Unless one is of dyslexic nature, you may want to purveiw these chapters that precede this *
And perhaps it was the pleasure the good Spirit had in showing off this power of his, or else it was his own kind, generous, hearty nature, and his sympathy with all poor men, and how they may perceive others who have it all, that led him straight to Cratchit's clerk's; (his nephew and his brother that have been revealed to the reader previously). for there he went, and took Cratchit with him, holding to his cape; and on the threshold of the door the Spirit smiled, and stopped to fix his hair as if to be in the best presence for a rough and tumble. Fred Smyth's dwelling, a large brownstone on the more upscale side of town, chambers for maids and guests on the first floors while the playroom was above. It was carpeted and heated, furnished in all it's opulence, while the decadence was within. Think of that .Fred had but fifteen bob a-week himself; he pocketed on Saturdays but yet he owned this large, in town residence, how does one escape the thought of how does one do that?
Then up rose Mrs. Smyth, naked as a plucked fowl hanging in the poulters window.
She half staggered to the liquor cabinet in the parlor, on her way she snared a fag from the dresser and now was searching for both gin and a light. The scent in the room was that of the previous nights debauchery. Stale smoke, sour beer, acidic and musky scents of various particulars of human activity filled the room. Clothes and garment, of both outer and under ware were draped over the divan, the stair banister, and a trailed across the floor to the large unmade bed with a window view of the park. The maid, benign to the peculiarities of Mrs. Smyth dress or demeanor, scoured what stains she could from carpet and floor, as she went about the sordid business of cleaning up after the orgy. Mrs. Cratchit, with no regard for the maids disposition of whether she liked it or not; for there always was another maid to be had, or whether she had any opinion at all; it didn't matter, poured two fingers of Scotch into a cup and swilled it down.
Fred Smyth came in from an adjoining room, shuffling a man with a small burro down the stairs hurriedly.
"Wild evening last night, Mrs. Smyth," said Fred smirking and checking the remnants of the opium pipe left on the mantle.
"I have no idea who the last one out was," Mrs. Smyth , "or who was the last in for that matter."
"You wanton strumpet," said Fred wrapping his arms around her from behind.
"They set a large spread, worked since early this morn, mince pies, fruits, a nice large goose, suckling pig, pudding and all that, trimmings to, shall we go to the dining room and eat?"
"What? What on earth for? Breakfast so large? Not I, I'll do just fine with this alleviator."
said Mrs. Smyth with a certain amount of irritation to the question.
"Why my little nymphet, tis Christmas Day, and long past noon, your wallowing in your lust with the union men last eve has jogged your sense of time. It was well after sunrise that you finally stopped your prodigious whoring, you were exceptional in your talents last eve darling, but still, it is later than you think."
"Christmas Day you say? Oh dear, again? Oh, we have the New Years party to plan, invites must be posted, I must get some new linens, God, I'm fatigued."
Smyth and the Spirit exchanged looks, to which both understood, or anyone, in any culture, having overheard such conversation, would.
"Spirit, they are heathens and she a harlot, and this? This is relevant to my life, my salvation in what respect, other than Fred's family connection through disgusting, deceptive and degrading terms. Why even he thinks his mother, my sister, married a man named Smyth, who went missing in the war to which he takes his name. If I could distance myself further from this vile man I would, except, knowing the truth I keep him employed."
"Watch, man," said the spirit, adjusting his collar, and setting himself in wide stance.
"I have that meeting today, remember? Shareholders will vote no confidence in that wimpy pansy ass Uncle I have, remove him from the board and position and I was promised the helm. We will be richer than we are now. I'll be home all the time my little Sodomite slut, no work, all play, makes Fred Smyth a more, much more," he emphasized," satiated man." Fred laughed and escorted his wife down the stairs to the dining room.
"FredO," as Mrs. Smyth addressed him when she was disciplinarian, "when you assume the position, so to speak, what will you do with that mouse of a man, your Uncle?"
"Hi ho, that's truly the tops, ol' Uncle will be out on the street, that house is in Scrooge and Marley's holdings, it will be ours, to do as we like, throw that cur out on the street."
"Tear it down FredO!" replied Mrs. Smyth
The dining room was well appointed, as if a banquet had been prepared for many rather than the two. Tall white candles, a majestic melting phallic scenario, lit and flickering in the silver high polished candelabra, fresh linen table cloth with appointed napkins the same. The largest goose in the poulter's market the centerpiece, with gravy saucers, serving plates, and cutlery awaiting it's carving. The aromatic air infused with the meat, the potatoes, vegetables and fruits, weighted the air with anticipation to the mouth, and to all who were the slightest inclined for a quick bite could well sit for hours.
