The foetal position was one which Scrooge had never felt a need to crawl up into before, yet on this feral evening he found himself completely hunched up around his bed-sheets, sore and fearful. Last year he had been visited by four Spirits from the other side which had given him an eye-opening experience which changed the way he viewed the world forever. He had been a miser, a cruel grasping moneybag with no passions or loves in his life, and in the space of one night these spirits had fixed his mind and made him a decidedly nicer person. He helped people, he gave charity to those who needed it, and he went on his way with a song in his heart. The whole experience had been helpful to him, and he had become the nicest man in town. There was an obvious purpose to the visits.
This time, there hadn’t been.
When he had been visited tonight, the spirits had shown him visions of a Christmas which was filled with so much kindness that it hurt people, but Scrooge couldn’t believe that their purpose was to make him meaner. That would be against the very spirit of Christmas, surely? And the less he remembered about the vicious sexual assaults he had received from his best friend and the spirits who were respectively child-like, female, and dead, the better. He didn’t feel particularly festive at all today, which is why he was so surprised when he heard a knock at his door in the morning from a well-wisher.
“Good morning, Mr Scrooge,” said Bob Cratchit from behind an enormous laurel wreath he was holding. “I hope you don’t mind, but my daughters wanted to donate this wreath to your household, as there is no space for it in our dwelling. And a Merry Christmas, sir!”
“Merry Christmas, Bob,” Scrooge said with tired eyes, tired eyes which his colleague immediately picked up on.
“What’s wrong, Scrooge?”
Bob could see that his friend was clearly in some form of distress, and so he pushed his way inside the house and headed on up to the drawing room, where Scrooge usually received his guests. If he were to get his friend to open up about whatever had traumatised him so, it would happen in this room. Heavy footsteps followed him, and he knew that Scrooge was right behind him – as always. Once they entered the room Bob turned and faced down Ebenezer.
Scrooge immediately broke down under the weight of questioning, and he told his friend absolutely everything that had happened to him over the past night – sexual scenes included as well. At the end, he lay down on the floor in that now-familiar foetal position, as Bob leant over him.
“Scrooge? I know exactly what the moral was, here.”
Scrooge froze. “What was it?”
“You shouldn’t do everything a Spirit asks you to do.”
Scrooge paused for a second, and then burst out laughing. And then Bob, drawn in by the infectious guffaws, began to laugh himself. The door opened and members of the town wandered in, and started laughing too. It was, after all, the most hilarious thing they had ever heard.