Scrooge struggled to open his eyes and shook his head to clear the fog. A woman clad in a tight body suit with a bear on the front was gyrating wildly with her tongue hanging grotesquely from the side of her mouth. Scrooge yelled for the medics who had mysteriously disasppeared, leaving only a sickly sweet aroma.
“Guys, she’s having a seizure!” Scrooge yelled. “Hurry.”
“Nah, I’m good” the strange young woman said, straightening up. “Come with me.”
“Who the hell are you?”
“THe Ghost of Christmas Present” she said. “Follow me.”
They stood in front of a homeless shelter. A woman struggled up the stair with arms full of packages. Scrooge recognized his secretary.
“Patty, get me out of here.”
“She can’t hear you, old man,” the young woman said. “Or see you.”
They followed Patty up the stairs and into the shelter. She handed the gifts over to the receptionist, then dug in her purse and withdrew an envelope.
“It’s all I can spare this week. My boss didn’t come through with a bonus, as usual. I wish I could do more.”
“The children appreciate it, Patty.”
“I know, I spent a Christmas or two here with my Mom. I’ll be back Christmas morning to help prepare the dinner.”
They followed Patty back outside and down the street to a dingy apartment bulding. Patty pulled a key from her pocket, unlocked the door, and disappeared inside.
“She lives here?” Scrooge asked incredulously. “I pay her a decent salary, she can afford better than this dump.”
The strange young woman was gone, leaving Scrooge holding a large styrafoam hand with a finger extended. He threw the foam oddity to the ground and drifted off again.