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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE...(eighty sixth installment)

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
86th installment
warning...adult content 





Inside the restaurant, they ordered their usual big breakfast of pancakes, eggs, bacon, and hot coffee. Ghost had molasses on his, and was oblivious to anything else, as he ate. As Steve finished his, and sipped a second cup of coffee, he watched Ghost. 

Ghost kept getting dribbles of the sticky syrup on his fingers, then licking them off. He'd flip his hair back out of the way, then go in for more. Steve was entranced... flip hair, lick fingers, eyes closed, flip hair, lick fingers, eyes closed... The more Steve saw of this, the more turned on he got. "This is not the time or place for this, but...oh, my God..." Steve was breathing hard now. He reached over the table and grabbed Ghost's arm.

"Stop that! I can't take anymore, Ghost." 

Startled, Ghost jumped. "What? Stop what?" 

"Stop turning me on with all that licking and flipping, or I'm gonna have to take you down right here," Steve groaned. 

Ghost grinned, "Like this?" He did it again. 

"Yeah," Steve barely whispered, and licked his lips, "like that." Then he shook himself. "I need some air. It's time to go, c'mon." He got up and went to the door. Ghost took one more bite, then followed Steve outside. 

As he came out the door, Steve grabbed him, giving him a big, sloppy tongue kiss, tasting the sweet, rich molasses, still on Ghost's lips. 

He breathed into Ghost's ear, through his long strands of hair, "I have to have you now, Ghost." 

"Ghost nodded, took Steve's hand and led him back to their room. They began tearing each other's clothes off as soon as they'd closed the door. Flinging themselves across the bed, they touched each other in all the right places. 

Ghost was being the more aggressive this time, and as he leaned over Steve's bare skin, his long, silky hair draped over Steve, like a waterfall, Steve felt like he was falling off the edge, into total abandon. 

Afterwards, as both were sated, they lay entwined in each other's arms, listening to their breathing slow, falling asleep. 


As the afternoon grew later, the sun slanted across them, through the window, and they slowly awakened. "We should get going, again," Steve said. "There's still a lot of driving to do." He got up, pulling Ghost up, too. They gathered their things, both smiling and relaxed, now. 

Driving down the twisty mountain road, they sang songs to each other. Then, Steve asked, "Ya want to stay at the haunted house again?" 

"No way, just keep going," Ghost said, and shuddered, as they passed by.

They kept singing whatever songs they could think of, along the way, to pass the time. 

"Uh, Ghost?" Steve asked. 

Ghost looked over, but he could barely make out Steve, it was so dark out. Only the dashboard light lent a blue glow, inside the car.

"What is it, Steve?" Ghost asked, a little concerned at Steve's more serious tone. 

"Um, the other night, when I couldn't sleep, I kinda thought of a new song. It just kinda came to me, and how I could play it, too." 

"Cool, sing it for me," Ghost said.

"Well, it's kinda about how I feel about me and you, and it's kinda mushy, ya know...so...it's like I want to do it, but maybe it's too...ya know...?" 

"Did ya write it down?"

"Yeah, here...but, don't laugh if ya think it's dumb, ok?" 

Ghost reached for the paper Steve handed him, from his pocket. It was crinkled up, but readable. Before he read it, Ghost asked Steve how the music went, so Steve hummed how he heard it, in his head. Ghost began to read the lyrics. Steve kept darting his eyes over to see Ghost's reaction. 

It was hard to tell, though. Ghost had turned on a tiny flashlight, and page was lit up, and the car was making everything jiggle around. Ghost's face was in darkness. It was taking him a long time to read it, Steve thought. 

"Guess you don't like it, huh? Just say it..."

"It's beautiful, Steve," Ghost said, through his falling tears. "It's so real...it's about us." He sniffled and wiped his face on his sleeve. "It could be both of us. Thank you for writing this."

"Ghost, it's just what I feel." Steve said, happy that Ghost liked it, after all. 

"Sing it to me, now, would you?" Ghost asked. "I'll try to follow along."

Steve had named the song, *"Perfect", and they sang it together, only a few times, not wanting to jinx the magic they both felt. 

~

And so, they drove on through the night, getting closer to home. Ghost watched the stars, as the Earth revolved on toward dawn. They pulled into their gravel drive, just as the sun sent pink streaks into the sky. They got out and stretched their cramped limbs, and just stared at the old familiar house. It was good to be home, again.

"Don't see Terry's car here. Guess he didn't stay here last night," Steve said. 

Ghost was already opening the front door. Standing on the threshold, he stopped first, to sense what the house held. Steve waited for the ritual, before entering. Ghost would smell, listen, and push his mind into all the rooms, and be aware of everything that had happened...good or bad...in there, since they'd been gone. Satisfied, Ghost called it ok to go in. 

They could see right away, that Terry wasn't much of a housekeeper, as there were unwashed dishes in the kitchen, and clothes strewn around the house. An ashtray was overflowing with cigarette butts, and ends of joints, too small for the roach clip, laying nearby. Beer cans were left on the coffee table, along with CDs, and car magazines. 

"Well, he wasn't expecting us," Ghost's voice trailing off, as he looked around.

