Scroogical: Stave Two


The First of the Three Spirits

One o’clock tolled, Scrooge stirred from his sleep
And heard, by his bed, a sound slowly creep
His bed-curtains moved and then swept open fast
Scrooge looked in the face of his Christmas Past
The spirit was old, but small like a child
His face was wrinkled, with a smile that beguiled
His long hair and dress were both a pure white
And he glowed and he flickered in the darkness of night
“I am the first ghost,” it said with some pride
He grabbed hold of the bedsheets and pulled them aside
With a light but firm hold, he grabbed Scrooge’s arm
And made for the window, to Scrooge’s alarm
“I am but mortal. I can’t fly you know!”
“Just hold on, don’t scream, now Geronimo!”
For just a brief second they plummeted down
Towards the cold streets of old London town
Scrooge opened his eyes, as soon as they’d stopped
To find that it wasn’t in London they’d dropped
Instead he was stood on a small country road
With white specks on the ground where it recently snowed
And all of a sudden, a smile sprang on his face
“I know where we are, I was raised in this place!”
They got to the town, which Scrooge recalled well
The familiar sights and those market town smells
“So,” said the Ghost, “you remember your past?
“Can you even remember when you were here last?
“I must say, for them we are quite unseen.
“These people are shadows of things that have been.”
Scrooge’s old heart was filled with much joy
As they walked past people he knew as a boy
And for the first time in many a year
Scrooge briefly remembered what was Christmas cheer
But then they arrived at a small darkened school
With only one boy, sat alone on a stool
And in a split second, the old man’s heart sank
He stared through the window, his expression quite blank
He saw himself, young, in the school all alone
Watching him Scrooge sighed and gave a brief moan
As he watched this sad scene, he heard in his ear:
“Now let us go forward in time a few years”
And they saw the same scene; Scrooge had aged a bit
He sat on his own in the room badly lit
When a small girl came in, his young sister Fan
And said that their father was now a changed man
Young Scrooge was ecstatic; with joy he did shake
Knowing he’d be home over Christmas break
They left the dark school, and as they did so
The memory faded, and started to slow
“Dear sister,” Scrooge cried, “you now rest with the dead”
And he thought back to earlier, when he shunned nephew Fred
But he couldn’t mourn long as soon they had moved
At another part of the life of old Scrooge
In seconds he knew it – and why wouldn’t he
The place he apprenticed at age twenty-three
The merchant they worked for, had closed for the day
They were packing away books and old dossiers
When his boss walked in – a man massively big
Scrooge instantly recognised old Fezziwig
“Ebeneezer, and Dick!” he called out to them
“Remember our party starts at eight p.m.!
“I’ve spared no expense for the company ball!”
He showed them tables of food lining the walls
And then the guests came and all had such fun
To his workers Fezziwig’s generosity won
Scrooge looked back on his days as apprentice as great
And wondered what happened to Dick Wilkins of late
But he’d no time to think, for he was soon whisked away
To another part of lifetime replay
In this scene he saw himself and a girl
As cute as a button, as pale as a pearl
She was his old flame, a beauty called Belle
How they were in love, to be married as well
But ‘cos of his greed, though, she broke it off
And left Scrooge to marry some other rich toff
The sight of the woman left Scrooge in great pain
“Please no more or God, I swear I’ll go insane!”
His face was all pale, his features aghast
“Only one more” said the Ghost of his Past.
They still were with Belle, but many years on
In a house filled with joy, in the south of London
Her husband came home, with presents in arm
He was happy but showed in his face some alarm
“Scrooge is quite lonesome,” he said rather grim
“With the death of his partner, his life is quite dim
“It’s been years since he laughed, or I’ve seen him grin
“I fear he’ll be like that till life does him in.”
And then, in a flash, Scrooge was back in bed
No sign of the ghost with the candle-flame head
The visions of pasts played back in his mind
Like seeing again after years of being blind
Shaken from it, he felt rather stunned
He didn’t pay notice to the clock striking one