OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS

Filed by Jeremy Hicks, GBWC North Division
GBI Case File GBWC-2003-21/009

June 2003
It had been a hard day of 'busting and everybody was tired. It had been mostly class 5's and a couple of false alarms--one was a cat stuck in a chiminey while another was some kids playing a joke on an old lady.

After the last bust of the day, Jeremy said goodnight and went to his temporary apartment. It was a simple little efficiency apartment, with 1 bathroom, small kitchen (complete with dishes piled in the sink), and a combo living room/bedroom with a pull-out couch. His trash can was filled mostly with pizza boxes and Dr. Pepper bottles, with a few Peanut M&M packages for color. The closet had clothes piled up to the doorknob with the door open.

I'm glad this is only temporary until Ron gets settled in, he thought to himself as the phone rang. Scrambling to it, he picked it up and fumbled with it for a second. As he got it under control, he said hello.

The only response he got was "Is this Dominoes pizza?"

I'm glad this is only temperary, he thought to himself, "You want 3434, not 3435."

"Oh, thanks." *click*

"You're welcome", Jeremy said in a somber tone after hanging up.

He decided to take a shower, since he seemed to get slimed by 80% of all the ghosts they caught. Like clockwork, after 15 min. of hot water, it quit suddenly and he was left with cold water and, after screaming for a few seconds, he shut the water off, got out and dried off, and got a pair of clean looking shorts on and laid down.

He turned on the t.v. to see what was on. He turned to the Sci-Fi channel and found they were having a Robocop marathon on so he decided to watch it. His stomach started to growl so he got up and went to the fridge to see what had to eat. There was one pizza box that had five pieces in it and three bottles of Dr. Pepper. "I've got to get something else to eat one of these days."

He went back to the couch and sat down, "Well, at least I'm finally losing some weight," he said out loud, noticing the six-pack that was developing where the beer belly once was and the larger bi-ceps from carrying the pack around. He ate two slices of pizza and drank one bottle of Dr. Pepper and settled in for the rest of Robocop 2 and waited for Robocop 3.

He looked over at his alarm clock to see what time it was. It read 11:45.

"It's almost midnight! Man, I've got to get up at six! "

He proceeded to shut the lights off then remembered he needed to check his e-mail. He turned on his computer, logged on the net and clicked on the Yahoo icon on his toolbar. There wasn't a whole lot in his inbox but spam so he emptied that folder, logged off and went to bed.

Before he fell asleep, he began thinking of how he endded up here, joining the GB West Coast division, and of the family he had left in New Mexico, and of one incident that seemed to have gotten this ball rolling...

(dream).....
It had started out a beautiful day in New Mexico. The blue sky didn't have a cloud in it but it had been windy almost all day. It was gettin' toward eight pm and the sunset was starting to fade so Jeremy decided to walk his sister Sandra and her 4-year old daughter home. It would take 30 minutes round trip, fifteen there and back so it would be well after dark by the time he got home. They got to her house, said good-bye and he left. He noticed that the sun was still peeking over the mountains to the west so he decided to go down by the Rio Grande. It was seven blocks out of his way, but hey, it had been several weeks since he had been there and the scenary seemed to change every time he was there. He was across the street from the bank when he heard a woman wailing,

"Mis ninos! Mis ninos"!(Which is translated My children! My children!)

Jeremy ran over to her to see what was going on and noticed that she was pointing toward the river. Since he knew a little Spanish, he tried to ask her where her children were and she replied, as far as he knew, in the river. So he threw his shoes off and dove in. The water was icy cold, but he stayed under as long as he could, but couldn't find any children in the water. He surfaced and looked around, but didn't see the woman anywhere. Instead, he found himself looking up at a skeleton dressed all in black, that spoke with a rasping, feminine voice, said "You will replace them!"

Frozen with fear, Jeremy couldn't move, even though he was telling his arms and legs to swim away from this visage of horror. Just as it touched his hair, it recoiled and backed away like it had touched a raging fire, holding it's hand in pain. She looked at him in amazment, then she started to fade into the decent looking form she had before. She started talking to him,

"I can not have you, your destiny is not yet completed, but heed my warning, " she started to fade and her words started to echo, "Beware the snare of Anpu...seek those who follow the neon banner of the rat...the ludicrous one and the dragon of victory, the healer and the binder of spectres...but guard yourself, for the ten will be sundered... remember my words."

And then she was gone.

"What the hell was that all about? " Jeremy said out loud.

He pulled himself out of the river and into the warm air and it made him shiver. He noticed that the sun had gone down and looked at his watch. It read 8:24.

"That little encounter sure took longer than I thought."

He put his shoes back on and ran most of the way back home. His parents were in the living room of their small house, so he snuck in the back door. He went to his room to try to dry off before any one noticed he was home, unfortunatly, he fell against his wall with enough force that it sounded like he broke the drywall. His father came bursting through his door way to see what was going on.

"Oh, hi dad, I just finished a shower."

"Why didn't you tell your mother and I that you were home? "

Thinking quickly, Jeremy came up with an excuse, "Because I didn't want to bother you two while you were watching *batteries not included."

