THE GHOSTLY CHRONICLES

Written by DTYarbrough

NO TIME FOR SOUVENIRS
Copyright 2010
All rights reserved

NO TIME FOR SOUVENIRS
Written by DTYarbrough "I can't believe you're flying," said Rita. "Well, it's not every day that the President of the United States invites you aboard Air Force One. Can you believe it, we're going to get medals for the work we did on Luna 1," said Jack. "Being invited to the UN to attend his speech isn't bad either," said Rita. "We should have a couple of days to do some sightseeing before the speech. I've never been to New York City," Jack said. "Have you?" "No, I haven't. I want to see the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty," said Rita. "I heard that the speech is about global warming and a new energy source they have developed using that radioactive material they're shipping from the moon," said Jack. "They've been promising to do something about global warming for as long as I can remember, but it just keeps getting worse," Rita said. "I think they're ready for the medal ceremony. Too bad it has to be a secret ceremony, but they would have trouble explaining the risk they put the public in by shipping the radioactive material on the same shuttles as passengers. Of course they believed it was perfectly safe, but good intentions are no excuse," Jack said. Jack and Rita walked to the rear of the cabin where everyone was gathered and stood on their marks facing the front of the cabin. The President entered the cabin and stopped a few feet in front of them. Taking the medals from one of his assistants he pinned them on Jack and Rita and shook their hands. A brief speech and the ceremony was over. "Take your seats ladies and gentlemen. We will be landing soon," said the loud speaker. Jack and Rita exited the plane and were led to a limousine which would take them from DC to New York. "Too bad they couldn't have dropped us off at JFK," Jack said. Four hours later the limo pulled up in front of the Plaza Hotel. "Here are your keys. You're already checked into the presidential suite. I'll take care of your bags," said the chauffeur. "Feel like a stroll in Central Park before we go in? I need to stretch my legs," said Rita. "Sure. Central Park sounds great. We've got a couple of hours before the sun goes down," Jack replied. "I think that picnic lunch we had in the limousine will hold me over till dinner." 1

As they strolled through the park something caught Jack's attention. "Do you see what I see?" Jack said. "Over there in that clearing ." "There must be six of them," said Rita. "I've never even seen that many normal ghosts in one spot. That's really weird Jack. What is this, a comatose convention?" "Or an out of body convention," Jack said. "Let's stroll over that way. Don't let on that you see them until we can get a closer look." One of the ghostly figures glanced up and motioned to the others. They all turned and looked in Jack and Rita's direction. One of them pressed his finger against his wrist and the entire group vanished. "It was as though they recognized us, Jack. Now this is really weird," said Rita. "Did you see the clothes they were wearing. They went out of style 20 years ago." "If we are going to keep running into these kinds of ghosts, we need to give them a name. They're not dead and not really ghosts, they're just invisible. We could call them 'beings out of body'," said Jack. "I can just see it now. We're in a crowded room and I say "Jack, would you look at those BOOBs?" said Rita. "I don't think so, Jack. Let's just call them Sprites because they are so close to Spirits." "We should head back toward the Hotel. I wouldn't want to get mugged our first day here," said Jack. "The sun's starting to set." Over dinner, Jack and Rita discussed the sprites they had seen in the park. "What sort of device could make them all invisible to us. It had to be the device, Elvis never mentioned that he could disappear," Jack said. "Neither did that kid in a coma," said Rita. "But we can't rule that out completely. We're learning as we go." "But the way they all vanished at once. It has to be the device," Jack said. "I hope they have more than one bed in that suite. Did you know that you snore?" Rita said as they walked to the room. "I don't snore. Linda never told me I snored. Are you sure?" Jack said. "It's not a loud snore. It's actually quite adorable, come to think of it," Rita said. "They could put a tennis court in here. They did put a tennis court in here," Jack said as they entered the suite. "Only kidding." "I've told you a million times not to exaggerate," said Rita. "Whoa! You weren't exaggerating. This is huge. We could go for a stroll in here." The next day they took a tour of the Empire State Building. When they entered 2

the observation deck they saw them. The same group they had seen in the park. Jack and Rita stayed out of sight and watched the group for a while. They acted like any other group of tourists. In a few minutes they vanished just like before. "I'm sure they didn't see us this time. Maybe that's just the way they travel," said Jack. "But who are they, where are they from?" asked Rita. "We'll probably never know. What are the odds that we would see them twice in one day in a town this size?" said Jack. "But they do definitely act like tourists." "Did you notice that their clothing was more in line with today's style. What kind of ghosts, I mean sprites, bring along a change of clothes?" Rita said. "This just keeps getting stranger." "The more I think about it, the more sure I am that they recognized us in the park. So why didn't we recognize them?" Jack said. "Like you said before, we'll probably never know, so let's not worry anymore about it," said Rita. "Let's get back with the tour and try to enjoy the scenery." The day of the speech, Jack and Rita arrived a couple of hours early and took a guided tour of the United Nations Building. The main chamber where the speech was to take place was still empty, except for guess who,"They're back," Jack said to Rita. "The sprites are back." As the crowd began filing into the chamber, Jack and Rita headed in the direction where they had seen the sprites. The crowd was so thick you couldn't see six feet in front of you. The ushers forced everyone to take the first available seat. Jack and Rita took a seat but continued to search the room visually. There was no sign of the sprites. In a moment the ceremony began. After a brief introduction the president took the podium and began speaking. Jack was still scanning the room in search of the sprites. As the speech came to an end Jack saw the sprites stand for a moment and then vanish. They had been seated in a roped off section of seats reserved for international dignitaries. Many had boycotted the speech, leaving a lot of the seats vacant. As the crowd burst into applause, Jack turned to Rita. She was applauding along with everyone else. Jack had missed the entire speech, but there would be weeks of reruns on CNN. As the crowd left Jack and Rita remained seated. "Let walk down to where they were seated," Jack said. "I thought I saw one of them drop something." "That was the most inspiring speech the president has ever made. Do you think he will succeed in uniting the nations to fight global warming?" Rita asked. "I think we witnessed a great moment in history," said Jack. "What makes you say that?" Rita asked. 3

Jack handed Rita a ticket he had retrieved from one of the seats. Rita examined it. It was strangely transparent. She read the writing. "Admit one. Histories Greatest Moments' Tour". "Look at the date," said Jack. "Humanity is going to be around for a long time to come." "Excuse me. I believe you have something that belongs to me," said someone with a metallic sounding voice. Jacked turned and saw one of the sprites. He was holding a device to his throat to help him speak. Jack reached over and placed the ticket into the pocket of the sprite's jacket. The sprite removed it from his pocket. "I wish I could keep this as a souvenir but it's simply not allowed," he said as he gave Jack's business card back to him. The guys back home are never going to believe that I met the great Jack Weston. Now if you'll give me the real ticket, I'll be going," he said. "Can't you stay a moment? I have a million questions," Jack said. "There's no time. Hmm. I made a joke," he said as he vanished. "Did you hear that? I'm going to be famous," Jack said to Rita. "Do you think it has something to do with the medals we just got." "I got a medal, and he didn't mention me," said Rita. "It's probably something you haven't even done yet." "It's nice to think that my better days lay ahead," said Jack. "We'd better leave while your head can still fit through the door," Rita said. "Rita. Those are double doors," Jack said. "Okay ... so we've got a little time," Rita replied.

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