9 votes, rating 6
Awaking in the middle of a prodigiously tough snore, and sitting up in his chair to get his thoughts together, the Great Gobbo had no occasion to be told that the bell was again upon the stroke of midnight. He felt that he was restored to consciousness in the right nick of time, for the especial purpose of holding a conference with the second messenger despatched to him through Christer’s intervention. He sat down again, and established a sharp look-out all round the room. For he wished to challenge the Spirit on the moment of its appearance, and did not wish to be taken by surprise, and made nervous.
Now, being prepared for almost anything, he was not by any means prepared for nothing; and, consequently, when the Bell struck twelve, and no shape appeared, he was taken with a violent fit of trembling. Five minutes, ten minutes, a quarter of an hour went by, yet nothing came. All this time, he sat in his chair, the very core and centre of a blaze of ruddy light, which streamed upon it when the clock proclaimed the hour; and which, being only light, was more alarming than a dozen ghosts, as he was powerless to make out what it meant, or would be at; and was sometimes apprehensive that he might be at that very moment an interesting case of spontaneous combustion, without having the consolation of knowing it. At last, however, he began to think—as you or I would have thought at first; for it is always the person not in the predicament who knows what ought to have been done in it, and would unquestionably have done it too—at last, I say, he began to think that the source and secret of this ghostly light might be in the adjoining room, from whence, on further tracing it, it seemed to shine. This idea taking full possession of his mind, he got up softly and shuffled in his slippers to the door.
The moment the Great Gobbo’s hand was on the lock, a strange voice called him by his name, and bade him enter. He obeyed.
It was his own room. There was no doubt about that. But it had undergone a surprising transformation. The walls and ceiling were so hung with living green, that it looked a perfect grove; from every part of which, bright gleaming berries glistened. The crisp leaves of holly, mistletoe, and ivy reflected back the light, as if so many little mirrors had been scattered there; and such a mighty blaze went roaring up the chimney, as that dull petrification of a hearth had never known in the Great Gobbos’s time, or for many and many a winter season gone. Heaped up on the floor, to form a kind of throne, were turkeys, geese, game, poultry, brawn, great joints of meat, sucking-pigs, long wreaths of sausages, mince-pies, plum-puddings, barrels of oysters, red-hot chestnuts, cherry-cheeked apples, juicy oranges, luscious pears, immense twelfth-cakes, and seething bowls of punch, that made the chamber dim with their delicious steam. In easy state upon this couch, there sat a jolly zombie, glorious to see; who bore a glowing torch, in shape not unlike Plenty’s horn, and held it up, high up, to shed its light on the Great Gobbo, as he came peeping round the door.
“Come in!” exclaimed the Ghost. “Come in and know me better!”
The Great Gobbo entered timidly, and hung his head before this Spirit.
“I am the Ghost of Fumbbl Present,” said the Spirit. “Look upon me!”
The Great Gobbo grudgingly did so. It was clothed in one simple green robe, or mantle, bordered with white fur. This garment hung so loosely on the figure that its rotting breast was bare, as if disdaining to be warded or concealed by any artifice. Its feet, observable beneath the ample folds of the garment, were also bare; and on its head it wore no other covering than a holly wreath, set here and there with shining icicles. Its head was hairless and free; free as its genial face, its sparkling eye, its open hand, its cheery voice, its unconstrained demeanour, and its joyful air. Girded round its middle was an antique scabbard; but no sword was in it, and the ancient sheath was eaten up with rust.
“You have never seen the like of me before!” exclaimed the Spirit.
“Yes I av, yew iz akaRenton” the Great Gobbo made answer to it.
“Er, ok fair enough you’ve got me there”. The Ghost of Fumbbl Present rose.“Touch my robe!”
“Ang on a minit sunshine, where did all diz grub kum frum?” said the Great Gobbo, his eyes narrowing as he surveyed the room of plenty.
“Rejoice for I have provided it”
“Wot, so yew paid fer it?”
“Err not quite” replied the Spirit nervously, “I confess I had to borrow a shilling or two from your safe…”
“Ow much?” growled the Great Gobbo.
“£300!” yelled the Great Gobbo his fists balling up. “Lemme get dis strait, yew spend me money an den tek der kredit fer lookin gud? Ent der furst time yew az pulled dis stunt iz it yer zombie git”.
AkaRenton backed away as the Great Gobbo advanced on him. “What are you talking about?” he stammered.
“Der bookcase yew iz getting lowdz o kredit fer in the diskushunz fer Fumbbler o der year. Ow many o dem bookz did yew actually rite?”
“Er, well, technically none I suppose”
“Rite! An now yew klaim all der kredit. Look at me Fumbbl, I made a bookcase” mimicked the Great Gobbo.
“What about all my good work with the new and needy players? That’s why I am the current Fumbbler of the year and not you!” replied the spirit angrily.
“Kiss arsein! Be my frend an vote fer me! Itz pafetik. No wun elped me owt wen I woz new, I lernt der ard way, der rite way and now look wot kind of a site yew az created, moronz riting 3 blogz abowt ow terribul dere luk az bin diz week. TRY PLAYIN WIV A TEEM OF CRETINZ YEW WHININ BITCHES!”
AkaRenton was by now backed up against the wall with a furious Great Gobbo in front of him. “OK, right, I think you’ve learned your lesson, Merry Christmas!” and with that the spirit vanished as the Great Gobbo lunched for it. He tripped on a bowl of cranberries and smacked his head against the cave wall, knocking himself out.
To be continued....