"Oh, ok", his father replied and closed the door.

"I definitely didn't want to tell him what happened to me tonight", he thought as he laid down on his bed.

He realized that he needed to know what exactly had happened to him, and that event had scared the crap outta him. He remembered a story that his Spanish teacher told his class about a woman that threw her children into a river to spite her husband, then, relising what she had done, threw herself in, or went mad then threw herself in. About two to three days after that, the weeping woman, or La Llarona in Spanish, appeared. Any time that a child or adult that looked like her children came down by the river by themselves, she would lure them to the bank and drown them.

I just survived an encounter with La Llarona! Man I could tell everyone I meet, but, they wouldn't believe me. Eh, I'll just keep this to myself for a while. I'll do some research on this before I tell anyone.


Six weeks later.......
Doing as much research on the net as he could, Jeremy discovered little more than what he already knew. There were more stories on La Llarona than he thought there were, but they all had the same elements to them. A woman kills her kids, kills herself, then La Llarona shows up and starts killing anyone that looks like her kids. All of the stories he read never mentioned her letting people go because it wasn't their time. He became confused as to why he was so special, then he remembered what she had said,

"Beware the snare of Anpu...seek those who follow the neon banner of the rat...the ludicrous one and the dragon of victory, the healer and the binder of spectres...but guard yourself, for the ten will be sundered... "

If he remembered right, the year of the rat was 1983, but that made no sense because he was born in 1981, so he dismissed it and tried to figure out what she was trying to tell him. After two hours of trying, he needed a break, so he turned on the television to see what was going on in the world..........

His sleep was shattered by the phone.

"I need to get an answering machine" he said as he fumbled for it. "Hello? Look if you're trying to get dominoes the number's......."

"No, I'm not looking for dominoes, I'm looking for you sleepy head."

Jeremy knew who it was the second he started to talk. It was Joey Williams, CEO of GBWC, and the only time he called was if Jeremy was late, or there was a big call that they all needed to be there for.

"What've we got boss?" Jeremy said in a fake Brooklyn accent.

"We got some nasty ghost's about two blocks down from where you live, so suit up and we'll meet you there."

"What's the street and house number?"

"Trust me, you'll know it when you see it." *click*

So Jeremy got dressed, made sure he had all his gear; proton pack, PKE meter, ecto goggles, trap, and a bottle of Dr. Pepper to help get him up and going since it was 3:03 a.m.; into his Bronco II and hit the road. Joey was right, he couldn't of missed this house if he was blind. The whole house had ghosts going in and out all over. He took out his PKE meter, and started reading at least twenty different ghosts that were at least class three. He called Joey's cell and updated him on the situation. And boy, was Joey surprised!

"How many?”

"I'm reading at least twenty different ghosts, and they start at class three and go up from there. I'm afraid that if I leave my pke meter on any longer, it's going to burn out because the readings keep going up!"

"We'll be there in a couple of seconds."

"I can hear Ecto's siren right now." and hung up.

The now famous vehicle of the Ghostbusters, a restored '59 Miller and Meteor Caddilac ambulance painted white with orange on the tail fins with the no-ghost logo painted on the doors and an equipment rack with all the usual equepment on top. For the West coast division, the red in the logo was changed to neon orange ( Louis Tully had been convinced it was a good marketing move). They pulled up behind the Bronco and started pileing out. Joey stepped out of the drivers door, Fritz got out on the passanger side with his pke meter going, Robert got out of the rear side door and headed to the rear door to get the proton packs, but Jeremy had already opened it and had the packs ready.

“You guys are kinda slow for it bein' 3 in the morning”, Jeremy said.

“You'd be surprised how much traffic there is right now”, said Joey.

“Ok guys, let's get this done so we can get back to sleep”, quipped Robert, his English accent slurred by drowsiness.

“I'm detecting over forty ghosts and it keeps rising”, Fritz added right before his meter started to smoke, ”I'd better turn this off before it explodes.”

As they got their packs on, the house started to pulsate every time a ghost went in or out, and that was alot of pulsating. All of a sudden, they heard about four different screams in several different pitches.

“Oh sh*t, you guys didn't tell me there were people still in there”, said a suprised Jeremy, “If I knew that, I would've gone on in and tried to get some of 'em!”

As they approached the house, things started to fly out the windows. Jeremy didn't duck in time to avoid a three-inch thick encyclopedia coming straight at his head. He fell hard, and as he closed his eyes he caught a glipse of the open book and could've sworn it was open to the page that had 'Unconsciousness' on it.

(dream continued).....
He kept changing channels until he found Access Hollywood. They were talking about a new animated movie, that was still in post-production and was slated to be released in three months, based on the short Skeleton Dance, and they were giving away fifty pairs of tickets to the premiere in Hollywood, one pair per state. To win, you had to call in to your local UBN station at a certain time to win. By the time they said this, Jeremy had become bored and changed the channel to catch Jay Leno. He watched the beginning to see who was on. First up was a comedian that was staring in that movie, then Richard Simmons, and then another comedian named Joey Williams. The first comedian was pretty good, and even better in the scene they showed. Richard was less funny every time they let him on there but still got people to laugh at his stupid jokes and wouldn't stop telling them and before you knew it, they had run out of time. Jay apologized to Joey for not being able to show his stuff and promised to have him back sometime.

