Christmas Carol

From: bv143@FreeNet.Carleton.CA (T.A. Murray)
Subject: GH: A Christmas Carol by T'n'T (Long)
Date: Sat, 23 Dec 1995 08:53:26 GMT

                         by T 'n' T
         (With abject apologies to Charles Dickens)
     Damian Smith, mobster backer, marginally successful
con-man and mah-jong enthusiast, rode up in the elevator to
his lonely, but luxurious, hotel suite.  He heaved a sigh as
he put the key in the lock.  What was with these people in
Port Charles anyway?  No matter how often he hung around in
their more popular restaurants they just wouldn't accept
him. Perhaps he would change his tactics and try falling in
love/lust with a 'respectable' citizen.
     As he opened his door the numbers on it seemed to be
replaced by the wavering face of his not-so-beloved-deceased
father.  He shrugged and went into the room. It wasn't like
dear old dad hadn't returned to taunt him about his
manliness on a number of occasions.
     An hour later Damian sipped the aperitif that room
service had brought up.  He could only pick at the
strawberries.  They brought back some rather nasty memories
of his former paramour.  The lights in the room seemed to
flicker and he promised himself that he'd complain to the
management about it in the morning.  A clanking noise
interrupted his pleasant fantasy of Ned Ashton personally
taking care of a maintenance problem.  The lights went out
completely and then the chair by the window was brightly
     Damian was off the couch and on the other side of the
bed more quickly than was good for his bad back.  He tried
to blink away the sight as Frank Smith, wearing a white suit
and bedecked in chains, appeared in the flaring chair.
"Hello, Damian," Frank intoned.
     Damian stared at the drink that was still in his hand.
He just had to stop having drinks every place he went, or
start ordering seltzers. "No, it's not the booze, kid."
Frank said, answering his thoughts.  "This is a real bona
fide visitation from the beyond.  I'm here to launch a fun-
filled night of moral persuasion."
     Damian was sceptikal. "As if you'd know a moral if you
saw one.  What's really going on here?"
     "Well, in theory I'm supposed to tell you that if you
don't end your evil ways, you'll end up dead and unloved,
just like me," Frank said wearily.
     "And in practice," Damian asked.
     "My advice is to blow away all of these goody-goody
types as fast as you can reload.  Don't let anyone stand in
your way," Frank snarled.  His pale, chained image began to
fade. "Hey, wait, I was getting around to the 'doomed to
walk the earth as a tortured soul' part.  Give me a chance
to..." He disappeared and the spotlight on the chair winked
     Damian shuddered and stayed clinging to the bedpost for
quite some time as he tried to process the experience.  The
most palatable explanation was still the liquor.  Maybe Mike
had slipped something into his brandy at Luke's.  He calmed
himself and got ready for bed.  Wearing the dark green silk
pajamas Kath had given him, (well, not really given him,
since she'd charged it on his Visa card,) he slipped under
the bedcovers.
     It wasn't much later that he began to doze off.  He was
pulled back from the edge of sleep by an odd smell.  Without
opening his eyes, he sniffed.  Eggrolls?... Lobster? and...
A MacDonald's Happy Meal? "Kath!" his eyes popped open.
Sure enough, she was standing next to his bed, and she was
dressed very strangely.  Her long and unusually modest dress
had a hoop skirt.  She was wearing a short cloak trimmed
with fur and had her hands in a muff.  The image was
completed with a fetching bonnet.
     Damian was confused and irritated. "Nice ensemble,
Kath.  Not exactly your usual style.  What the hell are you
doing in my room?"  Surreptitiously, he reached over to the
bedside table to feel around for anything heavy to throw, in
case this was the murder attempt he'd been anticipating.
     "I'm not Katherine," the woman denied.  "I am the ghost
of Christmas Past."
     Damian eyed her warily. "Sure you are.  What are you up
to?  Isn't it bad enough you've betrayed me and probably
ruined my life?"
     The spirit scowled. "It's your own fault.  If you
hadn't threatened me... I mean Katherine."
     Damian got out of the bed. "If you had just kept your
big mouth shut, there wouldn't be any need for any threats
to be carried out.  Do you get a kick out of watching me
squirm or are you just sucking up to your new boyfriend.
