Carol stared at her, concious she should not blink, “I wont turn out like you…”.
‘I thought I could do what ever TV show I liked and it would be OK….’ Anthea ran her hands slowly through her tired drunken hair, ‘now look at me… Stuck talking to you on Christmas Eve wearing yellow shorts.'
‘You‘re ok…you’re fine.’, Carol's eyes could no longer maintain an honest contact, they dropped blurring the vision of the washed up celebrity who stood before her.
‘It’s too late for me,' Anthea replied, she looked over to the empty marble fire place, 'Killing a colleague’s cat when I worked for GMTV because I had a hole in my coat and it was the right colour. It was wrong, I can see that now. Wrong fucking colour and the fat Irish twat loved that thing. I wish I hadn’t done it, I really do…and now…I don’t even remember the name of the TV show I work on Carol…It’s…it’s…something about me…It’s not important; only my mum watches it anyway and she doesn’t even realise I‘m in it. It’s got my name in the fucking title Carol, etched onto the BBC 3 Schedule; words on a digital tomb-stone.’
Carol stood up and walked towards her porcelain goat collection and gently stroked Handy Andy, ‘I’m not like that...I’m not…Those people asked for their houses to be decorated. I didn't use them, I didn't.’ Anthea rose steadily to her feet and smiled. She pulled her hair and twisted it tightly above her head.
‘Three ghosts you’ll be visited by tonight Smillie at the midnight hour.’
‘You’ll be visited by three ghosts at midnight. I’ll be honest it might all be a bit ambiguous and seem like a dream the next day, but go with it.’
‘But I don’t like…’, Carol turned to face Anthea but she was gone.
‘Fucking rug’, Anthea scrambled on the floor, pushing her feet down to try and regain an upright position. Carol tried to help her, but Anthea snatched her hand away, ‘I don’t need your help yer washed up Scottish... Remember Smillie, three ghooooooooooosts’, she held that word unconvincingly coughing as she ran out of air. Slowly she limped towards the thick oak front door and struggled to pull it open. 'You need a new door for fucks sake.'
'It's fine it's a..'
'Ghooooooooooooooosts'. And with that Anthea was gone into another night.
Carol looked down at her half finished cereal. ’It’s the Special K, that must be it. It’s the low fat content, delicious taste and my reliance on it for three of my three meals a day. It's making me see things.’ She sat back in her dark red arm-chair, her Scottish eyes softened and the day left her.
Carol woke with a start, she kept her head still, her eyes searching the room as best as they could. A still silhouette figure stood in the doorway. Her shaking body rattled her heavy brass bracelet. She had to slowly put the words in order in her mind before she could speak, “Are you the ghost of Christmas past?”
‘No I’m your husband Carol. Anthea’s been around again hasn’t she? You’re pissed.’
‘I can see clumps of her hair on the carpet. Where’s the cat? Is the cat ok?’
‘You’re not my husband…’
‘Don‘t be stupid….’
‘I’m not married.’
‘But it says in Wikipedia you’ve been married for sixteen years.’
‘I wrote that.'
'It’s what I believe sometimes.’
‘But not now?’
'Come with me...'