Christmas Yet to Come

The windows were shut tight and heavily curtained. The door was tightly shut. But a cold draught flickered the candles’ flames and sent shivers through his spine. In the dim light he could not at first see the spirit, but he felt its presence. Slowly its outline appeared, as if a cold dawn was rising and limning its translucent form. It had the appearance of a youth, robed and with the appearance of life and vigour – though he could see the faint outline of the walls through its body. The spirit came towards him, becoming clearer as it approached. He could not bear to look at the face.

“Take my hand!”
“I cannot. I am afraid.”
“Take my hand!”
There was no gainsaying the being, who stood before him, at once both smaller than he and seeming to tower above him. He took the hand. It was cold, like iced metal. The room disappeared.

A swirling tornado of snow hurled them high into the sky until the earth spun below them. A dark midnight, blue globe. Sparkling points of light like earth-bound stars were sprinkled across the dark shapes of the lands below. Then they dropped. Old Scrooge screamed in terror as the continents rushed up towards them. They were enveloped for a full terrifying minute in thick, chilling clouds and then they were clear. And they were standing still. And they were in the middle of London. He recognised it, though many buildings were changed. There was St. Paul’s. But what were these huge towers? And the roads – how wide they were!

A roar of sound and a spray of water had him leaping to one side. A shining, garishly coloured metal shell shot past him. Another followed. Coming to his senses, he realised the road was a blur of movement as the strange, wheeled metallic carriages flew past. This was Christmas Yet to Come – the future – a world of marvels. Scrooge, stunned and amazed, allowed himself to be led away from this thoroughfare into area where it seemed these fantastic machines could not travel. It was an older part of the city, or rather a part of the city which had been new in his own time but which now seemed abandoned and decayed. On they walked until at last they came to the entrance to an ancient church. It was a church Scrooge remembered being built when he was a young man. He trembled in fear. What had he been brought here to see?

You can find the complete version of Christmas Yet to Come in issue 51 of TBD.

Stuart McPherson