Catching the Dickens A Mighty Ducks' Christmas Carol Written by Charles Dickens Twisted and Corrputed by Marina LeWebb 1 Exterior- A snowy London street Duke, as Charles Dickens, sits on a doorstep, writing in a book. He wears a tailcoat, top hat, spats, collared shirt, and slacks. As the camera comes in on him, he looks up. Dickens: Ah, my audience! (He closes the book) Welcome to London. You may be wondering what we've done with Anaheim. Well, we're here today to bring to you our rendition of one of the greatest stories in the history of novels- A Christmas Carol. My name is Charles Dickens, and I will be your narrator. (He opens the book.) Now, from the beginning: (He clears his throat.) Call me Ishmael. (He pauses) Ishmael? (He looks at the book cover.) Sorry, wrong classic. (He puts away Moby Dick and pulls out A Christmas Carol) That's the stuff. Now: Marley was dead, to begin with. As dead as a doornail. (Looking up) Good stuff, huh? 2 Interior- Scrooge & Marley , Moneylenders Dragaunus, in full Scrooge costume, sits at his desk, scribbling. Wildwing, as Bob Cratchit, sits at his own desk by the meager fire. Duke (VO): Once upon a time- of all the good days in the year, on Christmas Eve- Old Scrooge sat busy in his Counting-House. Oh, but he was a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone, Scrooge: a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner! Wildwing: Mr. Scrooge? Dragaunus looks up irritably. Dragaunus: What is it, Cratchit? Wildwing: I was, um, wondering if maybe I could put some more coal on the fire? Dragaunus: Coal costs money, Cratchit. Duke (VO): This pleasant fellow is Ebenezer Scrooge. The camera pans in on Wildwing. Duke (VO): And this is Bob Cratchit, his clerk. He was a humble, kind, generous man with a loving family. A very *large* loving family. And a very small salary. A bell rings as the door opens and Nosedive, as Fred, steps in. He wears a tailcoat, top hat, spats, etc. He removes his top hat, brushes snow from it, and smiles cheerfully at Dragaunus. Nosedive: Hey, Uncle Scrooge! Merry Christmas, man! Duke (VO): Fred is Ebenezer's nephew. Some family tree, huh? Dragaunus: Bah! Humbug! Nosedive: Christmas a humbug? No way, you're like pullin my tailcoat, right? Dragaunus: Most certainly not. "Merry Christmas!" Out upon Merry Christmas! What right have you to be Merry?! You're poor enough! Nosedive: (Friendly) Yeah, and your mountains of moolah obviously make you *oh* so happy. Dragaunus: If I could work my will, every idiot who goes about with "Merry Christmas" on his lips should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart! He should! Nosedive: Aw, come on, Uncle Scrooge! Why be such a major pain in the spats, man? Dragaunus: What else can I be when I live in such a world of fools as this!?! What's Christmas Time to you but a time for balancing your books and finding yourself a year older and not an hour richer!?! A time for being married and paying bills without money!?! A time for powerful speeches and asking yourself why did you get married!?! Why, why!?! I wonder you don't go into Parliament. Nosedive: (Defensively) Hey, hold the phone there, Uncle. (Pause) I'm married? Cool! Dragaunus: Nephew, keep Christmas your own way and let me keep it in mine. Nosedive: Since when do you keep it? Dragaunus: Let me leave it alone then! Much good may it do you! Nosedive: I've always thought of Christmas-time as a good time! A kind, forgivin', charitable time! A time when laughter and good humor totally rule, men and women open their padlocked hearts, and candies come in those awesome red and green wrappers, dude! And so, Uncle Scrooge, it may not've made me the richest duck in jolly old England, but I say it's done me good, and will do me good! Wildwing: Hear hear! Dragaunus turns on him, scowling. Dragaunus: Another sound from you, Bob Cratchit, and you'll celebrate Christmas out on the street! Look at this one- fifteen shillings a week with a wife and family, talking about "Merry Christmas". Humbug, I say! Hum Bug! Nosedive: Don't have a cow, Uncle! Come to our Christmas shindig tomorrow! Dragaunus: (Dismissively) Good afternoon, Fred. Nosedive: It's a total bummer that you're being such a party pooper, man, but I ain't gonna let it get *me* down! (He puts on his hat.) Felis Navidad, Uncle-Dude! Dragaunus: (Dangerously) Good afternoon. Nosedive tips his hat. Nosedive: And a slammin' New Year! Dragaunus: GOOD AFTERNOON! Nosedive walks to the door, sees Wildwing, and stops. Nosedive: (Friendly) Cratchit, right? Wildwing: (Surprised) Yes Sir! Nosedive: Have a totally happening Christmas, Bob. You and your most excellent wife. Wildwing: Why, thank you, Sir. Merry Christmas! As Nosedive leaves, Phil and Klegghorn enter as London Gentlemen. Phil carries a walking stick. Klegghorn: Scrooge & Marley's, I presume? Phil: Would this attractive, well-dressed gentleman be Mr. Scrooge or Mr. Marley? Dragaunus: Mr. Marley has been dead these seven years. He died seven Christmas Eves ago, this very night! Phil: (Backing off) Whoa boobie, sorry if I hit a nerve! Let us introduce ourselves. We're do-gooders collecting money for all those needy guys out there. (To the reader) Talk about irony. Klegghorn: Being Christmas and all, it's more than usually desirable that we give to the poor who're suffering around now. Phil: Thousands need every day comforts. Dragaunus: Why? Are there no prisons? Phil: Plenty of prisons, babe! Dragaunus: And the Union Workhouses, are they still in operation? Phil: Yeah, yeah, that they are. Klegghorn: Though I wish I could say they weren't. Dragaunus: Oh good! I was afraid from what you said that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course! I'm very glad to hear it! Phil leans in to shmooze. Phil: Listen, Scroogie, baby, let's talk. A bunch of us are fixin to buy these poor folk some food- ya know, a little Christmas cheer. What'll I put ya down for? Dragaunus: Nothing. Klegghorn: You wanna be anonymous? Dragaunus: I want to be left alone! My taxes support the Prisons and workhouses, they cost enough, and those who are badly off must go there! Klegghorn: Many can't go there! Phil: And most of 'em'd rather die! Dragaunus: Then I suggest they do it, and decrease the surplus population! Phil: But babe- Dragaunus: It's not my business! Mine occupies me constantly! Klegghorn: But- Dragaunus: Good afternoon! They leave. Dragaunus: Bob Cratchit! Wildwing starts. Wildwing: Yes, Mr. Scrooge? Dragaunus: The next time a charity comes begging, you may tell them where to go. Wildwing: (Despondently) Yes, Mr. Scrooge. As they work, "God Bless Ye Merry Gentlemen" is heard from outside the door. Dragaunus flings it open to see Chameleon standing there, singing. One look at the seething money lender sends him running in terror. Dragaunus sits. Duke (VO): Scrooge resumed his labors with an improved opinion of himself. At length, the hour of shutting up the counting-house arrived. The bell sounds 7 o'clock. With an ill will, Dragaunus dismounts from his stool. Wildwing snuffs out his candle and puts on his scarf and hat. Dragaunus: Well Cratchit, you'll want all day tomorrow, I suppose. Wildwing: If convenient, Sir. Dragaunus: It's not 'convenient', and it's not fair! If I was to take Half-a-Crown for it, you'd think yourself ill-used, I'll be bound! And yet, you don't think me ill-used! A day's wages for no work! Wildwing begins to get upset. Wildwing: (Argumentatively) It's only once a year, Mr. Scrooge! Dragaunus grabs him by the collar and leers down at him. Dragaunus: A poor excuse for picking a man's pocket every twenty-fifth of December! Wildwing glares at him, unflinching. Dragaunus relents, after a fashion. Dragaunus: (Releasing him) But I suppose you must have the whole day. Be here all the earlier the next morning. Wildwing: (Coldly) Yes, Sir, Mr. Scrooge. Dragaunus walks out with a growl. Duke (VO): The moldy old office was closed in a twinkling! Wildwing puts out the lights and runs out of the office, locking the door behind him. He goes cheerfully home as fast as his webbed feet can carry him. Duke (VO): And Bob ran home to Camden Town as fast as he could pelt! 3 Exterior- Scrooge's House Dragaunus goes to his door, pulls out his key, and puts it in the lock. As he goes to turn it, the plain, unadorned knocker on the door morphs into the head of Siege, as Marley. Dragaunus starts. Dragaunus: What in blazes- Siege: Scroooooge!! Dragaunus: Jacob Marley! Dragaunus blinks, and the knocker returns to normal. Dragaunus (con't): Bah! Humbug! He turns his key and walks in. 4 Interior- Scrooge's Hallway Dragaunus looks cautiously behind the door. When he sees nothing, he sniffs smugly to himself, and shuts the door with a slam. The echoes resound through the house like thunder. He lights a candle as he walks up the stairs. Duke (VO): Scrooge was not a man to be frightened. Darkness is cheap, and he liked it! (A ghostly hearse goes up the stairs in front of Dragaunus, who starts but presses on.) Although he clearly saw Marley's hearse going up the stairs before him in the gloom, up Scrooge went, not caring a button for that! Dragaunus reaches the top of the stairs and glances around cautiously, opening doors and looking under furniture. Duke (VO): Sitting Room! Bed Room! Lumber Room too! Baskets! Boots! Bowl and Spoon! All as they should be! Dragaunus disappears into a room. The door double locks from the inside. 5 Interior- Scrooge's Bedroom Dragaunus, in nightgown and cap, sits down before the low fire with a bowl of soup. As he eats, a slow clanking is heard. He starts. The clanking grows louder. Siege (VO): (Softly) Scroooooooooge... A booming sound is heard. Siege (VO): (Louder) Scroooooooooge... The clanking grows louder still. Dragaunus stands, his eyes darting fearfully. Dragaunus: It's humbug still! I won't believe it! Siege (VO): (Very loudly) Scroooooooooge!!! The low fire leaps up and falls again as Siege, as Marley's Ghost, walks straight through the closed door. Dragaunus: I know him! Marley's Ghost! Siege: Ebenezer Scroooooge... Duke (VO): Marley's voice, no doubt about it! And the same face, the very same! Dragaunus: Who-who are you!?! Siege: Ask me who I was. Dragaunus: Who were you then!?! Siege: In life I was your partner, Jacob Marley. Dragaunus: How now!?! What do you want with me!?! Siege: Much. Dragaunus: Can you- can you sit down? Siege: I can. Dragaunus: (Pointing at a chair) Do it then! Siege sits with a clank. Siege: You don't believe in me. Dragaunus: I don't! Siege: Man of the worldly mind- why do you doubt your own senses? Dragaunus: Because you may be a slight disorder of the stomach! A blot of mustard! A crumb of cheese! There's more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are! He sees a toothpick on the table and holds it aloft. Dragaunus: You see this? Siege: I do. Dragaunus: You're not looking at it! Siege: I see it notwithstanding. Dragaunus digests this statement. Dragaunus: Well! I have but to swallow this toothpick, and be for the rest of my days persecuted by a legion of goblins all of my own creation! Humbug, I tell you! Humbug! Siege: OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Siege stands, yelling hideously and clanking his chains with a dismal and appalling noise in the dead silence of the night. In terror Dragaunus falls to his knees. Dragaunus: Mercy Dreadful Apparition! I believe! I do! I must! But why do spirits walk the earth, and why do they come to me!?! Siege: Every man's inner Spirit must walk abroad among his fellow men. If not in Life, then after Death- doomed to wander through the world, doomed to witness what it cannot share, captive-bound and double-ironed. (Lifting his chains) I wear the chain I forged in Life. I made it- link by link and yard by yard- of cash boxes, ledgers, deeds and heavy purses wrought in steel. And of my own free will I wore it. But the weight and length of the chain you bear, Ebenezer Scrooge, was as full, as heavy as this, seven Christmas Eves ago. You have labored on it since- yours is a ponderous chain, Ebenezer. Dragaunus: Jacob! Old Jacob Marley! Speak comfort to me, Jacob! Siege: I have none to give. I cannot stay- I cannot linger- I travel with the wind. No rest, no peace, incessant torture of remorse. Dragaunus: But we were always good men of business, Jacob- Siege: Business? Ohhhhhhh... Mankind was our business- charity, mercy, forbearance, were all our business. Hear me- my time is nearly gone- I am here tonight to warn you that you have yet a chance and hope of escaping my fate. You will be haunted by three Spirits. Expect the first when the bell tolls one! Dragaunus: Is that the chance and hope you mentioned, Jacob? I- I think I'd rather not! Siege: Without their visits you cannot expect to shun the path I tread. Remember what has passed between us, Ebenezer. Look to see me no more! Siege floats out of the window, clanking his chains behind him. Dragaunus runs after him, watching him drift into the night. As he looks, the air is filled with phantoms. Duke (VO): The air was filled with phantoms, wandering hither and thither in restless haste, moaning as they went! Every one of them wore chains like Marley's Ghost! The misery with them all was clearly that they sought opportunities to interfere for good in human matters and had lost the power forever. They disappear into the mist, their voices ceasing together as they had begun. Dragaunus: Huh- h-hum... Duke (VO): Scrooge tried to say 'Humbug!' but his faltering voice stopped at the first syllable. Being much in need of repose, Scrooge went straight to bed, and fell asleep upon the instant. Dragaunus stumbles to his bed, pulling the curtain behind him. 6 Interior- Scrooge's Bed Dragaunus sleeps. As the bell tolls one, his eyes shoot open. He is still for a moment. Slowly, he sits up and, ever so cautiously, pulls open the bed curtains. There is nothing there. Dragaunus sighs. Dragaunus: The hour itself, and nothing else! Just then, a beautiful white light shines in the window. It grows brighter, filling the room with its radiance. As Dragaunus shields his eyes, a whirring sound is heard, like something breaking, and a nasal cough as smoke begins to blow. When it clears, Tanya stands there coughing, in a flowing white gown and a wreath of leaves on her head. Dragaunus: (In disbelief) *You're* the Spirit whose coming was foretold to me!? Tanya recovers. Tanya: Well, actually I'm Jewish, but the original Spirit canceled and I'm the only one who'd fit the costume. Dragaunus: Who- and *what*- are you? Tanya: I am the Ghost of Christmas Past. Dragaunus: Long past? Tanya: No. Your past! Dragaunus: My past? Tanya: I think that funny hat is messing up your hearing. Rise and walk with me! Dragaunus: I am mortal and liable to fall! Tanya snorts. Tanya: Please! Give me a little credit! Bear but a