Smokywood Pastures Presents: A Smokywood Pastures Presentation of A Winter Veil Carol, brought to you by Graccu’s Mincemeat Fruitcake—Timelessly Preserved! “She who controls the fruitcake controls the world!” Narrated by Smokywood Pastures’ own Guchie Jinglepocket.
You remember me, don’t you? We’re good friends by now. I’m Guchie Jinglepocket of Smokywood Pastures, bringing you the tale of how a miserly undead financier named Ebonizer Scrounge woke up and smelled (well, sort of) the soothing aroma of Smokywood Pastures Green Garden Tea.
So far, Scrounge has been visited by two of our ghostly associates hoping to teach him the value of spreading holiday cheer by purchasing our bevy of fine products. Let’s continue our story and find out what happens next, shall we?
Scrounge was feeling a bit put out by the ongoing interruptions of his Winter Veil eve. His age-old tradition of relaxing by himself with his gold had been derailed by spirits—not the fun and festive Steamwheedle Fizzy Spirits, of course, but the insufferable show-you-unpleasant-things-to-try-to-teach-you-a-lesson kind. Now he just had to wait for the last spirit and he’d be left alone to bask in the fire-lit glow of his hard-earned gold.
Scrounge had just begun to settle into the plink plink plink rhythm of stacking his gold into neat little piles when he heard a strange, hushed whispering. He was used to sounds being a bit muted—his senses just weren’t the same after, you know, dying. Then undying. I’ve heard it’s a very disconcerting experience. One day you’re alive, then you’re dead, then you’re not dead, but you’re not alive. . . . Anyway, there was something all too familiar about this particular sound.
Scrounge looked toward his bedroom window and could just make out a figure silhouetted in a silvery light. The strange whispers seemed to wrap around it, echo and slip into his mind. He squinted against the harsh light to bring the figure into focus.
If Scrounge could have sighed, he would have, for this spirit was one he was well acquainted with. Everyone in Azeroth had seen a Spirit Healer a time or two in their life—some a few more times than others. Scrounge was probably in the 95th percentile.
She didn’t speak a word as she alighted in his room, not even to recommend any of Smokywood Pastures’ fine and festive treats (such as the Holiday Cheesewheel). Frankly, I’m not sure why we keep her on staff.
“Are . . . are you the spirit of Winter Veil yet to come?” Scrounge stammered as he remembered the first time he died—before he became Forsaken. The echoes of his group’s Priest shouting something like “DON’T STAND IN THE FIRE!” and “USE YOUR HEALTHSTONE!” or some other such gibberish still haunted him.
Scrounge shook his head in an attempt to dislodge the memory, but instead, a dust bunny and two silver coins fell from his ear. The bunny sneezed twice then promptly hopped away. Scrounge sneered at it. At least that explained the strange thumping in his ears as of late. And hey, free coins, right?
His thoughts went back to the spirit before him. She nodded her head—or at least he thought she did. It was really hard to tell the way she sort of wavered in and out of his vision.
And then suddenly, Scrounge was wrenched through time and space once again—and the next thing he knew, he and the spirit stood in the presence of Madam Goya and her staff, who appeared to be sorting through some new acquisitions for the Black Market Auction House.
“What did we get?” asked Madam Goya.
“A hat, some old keys, a Savage Crate of Battlefield Goods, some mounts, and some slightly used bedclothes.”
Madam Goya paused in thought.
Scrounge realized that the objects looked familiar to him. Those old keys used to be on his keyring, but he had lost them sometime in the last couple of years. The bedclothes looked familiar as well, but the hat . . . the hat is what really caught his attention.
“Spirit, is that my hat? Someone’s stolen my hat! Was it a Rogue? I hate Rogues. Too . . . stabby. I demand it be returned to me at once!”
But the spirit just floated in the air, staring at him. The odd whispering was unnerving.
“We’ll sell it all,” said Goya. “In fact, put it in one of those ‘unclaimed’ crates we’ve been selling so many of. You never know what will fetch a copper these days. Besides, old Scrounge won’t have any use for it anymore where he is.”
If Scrounge could have still perceived cold, at that moment he would have felt a chill so bone-deep it would have reached his very soul . . . unlike you! Warm up your soul with another fine product from Smokywood Pastures’ proud Winter Veil sponsors!
Take a fiery little Waving Cinder Kitten home for the holidays! He’ll warm your heart and possibly your house, too, but don’t worry—there’s insurance for that. Get this fiery little rascal now and warm the hearts of everyone in your life this Winter Veil.
Now back to Scrounge, who obviously had more questions for the spirit, though she wasn’t much for conversation.
Scrounge wasn’t pleased at what he had seen this day. Sadly, it seemed our last spirit was having trouble conveying the most important lesson of the holiday season: “Smokywood Pastures—buy some or else!” We think it has a nice ring to it. Just wait ‘til you hear the jingle. You’ll love it!
Once again, the scene around Scrounge changed—and now instead of the Auction House he stood in a graveyard. “Spirit,” he said. “What are we doing here? I am Forsaken, I can’t possibly get any more dead. What poor sap is here?”
He looked at the spirit, but still she just stared, that creepy whispering sound swirling in the air. Scrounge quickly realized he’d have to figure out his own answer, so he began to wander about until he found a gravestone that bore a familiar name and read the epitaph.
“Here lies Bob Bigheart—his heart was so big that an ogre ate him. May what’s left of him rest in tiny, delicious pieces.”
Scrounge shook his head, his expression filled more with disgust than sadness. “Ugh. Slacking off, yet again. No worry, I’ll have him reanimated and back to work in no time.”
He turned back to the Spirit Healer. If this was supposed to be some sort of lesson, it certainly wasn’t coming across.
“Look, is this how this is going to go all night?” he asked, sure he wouldn’t get anything more for an answer.
As expected, her only response was more of the creepy whispering. Scrounge elected to wander around the graveyard a bit more, and stumbled upon a most peculiar sight: a grave marker with his name on it, and a casket-sized hole gaping in the ground before him.
“Is this supposed to scare me? Didn’t you do any research about me at all before you came?”
He peered into the hole, where he saw tarnished pieces of gold and decaying Smokywood Pastures labels surrounding something that looked like his own -- quite unanimated -- corpse.
“Wait, how can I possibly be dead? Is there such a thing as dead-dead? Re-dead? This makes no sense at all. And what of my beautiful precious gold? Why is my body covered in Smokywood Pastures labels? Why do I keep bothering to ask you questions you clearly are never going to answer?!”
His questions were met only with a whoosh of sound and color, and then he was back in his bedroom once more.
We hope we didn’t frighten you too much with this one. That Spirit Healer is one scary dame. Join us Winter Veil morning and we’ll wrap this story up while you unwrap your gifts from Greatfather Winter!