For the next several weeks we will be posting examples of works from our talented members. We hope you enjoy them, and invite you to leave comments or share with friends. Don’t forget to check back each week to see what we have for you.
This week’s story is from our secretary, Lisa Lindsey.
The Trial of Jacob Marley
By: Lisa Lindsey
Jacob Marley stood tall despite the weight of his chains as the Honorable Judge Father Time entered the Winter Courtroom.
The Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future stood opposite him, decked in their finest festive attire. Christmas Present had only just sprouted a hint of facial hair, as the holiday season was still young.
“Jacob Marley,” Father Time said, staring over his crescent moon spectacles. “You have been charged with the attempted murder of Christmas Present.”
“And why shouldn’t I have tried?” Marley slammed his fist on the podium before him. “The bloody cheat robbed me. All three of them did!”
Father Time scowled. “So, you admit to the charge?”
“I admit I had every right to get rid of the lot of them.” Marley glowered at the Christmas entities. “They go around acting all righteous, conning me into saving Scrooge. And for what? Just so I can keep dragging these chains around, condemned to the very fate Scrooge deserved, while he goes on free to paradise for keeping some runt of a boy alive. It’s not fair.”
Father Time turned his attention to the Christmas Ghosts. “I do find it interesting you only chose to save one miserable miser.”
“Your Honor, I don’t see what I even have to do with any of this.” Christmas Present rubbed his neck, still bruised from the chains Marley had tried to choke him with. “My brother was the one who-”
“You’re as guilty as he was,” Marley snapped. “Claiming to spread cheer and love. Meaningless drivel in my opinion.”
“How are we responsible for your choices?” asked Christmas Past. “We came to you many times in your life, and you dismissed us as mere fanciful dreams. Bob Cratchit could’ve been living well, Tiny Tim thriving, long before we even bothered with Scrooge.”
Marley shook his head. “Lies! I would’ve changed. I could’ve…” He trailed off as Father Time’s furious gaze settled upon him.
“One thing interests me,” the judge said. “What was the ultimate purpose for the change sought?”
Christmas Future raised a gnarled hand.
Father Time nodded toward him. “Proceed.”
A great scene appeared amidst the courtroom. Tim Cratchit, no longer the frail youth, busied himself helping those in need. Moment after moment flashed by, good deeds snowballing to great successes and improvements for all humanity.
“Tiny Tim is meant for great things,” Christmas Present said. “Even now, in his home, the light within him burns bright for all to see. He is everything Christmas represents.”
“H-he’s just a worthless child,” Marley stammered. “N-nothing more.”
“Your response is proof of your cold, stone heart.” Father Time rose from his seat. “If, even now, you are incapable of compassion, I have no choice but to let your current sentence remain. And,” he added with a wave of his hand, “you will be fully aware of all Tiny Tim accomplishes in this life, and whatever he inspires after.”
Marley rattled his chains. “But it’s not fair!”
Father Time raised a hand. “Case dismissed.”
With that, the Christmas Ghosts vanished, and Jacob Marley was sent back into the world, condemned to roam, and to forever know he played no part but one in the betterment of humanity.