touch of my hand (she extends her hand) and you'll be upheld in more than this! Hesitantly, Dragaunus touches her hand. They rise and pass through the wall. As they fly over the street, they suddenly jar to a stop. Dragaunus looks at her. Dragaunus: Are we supposed to be doing that? Tanya: Uh, no. They fall with a yell, landing in a pile of snow. They pull themselves up, groaning. Tanya retrieves her fallen eye shield, adjusts her wreath, and straightens her robe. Dragaunus does the same with his cap and gown. He brushes himself off. Duke (VO): What was that? Tanya: The anti-gravity device must have malfunctioned. Duke (VO): Well, can you fix it? Tanya: Well, maybe if you narrate me some spare parts! Duke (VO): Done and done! Some spare parts appear in the air and land in Tanya's outstretched hand. She pulls a small metal box from the folds of her robe and begins tinkering with it, grumbling. Tanya: That's the last time I work with someone else's props. She fixes it and returns it to her robe. Tanya: Well, I'm ready. Dragaunus: Are you sure about this? Tanya: Oh yeah, I can't lie. It's a Spirit thing. Duke (VO): Take two! Tanya: Bear but a touch of my hand (she extends her hand) and you'll be upheld in more than this! Dragaunus touches her hand, and they are off. They fly over London and come to a little market town, with its bridge, its church, its winding river, and fields on either side. They stand upon an open country road with snow upon the ground. Dragaunus: Good heaven! I was bred in this place! I was a boy here! Tanya: You recollect the way? Dragaunus: Remember it? Every gate and post and tree! I could walk it blindfold. Tanya: Strange to have forgotten it for so many years! Some shaggy ponies trot towards them with school boys on their backs, calling to other boys in farmers' carts going in the other direction. Boys: Merry Christmas! Hallo! Merry Christmas! Dragaunus waves. Dragaunus: Hallo! David! Hallo Oliver! Merry Christmas Seymour! Tanya: (With a wide gesture) These are but the shadows of the things that have been. They have no consciousness of us! The school's not deserted, look! They go in the direction she points, Dragaunus walking and Tanya floating. The pass through the wall of a dull red brick mansion. 7 Interior- School Room They are in a decrepit school room. The paneling is scuffed and creaky, and a mouse scurries across the floor. Dragaunus, as a boy, sits at a desk, reading intently, his eyes bright. Tanya: Your poor forgotten self as you used to be. Dragaunus: Yes, yes, I know! One Christmas-time when I- when he-- when yon child was left here all alone! Poor boy- I wish- But it's too late now! Tanya: What's the matter? I see a tear, I think! Dragaunus: Don't push it. Tanya: Sorry. Let us see another Christmas. (She waves her hand and the Boy grows slightly larger) There you are, alone again at boarding school, when all the other boys had gone home for the holidays. A duck girl, much younger than the boy, runs in, throwing her arms around the Saurian Boy. Fan: I have come to bring you home, dear brother! Home, home, home! Boy: Home, little Fan? Tanya: (To Dragaunus) I see you've always had impeccable hearing. Fan: Yes, Ebenezer! Home for good and all! Home for ever and ever! Father's so much kinder than he used to be! He sent me in a coach to bring you! Home's like heaven! Boy: (Laughing) You are quite a woman, little Fan! Fan: (Laughing) And you're to be a man!! They leave together, laughing joyfully. Tanya: Always a delicate creature, your sister; but she had a large heart! Dragaunus: So she had, Spirit. Tanya: She died a woman, and had, as I think, children? Dragaunus: One child. Tanya: True! Your nephew Fred! Come! They pass through the walls and leave the school behind them. 8 Exterior- English Street They are now in the city in front of a warehouse. Duke (VO): They left the school behind them, and were now in the busy thorough-fares of a city. The Ghost stopped at a certain warehouse door, and Scrooge knew it! Tanya: (Gesturing into the open door) Here too it is Christmas-time again! Thrash (OS): Ha ha ha ha ha! Dragaunus: Why it's old Fezziwig! Bless his heart! Fezziwig alive again! I was an apprentice here! They enter. 9 Interior- Fezziwig's Warehouse Thrash, as Fezziwig, is talking cheerfully to Scrooge as a young man. Thrash: Hey, Ebenezer! No more work tonight man, it's time for the big Christmas bash! Pull up the shutters! Clear the floor! Before you dot another 'i', Ebenezer Scrooge! Let's get some rippin' tunes in here! Soon, the place is packed and noisy, full of happy, dancing, laughing people.
Duke (VO): The mirth and fun grew fast and furious! The dancers quick and quicker flew! During the whole of this time, young Scrooge acted like a man out of his wits in praise of Fezziwig! Many guests come up to Fezziwig to tell him how wonderful the party is, Young Scrooge included. Tanya: (To Dragaunus) A small matter, to make these folks so full of gratitude, Ebenezer! Dragaunus: Small? Tanya: Y'know you should really have your ears checked. Has Fezziwig done so much that he deserves such praise? He's spent just a few pounds of your mortal money, maybe three or four! Dragaunus: It isn't that! It isn't the money, Spirit! Why, the happiness he gives is quite as great as if it cost a- He stops. Tanya: What's the matter? Dragaunus: Nothing particular. Tanya: Something, I think! Dragaunus: No- no. I should like to be able to say a word or two to my clerk Bob Cratchit just now. That's all. Young Dragaunus: (To Thrash) An excellent party, Master Fezziwig. Thrash: Yeah, the joint is jumpin'! Hey, Ebenezer, let me introduce you to this seriously righteous chick I know. (Gesturing to a nearby young lady) Belle, this is Ebenezer Scrooge. Mallory is Belle, complete with petticoats, lacy bodice, and sausage curls. The Young Dragaunus is taken aback by her beauty. He takes her hand as she courtesies. Mallory: Pleased to meet you, Mr. Scrooge. He bows. Young Dragaunus: (Sincerely) The pleasure is mine. Mallory: Why Mr. Scrooge, what big eyes you have! Duke (VO): Hey! That's not Dickens! Mallory: Humor me, okay? I'm trying to get through this. Young Dragaunus: Who cast this blasted thing, anyway? Duke (VO): Come on, stick to the script and it'll be over soon. Tanya: My time grows short- quick- She waves her hand. 10 Interior- A Sitting Room Young Dragaunus sits in front of the fire with an angry Mallory by his side. Duke (VO): Again Scrooge sees himself. He is older now, a man in the prime of life. Young Dragaunus puts his hand on her arm, but she shrugs it off. Mallory: It matters little to you, very little, Ebenezer! Another idol has displaced me! Dragaunus and Young Dragaunus: What idol? Mallory: A golden one! The pursuit of wealth! Young Dragaunus: What then? Even if I have grown wiser, what then? Nothing in this world is so hard as poverty! But I have not changed towards you, dear Belle! Have I ever sought release from our engagement? Mallory: In words, no. Never. Young Dragaunus: In what, then!?! Mallory: In a changed nature! An altered spirit! Another atmosphere of life! We were one in heart, and now we're two! I'd gladly think otherwise if I could! Young Dragaunus: But Belle- Mallory: You've changed, Ebenezer! When our contract was made, you were another man! Young Dragaunus: I was a boy! A poor boy! Mallory: And I was a poor girl! You may have some pain in this a very short