With my sincere apologies to Mr. Charles Dickens, I’m offering a series of futuristic vignettes that take a look at a few of the characters of his heart-warming novel and what their lives may have been like decades beyond the words “The End” at the close of his masterpiece. These tales are simply the result of my imagination being given free rein, but I offer them in the spirit of the season, hoping you’ll enjoy them. You can also find them in my Christmas anthology Stocking Full of Stories, which is for sale at the Amazon Kindle Store all year long.
# 1 EBENEEZER THE SUITOR
Ebenezer had never felt his heart stop beating before. Was that what was happening, or was he just forgetting to breathe? He wasn’t sure, but He did know he was looking at the most beautiful creature he’d ever seen, and he was glad he’d worn the new suit.
“Ebenezer, meet my cousin, Marilee Cratchit,” said Bob.
Marilee extended her hand, and Ebenezer took it, becoming submerged in the magical cloud of her cologne. He’d been nervous about attending this party, but since his regeneration on Christmas day last year, he was welcomed everywhere. Right now he felt ten feet off the ground. It seemed being a kind, generous man really was the most important thing in life.
“Ebeneezer, I’ve been dying to meet you,” Marilee cooed. “Come sit with me and talk.”
His heart danced. He couldn’t believe anyone so beautiful and fragile would be interested in spending time with him. His heart skipped a couple beats as he wondered: was he actually going to get another chance at love?
“What shall we talk about?” he asked her, contemplating ways to express his renewed heart to her. Ever since his transformation, he found that he wanted to tell everyone how good life was when you learned that people are more important than money.
“I’d like to talk about your money, of course!” she said. “They say you’re the richest man in London!”
Disappointed at her words, he answered: “Uh … I don’t know. Is it important?”
“Well it is to me! Without a lot of money one can’t own a fine home, or fashionable clothes, or beautiful jewelry. And there’s no chance to travel and have fun without a lot of money either. Surely you, of all people, know how important it is.”
“Well, I admit that I used to feel that way. In fact it cost me the love a wonderful woman when I was quite young. But last year I had a most unusual experience that taught me a valuable lesson about life.”
“Oh? What lesson was that?”
“That people are much more valuable than money and that unless you care about people money doesn’t really do you any good because no matter how many things you buy with it, it cannot take away loneliness and give you love.”
“Well, I’ll take my chances,” she said. “I do not intend to be poor or to do without all the finer things in life.” She gave him a saucy look, her seductive smile in place. “I may as well warn you, Ebbie, I’m looking for a rich husband, and I have my eye on you.”
He squirmed just a little where he sat and cleared his throat. “Marilee,” he said, “I think perhaps there’s a book you should read. I’ll loan you my copy. It’s a little Christmas story by Charles Dickens.”