Tracy is a teenage ghost who died in a fire at the Amazing Lands Theme Park 30 years ago. Josh dies in an accident on a kiddie ride at the start of the book. In this scene, Tracy is showing Josh around a section of the park called Cyber City.
Finally they entered the 3D multi-media theater just in time for the last showing of the night.
The movie was about a spaceship crashing on a strange planet where a new danger suddenly appeared every few seconds. It wasn’t much of a plot, but it utilized the 3D and other effects well. Bubbles, sparkling confetti, and a mist of water fell on the audience from above, while lights flashed on the sides of the theater, and dry ice created fog below. Lasers occasionally flashed overhead. The audience smiled, gasped, and jumped out of their seats. Josh and Tracy stood in the aisle and watched the movie, but the picture—designed for 3D glasses—showed two images at once.
“Can’t we make ghost copies of the glasses?” Josh asked.
“We can,” Tracy explained. “But it’s kind of the opposite of walking through a glass door.”
“In what way?”
“You can easily walk through a glass door, because you can imagine nothing is there. But when you look through the lenses of these glasses, you can’t see that they’re 3D ones. They just look like clear plastic.”
“So . . . when you make a ghost copy, it only has clear plastic instead of the kind needed for 3D?”
Josh looked around. “But we can see the movie if we get inside someone who’s watching it, right?”
He ran his fingers through his hair. “Let’s do it.”
“What?” Tracy almost laughed. “No, you don’t want to do that.”
“Then show me how.”
“I don’t know . . .”
She looked around and tried to find a suitable couple, one that matched them in height. A tall, middle-aged man and a slightly short woman sat almost at the exact center of the room. Tracy pointed at them. “First we have to get over there, and that means going through some legs. You up to it?”
“Can you walk me through it?” He laughed. “Sorry, bad pun.”
“At least you found it funny.” She paused to think. “There are two ways we can do this: Mack’s way or mine.”
“I’m probably going to regret asking this, but what’s Mack’s way?”
“Mack accepts that he’s a ghost. He tells himself that ghosts can walk through stuff, so it’s not a problem for him.”
“And your way?”
“My way is to tell myself that everything around me isn’t real.”
Josh tilted his head. “Isn’t it?”
“No, it’s not.” This was hard to explain, but she had to try. “It’s real for living people, but not for us. We can sort of fade it out. What I do is choose to fade out some things while holding onto some other things. In this case, I would fade out the people who are sitting in the seats over here, but I wouldn’t fade out the theater, the floor, my body, or the people I’m trying to get to.”
“Oh.” Josh paused. “I think I might have done that already by accident.”
“When I went out with Mack. He left me for . . . a few minutes. Everything stopped seeming real. Then it all kind of blurred.”
“That’s it, but you have to hold onto the reality of something. Body, theater, floor, and the couple in the middle. Think you can do it?”
Josh nodded. “Let’s do this.”
Tracy went first. She told herself the people sitting in the seats that blocked their path weren’t real. They faded away, and she walked up to the couple in the middle. She turned to see how Josh was doing. He looked at her. Then he walked straight without taking his eyes off her and stopped at her side.
“You know,” he said, “there’s a third way of doing this.”
“I let everything else slip away and just focused on you.”
Tracy half smiled, but turned away to avoid showing it. “Okay, that was the easy part. Now we have to go inside these people, and we have to match all their movements, particularly their eyes. It’s . . . kind of creepy, really. Makes my skin crawl. Anyway, it’s like a dance. The living person is your partner, and you have to follow your partner. Are you sure you want to do this?”
“Sure, I’m ready to dance with you anytime.”
She rolled her eyes. “How about with this guy over here?”
“Yes, I’m ready.”
“’Cause if you’re not—”
“Okay . . .”
She stepped into the women’s feet. The woman was wearing sneakers with short socks. The woman’s feet must have been hot, but it was smarter to wear sneakers to the park than sandals, because of all the walking and standing in line. That was why Tracy always wore sneakers when she was working there: white ones to get to work, black ones while she was working indoors. She couldn’t wear white sneakers in the House of Horrors because they would have glowed in the blue light, and she couldn’t wear her black sneakers in the sun because they would get too hot. The woman didn’t compromise comfort for fashion. Tracy liked that.
She sat down in the woman’s lap. She brought her hand down to the woman’s hand. Thin fingers, and a wedding ring. Tracy took a deep breath, as if she were about to go underwater, and slid into the woman’s body and head. She flowed with the woman’s movements, keeping her eyes always in sync with the woman’s eyes. This dance of ghost body and living body felt so weird. Tracy couldn’t wait until it was over, but in the meanwhile she would try her best to enjoy watching the movie through 3D glasses, as it was meant to be seen.
She couldn’t see Josh, because the woman was staring straight at the screen. Then Tracy felt someone graze the woman’s hand. The woman glanced at her hand and then turned to look at the man. Tracy could see Josh floating inside him, only slightly above the surface. Josh’s curly dark hair sat on the man’s bald head. Tracy was impressed. Josh was a pretty good ghost dancer for someone who had never done this before.
The woman turned her hand over, and the man wrapped his fingers around hers. Then he leaned in close. The woman leaned in, too, and the man and woman kissed.
Tracy felt her heart race. Or was it the woman’s? No, it was definitely hers. The kiss lasted a long time. Laser beams shot across the room. The man and woman pulled apart, but Tracy’s heart continued to race.
When the movie finished, Tracy and Josh walked slowly back to the room in the first-aid office. Josh no longer paid attention to where the people were walking, and didn’t flinch when someone ran through him. He just stared at Tracy and smiled.