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Marley - The Other Christmas Carol
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ISBN-10: 1-55404-905-9
ISBN-13: 
Genre: Dark Fantasy/Suspense/Thriller
eBook Length: 86 Pages
Published: November 2011



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Total Readers: 2

From inside the flap

Damned!

Marley’s soul was lost, doomed to wander among the ranks of humanity, generation after generation, without the powers to be humane. The curse of his chains was a heavy one, and there were many a time in which he found the weight of said chains to be unbearable. So this must be perfectly understood: Marley was without hope.

Marley’s lot was indeed a sad one. Misery was his meat, and despair was his drink. Nothing of the earth was his except for the cold fingers of the grave. And it was there that Marley would never retreat. The grave was death! Marley had no powers such as those given to other earth-bound spirits. He was a wraith – a wanderer. However, upon saving the soul of a dear friend, he was given a haunting. In this haunting, Marley’s powers could not be equaled. However, one foot off the haunting’s property, and his soul would find itself in endless damnation.

Marley found himself trapped, staring out a window, into an ever-changing world. A world he would never again become a part of. A world of love, laughter, sorrow, and pain, he would always be a stranger to.

Waiting and waiting. Hoping to prove himself worthy.



Reviews and Awards

"Now here's a fitting sequel to The Christmas Carol that does old Dickens proud. Many have tried, but Don Kirch has succeeded. I look forward to seeing "The Other Christmas Carol" as a movie or a television special. It's too late for 2011, but you can be sure it will arrive gift wrapped and under the tree in time for the Holidays next year or the year after that! Believe me--I know these things."

John Klawitter, Hollywood Writer/Producer/Director

"What a great little short story! We all know the story of Jacob Marley, Bob Crachett, and Mean 'ol Scrooge. This take on Marley is a "present day read" about love and loss, a never good enough hopeful novelist husband married to a bread-winning lawyer wife, Tobias their understanding butler, and a sweet daughter and her one Christmas wish. The Kringle family, having just moved to London, are the new residents of the house all of their neighbors call haunted. Weird shadows and noises are heard within and there is a creepy graveyard on the other side of the fence. After a huge fight between her parents, Kathy is awoken to some strange happenings in her bedroom and comes face to face with the ghost of Marley. The events that follow become an eye opener to Kathy's parents, who are faced with a choice of love or doom. Will Marley be able to save Kathy's family, not only granting her her Christmas wish but also releasing himself from the heavy chains he has carried as his punishment? Guess you will have to read for your self to find out;) With the feel of reading an entire novel, Marley is a great novella not only for the Christmas season but any time! Kirch has done an excellent job of bringing a classic tale character into our present day! -- Can't Put It Down.com

Marley - The Other Christmas Carol (Excerpt)


PROLOGUE

Marley’s soul was lost, doomed to wander among the ranks of humanity, generation after generation, without the powers to be humane. The curse of his chains was a heavy one, and there was many a time in which he found the weight of said chains to be unbearable. So this must be perfectly understood; Marley was without hope.

Marley’s lot was indeed a sad one. Misery was his meat, and despair was his drink. Nothing of the earth was his except for the cold fingers of the grave. And it was there that Marley would never retreat. The grave was death!

Marley had no powers such as those given to other earth-bound spirits. He was a wraith - a wanderer. However, upon saving the soul of a dear friend, he was given a haunting. In this haunting, Marley’s powers could not be equaled. However, one foot off the haunting’s property, and his soul would find itself in endless damnation.

Marley found himself trapped, staring out a window, into an ever-changing world, a world he would never again become a part of. A world of love, laughter, sorrow, and pain, he would always be a stranger to. Waiting and waiting. Hoping to prove him worthy.


STAVE ONE

The house was infamous, and there were stories. God, were there stories.

One told of a bookkeeper said to be among one of the original owners, who had an experience with spirits that changed his life overnight. Another dealt with a crippled man, during the First World War, who constantly complained of rattling chains in his attic. In his ownership, he never once had a decent night’s sleep.

The house had a reputation, and it came as a shock that a family of Americans were about to move in. Americans!

Kathy Kringle loved an adventure. Not in her wildest dreams did she ever think that she would be moving to England.

She jumped from her seat, holding onto her Manny Mouse doll, leaving the moving van, and started heading off toward her new home. What an adventure! Not only was she moving into a new home, she was moving into a new country. Strange things met her at every turn. Different things. Things she couldn’t understand, such as why the English drove their cars on the wrong side of the road. She made a mental note storing it for later. Kathy thought it was her duty, when she found the time, to write a letter to the King of England, helping to correct that mistake. Cars belonged on the right side of the road, not the left.

Kathy looked down at her doll, which really never left her sight, and asked, "What do you think, Manny?"

Manny appeared to be completely indifferent to the whole affair.

"I know what you’re thinking," Kathy continued. "But Dad’s a good painter. After a few coats of paint, the house will look as good as new." She paused, smiling with relief. "We’re home."

And what a home it was.

Not at all like the studio apartment she knew back in Los Angeles, California.

This house was a castle. Two stories tall, with an attic. The house was huge. Dim oblong windows, wooden peaks, and heavy iron gates greeted her curious eyes with an empty stare.

"Jeez!" Kathy mused.

Two doors slammed shut behind Kathy.

"Kathy, don’t get dirty."

"Okay, Mom." Kathy tucked Manny under her arm and started to rush off toward her new home. Kathy rolled her eyes, thinking that her mother was too protective. "Mothers," She muttered.

Dan Kringle watched with fatherly pride as his daughter darted off through the knee-high snow, wishing to explore her new world. His daughter’s red scarf bobbed up and down, dragging between bright yellow snow boots, as she disappeared from sight.

"Sure beats Los Angeles," he said.

Dan watched his wife, Beverly, as she thoughtfully watched out for her daughter. Dan had made the move because of his wife’s advance in her law firm, but most of all, he moved to London because this is where he wanted to write. His wife had other plans.

"Kathy, you watch yourself," Beverly ordered. "No telling what’s around here."

Dan shook his head quietly. Beverly was always paranoid.

"You don’t honestly think she’d get hurt, do you?"

Beverly gave her husband a sharp look. Too much coffee and not enough sleep had made her somewhat of a grouch. Dan knew he was in store for one hell of a house warming.

"To hell with the hurt," Beverly corrected. "I’m more worried about her clothes. Damn brat’s growing faster than our bank accounts. Can’t seem to keep up with her, that’s all."

"Ahh, the joys of motherhood," Dan joked.

"Funny, Dan."

"What do you want out of life, anyway?" Dan laughed. "Happiness?"

"No," Beverly assured. "Just a good back rub."

Dan’s smile slowly left his face, his ego bruised. He watched his wife walk back to the rear of their moving van, opening the doors. Never taking her eyes off her husband, Beverly grabbed a medium-sized box and started to head towards their new home.

"Corporate lawyers," Dan grumbled.

"That’s right," Beverly said with a huff. "Start carrying boxes before I sue."

Dan gave his wife a playful slap on the backside before he started grabbing boxes. "See if I rub your back anymore."

"Ten bucks says that you will," Beverly challenged.

"Give me fifteen and I’ll consider it."

"You’ll regret saying that," she warned, teasing Dan with her eyes.

Dan, raising his hands in surrender, said, "Hon, I was just joking."

Beverly shook her head in disbelief and headed toward the house. "Writers," she growled.