In less than a minute, all three Ghostbusters were suited up. They loaded themselves with proton packs, ghost traps, and Ray’s Spirit Snatcher before bundling inside Ecto-1. As the engine revved into life, its’ lights flashed and siren wailed. Soon, they were haring off up the road, weaving in and out of traffic.
In next to no time, Ecto-1 screeched to a halt outside the local theatre.
Once inside, a trembling usher rushed to meet them. She told them at once where she had seen the ghosts and they thanked her.
“Don’t worry, miss,” Ray told her, soothingly, “whatever kind of ghost might haunt a theatre, we’ll deal with it, sensitively and quietly,”
“Hamlet won’t know what hit him,” Peter added.
The Ghostbusters stepped, softly, into the big room. Rows upon rows of plush, red, velvet seats faced the black stage which was framed with tall curtains. There were several props, including a skull and three brooms, abandoned on the stage.
Apparently, the ghosts had arrived mid-rehearsal, and the actors had run for it.
“’Looks like they’re rehearsing Shakespeare,” Ray murmured.
“Maybe we’re catching Shakespeare?” Peter said, hopefully.
He had barely finished speaking, when an unmistakably ghostly voice rang across the room, “When shall we three meet again?”
“Good projection,” Peter said.
Three ghosts, dressed as witches, burst out with a crackle, and a cackle, from the nearby props. The ghost witches had blue-grey, shrivelled skin, cobweb-like hair, square teeth, and empty eye-sockets. But despite having no eyes, they could see the Ghostbusters perfectly, for they screamed and sprayed them with red slime.
Peter and Egon fired their proton wands in answer, but the witches were very fast, zipping about the room like trapped flies. Ray got out his Spirit Snatcher, a contraption that contained, and released, a net woven out of protons. He pressed the button and the net sprang at lightening speed. It caught one of the witches, instantly, but that was the easy part. Getting her into a trap would be fiddly.
“Ray!” Peter yelled, gritting his teeth as he fired, “Do me a favour and make more of those nets, please, how does ten seconds ago fit it into your routine?!”
Ray rolled a ghost trap up to his target. The witch clawed at the net with talon-like fingers, fighting to break free. Ray had to act fast.
In the same instant, he released her from the Spirit Snatcher and opened the ghost trap. The trap released a dazzling force-field, and Ray shielded his eyes.
The witch tried to dodge the trap’s field, but she was sucked in, helpless as a fish down a whirlpool. The trap’s doors snapped shut and it sparked and smoked on the floor. A tiny, red light pulsed on its’ side.
One down, two to go.
“Ray! Over here!” Egon shouted. He and Peter had caught one of the other ghosts, she flayed and writhed, the tractor beam looped round her like a rope of molten lava. Egon tossed over a ghost trap of his own, and she emitted a long, dramatic scream as she plunged into it.
The third, and final, ghost witch was swooping back and forth across the stage, likely making for a get-away.
The Ghostbusters took aim, but nothing prepared them for what happened next.
The ghost stopped swooping back and forth, coming to a rest centre-stage. Then, she landed, peacefully, and just stood there.
“Hold it,” Egon flung out an arm, stopping Peter from firing.
They all stared up at the ghost.
Before their very eyes, she slowly faded away until there was nothing left of her.
The theatre was totally silent.
“Where ... where’d she go?” Ray murmured, looking left and right.
Egon checked the PKA-2000 which he’d strapped to his side.
“No reading, Ray, how about you?”
“Nothing on the Giga Metre, she can’t have just vaporised,”
“She probably got her big break,” Peter suggested, “They might have Broadway in the next life,”
“Where is she?” Ray asked.
“She’s ... gone,” Egon said, mystified, “Wherever she is, she’s not in this theatre,”
“Still, keep your ears open,” Peter said, “Harry Potter might call, asking for his girlfriends back,”
He made to leave, but Ray and Egon hung round a little longer.
“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” Ray murmured, giving Egon a knowing look.
“Yes,” Egon muttered, darkly, “The Devil’s part of the deal is starting to take place. He’s removing the ghosts,”
Ray looked over his shoulder, checking Venkman wasn’t listening.
“So ... long term, what does this mean for Ghostbusters?” Ray asked, concerned.
Egon said nothing. He was worried too.