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Phantom's Theme

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Phantom's Theme

Post by Gotthard on Sat Jul 14, 2012 12:19 am

Sunny days in the new resettlement of South City were as uncommon as strings of attached sixteenth notes scaling up and down the staff for countless measures in a Mozart composition. You could count on them. The sun was reaching its highest overhead, the city still caught in that brunch-time phase where the crowds hadn't amassed too much like they did at noon. Not that Gotthard really cared about the crowds; not like he could bump into them and cause one of those strange, awkward moments that sometimes led to impromptu conversations with strangers like in Tv shows. They never led to those converstions for him, though; a rushed apology and ducking off quickly, trying to not draw attention to the minor incident and quickly forgetting that it had ever happened at all. The heavy sound of Gott sighing made a woman walking past stop suddenly, looking around to find the source of the sound before continuing on her way, shrugging to herself. Oops.

Gotthard was glad that South City was doing so well, though, new shops constantly being build and filled. Business was boombing; hell, the whole city was booming, and constantly growing. Being stuck in a state where he was constantly observing, the process was kind of interesting, but so slow that it was utterly dull, especially now that the city was doing well for itself. Growth was slow and steady, and for one never needed to sleep that meant there were a lot of hours spent waiting for something of interest to come along. Drifting through the crowds of the sidewalk, the ghost knew where he was going: Mundt Music. Not that he couldn't have gone before now. But he'd been anticipating today. Mr. Mundt was getting new inventory, so that was kind of exciting. Watching new pianos being assembled, kids coming into the store to get their instruments cleaned and tuned or picking their first ones, the many, many racks of CD's and shelves of sheet music... At least it was a place to haunt that he liked.

The store was huge and bright, the floor space devoted entirely to anything related to Mr. Mundt's passion. The left half of the store was records and CD's, candy jars filled with flavoured reeds and cleaning supplies. Guitars, banjos, violins, violas hang all over the walls around racks of posters to flip through. Cellos lined the walls around the hall that led to the back where private recording and practice rooms for lessons were. Drum kits ate the floor space, and accessories for marching band ate another wall, filing cabinets, racks, and shelves filled with books of sheet music for every occasion. And there on the right side of the store sat Gott's remaining love. The true love that would never leave him, even if he couldn't touch it: the piano. More than a dozen different pianos filled the right half of the store, uprights, grands, baby grands, and synthesizer keyboards. Normally Gott would come in here just to watch and listen, enjoying faces light up as they connected with their passions, and sometimes he'd mess with the keyboards as long as he was careful not to short them out. But today some new pieces were coming in, and Gott was keen to see them, and maybe even try one.

It sat there, mixed in casually with the other baby grands; the Adagio 8820. Sleek and black, pristine white keys, unmarred by ungloved fingerprints as of yet, it looked like most other baby grands from a distance, but upon closer inspection, the true potential could be seen. It was a digital piano, with USB ports, tempo settings, programmed lessons and even verbal feedback and corrections. It could record anything you played to be uploaded, or, you could upload music to the piano to play through it instead. Gott stared at the small piano, giving a silent, appreciative sigh, just as perhaps Alexandros of Antioch felt as he gazed upon the finished statue of Venus. The store was empty today, but then again, it was still early, and music stores weren't exactly hangout hot-spots. Gott sat at the bench and glossed his hands over the smooth plastic, foot at the pedal. He knew he couldn't touch them or do much with the piano, but sitting as he was, fingers moving over the keys, he could remember.

Mr. Mundt seemed to be in the office next to the store's door, waiting in there for the bell to chime and let him know to go stand at the counter. And, it wasn't like Mr. Mundt would see him (though apparently Gott playing with the electronic keyboards at night had been picked up on the security camera). Soo... no real harm in just turning it on for a minute, right? Unfortunately this piano wasn't as easy to manipulate as the Casio keyboards, the keys still connecting to hammers and wires, needing pressure to make the sound, and he just hadn't figured that out. Gott moved away, back over to the smaller keyboards he'd become so fond of messing with, focusing and stretching himself to the buttons and through, into the circuitry, the green light switching to indicate that it was on. Oh good, he hadn't fried it. These were much easier, the light plastic keys connecting to wires and circuits and fed into a small computer to alter the sound into 150 different things. With very gentle pulses, the mode changed until it stopped at function 27: grand piano. It never sounded perfectly like a grand piano, but it would do. Gott checked again; still nobody in the store, and Mr. Mundt closed his office door. Hopefully he'd just blame it on the keyboard having a weird setting to play on its own or something.

