(Episode 9)

The Smalls pull up to the Ratchet house only to find that a crowd has gathered.

Perplexed, they stare at the shadowy figures congregating on the front porch.

Suddenly Mikey pipes up. "Dad!" She points at someone in the crowd.

"I know that girl. It's Courtney! She's in my class. Maybe Alice called her, too. "

"I'm going to call Mitzi. I don't know what's going on here, but Barbie is supposed to be at the Coffee Shop. Perhaps Mitzi knows something."

Meanwhile, inside the Ratchet house, Betty and Barbara are having a little girl talk in the kitchen.

"Are those lashes real?"

"As real as I am."

Barbie reaches for another cookie, then suddenly freezes. "Your doorbell. Someone has followed me!"

"Oh, it's probably just one of Henry's friends, come to copy some homework. Henry!!"

"I'll get it!!"

"Hey! Hi guys. You made it."

"Is she here?"

"In the kitchen. Everybody come in, but be real quiet. The baby's sleeping."

"Where is she? Is she as beautiful as they say?"

"Everyone. Shhhh. You can go on into the living room."

And they keep coming.

"Welcome. Come in. Come in."

"Do I hear people talking and laughing?"

"Goodness, you certainly are edgy. Someone must have turned on the television."

And not so very far away. "Hard to believe that we're all going to meet Barbie very soon.

"When I was in high school, I used to keep pictures of her in that hot zebra-striped bathing suit inside the covers of my notebook."

"Hey. You too?"
to be continued....

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