time- yesterday, today, tomorrow- but you'll dismiss the memory of the past as an unprofitable dream that you woke up from! I release you from your proposal of marriage with a full heart! May you be happy with the life you've chosen. Dragaunus: Spirit! Show me no more! Conduct me home! Why do you delight to torture me!?! Tanya: I told you, these're the shadows of things that have been! Don't blame me that they are what you made 'em! Dragaunus: Leave me! Take me back! Tanya: One shadow more! Dragaunus: No! Tanya grabs his arm and the scene melts away. 11 Interior- Belle's House Mallory sits in the middle of a loud and happy bunch of duck children. They play noisily around her. Duke (VO): It was the same beautiful girl, now a mother sitting in the center of a flushed and boisterous group of children! Mallory does not look pleased. Mallory: I am definitely going to have words with my agent. Duke (VO): Stay in character! Mallory: Sorry. She smiles lovingly and happily at the kids around her. A knock is heard. Girl: It's father! Mallory opens the door and admits Canard, laden with Christmas packages. Canard: Merry Christmas, Belle! The children jump all over him joyfully, laughing and bringing him into the room. Mallory leans in. Mallory: (Aside) I thought you were in dimensional limbo. Canard: (Aside) They needed the extra Duck, so they let me out for a scene. Mallory nods and turns back to the kids. Mallory: Time for bed, children! The children are herded upstairs, chattering about Father Christmas. Girl 2: Don't forget to leave the cookies! Mallory: I won't! Boy: Will he know which stocking's mine? Canard: Yes, Good night! Boy 2: When is he coming? Mallory and Canard: When you're asleep! Children: I love you! Mallory and Canard: Love you too! Duke (VO): It sent a pang across Scrooge's heart to think how each child, conducting itself like forty, might have called *him* father, and been a spring-time in his life. The children and their joyful noise are gone. Alone, Mallory and Canard take each others hands and sit on the couch. Canard puts his arm around her as she puts both of hers about his neck. Canard: Belle, I saw an old friend of yours this afternoon. Mallory: Who was it? Canard: Guess! Mallory: I don't know! Tell me! Canard: Mr. Scrooge it was. Mallory reacts slightly, raising her eyebrows but not moving from her husband's embrace. Canard: I passed his office window, and he had a candle inside. His partner Marley lies upon the point of death, I hear. And yet, there Mr. Scrooge sits, alone in the world. Mallory: Mr. Scrooge knows he's dying? Canard: Of course he knows! But what does Scrooge care? He'll solemnize Old Marley's funeral with an undoubted bargain! I believe Scrooge is his sole executor, his sole friend, and his sole mourner. There is a thoughtful pause. Then, Mallory smiles up at Canard and strokes his cheek. Mallory: Merry Christmas. Canard: Merry Christmas. She closes her eyes as Canard goes to kiss her. Dragaunus: (Obscuring the reader's view) Remove me, Spirit! Haunt me no longer! I cannot bear it! He shakes Tanya's hand off his arm and pushes her aside, knocking the wreath off her head. As it hits the ground the scene shifts. 12 Interior- Scrooge's Bedroom Dragaunus is alone. Duke (VO): Scrooge barely had time to reel to bed before he sank into a heavy sleep. Dragaunus does so. 13 Interior- Scrooge's Bedroom Dragaunus sleeps, snoring. The bell tolls and he wakes. Duke (VO): Awaking in the middle of a prodigiously tough snore and sitting up in bed, Scrooge had no occasion to be told that the bell was again upon the stroke of one. Dragaunus stands and looks around. Duke (VO): Because he did not wish to be taken by surprise, he established a sharp look-out all round the bed, ready to challenge a good broad field of strange appearances on the moment the Spirit arrived! (Dragaunus paces restlessly, occasionally looking out the window.) Now prepared for almost anything, between a baby and a rhinoceros, he was not by any means prepared for Nothing! Yet Nothing came. Pause. Grin (OS): Ebenezer Scrooge! Dragaunus follows the narration. Duke (VO): Scrooge got up softly and shuffled in his slippers to peep round the door. It was his own room! There was no doubt about that! But it had undergone a surprising transformation. The walls were hung with living green! Dragaunus gasps at the spectacle before him. Duke (VO): Bright gleaming berries glistened! Crisp leaves of holly, mistletoe, and ivy reflected back the light as if little mirrors had been scattered there. And a mighty blaze went roaring up the chimney! Heaped upon the floor were highly decorated toys and presents- sausages, oysters, custards, cakes! And plum-puddin' matched by seething bowls of punch that made the chamber dim with their delicious steam! In the middle of this, in easy state upon his throne, sits Grin, bearing a torch and wearing a richly colored robe and a wreath of holly entwined with brightly colored berries and golden bells. Grin: Come in! Come in and know me better, Man! I am the Ghost of Christmas Present. You have never seen the likes of me before! Dragaunus: Never, Spirit! If you have aught to teach me, let me profit by it! Conduct me where you will! Grin rises and stands by Dragaunus. Grin: Touch my robe! Dragaunus touches the colorful garment and the room disappears. They stand on the London street. 14 Exterior- London Street Duke (VO): All vanished! And they stood in the city streets on Christmas Morning! The town is a buzz with Christmas cheer. Children throw snowballs and run down ice slides, and adults parade their holiday finery and greet their friends in the street. Grin leads Scrooge down various streets. Duke (VO): Scrooge gazed with wonder at the happy scene as though seeing it for the first time. The good Spirit led Scrooge to his clerk's house which was lighted cheerfully and hung with Christmas, and on the threshold stopped to bless Bob Cratchit's dwelling with the sprinklings of his torch! Grin does so. Dragaunus: Spirit! Is there a peculiar flavor in what you sprinkle from your torch? Grin: There is- my own! Dragaunus: Would it apply to any on this day? Grin: To any kindly given to it. To the poor the most! Dragaunus: Why to the poor the most? Grin: Because they need it most! You would deprive them of their happiness, wouldn't you? Dragaunus: I!?! Grin: You scorn their mirth: Humbug, you say. And it comes to the same thing. Your clerk, with fifteen shillings a week and a wife and six children, talking about a Merry Christmas! Think of that! Duke (VO): As the Spirit spoke, Bob Cratchit came down the lane with Tiny Tim on his shoulder. Wildwing comes down the street, an indiscernible figure on his shoulder. He smiles and chats inaudibly with the shadow-covered child. Dragaunus: Why, there's Bob now! Duke (VO): Alas for Tiny Tim! He bore a little crutch, and had his limbs supported by an iron frame. Wildwing gently puts Tiny Tim down- into the shadow- and knocks on the door. It flies open to reveal Tanya. Tanya: Robert! Welcome home! She hugs him. Wildwing: (Surprised) You're Mrs. Cratchit? Tanya: Yeah, but you can call me Tanya. We're married, after all. Wildwing: But I thought you were the Ghost of Christmas Past. Tanya shrugs. Tanya: Casting cutbacks. Wildwing: (Looking to the child by his side) So who's Tiny Tim? Chameleon is revealed, with a crutch. Chameleon: Ma! Merry Christmas! Wildwing looks out to the reader. Wildwing: Mr. Dickens, we mean no disrespect. Chameleon: Hey! I always mean disrespect! That's what I'm here for! 15 Interior- Bob Cratchit's House The duck children bustle about, helping Tanya with dinner. Duke (VO): Up rose Mrs. Cratchit, dressed out poorly but bravely in ribbons, assisted by Miss Belinda Cratchit, and laid the cloth. Young Master Peter Cratchit, half-hidden but gallantly attired in his father's monstrous shirt collar in honor of the day, plunged a fork into the saucepan of potatoes! Martha dusted the hot plates, and the two youngest Cratchits hustled Tiny Tim off into the wash-house out by the back-yard wall, that he might hear the Cratchit Christmas Pudding singing in the Cratchit Christmas Copper. Tanya: How did little Tim behave in Church? Wildwing: As good as gold, and better! Somehow, he gets thoughtful sitting by himself so much, and thinks the strangest things you ever heard. The two youngest Cratchits, a boy and girl duck, run in, screaming happily. Tanya: Put the dishes on! Dinner's on its way! Dragaunus sniffs the aroma from the dinner. Dragaunus: What is that, goose? Grin looks at him. Grin: You're kidding, right? Tanya takes a small ham from the oven and puts it on the table. Tanya: Voila! Duke (VO): There never was such a goose- uh, ham! Its tenderness and flavor, size and cheapness, were the themes of universal admiration. Wildwing puts an arm around Tanya. Wildwing: A Merry Christmas to us all! God Bless Us! All: God Bless Us! Chameleon: God Bless Us- Duke (VO): Said Tiny Tim, the last of all- Chameleon: Every one. Pause. Chameleon (con't): I feel a song comin on! The Cratchits glare at him. Chameleon (con't): Or not. Sheesh, I thought the Cratchits were a musical family! Dragaunus: Spirit, tell me if Tiny Tim will live. Grin: I see a vacant seat in the poor chimney corner and a crutch without an owner. If these shadows remain unaltered by the future, the child will die. Dragaunus: No! Oh kind Spirit, say he will be spared! Grin: Will you decide who shall live? Who shall die? Forbear! It may be that you are less fit to live than millions like this child. The wheel of karma cannot be escaped. Dragaunus: But Spirit- Grin: (Heavily) Besides, if he be like to die, he'd better do it, and decrease the surplus population! Duke (VO): Scrooge hung his head to hear his own wicked words. But he raised his eyes speedily on hearing Bob speak his own name! Wildwing: (Raising his glass) Mr. Scrooge! My dears, I'll give you Mr. Scrooge, the Founder of the Feast! Tanya snorts. Tanya: Yeah, right, the Founder of the Feast! I wish I had him here, Robert! I'd give him a piece of my mind to feast upon! Wildwing: Tanya! The children! Christmas day! Tanya: It must be Christmas day when you drink the health of such a greedy, bad-tempered, heartless man as Ebenezer Scrooge! You know he is, Robert! No one knows it better than you! Wildwing: I only know that Christmas is a good time, Tanya. A kind, forgiving, charitable time! Mr. Scrooge's nephew said so yesterday, and it shook Mr. Scrooge, it really did! Mr. Scrooge's nephew is quite a powerful speaker- I wish you could have heard him. But it was also the kind way he stopped to bestow the blessings of the season that made you know how much he felt it: 'Have a totally happening Christmas, Bob', he said when he left. 'You and your most excellent wife.' Tanya: I'm sure he's a good guy. Wildwing: By the bye, how he knew that, I don't know! Tanya: Knew what? Wildwing: (Fondly) Why, that I have an excellent wife! Chameleon: Everybody knows that! Wildwing: Well observed, Tim! I hope they do! Tanya raises her glass. Tanya: (Cheerily) Okay, Robert! I'll drink Mr. Scrooge's health- for your sake and Christmas Day's, not for his. Long life to him! A merry Christmas and New Year to Mr. Scrooge! I'm sure he'll be very Merry and very very happy. All: To Mr. Scrooge! Duke (VO): They were happy, grateful, pleased with one another and contented with the time. And when they faded, Scrooge had his eyes upon them, and especially Tiny Tim, until the last. The background fades to black, leaving Grin and Dragaunus in a dark vortex. The scene begins to swish, wind blowing. Duke (VO): Again the Ghost sped on! It was a great surprise to Scrooge, while listening to the moaning of the wind, to hear a hearty laugh. It was a much greater surprise to Scrooge to recognize it as his own nephew's voice! 16 Interior- Fred's Parlor Room Nosedive stands in front of the fireplace, surrounded by friends. Mookie, in a hacked-up dress with the hem cut off in a zig-zag and a bike chain as a necklace, sits nearby on a footstool. Nosedive and the guests are laughing. Duke (VO): Scrooge's nephew laughed, holding his sides! And Scrooge's pretty Niece by marriage, made comfortable with a footstool, laughed as heartily as he, clapping her hands. Nosedive holds his hand up. Nosedive: Hold it, ladies and gents! I got a game to play- Yes and No! Everyone cheers and laughs in approval. Nosedive takes the floor. Nosedive: I'm thinkin of an animal. All: Oh? Nosedive: A totally nasty animal! All: Oh! Nosedive: A seriously ferocious animal! All: Oh! Nosedive: An animal that growls and grunts and lives in London and is- Lady: A horse? Nosedive: (Imitating a buzzer) Eh! Wrong! Gentleman: A cow or bull? Nosedive: Wrongo! Guess again! Lady 2: An ass! Nosedive: Hey! This is a kids' show! Mookie: Whoa, Fred. Hold it! Nosedive: Yes, dearest? Mookie: I figured it out, man. It's your Uncle Scrooge! All: Yes! Uncle Scroooooge! Nosedive: A Merry Christmas and righteous New Year to the old man- Mookie: Whatever he is! All laugh. Nosedive: He's a funny old geezer, that's for sure! But I shook him yesterday! The guests react skeptically. Nosedive: I did! The only answer he could think of was 'Bah!' But he thought that was a little short so he added a 'Humbug!' to the end! The guests laugh. Nosedive: Christmas a humbug! He believes it, too! I couldn't stay ticked at him if I wanted to! He must miss a lot of fun! Mookie stands. Mookie: I have like no patience with him, Fred! Yeah, sure, he's loaded. At least, you always tell me so! Fred: So? It's not like he has any fun with it! He didn't- Nosedive breaks into laughter. Mookie: What is it, Fred? He never finishes his sentences! Nosedive composes himself. Nosedive: I was just gonna say, that I was at this dinner, and he didn't miss much! The guests laugh. Mookie pokes him in the chest. Mookie: Oh yeah, bub? I was here too, and I think he missed some pretty good grub! Nosedive: Well, I'm sure glad to hear it! Mookie: Another sound from you, 'Nephew', and you'll celebrate Christmas out on the street! Nosedive and the guests laugh and applaud. Nosedive: He gets it in that pointed head of his to hate us, and he won't eat with us- we're talkin a free meal! But why, why? I never pick a fight with 'im! I never ask him for anything! I never call collect, I never steal his towels, and when I visit him, I never drink the milk straight from the carton! Mookie: (As Scrooge) "Nephew! Why did you get married!?! Why, why!?!" Nosedive: 'Cause I met this seriously killer chick and totally fell head over heels in love! Mookie: (As Scrooge) "Because you fell in love? That's even more ridiculous than a Merry Christmas! Humbug, I say- All: BAH HUMBUG!!! The guests collapse in laughter and applaud the performance. Nosedive: But the guy wasn't exactly my closest compadre before I was married, why use it as an excuse now? He can rag on Christmas 'till he dies, but I'm gonna be a good sport and give him the same chance every year, whether he likes it or not! If it just gets him to slip his clerk a fifty-pounder, that's nothin to shoot a puck at! All: Hear hear! Mookie: (As herself) I wonder you don't go into Parliament, Freddy Boy! All laugh. Nosedive: He's given us more than a coupla laughs, that's for sure! It'd be pretty lame if we didn't drink a toast to the old timer! He raises a glass. Nosedive: So I say: Uncle Scrooge! All: Hurrah! Nosedive: Uncle Scrooge! All: Hurrah! Nosedive: Uncle Scrooo- The scene shifts. Duke (VO): Scrooge and the Spirit were again on their travels. 