(Rated E for Everyone!)
Four years ago, as a gift to the boards, I wrote a Pokemon version of "A Christmas Carol".
BW 2, XY and OR/AS have come out since then, so I felt it was time to write a new version with the new characters in some of the roles
So without any further ado. I give you the new version of...
A Pokemon Christmas Carol
Stave 1: Winter's Haunting
"Thanks for allowing me to spend the night, Ms. Ketchum." a blonde haired girl smiles as she is let in."
"It's not a problem at all, Serena..." a brown haired woman smiles as she and a black haired man prepare to leave. "I know you and Ash will do fine looking after the house while Taran and I are away at the party."
"We'll probably jam, or watch movies all night." Serena muses as Ash arrives to see his parents off.
"Or, I can try out a few stories Brock taught me." Ash offers. "This year, he taught me 'A Christmas Carol.'"
"Really? I love that story!" Serena grins.
"Come on up to the rec room, and I'll be there shortly." Ash instructs Serena as he hugs Delia and Taran.
In the rec room...
Serena sweatdrops as Ash arrives "You're telling 'A Christmas Carol', and you're not even dressing up?"
Ash, meanwhile, hangs his League hat on the stand, and with Pikachu's help, rummages through a box of costumes before unearthing a top hat, which he puts on. "This better?"
"It'll do." Serena smiles as Pikachu romps by her side.
"Okay...imagine we are on a snow covered street in a town of a time long past..." Ash begins. Serena closes her eyes as the scene swirls.
When she opens them again, she sees she is on the exact street in the same town Ash described. "Wow...it's beautiful!"
A blast of cold wind makes her shiver. "...and I'm not dressed for the cold...."
"Relax, this is my imagination--I'll keep you warm." Ash--now in an elegant red coat, a royal blue scarf, and the same top hat he is wearing in the real world with the addition of the L-like League sign on his cap in gold--assures her as he puts a Buneary fur coat on her.
Once sure Serena is warm, he tells her "In order to understand this tale, you have to remember that Marley was dead from the very beginning."
"I know." Serena replies as the two of them start down the bustling street together.
"In life, Marley had been business partners with a shrewd moneylender named Ebeneezer Scrooge." Ash continues.
As if on cue, an imposing figure in black rounds the corner--Lysandre. "Scrooge was infamous for his icy demeanor--no one asked him for the time or for directions, and even the Pokemon knew to stay far away from him. Some Pikachus fearfully run away as Lysandre steps across an icy puddle. "In fact, he preferred it that way. For all he knew, sympathy could take a hike."
"Penny for the poor, guv?" a random boy asks Lysandre as he walks along the frozen road.
"Bah!" Lysandre grunts as he waves the boy away and approaches a large house-like building.
"Scrooge never bothered to paint out Marley's name, but it didn't matter--he would answer to either name." Ash narrates as Lysandre looks up at a sign on the building that reads "SCROOGE & MARLEY" with the MARLEY hastily scribbled out.
Lysandre shoots Ash an icy look. "I'm just the storyteller..." Ash stammers. Lysandre accepts that answer as he goes inside the house.
"Talk about an unpleasant fellow..." Serena shudders once sure Lysandre is inside and can't hear her.
"He always kept his nose to the grindstone--and with a heart as black as the coal he hoarded while his employees shivered." Ash narrates, making Serena shudder some more.
The slamming door startles Callum, now clad in a dull red jacket, brown pants, and an olive shirt. "Uh...good morning, Mr. Scrooge." he shyly smiles as he tends to a stove.
"And what might you be doing with those coals, Mr. Cratchit?" Lysandre demands as he hangs up his coat and hat, revealing a dull gray outfit.
"I was..." Callum stammers, his mind racing as to what to tell his boss. "I was t-trying to...thaw out the ink?" he replies, shivering from the cold in the room.
"But you used a piece last week!" Lysandre thunders, poking Callum in the stomach with his walking stick, making the coals clatter into the trash. "Get to work!" Callum quickly complies with this, rubbing where Lysandre poked him in pain as he settles before his desk.
After writing in the ledger for a while, Callum works up the courage to ask an important question. "You know...tomorrow's Christmas and I, uh, was wondering if I uh, c-could have a day off?" He swallows hard as he awaits Lysandre's reaction.
"Christmas?" Lysandre balks, before reluctantly sighing. "I suppose so, but you will be docked half a day's wages...and at 200 credits a day, that comes to..."
