Struggling under the weight of the tremendous goose, old Scrooge finally made it through Bob Cratchit’s door.
“Merry Christmas!” Scrooge exclaimed, thrusting his hand up the arse of the goose and extracting a large bottle of Scotch whiskey. “A goose and a bottle of Scotland’s finest for hot toddies all around!”
Scrooge and the Cratchit family sat around the waning fire, drinking and remembering.
“Hand me another toddy,” Scrooge said, unsteady in his chair.
“You’ve already had twelve, sir.”
“I have a lot of amends to make – in all matters of life.”
“I’m cold!” Tiny Tim said, shivering on his little stool in the corner.
“No more logs?” Scrooge inquired.
“On my salary, the wood is too precious,” Bob said.
“All that is going to change,” Scrooge said, leaning into the fire to light his Christmas pipe. “I’m going to help you in more ways than you know.”
“I can’t seem to get it to catch,” Scrooge said, lurching forward.
“What in blazes!” Too near the fire, a wayward spark ignited Scrooge’s greatcoat and his entire person erupted with a pop and a roar.
“Blimey!” Bob said, startled. “I’ve heard of spontaneous combustion, but I’ve never…! When Scrooge first arrived, I must admit I had doubts about the sincerity of the penny pincher’s amazing transformation, but he has supplied us not only with goose and whiskey, but also a blazing fire. I guess the miser was good for his word, after all. Come, Tiny Tim, warm your hands before old Scrooge dies down.”
--Steven Gulvezan was born in Detroit and has spent his career as a library director and a journalist. His fiction and poetry have appeared in over twenty different literary publications. He is an avid tennis fan, a prolific reader, a member of the Mystery Writers of America and a film aficionado. He resides in Michigan with his wife, Karen and his dog, Yogi.