“I swear this pool is haunted!” Capt. G shook her head in amazed wonder as PP dunked under the hot tub’s warm bubbles. Damn it was cold! And dark! While PP had been swimming in Capt G’s Haunted Pool, the lights in the deep end had gone off, leaving this end of the pool eerily darkened. It reminded PP of that Graham Green novel, the one where the guy inherits the deserted hotel from his slutty mother in Haiti and when he arrives to claim his inheritance there’s a dead body in the deep end of the drained pool.

PP kept thinking that there was gonna be a dead body in the deep end of Capt G’s pool this night. And with the fog, and the dark and the wind, PP had the shivers for more reasons than just the cold.

She thought she’d seen a Ghost.

Now, PP will be the first to admit that she’s highly susceptible to superstitious apparitions. When she in Santa Cruz, which frankly, she thinks the whole town is haunted, but besides this, she lived in a haunted house there on the hill with her hilarious group of student friends. Pam Witte came home one day to find all of her movie posters of Greta Garbo, Humphrey Bogart, Betty Grable strewn all over her room in mad disarray. Of course, they had all told her it was the wind, but yet….PP couldn’t help but think that the Big White House on the Hill was haunted.

So, when Capt. G exclaimed how her pool was haunted, PP had nodded in quiet agreement. Cuz she coulda sworn that while she was swimming backstroke, a flash of white Something had flown right over her. Now of course, it coulda just been the plastic backstroke flags waving. Or a seagull. Or a white bird.

Yeah, right. PP was sure it was a ghost. It had that feeling. That other worldly feeling. Anyone that’s ever been around or seen a ghost knows just what she’s talking about. So when Capt G exclaimed how the pool was haunted and then went on to describe by whom, PP was both entranced and creeped out. Entranced because, goddamn! She never knew that Capt G believed in ghosts! What a Delight! And creeped out? Well, duh. Because she believed in ghosts too!

“Did you see Her?” Capt G asked when PP had told her of the ghostly white flash.
“Yeah, the Little Pioneer Girl!” Capt G’s eyes widened behind her foggy wire rimmed glasses steamed up from the hot tub, her voice shaking with excitement.
PP shook her head, “The little Pioneer Girl?”
“Yeah. I just flashed on her one night. I know that’s who it is. She’s so forlorn. And I know that what happened is that her parents had to leave her. They told her to wait for them to come back and then they never did and now she just hangs out back there in the forest. Under those big black dark trees up there on the lawn. I bet that’s who you saw when you were swimming!”
“Maybe….” PP’s head was swimming. A little Pioneer Girl? Abandoned by her parents decades ago when Alameda was first being settled? And what happened to her parents, PP wondered, like it was a real story and not just Capt G’s vivid storyteller imagination!

“I know it might sound crazy but….” Capt G shook her head. “But did I tell you about my neighbor?”
“No, I don’t think so…”
“Well, she’s completely nuts. But I won’t go into That. She actually has good reason. But she married the guy next door whose wife, Luann, died of Breast Cancer three years ago, and when I went over there the other day, I was walking into the kitchen and I felt this wall of cold. I don’t know how else to describe it…..” Capt G paused, and shivered a bit before continuing. “… and when I told my Nutty Neighbor about it, she just nodded and said, ‘Oh, yeah, that’s Luann,’ like it was no big deal that she was living with the Dead Wife’s Ghost in her kitchen. Can you believe it?”
PP nodded, “Oh, yeah.”
“Yeah, so well, I just told her that I hadda get outta there. The kitchen I mean. And so we went outside and drank our iced tea on the patio, but I gotta tell you. It was weird!”
Shivering, PP nodded, glancing over at the darkened lawn where the sinister trees were hiding the Little Pioneer Girl. Or maybe they weren’t sinister. Maybe they were her sanctuary. They protected her and had been protecting her all these years. Yet, weren’t ghosts sad souls that needed to find relief on The Other Side? This is what Jennifer Love Hewitt did every week as the Ghost Whisperer. She helped those poor wayward ghosts with unfinished business make it back to the Other Side.

Maybe Jennifer Love Hewitt could come to Capt G’s pool and help the Little Pioneer Girl?

And wear a red bikini and golden high heeled flip flops and let her cleavage do its magic and…..

Okay, PP is a little off topic here, but the Little Pioneer Girl does have her worried.

If only Jennifer Love Hewitt would come to Capt. G’s pool. Then maybe she’d find her parents again and wouldn’t be wandering around the pool scaring susceptible swimmers like PP.

“You ‘bout ready to head in?” Capt. G asked, sighing.
“Yeah, sure, but….” PP wanted to go check out the forest to see the Little Pioneer Girl before she left.

If only it weren’t so damn cold.

And so damn dark.

And so damn spooky!

Oh, Jennifer! Where are you when we need you?

PP collected her swim bag and followed, shivering, Capt. G back into the warm cozy normalcy of the women's locker room.
"Have you ever been to the Hotel Del Coronado?" Capt. G asked, her eyes twinkling.
"Yeah, why?"
"It's haunted too! Some Love Triangle with a Crime of Passion angle...." Capt. G grinned broadly, holding the door open for PP as followed, ready to hear the next chapter of Haunted Pools ala Capt. G!


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