Amazing how you reform just enough for whomever you want to
sleep with at the time."
     "Considering what lengths you went to to sleep with
Lucy Coe, I wouldn't..." The spirit trailed off.  "Of
course, that doesn't concern me.  I'm here to show you how
you've become such an awful person, without any Christmas
     Damian came close enough to invade her personal space.
"Well, right now, it seems I have one Christmas spirit too
many."  He reached for her arm, but his hand passed through
it. "What the...?!"
     "You see. You can't hurt me.  This time things are
under my control." said Katherine.
     Damian backed away from her. "They usually are,
whatever you'd like people to think."
     The spirit waved her arms and she and Damian were
instantly transported to a steamy overgrown jungle.  Damian
stumbled over the edge of a small ditch, which proved to be,
on closer examination, a large clawprint.  He gulped,
imagining the size of the creature that must have made it.
     Katherine scowled. "This can't be right."
     A tinny voice, that sounded suspiciously like Mac
Scorpio, issued from her handbag.  "Too far.  You went back
too far.  Readjust your temporal inversion influx."
     "Do what to my what?" she muttered.
     "Reverse the polarity of the neutron flow," the voice
     "Oh, right."  She waved her arms again and the jungle
shimmered out of existence.  Now the Swiss Alps loomed above
and a cluster of white buildings nestled among the green of
the foothills.
     "It's my old boarding school," Damian identified. "The
one Ned and I went to." He smiled fondly.  "Good old Weasel
     Katherine frowned. "Not close enough.  I'm certainly
not going to walk that far." With a flick of her wrist they
appeared in a quaint little apartment.
     "My old dorm room!" Damian exclaimed.  The door to the
room was flung open and a dark haired young man with a
guitar entered.  Damian took a step towards him. "Ned?"
There was no response.
     Damian turned to the spirit. "He can't see you or hear
you," she told him.
     "So what's new?" he muttered sarcastically.
     Another young man entered the room carrying an armful
of packages. He was skinny, had acne and bad hair.  Damian
winced at the sight of his younger self.  The fact that he
would blossom into a ladies' man a year or two later had not
made that period any less painful.
     Young Ned set his guitar on the floor and motioned
towards the bed.  "You can set them down here."
     Young Damian let the packages tumble onto the bed.  "If
you've got so much family sending you presents why don't
they have you home for Christmas."
     Ned shrugged. "I'm better off not swimming in a shark-
infested pool.  Holidays for the Quartermaine's are a free-
     Ned ripped open one of the packages. "Humph,
Grandfather's sent me a gold-plated calculator, again."
He tossed it aside.
     "Well, at least they're sending you something," said
young Damian.
     "You got a card from your father, didn't you?" Ned
asked casually.
     "Yes," young Damian said grudgingly.
     "Big deal," said the older version. "It said Merry
Christmas, Danny.  He got my name wrong for twenty years."
     Ned picked up his guitar again. "Well, I'll open the
rest of them when I get back."  He headed for the door. "I'm
off to serenade some Swiss babes.  Why don't you stick
around here and practice." He swaggered out the door.
     Young Damian went to the corner and picked up the
electric bass.  Forlornly he sat on his bed and fingered the
     Katherine shuddered. "That's about enough of this
memory." She waved her arms once again. They were at General
     "Well," Damian commented, "That was really pathetic.
Why did I need to see that again."
     Katherine tried to think about it. "Maybe it means that
if you had concentrated on your creative skills you'd have
been a better person."
     "I have news for you.  A musician I am not.  The best I
could ever manage was only passable if we had a loud
drummer.  Why are we at the hospital?"
     "Fast forward to last Christmas Eve," she told him.
"I'm sure there's another very important lesson here."
     Damian watched as Steve Hardy read the Christmas story,
and Tony Jones came in dressed as Santa with a bag full of
toys.  Moments later he saw himself enter with Katherine
dangling from his arm. He winced at his own smarmy
presentation of a donation to the hospital.  Steve Hardy
reluctantly accepted it while Tony glared daggers at him.
