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E - Everyone

What Seems like a Christmas Carol

by LordMomo


Jon-Jon Jeremy Johnston, bread delivery boy, and most depressed child in London, walked down the street through the fog delivering bread. He was an orphan, and no one cared. He lived in an alleyway across the street from where he got his bread. He made almost no money, and lived off of rats he captured and cooked himself.

Jon checked his list. "Sammers, done, Hurdles, done, Scrooge...that’s next." He shoved the list in his pocket. He grabbed two French baguettes from his basket, and went up to Mr. Scrooges door.

The mansion always spooked him out, for it was big, black, and empty. But today was even more creepy, because Jon could have sworn, that through the fog, there was a faint green glow coming from one of the upstairs windows.

Jon swallowed, and grabbed the door knocker. He knocked twice and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

Jon got worried. Mr. Scrooge normally didn’t make him wait this long.

"M-Mr. Scrooge?" Jon called out. "It’s Jon! With your bread! Can I come in?"

Silence.

"I-I’ll come in now, Mr. Scrooge!" Jon called once more before opening the door.

A waft of cold air rushed outside when Jon opened the door, and he shivered. He walked slowly down the stairs to where Scrooge kept his food. He opened the cupboard and put the bread in it. As he trudged up the stairs, he heard a crash and a yell from upstairs.

Jon jumped in fear. He looked, terrified, up the stairs.

"Mr. Scrooge?!" he called in terror. "A-are you alright?!"

He heard moaning and what sounded like chains clanking in response.

Jon looked longingly at the door before running up the stairs, taking them two at a time.

"I’m coming, Mr. Scrooge, I’m coming!!" he yelled. "Just hang on, I’m coming!"

As he ran up the flights of stairs, the greenish glow came from above him. This scared Jon to death, but he kept running up. The moaning and clanking continued, but Jon kept going.

More yells came, and they sounded like Mr. Scrooge. That scared Jon, but he kept running.

Why does Mr. Scrooge’s house have so many floors? he thought.

Finally, Jon reached the door. He froze

Green mist was coming out from under the partly open door.

Jon stood in fear at the green fog. What is that? he thought. He peeked his head through the door and stared.

Mr. Scrooge was huddled on his chair. He was staring with a face frozen in fear at...a ghost? Jon shook his head in confusion. He had been told that there were no such things as ghosts. But there was one standing in front of him.

"Scroooooooooooge!!" the ghost moaned.

"Spirit, leave, please!!" Scrooge whimpered.

The ghost stopped. He put his hand on his hip. "Sheesh, Scrooge. It’s me, Marley." he shook his head. "Don’t you recognize me?"

Scrooge looked long and hard at Marley. Then he gasped in delight.

"MARLEY!!" he yelled in happiness. That surprised Jon, for Mr. Scrooge was never happy.

"SCROOGE!!" Marley yelled back, and ran toward Scrooge, but fell flat on his face, falling through the floor. Scrooge froze and stared at the place where Marley disappeared.

"Ow." came faintly through the floor. "Hope this wasn’t expensive."

Jon was very confused. Scrooge appeared to be also.

"Marley?" he called out. "Are you alright?"

A crash came from downstairs, and Jon winced.

"Yeah, I’m okay, but this chandelier isn’t." the response came. Another crash, another wince, this time from Scrooge.

"Well, do you need help?" Scrooge asked.

"No, but the chandelier does."

Suddenly, Jon felt the urge to sneeze. He did, and Scrooge whipped his head toward the door. He stalked toward Jon and pulled the door open, causing Jon to fall into Mr. Scrooges room.

"BOY!!" Scrooge roared. "WHAT DO YOU THINK YOURE DOING?!"

"M-M-Mr. S-Scrooge, s-sir." Jon stammered in fear. "I-I was b-bringing y-your b-bread, sir."

"THE BREAD GOES DOWNSTAIRS IN THE CUBOARD!!" Scrooge yelled."WHY DO I NEED TO TELL YOU THAT?!"

