With her head half hidden beneath the blanket, Scratchy nervously tried to find the shuteye that had eluded her on this Christmas Eve night. She knew that only half of her overnight ghostly visitors had made the rounds of her bedroom so far, and it would only be a matter of time before she was rousted from her warm bed yet again by the next spectral guide hoping to give her another useless ethics lesson. And sure enough, not even half an hour after the Ghost of Ponies Past had disappeared on her… an approaching clopping of hooves signaled the arrival of the next spirit.
GHOSTLY VOICE: Scraaaaaaaaatchy!!!!!
SCRATCHY: Dammit! (shivering) Do you ghosts all really have to moan out my name like that. I’m going to wet the bed one of these times!
RAINBOW DASH: Hey, sounding scary is one of the perks of being a ghost! I’m only doing my job ma’am. Speaking of which, I’m the Ghost of Ponies Present! We’re gonna take a look at how your rotten soul has fucked up the world this Christmas!
SCRATCHY: That’s putting things awfully blunt, don’t you think?
DASH: I tell it like it is! The truth hurts sometimes, Dearie. And you, my little soulless friend, are in for one rude awakening tonight.
SCRATCHY: Rude awakenings are kinda becoming the theme of the night… dammit, how am I supposed to get any work done tomorrow if I don’t get any rest?
DASH: There’s no rest for the wicked… and you are about to get the grand tour of your corrupted heart. Come! Grab on to my rainbow tail and let’s get this sequence started!
SCRATCHY: I hope you’re a better flyer than your predecessor…. (Rainbow Dash takes off the moment Scratchy grasps her tail) WHOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!
Scratchy and her ghostly navigator whip through the chilly December night at half the speed of sound, narrowly missing church steeples and cell phone towers in the process. Scratchy again closes her eyes out of fear as she’s whisked through Equestria at breakneck speed. When the two of them finally land, Scratchy let’s out a massive sigh of relief and opens her eyes. The scene is another party.
SCRATCHY: Damn, what is it with you ghosts and visiting parties? No wonder Luna’s dragging beads around these days…
DASH: See anyone you know?
SCRATCHY: Oh… yeah, that’s my niece Pinkie. She tried inviting me to her stupid Christmas party yesterday.
DASH: This IS that Christmas party. The one you were too busy to attend. Look at all of the fun you’re missing out on!
PINKIE: And now everyone! I propose a toast to this wonderful holiday season! (Everyone drinks) And a toast to Seymour the elf for borrowing Santa’s sleigh to do the beer run! (Everyone drinks) And a toast to all of you beautiful critters who came to have a good time on this wonderful Christmas Day! (Everyone drinks) And a toast to someone near and dear to me who couldn’t come today… my Aunt Scratchy!
Nobody drinks. Everyone grumbles.
PINKIE: Oh, come on guys. My aunt isn’t really a bad mare. She’s just…. you know… busy a lot…. and is kinda focused on…..
FREDDY FOX: Trying to screw over her fellow pony.
FRIEDA FOX: Indeed, Miss Scratchy is one of the most odious creatures I have ever had the misfortune of stumbling upon.
SCRATCHY: Why that little bushy tailed bit….
DASH: Shush! Less talk and more listening.
PINKIE: Oh, I’m sure there must have been some misunderstanding when Aunt Scratchy terminated the lease on your Fox Trot dance hall last month.
FREDDY: Me and my wife lost our location just before the busy holidays to a tenant who agreed to pay $50 more a month in rent than we were… and the amount she was charging us was already obscene!
SCRATCHY: Do regular critters really not understand how the business world works!?!?
DASH: Do business critters really not understand how the regular world works? Come… there’s no more to see here…
One short herky-jerky tail ride later, Scratchy and her incorporeal companion found themselves in a humble dining room somewhere in the low rent district of the city.
The scene is Twilight Cratchit’s home, where Scratchy’s loyal employee and a number of her kids are seated around a large dining room table.
SCRATCHY: What’s with all of the squirrels?
