Abominable SnowmansteemCreated with Sketch.

in #writing3 years ago

There is at Christmas time a great deal of hypocrisy,
honourable hypocrisy, hypocrisy undertaken with good motive,
but nevertheless hypocrisy!

― Agatha Christie


I never approved the practice of turning a historical site into a tourist attraction, so when I was hired to oversee Stickley House, an 1881 Victorian mansion, I had visions of restoring it to the glory of its past.

So you can imagine how betrayed I felt when I learned dignified Stickley House was about to be marketed as the prime attraction on the city’s Christmas Light Tour.

“You’re such a stuffed shirt,” Beth teased, “C’mon Paul—think of the families coming to see the house. It will be wonderful—it’ll revitalize us and enable us to bring history to a new generation.”

“You’re such a positive lady,” I spat back.

Beth was impervious to cynicism. “I’ve been conducting tours here for five years and from the response, I’ll bet more people see the house over the next month than visited in the previous sixty.”

What she implied was the main reason people would visit the house was because of the legend of it being haunted by the ghost of Clarence Stickley.

And what was worse, he didn’t manifest as a somber chain rattling spirit but as a jolly snowman.

“Ah yes, I know how I’ll be seen—as Paul Chambers—purveyor of fine spirits to the masses.”

Her violet eyes flashed. “Is this what it’s all about—you’re upset you’ll have to deal with crowds of people disturbing your dignified manse?”

“Partly,” I conceded, “It’s that and the influx of sticky-fingered children and boorish oafs with no real regard for history other than seeking some kind of paranormal thrill.”

“I think the legend of Clarence is cute.”

“Cute?” I exploded. “I don’t do cute—I hate cute!”

She put on an elfish grin. “Nevertheless, no matter how endearing Clarence Stickley was in life, he seems just as charming and loveable as a wraith.”

I was pouting and I knew it. “Why can’t he be a dignified wraith and swirl his ectoplasm discreetly through the manse, rather than be Frosty the Snowman in our backyard?”

She just giggled at my discomfort and departed to lead her next tour, her laughter tinkling like icicles in my ears.

This damn abominable snowman will be the death of me, I muttered.

© 2019, John J Geddes. All rights reserved


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