"Wretched, just plain wretched, food does not settle well with me, the very stink of it makes my stomach roll. Call the maids and tell them to clear this refuse immediately, it revolts me. Toss it all out." Said Mrs. Smyth
"As you wish my dear," and Fred rang the service bell and they scurried about removing the, the pies, the cakes, stuffing and meats, plates of fruit so exotic and bright and finally the goose, that they had meticulously prepared and made such a beautiful a setting display. Although it was said to toss all into the trash heap, the servants shared their good fortune and squirreled away the terrible waste, for their families, avoiding Mrs. Smyth's displeasure.
"It's about time Fred, as to your elevation in position and your salary, as my inheritance and dowry are all but gone. Your filling out your own checks from S&M are meager supplement to our lifestyle." Mrs. Smyth went to search for another bottle.
"Well, I can't very well take everything from the banks, or the vault, just enough to make Uncle Cratchit appear even worse the fool than he is. It's all very business like, and no one can find trace of my doings, but balance dear, is the key. If I skimmed to much, even my dear piss ant Uncle would become suspicious." Fred said proudly.
The Spirit raised an eyebrow at Cratchit, who stood alarmed; because, yes it is true, funds and moneys deposited on the beginning of the week were gone by end. Stocks and wares listed at one price for delivery were then missing from bills of laden later. Even his own billfold, left on his desk for the time of business in the loo, was lighter by a few pounds on his return. Cratchit having signed all forms, having placed his personal guarantee with his signature, was left as the only accountable that was responsible; and to that irresponsible.
" Yes, Fred, but if this clever plot of yours doesn't.." Mrs. Smyth was cut short her declaration by Fred holding up his hand in a conspiratorial pact as the maid servant struggled into the room, carrying a steaming pot of Christmas pudding.
"What is it?" irritated, Mrs. Smyth directed toward her help.
The servant flushed, but smiling proudly -- with the pudding, like a speckled cannon-ball, so hard and firm, blazing in half of half-a-quarter of ignited brandy, and bedight with Christmas holly stuck into the top.
Oh, wonderful pudding! Fred Smyth said, and calmly too, that he regarded it as a success achieved by his hired help, as he considered them ignorant and less in status. His insincerity was so pronounced.
"I thought mum and sir would like to enjoy some Christmas pudding, me and the cook got up the first light and started the fixing,' she said quite pleased with her accomplishment.
"Oh Gawd," groaned Mrs. Smyth annoyed, "take that and depose of it over the back gate. Give the vermin, that nest in the sewers, a Christmas feast. "
"But, but, doesn't mum even want to try some, it is delicious, and it took so much time, look, we decorated it so festive, mum, it has a stake of holly, it was well boiled," the servant insisted.
"You should be boiled in your own pudding and a stake of holly pushed up your arse, now go and do as your told."
The servant backed away flushed, with both anger and resentment, but the spirit wiped her brow with his scarf and she smiled. Fine, the Mrs. doesn't appreciate my sweat and toil, or the cook, or the upstairs maids, we'll all be gone by the new year, in new employ. As for now, thank you so much for me Christmas bonus, bitch, we'll savor every spoonful. And the servant went back to her friends and they rejoiced in the plan and the pudding.
Fred looked down the hall, checking to see if another interruption was in the making, satisfied, he continued.
"Well, we'll have all that business done this after. I was promised just yesterday in Uncle's very office, by the head shareholder himself, oh it's done deed. Uncle Bob will be like, like the pudding, over the back gate and fed to the rats."
Both Fred and Mrs. Smyth smiled, then they laughed in a sinister, sneering way.
Then Fred poured himself a brandy and Mrs. Smyth a gin and Fred raised his glass,
"Mr. Cratchit!" said Fred; "I'll give you Mr. Cratchit, the Founder of the Feast!"
"The Founder of the Feast indeed!" cried, Mrs. Smyth reddening. "If it hadn't been my inheritance, my dowry, my going down on every shareholder, union boss, and man or woman of influence, well you'd be pulling your own meat in an alley."
"My dear," said Fred, "the servants. Christmas Day."
