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The Corporeal Assistant

by Edd Vick

Every eight year old in the world knows what they want to be when they grow up. Ysabel Moreno was no exception.

Ysabel was allergic to ghosts. She found this out when the specters of three dead pirates set to guard a treasure long since discovered made her sneeze and her eyes water. They spoke to her of a man on the beach who carried an odd walking stick that beeped and buzzed, of his excitement when it beeped most loudly, of his digging up the chest they had been killed to guard.

Ysabel was a clever child. She told the ghosts to follow her when she left the beach, only to follow at a distance so that she could breathe easier. When she and her parents were finished playing and lazing on the beach, they went home, and the next day she asked to be taken to the National Museum. The ghosts followed, sitting at the far end of the bus, where an old lady complained of the cold.

Ysabel led the way up the stairs of the museum. Only she heard the jingle of their cutlasses striking the steps. Her parents followed, trying to slow her down so they could read to her the labels on things, but she would have none of their dawdling. She ran from one hall to another, finally stopping at one labeled "Treasures of the Deep". There, in a place of honor, stood the chest, perhaps a bit less heavy with gold and silver, yet it pleased the pirates to see it. They thanked Ysabel most graciously, then stood over the treasure to guard it as was their duty for the rest of time.

Ysabel's mother remarked as they left the museum that her ailment appeared to be improving, and her father took them to an ice cream parlor to celebrate. She was almost done with her fudge ripple when a fit of sneezing quite overcame her, and she looked around the room to see a sad woman with a parasol. Oddly, she was seated in the same chair as a young firefighter, who spoke of the uncommon coldness in that part of the room. The ghost saw Ysabel watching, and beckoned to her.

"Oh dear," said Ysabel's mother. "Just when you were doing so well."

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