Wednesday 23 December 2020

404: A Christmas Story

Marley’s web pages were dead: to begin with. No sooner had Scrooge returned from the funeral than he had deleted every page of Marley’s “blog”, for which he had begrudged every kilobyte.

But that night he awoke from uneasy sleep to find a ghostly figure in his bedroom chanting “404! 404!”

“You don’t exist,” said Scrooge testily. “You’re that piece of cheese I had for supper.”

But the figure only said, “Come!” and Scrooge found himself compelled to follow as it drew him beyond the walls of his house and across the earth.

“The Library of Alexandria!” it declared, and Scrooge found himself amidst its burning. “404!”

“Plays and poetry!” retorted Scrooge. “Stuff and nonsense!”

It spoke again, “The archives of the Medici Bank!” and Scrooge was surrounded by workmen carting away stacks of old ledgers as waste paper. “404!”

Scrooge shivered with fear.

Finally, it said, “Ebenezer Scrooge!” and there was nothing but “404! 404! 404!” and Scrooge awoke.

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