     He looked over at the spirit of Christmas Past.  "I
think I'm missing the lesson here, too.  Could it be 'don't
throw good money after bad' or 'don't throw money at it at
all' or 'the people of Port Charles are a bunch of
     "Well, really," Katherine said indignantly. "You don't
expect people to like you, just because you give them
     "Why not?  They hate me just because I'm Frank Smith's
son," Damian pointed out. "I thought shallow was the general
operating system around here."
     Katherine sighed. "You're not very good at these
     "Perhaps I need a teacher with some credibility,"
Damian said sarcastically.
     Katherine pouted.  "I don't have to stand here and be
insulted."  She whirled both her arms and Damian abrubtly
found himself back in his bed, prone, but awake. He sat bolt
upright. "A nightmare," he said to himself. "It was only a
nightmare."  He laid back down.
     He was just drifting off to sleep again when a nasty
little laugh awoke him.  Blearily, he switched on the lamp
and surveyed the room.  He nearly fell out of bed.  Bobbie
Jones was reclining on the couch, among what seemed to be
the entire contents of Victoria's Secrets lingerie catalog.
She herself was wearing a skimpy green number that showed a
generous amount of her abundant cleavage.
     "Hello, Damian," she oozed.  He nearly fainted when the
thought occurred to him that she might be here looking for
some sort of permanent committment.
     She laughed again, "A future with you?  I hardly think
so.  I've had Doctors, Lawyer's and millionaires drooling
over me.  Why would I want a crime boss wannabe?  I'm not
your future Damian, I'm your present.  The ghost of
Christmas Present, to be more specific."
     "Sure," Damian sneered, "And I'm Cinderella.  Tell me
when the clock strikes midnight." He pulled the sheets over
his head, hoping that this would change to a friendlier kind
of nightmare; maybe an alligator infested swamp or
     There was a bright flash of light and the covers were
whipped off the bed.  The scantily clad Bobbie was hovering
in the air above him.  "What the hell is this?" he shrieked,
"Days of Our Lives?!"
     "This," Bobbie said, with a sweet insincere smile. "Is
midnight, Cinderella and you're about to get taken for a
ride."  She twitched her nose.
     Again Damian found himself rudely deposited in new
surroundings.  It took him a moment to recognize the place;
the lighthouse.  Finally in the dim light, he made out the
figures of Lucy and Kevin... "*Quack*,".... and Sigmund
seated among the plethora of globes.
     Lucy's head was resting on Kevin's shoulder. "This is
great, Doc.  Just you and me and our Duck."
     "Our Duck," Kevin said happily. "I like the sound of
     Lucy frowned. "You know everything would be perfect if
it weren't for..."
     "For what?" Kevin asked.
     "I hate to say his name... Damian." Lucy shuddered.
     Kevin put both arms around her. "I wish you didn't have
to worry about him."
     "Well, I do.  What if he gets really angry that I
pulled out of our deal, and does some unspeakable MOB thing
like cutting off Sigmund's head and putting it on my
     "Ewwww," Damian said.  Kevin echoed the sentiment and
added, "I really don't think Damian is going to go after
your duck, Lucy.  I'd like to strangle him anyway for making
our Christmas less than perfect."
     Damian whirled around to face Bobbie. "The nerve.  They
sit around worrying about things I've never thought of doing
and blame me for their overactive imaginations.  I hope it
does spoil the rest of their evening."
     The spirit of Christmas Past had a venomous look on her
face as she gazed at Lucy. "Well, I sure hope something
ruins her evening; she's ruined enough of mine."  The spirit
looked embarrassed at having dropped out of persona.  Lucy
and Kevin were now involved in some serious necking.
     "Can we leave?" Damian said, uncomfortable at the
     "Sure, we've got another stop to do." There was a
wicked gleam in her eye.  She twitched her nose and the
scene around them changed to the charming Spencer home.  A
large Christmas tree with an angel on top dominated the
living room.  A fire was blazing in the fireplace and the
Spencer's skillet-faced dog lay in front of it.
     "Hi, honey, we're home," Luke Spencer's voice resounded
from the front porch.  Foster left his place by the fire and
went to the front door.  Luke entered.  He was wearing a
ragged, patched jacket and his hair was more frazzled than
     There was another voice. "Hey, Dad! wait up."  Little
Lucky Spencer came into the house. He looked thin and pale
and was leaning on a crutch made from a tree branch.
