Chapter One: Edward Scrooge
It was the night before Christmas, and Ed Scrooge walked thru the snow on his way to the local cinema, the 8Th Street Playhouse, in New York City
"Humbug," he muttered to himself as the cold wind and snow whipped into his face.
Ed was the cast manager of the New York cast, and had been for years and years, ever since he and his best friend, Jacob Marley, had been given the job by the casts old leader, Sal Piro. Ed was a younger man then, and still had the love of Rocky Horror, and of Rocky Horror people, in his heart. But a few years past, his ego grew large, and his friend Jacob has passed away. Ed began to grow mean, and his love of being in charge replaced his love of the show, and soon he got a well earned reputation for being a bit of an asshole.
"What the hell is this?" Ed said to himself as he looked at the poster for Rocky Horror in the front window: it was a very well done graphic of Frank N Furter as Santa Clause, Brad and Janet as elves, Rocky with a huge candy cane sticking out of his shorts...and someone did it withOUT getting his permission first.
The nerve! HE ran this cast, no oner, NO ONE, should have done any advertising without his permission, no matter how well intentioned or how good it looked...who wold have the balls to do such a thing?
"Cratchett," Scrooge thought. Bob Cratchett, his assistant ( and a darn good Brad Majors) was always doing things like this. Well, he wold have a word with Cratchett about this!
Pissed off, as usual, Scrooge walked into the theater, only to be angered even more at what he saw...
The theater and cast looked festive: holly and Christmas wreathes hung on the walls, blinking lights decorated a Christmas tree, and the cast were all singing and happy as they made the theater look happy and merry for the show later on that night.
Scooge hated it, hated it all!
"Cratchett!" he screamed, and all the merriment came to a halt. Everyone stopped talking, and went silent. Scrooge had kicked more than one person off the cast when he had that tone in his voice.
"Yes, Ed?" answered the young, good looking, but meek man that ran up to him.
"Whats all this?!?"
"Christmas decorations, Mr Scrooge," he answered in a small, timid voice.
"Did I give PERMISSION for you all to do all this?" Ed demanded.
"Well, no, but you didn't answer your phone, and the show is only a few hours away, and, well, you know, we wanted the place to look good for Christmas...we, that is, I didn't think it would be a problem,"
Ed Scrooge gave Bob Cratchett a sneer and leaned over so only Bob could hear him.
"This is MY cast, Cratchett. You do anything without my say-so if you want to stay in this cast, you understand?"
Bob nodded his head in sheepish agreement.
"I want all of this shit down tomorrow morning," Ed ordered.
"But..tomorrow is Christmas!" Bob stammered.
"Humph," sneered Scrooge. " You'll want the whole day off I suppose?"
"If its convenient," Bob begged.
"It's not convenient. And it's not fair, taking advantage of me just because it's the twenty fifth of December! Okay, fine, you have tomorrow off, but be in all the earlier the next day!"
And with that said, Ed Scrooge stormed out of the theater, stopped at the one-dollar store and bought himself a can of cheap beef stew ( Ed Scrooge was notoriously cheap) and headed home.
He ate his stew, and went to bed, angry as always and thinking bad thoughts about " those assholes in the cast"...
Chapter two: Marleys Ghost
"Scroooooge," came a whisper, like the wind.
Ed Scrooge opened his eye, half asleep, and he heard it again.
"Scroooooge," louder this time! Someone called his name! He sat up in bed, and listened...and heard footsteps outside his door, in the hallway. They were coming closer! And then something amazing happened...
A man, a GHOST, floated thru his bedroom door!
It was a young man, but looked like a zombie special effect from a movie! Its face was sunken in, clothes torn, and the thing was covered in heavy chains, and the chains had...had Rocky Horror memorabilia attatched to them! Soundtracks, albums, CDs, DVDs, posters, playbills from a hundred different stage productions of the Rocky Horror Show...!
"How the f**k are YOU?!?" demanded Scrooge as he rubbed his eyes.
"Ask me who I was," moaned the ghostly apparition.
"Okay, who were you then?!?"
"In life I was your friend and cast mate, Jacob Marley," the ghost proclaimed.
Scrooge shook his head and rubbed his eyes again. Impossible. Jacob Marley was dead, as dead as a doornail!
"You do not believe me?" the ghost asked, and Scrooge looked at the bowl of beef stew on his end table.
"Hell no. Your a hallucination from cheap beef stew. Your a bit of undercooked potato, a rotten bit of beef...there's more gravy than grave about you!"
The ghost screamed, floated over Scrooge, and gave him a quick smack to the head with an open palm.
"Ow! Okay, okay, I believe in you! J-Jacob, why are you here?!? And whats with the chains, dude?"
" I wear the chains in death that I forged in life, Ed. And your chains were ten time this long when I died these seven years past. I've come to help save you from MY fate."