"It could be Christmas Day, I am not sure," said she, "on which one drinks the health of such a scrotumless simpleton, such as your Uncle Bob Cratchit. You know he is, FredO. Nobody knows it better than you do, just get the money, be rid of these pretensions of family and let us enjoy life."
"My dear," was Fred's mild answer, "Christmas Day."
"I'll drink his health for your sake and the Day's," said Mrs. Smyth, "not for his. Long life to him, short employ. Let him soak as the milk toast he is, and then disappear. A merry Christmas and a happy new year then! -- he'll be very merry and very happy, I have no doubt, out on the street."
"Spirit, I have seen enough, these treacherous, lechers," Cratchit contained his anger.
"Makes you want to give them a go now, doesn't man?" The spirit, although a large man, moved quickly through several moves that had a very aggressive and intimidating sense.
"Whoop some arse, don't it?" The spirit gave a few kicks in the air through the heads of both FredO and Mrs. Smyth, in quick succession, announcing each kick with a grunt; had it or they any substance, they surely would be in much pain. But they dissolved as the scene did also, and Cratchit and the spirit were swept like particles as surely they were.
It was now later and it was getting dark, and snow thickened the air; and as Cratchit and the Spirit went along the streets, the lights from the homes cast a warm glow to the street, it was wonderful. Here, blaze from the hearth cast a flickering of the shadows, and deep thick curtains drawn but readied to shut out cold and darkness. There all the children urinating in the snow rather than trudging to the outhouse through the thick of it. Here, again, were shadows on the window-blind of amorous pairings under the mistletoe seeking more and giving more than the traditional kiss. And there a group of handsome girls, huddled together to share their collective warmth, propositioning strangers for the Christmas Eve special, a tug and pull for but a schilling..
Blessings on it, how the Ghost exulted. How it spread warmth, extolled the group and reveled in a non seeing audience. All along their pathway, the Ghost pressed a hand, wiped a brow with his kerchief, gave all a hidden, unfelt touch. The very cripple, one with but a crutch, like Cratchit's own son, when hobbled a moment and touched the next, put a lively skip in the very next step.
And now, it came of a sudden, without preparation for Cratchit, they stood upon a darkened, desolate moor, a bog, where monstrous masses of hewn rock, boulder and the like were cast about, as though it Stonehenge; and water spread itself in puddles of steam or would have done so, but for the ice covering that held it captive; and nothing grew moldy fuzz, and coarse rank grass. On the flattened horizon, the last vestige of the cold sun's rays, lengthing the shadows till all was lost in the thick gloom of darkest night.
"What place is this?" asked Cratchit.
"A place where Miners live, who labor in the bowels of the earth, displaced warehouseman, jobs lost to the unions and nepotism, laundry workers, hoopmakers, stablemen, all description and position of workers without income, all forsaken for economics and greed" returned the Spirit. "But they know me. See."
A light shone from the window of a hut, and swiftly they advanced towards it. There amidst a group that gathered, was a man standing and singing. The group's spirit was high in their witness and participation in song -- and from time to time they all joined in the chorus. So surely as they raised their voices, the man got quite blithe and loud; with exaggerated movement of hips he performed, and so surely as they stopped, his vigor sank again.
The Spirit did not tarry here, but bade Cratchit hold his robe, and passing on above the moor, sped -- whither. Not to sea? To sea. To Cratchit's horror, looking back, he saw the last of the land, a frightful range of rocks, behind them; and his ears were deafened by the thundering of water, as it rolled and roared, and raged among the dreadful caverns it had worn, and fiercely tried to undermine the earth. The rage of the sea was in Cratchit.
There, built upon a dismal reef of sunken rocks, some distance from shore, on which the waters crashed in relentless succession, pounding the small outcrop of rock, there stood a solitary lighthouse. Great heaps of sea-weed clung to its base, and fully encrusted in salt sprayed ice, and packed guano, a most remote place.
But even here, two men who watched the light had made a fire, and huddling in the warmth of each other on this eve. Joining their horny hands over the rough table at which they sat, they wished each other Merry Christmas and swilled some hard substance, gazing at each other in their loneliness. The elder one, struck up a song, a song of love and hope. The younger one, relenting to the songs wishes, cleared the table of their small feast, dropped his weathered trousers and submitted.
