R.W. waited for hours for the other two spirits and then went to sleep. When he awoke, it was Christmas. A fat, lumpy stocking was plopped in a chair. A note said, "Bob." It had licorice in it, and a rubber ball, a puzzle, a book and a big Christmas orange.
It was a proper, large navel orange with thick skin, fresh, fragrant, and the smell brought back all the jolly Christmases Past when they played whist and laughed, and the bubble lights twinkled, and the radio played carols. Grief and misery tend to be amorphous and make everything taste bitter, but small things, such as a well-turned sentence, the chorus of a song, a cup of peppermint tea, Jane Austen, an orange, have some power to break the spell.