Sheldon, part 21

“No, you can’t do that, dear,” said Charlotte’s mom. “Schrödinger’s a boy’s name, and this is a girl cat.”

“I was being conceptual,” said Charlotte’s dad, clearly hurt.

“Can you two please concentrate?” Charlotte said impatiently. “This is important.”

She waited a few moments, until she was sure she had everyone’s undivided attention. “Ok, now watch.”

“Watch what?” Sheldon asked.

Charlotte looked toward Sheldon, but as though she were looking right through him. “OK, let’s do this.” And she held out her arms.

“Do what?” Sheldon said, clearly perplexed.

But Charlotte had not been talking to Sheldon. She had been talking to the cat, who at that exact moment was standing directly behind Sheldon. With a graceful leap the cat jumped into Charlotte’s arms, passing cleanly through Sheldon’s body.

Sheldon looked startled for a moment at the sight of a cat jumping out of his chest and into Charlotte’s arms. Then a look of understanding dawned on his face. “I remember now!”

“Tell me what you remember,” Charlotte said, observing him carefully.

“That I’m a ghost, of course. I mean, isn’t that obvious? After all, cats don’t go jumping clean through people who aren’t ghosts, now do they?”

“No they don’t,” Charlotte said triumphantly. “That’s the sort of thing that can only happen in a fantasy universe. And look!” She pointed at the desk.

“The writing,” Sheldon said, “it’s all there. You did it!”

“Did what?” Charlotte’s mother looked confused. “What are you two going on about?”

“Don’t you see?” Charlotte said excitedly. “Once Sheldon realized that he’s a ghost, he remembered that we are all in a fantasy world — characters in a book. And then everything returned to normal.”

“Of course he’s a ghost,” Charlotte’s dad said, taking his wife’s hand. “What’s so special about that? After all, we’re ghosts too.”

And with that, Charlotte’s parents vanished.

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