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Friday, January 30, 2015


# 122 content

When they returned home, Ghost looked over his instructions for the séance, a few more times. Steve made them some hot cocoa, and they relaxed on the couch.

"I'm calling them tomorrow," Steve said. "I think you're ready, and I want to get this over with."

"Ok, but we can't do it on Halloween, because of their show. I'm thinking maybe later, maybe after," Ghost said.

"Oh, yeah, you're right. I guess tomorrow is out. They'll be rehearsing, then the gig, then the next day they'll be sleeping and recovering from the party. Guess the next day after that would work," Steve said.

"Are we gonna do more recording in the morning?"

"We might as well, if Terry is up for it."

"Ok, sounds good," Ghost said. "I'm done with this for now." He handed Steve the instruction page. "I'm going to bed." He took his mug of cocoa, called to Spirit, and went to his room.

Steve locked up the house, and turned off the lights, but checked in on Ghost, before heading to his own room. He saw that Ghost was writing on the wall, while Spirit was on the bed, watching him. He said good-night, figuring that the next few days would be intense, and they needed all the rest they could get.

The next morning had dawned cloudy and drizzly. Ghost woke first, then made coffee and fed the cat. He brought a mug of the coffee to Steve, to wake him up. Setting it on the nightstand, he knelt beside Steve. His breath caught in his throat, at how much he loved Steve. Im so lucky to have him love me back.

He leaned over, kissing Steve lightly. Steve stirred, cracking open his eyes, to see Ghost's face staring at him, and his coffee breath tickling his nose.

"I brought ya coffee." Ghost said.

Steve smiled, reached up to bring Ghost in for a kiss. "Thanks for the coffee and the kiss, Ghost. I'm awake, now." He wiggled up in the bed, while Ghost plumped the pillows behind him.

"I'm going out on the porch for awhile. I'll make some pancakes when I get back," Ghost said, as he went to get himself another cup of coffee. He and Spirit went out to sit on the swing.

It was chilly and damp, and the blanket Ghost had brought out with him, felt good. He rocked back and forth on the swing, trying to clear his mind. His dreams of the night had left him with an uneasy feeling. Nothing specific, but he could sense a tension building up. He didn't know if anything would come through, if he relaxed his thoughts, but he tried anyway.

He closed his eyes, letting the steam from the cup of coffee, bathe his face in the rising steam. Inhaling the rich aroma, helped him enter a drifty kind of sensation, normally a good place to be, when he received visions.

Behind his eyes he began to see a swirl of colors, making him a bit dizzy. Just as he thought he could make out a form, a gust of wind blew a spattering of drizzle onto his face. It surprised him; it felt like sharp needles on his warm face. In the second it took for him to feel this, and open his eyes, he glimpsed the form. It was not good; it was barely recognizable as a face...made entirely of red lumpy stuff, and a gaping mouth of sharp teeth. They snapped at him. That was when the cold needlelike drizzle had slapped his face.

He gasped, and reflexively threw his mug of coffee at this image. It spilled and shattered on the porch. Ghost screamed, and Spirit yowled at the sudden noise. Ghost's eyes were wide, as he darted looks all around. He was breathing fast, as his panic rose.

He could feel himself going into a seizure, and there was nothing he could do to stop it. This was at least familiar, if not enjoyable. In one part of his mind, he knew he'd come out of it ok, but the other part was terrified that he wouldn't. He tried calling out to Steve, but could only manage a keening moan.

Spirit was scrabbling at the screen door, climbing up, still yowling. Steve heard the commotion, and came as fast as he could, hopping on one leg, to see what was going on. He saw the cat, halfway up the screen, it's claws dug in, as he pushed open the door. He reached Ghost, and immediately knew he was having what he called 'one of his spells'.

Ghost was shaking uncontrollably now, and Steve wrapped the blanket tighter, putting his arms around Ghost. He held on, crooning soothing words and sounds, humming a calming tune...anything to help Ghost come out of it. After a few minutes, it was over. The shaking slowed to only a shudder, off and on. Ghost was silent, exhausted, and sweaty.

Ghost put his head in Steve's lap, while Steve rubbed his temples, and forehead, brushing his hair back. "Ghost, can you hear me? You're gonna be ok; it's over. I know it was scary, but you've been through this before. It's ok, now. Ghost?" Steve kept on, until Ghost was responding a bit.

"Steve?" Ghost whispered. "Are you here?"

"Yeah, I'm here...are you feeling better?"

" head hurts, and I can't hardly see you...and I feel sick." He began to swallow hard, and Steve had just enough time to turn Ghost's head to the side, before he threw up, onto the porch. He didn't know two cups of coffee could produce so much liquid when it came back up. Again and again Ghost heaved, until there was no more left. Then he cried. 

"I'm sorry, Steve, I'm sorry..."

"Ghost, it's ok, don't worry about it. Come on, can you walk? I want you to get in bed for awhile, ok?"

Ghost nodded, "Ok, but hold my hand, I can't see where I'm going, yet."

They managed to get off the swing, and stumble into the house. The cat had gotten himself down from the screen, and came inside with them. Steve helped Ghost into the bed, pulling the blankets close around him.

"Try to sleep, you'll feel better when you wake up."

"Mmm-hmm," Ghost murmured, already half asleep.

Steve sat and watched him for awhile, making sure he was still breathing, ok. The he went into the kitchen Guess I don't get pancakes, now, unless I make some, myself... He hated that he'd had that thought. Slamming his fist down on the table, he sank down into a chair, and put his head down onto his arms. Tears of frustration dampened his sleeves. He wanted so bad to fix Ghost, but there was no way. All he could do was be here for him...and that never felt like enough.