     Luke was contrite. "I'm sorry, Little Lucky, sometimes
I forget that your spinal cord was injured, because of that
evil son of a mobster, Damian Smith.'
     "What?!" Damian howled. "Foul.  This is a complete and
total fiction.  Lucky Spencer is perfectly fine, and I've
never done anything to him."
     Spirit Bobbie was unruffled. "It's a parable, watch and
     "Yeah, that Damian sure is a rotten slimy snake," Luke
was saying.  "Imagine him coming into town and buying into
ELQ with the dirty money his Daddy gave him."
     "Gave?!" Damian sneered. "It was a loan; one Daddy
Dearest demanded back, while I was lying in a hospital bed,
possibly paralyzed.  And I'll bet Luke didn't worry
about how dirty my Father's money was when he used it to buy
that club of his."
     "Shh," said Bobbie. "Luke is beyond criticism.  When
you've saved the city from a giant weather machine THEN you
can get away with murder."
     Laura entered the room, wearing a power suit and
looking incredibly tired.  "Are you all right, honey?" Luke
asked her.
     She tossed her briefcase and books down on the couch.
"I would be if it wasn't for Damian Smith.  His CS emporium
is causing no end of trouble for the Charles Street
Foundaton.  He is making my life a living hell."
     "For Heaven's sake," Damian sputtered.  "It's just a
Wal-Mart.  You'd think it was worse than a toxic
     "Have you ever been to a Wal-Mart, on a Sunday
afternoon... before Christmas?  It IS worse than a toxic
incinerator," Bobbie opined.
     "Maybe we can wish that next year, there will be no
Damian Smith around to bother us on Christmas," Little Lucky
said wistfully.
     "Keep a good thought," said Luke.  The three of them
eyes shining, gazed up at the angel.
     "Where's Lulu," Luke asked.
     Laura stared at him. "I thought you had her."
     Bobbie twitched her nose disdainfully and Damian found
himself back in bed, tangled in the sheets.  He took a deep
breath and waited for his heart to stop beating wildly, but
now he was having trouble keeping faith in the nightmare
theory.  He closed his eyes again.
     Damian sensed, in his not very profound sleep, that
there was a presence looming over him.  Very reluctantly he
oepened one eye to see a dark hooded figure lurking near the
     Damian sat up.  His usually flawless hair was now
irretrievably mussed. "Go away," he ordered the apparition.
"I'm tired of your little game and I'm not playing anymore.
Go try your scare tactics on Edward Quartermaine.  At least
I don't screw over members of my own family."
     The ghost remained silent, pointing at him accusingly
from the foot of the bed.  Damian closed his eyes for a
second and then opened them again. "Okay, third time's the
charm right?  You're supposed to be the ghost of Christmas
Future, and if I remember my English Literature course and
the Muppet film correctly, you'll be showing what a ghastly
end I, and most of the people I know, are coming to because
I've been naughty.  Does that about sum it up."
     The figure merely turned and pointed out the window.
Damian sighed, rose and went to look out.
     It seemed to be broad daylight.  Coming down the street
was a garish procession of floats in the shape of cartoon
animals and various cultural icons.  Bad high school bands
were merrily tootling, "Happy Days are Here Again".  Luke
Spencer in the tuba-shaped float, was merrily waving like a
manic beauty queen, while walking along beside were, Bobbie
Jones, Mac Scorpio, Katherine Bell and Justus Ward, all
twirling batons in perfect synch.
     Above the parade a plane flew, trailing a banner that
read. "Yeah! Damian Smith is Dead. Rejoice!"
     Damian looked back at the ghost. "Oh, come on.  You
don't expect me to buy this blatant exaggeration."
     The mysterious figure tossed back it's concealing hood.
"Who me?  Exaggerate? I wouldn't dream of it," said Lucy
     "Lucy... of course.  I should have guessed, but I was
hoping our future would be a little more amicable." He
leered at her.
     "Oh, brother, give it a rest.  As if I'd give into you
in the middle of a morality play." Lucy regarded him with
undisguised disgust.
     Damian shrugged. "Sorry. Reflex.  Okay, let's play it
out.  What's next.'
