A Christmas Jingle

It was a silent and calm night, the cold held back by a single crackling log fire at the centre of the village. The once-born huddled together around the fire and asked their story teller:

"Could you tell us another story?"

But the ancient stalker was silent as he gazed at the fire thoughtfully, remembering. Remembering a time from before his stalker days when all he had to worry about was what he would have to get his children as presents.

When he wasn't a stalker.

The once-born sighed in disappointment and turned back to face the log fire, which Shrike ignored. That is, until a faint memory flashed across his mind, a memory his children…

" IT WAS A COLD AND DARK NIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF JULY," Shrike began, his screeching voice waking several small children who had just started to fall asleep, "AND IN A LARGISH SCRIVENER HOUSE ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF…"

And in a large scrivener house on the outskirts of London a lone father browsed through his largish collection of novels, trying to find a suitable novel to read his to his children, eventually, his eyes settled on one book he had brought the day before, an Ancient novel entitled A Christmas Jingle by Sherlock Holmes.

"What story will you read too us tonight, daddy?" Fern whispered faintly, as her daddy entered the room.

Kit Solent smiled softly before replying "An Ancient story, set at Christmas time, which is supposedly the time of year that Cheesers was born."

"Can you read it to us then please daddy?" Fern asked.

Kit nodded before clearing his throat and beginning.

"And stay out!" an old man yelled at the young boy he had thrown out onto the street. The boy swore before running of across the snow.

"Bah! Humbug!" The man exclaimed before walking back into his sweet shop. Why did the children always try to steal his sweets, especially on Christmas Eve?

"Why indeed?" an echoing voice remarked, causing him to turn round to look at the source.

"Bob?" the old man gasped.

And he had a right too.

Bob had been his superior in the shop, before he had killed him and taken his place.

"Yes, Scrooge," Bob's spectre, for that was what he was, replied, "I am Bob. And since I hate you so much I've hired three ghosts to show you how much everyone hates you. Bye!" after speaking these words, he disappeared...

Later that night, while Scrooge was asleep, the first ghost awakened him.

"…My precious… old mansee should wake up…" the creature made an odd coughing sound, as if something were stuck in its throat.

"What are you?" Scrooge asked in horror and disgust, for the thing in front of him barely reached his waist and was extremely bony, with only a rag for clothing.

"…Smeagle… ghost of Christmas past… my preciousss, show old mansee previous Christmas…" the creature once again made the odd coughing sound and the surroundings changed, showing a small baby before the surrounding went back to normal.

"…My precious will leave old mansee now." The creature muttered before leaving.

Feeling utterly perplexed, Scrooge closed his eyes and went to sleep.

However, it was not long before the second ghost awakened him...

"Piikaaa!" [Wake up!] Scrooge jumped up quickly as a massive voltage coursed through his body.

Scrooge looked in puzzlement at the mouse like creature before him: it had red spots on its cheeks and what appeared to be a lightning bolt for a tail.

"Chu pikaa pikapikapi pika" [let's get this over with, this is what this year's Christmas will be like] suddenly the scene changed to show a building, which blew up.

After the second ghost disappeared Scrooge fell unconscious and collapsed onto his bed due to a combination of extreme electric related pain and pure befuddlement.

Unfortunately, it was not long before the third and final ghost awakened him.

"Is he awake yet? Stupid humans." The spectre muttered.

"How can you not be human if you have a northern accent?" Scrooge asked.

"Lot's of planets have a north," came the evasive reply, "Well, I'm the ghost of Christmas's yet to come and this is what the future will be like."

Suddenly a dreadful groaning sound started and from nowhere some strange eerie music played and the scene changed.

The sight made Scrooge cry.

"No…" he whispered

For children had ganged up on him, killing him and stealing all his sweets

"I'll change… I'll change… I'll stop this from happening…" Scrooge whimpered until the ghost had left.

The next day hundreds of children stole Scrooge sweets, for he had 'foolishly' left open the door. The children got home, ate the sweets and died.

"Merry Christmas everyone!" Scrooge cackled.

When Shrike finished the tale he realised that all the once-born were staring at him oddly.

"WHAT?" he asked.

"Well" they began, "We were expecting a happy ending."

"BUT THAT WAS A HAPPY ENDING," Shrike replied before turning back to the fire, the once-born puzzled him sometimes.