This is getting to be too much...already bad things are happening to Ghost... He knew, though, that if he tried to make Ghost call it off, that he'd try even harder to make it happen. He never gave up on anything, once he made up his mind.

Getting up to check on Ghost, again, he saw he was sound asleep, the cat right next to him. "You keep an eye on him, Spirit. Let me know if Ghost needs me, ok?"

He decided to try making pancakes, himself. He knew Ghost would be starving, when he woke up. He stood there in the kitchen, trying to remember what Ghost used to make them. After gathering the ingredients, and a bowl, he stirred up the batter. Hmm...this isn't so hard... He took one of the finished ones off the skillet, tasting it. "Not bad..." he smiled. He began to get into the cooking process, trying his hand at flipping them in the air. He caught one back in the pan...a few more fell in the floor. "Guess it takes practice," he said.

He continued, until he had a huge stack ready. He fixed himself a plate of them, drizzled with maple syrup. Looking around the kitchen, he noticed that he'd almost destroyed the place. He sighed, and began the clean-up. As he finished, Spirit came into the kitchen, meowing.

"Hey, kitty, ya hungry?" He gave the cat a dish of cat food, but Spirit went back to the bedroom.

"Oh, is Ghost waking came to get me?" He followed the cat down the hallway to Ghost's bedroom.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


# 121 content


It didn't matter where or when Steve and Ghost sang their songs to each other, they were filled with emotion. This one was no different, as they alternated singing the verses, and coming in together on the chorus.

Terry was blown away, hearing this one. In all the years he'd been listening to them sing, and having performed with them, jammed with them, been their friend, this one song seemed to make it clear to him. For the first time, he got it. He understood what their songs were all every song written by them, and all the song covers they did...all were a piece of the puzzle...a puzzle he didn't even know existed, until this moment.

Terry closed his eyes, as the realization hit him. They'd finished singing, and were waiting for him to say something, but he was overcome with the shock of his own reaction. His heart and emotions were touched as never before, and he couldn't deny them. He, Terry, the laid back stoner dude, who was all about peace and love, had just been given the true meaning of what real love was. He couldn't hold back any longer. He let his feelings wash over him, and he cried. From under his closed eyelids, the tears fell down his face. He put his head down on the desk, as sobs racked his body.

He realized he had never, and probably would never, have anything near what Steve and Ghost had, together. Through all their bad times, and good...nothing would, or could ever break them apart. He cried for his own loss, of never knowing this for himself.

Steve and Ghost stared at Terry through the glass window. "What's the matter with Terry, Steve?" Ghost asked.

"I don't know, but..." Steve said, as he hurried out of the booth, to see about him.

Ghost followed, scared that Terry had been electrocuted or something.

"Terry, what is it? Are you ok, do you need a doctor?" Steve asked, putting his arm around Terry's shaking shoulders.

Ghost knelt on the floor on the other side of Terry, looking up to his face. He took his hand, squeezing it. "Come here, Terry. It's ok, let us help you."

This was almost too much for Terry. He tried to get control of himself, then he grabbed Ghost, with one arm around his neck, and Steve with the other arm, and hugged them to himself, kissing both their cheeks.

"I love you guys, so much," he finally got out. He sniffled and wiped his face. "That song really got to me," he said. "I never put it together until now. All the songs y'all do...there's a reason, a pattern, something special y'all are saying to each other, right?"

Ghost and Steve both smiled, as they looked into each other's eyes, and nodded. "You got it, Terry," Steve said, still looking only at Ghost.

"Why didn't you ever say anything?" Terry asked. "Now, I can see the whole one of those 3-D finally came clear to me. Why? Did y'all always plan it this way?"

Steve was shaking his head. "Terry, we didn't plan anything; it just happened, and it still does. We can't explain it. The songs we write, they just come from somewhere...we just write what's in our hearts. The cover songs, we just play what we like, because they make us feel something inside. That's all. The only thing planned, is which ones we want to play in our show. It's different every time."

Terry took a deep breath, thinking. "Does everyone know this...was I the last one to figure it out?"

Ghost laughed, "Nobody's ever told us before...just you, Terry. I think Kinsey figured it out, awhile ago, but he never said anything. So, are you happy you know stuff, now? Are you still gonna play on our songs, 'cause we still need you to."

"I'm glad you know," Steve said, "but it's just between us, ok?"

"What about R. J....does he know?" Terry asked.

"Terry, R. J. is off in his own world, when we play. If he knows, he's never said anything, either," Steve laughed.

""What now, Steve?" Ghost asked. "Are we gonna do any more today?"

"I think we've all done enough for now. Now that we've gotten this going, I would like to come in with everyone, maybe in a day or two. That sound ok, Terry?"

"Yeah, whenever you want to. I'll get a few things ready, before then," Terry agreed.

"You gonna be ok, now" Ghost asked.

"I think so, Ghost...more than ok," Terry smiled, then turned to turn off the equipment.


They made their way out, and said their good-byes. On the way home, Ghost was quiet. Steve kept looking over at him, waiting for him to say something. It wasn't like Ghost to keep things in, for very long. But, he just kept looking out the car window at the stars. Steve wished he could read Ghost's mind, as something was definitely going on in there.

"Ya want to just keep driving around," Steve finally asked.

Ghost looked over at him, "Yeah, I'm not through thinking, yet."

Steve sighed, "Ok, will you talk to me about it?"

"Yeah," Ghost said, but didn't say anything else.