"You..you always were a good friend, Jacob. You always knew how to run cast business," Ed stammered.
"Buisiness?!? Keeping the show and cast HAPPY should have been my business! As it should have been YOURS! But listen closely, Scrooge, my time here grows short! Tonight you will be visited by three ghosts, the first at one, the second at two, the third at three," Marley informed him.
"Uh, I would rather not, Ed said hopefully.
"No choice, amigo. Listen to these ghosts and avoid my fate!"
And with that said, Marleys ghost flew up, out of the window, and into the night sky! Ed Scrooge fell back into bed, frightened and amazed and, somehow, fell right to sleep!
Chapter Three: Columbia
Ed Scrooge woke up as his cell phone alarm went off. It was one o'clock. And standing there at the foot of his bed was a woman who looked exactly like Nell Cambell, in a screen accurate Columbia costume...only she also had a small, brilliant flame over her head!
"Who..who are YOU?"
"I am the ghost of Christmas Past," said the squeeky, high pitched voice. her eyes sparkled with good humor, her tailcoat glittered.
"Long past?" asked Scrooge.
"Nope, YOUR past, ya big stinker. Now, come with me, we have some flying to do!" The ghost, Columbia, pointed to the window which flew open, letting in the cold air and snow.
"No way, we're three floors up! Im just a human and likely to fall!"
"Touch my hand, Scrooge, and you will be upheld in more than this," Columbia said and reached out for him. She took his hand and much to his amazement ed scrooge floated UP into the air, and soon they were flying over the city of Manhattan, to Greenwich Village, and landed in front of the 8th Street Playhouse!
"Do you know this place, Scrooge?" she asked.
"Know it, why, I could walk it blind! This is where I first started Rocky Horror! But, spirit, why doesn't anyone seem to notice us?"
Indeed, no one took note of the two people that floated from the sky. The line to get in was long, around the corner in fact! And the way people were dressed, it was like something out of the 1980's! And the cars all seemed so old looking, but also new!
"These are not real, Scrooge, but rather images of what once was., They will take no notice of us.
Come, lets go inside, and see how the show is going..."
"Gimme an R! Gimme and O! Gimme a C" screamed Sal Piro, host of the 8th Street show at that time and President of the American RHPS fan club.
"Its Fuzzy-wig!" Scrooge said with a smile. "We always called Sal Fuzzy wig due to the wigs he wore when he did Janet! And Lillias and Brendan, Justin and Harry, Maria and Bill and Jennifer!"
Scrooge named a list of the old 8Th street cast from the 80s, and looked about him in delight! It was just like the old days! The place was packed, people were openly smoking pot and drinking beer, dancing and hugging as they saw each other, smiles everywhere...back then it truly was a party with 300 of your closest friends! And then Ed saw...himself!
"Wow, I was a good looking bastard," he said to Columbia and they both smiled. Ed saw himself as a younger man, happy and full of love for the show and his fellow cast mates, and memories flooded back to him...and then the Time Warp started! Dozens of people flooded the stage to dance the Time Warp along with the cast, and Ed could not contain himself! He ran up too, got in line, and watched the old cast jump to the left and step to the right! he laughed, and was happy, for the first time in years! And even the Ghost of Christmas past got into the scene, dancing the tap dance along with the girl who played Columbia that night!
It was wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! And Ed fell to the floor, laughing and smiling, at the end of the Time Warp with everyone else....
And suddenly he was alone on the stage, the theater was empty, and quiet.
"Where did everyone go?" he asked as he wiped the happy tears from his face.
"Gone, Scrooge. The show is over, and everyone has left the theater, gone home or out for coffee. Leaving you alone."
Ed looked about the theater: rice was piled in the aisles, toast and newspaper and party hats littered the floor.
"Can we go with them?" Scrooge asked.
"You? Why would anyone want a cold hearted old poop like YOU going out with them? These are the same people that decorated the theater for Christmas, the same people you called "assholes" for not getting your "permission" to have a good time..why would anyone want an old poop like YOU with them?"
Scrooge had nothing to say. her words stung, but they were true.
"It dosen't matter, my time on this veil grows short. Come, Scrooge, for you have yet two more spirits to meet this evening....
Chapter Four: The ghost of Christmas present, Magenta
Ed did not even know he had fallen asleep again until he heard his cell phone alarm going off. It was 2 o'clock, and at first he had thought he had dreamed about Jacob and Columbia, but he heard a noise in the next room...the popping of what could only be a champagne bottle, and the tinkling of a glass.
Ed peeked around the door and saw Magenta...not Patricia Quinn, not a really good looking person dressed as Magenta, but Magenta herself! She was standing behind a small bar, and the bar itself was heaped high with bottles and glasses of all shapes and sizes: champagne and gin, vodka and whiskey, wine and beer from a dozen countries and hundreds of producers.
