THE GHOSTLY CHRONICLES

Written by DTYarbrough

COMING HOME
Copyright 2010 All rights reserved

COMING HOME
Written by DTYarbrough "Jack, get the door. I'm tossing the salad," said Rita. "Okay, I've got it," Jack said as he approached the door. "Hello, is Rita here?" the stranger asked. "Who's asking?" said Jack as he looked the young soldier over. "Just tell her that her husband is here," he said. "Rita!" Jack yelled. "You had better get in here." "Who is it?" Rita called from the kitchen. "Hey, Princess, it's Ricky," he replied. The sound of shattered glass and then silence for a moment as Rita entered the room. "Rick, it is you. But you're dead. They said you were dead," Rita said, her mouth still open. "You haven't changed a bit since the last time I saw you." "You're prettier than I remembered," said Rick. "What are you doing here ... how ... where have you been?" asked Rita. "It's a long story and unfortunately I don't have all the answers," Rick said. "What do you mean?" asked Rita. "I've had complete amnesia. I'm just starting to remember. When I remembered you, I had to see you. I'm not even sure why," Rick said. "Will you help me to remember?" "I can't get over how young you look. You must be 29 or 30 by now. If anything you look younger than you did when you left, and you were 21," said Rita. "Do the doctors have an explanation?" "I've only had a general physical. Most of my time has been spent with psychiatrists," Rick said. "I'm in perfect physical health." "How long have you been back in the states?" asked Rita. "Have you seen your mom and dad?" "Excuse me," said Jack. "I've got to run. You remember I'm helping the police on that case I was telling you about." "Okay. I'll talk to you later," said Rita. "I've been back about three months. I don't remember my parents or where 1

they live," Rick said. "We've got to go see them. They'll be so excited," Rita said. "But what if I never remember them. Wouldn't that be worse for them?" Rick asked. "If you'll help me, maybe I'll be able to remember everything." "Sure, Rick. I'll help you," said Rita. "I've got a photo album around here somewhere. Maybe that will trigger some memories." "Who was that, the guy who answered the door? Does he live here?" Rick asked. "No. That was Jack. He's a close friend. You'll like him once you get to know him," said Rita. "I still can't believe it's really you. It's so incredible." "What kind of police case is he working on?" Rick asked. "He said he told you about it. Does he work full time for the police?" "No, this case is special and requires Jack's expertise," Rita said. "Let's talk about us. What do you remember?" Jack arrived at the stake out location and joined the other officers. "Anything new?" Jack asked. "Has the suspect left his apartment today?" "No, but he made a couple of phone calls. We're running checks on the people he called, but so far, nothing useful," said the lieutenant. "Any luck identifying the suspect?" Jack asked. "All we know is that he registered using an alias. We think he's ex military," replied the lieutenant. "Who would want the senator assasinated? Do you still think he's not acting alone?" Jack asked. "If we didn't, we'd pick him up now and sweat the details out of him," said the lieutenant. Jack looked through the window. "I've got to go grab a bite, get you anything?" Jack said. "My dinner was interrupted unexpectedly." "No, we're fine. We ate about an hour ago. Hurry back. If he moves we can't wait around for you." Jack walked across the street and into the dark alley. "Louie ... I saw you come through here. It's Jack ... Jack Weston." A ghost approached from behind a trash bin. "Slow down, Louie. It's dark. I can barely see your hands. Sign slower." Jack said. "No. I'm not here to rush you, but you know you don't have much more time. I need your help. It will only take a few minutes." 2