Steve drove around town, but most everything had closed up for the night. Then he headed out on the highway, for awhile, then back toward town.

"Steve, can we stop somewhere?"

Steve nodded, then pulled over at the next safe place, off the side of the road, cutting off the engine. Ghost got out and stretched, then walked around a bit, looking around at the darkened landscape.

Steve leaned up against the side of the car, letting the heat from the car's hood warm him. He waited, just watching Ghost. After a few minutes, Ghost came and climbed up on the hood of the car, leaning back against the windshield. Steve wanted to say something, but knew if he did, it would distract Ghost, and he'd have to start over. So, he waited, still.

"You know what?" Ghost asked, then, as he looked up into the night sky. "Terry was so sad."

"What do you mean? He was in a good mood, when we left."

"I know, but before that, I heard what he was thinking. He was happy for us, but sad for him, because he doesn't have somebody to love...and he thinks he never will." Ghost said. "I wish we could help him, ya know, maybe find somebody, so he'll be happy."

"I don't know about that, Ghost. He's been a bachelor all these years, and he has fun going out with lots of chicks. Maybe he'll find the right one some day."

"Yeah, I hope so, but he never goes anywhere, though. It's always the same people he hangs out with all the time. Maybe he'd find somebody, if he went places." Ghost said. Sitting up now, and getting excited, Ghost said, "Hey I know...let's give him a vacation to somewhere. Do ya think he'd like that?"

Steve smiled, at that idea. "Well, maybe you're on to something, there. I never thought of it before, but, yeah, maybe we could. Let's think on it some more, ok? We'd have to figure out some stuff, like where or when and how to do it, first." He was warming to the idea.

"Good, let's do that," Ghost said. "I'm ready to go home, now." He jumped down from the car's hood. Starting up the car, they headed home, this time with the radio on, so they could sing along.


Next part coming soon!

Peace, Love, & Writing

Monday, January 26, 2015


# 120 content


Ghost was frowning, as he read the instructions the woman had written out for him. He read the words out loud, but kept stopping. Sighing, he would start over.

"What's the matter, Ghost?" Steve asked.

"I can't understand these rules. Here, you read them, and see if they make any sense to you," Ghost said, handing the paper to Steve.

Steve read over the page. It was a fairly long list of steps that needed to be done, in order. "There's a lot of things you're supposed to do, but it seems pretty clear, Ghost. What's..." he read it over, again. "Oh, now I see what the problem is," he said. He looked up at Ghost, who was waiting, in hopes Steve could explain it to him. He was hesitant to say what was wrong, though.

The list had so many numbers in it. The steps to take were numbered, in the order they should be done; there were measurements of the ingredients, that had to be added, in certain places, as specific words were said, and even numbers to go along with the chants, such as, say this three times, and on this word, add two drops of this oil. On and on, the list continued this way.

This will be impossible for Ghost to do...I doubt it would work if anyone other than Ghost tried it...

"What does it say, Steve? Why can't I read it?" Ghost was getting worried that Steve was taking so long to explain.

Steve shook his head. "Look, Ghost...this thing has numbers all in it, almost every line. I'm sorry, maybe we should have asked for a different kind of rule book."

"What...why? Why did she write it like that, Steve?" He was devastated. Blinking back the tears that sprang to his eyes, he hung his head. "I just wanted to I can't do it..." His tears fell down his face, as he cried, now. "I can't even read the paper..."

He banged his fists into the sides of his head, hard. "Why do I have to be like this, Steve? I hate it...I hate it."

Steve was crying now, too, for the pain Ghost was feeling. He wanted to go to him, but his cast prevented him from getting down on the floor.  "Come here...come here to me, babe," Steve said.

Ghost crawled over, putting his head in Steve's lap. He heaved with sobs. Steve stroked Ghost's silky hair, over and over, then drew him up to be on the couch, beside him. Taking him in his arms, they rocked back and forth for a long while.

"Ghost, look at me," Steve said, raising Ghost's face to look into his eyes. "I'm so sorry...I would take all of your pain to myself, if I could. But, don't be hating on yourself...please. It kills me to see you hurting. We'll figure this out, ok? I'll help, I'll re-write these rules so you can read them. I promise it'll be ok."

Ghost nodded, "'d do that?"

"Yes," Steve said, then brushed back Ghost's damp hair, wiping the tears away. He gently touched Ghost's lips, then kissed him. "I love you so much...I never want to see you sad."

"I love you, too, Steve" He hugged Steve tight.

", go get me some paper, and one of your markers. I'm going to fix this, right now."

Ghost did, and they sat together on the couch, as Steve read aloud the steps, and instead of the numbers, he drew little pictures of them. He showed Ghost how it worked, now, and Ghost understood every instruction.

"I get it, now, Steve...I can do this."

"Sure ya can," Steve said. They were both smiling, now.

Ghost read it aloud, several times, until he thought he'd memorized it. Giving the paper to Steve, he recited the rules exactly.

"Ok, now what?" Steve asked.

"Guess we tell Zach and Trevor that we're ready whenever they are."

Steve took a deep breath..."Ghost, aren't you scared to actually do this? Up until now, it just seemed like a game, or something fun to do, but now, it's more real. What if there really is evil in that house, and bad things start to happen?"

"Well," Ghost thought a minute, "I kinda am scared. I mean, not of spirits, but I never saw an evil one, before."

"And, you trust this protection stuff the lady gave you?" Steve asked.

"Yeah, guess I have to...and believe it's gonna work."

