Sunday, August 17, 2014

A Summer's Carol, Part 2

Continuing from yesterday's beginning... Our heroine Jill has been visited by the spirits of Ida B. Wells-Barnett and Sen. Frank Church...

Jill's respite only lasted a few moments, however, before she was roused by the sound of an acoustic guitar.
She sat up and saw the second of the promised apparitions, a man in t-shirt and jeans, appearing on the same chair by her closet as had the spirit of Sen. Church. She knew who this was. “You’re John Lennon – er – his spirit, anyway.” she said.

“Right you are, and for that you win – a free carton of Strawberry Fields ice cream.” the ghost replied.

Jill had to laugh. She strained to hear all the notes he was playing and he began singing “Merry Xmas (War is Over).”

“You know,” he said, stopping after the first chorus, “When I wrote this, it was specifically about Viet Nam.  But maybe now, on some level it’s about –"

“All wars being over,” Jill finished.

“And us being empowered to make that happen.” Lennon added.

Jill was just about to start singing along when the former Beatle gave his guitar a strum and in an eye blink was gone.

Jill’s heart was racing.  Did smartphone cameras capture ghosts, she wondered.  Pity she hadn’t thought of that before.  Her smartphone was on her bureau and she was going to get out of bed to grab it in anticipation of spirit number three, but had just turned to get out of bed when said spirit appeared, this one standing in her bedroom doorway.  It was not someone she immediately recognized, but he seemed to be a Latino man with graying hair and a slightly lined face. He was casually dressed in plaid shirt, jeans and black nylon windbreaker jacket.

“I am the spirit of Cesar Chavez,” he explained.

Jill recognized the name of the acclaimed civil rights and union activist. “I know you must have some message for me, as Ms. Wells-Barnett said I would have more visitors. Please, what is it I should know?”

“I was a co-founder of what has become the United Farm Workers Union.  Together, we found we could make changes and fight for better working conditions. So social justice can happen, if we unite to fight for progress.
“I once told someone ‘If you want to remember me, organize!’  Community based action needs to keep happening.”  He threw his arms up in a flourish and disappeared.

Jill just sat stunned for a moment trying to make sense of the events of the night.  Then exhaustion finally took over and she fell back into a restful sleep.

When her clock radio sounded in the morning, Jill didn’t move for a moment, contemplating whether what happened was real or just a dream.  She still had to get ready for work, so she finally got out of bed to begin her morning routine. 

When she left for work that day, she had completed an extra task over her morning coffee. She had updated her mobile playlist with a song she’d heard her parents play. It was a song by one of the visiting spirits that she hoped would help her to remember their lessons.

                                                The End

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