw her pale face as she leaned up against the counter with a letter in her hand. "Ange?" She didn't respond. He went up to her putting his hands on her shoulders. "What is it?"

She slowly looked up to his eyes. "They let him out."

"What! How? When?"

"A week ago."

"And they're only notifying you now? What the hell!" He grabbed her in his arms and held her tight. "We're leaving, tonight!"

He made his way up the stairs to his son's room and knocked on the door, pushing it open to see his son lost in a flight simulator game. He smiled at his son, imagining him flying through the sky, something he could never do. He held up his hand in front of his face, making a fist but didn't have the strength to hold it for long. He could never pass the physical for fighter pilot training; instead he focused on ground combat. He walked in. "Good move on the chess game."

Keith meekly turned to face his father. "You're not mad at me?"

"Are you kidding? That was great! You learn my tricks so fast. I'm just surprised to see them used on me for a change. Just know, I won't let you get away with that one again." He winked. "Keith, you know how you've been dying to go to space?" Little Keith cocked his head and nodded. His father continued. "How would you like to go? Tomorrow?"

"Tomorrow? What?"

"We can go tomorrow if you want, the whole family. What do you say?"

"Really? Dad, you'll take me to space?"

"Yes. You, your sisters, your mother, we'll all go."

"Oh can we? Can we really?"

"Yes but… we might not be able to come back."

"Keith's brows furrow. "Why."

"I can't tell you now. But no matter what we'll be together, Okay?"

"Dad, is something wrong?"

"Nothing you need to worry about." He rubbed Keith's head and put on a joking air. "So, do you want to go?"

"Well Yeah!" Keith grinned.

"Great. Start packing." He reached up to a high shelf pulling down a large bag. "We will leave soon. Take whatever will fit in here."

Keith couldn't believe it. He was finally getting to go to space. It had always been his dream and now he was going to get to go. He started tossing his belongings into the bag, smiling the whole time.

He frowned when he then saw how full his bag was and how big the stuffed black lion is on his bed. It would never fit. He sat on his bed and pulled the lion onto his lap fingering its mane. "Sorry Blackie, I guess you can't come with me, you're just to big." He hugged the lion. I'm gonna miss you." He curled up on his bed hugging his lion and drifted off.

"Keith, Keith wake up." A voice whispered. Keith slowly opened his eyes and saw his father in the darkness. "We have to go now son." He grabbed Keith's bag and tossed it over his shoulder. "Come on." He moved to the door, pulling a disoriented Keith behind him. "Don't forget Blackie." He smiled at his son who grinned and raced back grabbing the lion by its tail. The two made it down the stairs where Keith's mother awaited with the two sleeping twins in their carriers. "Lets go."

They paused to take one last look at the house all decked out for Christmas as Keith's mother wiped a tear from her eye. They then made their way out of the house and into the car. Keith noticed curiously that his father never turned the cars lights on and never said a word. They were soon heading off down the road in darkness into the woods surrounding the base.

They made their way down the winding woodland road when Keith started to hear the sound of rocket engines overhead. "What's that?" He asked.

"Nothing, just a patrol." His mother responded.

"No, it sounded like…" The car was suddenly rocked violently by an explosion. Keith's mother pushed Little Keith down and shielded him and the girls with her body as a firefight erupted overhead.

Keith could hear his father talking on a com. "I'm two minutes out. Hold em' off while you can."
Another explosion rocked the car. "Shit!" His father quickly evaded the blast muttering to himself. "Fucking Drule scum. Why can't you leave her alone?" He hit the steering wheel. "Keith, listen to me. Do you remember how to use my gun?"

Keith blinked still being shielded by his mother. "Yes… I… remember."

"Good. Here take this." He passed a gun back over the seat to Keith. "Keep it on stun just to be safe. Remember, know your target."

"Y… Yes Dad."

A blinding light descended in front of the car. Keith's father did what he could to stay on the road but the light was too bright. Soon the car was off the road and into a thicket of snow covered trees eventually reaching a stop, the twins now awake and screaming at the top of their lungs. Keith's mother looked into little Keith's face. "Run Keith. Run. Please, you have to go."

"No." Keith cried as the sound of metallic armor marching towards them grew louder.

Keith's father turned back over the seat to face him. "Do as your mother says! Now go!" His father clambered over the seat and opened the door on Keith's side and pushed him out the door. "Run Keith. Hide!"

Keith scrambled up to his feet, only a gun in his hand, the lights and sounds of metal getting closer. A shot almost hit his foot and he leapt back.

"Damn it boy! Do as I say! Go!" His father bellowed holstering his gun and turning back to the car pulling his wife and screaming twins from it.

"Stop. Escape is futile you are surrounded." A mechanical voice called out to them.

