La, da, dee, da, da, da, da, daa - heaven must be missing an angel ... look what Santa left under the tree for me!
Lying on her stomach naked - with a long, long, wide red ribbon wrapped around the naughty bits - a tall, voluptuous, statuesque, red and gold highlight-haired goddess, with a perfect come over here stare, eyeing me up and down as I did likewise.
"There must be an angel playing with my heart."
She giggled. "You're sweet. But there's another song - 'Too Much of Heaven'. Do you know it?"
The voice did not go with the body - it was that of a haughty, insecure introvert, not an amazon extrovert - but it didn't turn me off. "Eiffel 65 - Europop. I used to have the album. What's your name?"
"Ghost of Christmas Present. I like to use code names, though. I'll be Number One and you can be ... Number 6. I had hoped you wouldn't mind if I unwrapped a little early, but I kept the bow on. You can keep the wrapper." She tossed a piece of cloth to me and I caught it. It was a green and purple pleather one piece, with a "13" insignia stitched along the shoulders on both sides. I recognized her.
"My reputation and representation have been as good as stale egg nog for a long time, but I feel like trying again. Want to come with me?"
"You don't need to ask."
She smiled. "Great! Wrap me up."
She stood up and instructed me to grab layers and layers of ribbon that she had laid on top of and wrap them around her body until I could tie a large, comfortable bow across her bosom. The ribbon had blocked my view. When I finished, I found we had transported to another place - a busy comic shop.
She waved her arm across the crowd in the store. "Look at this crowd. They're here for a sale - all items in the shop up to 40% off. Do you know what this is?"
"Well, 40% off a four dollar comic book is -,"
"Is sad. These people don't come here every week. The stuff is not really in high demand, the supply is low to create demand, then the store has a sneaky sales gimmick to balance the profit."
"Comic shops always had sales - like 50-cent bins. Publishers always had gimmicks, like relaunches and re numberings."
She frowned. "50-cent comics - plus tax, muddled relaunches and numbers games...Look at that."
She pointed at a comic - Red Hood and The New Outlaws. "I can't believe people fussing over this lime-eyed Oompa Loompa and her teardrop-perfect -,"
"Spirit, why are we here?"
She snapped out of her funk, but her expression did not change. "If these shadows go unchanged, I see profitable drinking pubs where many comic shops once stood."
"But...that means...this medium will...die?"
The spirit seemed distracted by a particular comic on the shelf with the new books.
"Spirit? Number One? Cait -,"
"Look, a white sketch cover variant! There wasn't time for me to have one! But I can change that! I'll do a self-portrait! That'll keep me out of the half-dollar bins for sure! I've got the confidence now! No contrived rips or tears this time! Unwrap me and wish me luck!"
I did what she asked, and no sooner did her nude form fade out and appear on that blank cover...the whole setting began to go out of focus again.
"Good luck, Caitlin."
To be continued...