Fifty pre-recorded songs to choose from in the demo, from as simple as 'Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star," to "Jubilate Deo." None of those were really what he was in the mood for, however, and Gott switched the keyboard to record, so that someone else could play his song back at some time. The circuits of the first note were tapped, the second, and third with his right hand before his left came in. The song was slow, and sad; something he'd been working at, the tune dancing in his mind and haunting him. Heh, the irony, the ghost being haunted. Gott's voice soft over the chiming of the electronic keys, he kept an ear out for either Mr. Mundt to come out of the office, or a customer to come into the store.

"Half asleep, I hear a voice.
Is it only in my mind?
Or is it someone calling me-
Someone I've failed and left behind?"


"To work it out I let them in;
All the good guys, and the bad guys that I've been.
All the devils that disturb me,
And the angels that defeated them somehow
Come together in me now."


The piano became slightly more passionate, Gott planning to come back to this when he could to add in the guitar that strummed in his heart. The slight crescendo in the middle of the chorus was still so reserved, Gott not wanting to draw too much attention to the possibly "faulty" keyboard that liked to play itself in the empty shop as the tones tremored out into quiet once more.
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Re: Phantom's Theme

Post by Marcelina H. de León on Fri Jul 20, 2012 5:28 pm

Music, the sweet elixir of the ears. It was precious and lovely and Marcelina needed more of it. Her current CDs had been burned away to nothing... metaphorically. Or rather, her ears had grown tired of the same sounds. She desired new ones. So she had decided that her next trip to the Bazaar, she would need to invest some of her hard-earned security detail wealth into a new plethora of music. And that day had finally come!

The sun was bright in the sky, per usual and Marcelina had a bounce in her step as she wandered through the Bazaar. Due to the great event, she had donned the very best. Her greatcoat had remained her in room, due to the warmth of the day. But her hat was set at a jaunty angle, her hair down and swaying in the breeze. She had her matching blue vest over her white shirt, which complemented the black shorts and thigh-high boots. Parley was accompanying her, as always. Luckily, she knew Mr. Mundt never did mind her sword or her antics. She was a good return customer, after all.

The bell chimed as she entered the shop and she immediately made the turn into the office. Mr. Mundt had been readying himself to rise to greet a customer, but she merely smiled and waved at him to resume his seat. He chirped out a cheery “Hallo!” and resumed whatever it was that he had been doing. Marcelina turned on her heel, left hand resting comfortably on Parley's hilt as she moved through the CD racks to her favorite section. She had always been fascinated by Creig music, the lilting pipes, stern drums and overzealous bagpipes. Occasionally she dabbled in the older folk music, but she wanted something fresh today. Rumors had reached her ears of a band called Tartanic and she had decided they were worth a listen.

Marcelina was reaching for the CD tabs to begin searching when a few stray piano notes drifted over to her ears. It was abnormal... a new noise. Mr. Mundt usually didn't have music playing, to better encourage people to make their own. But she had not seen anyone when she came in. Interest piqued, she wandered from the CDs to the opposite side of the store. As she drew closer, the piano notes became more distinct. She also could've sworn she heard a voice, but it seemed too quiet to be sure. She stopped behind the baby grand, staring at the electronic keyboard where the sound was coming from. It was quite distinct and lovely. She leaned against the baby grand listening, enthralled by the notes.
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Re: Phantom's Theme

Post by Gotthard on Wed Jul 25, 2012 12:10 am

The door's bell chiming had been so soft that Gott hadn't heard it over the tones of the keyboard that were emulating the pianos behind him. The keyboard was nice, he'd admit. It had over one-hundred-eighty different instrument functions, could record voice if you had the microphone turned on or hooked up another to it, and could export songs to your computer or drive. It was pretty similar to the keyboard he and Melinde used to use in her family's apartment when he'd record his songs and let her remix them and upload them for the world.

