a real soundtrack for an imaginary spy film

Episode Twenty-Eight - GHOST WRITERS IN THE SKY (A Mystical Cowboy Song)

Copyright © 2002 - 2005 Arthur Jarvinen

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The Invisible Guy is at Frontier Facade, a theme park somewhere in sunny Southern California, where he has been instructed to go with the assurance that he will be contacted and have imparted to him some information of vital importance. As per his instructions, he has come to the Bijou movie theater, on the marquee of which is lettered REACH FOR THE SKY. He goes inside and takes a seat, grateful that, thanks to his peculiar circumstances, he doesn't have to actually pay for the day's entertainment. Having arrived early, he even got a ride on the only good one in the park, thanks to an inexplicably empty seat.

The main feature having just ended, he kicks back and sits through the next show – two episodes of the old television series SKY KING – and then the main attraction, all the time expecting – what? A whispered word, a bag of popcorn on the seat beside him with a note, a line of dialogue in the film that speaks in a specially significant way to him alone. He really doesn't know what to expect or be on the lookout for. He's sure he's in the right place though. But the show ends, and nothing. Perplexed and frustrated he exits the theater. "I followed instructions to the letter. What gives?".

After glancing around a bit he shrugs his shoulders and heads to the gate, barely taking notice of a small group of blind school children and their teacher, out for one of their special field trips to the park.

Of course the kids can't see anything, but they can take in all the exciting sounds, get thrilled on the water rides, and eat cotton candy and hot dogs till they puke. And on the way home the bus driver always pulls over by the side of the road close to the beach, and they can listen to the ocean and smell the salty air. Yeah, they have a plenty good time.

But then, as he's trying to decide how best to manage his transportation back home, The Invisible Guy realizes "Oh yeah, perfect!" and quietly boards the blind kids' bus just before the door closes.

A while later the driver pulls over at the usual place, and not any too soon for The Invisible Guy, who has to take a leak something fierce. The kids get out of the bus, and as they're filling their senses with the ocean atmosphere, The Invisible Guy is pissing his brains out with a feeling of the deepest relief, and gazing towards heaven.

"What the?!" In an instant he connects the dots. "That's gottta be it!"

> There above him, in the clear blue sky, are the cloud-like forms of sky writing, fresh, but not to last much longer. He rushes over to the kids, who are all holding hands.

"Which one of you's the best reader?" he blurts out.

"I am!" a little girl responds instantly.

"What does this say?"

As he presses the dot configurations into her soft palm, the bright young girl translates the Braille letters one by one.

"Damn, this is serious. I gotta go! Um, thanks kid." And he's back on the bus, impatiently waiting for it to get moving again.

"Who was that man, Miss Weller?"

"What man, Helen? I didn't see any man. Come along now, it's time to get back on the bus and go back to school."


Meanwhile, back at the park, Claude is in the Six-Gun Saloon, where the house band "The Six Gunnars" – actually a five piece, but four of them are really named Gunnar, so obviously they couldn't resist and figured they'd just make it work – are playing their new song, Ghost Writers In the Sky as he marks his page in Desert Death Song by Louis L'Amour and puts the book down so as to take a swig of cool, clear water.



There was an old blind cowboy
And his teeth were made of steel
Brewed coffee black and thick as tar,
Ate beans for every meal
For eighty years he drove the herds
Along the dusty trail
Or rode his pony hard and fast
Delivering the mail

One day a rider came to town
In search of that old man
There's something strange up in the sky
That we don't understand
They look like red mans' signals
But we don't know what they mean
But nothing happens on the range
That you ain't never seen

Nothing happens on the range
That you ain't never seen

The old blind cowpoke stepped outside
And tripped over a pail
But in that instant realized
That writing must be Braille
He stretched his arms up in the air
As if to touch the sky
He said the news is bad my friend
Someone is gonna die

The first one didn't phase him
But the second hurt like hell
As in a hail of arrows, down to the ground he fell
"Those goddamn blasted Injuns!
How'd I ever fall for that?"
He cursed his foe then bit the dust
And that was that

Now in this world of sorrow
There's a word out to the wise
When you see writing in the sky
You'd best avert your eyes
The old blind cowboy's telling us
Unless you want to die
Never try to read the words
Ghost-written in the sky

Never try to read the words
Ghost-written in the sky


Cause when there's writing in the sky
That's the day you'll die

Ghost writers in the sky!

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