Scrooge was once again back in his cold and dark bedroom, after his visit with the Ghost of Procurement Present. He had seen the shadows of his present day, and how they had reflected his character and career. He had felt a mixture of emotions, from curiosity and envy, to fear and repentance. He wondered what the last spirit would show him, and how it would affect him.

He lay awake in his bed, listening to the wind howling outside, and the clock striking the hour. He felt no warmth, no joy, no peace. He only felt the weight of his sins, and the fear of his future. He heard the clock strike three, and he looked around, expecting to see the ghost. But he saw nothing, and he heard nothing, except the wind and the rain outside.

He thought that perhaps the second spirit had been enough, or that he had dreamed the whole thing. He was about to lie down and go back to sleep, when he felt a cold and clammy hand, touching his shoulder. He turned and saw a sight that filled him with horror and dread.

The figure that stood beside him was tall and thin, and shrouded in a black cloak, that covered its whole body, except for one hand. The hand was bony and pale, and pointed to the door. The face of the figure was hidden by a hood, that cast a deep shadow over it. The figure did not speak, nor make any sound, but communicated with Scrooge by gestures and signs. It was the most terrifying and mysterious of the spirits, and Scrooge felt a chill in his bones, as he looked at it.

“Who are you?” asked Scrooge, trembling with fear.

The figure did not answer, but lifted its hand, and pointed to the door again.

“Are you the Ghost of Procurement Yet to Come?” asked Scrooge, nervously.

The figure nodded, and pointed to the door again.

“Will you show me the future of my life, and my business?” asked Scrooge, anxiously.

The figure nodded, and pointed to the door again.

“Will you speak to me?” asked Scrooge, desperately.

The figure shook its head, and pointed to the door again.

Scrooge felt a surge of fear and curiosity, of dread and wonder. He did not know what the figure would show him, or what it wanted from him. He said, in a low and humble voice:

“Lead on, then. Lead on. The night is waning fast, and time is precious to me.”

The figure moved towards the door, and opened it. It said, in a silent and solemn voice:

“Follow me, Ebenezer Scrooge, and see.”

The figure touched Scrooge’s heart, and they walked out of the door, into the night. They walked through the city, and the figure pointed out the places and the events that were important and significant in Scrooge’s life. It showed him the office, where he was forgotten and replaced. It showed him the market, where he was despised and avoided. It showed him the warehouse, where he was robbed and ruined.

The Spirit stopped in a dismal street, where the houses were decayed and the windows broken. Scrooge looked around, and recognised it as the neighbourhood where Bob Cratchit lived. He had often passed by his clerk’s humble dwelling, but never cared to enter or inquire about his family.

“Is there some one here you wish me to see?” asked Scrooge.

The Spirit made no answer, but pointed with its hand towards a door. Scrooge advanced, and peered through the thin glass.

Scrooge opened the door, and entered a dark and dismal room. The fire was almost out, the furniture was scanty and shabby, and the walls were bare. In a corner, by the fireplace, sat Bob Cratchit, with a thin blanket over his shoulders, and a pile of papers on his lap. He looked pale and haggard, and his eyes were red with weeping.

Bob Cratchit’s business had been supplying Scrooge for many years, and had endured his tyranny and oppression. He had hoped that Scrooge would one day pay a market price, or at least show him some kindness and respect. But Scrooge never did, and Bob’s hopes and profits had faded away. He had to work long hours, and do many tasks, for a pittance.

Scrooge’s warehouse was a dark and dismal place, where no fire was allowed, and no comfort was given. Scrooge’s office was a small and gloomy room, where he sat at his desk, counting his money, and grumbling at his clerk. Bob’s shop had been a bright and pleasant place, where he displayed his books, and greeted his customers. Bob’s desk was a neat and tidy one, where he wrote his bills, and kept his accounts.

Due to increased costs in his supply chain and Scrooge’s unwillingness to pay fair rates Bob’s shop had been forced to close and the family had been declared destitute. The workhouse had another family to feed and Tiny Time was sent to live a life as a farmhand in Dorset, where he specialised in muck spreading and sheep hurdling.

The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come took Scrooge to a different place, where the sky was grey and the wind was cold. The streets were crowded and noisy, with people rushing to and fro, carrying bags and boxes. The shops were open and busy, but the goods were of poor quality and high price. The windows displayed a variety of products and services, but they were all made with cheap materials and unethical practices.

“Look, Ebenezer,” said the Ghost. “This is the future if you continue on your current path. This is the consequence of your indifference. You have lost the trust, the reputation, and the value of your business. You have disappointed your suppliers, your customers, and your employees. You have squandered your resources, your opportunities, and your potential. You have caused dissatisfaction, frustration, and anger to yourself and to others. You have little hope, little purpose, little meaning in your life. You are a disappointment, a liability, a problem.”

Scrooge looked at the scene with dismay and regret. He saw how he had jeopardized his future, and how he had impacted the lives of many people. He realized how he had neglected the chance to make a positive difference in the world, and how he had disregarded the lessons of the past and the present. He felt a pang of fear, but also a hint of repentance. Perhaps there was still a possibility to avoid this outcome, to improve himself, to become a better man