(Chapter 9)

Barbie's 50th Birthday Bash is winding down.

"I'll get her home. Happens every year. At least we get lots of time to rest where we come from."

"Thanks for grabbing my phone. Probably Mabel wondering if I remembered to get Barbie's autograph."

"Hi, Mabel. What's up? Of course it's noisy, it's a party. Barbie? No, never showed. Why? At the Ratchets house? What would she be doing there?"

"Mabel says Barbie is at a friend's home. Something about bad guys chasing her."

"Barbie? My Barb....I mean our Barbie?"

"Bad guys?"

"Is this some kind of practical joke?"

While Mitzi and Sharon and Ken are pondering the news about Barbie, the party is breaking up. Some guests are getting into their wraps.

"You are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. Your friend over there is totally jealous."

"What were you two whispering about?"

"We were just discussing how you ought to be on the Big Screen. As lovely as you are, it's amazing you haven't been discovered."

"Sigh. Alone again. I'd give anything to make the tabloids. Maybe if I didn't wear any underwear."

"What's so fascinating in there?"

"I just can't believe she drank every drop. You may not know it, Pretty Boy, but this stuff is like 450-proof. It's the secret ingredient in rocket fuel. They don't call it tornado-juice for nothing!"

"Wow! Dorothy must have been flying! Betcha that was one heckuva trip. "

"Ladies, I think I should go over there and make sure Barb's okay. Do you have the address?"

"I can take you there. Do you mind if I leave you here alone, Sharon? I could come in early and clean up."

"I do mind. If there are bad guys, both of you are total lightweights, and the last thing I want is to be called out later tonight to identify your bodies. I'm going with you."

"What about her?"

"Turbulence! Hang on!"

"Whoops. Fasten your seat belts."

"Golly! That was a rough landing."

"I didn't want to say it in front of Ken, but Mabel says Barbie showed up at the Ratchet house in her birthday suit. Do you think she's come unhinged?"

"Fame carries a heavy price. The prying media! And the fickle fans! It makes celebrities crazy. Especially the vulnerable ones."

"Poor Barbie! She never really had a childhood."

"Never knew what it was like to walk down the street without people turning to stare."

Only a few guests remain in the Coffee Shop. "Wake up. Wake up. The party's over."

"Huh? You're back? Is this a nightmare?"

"I don't think so, but I'll leave that to history to judge."

"Get away from me, or you'll see the wrong end of this shoe."

"Yeah, right, I've heard that before. Go ahead, throw it. You wanna see how fast I can duck?"

Sharon dims the lights and the last of the guests take their leave.

"I've come back for Marilyn."

"But I don't want to go home yet."

"Come on, Sweetie. You know what happens if we don't get you back to your resting place before the stroke of midnight. When the spell ends, it isn't going to be pretty."

"I'll be back next year. Don't forget me."

Continue to Chapter 40.....

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