“Ha! You’re dead. And I’m not.
And that is my final word to you,” said Scrooge.
And with that the ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas Yet to come and Jacob Marley dissolved themselves invisible.
“And that’s that, “ said Scrooge. “I’ve won my peace.”
But after that Scrooge couldn’t sleep. His eyelids would leaden, and flutter and he’d start to drowse. But sooner or later one of the ghosts would rouse him awake.
“You’re dead”, he’d say.
“And we’re awake”, they’d reply.
“I’ll sleep when we’re all dead”, Scrooge would riposte.
And they would dissipate and reappear again the following night.
Until 3:00am, the night before. When Ebenezer Scrooge could take no more.
Nightgown disheveled, red eyes ablaze, he brandished his nightcap at the apparitions.
“What do you want of me?”, he shouted.
The four ghosts looked through each other and then back at Scrooge.
“To turn your past into another’s future”, they said.
Scrooge grimaced at first. Then his eyes opened wide.
“I only have a coin. Only a last grain. My life is a droplet.
What do you expect me to do?” Scrooge asked.
Again the ghosts spoke as one.
“If you wait too long, it will be too late. And it will be gone forever. You can keep it all to yourself. But it will die with you. As it did with us.”
And Scrooge woke up renewed.