(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.....


(Episode 9)

continued from Chapter 39, Episode Nine. Scroll down to read all of Episode Nine, or click on the "May" link to right.

Where is Barbie? What mysterious things are going on at the Ratchet house? Summoned by little Alice Ratchet via her best friend Mikey, the Smalls come to the door to investigate.

They find quite a crowd in the foyer and living room, male and female, young and old.

Jeff Small extends his hand to Henry. "So, I hear you've got a famous guest."

"Oh, hi, Major Small. It's nice of you to come. Are you a fan of Barbie's?"

"By marriage only. So she is here."

"In the plastic. Right now she's visiting with Aunt Betty in the kitchen. We're going to surprise her. It's her birthday, you know."

"So I heard. I guess she should be ready to collect social security by now."

At that moment there is another knock at the door. Mabel, who is nearest, opens the door.

"We got a call that there's a problem here."

"A problem? Here?"

"Something about bad guys after Barney. Would that be Barney, the purple dinosaur? Or Barney, the guy who lives next door to the Flintstones?"

"Officer, that was us, we called. And it's not Barney they're after, it's Barbie."

"Barbie who?"

"Surely you've heard of Barbie, the famous fashionista...the iconic image of improbable feminity?"

"The symbol of the excesses of the 20th Century? The triumph of capitalism? The original material girl?"

"I know Barbie! She was my idol when I was growing up. She was such an inspiration to me and all my friends! I used to make myself throw up after every meal so I could have a wasp-waist just like her."

"Oh, her! Down at the shop, we call her the Hate Crime Magnet. It used to be just your run of the mill mutilations and careless accidents --you know, arms pulled off and like--the work of immature criminal minds. Pervs-in-training, we called them.

"But lately there's been a rash of sophisticated attacks. Yesterday we found a number of Barbie look-a-likes with their heads ripped off. The diabolical work of some insane monster who apparently likes to switch them to other bodies. Just a hobby, she confessed. Can you believe it?

"And last week? Horrible. Called to the scene where someone had thrown polish remover in a Barbie clone's face to obliterate all her features. You'll never guess the motive! Turns out, the perp didn't like her looks, wanted to give her a re-painting. " [shudder] "The implasticanity of it! Try to imagine the excruciating pain of having your eyebrows burned off hair by hair, your eyes dripping off your head like melting wax, your mouth slowly fading as you soundlessly scream."


"It's all right, honey, the nice policeman has been watching too many late movies. (Thanks for the nightmares, Officer)."

"It makes you wonder if there really is Someone Up There watching over us. How could any Higher Being allow these kinds of atrocities to happen?"

Hey! It's all a matter of perspective. One person's atrocity is another's hobby.

to be continued....


The guests at the Ratchet house are positively giddy. "I can't believe I'm going to meet Barbie. The Barbie. It's so exciting I can hardly breath. I mean, she's my idol. When it came to picking a career, it was really hard to choose between becoming a low paid police officer, risking my life on a daily basis and having to watch for luggies in my fastfood burgers, or a famous fashion model, living in a penthouse and dating fabulously wealthy men. Sometimes I wonder if I made the right choice."

Young and old, of both sexes, have gathered for a glimpse of their idol. They have been patient too long. Someone cries, "We want Barbie." And then they are all chanting it: "We want Barbie. We want Barbie."

All, of course, except Margaret, who pensively observes her fellow Plasticopians from her corner. Margaret is one of those hard-bitten cynics that spring up like weeds even among plastic people. She and her kind do not appreciate Barbie. They are totally unable to comprehend the magic of wearing an expensive pair of high heels, the price of which would feed three hundred starving children for a year in the deep dark depths of Aphrica. What is it they do not get?

Meanwhile, the increasing nosie of the crowd has penetrated into the kitchen, where Betty Ratchet and Barbie have been chewing the fat.

Barbie leaps to her feet, her eyes wide in terror. "It's a mob! They've come to lynch me."

"Well, let's not over-react," Betty says. "The last mob in my house only wanted to burn down the place. Of course, once Henry turned down the bass on his stereo, they were much more rational."

"Hey, Mom. There's a few people out here who want to meet Barbie. Do you think she would mind?"

"Honey, why don't you ask her yourself?"

"Um...do you think you could have your people talk to mine?"

Mitzi, Sharon and Ken have arrived at the Ratchets doorstep, in response to Mabel's frantic call. Mitzi peeks inside. "OMG, the place is packed."

"Do you see Barbie?"

"Not at all. Looks like half the town is here, though."

"Any bad guys?"

"I don't see any guns. There's Jeff, though and...and Randi. What is Randi doing here?"

At sight of her little daughter, Mitzi instinctively yanks open the door....

and finds herself pressed against the crush of bodies.

She tries to get the attention of her daughter or brother-in-law. "Randi, Randi! Jeff!"

But she cannot make herself heard over the chatter and chant of the crowd, "We want Barbie, We want Barbie!"

Just at that moment a light snaps on in the little hallway ahead and Betty Ratchet appears in the doorway. "Listen up, everyone. Barbie is here, and you're all going to get a chance to meet her. But you need to calm down. She's a bit para...shy."

"Okay, I'm going to do this, but if anything should happen to me, I want you to give my high heel collection to those shoeless people you see on the news in some Third World Country. I've always felt so sorry for them. You know, the only thing I truly regret is that I never knew my mother..."

Mitzi, attempting to squeeze through the crowd, happens to glance to one side. She gasps. Isn't that a gun holster? OMG, OMG, he's got a gun! There really are bad guys after Barbie!

Mitzi can hardly breath. Her beloved little daughter is between the hit man and Barbie, right in the line of fire. Her thoughts spin in her little brain. 'What do I do? What do I do? What do I do?"

While she ponders, Barbie has mounted a box in the doorway and is introduced by Betty. "And now I present to you the one and only, the original, the best known and most mimicked 11-and -1/2 inch model in the world."

No one would accuse Mitzi of being the common ordinary hero type, but plastic mothers often are inspired to courageous endeavors to protect their young. She pushes aside startled guests. "Out of the way! He's got a gun!"

Without further thought, and no concern for her own safety, she lunges at the gunman. If she can just knock him off balance before he has a chance to draw his pistol!

The assassin attempts to pull away from her, but she holds on tightly to his arm. "Help! Help! Don't let him get to his gun!"

Ken comes to the rescue. "Try to harm my Barbie, will you? Not while there's a breath in my body!"

Ken, as old as he is, would probably be no match for the gunman in ordinary circumstances; but the thought of harm to Barbie has given him an unusual ferocity--that, combined with the unexpectedness of his attack, has given him the advantage as he wrestles his opponent to the ground.

By now, the attention in the room has turned away from Barbie to the scuffle on the floor.

Some have backed away, but some of those nearby have come to Ken's assistance, while Mitzi has collapsed onto the steps.

Gramma McBitty has instinctively shielded her granddaughter with her own body.

Sharon comforts Mitzi, who--after her burst of bravado--is in shock.

Barbie's heart catches in her throat. Is that her Ken, her own shining knight in boring tweed, come to her rescue?

Betty lets out a long breath. 'Wow. I guess just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you.'

While one of the fellows holds the gunman's hands behind his back, another strips off his hat. "Turn him over, let's get a look at this dirtbag."

"Now there's a familiar face."


to be continued.....