Jack waited for Louie's return. Now he really was getting hungry. In a moment Louie returned. "His dog tags said Sergeant Joe Horten? Thanks, Louie, I owe you one. No, the Cubs aren't in first place. Louie, you can't wait around for them to win the pennant. Why don't you go into the light. I'll bet they have baseball in heaven. You might meet some of the old players from when you were a kid." Jack called Lieutenant Jameson and told him something had come up. He would meet them tomorrow night. As he drove back to Rita's, he debated on whether or not to stop for food. If he didn't stop, that might give him an excuse to hang around longer. He needed Rita's laptop to check out the name Louie had given him. Sooner or later, he would have to get his own laptop or one of those newfangled phones, but later was just fine with him. Rick answered the door. "Rita, set another place at the table. Jack's back," Rick said. "Thanks, I'm starving." said Jack. "Rita, can I borrow your laptop for a few minutes?" "Sure, but don't screw everything up like you did the last time," Rita replied. "Thanks, is it in the bedroom?" Jack asked. "I mean, where is it? I don't see it in here." "I'll get it. Just give me a second," Rita said. "Does this have anything to do with the police work?" "I spoke to Louie today. He told me something that I need to verify," Jack said. "It shouldn't take long." "Dinner is almost ready. Once you get started on the computer, you can't stop till you get your answers," Rita said. "Okay. I'll wait till after dinner," Jack said. "Interesting case?" Rick asked. "Just your normal police work, nothing special," Jack said. "Rita said that they needed your expertise," Rick said. "What else did Rita tell you?" Jack asked. "She didn't seem to want to talk about you. Is there a reason for that?" Rick asked. "You'll have to ask her," Jack said. "Okay, guys, it's ready. Let's eat," Rita said. "My ears are burning. You guys weren't talking about me, were you?" 3

A silence fell over the room that lasted until the meal was almost over. "Can I take the laptop with me. I just realized there are several other things I need to check on and I don't want to keep you up," Jack said to Rita. "Why don't you stay over. Maybe you can come up with some ways to help Rick regain his memory. You're not keeping me up," Rita said. "I was going to offer Rick a lift. I assumed he had a place to stay," said Jack. "No. I just arrived in town. The only reason I'm here is to see Rita," Rick responded. "Stick around. I'd like to talk about your police work, sounds extremely interesting." "When I'm finished, we need to talk about you. That sounds extremely interesting," replied Jack. "If you'll excuse me, I need to get started on the computer." Jack googled the name Louie had given him. The sergeant had been missing in action for over six years. He had just recently returned to the states. There were no details available on those missing years. He had gotten a clean bill of health and released from the army. He was currently working as an aide to Senator McConley. Jack googled Rick. A similar profile appeared. Missing in action, discharged from army, no details of missing years. Both had been officers and trained under General Dwight D. Wilcox. "I'll email the general and see if I can get more information. Surely he will remember me from the Lunar Base episode," Jack thought. "Are you about done, Jack?" asked Rita. "We could use your help." "Yeah, just finishing up. Be there in a minute," Jack said. "Okay, how can I help?" "It's stuck. We can't get the sofa to open up into a bed," Rita said. "Don't worry, I can sleep on it the way it is," Jack said. "Let's talk about Rick's problem. That's why I thought you needed my help." "Okay, if you're sure you'll be comfortable. Come on in to the kitchen and I'll make some coffee while you two get better acquainted," Rita said. "While I was on line, I googled Rick and he was stationed under General Wilcox before he went overseas," Jack said. "I could have told you where he was stationed. We were married on base just days before he left," said Rita. "You didn't mention that you knew the General when we met him in Houston," Jack said. "I never met the General. I only knew what base Rick was stationed at," Rita 4

said. "Well, maybe the General can help us to discover some facts Rick has forgotten," Jack said. "What do you remember about your time at the base?" "Nothing. My memories start about three months ago. I was being checked out by the base doctors. About a week ago I remembered our wedding. That's when I decided to find Rita to get her help to remember more," Rick said. "Excuse me. That's my phone. I have to take this," Jack said. "Hello, Jack here." "Inspector Jameson here. We picked up the suspect and questioned him. He doesn't remember trying to kill the Senator. He passed all the lie detector tests. He actually thinks he's innocent. His lawyer is going to use an insanity plea," said the inspector. "Sorry I couldn't have been of more help. I guess you won't need me for the stakeout tomorrow night," said Jack. "No, it looks like we're done here. Thanks for your help anyway," said the inspector. "Any idea what triggered the memory of your wedding?" asked Jack as he hung up his phone. "I was talking to someone on the phone. I can't even remember who it was," Rick said. "Have you had other memory lapses like this in the last three months," Jack asked, "or any memory flashbacks?" "A few," Rick said. "And what were you doing when these occurred?" Jack asked. "Talking on the phone, and I don't remember who I was talking to on those occasions either," Rick said. "I have a few things I need to check out, but I think we may be getting somewhere," said Jack. "We need to get the inspector to put a trace on your phone." "Let me help," Rick said. "I want to get to the bottom of this more than anyone." "Okay, we'll get started tomorrow. Let me know if you remember anything else that might help," said Jack. "Okay, I'm going to bed now," said Rick. "I think I've got jet lag. " "Spare bedroom's on the left at the end of the hallway. See you tomorrow," 5