Maybe that's why he liked this keyboard so much, even though the baby grands would always hold a special place within Gotthard. This keybaord was nice and the tones were clean, but there was no way it would ever match a true grand piano perectly; there was that hum of the hammers hitting the wires, feeling the resonation through the pedals, a life housed in each piano that was ever truly loved by someone. There was a difference between a piano bought as a decoration and a piano invested in; those pianos told a story, had personalities and quirks to them. People who were bonded with them best could tell you, and people playing those pianos could sometimes feel those stories and memories imprinted on the keys that echoed through the iron harps inside like a soul.

"Face to face I greet the cast
Set in silence we begin
Companions in an empty room I taste their victory and sin."


he hadn't heard the bell, or see Mr. Mundt start to leave his office to greet Marcelina only to be waved back to his seat by her. He hadn't even noticed Marcelina, the notes drifting through the keyboard's speakers and easing his mind, if only slightly.

"To work it out I let them in;
All the good guys, and the bad guys that I've been.
All the devils that disturb me,
And the angels tha--"


Gott's voice and the keyboard went silent all at once, the keyboard still on and the record light still lit for a moment until Gott pulsed again, turning it off. His song was still there on the keyboard's harddrive. He'd finally noticed that he had an audience that wasn't the man who owned the store who would just waive the strange occurrence as something else. Gott was quiet, sitting at the keyboard still, watching Marcelina. He wasn't worried about her seeing him at least, but there were a few reactions he tended to look for; freaking out was the most common. He hadn't meant to be caught. He didn't like scaring off customers. But maybe if he was quiet she'd brush it off as well. He'd have to wait until night to record his song, he supposed. Night was safer anyway.

He watched as Mr. Mundt finally emerged from his little office to check on his customer, the man quirking his head as he looked at the young woman as she seemed to be staring at nothing in particular rather than rummage the CD's. Not meaning to, Gotthard sighed, hoping she wouldn't notice as he turned the keyboard back off.
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Re: Phantom's Theme

Post by Marcelina H. de León on Thu Jul 26, 2012 6:51 pm

It was entrancingly beautiful. Marcelina was not one for piano music; give her some bagpipes or an Esparian guitar any day. But this was almost heartbreaking in its beauty. She smiled faintly, listening. She could clearly see that the keyboard was on and the red light blinking. The notes were obviously coming from the keyboard but the voice... she wasn't sure. It seemed almost ethereal and very faint. And it was lovely. She would have to commend Mr. Mundt on the recording that was clearly pla-... It stopped! Marcelina stood upright and stared at the keyboard indignantly. What in the devil was going on? She rounded the baby grand and came to stand beside the keyboard as Mr. Mundt came out of his office.

Is everything alright, Miss Marcelina?” NO. Everything was not alright! SHE WAS CONFUSED! She chose instead to turn her gaze to Mr. Mundt, smiling. “Oh, yes, Senor Mundt. I just thought I heard some music playing over here.” Mr. Mundt scratched his head. “That's awfully strange. But you are doing okay? Do you need anything?” She shook her head, waving him back to his office. “I'll be fine. I'll find you when I'm finished.” She looked away as Mr. Mundt went back into his office, although her eyes shifted as she heard a whisper of a sigh across the air. She waited until Mr. Mundt had settled himself inside before spinning on the keyboard, watching as it clicked to “OFF.”

She stared at it for a moment. She wasn't sure how to respond. That was... completely out of place. She would've put it down to electronic issues but combined with the mystery music and the strange sigh... definitely more. The only logically illogical explanation was one that Marcelina wasn't sure she wanted to consider. She had loved telling her little brother ghost stories, late after her parents had gone to bed. She had once convinced them to walk a cemetery at night. The three of them had huddled together in the darkness, listening to the silence. That was, until the wind had howled through the trees and brought a moan of sorts with it. Her brothers had run off terrified, but Marcelina had stood there for a moment before she too had run. The idea of ghosts were both scary and... fascinating. But how to proceed? She aimed for a casual pose, turning away from the keyboard, talking quietly so not to alert Mr. Mundt that she had started talking to herself. “You know, it would be awfully nice to hear the rest of that song. It was lovely.
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Re: Phantom's Theme

Post by Gotthard on Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:47 am

Silent as the musical death that ended the lingering hum before the pedal was lifted, Gotthard sat at the keyboard's bench after he'd turned the keyboard off, watching Marcelina. She'd heard him. There was no forced sigh or outward projection of his frustration with himself, annoyed that he'd caved to the temptation of playing so easily rather than waiting for after the store was closed when nobody would have overheard him but the security cameras. But the song was bursting in his head and needed freedom before he popped... figuratively-speaking, anyway.