"I still wish you wouldn't mess around with this stuff. I know I'm scared to even go in that house," Steve said.

"Yeah, me too, but they asked for our help, and they're scared, too...and they live there. They trust me to help, or at least try," Ghost said. He began gathering up the bottles and packets from the table.

"Ok, then, we'll let them know," Steve said. "Are you up to going to Terry's studio, like we planned?"

"Oh, I forgot about that," Ghost said. "Guess we could. He's probably fixin' to close the shop, now, and besides, we said we'd be there."

"Ok, help me up," Steve said. "We'll get on the road."

"Are we gonna sing in the little booth when we get there?"

"Well, I want to try and get something least get back into practice, remember how to do it, and all. So, yeah, if Terry's ok with it."


They arrived at the record shop, and Steve pulled into the back parking lot. Terry was just coming out the back door, and waved them over. "Hey, guys, you're right on time. Let me get the studio door unlocked, and we can get started," he said.

He'd added more recording equipment over the past year or so, and he showed them around, explaining how much easier and better sounding their CD would be, since making the tape. "Do ya have something ya want to try, now?" Terry asked.

"Yeah, we can start with us just singing some, today, to get back into it. Did you go over the pages I gave you?" Steve asked.

Terry nodded, "Sure did, and I went over my parts a few times. R. J. said he did, too, so once we all get in here together, it'll go pretty smooth."

"Ok, good. Guess we'll just warm up first, just this and that, see how it goes," Steve said. He rounded up Ghost, and they went into the booth. Terry began turning on all the recording equipment, getting set up.

"What are we doing, Steve?" Ghost asked.

"Let's just do one or two, no get warmed up."

"Ok, tell me when," Ghost smiled.

Steve nodded to Terry, and he cued them with a five countdown. At the precise moment, Steve and Ghost started singing their parts. It was *"Amie", one of the oldest songs they did. Even just practicing, and no music, Terry couldn't quit smiling at how good they sounded. He made a few adjustments on his sound board, and when the song was done, he played it back. They were all amazed at how good it sounded, with the new equipment.

"Hey, y'all, that could be used just as it is," Terry said. "We'll do it all together, and then with the music, but this, I'm gonna keep."

They played around with a few more songs, then Steve asked Ghost if he wanted to try one of their new ones, *"Perfect", which Steve had done for Ghost, while they were on the road.

"Yeah, let's do it," Ghost said. He loved this song. "But, no one's ever heard it before, Steve."

"That's ok...I'd be happy to let Terry be the first one, especially since we're using his studio for free and all."

He got Terry's attention, and said, through the microphone, "We're gonna do another one...never been heard before. And, we'd be honored to have you be the first," Steve said.

Terry looked up and smiled. "Thanks guys...we're recording it, right?"

Steve nodded, and they began the song.

*Amie", recorded by Pure Prairie League, 1973, RCA, written by Craig Fuller, on the album "Bustin' Out"

*Fuckin' Perfect", recorded by Pink, 2010, LaFace - RCA, written by Pink, Max Martin, Shellback, on the album "Greatest Hits...So Far!!!"


Next part coming soon!

Peace, Love, & Writing

Friday, January 23, 2015


# 119 content


As Steve made his way into the shop, he could hear some kind of tinkly music playing. He found Ghost over by a free-standing waterfall. There was a fine mist swirling around it. "Ghost, what kind of place is this? It reminds me of that...that...God, that horrible Arkady's place, and..." he couldn't voice, out loud, the tragedy of Ann's death in that place.

Ghost searched Steve's eyes, knowing exactly what he felt. "Oh, Steve...I know..." he said, giving him a hug. He looked around at all the brightly colored displays. "This place, though, is not like that. I can feel the good in here," he said." He grinned, turning around to see more. "You know what? I could live here." He was entranced by the assault on his senses. 

Steve had to laugh. "I imagine you could, Ghost."

A woman came out from a back room, to talk to them. She was exotic looking, wearing a sari, and lots of jangly bracelets. She studied Ghost for a minute, then said, "You are in need of something magical...something powerful to drive away evil spirits."

"Yes..." Ghost nodded and smiled at her.

She asked them to follow her into another part of the store. Ghost was right behind her, but Steve hesitated. "Ghost," he whispered, "I don't know about this."

"It's ok, Steve...she's psychic...she read my mind, already."

"Well, that's another first for you, today."

"Yeah, it felt weird, too. Does it feel weird when I read yours?"

"No, because I never know when you're gonna do it, but then after it kinda does."

Ghost giggled at that. "C'mon, let's see what's back there."

The back room was filled with more oddities, arranged haphazardly from floor to ceiling. From the beaded partition at the doorway, to the multi-color scarves that were draped over a small window, they just stood there gawking. There on one shelf, were hand-carved, wooden tribal masks, and hanging from a raw, wood paneled wall, were crosses, and amulets, made from leather, gold, and gems.

But, what caught Ghost's eyes, was the large shelf of little bottles, and boxes. "Potions!" he closed his eyes, inhaling the heady fragrance of his childhood. "Mmm," he sighed.

Steve thought he looked like the proverbial kid in a candy store, albeit a weird kid in a weird potion store.

The lady had Ghost sit at an intricately detailed, teak table. She sat on the other side. She reached out for Ghost's hands, rubbing them until they warmed. "You have the gift, child," she began. Ghost nodded, his eyes wide, taking in everything she said.

"You are coming upon a serious endeavor, soon. You will need protection from those who oppose you."

