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by Michael Morse, contributing writer
The first chime woke him, the second one worried him, and the third filled him with dread. Something was in front of him, something, or someone, he was not quite sure.
“Are you the third of the spirits that haunt me this night?” he asked the shape that appeared before him. “Cannot you show yourself so I can see with whom I am to spend my time with?”
The spirit spoke not a word. He lifted his paw, a thin and bony thing, barely covered with fur, and Ebenezer Scrooge Wilson took it without delay.
“I fear you most of all, Spirit,” he said, surrendering to the fate that was in store. Wilson closed his eyes for just a moment, and when they opened they witnessed a most dreadful sight.
“This place!” he said. Where is everybody, there’s nothing but empty crates in an abandoned truck, hidden in the woods!” He looked everywhere his eyes could see, but nothing moved, there was no life, only an unrelenting cold. The spirit moved, and Wilson Scrooge moved with him, to the other side of the trailer and a most unwelcome sight.
“What is this?” he asked, filled with dread. A pile of something, some six feet high and twelve feet round stood before him, and the pile moved in spots, and whimpered. “Surely this is my imagination!” he whimpered, and tried to hide his eyes with his paws, but the spirit of Christmas Yet to Come would have none of it, and moved closer to the pile.
“I can stand no more!” cried Wilson. Please, Spirit, if you have any humanity inside of you take me away from this place.”
A cold northerly wind whisked them away, and where they went was no warmer. Bright sunshine filled the air, its very presence mocking the earth, which was enveloped with unrelenting cold. People lined the street near Wilson’s home, somber, dressed in their finest woolen coats, hats and mittens.
“What is this?” Mr. Wilson asked. “Is it a parade? I love a parade!”
The Spirit of Christmas yet to Come raised his paw, and pointed at a procession which crept closer. The sound of bagpipes filled the crisp air, people in uniform atop horses escorted a wagon decorated not at all for the season, but beautiful nonetheless.“Well, this is more like it!” said an excited Mr. Wilson. A Parade in my honor!”
The Spirit raised his arm once more as the pipers marched past. The horse drawn wagon slowly marched forward. The Spirit took Mr. Wilson by the scruff of the neck, picked him up and carried him closer, and closer, until he was in the wagon.
“I know what this is!” said Mr. Wilson. This is a casket, and inside is…”
Images flashed through poor Mr. Wilson’s mind as faint traces of the scent he loved most in the world filled his nostrils. The house that was on fire…his Dad rushing in…the people being rescued…the dog that saved them hiding under a bed…his Dad looking, looking…the dog choking…his dad running out of air…the dog…his Dad…
“Spirit! I implore you! Is this what is to be, or what might come to be?” said Mr. Wilson, but the ghost was relentless. He placed Mr. Wilson on top of the casket, and the bagpipes grew louder, and louder until the racket became unbearable! The cacophony filled every ounce of Mr. Wilson’s being, and when he could take it no longer, it stopped, and silence filled the air, and Mr. Wilson found himself alone, sitting on a smelly old chair at sunrise on Christmas morning.
Stave Six – tomorrow
Read Stave One here: https://rinewstoday.com/mr-wilsons-christmas-carol-michael-morse/
Read Stave Two here: https://rinewstoday.com/mr-wilsons-christmas-carol-stave-2-michael-morse/
Read Stave Three here: https://bymichaelmorse.wordpress.com/2021/11/09/mr-wilsons-christmas-carol/
Read Stave Four here: https://rinewstoday.com/mr-wilsons-christmas-carol-stave-4-michael-morse/
Michael Morse spent 23 years as a firefighter/EMT with the Providence Fire Department before retiring in 2013 as Captain, Rescue Co. 5. He is an author of several books, most offering fellow firefighter/EMTs and the general population alike a poignant glimpse into one person’s journey through life, work and hope for the future. He is a Warwick resident.