It was curious, though. Marcelina had clearly heard him, but she'd come back to where he sat, now glancing as though playing lookout for Mr. Mundt to make sure he wouldn't head over and ask questions. She'd come back... Why? Just to see if he'd turn the piano back on? Maybe show her that the keybaord was "faulty"? “You know, it would be awfully nice to hear the rest of that song. It was lovely.” ....Well that was a reaction Gott didn't get often. Usually people would brush him off as soemthing weird and ignore it, or if they assumed it was a ghost, theyu'd freak out. They didn't usually ask for an encore performance.

There was a gamble in this, but on the other hand, no real consequence to him. At worst, one person might think Mr. Mundt's store was haunted. Even if she brought a full EMF team there, it wasn't like Gott was forced to stay there; he could go where he pleased. He was dead. But... the chance to play for someone again. A live audience, with a new song. As much as it might hurt, even if she downloaded it from the keyboard to put on the internet, that would still mean people could enjoy his work, with or without his credit. With slow hesitation, almost testing to see how long Marcelina would wait before she gave up, Gotthard refocused himself, turning the keyboard back on. Energy surged in small pulses, feeling the notes as he found his place again, minding not too be too loud; even if she wasn't scared, Mr. Mundt might not be able to write this off as easily.


To work it out I let them in
All the good guys and the bad guys that I've been
All the devils that disturbed me and the angels that defeated them somehow
Come together in me now"


Yes, yes there he was. The recording light wasn't on, so only the first half was saved to the keyboard's small memory. But the girl was here, and listening. His voice was warm but distant, the passion of wanting something out of reach echoing through his words that didn't dare be loud enough to draw more attention than they already had, though with her right here maybe Mr. Mundt would just think she was playing instead. The music became slightly more aggressive at the crescendo, his voice stronger for the bridge.

A tale of beauty and the beast
I defend my soul from those who would accuse me
I share the famine and the feast
I have been the world and felt it turning seen the jester yearning to amuse me"


His breath came with a soft shudder, the piano suddenly going quiet for just a moment before the notes echoed the somber and gentle start of the song, desire spent and leaving Gotthard as he had always been: empty

Like a circus on parade
Seldom close enough to see
I wander through an angry crowd and wonder what became of me

To work it out I let them in
All the good guys and the bad guys that I've been
All the devils that disturbed me and the angels that defeated them somehow
Come together in me now


The final note hummed just slightly above the air before Gotthard released the energy he'd been feeding into the keyboard's circuit system, the notes surrendering to silence. That song was exactly as he'd hoped it would be, the composition that had been haunting the ghost finally birthed to this complex mess of plastic and computer chips. It was no grand piano, but it would do, and for what it was, Gotthard was very satisfied with his song. He was quiet for a moment, wondering if he should bow even though he couldn't be seen, or simply excuse himself. Manners were rather fuzzy about this sort of thing, weren't they? Instead, Gotthard waited before finally making up his mind, his voice as soft as a sigh. "Thank you for listening."
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Re: Phantom's Theme

Post by Marcelina H. de León on Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:40 pm

There was silence after her words and she began to wander that she had gone crazy. Maybe the keyboard was just wonky. There was clearly no ghost, right? Marcelina was almost ready to return to the CDs when the music came from the keyboard again. She stood quietly as this ghostly musician treated her to the rest of his work. It was haunting... and that was truly no pun on his spiritual nature. Something about the sorrow in the words, the tone... everything. There were so many layers to this song that it tore at Marcelina's heart. What had this being gone through to feel such things?? Okay... well... Marcelina supposed that being dead could cause pretty great pain. But it seemed like more than that. She wanted to ask how the spirit died, but she thought it was a little invasive. Especially because they had just started interacting and she didn't even know his or her name. Although she was pretty sure that the spirit was male. While the voice was somewhat feminine, there was a distinct masculine vibe that Marcelina got. She knew boys; twin brothers, after all. The song finished and there was silence for a moment. Marcelina felt that applauding would be a little out of place. Namely because she was the only one in the store and it would be odd and she didn't think it was appropriate after the song. It was too... sad. She couldn't get over the sadness. She shook her shoulders lightly to clear the feeling.