Ghost started to tell her what he had planned, but she held up her hand to stop him. "I do not need to know the details, but, I sense it will be difficult to do what you are called on to do." She paused for a moment, concentrating. "The evil forces are powerful...malevolent...they have been unopposed for many years. At stake are two lives, two innocents. You, and your friend here, are being drawn into their circle of control." She closed her eyes, for a long minute, taking deep breaths.

Ghost was mesmerized. Steve was watching intently, from the side of the room, interested, in spite of himself.

Opening her eyes, she brought out from a drawer in the table, an assortment of items. First, was a small mortar and pestle, of white marble. Three candles were next. She explained that the white one was for cleansing, purity, and truth. The black one was used in spell breaking, and for banishing evil, while the purple candle gave the user power, protection, and repelled evil. Then she drew out a small, silver cross, on a chain, laying it next to the candles.

She then scraped back her stool, to go to the potions shelf. Her bracelets jingled, as she searched for the packets and vials she was looking for. Ghost looked over at Steve, raising his eyebrows. Neither said a word, not wanting to break into the lady's concentration.

Back at the table, she placed a paper packet there, along with a couple of sage brooms. The packet was labeled 'black powder' in old fashioned script. Along with these, she added two vials of essential oils, and a stoppered, glass bottle of some kind of spices and leaves, mixed together.

"Here is what you must use at your séance," she told Ghost. Writing on a piece of onionskin stationery, she listed the instructions, the amounts of each item that was needed, and in what order to use them. "Also, I've written a few words...a chant...that you must speak, to evoke the spirits. But, be very careful, Ghost. You must keep a positive mind throughout the ceremony. This is your protection, and the means to banish the evil from within those walls. One more thing," she said, reaching into the drawer again. "I don't usually give this to anyone, as it is to be used as a failsafe, a last resort..." She placed another small bottle on the table. It was iridescent glass, and was heart shaped. "In here is holy has been be used sparingly, if at all...if it is truly needed."

Ghost nodded his understanding of her words. She then wrapped up all the items in a brown paper bundle, tying it with jute. "Now, let us return to the sales floor." Ghost took the bundle, and they all went out of the little room.

"Will there be anything else you'd like to purchase, Ghost Child?"

Steve startled at the woman's usage of Ghost's name, and the way Ghost's grandmother always said it. They'd never mentioned their names, when they'd come into the shop.

Ghost looked around. "I want it all, but guess not today. I'll be back, though."

She smiled, and said, "I wish you well in your trials to come, Ghost. Peace be with you."

Steve paid for the bundle of goods, and he and Ghost left the shop. "That was one weird lady," he said, as they got back into the car.

As they drove back to Missing Mile, Ghost held tight to the bundle, twirling the ends of the jute around his fingers. Steve saw that he was lost in thought. "So when are you doing this?" he asked.

"Soon...soon as I go over the instructions, and memorize them," Ghost said.

Back at home, Ghost took everything out to look at them, again. He began reading over the instructions. Steve made himself comfortable on the couch, propping up his achy leg, onto a pillow, on the coffee table. He didn't say anything, as he watched Ghost, but he was thinking about how serious Ghost was taking all this...and how much he loved him, and his quirky ways. He said a silent prayer, that this mission Ghost had set in motion, wouldn't hurt him, and that he, himself could remain vigilant to Ghost's vulnerability and well-being, no matter what happened.

Next part coming soon!

Peace, Love, & Writing

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


# 118 content


The next morning, they got ready to go fairly early. "Let's just get something for breakfast at the little store, to go...we'll eat in the car, on the way to Raleigh," Steve said.

It was another sunny day, with only a slight chill in the air, and they enjoyed the ride, as they munched on doughnuts, and drank their coffee. They arrived in the city, going first to the bank, then drove around until they found the printing company. It was a fairly small business, and they were the only customers there, this early in the morning.

Ghost pulled out the pages he'd made for the book, putting them on the counter.

"We want this made into a real book," Steve said. He explained how they wanted the pages and writing to look, just the way Ghost had them arranged.

"How many copies?" the clerk asked.

Steve looked over at Ghost, "How many do you think we'll need? We'll want one for us, then some to sell at the gig, right?"

Ghost nodded, "Yeah, I want to do that."

Steve turned back to the clerk, "Well, let's start with fifty. We can get more made, if we need to, I suppose."

The clerk looked doubtful that they would be able to even pay for one, much less fifty, but he quoted them a price, anyway.

"Ok, sure, do the fifty. When will they be ready?" Steve asked.

"We'll have them ready in a week," the clerk said. "We'll need half the payment now, then the rest when you pick them up."

Steve wasn't sure if this was normal procedure or not, but he pulled out his wallet.

"Steve..." Ghost said, pulling on Steve's jacket. "Steve, come over here a minute."

"What is it, Ghost? I'm almost done here."

"Steve, that guy thinks we can't pay for them. I heard him thinking that we're too poor to afford to get the books made."

"Oh, yeah?" Steve looked back toward the clerk. "Well, I'll just pay him right now, then, for the whole order...then he won't have anything to say about it."

He went back to the counter. "I think we'll just go ahead and pay you for the whole order, right now, if that's ok...before you do the j0b?"

The clerk looked a bit surprised, but said, "Sure, that will be fine." He did a double-take, as Steve pulled out the cash, counting out the full amount.

"Will that do it?" Steve asked

"Yes, sir, sure will," the clerk said. "You can pick them up a week from today."

Steve smiled at Ghost, as they went out the door. "Thanks, Ghost. That went better than I thought. It took all my effort not to smack him. It's hard being polite."

Ghost patted Steve on the back, and laughed, "You did good, Sir."