Again the Ghost sped on, above the black and heaving sea -- on, on - they felt no cold of the eve or wet of the element, they appeared on the helm of a ship far out to sea. They stood beside the helmsman at the wheel, the look-out in the bow, the officers who had the watch; dark, ghostly figures in their several stations; but every man among them hummed a Christmas tune, or had a Christmas thought, as it was revealed by the Spirit to Cratchit their very thoughts. All wished to be with loved ones, some at the moment were, although just fleeting touch of human contact, and then shame of the act. And every man on board, waking or sleeping, good or bad, had had a kinder word for another on that day than on any day in the year; and had shared to some extent in its festivities; and had remembered those he cared for at a distance, and had known that they delighted to remember him.
It was a great surprise to Cratchit, while listening to the moaning of the wind, and thinking what a solemn thing it was to move on through the lonely darkness over an unknown abyss, whose depths were secrets as profound as Death: it was a great surprise to Cratchit, while thus engaged, to hear a hearty laugh. It was a much greater surprise to Cratchit to recognize it as his own son's and to find himself in an alleyway near the docks.
"Ha, ha!" laughed Cratchit's son, to no one in particular. "Ha, ha, ha!"
If you should happen, by any unlikely chance, to ever hear that laugh, as other's had, all I can advise, and do heed it well, make haste, quicken your step. Direction or distance does not matter, just run.
It is a fair, even-handed, noble adjustment of things, that while laughter on the one hand is an enjoyable pleasure to do and to see, a two sided agreement, this laughter was not the one hand, in that respect. This was a singular principle to the originator, Tiny Tim, Cratchits wayward son, this was his laugh, alone When Cratchit's son laughed in this way: holding his gloved hand to his mouth, and twisting his face into the most extravagant contortions: Cratchit's son, from the birthing shrew he married, laughed as sinister as Cratchit himself. "Ha, ha! Ha, ha, ha, ha!"
"He always said bumblug, as I live!" hoarsely whispered Cratchit's son. "He believed it too. I believe he had a bum plug, always frightened of the world, never taking what was his, just waiting to be arse plugged." Tim always talked to himself in this manner, perhaps to prime his pump, to motivate, to act, perhaps, but it was always while sizing up the victim.
And then the mist shrouded the ghost and Cratchit, for only a moment, as if to recapture and be brought up to speed, as to how Tim arrived at this alley and Cratchit watched sadly.
Tiny Tim, so named, not so much short of stature, as to reference to his height, but in so much the size of his male organ. And that was not as one would think, for that too, was not so much stature; and truth in it's disclosure was average, but the ill fortune of being born the youngest male to older sisters.
"Look mother, look at how tiny Tim is," said Martha, Cratchits older daughter, while Belinda pulled the little pecker causing Tim to howl.
"Now girls," Mrs. Cratchit spoke with mock concern, as Bob continued to change his diaper, "don't pull Tim's winkie, it'll never grow."
Both the girls pulled back their investigation. Is it so, Mother? Is it so?
"Ask your father," Mrs. Cratchit laughed and went back to reading the newspaper.
"Well Father?" Martha asserted, "If you pull it? Does it stop growing?"
Cratchit perplexed at answering his daughter's inquiry, tidied up Tim, "Martha, my dear, Belinda, don't be seeking the answer to that question for anything or any purpose, it is unlady like, not proper, and certainly ill advised."
Mrs. Cratchit spoke up, "Ask your father where Tim's potatoes are, he's got the meat, as tiny a portion as spoke of, where's the taters?" She laughed at the uncomfortable twitching of Bob.
"Well, when he get's older, and more mature he develops testes and then…" Bob was cut short of his scientific symposium when Mrs. Cratchit snickered loudly, "Just how old do you have to be, before you attain balls in the Cratchit family?"
Ignoring his wife's vulgar comments in front of their two daughters may have not been wise in hindsight. Cratchit and the Ghost stood there as witness. The Ghost said, "Whoop ass, should of, could have, would of.." Cratchit winced as he knew the outcome and there it was the pronouncement.
"Tiny Tim, Tiny Tim, tiny tiny tiny Tim" the girls chimed and Mrs. Cratchit joined the chorus, if only to annoy Bob, to which she continued. And Bob smiled meekly, and always smiled meekly, as if it meant nothing, but down deep he was as resentful as when he was in front of his ol' headmaster. And so the name stuck like a dagger of holly in Tim's heart and mind.
For Tim, he endured all manner of disparagement. Forced to wear his older sister's cast off's, from dress and gown to their very private linens. His hair bobbed in the style of a young girl, to the powders and make up than they enjoyed decorating him with.