"Thank you for listening." She smiled faintly, although she did start a little bit. She half-expected the ghost to have left, but apparently he remained behind to thank her. Well, that was terribly polite! Her smile broadened and she inclined her head. She didn't want to speak up, lest Mr. Mundt overhear her. She made a small gesture with her hand, indicating that the spirit move with her. She wandered casually away from the pianos over the CDs. She was then more out of range from Mr. Mundt and was less worried to talk. “That was beautiful. Did you write it?” She mused aloud, although quietly. She wasn't entirely sure the ghost had followed her and didn't want to seem entirely like a fool.
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Re: Phantom's Theme

Post by Gotthard on Sat Aug 25, 2012 9:53 pm

Hm. She hadn't run off, started screaming, fainted, or pulled out her cell phone to record the invisible boy playing his song for her, so that was a good sign at least. Gotthard remained quiet, sitting at the keyboard's bench and wondering if he should erase the first half of the song he'd recorded onto the small electronic circuit or not. It didn't matter if anyone else used the words his soul pushed forth; he had more. But Gott couldn't help but wonder if anyone who used this keyboard would playback the first untitled file saved to its memory. Not that most rational people would immediately conclude the song was played by a dead boy who failed to uphold each of his promises in the end. No, they'd just think it was someone radom in the store who had been messing around. Their reactions were what he wanted, though, their feedback. Would they like his music? Would anyone listen to it and think it sounded familiar at all? Would they have even heard of the virtuoso that was no more?

Gotthard left the keyboard on, watching as Marcelina looked positively saddened, lingering before starting to move away. Oh. Okay then. He was about to leave when he watched her again, marcelina making a subtle gesture with her hand, indicating he should follow, oddly enough surprising the boy. Well, if she wasn't afraid and Gotthard wanted the company... Marcelina walked off, wading through the pianos and back towards the CD racks, away from the office where Mr. Mundt would overhear. “That was beautiful. Did you write it?” He moved around things out of habit, even though he could go right through them. Not that anyone could see to complain, but it made Gott feel more normal at least. Well, as normal as he could feel, being dead, having limited social experience, and being complimented by a strange girl. As far as normal went for Gott anymore, this was nearing a 10 and pushing further away from what normal had become. But, she was willing to talk...

"Yes," came the soft reply, Gotthard keeping his voice quiet, just in case, the hushed tone carrying a gentle slope that hinted more toward masculinity than his singing voice had. He moved along her left, keeping a casual ear out for the bell above the door to alert him to be quiet. "I have been wanting to play that song out loud; I've never had a chance to try the notes together." Gott winced immediately, shrinking back and would have smacked himself. He didn't mean to sound like he was bragging. "Sorry. And.. thank you again. For listening to it, miss...?"
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Re: Phantom's Theme

Post by Marcelina H. de León on Sun Aug 26, 2012 2:54 pm

"Yes, I have been wanting to play that song out loud; I've never had a chance to try the notes together." Wonderful! Not only was she speaking with a ghost, but a ghost that composed and wrote beautiful music! What a fascinating turn of events! She was terribly curious about him and his music. Marcelina attempted to keep her cool, casually moving through some CDs. She had a hankering for a song in particular and the group that sang it.

