A Christmas Carol 2013, part five

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Tiny Tim

….so besides Marley, you ghosts are different ones every time?” asked Scrooge.

Yes,” the final spirit confirmed. “Marley hires odd jobbers and the like. Just to get up in the real world again for a bit is a treat for the dead.”

Oh, certainly. Imagine it would be,” said Scrooge.

The pair had talked the rest of the night and Scrooge had learned some tantalizing details. He thought he’d put everything together.

I think I’ve put everything together. I’m a little ashamed of my ancestors,” Scrooge muttered. “I know we try to expect the best of people, but that’s no excuse for being dumb shits. This should have been figured out long ago. Oh, well. I think we can fix this mess forever.”

“What can I do?” the ghost asked.

Just get Marley to that house,” Scrooge said.

• • •

Back in the present, a knock came on the Burnsides’ door.

Who on earth could that be, Christmas morning?” Mr. Burnsides wondered.

The kids and Mrs. Burnsides looked up from their dismal fire. The father tucked the thin blanket round little Timothy’s withered legs and went to the door.

Ebenezer Scrooge charged in. Trailing him was a large catering crew from the best local restaurant, who immediately went to work loading feastly goodies on the table. Scrooge himself tucked a fat wad of bills into the confused Mr. Burnside’s  hand.

Get some nice stuff for the kids and the wife,” Scrooge said.

Before he could say anything else, in came the three visiting ghosts of the night before. Between them was the very discombobulated spectre of Jacob Marley.

So, Marley. You made a pact to torment every generation of Scrooges,” charged the current Scrooge. “This always seemed a little shaky of a premise to me. What do you get out of this? Some posh treatment in the afterlife, I imagine. Tell us the whole story.”

Marley’s ghost obviously wanted to deny the accusation, but it only took one look into Scrooge’s determined eyes to see that a denial would be fruitless.

I’ll tell,” Marley confessed. “When I was six years dead, I was summoned by dark magic. A prince of hell, masquerading as a mortal. He said he had an ingenious idea to get back at a very bad man. My old partner. Well, the first Scrooge was a miser and a misanthrope, so I was happy to oblige. But it didn’t end with him. This devil made me keep on doing the same scare bit with every generation of Scrooges. Inadvertently, he turned an entire family onto a path of good deeds because of his scheming. He got off on it the first time, you see, and he didn’t want to stop. Didn’t even care that he was sort of doing a good thing.”

” ‘Good’ is a relative term,” said Scrooge sarcastically. “So he does it because he gets his jollies from this game.”

“Indeed he does. And as you can see, he pops back in to life himself every time in order to witness the haunting first hand. He’s in this very room right now.”

“That’s all I need to know, Marley. Thanks,” Scrooge said. He whirled to the family grouped near the fireplace. “You nearly fooled even me, my friend, when I laid eyes on you. My heart broke with sympathy so much, that at first I was completely suckered. I thought for a second that I was the worst goddamn person in the world even though I’d done nothing to you. But now, the game is up!”

“What’s he mean?” Mr. Burnsides wondered.

“I’m sorry about this,” Scrooge said sympathetically to the father. “But you’ll be better for it in the end.”

Timothy suddenly leapt up from his patched chair and tried to make a run for it, but the spirits grabbed him easily and pinned him to the ground.

What are you going to do?” Timothy spat defiantly. “I’m a prince of hell!”

But you’ve been found out, my boy!” Scrooge said happily. “That places you in my power.”

Scrooge nodded at Marley’s ghost. Marley sighed and nodded back. Then, he raised his arms dramatically.

Timothy Burnsides,” the spectre boomed. “Tonight, and through-out eternity, you will be visited by—”

Ah, fuck me!” cried Tiny Tim.

Happy Holidays

{Well, that’s it. Thanks once more to Blogdramedy for running this challenge. The last chapter ran way over the word count, please forgive me. There was a lot to wrap up for such a short tale!}

The fifth part of the writing challenge BlogFestivus 2013–A Christmas Carol!

Here are the participants:

Amy penning at Fix it or Deal
Tom over at Shouts from the Abyss
Steve from Stevil
Maria-Christina blogging at MCWhispers
Dylan of Treatment of Visions (c’est moi!)
Sarah from Parent Your Business
Dawn blogging at Lingering  Visions
K8edid from k8edid
Dave bringing it at 1pointperspective
Eileen from Not The Sword But The Pen
Lindsey at RewindRevise
Kandy of Kandy Talk
Sandra writing at In Love With Words
Natalie from So I Went Undercover
Jen at Blog It or Lose It
Amelie from In the Barberry
Cee Cee blogging at Cee Cee’s Blog
Ashley from LittleWonder2
BD writing Blogdramedy

A Christmas Carol 2013

blogfestivus2013

Ebenezer Scrooge

 “Ah, fuck me!” cried Ebenezer Scrooge.

With a quickness that belied his sixty years, Scrooge ducked into a nearby alley. He pressed his back up against the wall and held his breath, hoping he hadn’t been seen.

He had been. When the apparition’s arms flowed through the bricks behind him, Scrooge’s fear began to change to  irritation. This wasn’t fair!

The ghostly arms clutched around his torso, a luminous grey head now emerged from the wall and twisted round to look Scrooge in the face.

There’s no escaping your fate, Ebenezer Scrooge,” the nearly two-hundred year-old spirit croaked at him.

Scrooge’s panic at seeing the ghost on the empty street a moment ago was now fully replaced by a surge of righteous indignation.

Now look, Jacob Marley! You can’t do this to me. For Christ’s Sake, you weren’t even my partner. It was my great-great-great-great—”

A Scrooge is a Scrooge,” the spirit of Marley intoned. He completely stepped out from the wall now and hovered in front of Scrooge menacingly. “You knew this day would come.”

There’s no reason for this,” Scrooge insisted.

The ghost of Marley tsk-tsked in a harsh whisper. Then, he lifted his cloaked arms dramatically and fixed Scrooge with a sepulchral glare.

Tonight, you will be visited by—”

Scrooge interrupted Marley with a rude grunt.

Yeah, yeah,” he muttered. “I know the goddamn drill. If we have to do this, let’s just get on with it.”

…to be continued

The first part of the writing challenge BlogFestivus 2013–A Christmas Carol!

Here are the participants:

Amy penning at Fix it or Deal
Tom over at Shouts from the Abyss
Steve from Stevil
Maria-Christina blogging at MCWhispers
Dylan of Treatment of Visions (c’est moi!)
Sarah from Parent Your Business
Dawn blogging at Lingering  Visions
K8edid from k8edid
Dave bringing it at 1pointperspective
Eileen from Not The Sword But The Pen
Lindsey at RewindRevise
Kandy of Kandy Talk
Sandra writing at In Love With Words
Natalie from So I Went Undercover
Jen at Blog It or Lose It
Amelie from In the Barberry
Cee Cee blogging at Cee Cee’s Blog
Ashley from LittleWonder2
BD writing Blogdramedy

Come on, EvDaDaDecs! Throw in with us! I’m putting this up early so you should still have time.