Saturday, December 24, 2011

Addendum to Ebenezer Christian and the Three Christmas Spirits

     By request, I'm posting the final chapter and addendum to Ebenezer Christian and the Three Christmas Spirits.  If you want to read the story from the beginning, click the link to the table of contents here.
     I showed this story to a writer friend of mine who goes by the pen name Edgar Allan Hemingway (and wonders why he still hasn't become successful as a writer).
     He says that Ebenezer Christian has "too happy an ending" for everyone involved. It would "crystallize" the story if the ending contained something that would cause the readers to yearn, "If only such-and-such!" He says that real writers call it pathos. Until he explained to me what it meant, I had thought that Pathos was one of the Three Musketeers.
     In case you're wondering, as I did, what "pathos crystallizing , I'll give you two examples.  Ivanhoe's inability to marry Rebecca in the book Ivanhoe wistfully crystallized the ending of that story.  In the movies, Melinda Dillon's heart-rending scene in Absence of Malice crystallized the otherwise satisfying ending of that movie.
     Actually, there was some bad mixed in with the good in this tale you've just read, but until my friend told me the ending needed some pathos, I had chosen not to mention them.
     One day, when Miss Sarah was out shopping, her favorite dog missed her and decided to go looking for her at her former residence. The poor animal failed to look both ways before crossing the street, and a car came along and—well, you can imagine the rest. Requiescat in pace.
     Pastor Ananias convinced his flock that their outreach ministry wasn't being spent wisely enough and proposed a high-tech remedy. They would purchase air time on a cable television station. Since then, the church pronounced the new, improved outreach ministry a resounding success. They defined success as reaching many times the number of people that they previously had reached; and, due to weepy, televised appeals for donations (to keep the program on the air, of course), the ministry became self-sustaining. This wonderful work justified raising Pastor Ananias's salary.
     Joan Lundon's popularity increased immeasurably after her interview with the Santo family. As a result, the network gave her a promotion and a hefty salary increase; thereupon, her ex-husband hauled her into family court, where he demanded and received a hefty increase in her alimony payments to him.
     The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), as it was called in those days, was equally impressed with Joan Lundon's interview with the Santos; and the INS subsequently “interviewed” the Santo couple to make sure their records were in order. Adios, amigos.
     Less than a year after Robert Mobley's marriage to Sarah, he suffered a massive stroke and required round-the-clock attention. Mr. Mobley spent his remaining days at the William Shatner Nursing Home.  His life was shortened by the fact that television fare at the nursing home was dominated by reruns of Star Trek, T. J. Hooker, and Boston Legal.
*          *          *
     The author of this work, Jerry Mills, asserts his copyright under moral and common law and retains all rights to it, as of this date: April 4, 2001. This copy of Ebenezer Christian and the Three Christmas Spirits is the result of emendations made on July 28, 2009, on May 9, 2010, and December 2011.
     In Ebenezer Christian and the Three Christmas Spirits, the author presents a certain charitable organization in a highly favorable light. That organization had no knowledge that these words would be written about them, and they did not in any way encourage the author to write about them. The views expressed in this story are the author's own, and they are not necessarily the views of any person or group of persons allegorized, satirized, or literally described in this story.
     Most of  the events in the first thirteen chapters of this work are based on actual events, real  people, and real places, though some of the people are composite characters  and some of the places have been moved from their actual location so that the entire story could take place in a single city.  The Santos family represents a homeless man who froze to death in the snow after being turned away from a church near Sharon, Pennsylvania, over forty years ago.  The stable stood in Timmonsville, South Carolina.  Miss Sarah's old house, restored to its former glory, is in Columbia, South Carolina.

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