17 Exterior- An Open Field Grin and Dragaunus stand in the dark, the wind blowing around them. Duke (VO): Much they had seen and far they had gone through the lonely darkness of the night, and many homes they had visited. They stood together in an open place. Dragaunus: Spirit, something informs me that our parting hour is at hand. I know it, but I know not how. Grin: Hark! The time is drawing near! Dragaunus: Are Spirits' lives so short? Grin: No. But I have a Yoga class in twenty minutes. Dragaunus notices a foot poking from the bottom of Grin's robe. Dragaunus: Forgive me, Spirit, but what is that protruding from your robe? Is it a foot? Or a claw? I see something strange? Grin pulls aside his robe to reveal a pitiable duck boy and girl. Duke (VO): From the foldings of its robe, the Spirit brought two children: a boy and a girl- wretched, hideous, scowling! Wolfish, frightful; but humble, too. They kneel down at Grin's feet and cling to his robe. Grin: O Man look here, if man you be! Look down here! Dragaunus: Spirit! Are they yours!?!
Grin: They are mankind's! And they cling to me, appealing from their fathers! This boy is Ignorance! This girl is Want! Beware of them both, and all of their degree, as they will destroy your inner tranquillity and ruin your hopes for spiritual enlightenment. But most of all, beware this boy! For on his brow, I see that written which is Doom unless the writing be erased! Dragaunus: Have they no refuge? Have they no resource? Have they no- Grin: Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses? Echo: Prisons...Workhouses... Duke (VO): The heavy bell struck twelve! The bell is heard and Dragaunus searches for the sound's origin. When he looks back at the Spirit, he is gone. Duke (VO): Scrooge looked about him for the Ghost and saw it not. As the last stroke of midnight ceased to vibrate, Scrooge lifted up his eyes. A solemn Phantom, draped and hooded, comes like a mist along the ground towards him. Its deep black shroud leaves nothing visible but one outstretched grey hand. Dragaunus: I am in the presence of the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come? The Spirit says and does nothing. Dragaunus: Ghost of the Future! I fear you more than any spectre I have seen. But as I know your purpose is to do me good, I am prepared to bear your company with a thankful heart. Lead on, Spirit! 18 Exterior- London Street The Spirit leads Scrooge into the busy heart of town. Wealthy merchants hurry to and fro, conversing and mingling in small groups. The Spirit indicates Klegghorn and Phil. Phil: No babe, don't know much about it. I just know he's dead! Klegghorn: When did he kick the bucket? Phil: Last night, I think. Klegghorn: Why, what was the matter with him? I thought he'd never die! Phil: Who knows? He'll be raisin' a ruckus down below, eh boobie? Klegghorn: Yeah, but what'd he do with his money? Phil: Don't ask me. I didn't get any of it, that's all I know! They laugh. Klegghorn: It's gonna be one heck of a cheap funeral, that's for sure! I can't think of anybody who's goin. Phil: We should volunteer. Klegghorn: You serious? Phil: I don't mind going. Klegghorn pokes Phil's stomach. Klegghorn: Yeah, if lunch is provided! They laugh and walk away. Dragaunus: Spirit! I know these men, and respect them- in business, of course. You must have some explanation for this! The Spirit gives no reply, but presses on. 19 Exterior- London Street They pass through the dirtiest, most decrepit part of town. Trash is piled up on streets, the windows of buildings are broken, and doors hang from their hinges. They pass through a wall. 20 Interior- Beetling Shop The floors are strewn with heaps of rusty ironmongery- keys, door-nails, chains, hinges, locks, files, scales, weights, pokers, shovels, and one monstrous safe. The entire place is disgusting and vile. Near a brick charcoal stove, Wraith lounges among his stolen wares, as Mischievous Old Joe, smoking a pipe. Before him are three humans- a Funeral Man in black, a Charwoman, and a Laundress. They recognize each other and start laughing. Charwoman: (Cockney) Look here, Old Joe! Here's a chance! If we three ain't met here without meaning it! Ha-ha-ha! Wraith: You're well-matched; the other two are no strangers. Ha! You couldn't have met in a better place. Come into the parlor! Charwoman: 'The parlor'! Laundress: (Cockney) Said the spider! Funeral Man: (Cockney) Ha! Ha! Ha! Wraith: What odds then, what odds? Funeral Man: (Producing the goods) A brooch, a few seals, a pencil case, banker's book, silver toothpick, and a pair a sleeve buttons. Wraith looks at them, considering. Wraith: Ten 'bob'! Not another sixpence! Not if the police'd boil me for it! The Laundress steps forward, emptying her sack onto the floor. Laundress: Sheets and towels, a dressing gown, two silver teaspoons, some kerchiefs, a saucepan, and some boots. Wraith: Fifteen shillings! And half-a-crown for the gown! Ha! I always give too much to ladies! I'll ruin myself! The Charwoman throws a package in front of him. Charwoman: Open that bundle, Old Joe, and let me know the value of it! Speak out plain! Wraith: You were born to make your fortune, you were! He pulls out a heavy roll. Wraith: What do you call this!?! Charwoman: Ah! Bed curtains! Wraith is shocked. Wraith: Bed curtains!?! You don't mean to say you took them down, rings and all, with *him* lying there! Charwoman: Yes I do! Who's the worse for the loss of a few things like these? Not a dead man, I suppose? Careful Joe, you'll spill oil on the blankets. Wraith starts. Wraith: *His* blankets!?! Charwoman: Whose else's do you think? He isn't likely to take cold without 'em, I daresay! Wicked old crank, it's a judgment on him! Wraith: I hope he didn't die of anything catching, eh? Charwoman: Don't you be afraid of that! I ain't so fond of his company to loiter about him for things if he did! This is the end of it, you see! This is the even-handed dealing of the world! He frightened everyone away from him when he was alive to profit us when he was dead! The four laugh. Dragaunus: Spirit! I see! The case of this unhappy man might be my own! The Spirit says nothing. Dragaunus (con't): Spirit, this is a fearful place! I shall not leave its lesson! Trust me, let us go! The Spirit spreads its robe before him like a wing. 21 Interior- Bob Cratchit's House They enter. The family is seated solemnly around the fire. There is a heavy pause. Tanya: Poor Tiny Tim! Wildwing: I'm sure we shall none of us forget Tim. He was a remarkable child. Spirit of Tiny Tim, we will carry you with us always. The two youngest Cratchits climb onto Wildwing's lap. Wildwing (con't): Mr. Scrooge's nephew, who I met just once, happened to meet me in the street. I told him of this, the first parting among us. 