"Yeah, I'm sure glad we stopped at the bank first, though."

Next up on their trip to town, was the thrift shop. "From big spenders, to bargain hunters, all in one day," Steve said, as the went into the store.

"What'cha looking for this time?" Ghost asked.

"Guess I'll know it when I see it," Steve said, as they split up to go looking around.

Ghost wandered up and down the aisles, stopping at whatever caught his eye. He found a couple of toys, for the cat to play with, and a dish to put his food in. He also found a hat he could use for his Halloween costume, along with a fishing vest. Then he went looking for Steve.

"Hey, look what I got," he said, showing Steve.

"Cool, those will work fine, Ghost. I just found some shirts, so far." He held up a couple. They were both with the logo of a local radio station, the other a vintage rock band tour shirt.

"Uh, ya think ya have enough black t-shirts, already?"

" don't like them?"

"Oh, sure I do, Steve," Ghost said, shaking his head.

"Well, then, shut up about it," Steve said.

Ghost rolled his eyes, then went wandering around the store, again. Eventually, Steve was finished, and he found Ghost sitting on a chair in the furniture section of the store.

"Well, I can't believe finally had enough time to look at everything, and wear your own self out," Steve laughed. "It must be the first time."

"Yeah, guess so," Ghost said. He yawned and stretched, as he got up from the old recliner. "This time you were taking forever."

"Well, let's go pay for this stuff, and go eat lunch somewhere," Steve said.

At the pizza place they'd stopped to eat at, Ghost was unusually quiet.

"What's bugging you?" Steve asked.

Ghost shrugged. "Just thinking about stuff...about the murder house, and what to do about it."

Steve frowned. "Maybe you should just forget it, and tell them you can't do it."

"No, I want to do it...I just need to think how," Ghost said.

"Well, you know my opinion on the matter, so I'll shut up about it, then," Steve said. He finished up the pizza, and they walked back to the car.

"You ready to head home? My leg is aching now, from being up so long," Steve said.

"Yeah, let's go," Ghost said, getting in the car.

Steve drove a few blocks, trying to get back to the main highway, but got turned around, going the wrong way.

"Steve, stop!" Ghost hollered. He pointed to a small store, wedged between a coffee shop and a beauty salon.

"What is it? I can't stop in the middle of the road," Steve said, but he did slow down.

"Well, go around and park somewhere. I saw a store I want to go in," Ghost said.

Steve did find a parking spot, close to the little shop. Ghost jumped out and headed down the sidewalk. "C'mon, Steve," he said. He was walking fast, leaving Steve to catch up on his own.

"Wait up," Steve yelled, but Ghost had already gone inside. As he came closer, Steve could see that the shop was an odd looking place. It wasn't big, but was crammed full of all kinds of colorful items. He just stood at the entrance for a minute, taking in the kaleidoscopic effect. This must be what the inside of Ghost's head looks like.... Ghost's room at home was mild, compared to this place; and from what he could tell, by watching Ghost looking around, a smile on his face, it was like Ghost had found his true home.

He took a deep breath, before he tackled walking down the narrow aisles, hoping his crutches wouldn't knock anything over. Then, he almost choked on the heavy inscense smoke. This reminds me of something...something bad... He began flashing back to Arkady's creepy shop, down in New Orleans...the horror of Ann's death, and the vampires...

Next part coming soon!

Peace, Love, & Writing

Monday, January 19, 2015


# 117 content


"What scared you, Kitty" Ghost asked his cat, who was still under the bed. Spirit inched his way out, and Ghost picked him up to cuddle him. Sitting on the bed, he stroked the soft fur, and looked into his eyes, trying to get any clue to what had upset him, when he saw Zach and Trevor.

He'd never tried to read an animal's thoughts before; he didn't know if it was even possible, but he took some deep breaths to clear his mind. In a few seconds, he began to get an impression, a crude picture in his mind's eye, of Trevor, with a smudgy black mist surrounding him. Then, an image of Spirit, sniffing the air, and almost choking on a bad odor. That was all...the images were gone.

Ghost was amazed. He actually figured out why Spirit had ran off, when Trevor was here. "Oh, poor Kitty, was that a real bad smell? Was it something evil around him?" He cupped the cat's chin in his hand, giving him a kiss on the nose. "Well, I'm going to try and get that black cloud off of him, don't worry."

He took Spirit into the kitchen and gave him his food. "I know why Spirit freaked out," Ghost said.

"What do you mean, you found out?" Steve asked. "Did he tell you?"

"Yeah, in pictures," Ghost said.

"Uh-huh, so now you can read the cat's mind...just like that?" Steve snapped his fingers.

"Yep, just like that," Ghost said. "I never tried before, but it worked. He showed me pictures of what happened."

"Ok, fine...I'll go along...what did he 'show' you?"

"It was Trevor, and he had a black, misty thing all around him, and then Spirit showed me he was choking on the bad smell coming from it," Ghost explained.

"And, you believe it, do ya?" Steve asked. "So, what does that mean, and why couldn't you see it? And, we didn't smell anything weird."

Ghost shrugged, "All I'm getting is that house of his, and the murder and hanging, and whatever is causing trouble now, has put the stink of evil on Trevor...and Spirit saw It, and now we gotta go over there and try to get it out. Oh, we need to protect ourselves from getting it on us, too."

"Oh, is that all..."

"Mmm-hmm," Ghost said, as he made himself a sandwich.

Steve closed his eyes, and shook his head, then muttered, why, why, why, do I let myself get talked into this crap? "Ok, you figure out some magic mojo to keep us safe, and I'll have your back."