"SCROOGE! DARLING! DO COME IN, AND HAVE A DRINK!"
The domestic smiled, her eyes lost in the blackness of her mascara and eye liner, and she tipped a glass to her very famous lips.
"Uh, YOU are the second spirit that I was told of" he asked quizically.
"THE SAME!: and she laughed, low and deeply, and did a little spin around. For a ghost, she seemed to be filled with good humor and good cheer.
"You..you seem to be filled with good humor and good cheer, for a ghost," Scrooge noted.
"AND WHY NOT? IT'S CHRISTMAS! THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR! A TIME FOR MAKING MERRY AND THANKSGIVING AND SEEING WHICH ALIENS WILL INVADE ENGLAND ON DR.WHO ON TELLY!"
The ghost of Christmas present, Magenta, opened a bottle of winer and filled another glass high...and somehow the bottle never seem to get empty.
"COME, SCROOGE! TIME IS SHORT AND YOU HAVE MUCH TO SEE! GRAB A DRINKIE-POO AND LETS POP IN ON BOB CRATCHETT AND YOUR ROCKY HORROR CAST AND SEE WHAT THEY ARE UP TOO!"
"Well, perhaps just one," Scrooge said, and took a glass of white wine...and suddenly he was at his current Rocky Horror.
The doors were locked, and the theater was closed, but Scrooge could hear the sound of music playing inside. It was one of the soundtracks from the stage production, Anthony Head or Reg Livermore or perhaps someone else.
He and Magenta walked through the walls and saw that a party was in progress!
The whole cast was there, performers and tech crew and even some of the regular audience people! They were sitting in the seats closest to the movie screen, eating some goodies that they had brought in.
Even the movie theater manager was there, egg nog in his hand. There were smiles and laughter, hugs and kisses, and they all seemed to be having a great time.
"Is..is this happening NOW, spirit?" Ed asked.
"YES, SCROOGE. THE CAST DIDN'T WANT TO SEE BOB COME IN EARLY TO TAKE DOWN THE CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS, AS YOU ORDERED, SO THEY ALL VOLUNTEERED TO STAY LATE AND HELP HIM OUT."
"They should have asked me," Scrooge muttered under his breath, and Magenta laughed at him.
"THEY DON'T NEED TO ASK YOU TO BE KIND, SCOOGE! THE CAST BELONGS TO THEM AS WELL AS YOU, AND THE MANAGER OF THE THEATER THOUGHT IT WAS A SWEET GESTURE. IT WAS HE THAT BOUGHT MOST OF THE FOOD THEY ARE EATING...BUT HERE SHUT YOUR MOUTH FOR A FEW MOMENTS AND SEE," Magenta said, and opened a can of Tennents Lager.
"Thanks for letting us stay late to get this done", said a girl in Phantom make up to the theater manager.
"No problem," said the manager," Im just amazed that ed told you kids that you had to take all this down, I think it looks great,"
"Well, he's an asshole," sneered someone from one of the seats.
"The older he gets, the more it seems that way," agreed the manager. " He used to be such a nice kid.
You know, Bob, anytime you want to take things over, I can give Ed Scrooge the boot."
Ed's gut tightened. The manager of the theater wanted to kick him OUT!?! And give the cast control,over to Bob Cratchett?!? But, it was HIS cast! The nerve of them!
"Thanks for the offer," said Bob," but Scrooge did a lot for this cast. He might be an asshole....okay, he IS an asshole, but we wouldn't be here without his hard work over the years. And we
wouldn't all be together right now if he weren't such a stick-in-the-shit. So,"
Bob raised his glass of eggnog high and said,
"To Mister Scrooge!"
The rest of the cast looked at him as if he wanted to drink a toast to Hitler.
"Come on, you guys. The man is alone and miserable, all he has is this cast, so lets show a little compassion...after all, it is Christmas!"
"Well, since its Christmas," said a guy dressed as Riffraff, " to Mister Scrooge,"
"To Mister Scrooge" echoed the rest and they all had a drink.
"I feel like a heel. Spirit, please take me home," said Ed.
"GOOD IDEA, IM OUT OF GIN," said Magenta, and they lifted from the ground and flew into the air and....
...and suddenly Ed heard the clock alarms chirp that it was three. Once again he looked up from his bed, not remembering going back to sleep, and a chill ran up his spine...
Standing at the foot of his bed was Riffraff, but nor like any Riffraff he has ever seen: the face was far more gaunt than any actor, the skin stretched tightly over the skull, fingers long and limp, and the
smell of fresh graveyard dirt about him.
"Are you the third spirit that I had been told if?" Ed asked frightfully.
There was no answer.
"Spirt, will you not speak to me?"