"S-sir, I- heard y-you sc-screaming, an-and I hea-heard a crash- I w-wanted to be su-sure you were al-alright, s-sir." Jon murmured.

Scrooge looked at him, confused. "You- were...worried about me?"

Jon nodded.

Marley pulled himself up through the floor, and stood up panting.

"Right-o, I came to-" he stopped and stared at Jon. "What is he doing here?"

Scrooge looked at Jon, then at Marley. "He’s, uh, my delivery boy. He wanted to be sure I was okay." he looked closely at Jon. "You an orphan, boy?"

Jon nodded.

"Does someone take care of you?"

Jon shook his head.

Scrooge looked into the distance, thinking. Then his face lit up.

"Uh, Scrooge? Right, there’s a ghost coming at-" Marley started.

"Say no more, my friend!!" Scrooge said delightedly. "I’m a changed man!! I will help this boy, and all the boys and girls of London!!"

Marley’s jaw dropped. "You’ll- say what?!"

"You heard me!!" Scrooge laughed in giddiness.

Jon stared at Scrooge.

Marley stared at Scrooge. "Hold up. You mean to say, that I rounded up the three most powerful ghost of all time to try and make you not-so much of a crotchety old man, and you don’t need them?!"

Scrooge nodded. "Sure, let’s go with that."

Marley shrugged. "Okay! Welp, I’m out!" He dissolved into mist and vanished.

The next few months went very well for all the children of London. They were given food, clothing, and Scrooge even let them live in his mansion. Scrooge became a happier man, and was a father to all of these children. Jon still delivered bread, but he was happy to keep doing that. Jon was Scrooge’s favorite of all the children, and they spent lots of time together. And so, we end our story, with warm, full, and happy children.


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Mon Jan 04, 2021 5:27 am
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Messenger wrote a review...



Hey, Messy here! Let's hop into this review.

Overall I like this story. I like the almost whimsical mysticism, very much like ACC has throughout its pages. There's a feeling of wonder and at the same time confusion and some fear. You right in a way that feels both modern and at the same time reminiscent of ACC, and while that's a plus, I also feel that it's a bit of a negative in some ways. This is for most intents and purposes just ACC, the shortened version. Not that writing an alternate version is bad. In fact, I thought it was pretty clever that you took the prompt and found an already-existing story to fill it into. But up until the part where Marley trips, we are for the most part just re-reading ACC from a slightly different POV. Now, for more specifics

1. Jon - intriguing character. He's an orphan who eats rats. Seems depressing. Although, if he delivers bread why does he never buy any himself? If he's getting paid, which is never mentioned, what does he do with it if he lives alone in an alley?

2. Scrooge - he seems about the typical self. But I have to say that his turnaround towards Jon felt very rushed. Scrooge knows there are orphanages. In fact, assuming this is playing off the novella, he even knows of the charities that try to help them. So why does he care about Jon? And why does he usually have Jon put his bread in the pantry. Scrooge seems like the type that wouldn't want kids in his house period.

3. Marley - okay, he cracked me up. I loved the banter between the two. Scrooge and Marley really felt immediately like best friends. I laughed out loud throughout the exchange about the lamp, and I don't laugh a lot while reading so that's great!

4. The story - as a whole it feels like you knew what you were going for, but rushed it a bit. I didn't count, but I'm guessing you've got a couple hundred more words you could've squeaked in, and I think the ending could have used it when giving us an insight into why Scrooge changes his mind. After all, the novella takes 80 pages to convince him.

