Hello Internet! Lex here! Welcome back to Flash Fiction Friday! Today we have Zee Kensington and her fantastic holiday entry “Tape.” Sometimes the greatest mishaps are what brings a family together. Bring the tissues!
By Zee Kensington
“Don’t tell him… I put his letter to Santa in the paper shredder.”
“You didn’t!” Darrel looked up from the present he was wrapping, his angular features twisted in horror.
Mark nodded slowly, his brown eyes shiny with remorse behind his glasses. He held up a wastebasket filled with shredded paper. Red and green streaks—the remains of cheerful crayon drawings—were clearly visible amid the snowy white ribbons.
“Oh, Mark!” Darrel covered his mouth with both hands. “How could you?”
“I didn’t see it!” Mark blurted. “Miguel must have snuck into my office and left it on the shredding pile instead of the to-do pile.”
“You really expect a six-year-old to understand your desk organization system?” Darrel shot his husband a withering look.
Mark dropped the waste can. “No, but I expect his dad—who’s here with him all day—to be able to keep him out of the one room he’s not supposed to go into!”
Darrel’s eyes narrowed, his mouth already forming a retort. Then he shut it again and took a deep, calming breath.
“OK. This is both our faults. We’re not used to having a kid around yet.”
Mark nodded in agreement, his own anger melting into guilt. He knelt down by the can, fishing out the colorful pieces.
“This is Miguel’s first Christmas with us,” Mark said sadly, “I wanted the Santa thing to be special, especially since he’s having a hard enough time believing he’s real.”
“Four years in foster care can do that to a kid,” Darrel murmured. He took some of the pieces Mark had rescued and smoothed them out, trying to piece them together.
“If this is a sign of things to come, I’m going to be such a lousy Dad.”
Darrel looked up from the fragments of the letter, taking in the doubt and disappointment etched on his husband’s face. He’d seen that look so many times during the years-long journey of their adoption process. He’d hoped it would disappear now that their son was finally home with them for good, but it seemed more common now that they were tackling the truly hard part—being parents day-to-day.
Darrel took Mark’s hand in his, and pressed a kiss to his knuckles.
“You’re going to be an amazing Dad. How many fathers dress up as Santa and let themselves be caught on Christmas Eve by their kid?”
“What do you—” Mark’s eyes widened as realization set in. “You want me to…?”
Darrel nodded, his hazel eyes twinkling. “He’ll love it!”
“He’s never going to believe it. I don’t look anything like Santa!”
“That’s what the costume and beard are for.”
“It’s too big a risk. If he finds out Santa is his new dad in a costume, he’ll never trust us again.”
“I’ll be there with him,” Darrel soothed. “I’ll make sure he doesn’t get too close.”
Mark looked like he was going to continue to argue, but instead, he shrugged, lips pursing thoughtfully.
“Okay then,” Mark finally said with an uncertain smile. “I’ll do it for my son.”
Darrel could see how much Mark loved saying that word—“son.” If this went well, this could truly be a special Christmas memory for their little family. And if it went badly…well, hopefully someday it would be a funny story. Hopefully.
“Our son.” Darrel squeezed Mark’s hand before letting it go. “Now, help me find the rest of his letter.”
“Hand me the tape, will you, love?”
Zee Kensington discovered a passion for writing erotica in her freshman year of college, and has been crafting sweet and sexy stories ever since. Inspired by her years working and playing in San Francisco’s LGBT community, she is especially drawn to tales that explore the joys and challenges of queer identities.
An almost-native Californian and a card-carrying geek, she currently lives in the SF Bay Area with her husband and toddler. When she’s not writing or catching up on her sleep she enjoys watching films, playing video games, experimenting in her kitchen, and dreaming of the day her son is old enough to travel the world with her.
Her first novel, Finally Home, is available through Dreamspinner Press.
Dreamspinner Press author page: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=558
Amazon author page: http://amazon.com/author/zeekensington