Again, no answer.
"Spirit, I fear you more than any apparition I have seen tonight...but, please, show me what it is you have to show me,: and Riffs long, skeletal finger reached out, and pointed behind Ed's bed.
Ed turned, and found himself in the theater again. It was a warm night, there was a crowd of people waiting on line to get into see the show. The theater was filled with cast members, and they all seemed happy and smiling, and there seemed to be more cast members than usual. Bob was there, and he seemed to be coordinating the show ( which was Ed's usual job!) and everyone seemed to be present and accounted
for...expect for Ed himself.
"Looks like another sold out show," said the manager to Bob. "Things sure have perked up since...well, you know."
"Yes," Bob agreed. " Its sad, but the cast seems happier, the show has more life, and the crowd seems to be able top picked up on the good vibes...its amazing how much can change when a negative influence isn't there anymore. I just wish things happened in a different way..."
"Spirit, where am I? Why am I not here?" Ed asked.
Riffraff turned and looked at him, still not speaking.
"Spirit...please, show me where I am. Am I in the theater? On vacation? Why is it that Im not here with the cast where I should be?"
Riffraff still did not speak, but rather slowly raised his hand, and once again the scene changed. They were now in a graveyard. It was a quiet place, with a well manicured lawn and tree's.
No one seemed to be about.
"Am..am I visiting someone grave, spirit?" Scrooge asked, fearing the answer.
Riffraff pointed again, and a bit off there was a single grave, separate from all the others. On that grave was a single wreath. Step by step, trembling, Ed Scrooge walked to the grave.
There was a birth date, and a death date, and on the single wreath it read " RIP EDWARD SCROOGE" and it was signed by one person and one person only.
"No," said scrooge as his eyes teared up.
"Only..only one person came to see me off? No one...no one else cared?"
Scrooge turned and fell at the feet of Riffraff.
"please, spirit, tell me that these are only visions of things that MIGHT be and not what MUST be, I can change, I swear I can! I can keep the love of Rocky Horror in my heart all year round...!"
Riffraff took a step back and ed fell to the green grass, crying. He knew his whole life had been a waste. He had been selfish, and cruel, and a bit of an ass...and he wold die, mourned by now one, and
He looked up, and Riffraff was now across the lawn, standing in what looked like the elevator from Franks castle. he was pouring himself a glass of wine, drank from the bottle, and let it drop to the
He gave scrooge a smile, the only expression he had shown, and started to close the elevator doors.
"No, spirit, wait!" Ed ran for Riffraff and the doors shut in his face. Riffraff smiled wider, and the lift started to go up, up into the sky, leaving Scrooge clinging to the doors, begging for a second chance...
And Ed found himself clinging to the posts of his bed. he was back in his room, the sun was shining, it was the next day...he had been granted a second chance!
His heart filled with gratitude, and he jumped t get dressed. There was much to do...
The cast was at the theater still, helping Bob take down all the Christmas decorations. It had taken most of the night, but they were nearly done.
"Cratchett!" yelled Scroge from the top of the aisle " I thought you were going to do all this tomorrow morning, as we agreed!"
"Yes, but...but the cast said they wanted to help, and, well, the manager gave us permission and.."
"And did you get permission from ME?!?" Ed demanded.
"Well. no," said Bob and the rest of the cast made ready to hear Ed yell and scream. They did not expect what Ed actually said.
"WEll...not should you. I was an ass ."
"Uh...what?" asked Bob.
"I was an ass, Bob. You and the cast did a great job with the theater, and I was wrong to get mad. And I apologize."
Bob and the cast looked confused. Ed Scrooge, admitting he was wrong? And...apologizing?
"In fact, I was wrong about a lot of things, and I want to make amends. From now on, the cast is a democracy. We all work hard to make the show what it is, we should all have say in how things are run.
Bob, I want you to be co-dirrector of things. Its time we had some changes around here...and its also time for presents..."
The cast sat there, mouths open, gob-smacked as ed Scrooge passed out gifts to them: the guy playing Frank N Furter got a new cape, the girl playing Columbia was given new sequin material, the woman playing
Magenta got a new feather duster! Rocky was given a weight set, Dr Scott was given a new teddy bear, and so on and so on...
And when the cast finally realized that he was sincere, that there was no scolding coming, they relaxed a little bit. It would take some time to get use to the new Ed Scrooge, but he now had time. Time to be
kind, time to share the Rocky Horror scene with his cast, time to make amends for his past...
And he did. After a few months, the cast understood that he really really was a changed man. Things were happier,relaxed, and the show improved. There was less tension, more love, and Ed never went back
to his old grumpy-ass ways...in other words: they all lived happily ever after.
And somewhere in the ghost world, Columbia, Magenta, and Riffraff all had a drink and made a toast: To Mister Scrooge!