"That's 250 credits a day, sir..." Callum corrects.
"Oh yes, I forgot about that raise I gave you three years ago..." Lysandre chuckles--it was rare for him to forget anything concerning money, and it was also one of the rare times Callum had seen him laugh. "For doing my laundry, if memory serves." Callum nods in confirmation of his theory. "Just return to your work while I consult my ledgers...and before I forget, a bundle of shirts, as you asked." He sighs as he gives Callum a large bag and disappears into another room. While he wishes he could keep the clothing for himself, Callum is overjoyed by the immense number of shirts inside.
So there Scrooge sat in his office, listening to the chatter of the townsfolk, the whistling wind outside, and the hurried scribbling of Mr. Cratchit in the next room. Ash narrates as Lysandre writes in a ledger himself, keeping a watchful eye on Callum as a wind gust rattles the window, obscuring the murmur of a bustling crowd. Suddenly, he was snapped from his calculating interest and payments when he heard a knock at the door.
Lysandre hears the knock just as he finishes counting a stack of coins. "Now who could be calling at this hour?" he grumbles as he opens the door.
It turns out that Malva is on the stoop. "Merry Christmas!" she smiles as another wind gust ruffles her dull red hair.
Callum smiles when he sees who is at the door. "And Merry Christmas to you too, Mistress Freda." He gets up from his desk and helps Malva inside.
"Bah...humbug..." Lysandre grumbles as he continues studying a ledger.
Malva balks at Lysandre's reaction. "Christmas, a humbug, uncle? You can't be serious..."
Lysandre slams the ledger shut in frustration. "What's so merry about it? I'll tell you what Christmas is...just another workday, and any Mankey that says otherwise should be boiled in his own Berries!" Malva swallows hard, fearing what Lysandre will do next.
"But Christmas is a time for giving!" Callum protests. "A time to be with one's family!"
"I say bah humbug..." Lysandre coldly replies before turning to return to his office.
"Say what you will, but I still say Merry Christmas, uncle!" Malva retorts.
Callum applauds Malva's enthusiasm. "Well said, Freda!"
"And what are YOU doing?" Lysandre demands when he hears Callum applauding.
"Just...keeping my hands warm?" Callum stammers as he returns to his work.
Lysandre then addresses Malva. "And what brings you all this way, my niece?"
"I bring you a wreath..." Malva then offers a wreath studded with pinecones and holly to Lysandre. "and an invite for you to join me for Christmas dinner."
"Well...will there be roast Combusken with all the fixings?" Lysandre asks.
"Yes..." Malva replies.
"And Ganlon pudding with Nomel sauce?"
Ganlon and Nomels? Yuck! Serena interjects.
That's what Scrooge asks in the story, okay? Ash assures his friend before the scene returns to Lysandre and Malva again.
"Yes!" Malva smiles, excited.
"And candied Berries with gingerbread?" Lysandre asks.
"Yes! Yes!" Malva is estatic now. "Will you come?"
"Are you crazy???" Lysandre screeches as he yanks open the door. "I don't like any of that! Take your wreath and be gone!" With that, Malva is shoved out the door and into the snow, wreath and all.
"Ouch..." Serena comments from where she and Ash are hiding as Lysandre slams the door.
"Pika pika..." Pikachu agrees as Malva eases herself to her feet.
"Bah humbug!" Lysandre replies as he storms back to his office. Unbeknownst to him, Malva has discretely hung the wreath on the door before hurrying away.
"Ah, Freda...she's got such a big heart..." Callum muses.
"Heart or not, she always was a little peculiar." Lysandre muses before hearing the door open again. "Now what?" he grumbles before recognizing Ethan and Lyra on the stoop. "Oh, customers...come right in." he muses with a droll smile. "What can I do for you this afternoon?"
"We came seeking funds for the needy and less fortunate." Lyra explains.
"Won't you give something and allow the poor a merry Christmas too?" Ethan asks, offering a jar filled with all kinds of coins to Lysandre.
Lysandre thinks for a moment. "If you give something to the poor, they wouldn't be poor anymore, right?" he muses as he paces the floor. "and if they are not poor anymore, then what's the point in raising money for them?"
"That is true..." Ethan muses.
"Then if there's no point in raising money for them, you guys would be out of work--and I'd hate to put you two out of work." Lysandre concludes as he gently escorts Ethan and Lyra outside and closes the door behind them, giving Lyra the wreath on the way out.