5. Grammar - usually I would copy and paste to show you specific bits, but in this case, I think summarizing will work. It felt like you used the verb "came" about a dozen times. The smoke "came" under the door. Marley's voice "came faintly" through the floor. That is a weak descriptor. Did the smoke plume, did it roll along the floor, did it seep through the floorboards? Then, there is your description of Marley or lack thereof. I don't really know what I'm supposed to be imagining because you really don't describe it much. He is a "Ghost", that's about all we get. MAke us feel the fear that Jon does. That leads me to the next point: you keep saying Jon is "Scared" as he runs upstairs. How does fear play on Jon? Does his stomach knot, do his palms sweat, does he get shaky, hot, flushed? And lastly, the descriptors of the house at the beginning were a little on the skimpy side. We know that Jon lives in an alley, but is Scrooge's house off of an alley? It seems like having a lot of money he would live on a nice, street, but being a hermit maybe it's secluded? But we don't really know.

Summarizing - I liked this story. It's short, it made me laugh, it's posted in the holiday season, it's a familiar story I loved as a kid and teen with a fun reimagining, and you have a very distinct feel to your work which is really cool. I love that you used ACC based on the prompt, I seriously never even thought of it. Overall well done. Thanks for the submission!

~ Messy




LordMomo says...


Thanks for the review! This story is 969 words long.



Messenger says...


Oh yeah. So you have tons of room to work with in the future if you wanted to revise and still keep it short.



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Sun Jan 03, 2021 12:02 am
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hannah0528 wrote a review...



Hi Momo! Hannah here for a quick review.
Glows:
This was a great story! And I liked the theme, helping others. I love Jon's character too. He is a poor orphan but braver than most people. I also like how Scrooges character turned out. He used to be a grumpy old man, but now he helps all of the children of London who are in need. I just have a few nit-picky mistakes. If you disagree with them, then ignore them.

Grammar mistakes:
"As he ran up the flights of stairs, the greenish glow came from above him. This scared Jon to death, but he kept running up. The moaning and clanking continued, but Jon kept going.

More yells came, and they sounded like Mr. Scrooge. That scared Jon, but he kept running."

You wrote "That scared Jon" twice, which can be a bit repetitive.

Word choice suggestions:
"Jon still delivered bread, but he was happy to keep doing that".
Instead of saying "happy to keep doing that" you could say "he was happy to do so" or "happy to continue doing that".

Well other than that, GREAT STORY. I noticed that this was one of your first short stories, and you did a good job on it for one of your first ones! I hope you had a merry Christmas, a happy New Year and that you keep writing and have a great day!



Hannah




LordMomo says...


Thank you for the review!!



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Fri Jan 01, 2021 7:54 pm
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trashykawa wrote a review...



Hi Momo! It's been a while since I reviewed but new year, new impulses I guess <3

I really like how you introduced us to the story. It has an old-timey tale telling style to it, and you successfully set the tone and environment in just a few lines. Most writers fumble a little while writing shorts because it's very difficult to stick to the word limit and not make it too long with descriptions, but you've done a perfect job <3

Second, you've written your protagonist spectacularly. I like how he goes in to check on his customer instead of just leaving the bread in the cupboard; it shows he cares a lot, and gives the reader valuable information about Jon's personality.

Midway through the story though, the writing gets a bit repetitive. There's an instance here:

As he ran up the flights of stairs, the greenish glow came from above him. This scared Jon to death, but he kept running up. The moaning and clanking continued, but Jon kept going.

More yells came, and they sounded like Mr. Scrooge. That scared Jon, but he kept running.

Notice where I've bolded the text. The phrase "[something] scares John" gets used repetitively in consecutive sentences. At this point, the reader will be thinking: "Yes, we get it, he's scared; give us something more." A good way to combat repetition is to use different ways to convey your meaning. Oh, Jon is scared? Instead of writing it down directly, tell us that "Jon's blood runs cold," or "his heart pounds dramatically in his chest" or a simple "he goes pale." That way, it also fixes the problem of showing and not telling, something that all of us have issues with.

As I read through the end, I get a little lost - navigating through a house in a short story is usually very tough, and most writers confine their characters to one room/setting to make sure that the reader doesnt get stuck trying to understand the architecture of a house. Your ghost marley (?) moves through floors and doors and appears out of nowhere, and it's pretty difficult to gauge exactly what's happening or who's moving where. The reader won't know how the house looks inside your head, so try to avoid scenes like that!

