Tales from the Hidden Grove

Tales from the Hidden Grove
"Amongst the finest short story writers in the UK right now" ~ Black Pear Press

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Back To The (Dickensian) Future


Today was Clayton Dickensian Market day in my home village.  Unfortunately, the weather is so awful that the outdoor events had to be cancelled and as many stalls as possible moved indoors.  Claytonians showed true Yorkshire grit, however, and the indoor venues were packed.

So, to cheer us along through the storms, I have posted the little story I wrote for this year's programme.  I hope it brings back memories of better years...


Back to the (Dickensian) Future


Scrooge raised an eyebrow. 

“I assure you, Spirit, we have not met.  I think I would recall such outlandish dress.”

“Oh, we have!”  The Ghost chuckled.  “Under rather different circumstances.  I dressed in black in those days and did not speak.  You were rather afraid of me, I think.”

Scrooge blinked at the Spirit’s youthful smile and colourful, floppy clothes.  It couldn’t be…  It must be…

“The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come?”

Scrooge mumbled the words to his boots in case he was mistaken.  But the Spirit only laughed again.

“The very same.”  And before Scrooge could declare his amazement: “It is the change in your attitude that changed me.  When you decided to honour Christmas in your heart and keep it all the year, the Future itself changed.  Would you like to see a little?”

“Oh, very much!”  Scrooge clapped his hands.

In an instant, they were transported to a village street, filled with stalls, music, and the smell of roast chestnuts. A little fairground turned in the park.  Falcons preened.  Children sang. 

“It looks…  It looks just the same.”  Scrooge gazed, wondering.  “How far in the future is this?”

“Oh, 170 years, give or take.”  The Spirit shrugged.  “It’s like this every year in Clayton.  And it’s all thanks to you, Mr Scrooge.”

Scrooge wasn’t listening.  He was too busy filling his memory with the sights and sounds.

“Clayton…” he said thoughtfully.