He learned to serve high tea, ballet classes, and to shop. Worse still,( and dear reader, bear with this horror), his very masculine identity, that which distinguishes and exemplifies his very male hood, to which, with his birthright he was free to express,
whenever and wherever in his maleness he so deemed, was forbidden, Tim was forced to squat, to piss, and until he complied willingly; he was made to do in front of his sisters and mother.
Tim's scoliosis bent him and forced him to use a cane. Having had such an ailment all his life it wasn't as disabling as if it happened on the sudden. Still. Suffering the torment and ridicule in school, from mates not so charitable on one's appearance, and then the increased, as aforementioned, debasement at home, only hardened his resolve to his 'specialness.' That is how he was so called by his mother and sisters when one would inquire about the cane or his slight bend in posture, as if perched to leap on a moment's notice, 'oh he is a 'special' one, he is.'
And then the mists were muddled and recast, Cratchit and the spirit stood in an alley as Tiny Tim, now grown, and looking as if to leap, relieved his bladder, standing up, against a cinder barrel.
He peeked around the corner, as to keep the advantage his, to surprise, a particular fellow to whom earlier he had crossed paths.
Tim, as thick skinned as one might be from indignities suffered early in life, was particularly sensitive to some things that another might cast off as not worth the bother.
The night provided his cloak and the snow and wind covered his tracks. Perfect eve to go on the hunt. His hunger born of matters for doctors to discuss at length. In fact, the dailies ran full page articles, under lurid headlines, as to the why and wherefore one might do such heinous a deed. Where was the body found? What was the latest count? Was it the same motive, for no apparent reason? No robbery, no witnesses to words of altercation, just some person, male or female. It was apparent that "Jolly Holly", so anointed by the tabloids, was non discerning in his victims, all bludgeoned and dispatched, with a calling card of sorts left sticking somewhere, although the editors always bowed to taste and propriety; Jolly Holly got his nom de plume by jamming a holly stake in one's rectum.
And there was Jolly Holly, Tiny Tim, Tim, buttoning his fly, with his stout and sturdy cane under his arm. Peeking around the corner at the man who called out his woman at the tavern this evening. Called her a most vile name, the most burning degrading to women, even to most men. Even in the atmosphere of the taverns Tim frequented, the cliental not so proper as to never have issued a vulgarity themselves or heard some as profane or blasphemous, still it stopped the genial atmosphere in it's tracks. The man, now with audience to perform, brought all into his ugliness. On Christmas Eve no less, thought Tim as he finished up his ale. The woman, she not a virgin in any capacity even in hearing such inflammations. But on Christmas Eve? She was ashamed. But the man continued in his tirade of abuse, further crippling the woman. All along thinking he was so all, so omnipotent, and his rage was justifiable on someone already beaten, already lost.
Tim smiled that smile, "Bumplug" said Tim, to no one in particular.
Cratchit and the Ghost stood there in the street, transparent to all, immaterial to prevent or intervene, yet they were witness. Cratchit asked the spirit if there was anything that could be done. "Think of it as a Christmas present to that vile creature."
Tim's abilities with his staff were most efficient. So adept at such ordeals, he could adjust his shot or swing to stun, demobilize, even ultimately dispatch, with a single blow. Depending on his whim. Tim felt in a most just mood this evening, perhaps the Christmas spirit and all, or perhaps the belly full of ale, never the less, the first whoop glanced the man as for sure he didn't know what hit him.
"Evening Governor," Tim in his most kind address, 'lovely night for a walk, I hope you enjoyed your last path made on this fair earth."
The man recovering, shaking off his dizzying and wiping his nose of blood, came to full realization of what had been done and more importantly, what had been said.
"Now see here, hold fast man, I have a billfold and coin, and a watch with a large gold fob, Surely?" the man stammered.
Tim gave a reassuring whack to the man's crotch and twirled his cane to come to rest as something to lean on, as if he were at an outdoor event.
"Don't call me 'surely', Tim said in a most calm voice.
The man doubled over and gasped in pain, holding his testicles now for soreness and protection, he tried to straighten himself before Tim.
"Your rant this evening, toward that poor woman at the tavern, hooked me on your scent," Tim walked around his victim.
"My what? What are you? The man stammered again.
Tim swung just below the kneecap a vicious blow that broke whatever bone sounded and severely incapacitated the man from movement if there even were such an option.
The man on his knees, or one knee, "I have access to more funds."