Ghost looked up, "Cool!"

After leaving Ghost's house, Zach and Trevor drove around awhile, a little afraid of going home. "Zach, this isn't a good idea, getting Ghost to come out to the house."

"Sure it is," Zach said. "Aren't you tired of all the crap the house pulls on us? It's not right, and it's scary and dangerous, and sometimes I think we should just move out or tear it down or something. Don't it bother you?"

"Yeah, but it's my house, my family's's all I own in the world," Trevor said.

"Trev, sorry....but, your family is gone. Don't look at me like know it, and now you know why your father didn't kill you, too, but we don't know why the house is haunted, or possessed, or whatever it is. If we can get Ghost to find out, and maybe fix it, then we don't have to move, and we can be normal there, for once."

"But, Zach...what if it doesn't work? What if it gets even madder and hurts us worse, or hurts Ghost for trying? I don't want to make it worse. And, we don't even know Ghost...we just heard he's weird, and can read minds. You want to take a chance on that?" Trevor asked.

Zach was nodding, "Yep, I'm willing to try anything...damn the consequences. Either that, or we can move back to New Orleans...or Jamaica."

They drove around awhile longer, finally pulling up in their driveway. The house looked quiet enough.  "Didn't we leave a light on, when we left?" asked Trevor.

"I think so, maybe the light bulb burned out."

Trevor gripped the steering wheel harder, "'s the knows..." Trevor shivered.

"Yeah, guess you're right," Zach agreed. "What do you want to do...go in, or not?"

"Might as well go on hasn't killed us yet."

As they came in the back door, Zach flipped the light switch a few times, but nothing happened. "Where's the flashlight?"

Trevor carefully went into the kitchen, to get it out of a drawer. He turned it on, shining it all around, as they went room to room. Everything seemed ok. They tried the water, but there was none coming out of any faucet.

"You think they found out at the utilities company, that we had it illegally?" Zach asked, not believing it for a minute. Trevor just shook his head. They were nervous, but went on to bed, to try and get some sleep. It was too dark to do much else. As they slept, the house was gathering strength.

Steve and Ghost had finished eating, and they planned their trip into Raleigh the next day. First they'd go to the bank, then to the printing company. They would eat lunch, and make a stop into the thrift store to look for bargains.

"Guess we gotta get up early, huh?" Ghost asked.

"Yeah, it would probably be a good idea. You got all your book stuff ready to go?"

"Uh-huh, it's ready. Are we going in to see Terry, and to the studio, when we get back?"

"I was hoping to," Steve said. "I think we're ready to get started, don't you?"

"I'm ready to sing any time," Ghost said. "Are we going to do them all when we get over there? We never did get to try them out at the club."

"I doubt we'll do all the songs, tomorrow. Remember how long it took us to make that tape? It took a few weeks to get it sounding how we liked it. We'll get to sing them at the club, too, only later," Steve said.

"I just remember it taking forever, even after we were finished singing them," Ghost said. "Then I had to color all those covers. Are we going to do it that way again for the CD?"

"The first part will be about the same, but you don't have to color have that creepy picture to use...the one with the spirits out there by their graves," Steve said. "What you do need to do, is figure out how to put our name on know, where on the picture to have it, and how you want the lettering to look. The finished one will be printed out."

"Oh, ok...I like doing letters," Ghost was smiling.

"I know, that's why it's your job," Steve said. "You're good at it."

Ghost got out his sketch book to practice his lettering styles, but soon was dozing off more than he was drawing them. They went on to bed, in hopes of getting up early.

Some time later, Ghost woke from a nightmare. Steve came in to see about him. "What was it, Ghost? It's been awhile since you had a nightmare."

"Spirit was licking my face, when I woke up. I thought I was drowning or something. My face was covered in water. I don't remember any more."

"Must have been a flashback to the hurricane...when you did almost drown," Steve said. "Try to go back to sleep. Spirit will keep ya company." He went back to his bedroom... it's already started...all this spooky house talk is getting to him...


Next part coming soon!

Peace, Love, & Writing

Saturday, January 17, 2015


# 116 content


                                                        CHAPTER 20

"Sorry we scared your cat," said Trevor.

"Yeah, sorry. He's a pretty cat, hope he's ok," Zach said.

They kept looking around the room, expecting to see more signs of creepiness, but everything looked pretty normal. Zach was thinking Trevor's house was way more creepy than this one.

"So, ya plan on staying long?" Steve asked.

They were all still standing by the door, and it was getting awkward.

"Listen, just say what ya got to say. We ain't got all day."

Trevor pulled on Zach's jacket sleeve. "Zach, let's just go. They don't want us here," he said, pulling Zach toward the door.

"No, Trev, I came to offer a truce...and you know what we talked about. I want to ask Ghost about it."

"Ghost don't want to have anything to do with, c'mon," Trevor said.

Steve rolled his eyes at them. "Dudes, we're standing right here listening to your stupid conversation. You've spent half an hour, and you still haven't gotten to the point, or said anything worth listening to, so..." He pointed to the door, then looked at Ghost.

"I could use some help here, Ghost."

Ghost was still trying to read what was clinging to them, but he shook it off, then asked Zach, "What was it you wanted to ask?" He felt a shiver go up his spine. "Look, can we go outside? I really don't like you in our house, anymore."

Zach was confused. "Why are y'all so rude?" he blurted out. "I just wanted to see if Ghost could do some of that hocus-pocus stuff, and tell us if Trevor's house is evil or not."

