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Family Holiday

Walking on Thin Ice

By ROCK Published 2 months ago 15 min read
Family Holiday
Photo by David Booth on Unsplash

"We drove up the snowy, winding road towards our house like every winter break." Jonas reported to the local police officer on duty in the small Swedish village outside of his families fifty year old holiday house. Everyone there knew the Gustafsson's and loved having them return for Christmas, winter break, Easter and Midsummer. Well liked, open doored, come as you are kind of people some would say. The officer's name tag read Filip and he looked about the entry way bored then eyed Jonas attractive teenage daughter who in turn seemed flattered and smiled with no signs of blushing on her fair, white skin. Jonas son Mattias was rough housing with the families dog, a mixed breed of Golden Lab and who knew. Laughing and loud, Jonas snapped at him to take their dog, Opal, outside to play in the mounds of snow that surrounded them. Marie, his daughter sauntered up the stairwell, flipping her waist long blonde hair behind her, perhaps adding a bit of teenage drama to the scene. Her mother, Anne, was resting as she referred to it, which generally Marie interpreted as drinking white wine and flipping through home decorating magazines and blabbing with her best friend Allie back in the states. Officer Filip asked if he could come inside and have a sit down, ask a few questions regarding a bonfire incident that local teens had held which had sadly gotten very out of control; one teen was still in the hospital suffering from frostbite, another had fallen through the ice and had not been found. With a nervous glance up from his now more comfortable position on a very casually expensive, high backed grey chair covered with a soft, white, wool he pursued in a sheepish tone, "Was your daughter, Marie, was it? Was she there Saturday night?" Jonas stood in front of him, a good 6 foot 4, exceptionally groomed with amber fox like eyes, reddish brown hair neatly trimmed with a stern stance. "Actually, we arrived that afternoon, we pulled up and there were signs of some mischievousness around our property, a cracked window in one of the upstairs bedrooms facing the frozen lake and beer cans were strewn around the property; oh, and there was evidence of cigarette smoking in the barn. The barn chain had been broken as if someone had taken to frequenting the place." he purported. Adding, "Marie was home with us, helping to unpack the food, suit up our beds; she helped Mrs. Gustafsson, that is Anne, with making dinner in fact." Officer Filip nervously scratched down notes then pressed on, "What about your son?" Jonas squinted his eyes, obviously annoyed. "Mattias was home, he's only twelve years old." Officer Filip began to stand, however Jonas stood very close leaving little space for him to do so. Resolving to stay seated he pushed one last question, "You mentioned a broken window, brrr, whose bedroom was affected?" Jonas stepped back noting that this nuisance of a man had attempted to stand, and he really wanted him to get the hell out of his home. He gritted his teeth, his jaw twitching either out of hesitation to answer or irritability. "Mattias' window was broken, unfortunately he had to stay on the sofa by the fire; he was watching television late, disappointed in the weak reception for his mobile phone." "Okay, sorry about all the questions, truly, just the old chief is on my back; one more thing, What time did you go to bed with your wife?" Now Jonas was unable to contain himself, "Why all the bloody questions? As I said we arrived Saturday, unpacked, stocked up on wood, ate dinner and I was in bed by 11:00. My wife was exhausted so she retired earlier. We are regulars here, everyone knows our family." Officer Filip felt scrawny, as a newbie to the department he apologised for the intrusion then rambled on about it all being so awkward for him to question people he'd known from childhood as well. He mentioned he was just twenty-two now, how answers are crucial to comfort the frightened boys parents, surely he could relate? He began revealing details about the entire case which any good police officer doing inquiries would never do. His mouth spewed information as if he was overwhelmed, perhaps in need of some comfort, too and his head shook left to right, up and down like a bobbled-headed doll. Apparently, the one who was unaccounted for was a sixteen year old girl and her boyfriend had been seen in a fight