Keith started to shake when he heard his mother's last pleading cry. "Run Keith, run." Snapping to his senses he turned and bolted into the woods. Behind him he heard laser blasts and more ships approaching. Sensing soldiers approaching from in front of him. He ducked under a fallen log to hide, holding the gun to his chest and shaking all over. He could hear their voices but couldn't understand them.

"I've got a heat signature over there sir." A man's voice spoke sending a panic through Keith, the steps getting closer and closer. "There he is." A soldier knelled down by Keith's hiding spot, grabbing him by the collar and yanked him out.

"Well, well, well. Would you look at that." A voice chuckled. Keith raised his gun and shot, hitting the man holding him point blank in the ribs. The man fell and Keith made a break for it when a shot rang out hitting him squarely in the leg bringing him down to the ground.

The voice laughed again. "Definitely his father's son. Take him!"

Another man grabbed Keith lifting him up off the ground and for the first time Keith really looked at them. Their skin was… purple?… and their hair …was… white? They're… Drules. He couldn't believe it. How? They aren't supposed to be able to get to Earth. Keith was woken out of his delirium by the sounds of more laser blasts from where the car was and the constant shrieking of his sisters, he instantly paled.

"Lets go, they're going to need help to bag that Kogane, and this one might just do the trick." The head man laughed as they made their way to the fighting, Keith kicking and screaming the whole way in spite of his injured and bleeding leg. "Yep, definitely his father's son."

They reached the fighting and the leader called out. "Oh, Kogane! I have a present for you. Looks just like you too. A little short though."

Keith's father spun around locking his piercing stare on the man. "If you so much as lay a hand on him so help me…"

The man laughed. "Oh sorry, I didn't know. Too bad I already shot him then."

"You bastard!" Keith's mother spat, leveling a gun on him while still shielding her screaming babies.

"Oh come now, I only winged him, he'll be fine, that is if you cooperate my lady and come with us."

"Never" Keith's father yelled.

"Fine." He put his gun to little Keith's head.

Keith's mother lunged forward. "No! No, don't hurt my Son."

The man sneered. "Will someone shut those kids up!"

Two of his men obediently turned and opened fire on the now unshielded twins and then there was suddenly silence. Nothing resembling the two beautiful raven haired girls remained.

Keith's father snapped, leaping out he grabbed the man holding the gun to Keith, snapping the man's neck instantly. He then turned on the man holding Keith and shot him point blank in the head causing him to drop little Keith to the ground. He then turned on the rest of the unit taking them all out. He eventually finished them off, only to hear maniacal laughing coming from above. He turned and to his horror saw his wife being drug into a transport by more soldiers. She was still so in shock she was totally unaware of her surroundings. The door closed and the ship launched into the air. "Noooo!" Keith's father screamed, falling to his knees as she disappeared into the sky.

There was the sound of further deep roaring engines as a new wave of Alliance ships finally approached a huge firefight erupting in the night sky, the invaders making a hasty retreat having gotten what they came for. Most of the Alliance ships gave chase but one landed and its Garrison troops made their way to the scene as Keith's father slowly stood gathering his injured son up in his arms.

One of the men from the Alliance ships walked up to them taking in the gory scene of more them a dozen Drule soldiers and robots strewn all around them. "What the hell happened here?"

Keith father spun and decked him, knocking him out cold, the others then giving him a wide berth. He made his way to the car and set Keith down onto the seat to inspect his leg. He ripped a strip from his shirt and wrapped the wound. Satisfied that Keith was safe he turned to where his daughters were. He knelt down, taking off his coat and laying it down beside them. He began to sob as he reverently placed their tattered remains onto his coat trying desperately to get every drop of their blood from the snow. Everyone stood in silence not quite wanting to believe the scene before them.

After a long while Keith's father carefully wrapped up his most precious package and cradled it in his arms. "I love you my little Christmas angels." He sobbed slowly standing up. He walked to his son carefully bending down and lifting him up to him. Keith grabbed on wrapping his arms around his fathers neck. "Let's go home." He whispered to his son. He refused all aid and walked back home in the darkness.

Hours later they reached the little house. Outside there was an official Galaxy Garrison car parked. As they approach three men got out of the car. Keith noticed that they were all Admirals. They saluted but were ignored by his father as he carried his children into the house which smelled strongly of pine and gingerbread. Keith's father set little Keith down on the sofa and then placed his burden on the table in front of them. He pulled his son into his arms and wept. The two of them cried the rest of the night.