DASH: Those are Twilight’s children.
SCRATCHY: Get out! Who is she married to, Rocky the Flying Squirrel? This whole story is nutty even without the sciurines.
APPLEJACK: Sugarcube, dinner is almost ready!
SCRATCHY: What in the name of Kim Davis is going on here?
TWILIGHT: Wonderful, Dear! I’m so hungry, I could eat a human!
AJ: Here we go with the main course!
KIDS: Awwwwww, Mom? Peanut butter crackers again?
TWILIGHT: Now children! Remember there are those who are less fortunate than we are this Christmas.
SCRATCHY: Who in the hell has peanut butter crackers for Christmas dinner? Where’s the turkey? The ham? The…
DASH: The money to afford those kinds of things. I’m sure Mrs. and Mrs. Cratchit would love to have a real Christmas dinner for a change… but on that paltry salary you pay Twilight to work her hooves to the bone for you?
TWILIGHT: Wait, where is my little filly? We can’t start the feast without her!
TINY TINA: Coming Pa!
TWILIGHT: Tina, Dear! How has your little noggin been feeling today?
TINY TINA: Oh, it hurts a little bit, but I’m not letting that get me down! Hey Ma! Hey Pa! Guess what I did today! I gave my whole horsie bank to two nice unicorns who were collecting for the wallabies!
AJ: But dear, I thought you were saving up to get that rag doll down at the Goodwill store.
TINY TINA: I was, Ma! But I decided that the wallabies needed that money a whole lot more than I did! They don’t have the nice things we have like peanut butter crackers!
TWILIGHT: Tina, would you like to lead us in saying grace this year?
TINY TINA: Dear Celestia. We thank you today for this wonderful meal, and allowing us all to be together today to enjoy it! We thank you for another year of health and happiness, and ask that you watch over my brothers and sisters, and my folks who work hard to provide the things we need. And a special thanks to Pa’s boss Miss Scratchy, without whose generosity we would not be able to enjoy this delicious food on this special occasion. May Celestia bless us all!
ALL CRATCHITS: Amen!
The family begins to dig in to the peanut butter and crackers dinner while Rainbow Dash turns to check on her charge, who is hanging her head away from the dining room scene in apparent shame.
SCRATCHY: (Slowly looks up, trying to hide the wetness building up in her eyes) They’re all so happy. They have nothing, and they’re all so happy. I don’t get it…. I just don’t understand…
DASH: Not everyone allows their happiness to be dictated by riches and material possessions. How happy are you when you’re slaving away at your desk on Christmas Day while everyone else is enjoying the holiday together?
SCRATCHY: It’s lonely. It’s….. so damn lonely. But work. Work always comes first!
DASH: And money. Your dedicated employee… Twilight. Did you know that even with the pittance you pay her, she’s saving up what little money she can spare to save her daughter’s life?
SCRATCHY: The little girl who said the blessing?
DASH: She has a rare condition that is causing her horn to grow backwards into her head. Without an operation, she’ll soon die. And with the shitty health plan your company has…
SCRATCHY: Alright, alright, alright…. enough of that, please! Are we… done looking at this wretched Christmas yet?
DASH: Not yet….. check out what’s under my robe…
DASH: This is Ignorance and the other one is Douchebaggery. They’re two broken down, starving kids who are going to die if you keep acting like either of their names.
SCRATCHY: Hogwash! Those are two cute little squirrels who look very well fed and taken care of to me. Probably just like those lazy wallabies they collect money for…
The cracking of ceramic is heard as the ghost begins smashing her little friends….
DASH: Well, would you say they look like they’re in pretty sad shape now!?!?
Scratchy turns around and cowers upon incurring the wrath of the Ghost of Ponies Present. When she peeks back around to face her again… the ghost and the two starving squirrels are gone.
SCRATCHY: Well…. this night’s just getting better and better, isn’t it. At least I’ll only have to go through this crap one more time before morning finally comes. I wonder when I can expect my next ghostly visitor……..
TO BE CONTINUED…..