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Sunday Serial: ‘Haunted Bones’-Chapter Seven

Authors note: This is a work of fiction. It does not reflect any actual events, and all of the characters are fictional. Any similarity to events or persons living or dead is purely coincidental.

There is a real city of Oceanside, California. It’s San Diego County’s third largest city with a below-average crime rate.

The Grand Pacific Hotel is fictional, but during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, there were at least two similar resort hotels that did exist, primarily serving railroad passengers and tourists as described in this book.

— Tom Morrow

Chapter 7

Joe was feeling upbeat. He found out he had a psi phenomena and didn’t even know it. Still, he was skeptical; but Sara put a believable spin on it so he couldn’t entirely dismiss it. Besides, she said he probably has had this gift forever. Nevertheless, he found it interesting.

Sara was feeling upbeat, too. Joe thought she was pretty. She really didn’t think of herself as pretty. She thought of herself as average with a few becoming features that were attractive. Overall, she still felt average. But for the moment, she was feeling hungry.

“Ah, you’ll like this place. It’s been around since the mid-forties. Built out over the bay on stilts with a great view. Probably see a bunch of sailboats against the setting sun headin’ for the harbors. It’s a pretty sight. Might even see an aircraft carrier berthed across the bay.”

“I’m looking forward to it.”

“Well, it might be a little touristy. Lots of hotels on Harbor Drive where the out-of-towners go. But I can assure you, the food is excellent. What you in the mood for?”

“First I’m going to start off with a glass of chardonnay. Then look over the menu. But I am partial to shrimp.”

“Oh, they have a wide selection of shrimp dishes and salads. You can count on that!”

“How about yourself?”

“Start off with a glass of beer. Definitely have a cup of Mama Ghio’s New England clam chowder. Sort’ve had my mind on the Alaskan Sole Fillet. But I might change my mind after looking over the menu. I just never know. Everything is really good.”

Joe turned left off Nimitz Boulevard and onto North Harbor Drive and drove passed the San Diego Marina on the right and the San Diego International Airport on the left. It was formally know as Lindbergh Field. Just around the bend to the right was the restaurant prominently stretching out over the bay.

Joe parked in front of the tall-masted Star of India moored at the Maritime Museum next to the restaurant. They had to walk about a hundred yards or so to the entrance. Surprisingly it wasn’t too crowded. They were able to get a booth at the back overlooking the bay and the bright sunset.

However, there were no aircraft carriers moored at the Navel Air Station North Island across the bay. They were probably deployed somewhere across the world; maybe the Persian Gulf. Lots of activity going on over there.

Joe and Sara got their respective cocktails and lightly toasted the other to a beautiful evening. After each ordered another cocktail and looked over their menus, Sara ordered a cup of the Mama Ghio Famous Zingy Red Fisherman Chowder, the Louie Gulf Shrimp Salad, and iced tea—unsweetened. Joe went with the famous New England chowder and stayed with his first pick—the Alaskan Sole Fillet. He ordered sweet tea. He really wanted another beer but thought it best not to go for the gusto.

During the meal, Joe talked about his childhood and some of the crazy antics he pulled on his friends. His grades in school were just about average but all his teachers claimed he was brighter than he seemed. He just liked to party and have fun a tad too much. But in his last few years of college, he put his nose to the grindstone and his grades went up.

Sara talked some of her childhood, too, pretty much saying she was a bookworm. Her grades were excellent but her homeliness kept her from dating. On Saturday nights, she went out with her girlfriends and was usually home and in bed at a decent hour. She always went to Sunday school and church. She never got into trouble; well, there was the one time she decked Richard Pratt for calling her ugly. His father came over to the house that evening demanding justice.

“And?” Joe asked with a grin.

“Daddy confined me to my room after school for a week to study. Mr. Pratt thought that was an excellent idea.”

“Only that’s what you normally did after school, right?”

“I had a great Dad!”

Social wise it was probably not the most enjoyable time in her life; however, her good grades did get her a full-ride Morehead Scholarship to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill—better known to the world as The Carolina Tar Heels. Except if you lived in South Carolina where that state’s university was also called Carolina. But they were known as the Gamecocks. Even though the two states bordered each other, they were a universe apart; neither claimed the other existed.

Sara wanted to be a doctor but somewhere along the line her inner spirits intervened and she changed her major to forensics science. It was probably a good move as she excelled to the highest degree. She graduated at the top of her class.

During her college years, genetics kicked in and she blossomed. She lost her gawkiness; but gained some boobs—courtesy of her grandmother on her mother’s side.

She lost a few pounds yet retained her glowing cheeks; they complemented her beautiful smile. With a little touch of hair color and a simple change in style, as suggested by a girlfriend, she all of a sudden became noticed; the boys came a knocking. Her social life improved. But nothing serious ever developed; her forensics career was foremost.

After graduation, she was inundated with offers from coast to coast; she was overwhelmed. After studying them over, she narrowed her choices from Charlotte, North Carolina, Memphis, Tennessee, Butte, Montana, and Oceanside, California.

“I’m glad you decided to choose Oceanside. What was the deciding factor? Money?”

“Oh no. It was the location. How can someone not love Southern California? I mean the scenery, the weather, the Pacific Ocean. It’s paradise. I wake up every morning feeling refreshed and ready for work. It’s quite invigorating. Don’t you think?”

“I suppose. I’ve lived in this area most of my life. I guess I just take it for granted. But I do agree with the invigorating part.”

Continued on Page Two–>>

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