with another boy over something by the bonfire, he'd noticed too late her predicament, run out to try and save her, all so tragic, so hard to believe. Some one had to know what caused her to stray off from the group and what the arguing was about. Not one teen admitted to seeing the potentially drowned girl there at all or even seeing the unknown boy who was in the brawl. A nurse on her way home from work saw the calamity, stopped and called emergency services. She wrapped the shivering boy in an old blanket laying in the snow near the fire; with the help of one quite shy, younger guy they'd carried him up the icy bank into her backseat. Even she couldn't recall what the boy looked like. While waiting for the ambulance and police all the kids dispersed never telling her about the girl on the lake gone missing. It was a horrifying happening. Jonas softened, "Yes, I understand what a shake up this has been for the village, the boy's parents, that desperate girl and you; like I said, I can't help you out, yet when the name is released of the girl who may have drowned, I will ask my kids if they know her. We'll obviously send condolences when we learn more. I've warned my kids that it's not like it was even ten years ago, global warming and wild temperatures cause the lake to not be trustworthy even to skate on now." Officer Filip shook his head in a mildly agreeing way then just as he was turning to leave, Mrs. Gustafsson who was standing at the top of the stairwell in a black satin robe offering him more than a glimpse, her breasts were full and exposed, she pulled her robe closely as her left hand smoothly slid down the mahogany railing as she approached the men. "My God, did I just overhear that a poor girl may have drowned? Her parents must be suffering terribly!" Officer Filip turned warm in his face as she reached out to take his hand. Her daughter's beauty obviously was her younger reflection. She peered into his eyes with an agenda and just as Officer Filip felt his knees buckling, he fainted. The door swung open as Mattias and Opal came scrambling in from the darkness which fell so early in the far north. Poor Officer Filip was sprawled out on the marble floor, Opal licking his face, stepping onto his notepad, his stomach, then shaking off the wet snow from her fur onto his head, then she hopped onto the sofa. Mattias, kicked off his boots and stared at the man on the floor. "Pappa, what's wrong with him? Shall I call for help?" Anne looked at Jonas prompting him to answer. "No, no, still no reception. Go warm up." Mattias turned the telly on and snuggled up with Opal under a blanket. He noted the blanket was new, but things were always changing with his mother's eye for décor. Maria sprang down the stairs in a long tee-shirt and stared at Officer Filip, then spouted, "What the fuck!" and froze. Her mother ordered her to go get a cool cloth from the kitchen then to return to her room. Maria did as she was told as Anne gestured with a wave of her hand for Jonas to follow their daughter. She quickly took her purse from the side table removing her wallet carefully. Officer Filip was beginning to stir. She stuffed five thousand kronor into his outer coat pocket then swiftly picked up the notebook and knelt beside him. He could hear her whisper, "I so respect your discretion Officer Filip." She then strolled calmly to the kitchen as Maria and Jonas hurried past her in the opposite direction with cool cloths to comfort the downed Officer. With a bottle of chardonnay in one hand, a glass in the other, she glanced at Mattias lovingly. As she assented up to the bedroom, Jonas watched her as she caressed the handrail seductively, she still had a hold on him that no woman could ever replace. She paused at the top, her long legs exposed just enough to arouse him and she gave him a wink. Jonas squatted down next to Officer Filip patting his now pale cheeks softly, "You alright, mate?" Officer Filip slowly came to and gasped. "What happened?" Jonas helping him to a sitting position relayed that he had fainted. "Oh my god! That's a first!" Jonas continued, "You went down quickly, not for long, but like I said, our mobile reception is bad so I couldn't ring for help." He then put his strong arm underneath Officer Filip's and got him to his feet. "Did you eat anything today? Perhaps a coffee and some of my wife's gingerbread before you drive?" Officer Filip did his bobble-head thing and was seated at the kitchen table. Jonas filled a plate with gingerbread in the shapes of