"Out!" Steve yelled, "Now!"

Ghost was staring, wide-eyed, at this request.

Zach and Trevor backed up, and then headed out the door. Steve and Ghost followed.

"Do ya think you can help us find out, Ghost...and, if it is, can you do that thing...where you get rid of the bad stuff?"

They were out in the front yard, now, and Steve kept walking slowly toward them. They kept backing up, until they were by their car.

"You want me to do a reading of your house? You want us to do a séance or something...then chase away the evil spirits...with exorcism? Is that it?" Ghost asked, trying to clarify the request.

"Yeah, that's it," Zach said. "Can you do it, like real soon? That house does some crazy shit, and we don't know how to make it stop."

"Stop, Zach," Trevor said. "It's my house, my problem. We'll take care of it." He was still looking hopeful that Ghost would agree...would say yes to coming over there.

"Damn straight, it's your problem," Steve said. "We don't want any part of it."

"Wait a minute, Steve, maybe I can try," Ghost said.

"What...ya want to go up in that murder house? You never would before, why now?" Steve asked.

Ghost shrugged, "Because maybe I'm not gonna be scared, now. I know more stuff now, than when I was a kid. Maybe I can at least sage the place."

Steve was shaking his head. "Don't you have some of those voo-doo people you know, that can come do it?" he asked Zach. "We know there are lots of them where you're from in New Orleans. Just call some of them to come up here."

"Sure, we know some," Zach said, "but, Ghost is here already."

Steve heaved a sigh, "I give up. Ghost, you do whatever you want, just don't go bringing any of those bad spirits back here."

Zach grinned, "When can you do" he asked.

"No, not now," Ghost said. "Maybe in a few days. I need to prepare first."

"Ok, let us know...we'll be ready," Zach said. He and Trevor got in their car to leave.

Trevor leaned his head out the open window, "Thank least thanks for at least agreeing to try. It's been pretty bad over there, and I hope you can help."

Ghost nodded, "Ok, but I don't promise anything."

As Zach pulled out down the driveway, Steve turned to Ghost, "Are you crazy? Why do you want to invite trouble...and bad shit to us?"

"I don't know, Steve, I just think maybe I can help...and I was always interested in that stuff, even if it's scary. I won't know until I try it," he smiled. "I'm not scared of spirits, anyway. They're just dead people."

"Yeah," Steve said, "but, there's more than that roaming around, and you, of all people, should know it. You know, demons, and evil...and our personal favorites...vampires." he shuddered.

Ghost grinned, "So, now you believe in that stuff, Steve?"

"Yeah, I do now, since I saw it with my own eyes."

They went back inside. Steve started looking in the refrigerator for something to eat. "What do you plan on doing for them, then?" he asked.

Ghost sat at the table, thinking. "Well, first, they have to tell me exactly what's been going on...and not leave anything out."

"Why...can't you just 'know' all that?" Steve asked

Ghost was twirling his hair around his finger, then letting it go, then wrapping it around again. "I probably could, but it's easier if they just tell me straight out...and I'll pick up other things...stuff they forget to tell, or don't even know," he said. "I might be able to tell who...or causing the trouble. Then I can figure out what to do about it," he explained.

Steve had gotten them both a beer, and sat down at the table. "Do you even know how to do an exorcism, or a séance?"

Ghost took a swig of his beer. "No, and I couldn't anyway. Oh, I could say some words, but they wouldn't mean anything...I'm not a priest. But, a séance, maybe we could do that."

"I don't know, Ghost, it sounds dangerous. There's too many 'what-ifs'...and do I have to be in on it?"

Ghost frowned..."No, you don't have to...just I'd want you there for support, for me," he looked Steve in the eye. "Here's a 'what if' for ya...what if the bad spirits got ahold of me, and I got possessed? Wouldn't ya want to fight 'em off and rescue me?"

Steve took a second to answer. "Uh, sure, sure I would..."

Ghost started laughing. "Dude, you totally believe this shit, don't ya? You'd run outta there screaming your head off, and never look back."

"Damn it, Ghost...why ya wanna be like that?" Steve set his beer back on the table too hard, and it foamed over. "Ya get me all into shit, scaring me, and then ya laugh in my face."

"That's 'cause you're so easy to get works every time," Ghost said, still laughing.

"Well, I never know if you're serious, or not. I mean...well, now I'm are psychic, aren't you? That's real, isn't it?" Steve asked. "You tell me that has been a bunch of bullshit, for all these years, then it's over..." he was huffing around now, pacing the kitchen, trying to save face.

"Yeah, Steve...that's for real," Ghost said. "This other stuff, it's just for show. At least it is for me. But, I can find out some stuff and..."

Steve interrupted, "And, maybe really get us into trouble, seeing as how you don't really know what the hell you're doing. I'm serious now, Ghost. I spend half my time worrying about you going off into spook-land, and never coming back, already. You know how you get, and, well..."

Ghost saw that Steve was really scared of what might happen. He looked down at the table. "Sorry, Steve, I know I shouldn't tease you about it."

"So, are you still going ahead with it, then?"

"Yeah, but only if you're there as my back-up. If things get too freaky, just get us out of there, ok?"

"Yeah, you can count on that," Steve said.

Ghost went to get Spirit out from under the bed, and calm him down. Steve put a random bunch of food on the table for them to eat, and he got out the cat food, too.

"Come on Spirit, it's ok, and it's time to eat," Ghost said, as he bent down to look under the bed. "Come out and tell me what you saw, ok?


Next part coming soon!

Peace, Love, & Writing