'This is where I live', he said, and he gave me his card. He's such a pleasant-spoken gentleman- it was like he had really known our Tim. 'Totally sorry,' he said; 'if you need anything, just come and see me!' I wouldn't be surprised if he got Peter a better job. The Spirit raises his robe again. 22 Exterior- Graveyard Dragaunus: Spirit, I must know. Who is the man of whom those businessmen spoke? Whose death brings so much glee to everyone? The spirit points at a gravestone. Dragaunus looks at it, and then back to the Spirit. Dragaunus: Spirit, before I draw nearer to that stone to which you point, answer me one question. Are these the shadows of the things that will be, or are they the shadows of things that may be only?The Spirit points. Hesitantly, Dragaunus creeps toward the neglected and overgrown grave. With horror, he reads the name aloud. Dragaunus: Ebenezer Scrooge!!!! He sinks to his knees, clutching the Spirit's robe. Dragaunus: (Pulling at the garment) Spirit, tell me how I can change this! He continues to tug at the garment. It rips, revealing Duke. Duke: Hey, watch it! This thing is rented! He picks up the fallen robe and holds it up, assessing the damage. He sighs and puts it down on the nearby bench. He sits. Duke: You've seen what the Spirits had to teach you. You know what you've done, how you affect people, and what you might become. Dragaunus: But what can I do? Duke: Only you can decide that. You lay your path with each step you take, y'know. If you follow your heart, it'll lead you in the right direction. Dragaunus: (Thoughtfully) You're right. Very right. Pause. Dragaunus (con't): Now what? Duke pulls out the book and thumbs through it. Duke: Now...you wake up! 23 Interior- Scrooge's Room Dragaunus jolts upright, under the covers of his bed. He throws the curtain open and gets out of bed, staring around him in surprise. Duke (VO): Yes! And the bed-post was his own! The room was his own! Best and happiest of all, the time before him was his own! Dragaunus: I will live in the past, the present, and the future! Oh Jacob Marley! The Spirits be praised for this! He wanders around the room excitedly, pointing out the landmarks of his journey. Dragaunus (con't): The bed-curtains are not torn down! They are here! I am here! There's where Marley entered! There's where the Ghost of Christmas Present sat! There's the window where I saw the wandering spirits! I don't know what to do! I don't know how long I've been with the Spirits or what day it is! Never mind! It's all right! It's all true! It all happened! He runs to the window and opens it, sticking his head out. Duke (VO): No fog! No mist! No ghosts! Clear, bright, heavenly sky! The bells were ringing out the lustiest peals Scrooge had ever heard! Dragaunus spots Chameleon, as the Young Boy, walking down below. Dragaunus: Hallo there! What's today? Duke (VO): Cried Scrooge, calling downward to a boy in his best clothes. Chameleon stops. Chameleon: Eh? Duke (VO): Returned the boy with all his might of wonder. Dragaunus: What's today, my fine fellow? Chameleon: (In a thick cockney accent) Todai? Whoi todai's Christmas dai! Dragaunus: It's Christmas Day! I haven't missed it! The Spirits have done it all in one night! Why, they can do anything they like! Of course they can! Hallo, my fine fellow! Chameleon: Hallo! Dragaunus: Do you know the Poulterer's in the next street, at the corner? Chameleon: I should hope I did! Dragaunus: I want you to go there and buy the biggest turkey they've got! Chameleon: You're pullin my tail! Dragaunus: No, no, I am in earnest! He throws down a small pouch of money. Dragaunus (con't): Go and buy it, and tell them to bring it here, and I'll give you a shilling! Come back with it in less than five minutes, and I'll give you half a crown! Chameleon: Yes Sir! He turns to run off. Dragaunus: Wait! Chameleon stops. Dragaunus (con't): Maybe you'd better make it a ham. Duke (VO): The boy was off like a shot! Dragaunus: I'll bring it to Bob Cratchit's! I'll- He passes by a mirror and looks at himself. Dragaunus (con't): -Get dressed! I'll get dressed! He runs into his closet, throwing various garments behind him, and reemerges, dressed in his finest. He throws on his coat and hat and rushes down the stairs. 24 Exterior- London Street Dragaunus exits his house. The clock strikes. Duke (VO): Just as a neighboring clock struck Ten O' Clock, he made it safely to the front door, and at last got out into the streets! A glorious pageant where carts and carriages battled for the way! Where frosty breaths made wreaths on the windows of the shops, still half-open and radiant in their glory! And the scales on the counters made a merry sound! Chameleon and the Poulterer approach him, the latter bearing a large ham. Dragaunus: Hallo! There's the ham! Why it's twice the size of Tiny Tim! He pays Chameleon and motions for the Poulterer to follow him. He walks briskly down the street, tipping his hat to various passerby. Duke (VO): He looked so irresistibly pleasant, that three or four good-humored people said: Man: Good morning, Sir! How are you? Woman: A Merry Christmas to you! Boy: Merry Christmas! Dragaunus spots Phil and Klegghorn in the crowd. Dragaunus: (To Poulterer) Wait here. He approaches them. Dragaunus (con't): How do you do, Gentlemen? Phil and Klegghorn turn and gasp. Phil and Klegghorn: Oh! Klegghorn: Mr. Scrooge!?! Dragaunus: Yes, that is my name! And I believe it may not be pleasant to you. Please, come see me. I will give you what you so deserve! Five, ten times over! The day after tomorrow- when the bell tolls one! Will you come to see me? Phil and Klegghorn: We will! He hurries off. Phil and Klegghorn look at each other, amazed. Duke (VO): Scrooge continued to follow the spirit within him and turned his steps towards his nephew's house! He very much wanted to take Fred by surprise- the way Fred and the Two Gentlemen came upon him the day before. 25 Exterior- Fred's House Dragaunus bursts in on the party. Dragaunus: Nephew! Everyone jumps. Mookie: Oh my God! Nosedive: Whoa, no way that can be- Dragaunus: It's I! Your Uncle Scrooge! Will you let me in? Nosedive: (Angrily) Let you in!?! Why you're lucky I don't- (grinning) -shake your arm off! He takes him by the arm and brings him cheerily into the party. Dragaunus: Dear Fred, I cannot stay. You must come with me for I have a wonderful announcement. 