Poor guy. I really wish they had him on there.

Jeremy looked at his watch. It was 11:35 p.m.

Alright there bubba, time for bed, he thought to himself as he turned the t.v. off. The next day he had to help his dad re-wire a house that they had done two times already. The next day after work, they went home to find five messages on their machine. The first one was a salesman, the second one was a wrong number, the third was the salesman again, the fourth was his sister saying she couldn't make it to dinner tonight, and the fith was for Jeremy, telling him to call 894-5101 at 6:30 p.m. for a vacation opportunity. Jeremy wanted a vacation away from his parents, and he knew they wanted a vacation away from him, so at 6:29:50 he called the number. It rang three times, then he was greeted with an unusual answer:

Congratulations! You've won the “Dance with the Skeletons” contest! You and a guest will be swept away to Hollywood, California for a five day, four night vacation at the beutiful Sedgewick Hotel and the Dance of the Skeletons movie premiere! All expenses are paid by the production company. All we need from you is your name, address, and telephone number so we know where to send the itenerary and what you will need for the trip.

Jeremy told them what they needed to know. They told him to contact them when he had a guest to bring with him and hung up. Jeremy thought of who he could take and came up empty. By the time of the premiere, everyone would be on vacation with their families, his sister wouldn't be able to go because of her daughter, he couldn't take one of his parents because they needed to spend some time alone, so he was stuck going by himself.

Hey, I always wanted to see California. At least this way I can go to the beaches without anyone trying to supervise me, he thought with a gleeful smile on his face.

He called them back and said he only needed the one ticket. They said the ticket and itenerary would be there two weeks before the premiere and then hung up.

“I've got two and a half months to decide what to take. Hey, I can decide that in two and a half hours! I need to tell mom and dad! “ He thought that last part as he was getting his clothes ready for the next day.

His parents were outside sitting on the porch in the green plastic lawn chairs, watching the storm clouds off in the distance, the entire time this had gone on.

“Hey, watcha' doin'? ” , he asked in his usual quizzical tone that seemed to become annoying if you didn't know him.

“Oh, just watching the storm over there, “ his father said pointing off to the west.

“Welllll, I've got some news. You know how you and Mom wanted to spend some time alone? That wish'll come true in about three months. I've just won tickets to a movie premiere in California. Everything is paid for already. All I need to do is pack some clothes, some sun-screen, and my sense of adventure. “

“Well, that is news isn't it. Well, let me ask you this, can you be certain that this is legitimate? Can you be sure that someone isn't pulling your chain? Can you be positve that they won't call back saying that they need your credit card number? If you can answer me that, then we won't plan a family vacation. “

“Well, I can definately answer all those questions. Yes I am sure that this is legit because I saw an interview with one of the actors last night and he mentioned it on Leno. And they mentioned it on Access Hollywood too, so I know it's ok.”

“Ok, thats great news son. You should probably go decide what to take then. Oh, who are you taking with you? ”

“Huh? “

“Well, you said tickets. That usually means more than one. So, who are you taking with you? “

“Well, I thought about it, and came to the decision that I wouldn't take any one. Everyone's going to be on vacation with their families, You and mom need some time alone, Sandra wouldn't go without Rhiannon, and I'm not giving my ticket away, especially since they're going to be in my name. That was my reasoning, so there. ”

“Ok, go for it. Hopefully, this will be a life changing experience for you. Good luck. ”

Jeremy went back inside to figure out what he needed to take with him. He grabbed the ARMY duffle bag that his parents gave him and sat down among his clothes. He knew he would need shorts, short sleeve shirts, swim trunks, socks, under wear, a hat, and a nice suit he had for the premiere.

Three months went by. He got all he needed to get to the premiere. Said good bye to his family at the airport, and got on the plane. It would be an hour or two before he got to L.A., but one thing puzzled him.

“I had gotten that call the night before I called the t.v. station, so who called me about the contest? ”

Jeremy woke up in the hospital with bandages around his head and his team mates around his bed.

“So, how does it feel to be hit in the head with a ten-pound dictionary , ” asked Joey.

“About like that time you got thrown into a wall by Ravisher, “ Jeremy retorted.

“Ahh, get some rest, you thick-headed Yank, “ Robert replied.

“Yes, your majesty, “Jeremy said with a bow that made his head start throbbing, “ow, that really hurts.”

“They say you have a minor concussion, so take it easy for a couple of days, “ Fritz chimed in.

“Yeah, thanks Doc, I'll remember that.”

A young doctor came in and and said Jeremy needed some rest and that they needed to leave. So after five minutes of saying good-bye, they left and he laid in bed for awhile trying to get to sleep. He finally dozed off, thinking about how his life turned out. From what he could tell, it was going to be interesting for a long time to come.

And the moral of this story? Opportunity knocks but once, then it starts throwing things at your head!

END CASE

Questions? Comments? Go to the GBWC Message Board