Monday, 22 December 2008

The Trials Of Ebenezer Scrooge, Part 3

A thin bead of sweat fell down Scrooge’s brow as he sat on the windowsill of his house, looking calmly over the frozen rooftops of London town. At this dark eve all the windows were shut tight against the westerly wind, and the lights extinguished so the little ones would be able to get to sleep, excited in the belief that presents would await them tomorrow. As they would, of course. A thin veil of magic permeated the skies of this Christmas-infused township, and Scrooge hung on to that thin branch of hope with all he had left.

The windowsill began to melt beneath his feet and he slowly stood up as the entire frame descended down the side of his house until it settled gently amongst the snowy road. Looking about, Scrooge found himself stood in front of a young woman dressed entirely in grey. “Who are you?” he asked the figure, but already the answer was clear.

“I am the Spirit Of Present Christmas,” she told, and then walked off on her own down the street.

With no other idea what to do, he followed after her and pulled at her robe. “Where are you going, Spirit?”

“We are going to see an image of what is present in the World,” she replied. “Didn’t I just tell you that?”

“Alas, Spirit, you simply wandered off without me.”

“Oh darn. I always forget in which order I should be telling and showing items of interest. I am the Spirit Of Present Christmas. Have I told you this previously?”

Scrooge decided to not cause a row. “No you did not. Continue from that part, Spirit, and we’ll be caught up entirely.”

The Spirit looked at him with dazed and cofused eyes for but a moment, but then swept away. “I believe that’s all of it. Now harry after me, for I have an image to show you, which is most important on this Christmas evening. I am to lead you to the house of Tiny Tim, because something very interesting is happening even as we speak.” The Spirit swept off luminously, and Scrooge had to run in order to keep up with her quick pace. They turned corner after corner, and under bridges and over beggars, as the route to the house was undertook. Upon finally reaching the small building which Bob called his home, the Spirit walked through the wall and Scrooge followed her.

“You mean we could have gone through all the buildings and ended up here in a much quicker time?” he complained, but the Spirit said nothing. She merely pointed over to the fireplace, flickers of smoke still stuck to the brick framework, and to the small figure knelt up by the dying fire. Scrooge almost broke the silence by asking who the child was, but he already knew the answer as soon as the thought crossed his troubled mind.

Tim was shivering, and his hand quickly broke free of the ball he was huddled in and circled to the floor in an involuntary spasm. With a succession of coughs and moans he got up and hobbled to the thick thinking chair Scrooge had donated to the family. As the small child sat there, he coughed once again, but this time he found blood decorated on the small side of his handkerchief, and shuddered. Tiny Tom covered his face with his hand and started crying.

“What’s wrong, Spirit?” cried Scrooge. “Why is Tiny Tim so unhappy?”

“It’s your doing, Scrooge. You are the one who is extending his life through prescribing drugs, even when said drugs do not improve his health in the short-term.”

“So what?” Scrooge said, with a note of desperation. “You think I should have left the family alone?”

“That is not my place to say, Ebenezer Scrooge. However, please remove your trousers now.”
Scrooge stared up into the soulless eyes of the Spirit. Then, with a sigh, he did as she ordered.

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