26 Interior- Cratchit House. Nosedive and Dragaunus enter, surprising the Cratchits, and a cheerful bustle ensues as the ham is borne to the table. The music rises as drinks are poured, all gathered around the table. Nosedive interrupts the merriness. Nosedive: (Raising his hand) Hold it, hold it! Uncle Scrooge has an announcement to make! Dragaunus: Thank you, Fred. I know how I have acted towards you all in the past, and I am pleased to say that I have seen the error of my ways. (He pulls out a blaster) I will no longer be so tolerant. Wildwing: Hey! There are no blasters in Dickensian England! Dragaunus: I took it from the sci-fi set next door. Nosedive, confused, pulls out the script. Nosedive: Uh, Dragaunus, that's not in the script. Dragaunus: Neither is this! (He gestures at the ham) That ham contains a thermal explosive, ready to blow you all to bits. Tanya: But why? Dragaunus: I had to fit an evil scheme in here somewhere. If I reformed, we'd all be out of jobs. Nosedive: So what's the plot? How does ham stuffed with TNT lead to global domination? Dragaunus: I haven't quite figured that out yet. Let's just skip to the fight scene. Wildwing: Sounds good to me, Lizard Lips. Bah Humbug this! He lunges at him. The conflict begins. Chameleon sneaks to the back door and lets in Siege and Wraith. Grin and Mallory run in, wearing their normal clothing, Mallory still in sausage curls. Mallory: What's going on? Grin: What happened to "God bless us, every one"? Tanya: We uh, got a little sidetracked. Nosedive: Tanya, you take care of that pork powder keg- we got some Christmas cheer to spread! Siege: Time to stuff the turkeys! Fred tackles Tiny Tim, Belle faces off with Old Joe, and Marley and Christmas Present pummel each other. Dickens steps into the foreground, oblivious. Duke: (Cheerfully) Scrooge was better than his word! He did it all, and infinitely more! And to Tiny Tim, who did not die, he was a second father! He became as good a friend- Nosedive: (Struggling with Chameleon) Uh, Chuck? Wanna reread that last page there? Duke looks around. Duke: Whoa! What happened here? Nosedive: Draggy decided to get back into character. Duke: Yikes. Wildwing: (Fighting) How 'bout narrating us a happy ending! Duke: I'll do my best. (He pushes up his sleeves.) And suddenly, Scrooge lifted his clerk Bob Cratchit off the ground. Dragaunus does so. Mallory: He said a *happy* ending! Duke: As Mrs. Cratchit struggled with the ham gone haywire, her son Tim came up behind her and tied her to the chair. Chameleon ties Tanya to the chair. Grin: *Happy*, Mr. Dickens! Duke: The Ghost of Marley disarmed the fair Belle, putting her at his mercy! Siege rips the puck blaster from Mallory's grasp and backs her against the wall. Nosedive taps Duke on the shoulder. Nosedive: Uh, Chaz? Duke: Yeah? Nosedive: HAPPY!!! Duke: I'm jus buildin the dramatic tension. Sheesh! Some people have no respect for good literature. (He turns back to the reader) Just then, Scrooge released the good clerk. Dragaunus releases Wildwing. Dragaunus: I what? Duke: He stepped back and realized that he was in the wrong. Dragaunus steps back. Dragaunus: I do? Duke: And, furthermore, that the explosive ham on the table was actually a harmless Christmas pudding. Dragaunus: It is? Duke: And then- Dragaunus grabs Duke and presses the blaster to his head. Dragaunus: Listen, Dick. Duke: Hey, that's Dickens, pal! Dragaunus: Narrate me into world domination or they'll be nothing left between your top hat and your shirt collar. Duke pauses. Duke: I think I can do that. Ya mind givin me some room? Dragaunus: Very well. But you'll understand if I take a little insurance. He releases Duke and grabs Mallory. Dragaunus: Get to it, Carol Boy. Duke adjusts his tailcoat and straightens his vest. He clears his throat. Dragaunus opens his mouth to hurry him up, but Duke stops him with a hand. Duke: The impressive, all-powerful, and (with a sarcastic chuckle) devastatingly stylish Scrooge pressed his futuristic blaster to the lovely Belle's head. Evidently he didn't take rejection too well. Mallory: Don't go there, Charlie. Duke: Sorry sweetheart. As he lingered with the insignificant maggots who had until recently stood in his way, his brilliant scheme was unfolding. Dragaunus: (To Mallory) He's good. Duke: But suddenly, Belle escaped from his grasp! Mallory is suddenly on the other side of the room. Dragaunus: What do you think you're doing, you one-eyed ink-slinging hack!?! Duke: And then, the dashing, mature, and generally awe-inspiring narrator found a saber in his hand! The duck saber appears in his hand. He cuts Dragaunus's blaster in two. Dragaunus: You've won this time, Duck, but there will be a sequel! He teleports out. Siege, Wraith, and Chameleon follow. Nosedive: Man, I'm flying south next Christmas! Tanya: I think this episode has lost its educational value. Duke: Not necessarily! He snaps his fingers and his costume changes to that of Scrooge. Duke: The show must go on. I'll be Scrooge... Tiny Tim... He points at Grin, who is then given Tiny Tim garb. Duke: And let's make you Fred's Wife. He points at Mallory and her clothing changes appropriately. Nosedive chuckles and puts his arm around her. Mallory: (Sarcastically) This part just gets better and better. Nosedive: (Teasingly) You didn't seem to mind that scene with your last hubbie... Mallory pulls his hat down on his face. Duke chuckles, obviously enjoying her annoyance. Duke: Hey you two lovebirds, ain't that mistletoe up there? Mallory looks up and sees nothing. Mallory: Where? Duke snaps his fingers. Mistletoe appears above her and Nosedive. Duke: There. Nosedive grins, shrugging his eyebrows suggestively. Mallory glares at Duke. Mallory: I think you're abusing your narrative power. Duke: (Gesturing at the mistletoe) Hey, we have ta stay in character, Sweetheart. Mallory smiles. Mallory: Well then, Uncle Scrooge, isn't Tiny Tim supposed to be sitting on you? Duke looks at Grin, who, well, grins. Duke: You wouldn't! Grin: He have to stay in character. Sweetheart. Duke considers them for a moment. He snaps his fingers and the mistletoe disappears. Mallory clears her throat. Duke: Take a hike, Fred. Nosedive removes his arm from Mallory. Nosedive: Aw, man! It was really gettin to her! Duke: Come on, let's finish this fiasco on wheels. He snaps his fingers. He appears in the doorway, and the pudding is gone from the table. He stands in the doorway, scowling. Wildwing and Tanya stand before him, Wildwing's arm protectively around Tanya. Duke: Cratchit, do you know what time it is!?! Wildwing: But, Mr. Scrooge, you said- Duke: I'll tell you what, my friend! I ain't gonna stand fer this sorta thing any longer! And therefore- Wildwing and Tanya stiffen. Duke (con't): And therefore- I am about to raise your salary! There is a shocked pause. Wildwing: (Aside, to Tanya) Call Bedlam Asylum. Duke takes Wildwing's hand. Duke: A Merry Christmas, Bob! A Merrier Christmas, Bob my good fellow, than I have given you for many a year! I'll raise your salary, and endeavor to assist your struggling family! I hope you can find it in your heart, Bob, Tanya, to join an old man in a ham dinner. The Poulterer steps in, bearing the immense ham, and the Cratchits gasp.
27 Interior- Cratchit House The cast gathers around the ham happily. Tanya and Wildwing have an arm around each other, as do Nosedive and Mallory, and Duke has a fatherly hand on the seated Grin's shoulder. Phil (VO): Scrooge was better than his word! He did it all, and infinitely more! And to Tiny Tim, who did not die, he was a second father! He was as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man as the good old city ever knew- or any other good old city, or town, or borough, or country, in the good old world! And it was always said of him that he knew how to keep Christmas well- if any man alive possessed the knowledge. Duke: (To Cratchits) May that be truly said of us and all of us! Phil (VO): And so, as Tiny Tim observed: All Ducks: God Bless Us! Grin: God Bless Us, Every One. The End The credits roll. Nosedive (VO): Hey, Tanya, do you hear that? Tanya (VO): Hear what? Nosedive (VO): Charles Dickens spinning in his grave! Duke (VO): Will you two get outta the credits!?! The show's over already! Tanya (VO): And not a moment too soon. I don't think I can stand any more 'culture'. Duke (VO): Yeah, yeah. I'm surrounded by savages! The (Real) End