stars, snowmen, and angels and poured him a strong cup of coffee. He placed sugar cubes on the side of his saucer and cream in a tiny porcelain pitcher near his cup. He sat down directly across from him and smiled. "I can't thank you enough for all of this bother Mr. Gustafsson. Mmmm, these are really tasty." Opal appeared and sat next to them longing for a treat. "Mr. Gustafsson," Jonas interrupted, "Call me Jonas, please!" Officer Filip smiled and felt his pocket had thickened. His hand curiously slipped inside and he knew exactly what it was. He smiled and sipped his coffee. "Jonas it is then. I can't remember what I was thinking of to be honest." Mattias entered the kitchen with his boyish grin and grabbed a handful of gingerbread, some of Opal's favourite treats from a jar on the counter then seemingly bounced back to his spot on the sofa. Opal followed him loyally. "I should get going. Been quite the day"; Officer Filip stood and thanked Jonas for his patience, the cookies, the coffee and as he headed for the door, he felt a tap on his shoulder. It was Maria barely clad in a long tee-shirt. "Just wanted to say I hope you feel better Officer". Officer Filip's eyes widened, thinking damn she is sexy. "You can call me Filip." She stepped a bit closer than her father liked and said, "well okay then Filip, see you around?" As if in a trance, just like Jonas had been on the day he first set eyes on Anne, Officer Filip smiled. Jonas opened the door, turning on the porchlight and watched as Officer Filip drove away in his police car. "Pappa, can I please have some of the candy Mom bought before dinner?" He could never say no to her. Her eyes sparkled as she grabbed a goody bag from the still unpacked grocery bags in the coat closet. "Pappa, don't forget to get the rest of the bags out of from the trunk. I mean of course the pizzas will still be frozen as it's so like minus, minus here! Oh, and Mom asked if you could fix Mattias' window, bring her some cheese, crackers and I forget what else she said." Jonas sat down in the comfortable chair which Officer Filip had been in for what seemed like days. His son was watching a film for kids much younger and laughing. The cheese and crackers, what else? He stood again and poured a double scotch into his empty coffee mug, made a plate with an array of cheeses beautifully for his wife then meticulously surrounded it with an assortment of crackers. He added a few olives and made her a vodka and tonic just in case she was on the phone with Allie. He fumbled in his own mind, wait, her phone works? She's always talking to Allie. He downed the scotch and peeped around the corner at Mattias, who was definitely texting. He coughed loudly and walked passed Mattias with an ornamental tray of snacks for his beloved. Mattias eyes were back on the telly and Opal was sound asleep now. He came to the bedroom and could hear Anne laughing, obviously she had finished the bottle of wine. He opened the door and there was Maria next to her, (was she drinking with her mother??). He placed the tray on the bedside table asking what was so funny. "Just girl talk Pappa." Anne gave him that sultry look that made him melt then replied, "Darling, did I say how much I love you today?"; he moved closer to her and bent down to kiss her cheek and said "I can't remember? Did you?" Maria chirped in, wiggling closer to her mother, "Pappa, remember what Gran always said? Actions speak louder than words." Jonas brushed his hand across her messy hair, "yes, that's true my sweet girl." On the wall above the bed they all looked at once at the oil painting of Gran sitting with a slight smile on a red, velvet chair with a small cat in her lap. Anne sighed, "Imagine what she would think about today's upset." Jonas pursed his lips and turned toward the door. "Pappa, what's for dinner?" Maria blurted. "I'll see what I can drum up. You two have fun." He stood outside the door and tried to go over the last twenty-four hours. What had he missed? Time was all a fog. He stepped carefully toward his daughter's room and pushed her door open quietly. Her bed was not dressed, her suitcase was open and in the corner he saw what appeared to be a wet nightgown crumpled up. He bent down to touch it, yes, it had been perhaps hand washed and forgotten or? Odd. Teenagers. He left the room, careful to leave the door just as he found it, slightly cracked open. He went to the guest bedroom which was once his grandfather's office. The bed was made and had been slept in, by whom? It smelt of cigarettes