“God save you Ebeneezer! And a merry Christmas to you!” bellowed a voice from the window. Through the foggy glass, Scrooge could make out the rather large outline of none other than Peggy Harker, a worker at the local orphanage. Scrooge crinkled his nose in disgust and shooed her away with a flick of his hand. Peggy Harker, persistent as the rain during a wet monsoon month, continued to say “My oh my, it is extremely cold… mind if I come in?” in which Scrooge acknowledged with a harsh grunt.
As the doorbell jingled, a plump woman with rosy red cheeks walked in, so rosy were her cheeks that one could describe them like freshly picked apples, her clear blue eyes flipped side to side as she examined the harshly lit office. Her posture was stiff and her hair was tied up in a French knot, and in her hands lay a beautifully wrapped Christmas present. Scrooge watched her suspiciously as she slowly strode towards his dark mahogany desk. She walked past an ageing coat hanger, with a flimsy scarf lazily hung on a rod. Her tiny heels made a pitter-patter against the tired floor, like a hamster running through the pavement, and her eyes widened when she glanced at the dying fire. Her wide neck turned to face Scrooge as she exclaimed “Oh my! How can you work in conditions as harsh this?”
“Bah! What right have you to be criticizing me!” Scrooge returned The woman’s eyes widened in horror as the words were spat out, her mouth gaping open – revealing a row of small sharp teeth. She stepped back, nearly tripping over her long woolen scarf draped around her neck. “I do not intend, especially on a night such as this, to offend you!” Peggy mumbled, slowly crossing her arms over her fuchsia pink dress. “On a night such as this! Humbug! What is the use of celebrating a merry Christmas when there is no reason to be merry? The children at the orphanage know well enough!” Scrooge’s hooked nose wrinkles in disgust. Mrs. Harker pursed her thin blue lips and inhaled sharply, catching a whiff of soot and musty books – a smell so strong she began to cough. Still composing herself, she could not rid the unmistakable taste of soot lodged in the back of her throat.
“Well then Ebeneezer,” she stated harshly “I will not argue with your beliefs, for I know that deep in you heart you do love Christmas.” “HUMBUG!” Scrooge grunted, slamming his palms on his table. “To end my visit here,” Peggy continued “I wish you a merry Christmas, and leave you with some cookies the orphans baked for you.” Mrs. Harker then bent over and placed the present on Scrooge’s desk and began to walk off. Scrooge seized the present and flung it off his table, a deafening sound of a plate crashing echoed through the workplace. “What right have you to be giving cookies? You’re plump enough!” Scrooge screamed to Peggy, who stood frozen at the doorway. “Good Afternoon Ebeneezer.” Mrs. Harker said as she stepped out into the cold, her legs pitter-pattering away from the shop.