"Sorry. And.. thank you again. For listening to it, miss...?" Sorry? Why would he ever have a reason to be sorry? She shrugged her shoulders lightly. Clearly he felt it was some reason but she didn't want to pry anymore than necessary. “Marcelina,” she quietly responded, the “r'” rolling slightly as it always did. She continued to peruse the CDs as she asked, “Thank you for playing, mister...?” She wanted to glance at him with an amused smile to show that she was teasing, but she really had no idea where he was standing. Well, if he was standing. For all she knew, he could just be a spectral voice. Either that or she was having auditory hallucinations. But she didn't believe that she was. She was a very acceptable pirate and not prone to weirdness. She whistled in triumph as the self-titled album of The High Kings was found! Her foot began tapping almost automatically, thinking about the song The Rocky Road to Dublin that waited patiently to be listened to. She wondered if her new friend would like a good Creig jig?
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Re: Phantom's Theme

Post by Gotthard on Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:13 pm

Marcelina, with rolled r's. Pretty. Gotthard looked the woman who was had been his audience up and down as she skimmed her fingers expertly through the CD rack, knowing exactly what she was searching for. Pretty girl, too, if not dressed a tad strangely. Then again, who was he to comment what was strange; he was just a floating voice. “Thank you for playing, mister...?” Hn. His name. Right, because that was the polite exchange. It was strange; he hated his name. People his own age tended to think it was amusing because of how it sounded in other languages, and even in Amestrian the name was rather archaic. Gotthard was a classic name, and in the circles he used to travel, seemed respectable, if not a tad too starched and antiquated for the child who moved to the microphone.

But that was all gone now. Those people, those memories. All that was left was his name. A disembodied voice with a name equally detached. "Gotthard," came the quick, quiet reply, the ghost not wanting to draw much focus on his first name. "Gott Amadeus." He moved close to Marcelina's side, looking at the CD she'd pulled out. Creig music. He'd heard plenty, and it wasn't bad. Lots of folk tunes, bagpipes, and instruments made of random things. The tines were often so bouncy. He couldn't understand the words ever, but they were still very pretty, especially harp and piano duets. He looked Marcelina over again, his curiosity piqued. An Esparian name and accent, living in the new South City, dressed as a pirate, willing to talk to dead musicians, and picking up Creig music. It was a good thing she couldn't see him, he felt, or it'd be rude to be staring. It was still rude, even without a face, but at least in his present state she couldn't know that he was or not. "I.... hope you won't find me rude for asking, but... Are you an entertainer as well?" She certainly had a face lovely enough for theater, so if the coat were part of a production company that would make sense. "And I apologize if that was rude to presume. I just don't get to, erm... talk. To many people." If he had a palm, it would have met his face. In fact he was pretty sure that's what he was doing, face and palm present or not.
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Re: Phantom's Theme

Post by Marcelina H. de León on Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:53 pm

Marcelina waited patiently for some kind of answer. "Gotthard. Gott Amadeus." Gotthard, eh? She toyed with the name in her head for a moment. Her Esparian tongue was not making it easy, but luckily he had supplied a much easier version. “I will have to try your full name later, which sounds very lovely, but hard for me to pronounce. I will use Gott, eh?” She smiled a little bit, reaching for another CD as she did so. This one was a compilation of the sounds of storms. Not exactly folk music, but it was calming on some nights.

"I.... hope you won't find me rude for asking, but... Are you an entertainer as well?" Marcelina looked up from the CD, realizing that Gott was speaking to her again. Damnation, it would be so much easier if he had some kind of VISUAL spiritual presence as well. And he thought she was some kind of entertainer? Why in the hell would he say that?? "And I apologize if that was rude to presume. I just don't get to, erm... talk. To many people." She nodded her head, still going over his first comment. She glanced down at herself. Maybe... maybe he's a recently dead spirit, so this type of clothing appeared as strange to him as it did to the other residents of the world today. “Afraid not, Senõr Gott. I am a pirate.” She heard Mr. Mundt stir in his office and wrinkled her nose. WELL. That was going to cause problems, trying to talk to her new friend. “You're welcome to come visit me again on Pirate Island, out on the lake. But I've got to say farewell now.” She moved towards the office, calling back after her, “It was very nice to meet you.

Marcelina paid for her CDs, giving Mr. Mundt a big smile as she did so. It had been a most productive day in town. She had got some new CDs and made a new friend. A ghostly friend at that! She did hope that he would visit her. She looked forward to learning more about him.


[END THREAD]
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