Anyway yeah, those were the main points... Your grammar is fine, vocabulary is adequate too. I don't point out tiny errors and nitpicks, since I tend to focus more on how a story is developed, but I think I noticed a few typos while reading so you could maybe revise it once :D

Anyway, well done on this short story; I'd love to read more form you! <3




LordMomo says...


Thanks so much!! :D



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Fri Jan 01, 2021 7:45 pm
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NastyMajesty wrote a review...



MOMOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO AAaAAaAAA. Hellooo Momo! I'm gonna be popping in here real quick for a review C: hope you're having a great day/night wherever you're at. let's hop right in:
Grows

He shoved the list in his pocket. He grabbed two French baguettes from his basket, and went up to Mr. Scrooges door.
You don't need the comma here after basket and "Mr. Scrooges" should have an apostrophe to show that it's his door.
"THE BREAD GOES DOWNSTAIRS IN THE CUBOARD CUPBOARD!!" Scrooge yelled. you need a space here between the quote and the previous sentence "WHY DO I NEED TO TELL YOU THAT?!"

There were a couple more minor mistakes, mostly with dialogue and commas but I figured that this was just a quick and fun short to do c:


moving onnnnnnn...

Glows

"Marley?" he called out. "Are you alright?"

A crash came from downstairs, and Jon winced.

"Yeah, I’m okay, but this chandelier isn’t." the response came. Another crash, another wince, this time from Scrooge.

"Well, do you need help?" Scrooge asked.

"No, but the chandelier does."
this line. this line right here. THE CHANDELIER DOES *wheeze*
Marley stared at Scrooge. "Hold up. You mean to say, that I rounded up the three most powerful ghost of all time to try and make you not-so-much of a crotchety old man, and you don’t need them?!"

Scrooge nodded. "Sure, let’s go with that."

Marley shrugged. "Okay! Welp, I’m out!" He dissolved into mist and vanished.
my gosh these were hilarious you had me laughing here. Kudos to you for that 🤣🤣🤣 The ending was super abrupt and that's what's so great about it. Overall, amazing job I absolutely loved reading this. ^_^ Keep it up, keep writing, and have a HAPPY NEW YEAR!
(: <3
~Your Friendly Neighborhood Majesty of Nastiness~




LordMomo says...


Thank you for the review!! Happy new year!! :D



NastyMajesty says...


:)



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Fri Jan 01, 2021 7:30 pm
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SpunkyKitty wrote a review...



Hi Momo! I love the concept of this story! Really creative!

The mansion always spooked him out, for it was big, black, and empty. But today was even more creepy, because Jon could have sworn, that through the fog, there was a faint green glow coming from one of the upstairs windows.

Nice description!

"Mr. Scrooge?!" he called in terror. "A-are you alright?!"

He heard moaning and what sounded like chains clanking in response.

Poor kid! This would be terrifying.


"Spirit, leave, please!!" Scrooge whimpered.

The ghost stopped. He put his hand on his hip. "Sheesh, Scrooge. It’s me, Marley." he shook his head. "Don’t you recognize me?"

Scrooge looked long and hard at Marley. Then he gasped in delight.

"MARLEY!!" he yelled in happiness. That surprised Jon, for Mr. Scrooge was never happy.

"SCROOGE!!" Marley yelled back, and ran toward Scrooge, but fell flat on his face, falling through the floor. Scrooge froze and stared at the place where Marley disappeared.

"Ow." came faintly through the floor. "Hope this wasn’t expensive."

This scene is hilarious! XDDD I was dying laughing. Your writing style really shines through all this. I love your writing!

This story is really amazing, and it'll be tough for anyone to beat this. It's outstanding.




LordMomo says...


Thanks!! :D



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What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal.
— Albert Pines