Disclaimer: I don't own Christmas Carol

Scrooge sighed and shook his head. Why did everyone make such a big deal out of the whole Christmas time? Life was simple. Do what you have to you don't suffer. Screw up you do. But everyone was making it seem like they were owed something just because it was December the 25th. He did his business and left everyone alone; why could they not show him the same curtsey?

"The man you used to be would understand," a soft voice said.

Scrooge looked up. He saw the spirit of the girl he had once loved. She died after falling into the water and catching a chill.

"The man I used to be died when you did," Scrooge said.

"I am not dead. My body died but my spirit is very much alive."

"Well why should it matter the way I handle my affairs anyway," he asked.

"Oh Eb," Belle said, "It's because your actions affect so many."

"Should people not be affected when they mess up," Scrooge asked, "They have the choice."

"Not all people mess up," Belle said, "Some just come upon a stroke of bad luck. Take a look at youngsters."

"I was a youngster myself once. I never whined about my misfortunes."

"Eb," Belle said, "I need you to show compassion."

This softened Scrooge but not by much.

"Why," he asked.

"I need you to at least remember compassion," she said, "Remember how to show compassion."

"Again why," he demanded.

He heard people singing about a jolly good time and it irritated him.

"I have been watching you. I have been watching you for a long time. I have been watching you since I died. It has been many years. Every time I see you grow bitter more my heart aches-"

"You're dead. How can you have a heart," Scrooge pointed out.

"Eb," she said, "I cannot get into heaven until you have conformed and become a man of compassion and love."

"What? Why would GOD punish you for my sins?"

"If you die before I can see you restored," she added, "I am doomed to hell. This will be my last chance to restore you."

"Are you saying I'm going to die this year?"

"No. But GOD said I had time a plenty to try to see you through and this is my last chance."

Scrooge was glad to reform but he didn't know how.

"I don't know how to reform Belle," he said sadly.

"There will be three spirits coming to you. You must follow their lessons and learn them all. Do not try to understand. Just follow what they say. Do it for yourself. Do it for me. Do it for us."

Scrooge could only nod. Belle could see that she had touched his soul. She kissed him once and disappeared.