     Lucy smiled brightly. "You get a choice.  A peek at
your murder investigation or a look at how your former
lovers and business associates are making out without your
malignant presence."
     "Can I choose door number three?" he asked wistfully.
     "No," she said firmly.
     "Well, I don't have to look to know that the PCPD is
completely botching the investigation, and isn't really very
interested in finding the real murderer.  Mac Scorpio is
probably coming up with some harebrained theory based on
aboriginal instinct and woolly thinking.  I'd say a peek at
that would be a complete waste of time so, let's go with
option number two, shall we?" he suggested.
     "Suit yourself," she said.  She crossed her arms,
nodded her head and blinked.  Damian found himself in
Katherine's marblelized apartment.  She and Mac were
reclining on the couch, half-naked and scarfing down and
anchovy pizza.  "You know," Mac said with his mouth full.
"Not many people like anchovy pizza.  We just have so much
in common."
     "Yes," Katherine agreed. "Damian hated anchovy pizza.
He always made me order pineapple and canadian bacon.  The
swine."  Damian scowled.  Katherine had never voiced any
preference for anchovies to him.  In fact, at the speed she
ate pizza, it amazed him she could taste the toppings.
     Mac nodded. "Well, no sense talking about him, it's
been nearly a year since..." he made a cutting motion across
his throat.
     "Yes," Katherine smiled like the cat who swallowed the
whole chicken. "We're well rid of him, and now you and I can
spend the rest of our lives eating together."
     Damian felt distinctly nauseated.
     "Humph," Lucy commented. "Maybe you could have held on
to Miz Bell if you had tried buying a chain of restaurants
instead of discount houses."
     "A certain road to bankruptcy," Damian said dryly.
     The Lucy spirit hid a smile at that comment and
blinked.  The scene changed again and showed Bobbie and Tony
Jones on the steps of the brownstone.  They were arguing,
but trying to keep their voices down.  "How much do you
expect me to forgive, Bobbie?  Does accepting you as you are
have to include your affairs?"
     "I've said I'm sorry, and I think I've finally got this
cheating problem licked," Bobbie whined. "What more do you
     "Adherence to our marriage vows, would be a good start.
My God, Bobbie you just had an affair with the mailman.
This is not a good sign."
     "I know, but it isn't really my fault," she sniveled.
     "No?  Then whose is it?  Don't tell me it's mine,
because I never refused to..." his voice dropped to a
whisper, "...wear that leather costume you insisted would
spice up our relationship."
     "No, not your fault.  Of course not; you're always
perfect.  YOU never do anything wrong.  It really all comes
back to Damian.  If it wasn't for him reawakening my yen for
variety none of my subsequent affairs would have happened."
     "Well, of course, Damian was slime and it's a blessing
that someone took care of him permanently, but it's been two
and half years since you slept with him, shouldn't you get
over it."
     Bobbie's voice took on a spiteful edge.  "You won't
ever LET me forget it."
     Damian glared at Bobbie. "Reawakened her yen for
variety?  Where does she get this stuff?"
     Lucy was shaking her head reproachfully. "It looks like
you've created a monster."
     "I didn't create it," Damian snapped. "I just reminded
her of who she really is.  Despite her airs and her false
middle class values, she wasn't any different than me.  She
wasn't any better."  He stopped, realizing that he'd allowed
a little more emotion to show than he liked.  The Jones were
stomping back into the brownstone.
     "And you," Damian asked Lucy. "Are you really happy
with that dull Doctor of yours."
     "You mean after your so-called stimulating presence has
been missing for a year?" responded Lucy. "Ecstatically
happy.  Kevin and I are about to become the parents of
twins.  I now own Deception again and get invited to the
parties of all the respectable people in town.  And Sigmund
can count up to fifty."
     "Hurrah, for Sigmund.  It all sounds very tedious."
said Damian.
     "Not as tedious as your afterlife is going to be," she
shot back.  Damian was silent and thoughtful.  Lucy crossed
her arms and blinked, bringing them back to the hotel room.
     "All right," Damian said carefully. "You've convinced
me.  I'm in mortal danger, everyone will be dancing jigs at
the news of my demise, and all I really want is to love and
be loved.  I've learned my lesson."