"Talk about a roundabout way of saying no..." Serena comments. "Scrooge is actually pretty smart for a mean old guy."
Lysandre, meanwhile, sighs in despair. "What's the world coming to? You work all your life to earn money, and people ask you to give it away..." He continues muttering as he disappears into his office.
Callum just shrugs as he warms his hands by his desk lamp some hours later--while it isn't much in the way of warmth, fighting with Lysandre over the coal box is the last thing he wants to do. He looks up at the clock, which is beginning to strike seven.
"Seven o'clock already?" Lysandre gasps, surprised that the time has gone so quickly. "You are free to go." he tells Callum. "And take tomorrow off, for all I care." he grumbles as an afterthought.
Callum flies from his seat, bundles up and gathers the clothing, gives Lysandre a few kisses and a whispered "Merry Christmas" before dashing outside into the snow. Lysandre follows him some time later, the same dour look on his face from before.
Ash and Serena decide to follow Callum, but before long, Serena spots people skating on a frozen pond. "Look--ice skaters!" Serena calls. "Can we watch them?"
"You're in my imagination, so who says we can't join them?" Ash smiles, snapping pairs of ice skates onto him and Serena.
Serena hesitantly steps onto the ice, only to find that she can, in fact, skate! "Thank Arceus this is your imagination, Ash--I'd be flat on my face by now in the real world." she smiles as she effortlessly performs a figure 8.
Ash decides to do one better--writing "Pokemon Gotta catch'em all!" into the ice.
Serena is unimpressed by Ash's feat. "Show off."
Later, Ash and Serena catch up to Lysandre. "And so, Scrooge went on his way home to the old creaky brick mansion on the outskirts of town where Marley had once lived. Ash narrates from a room in an inn before we see Lysandre approaching the aforementioned house. "While he knew the place well from its balconies at the top floor to the rusted black gate at the entryway; that still didn't explain how the ornate Entei head door knocker became Marley's face for a few moments."
Lysandre balks as the aforementioned knocker transforms into Maxie's head for a few seconds, but when he looks again, it is a normal gold Entei head.
"I must be seeing things..." Lysandre sighs as he enters the house, climbs up the ornate staircase, and enters the den, where he glumly studies the flickering flames, oblivious to the thumping and creaking around him.
But try as he might to wave away the odd noises and the door knocker's transformation as 'just seeing things', Scrooge didn't expect the ghost of Marley to join him there in his lonely room. Ash narrates.
At this, a bell by the door begins to ring, startling Lysandre. "Who's there?" he asks, a note of fear in his voice as he hears footsteps approaching and chains jingling. He gasps as Maxie--now with a green-blue aura and clad in a dingy robe and a bewildering array of chains around him, appears before him. "Marley? Is that--"
"Ebeneezer...remember how in life I robbed the widows and swindled the poor?" Maxie asks.
"Yes...and all in the same day, too!" Lysandre stammers.
"Well, Arceus bade me to be punished for these deeds, and as my pennance, I'm to carry these chains for all eternity." Maxie explains, showing Lysandre one of the chains. Lysandre tries to reach out and touch it, but feels nothing. "And the same fate will befall you too, Ebeneezer Scrooge, when you pass from this world."
"But, it can't!" Lysandre protests as he untangles himself from the ethereal chains. "It mustn't! Is there anything I can do?"
Maxie thinks for a moment. "Tonight, Arceus will send three spirits to you--listen well to what they have to say, and put their words into practice...lest your chains be heavier and greater in number than mine!" Lysandre slinks further into the chair, shaking profusely in fear. "The first will arrive at one...the second, at two...and the third...at three..." With that, he disappears as mysteriously as he appeared.
Lysandre looks around to make sure he is alone, then gets up from the chair, Marley's words weighing heavily on his heart. "Spirits..." he grumbles as he walks to a bedroom and changes for bed.
He wasn't sure if it was his emotions, the rigors of the day, or his encounter with Marley's ghost; but for whatever reason, Scrooge was tired. Ash narrates as Lysandre climbs into bed with a yawn and falls asleep as the scene swirls back to the present.
"He soon fell into a deep sleep, unaware of the wondrous events that were soon to transpire." Ash concludes. "And I'll stop there for now."
"When will you tell the next part?" Serena asks as Fennekin arrives with popcorn.
"When this movie's over." Ash trades the top hat for his League cap, then welcomes Pikachu onto the couch as the title for "Flare the Christmas Fennekin" appears on the TV screen.
TO BE CONTINUED...