Keith's teacher Mrs. Kray, handed him a cup of warm cider as the boy sat in a window looking out into the snow. "Can I get you anything else?" The boy didn't answer. She moved to a large chair by the fire. It had been an hour since she and her husband arrived. He and Keith's father had been in the back room with the door closed the whole time. She knew what that meant. They're planning something and whatever it was, it wasn't good. She wrapped her legs up under her pulling a quilt around her that was on the chair. Ten days to Christmas and she knew her husband was leaving. She didn't cry for she had to stay strong, for little Keith's sake. She watched the boy staring out the window not wanting to imagine what hell he's going through, to see his two sisters blasted into oblivion and then his mother abducted before his eyes. War is hell, and poor little Keith was discovering that in the worst way imaginable. She swallowed back the tears as she ran her hands over her pregnant belly that was just staring to show. War is hell.

The two men eventually came out of the room looking solemn. Keith's father made his way to his son, picking him up off of his perch holding him tight he carried him out of the room.

Her husband approached her squeezing in beside her on the chair. He wrapped his arms around her and nuzzled in close. "I'm sorry honey." He whispered.

"Just bring her back." She whispered back.

"It's not going to be easy, The Alliance has ordered Keith and I not to go. This could get really ugly. We could get court-martialed."

"Since when do you two follow Alliance orders? Just be safe. Alright?"

"Promise. Little Keith will stay with you and the kids till we get back, alright?"

"Of course." She hugged him tighter. "Try and be back for Christmas, okay?"

He pulled her chin up. "I'll try." He then dropped his lips to hers.

Little Keith was sitting in a window looking out onto the snow. It was Christmas Eve. There were four other children in the room laughing and playing, trying to imagine what might be in the boxes under the tree but Keith ignored them, instead watching the night sky. He held his black lion on his lap. The soldiers at the scene had gathered up what belongings they could, the lion being amongst them. He sat twisting its ears as he looked out.

"Dinners ready!" A voice called from the other room. Mrs. Kray walked up to Keith sitting on the window-sill. "Do you want any, Keith? I can bring some out to you." The boy shook his head still looking out. "If you change your mind just let me know." The boy didn't react.

The house grew quiet as she had sent her children to bed all now dreaming of Christmas morning but Keith still sat in the window. She left him there as she went about setting out the mornings presents as he remained totally oblivious to her. Eleven o'clock and her task was done. Smiling at her work, her eyes again traveled to the boy sitting in the window and her heart grew heavy. Suddenly the boy jumped up to his knees pressing his face to the glass. He then bolted to the front door frantically unlocking it and throwing it open he ran out into the night as a Alliance car pulled up outside.

Keith froze in his tracks sensing something was wrong as Four men got out of the car one of them being Mrs. Kray's husband. Keith didn't recognize the other three, as his eyes frantically searched their faces and inside the car. Two of the men were M.P's the other an admiral who walked up to Keith putting a hand on his head. He then knelt down in front of the boy and looked into his panicked eyes. "Son, I'm sorry but your parents are gone."

"Gone, gone where?" Keith started to cry.

Mrs. Kray's husband then also approached, Keith then noticed his handcuffs. He also knelt down reaching over the boy with his bound wrists and pulled him close. He started to cry. "Keith… Your parents are gone…they're…dead…I'm sorry I couldn't help them. I…I tried… I'm so sorry Keith."

"No!… No they're not!" Keith screamed. "They just went home! They're home!" He squirmed around in his arms.

The man wept. "No Keith. No. They're gone."

"No!" Keith squirmed free and ran, ran as fast as he could into the night. He reached the little house. It normally would be lit up with Christmas lights, like a beacon shining into the night but tonight it was all dark. He reached the door and opened it with his pass code. The inside was just as dark as the outside. He stepped in carefully, hoping against hope that they were just waiting to jump out and surprise him. But nothing happened, the house was quiet, quiet and… dead.

Keith dropped to the floor and began to wail. He looked up to the mocking Christmas tree standing tall, all happy, all perfect. His little jaw clenched and he leapt at it, tackling it to the ground and started ripping its limbs off, tearing at all the lights and all the tinsel, ripping it all to shreds. As he saw the angel at its top, he pulled it off and smashed it to the ground, the porcelain shattering on impact. He then turned his fury to the rest of the house tearing down every last bit of Christmas, smashing every ornament, every figurine.

Lastly his eyes landed on the fireplace, cold and dark, with its five stockings hung in front of it. He stormed over ripping them all down one by one and tossed them into the fireplace. He then flicked the switch at its side, sparking the gas, engulfing the stockings in flame. He glared at the blazing fire when a glint caught his eye. The angel his mother got two years ago and its mate, the one Keith's father quickly got for his mother when he found out they were expecting twins. He reached up taking one in each hand, one for each of his sisters. Tears pouring down his face, he pitched them both into the fire shattering them on the bricks. He then dropped in a puddle on the floor wailing.

The old clock in the hall clicked and started to chime. It rang out into the dead house… twelve times… Merry Christmas, Keith.