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The last day of term brought with it the last day of James’ punishment. It also meant doing basically nothing at school and generally winding down ready for the holidays.
He returned home feeling calmer and happier than he had all month only to open the door to his parents having a row in the kitchen. James lingered out of sight beside the door to listen.
Dad was livid. “You ground James for passing off something he did on the elf and then do it yourself anyway. That’s really low, Jen, really low.”
“Steve, I didn’t do it.”
“Well it wasn’t either of the kids because they’ve been at school and it wasn’t on the table when they left.”
“I know. I know, it’s really weird, Steve. But I promise you I didn’t do this.” Mum sounded like she was crying. “I can’t explain how it happened but…”
“JUST ADMIT THAT YOU SAT ON THEM OR SOMETHING!” Dad yelled, making James jump. “I DON’T GIVE A CRAP ABOUT THE DAMNED GLASSES, I GIVE A CRAP ABOUT YOU LYING TO ME!”
A ringing silence followed, then James heard someone moving across the room. He dived into the front room just as his Mum opened the kitchen door and headed out of the house. “I didn’t do it, Steve.”
James crept into the kitchen after Dad stomped off to his office clutching a large glass of whiskey. Damien the elf was sat on the kitchen table holding a pair of broken glasses and beside him was a note that said:
‘YOU NEVER WEAR THEM ANYWAY.’
Mum didn’t come home for dinner.