Nearly everyone in the city of Babbage loved Christmas, except for Spalding Rookswood who when asked why would humbug and dismiss. He had no love for children or toys, and it always served to remind him of the boy. But this year there would be no Christmas cheer, nor would there ever be shed a tear.
The clock above the asylum was smashed, the people who came to inspect it claimed it was trashed. The Piermont, the Brunel, and more than we could tell, they were broken even with or without a bell.
Spalding rejoiced as he heard their growing distress. In his minds eye he could see the passage of Alice and Winter’s growing mess. The permanent march of time, was to Alice the most heinous crime. The source of all pain and loss, it was time to show those clocks who was boss.
Beatrixe was brought in raving sad. Afraid that she had made everyone mad. In a cell beside Spalding she willingly went. She told them of all the many clocks that now held more than a dent. “But if Alice does indeed stop all of time, then there will be no Christmas and no way to rhyme!”
“To Christmas I say only humbug! Good or bad trip just like any drug.” Spalding ignored his friends gasp of surprise. He looked forward to the kitty’s demise. Without time and Christmas the kitties would be easily slain, and he would never have to worry again about the rain.
By a rather welcome point of luck, Spalding heard cries that the last clock had been struck. In his mind he could see Alice smiling over the city of Babbage. A blood red and sickly green hero she appeared rather than a savage.
She would pause, and the Alice would put a drill near her ear. She would listen for the sounds she should no longer hear. He could feel time slowing down he was certain. And so would be drawn the final curtain. Oh how nice it would be, if he could have had one last cup of tea…
But time moved again as solid as it ever. Had he been mistaken or had someone been clever?
Something landed on the roof above, something much to large to be a little dove. He wailed in frustration as others gave cheer. Steam Santa and the boiler elf were now here. They claimed that cracks were quickly reversed, almost like the Elf had practiced and rehearsed.
But how could this be Spalding wondered in his cell. It came without clocks. It came without watches. It came without time pieces, sun dials, or loses!
The last clock had been smashed everyone previously did yell. Christmas had been ruined for his friend it was easy to tell.
But how could Santa have come with time about to stop? Every last clock had been smashed up top. He ranted and raved upon the third asylum floor, and an idea occured to him that never had before. Could it be that time did not come from a mantelpiece bought from a store. Perhaps Time and Christmas meant just a little bit more…
“Humbug!”, Spalding derided the thought as insanity. Thinking like that was for the weak minded humanity. Clearly this was the kitties fault. And a thought burned his wounded ego like salt. The kitty had a watch upon their hat. Never mind all the other clocks hidden among the street rats. “Defeated again but I have the last laugh! Never again shall I see the kitties was promised by the staff! And as a bonus I will never again have to do math!”
And down Spalding sat in his new jacket which hugged him tight. Yes, he had no need to put up any fight. The citizens of this city could have one more year of cheer. They could always steal Christmas again next year.