said Rita. "He seems like a nice fellow, Rita, but you must have robbed the cradle," said Jack. "He looked that old when we got married. It's the strangest thing I've ever seen," Rita replied. "Suspended animation, like Elvis ... or cryogenics maybe ... or some sort of reverse aging," said Jack. "Your guess is as good as mine. But I sense something is missing," said Rita. "You mean other than his memories, right?" asked Jack. "He doesn't have any feelings for me, and for some reason, I'm not attracted to him," Rita said. "I thought we had a love that could never end." "Maybe it's because he reminds you of a kid, instead of a man," Jack said. "Maybe ... but I don't think that's all of it," Rita replied. "Well, we'll get some answers soon. We'd better try to get some sleep," Jack said as he kissed her goodnight. "Now I wish there was more room on the sofa." "Good night, Jack," said Rita. The next day Jack and Rick visited police headquarters. Jack had them put a tracer on Rick's phone. "Any results from those calls you traced of Sergeant Horten's?" asked Jack. "I don't remember telling you the suspect's name, but no, none of the calls he placed were significant," the inspector replied. "What about calls he received?" asked Jack. "There was one. But it was a one-sided conversation in some Asian language. We've got our people trying to translate it," said the inspector. "It may have been just a wrong number." "I think it's significant. Can you tell me where the call was placed." "It was a local call. We narrowed it down to one block in the warehouse district," said the inspector. "Let me write it down for you." "Here's the phone. We've installed all of the latest equipment. If it rings, we'll know whose calling before you can answer it," said the officer. "Thanks, guys. I'll let you know if I discover anything you can use," Jack said. "Well Rick, it looks like we're going to visit the warehouse district." As they approached the area where the call had originated, Jack began 6

looking for any building with Asian names on them. There were a couple of them, one at each end of the block. A single vehicle was parked near one of the buildings. No other vehicles were around. "Let's park and watch for a while. Put this number into your phone and be ready to call it when I tell you," Jack said. After about an hour, Jack saw a small Asian looking man come out of one of the buildings. "Place the call," Jack said. As the man opened the car door, he hesitated and reached into his pocket. He looked at his phone but didn't answer. He closed the car door and returned to the warehouse. "I think that's our man. We've got to get in there," said Jack. "Let's check around back for a window or any other way of getting in." As they turned the corner at the rear of the building, the little man was waiting. He had a gun pointed at Jack. He spoke in Vietnamese. Jack recognized the language but not the words. Rick slowly walked over to where the man was standing and took the gun. He turned and pointed it at Jack. Rick had a blank expression on his face. "Shoot him," the little man said. A shot rang out and Jack fell to the ground. Another shot and Rick fell forward landing inches from Jack. The little man tried to reach for the gun. "Put your hands up. We've got you covered. Move another inch and you're dead," said Inspector Jameson. "Jack, are you okay?" Rita yelled. "I think I'm fine. Just a little shaken," said Jack. "What are you doing here?" "Jack, I'd like you to meet Rick ... my ex husband," said Rita. Jack looked up and saw a ghost standing beside Rita. It was an older version of the kid lying beside him. "He was a clone. But how?" Jack asked. "I'll explain it all on the way home. Are we finished here?" Rita asked. "The police can handle it now, but we need to fill them in with any details we can learn from Rick," Jack said. "I filled in the inspector on the way over," Rita said. "Let's go home."

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