Steven Gulvezan is a disciple, in words, of the great sculptor, Alberto Giacometti. At their best he hopes that his stories and poems are able...read more to cut close enough to the bone of truth to make them worthwhile to read. A collection of his poetry is The Dogs of Paris (March Street Press).
Struggling under the weight of the tremendous goose, old Scrooge finally made it through Bob Cratchit’s front 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!”
Later, stuffed with goose, Christmas pudding and holiday cheer, 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 six, 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 assist you in more ways than you know.”
“I can’t seem to get it to catch,” Scrooge said, lurching forward.
“What in blazes!” Scrooge exclaimed. Too near the fire, a wayward spark ignited the tail of the old man’s muffler and, bending low, he frantically attempted to extinguish it by smacking the muffler against the hearth.
“Blimey!” Bob said, startled, but recovering his wits seized the moment and, putting boot leather to Scrooge’s posterior, propelled his employer head first into the fireplace.
Bob repeatedly jabbed Scrooge with the fireplace poker as the septuagenarian struggled to escape the licking of the flames but soon enough his screams abated and he settled down to a nice toasty heart-warming burning.
“Don’t mind the odor,” Bob said to his wife and children. “It’s merely the smell of an aged fool setting right a lifetime of harsh dealings. You’ve all heard of spontaneous combustion. What you just witnessed was a demonstration of that process, with a little help from this,” Bob, waving the poker like a magic wand, winked and laughed merrily.
Bob, basking in Scrooge’s glow, lit his own pipe and meditated on the flesh peeling from the curmudgeon’s countenance, on the sunken eyes, so long buried in scorn, now wide and close to popping, on the yellowed teeth so long hidden in a scowl now bared in a graveyard grin.
“When Scrooge first arrived, I must admit I had doubts about the sincerity of the penny pincher’s amazing transformation, but in truth 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, everyone, warm your hands before old Scrooge dies down.”