Tuesday, 23 December 2008

The Trials Of Ebenezer Scrooge, Part 4

The house was filled now with light and warmth, as Scrooge hurried round the various little rooms and switched on every gas lamp and fire he could find in an attempt to feel more secure in his own home. The visits of the previous three ghosts had all shook him to his very core, and he found that he couldn’t sit down properly anymore; a very horrible discovery indeed for this poor fellow.

As light bounced off his wooden walls, Scrooge sank into his favourite chair and tried to distract himself from the present by focusing on the invoices he had yet to complete before the year was out. It was a failing tactic, but the former miser knew that he’d need to do something to tear his mind away from disturbed thoughts about what lay under the robes of the final Spirit – a Spirit, he reminded himself with a sigh, which was synonymous with death.

He was sat before the grand fireplace, which had been laid at his personal request and which had been quite hugely expensive for him. It was a bourgeois monument to his former pomposity, an elaborate foundation which set the scene for an elegant and overdone room. Everything about the fireplace was of appalling taste and design, but it blew in hot streams of coal that set the room alight with warmth, and Scrooge had grown fond of the thing. It was while he looked into the flames that the Spirit arrived, and the arrival was signalled by the instantaneous transition of the hearth from a crackling orange to a darkened, purple hell-brick. The flames grew black and cold.

Scrooge turned and the Spirit was stood behind his chair. The Spirit looked at Scrooge with a sad radiance, and slowly pulled off the evanescent robes that covered him. With a sigh, Scrooge got out of the chair.

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