"Your scent man, you are a piece of dog scat, disgusting, and so, you'll remember, if only momentarily, that there's a "C" in Christmas and ripping away someone's dignity with word or deed, when 'surely', (Tim imitated the man's previous utterance), it was for your own sadistic pleasure, is wrong." Tim raised his cane to produce the crashing blow on the man's head.
"Wait, wait," cried the man, "Isn't this the same what your doing?"
Tim stopped. Swung his cane behind his posterior as a rest,
The man seeking an opening, again, surely, to save his life.
"Isn't this the very thing you are doing? Getting some kind of sadistic pleasure? Some kind of torment? A power adjusting dynamic, I'm the victim here."
"Not quite, governor," said Tim, thumping his cane in his hand as one would a hickory switch as head master at a boarding school.
"I, view this as strictly business, business is business," and with a twirl of his bent body, and the leverage produced with such torque, Tim's cane smashed the man's skull wide open like a ripe squash. The man's brain matter splattered over a wide area of snow and through the standing apparitions of Cratchit and the Ghost.
"Boy got himself a mighty powerful swing there, Bob, you ever think of getting him into cricket league?" said the ghost.
Cratchit stood shocked at the transpiring but in an odd way, proud of his boy. He's good at what he does.
Cratchit could see the Ghost had intentions to leave, they watched as a sprig of holly was tucked into the hanging jaw of the lifeless body and Tim whistled down the alley till he was swallowed up by the night. And so were they.
It was a long night, if it were only a night; but Cratchit had his doubts of this, because the Christmas Holidays appeared to be condensed into the space of time they passed together.
One moment it was the day of, the next the night before, then there was twixt time which Cratchit knew nothing. It was strange, too, that while Cratchit remained unaltered in his outward form, the Ghost grew older, clearly older. And larger, his girth, as if he was eating all the while they were together.
Cratchit had observed this change, but never spoke of it, until they left a children's Twelfth Night party, when, looking at the Spirit as they stood together in an open place, he noticed that its hair was grey.
"Dang, I got to have that colored," said The Spirit, after Cratchit inquired, "got no mirrors to look at man."
"Are spirits' lives so short?" asked Cratchit.
"My life upon this globe, is very brief," replied the Ghost. "It ends to-night."
"To-night!" cried Cratchit.
"To-night at midnight. Hark! Last show. The time is drawing near."
The chimes were ringing the three quarters past eleven at that moment.
"Forgive me if I am not justified in what I ask," said Cratchit, looking intently at the Spirit's robe, "but I see something strange, and not belonging to yourself, protruding from your cape. Is it a foot or a claw?"
"It might be a claw, for the flesh there is upon it," was the Spirit's sorrowful reply. "Look here."
From the folding of its cape, it brought two young women; wretched, abject, frightful, hideous, miserable. They knelt down at its feet, and clung upon the outside of its garment. Both alternately stroking it's thigh, its buttocks, biting softly around it's crotch.
"Oh, Man, look here! Look, look, down here!" exclaimed the Ghost.
Both girls. Yellow, meager, ragged, scowling, wolfish; but prostrate, too, in their servitude. Where graceful youth would have filled their features out, and touched them with its freshest teats, they were haggard, like that of age, pinched, and twisted nipples, and pulled by many. No change, no degradation, no perversion of humanity, in any grade, through all the mysteries of wonderful creation, as a two schilling whore.
Cratchit started back, appalled. Having them shown to him in this way, he tried to say they were fine children, but the words choked themselves, rather than be parties to a lie of such enormous magnitude.
"Spirit, are they yours?" Cratchit could say no more.
"They're yours man," said the Spirit, looking down upon them. "And they cling to me, appealing from their fathers. This girl is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this girl, you teach a child young, they learn family is family, respect for themselves first, value your self, empathy for others but man, you just don't sell yourself cheap!" cried the Spirit, stretching out its hand towards the city. "You make do with what you have and move on, overcome adversity, don't sub come or in these case, suck cum.."
"Have they no refuge or resource?" cried Cratchit.
"Are there no hotels?" said the Spirit, turning on him for the last time with his own words. "Are there no Cock and Swallows?"
The bell struck twelve.
Cratchit looked about him for the Ghost, nothing. Why he hadn't even returned him to the comfort of his bed. As the last stroke ceased it's ominous dong, Cratchit remembered, three ghosts, hmmm maybe Marley was counting himself. Such a though was dismissed in extreme dread as Cratchit looked up. Moving ever larger into focus was flowing Phantom, draped and hooded, coming, creeping from an even darker space.