and he unlocked the window to air it out. He looked out across the lake, at the moonlight shining across the thin ice and could see where it had cracked. He imagined the poor girl flailing, freezing, slowly succumbing to it's fateful beauty. Why did guilt hang over him? He felt numb, truthfully the drive up had left him exhausted, and he knew he needed to just restart his own mental holiday, let go of the drama and chill. He returned to the kitchen and poured another scotch, this time in a tall glass. He grabbed two bags of chips, dropping one into Mattias lap as he passed and then resigned to his chair. He ate chips, gobbled them up actually, sipping on his scotch. Ahhhh! He was truly relaxing. He even nodded off for awhile. Maria, now dressed warmly quietly entered the room whispering to Mattias, "Mom's out." He smiled and pointed at their father snoring in his chair. She grabbed a bottle of schnapps while Mattias slithered into his snow pants, put on Opal's reflective collar and together they both snuck out the door. Opal began to bark right away. "Shush, Opal!" snapped Maria as she lit her cigarette. The trio went out to the road, snow was falling heavily and they opened the bottle. Opal ran ahead and they followed her taking turns with huge swigs and laughing. Mattias began to mock her, "Well okay then, Filip, see you around" using the highest pitched voice he could muster up. "You little asshole." They walked until the bottle was finished then laid in the snow staring up at the northern lights swirling around. Opal wanted to play, nudging them repeatedly. "We better get home before we wind up in the hospital with frostbite!" snickered Mattias. Mattias pulled his sister up and then he saw the headlights approaching them slowly; it was Officer Filip. "Go on home Mattias, make sure their both passed out and pour more scotch into Pappa's glass. You and Opal get to sleep now. Mattias made a drunken snort, laughed and did as his big sister said. The car pulled up next to her and the door was pushed open. "Well hello Officer, how can I help you?" Filip laughed as he turned off the car's engine. "You are such a naughty girl. Shall we visit the barn tonight?" His hands were everywhere and she didn't refuse, she never did. "Why wait for the barn?" she slurred. After he'd finished he handed her more schnapps to replace her father's as usual. She slipped and fell as she exited the car and fell two or three more times before getting home. She quietly opened the door and staggered to the kitchen and put the bottle back to it's place in Pappa's liqueur cabinet. She grabbed a bag of chips and sat, rather, fell onto the floor. The bag sprawled open and Opal was munching away. She laughed then passed out until her Mother came in to put on morning coffee. "Maria!" Anne shook her daughter's shoulder hard. "Lay off, Mom." Just before she was about to nod off again, her mother yanked her to her feet and stared into her eyes with fury. What have I told you? Get to bed before your father wakes, NOW!" Maria made it to her own room without bedsheets still then shimmied out of her semen stained panties, put on her sleep tee-shirt and began to climb onto her bed; yet suddenly she felt the increasingly familiar need to puke; she started for the bathroom but didn't make it. She covered the threshold of her doorway in pinkish chunks then retreated and laid down, this time grabbing an old blanket off the chair in the corner, not noticing it's blood stains and was out. "Jonas, coffee dear?" Anne gently touched her husband's arm hanging over the side of his chair. "Oh, shit. Darling I am so sorry! I was so damn tired I fell asleep with Mattias watching the telly." Anne handed him his coffee with two sugars as always and whispered, "Go freshen up dear. I'll make some breakfast. Oh, and Jonas, Maria has a stomach flu, so don't wake her." Jonas looked at his wife in agreement and went up to shower. His head was nudging him to recall what was next on his list, fix the broken window, ah yes, always something with this bunch.

CONTENT WARNINGShort StoryPsychologicalMysteryHolidayfamilyAdventure

About the Creator


Writing truth or fiction, feels as if I am stroking across a canvas, painting colourful words straight from my heart. I write from my old farmhouse in Sweden. *BLOGLINK

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  • Randy Wayne Jellison-Knock2 months ago

    Such a naive cuckhold. Yep, that's me. Great storytelling, ROCK!

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