OLWG #220- Another Christmas Carol

This week’s prompts are at the bottom. Feel free to seize the prompts, twist them, form them, play with them as you will. All comers are welcome. The words below are just practice for me. I had a lot of fun writing them, and you know what I always say, “Practice makes perfect.”

Here’s how to play along, if you are unsure.

Benjamin Marley was forty years old when he married the youngest Owens girl, Jenny, an American immigrant. She was nineteen years old, blonde-haired, fair-skinned, and blue-eyed. He worried that she might be a bit frail, but he liked her smile, and her father had approved the union. He was glad to see her go. His wife Jenny was the youngest of five girls born to Gilbert and Eileen Jellicoe. Her mother had gone to her reward while giving birth to Jenny.

The couple married the day before Christmas, the 24th of December. The ceremony was at St. Pancras Old Church in Somers Town. After the ceremony, they rode in a fine coach to Marley’s home in Cornhill. There the new couple began to settle into married life. It didn’t take long until Jenny began hearing rattling noises from the basement. Especially around her anniversary. She thought it sounded like a window shaking or chains rattling. She hadn’t noticed it on her wedding night, but each Christmas Eve after, the sound was inescapable. When she would ask about the rattling, her husband would shrug his shoulders as though he couldn’t hear it. Or he didn’t know what she meant.

It was Jenny and Benji’s fifth wedding anniversary when the rattling began to be annoying. She told her husband that they needed to get to the bottom of it. Either that or she would have to spend every Christmas in the South of Spain with their young son, Richard. Benjamin realized that he had to tell Jenny what was going on. He sat down with her at the breakfast table.

“Jenny,” he began, “this house is an old house. This house belonged to my father and his father before that. There has always been a Marley man living in this house. One hundred years ago, in 1836, that man was my Great, Great, Great, Grandfather Jacob. He was a moneylender, and the business partner of the famous altruist Ebenezer Scrooge. The two had been friends since they were boys. They co-founded the firm of Scrooge and Marley. The business no longer exists, but the story of Jacob’s business partner lives on.                                                                        

“In life, both Jacob and Mr Scrooge were bitter, greedy, selfish men. When Jacob died, he found himself damned to wander London. Forever weighed down by a mass of chains that represented his accumulated sins. The story goes that on Christmas Eve in the year 1843 his ghost, with him seven years gone, visited Scrooge. He warned his partner that he would suffer the same fate if he wouldn’t change his ways. There is more to the story: other ghosts, handicapped children, Christmas feasts and the like. Most of it, I’m sure, is bullshit. But I can say that every Christmas Eve, I hear chains rattling in the basement. Jenny, I was born in this house. My mother told me that it’s Jacob we hear. I believe her.”

Jenny stood up from the table and moved to the kitchen. She opened a cabinet hung to the right of the kitchen sink and retrieved a large cup. Then returned to the table where her husband sat and snatched his bottle of whisky. She poured a generous measure into her cup, drank about half of it, and stared at her husband. Finally, she opened her mouth so that it resembled an ‘O’ paused for a moment longer and took a smaller sip from the mug.“Let me get this straight, Ben.” she began, “Our house, where we live, is haunted by your Great Great, Great, Grandfather. A penny pinching, selfish, money-grubbing arse named Jacob Marley. The former business partner of the renowned philanthropist, Ebenezer Scrooge, and now a spirit, damned to spend eternity wandering the face of the earth in eternal torment. Is that about right?”

Benjamin said nothing but nodded his head.

Jenny finished her drink and poured herself another. “What the fuck, Ben?” she asked. “You couldn’t tell me this before we got married? Before we had kids? Jesus!”

This week’s prompts are:

  1. Girl Scout Cookies
  2. muliebral
  3. spoiling for a fight


You can start writing whenever you want, just write, get the words down – and have fun!

6 thoughts on “OLWG #220- Another Christmas Carol

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