Christmas, Possibly to Come

Dazza woke to find the ghostly figure standing at the end of his bed.

“Who are you and what the hell are you doing here?” Dazza demanded.

The figure sat on the side of the bed.  “I’m the ghost of Christmas, Possibly to Come.”

“Right, right, I get it.  I’ve read the book.  Three of you are going to visit to tell me why I should change my ways.”

“Nah, mate. First you didn’t read the book. You watched that Bill Murray movie Scrooged, and second you’re a special case.”

“Special case?”

“Yeah.  Special cases are the ones we know aren’t going to change, so instead of doing the whole triple-haunting, we draw straws and the loser comes to hang out with you for a while.  No point in putting our best work into one we don’t have a chance of winning.”

“Fair enough. So what do we do now?””

“We just hang out for about an hour, so I can say I gave it a go.”

“Righto.” Dazza sat up, and opened a drawer in his bedside table.  He took a pinch of powder out of a bag in the draw and laid it out on his finger, then inhaled it.  “You want a hit?” he asked.

“Nah. Wouldn’t work on me.  Ghost; no brain cells to fry.”

“So, you can walk through walls and stuff like that?”

“Yeah.  It’s really cool at first, then it’s just everyday stuff, you know.”

“Could be useful in my line of work.”

“But I’m incorporeal.  I can walk through walls, but once I’m inside, I can’t do anything much.  You need to be able to touch things, and people.”

“I guess I wouldn’t get paid much for scaring targets.  Unless I could scare them to death.”

“Only thing that makes you scary is that you kill people.  If you couldn’t do that, you really wouldn’t be all that scary.  You’d be just as pathetic as me.”

“I get that.  So if you did the whole drama, what would you have showed me?”

“Well, if you keep going at your current job, you’d be rich but have no friends and die alone.”

“And if I didn’t?”

“If you quit your job, did something normal instead, you’d get married, have kids, blah, blah blah.”

“But I wouldn’t be rich?”

“You wouldn’t be as rich.”

“I can see why you didn’t bring your A-game.”

“I know, right.”

“You know you look weirdly familiar.”
“Really?”

“Could you be someone I might have been hired to ah, kill?”

“Come to think of it, yeah.”

“No hard feelings, mate.  Just business.”

“Oh I’m not sure, but I think…. Yes I think I do have hard feelings.  I didn’t want to die, and I really didn’t want this gig.”

“So what are you going to do about it.  You said it yourself.  You’re incorporeal. You can’t touch me.”

“Dazza, Dazza, Dazza, you really should have read the book.  I’m a Christmas ghost.  I can make you see things.”

Dazza’s bedroom suddenly disappeared.  He seemed to be in a very dark place.  He couldn’t see anything but darkness, so deep it seemed physical.

“Very clever,” Dazza said. “So you can make me think I’m alone in the dark.  How long do you plan to play this stupid little game then?”

“I think forever,” the ghost respond.  “Forever works for me.  Does forever work for you? Don’t bother answering. I can see how much you’re enjoying yourself. Yeah, I think we’ll make this forever.”


New Releases

In the past two months, I've released three new books: a poetry anthology, a novel, and a children's book.



You can find them all now at www.lulu.com/spotlight/IrisCarden, and soon at most online bookshops.

Scandal

by Iris Carden

Archibald Clark spat his coffee over the computer screen.

His long-suffering wife Marigold went to the kitchen for a dishcloth to clean up the mess.  “It was never a good idea for you to read the newspaper at the breakfast table when it was a paper.  It’s an even worse idea now that it’s on the net,” she said.

Archibald pointed to the headline on the screen. “Prime Minister’s Secret: Exclusive Photos.”  There were pictures of him, obviously taken surreptitiously, having dinner with Angela, shopping with Angela, being greeted by Angela at her front door.

“So come out and tell the truth, Arch,” Marigold said matter-of-factly.  “Angela is your daughter from a previous relationship.  You spend time with her because you’re her Dad and you care about her.”

“If that much comes out, how much before everything else comes out?” 

“How bad would it be if it did come out?”

“How bad?” Archibald buried his head in his hands.

“So, you’re intersex.  You live as a man now, but in the past you gave birth to a beautiful, intelligent, caring, daughter.  You have the best of both worlds,” Marigold, as usual, missed the whole point.

“Intersex?  You know the voters don’t know what that is.  They think it’s some trendy left-wing social movement.  The media will end up using the H-word.” He was pale, shaking.

“Oh, for goodness’ sake,” Marigold replied. She took a sip of her own coffee before she added. “Hermaphrodite is just a word.  It’s an ugly word, sure, but you’re the Prime Minister. No-one is going to chain you up and put you on display in a freak show.  The world moves on.  Society changes and people learn.”

“But I’m not going to be Prime Minister much longer am I? I’m in a catch 22. Either everyone believes I’m having an affair with an 20 year old, or they think I’m some kind of freak.  Either way, the Party is going to decide I’m electoral poison.  Murchessin’s been agitating for weeks.  This will be all it takes for him to challenge in the Party Room. Goldie, I’m totally screwed.”


Kitten


By Iris Carden

Collar bell jingles, soft paws pat her ball,
the kitten is playing her way down the hall.

She wiggles her bum as she targets a pounce,
knocks things off the shelf to see if they bounce.

She leaps into a lap for a moment or two,
but can’t stay there when there’s so much to do.

The world is all new, there’s so much to explore,
for this little kitten there’s adventures galore!

She scampers and climbs, she runs then she stays,
Life is a game, won’t you please come and play?

Then all of a sudden, she comes to a stop,
She gives a small yawn, and she falls with a flop.

And then with a deep self-satisfied purr
she forms a tight ball of warm snuggly fur.

She twitches a whisker and breathes long and deep
the sweet gentle snore of an innocent sleep.

This poem now appears in "Poetic Pets" available at www.lulu.com/spotlight/IrisCarden.