Tebearneezer Fudge hurried down the cobblestone street. He wanted to get home after a long day of running errands. A fog had started to cover his sleepy little town and was getting thicker by the minute. He heard voices through the mist calling out Halloween greetings to one another. Bah humbug he thought! He did not like Halloween one little bit!
Suddenly the fog thickened to the point where he couldn't see past the nose on his face. He had been so lost in thought over his dislike of Halloween that he hadn't been paying attention to where he was. "Well this is a fine pickle!" he muttered under this breath. He reached out his paw, groping his way along the street until he felt a door latch. He decided he would go into the shop and wait until the fog dissipated.
When he entered, he was met with a curious sight. A gypsy was sitting at a table with two chairs. "Velcome...come...sit" she said when he entered. Tebearneezer wasn't sure what sort of shop this was. He didn't remember ever seeing it before, but the gypsy seemed nice enough so he thought it would be ok to sit for a bit.
As he sat down she said "Lovely veather ve are having..no?" Tebearneezer smiled politely. "Er...if you say so." He didn't want to be rude afterall. The fortune teller peered into her crystal ball, and then started to lay cards out on her table. "Oh my, such sadness I see!" she said and shook her head. She studied the cards a bit more. "But all is not lost" she said finally. Tebearneezer stood up rather abruptly. "Now see here, I didn't ask for my fortune to be told!" he exclaimed. But before he could add anything else, the gypsy said "You shall be visited this night by three ghosts."
"G...gh...ghosts?" Tebearneezer said a bit nervously, but then quickly regained his posture. "Stuff and nonsense!" he said, and stood up abruptly. He thanked her for letting him sit in her shop, and then hurried out the door. When he got outside the fog had cleared. He hurried the rest of the way home.
Later that night, when he crawled into bed he remembered the fortune tellers words. He refused to let any ghosts into his house, that was for certain! He couldn't help feeling afraid as he blew out the candle. He tried to go to sleep, but every noise made him jump. He pulled the covers up over his nose, even though he knew he was being silly. He finally fell into a fitfull sleep.
Some time later, he awoke. He was sure he had heard someone calling his name. He opened his eyes and saw a diminutive, hazy figure in a black ballgown and holding a masquerade mask, standing by the foot of his bed surrounded eerily in green light. "I am the ghost of Halloween past." she said sweetly. Tebearneezer jumped out of bed and grabbed his robe. This couldn't be real! She floated towards him, and took his paw in hers. "We will travel back to the day you started disliking Halloween!" She brought her mask up to her face. Before Tebearneezer could protest, the room started spinning out of control.
When it stopped, they were no longer in his room. Instead they were in the town square. "No..NooOOooOOoo!" Tebearneezer cried. He did not want to relive this fateful day.
As he watched he saw himself as a cub playing in the town square with all his friends. They had been excited about Halloween in those days, and were all sporting their costumes. He had dressed as a clown. He had been so proud of that costume his Mother had made him.
Then he saw them...the horrifying ghost with the scary mummy at it's side. He covered his face with his paws. He didn't want to remember how frightened he had been! He saw his younger self hiding behind a huge pumpkin, crying in terror and hoping they didn't find him and eat him. All his so called friends had run away and he left him alone. He turned to the ghost and asked "Why! Why have you brought me here?" She said "Look Tebearneezer, they aren't really monsters...just older kids dressed in scary costumes! They were trick or treating same as you!" Tebearneezer peeked back at the scene unfolding before him. He saw they truly were just kids in costumes! How could he have made such a mistake? He was about to reach out to his younger self and point that out so he wouldn't be scared, when the world started to spin again! He found himself back in his own bed, his room dark now except for the full moon shining in through the window. He rubbed his eyes and thought to himself it must have all been a dream. He turned over and went back to sleep.
No sooner had he started to doze off when he heard a booming voice. "I am the ghost of Halloween present!" It announced. He rolled over in bed to see a chubby, spotted cat wearing a pointy clown hat sitting by the side of his bed. He groaned...not again! The cat grabbed his paw with a loud laugh and the room spun out of control.
He found himself back in the town square. This time everyone he knew was there helping set up the Halloween display. "See how much fun your friends are having Tebearneezer Fudge!" said the ghost. "Friends" muttered Tebearneezer. He didn't have any friends. Not since he was a cub. He knew what people said about him behind his back, how they called him grumpy and a curmudgeon! It made him feel a little sad. He almost wished he could join in the fun. "Bah humbug!" he said instead, "who needs fun!" "Everyone does Tebearneezer! What is life without friends and fun?" said the ghost. He was about to reply when the world spun out from under him. He was alone in his room. He lay thinking about what he had seen and what the ghost had said for a long time before he fell asleep again.
Concluded in the next post...click the main header to read on if you arrived via this post!