     Lucy looked surprised.  "Really? I didn't think you'd
catch on that fast.  I mean, of course, that was the whole
point of this whole presentation, but still, you make
Scrooge look reasonable, so I thought it would take a little
longer than this.  After all, Kevin says you can't teach an
amoral person a lesson.  And if anyone fits that description
it's definitely..."  She broke off as it became apparent
that he was paying no attention to her.
     He had gone over to the desk and slipped out a pad of
hotel stationery.  While she talked he had been furiously
scribbling on the paper.
     "What are you doing?" she demanded.
     "Well," he said as he continued to write. "You can't
exactly expect me to head over to the Spencer's with a fat
goose and an armful of presents.  Luke would put a bullet
between my eyes before I got to the front porch.  So I'm
taking a different tact."
     "Which is?" Lucy pressed.
     "I'm writing down a new storyline, in which I have
flashbacks to my pitiful excuse for a childhood; show the
traumatizing effects of my mother's horrible fate; develop a
dazzling chemistry between me and Faith Ward; heroically
rescue Emily from a deadly bacon-fire; establish a warm and
fuzzy friendship with Lucky Spencer; change my last name to
Horowitz and cultivate fluffier hair."
     "You don't think they're going to accept that, do you?"
Lucy asked.
     "New writers; new ideas.  They'll be getting here just
in time to save my sorry excuse for a life," Damian
     Lucy shrugged. "They'll have their own agendas, and
they probably won't include has-been minor villains."
     Damian smirked. "I thought of that.  He opened a small
drawer on the desk, and withdrew a checkbook.  "I think the
sum of one million dollars should be sufficient motivation
for them."  He made out the check with a flourish and
inserted it in the envelope.  On the outside he wrote:
     New Head Writers
     c/o General Hospital/ABC
     4151 Prospect Ave.
     Hollywood CA 90027
     He licked the envelope and pressed it shut. "That
should do it.  I'll be safe.  A year from now I'll be the
one viewers shower with mushy sentimental wishes for my
happiness and reformation."
     Lucy pouted. "That had better not be at the expense of
my storyline."
     Damian ignored that as he pulled on his burgundy robe
and matching slippers.  He held the envelope in his teeth.
"Mumble, mumph, ars, mumble."
     Lucy grimaced. "What?!"
     He spit the envelope into his hand and said, "I'm going
downstairs to put this in the mailbox."  He flung open the
door.  Right outside a mail carrier was standing, blue bag
over his shoulder, eagle logo on his chest pocket.  "How
convenient!" Damian exclaimed. "Take this to the Post Office
right away, my good man."
     The frizzy haired postal worker nodded cheerfully. "Ja,
I do that for you.  Si senor."  Damian handed him the letter
and grinning from ear to ear closed the door again.
     When Damian looked around the suite, the Lucy spirit
was gone.  He heaved a sigh of relief.  It was over.  His
future was ensured.  He kicked off his slippers and tossed
the robe on the foot of the bed.  He got in under the covers
and curled up, smiling contentedly.  He had handled matters
effectively and efficiently, without stooping to his
father's methods.  Everything would be all right now,
wouldn't it?
     Outside the room the frizzy-haired postal worker went
over to the elevator where he let the letter drop into the
fancy Port Charles Hotel trash can.  The elevator doors
opened and Little Lucky came out, cheerfully swinging his
crutch.  The mail carrier held out his hand. "Got a match,
     Little Lucky dug into his jeans pocket. "Sure, Dad."
Luke struck the match and flicked it into the waste basket.
They both watched as the letter went up in flames.  "Doesn't
look like Junior Smith will get his Christmas wish," Luke
     They grinned at each other and got on the elevator.  As
the doors shut, Little Lucky exclaimed, "God Bless Us,
Everyone!"  The hotel echoed with the sound of Luke
Spencer's evil laughter.
                       THE END
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  | |  "It's that twin thing."-Ryan Chamberlain   | |
  |_|     FGC Reginald *FGC Ryan Very Ltd 10%     |_|
FGC Tom-Keepers of the Half-Truths * FGC Harry-Spirit Guides
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   FGC Q 5% *Agents FGC Frisco HQ 4%* FCC Iggy (Bud Light)
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          Rat-Boy is definitely up to something!