"That asshole...he's gonna clean this shit up! Don't touch anything, Ghost. We didn't come all the way home, just to clean up Terry's mess."

"But, Steve, it's a mess."

"Yeah, and we're gonna go find him right now, and drag him back here...c'mon." Steve headed for the car, with Ghost following, but looking back as he closed the door. 

Terry's real home was behind the Whirling Disc record shop that he owned. So, that's where Steve went, driving around to the back parking lot. He and Ghost went up to the door, and Steve began banging on it.

"Terry, get out here, now!" He kept pounding and yelling, until a bleary-eyed, hung-over Terry opened the door a crack.

"Hey, hey, hey, stop all that racket. Why y'all here?"

"We're here 'cause we came home, but we couldn't hardly get in for all the crap you left all over the place. We're here to drag you over there to clean up your shit, man," Steve said. 

"What, what? I can't go anywhere right now. I can barely stand up. Maybe later, Dude," Terry said, as he tried to close the door. 

Steve pushed the door fully open, then, and pulled Terry out. "Naw, you're going with us now. You don't go trashin' Ghost's house, then get to say later."

"Fine, let me get my shoes, and I'll follow y'all out there," Terry mumbled. 

"Hurry up, then," Steve yelled at Terry's back. 

Ghost was peering into Terry's front room, his nose wrinkled up. "This house smells bad. It's got scary old crap in there," he said. 

"Yeah, I know. Don't go in, Ghost, you might not ever come out."

Ghost backed up and headed for the car. Finally, Terry came out, with his keys in his hand, and gave Steve a put-upon look. "Well, let's get this over with, then." 

They headed for their cars, and drove out to Burnt Church Road. As they entered the house, they all just stared. It looked worse, this time around. 

"Dude, what the hell went on here?" Steve asked. "I ain't never seen such a mess. What'd ya do, invite the whole town over to party?"

Terry shrugged. "No, man, not the whole town, just some of the guys...just partied a little." He looked around, not even knowing where to start.

"Well, that's the last time I ask you to look after the house," Steve said. 

"Yeah, sorry, man...I was gonna clean it up, before you got home, but you didn't give me no warning," Terry explained. 

"Fine, whatever...guess I'll help ya," Steve said, as he went to get garbage bags.

Ghost had disappeared into his bedroom, checking to see if there was a big mess in there. He saw that the bed had been slept in, but not much else had been wrecked. He came back through, and saw Terry and Steve picking up stuff, and kept on walking. 

"Gonna get my things from the car," he mentioned, on his way out. He took his time.

~
*Fuckin' Perfect" , by Pink, released December 14, 2010, Woodshed Recording, on the label La Face RCA, on the album "Greatest Hits So Far", written by Pink - Max Martin - Shellback.  


~

Next installment coming soon!





Peace, Love, & Writing 

Monday, October 27, 2014

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE... ( eighty fifth installment)

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
85th installment
warning...adult content 



~

"Ok, Steve," Ghost said, as he went back to sleep. 

The next time the medic came in, Ghost was more alert, and checked out ok to leave. He said he'd sure like to hear them sing and play, someday. Steve told him he'd send him a copy of their "Lost Souls?" tape, when they got home. 

So that Ghost wouldn't have to walk all the way to the entrance, the airport workers gave them a ride on the little golf cart vehicle, then left them there at the door. After making their way through the parking lot, they just sat in the car a little while, exhausted from their trip...even though they never really went anywhere. 

Steve shook his head, then said, "Some fancy jet-set travelers we are, Ghost...can't even get off the ground...got lost in the freaking airport," then he started laughing. 

"I know," Ghost said, laughing at how ridiculous it all was. "Just a couple of freaks, freaking out at the freaking airport." 

They were still laughing, as Steve pulled out onto the highway. 

On the way out of town, they stopped for fast food and ate on the way.. Feeling much better, they made good time, on the road.  By nightfall, they'd gone up the mountain again, and were back at the Smoky Mountain restaurant and visitor center. They were greeted warmly by the employees, and they spent the night in one of the little cabins. 

The night was still and dark, as Ghost went out to look at the stars. He was glad they could just relax for awhile. Steve came up behind him, giving him a hug. Ghost leaned back, and sighed. 

"So, do you think we've had a good trip, I mean, all together, and all we've seen and done?" Steve asked.

"Yeah, I liked it, most of it anyway, but guess I am ready to go home now." 

"Me, too," Steve said. "I've had enough adventure for awhile. We can put our pictures together now, and you can write some stuff for it."

"And we can see our friends, and play at the club...and our house, Steve...we can see our house again," Ghost said, then yawned. 

Steve wanted to get an early start, the next morning, so he and Ghost went back inside. It was getting chilly out, and there was a feeling in the air of fall weather coming soon. There were plenty of blankets and pillows on the bed, and they snuggled down in them. 

"So, are you feeling ok, now?" Steve asked.

"Yeah...when they shot me, it helped me feel better. It made me all sleepy and drifty. I kinda don't remember it all, though."

"Well, you don't have to, it's over, now."

"Guess so, but Steve, I remember hearing people talking about me, and I've heard other people say things, too...things that make me feel bad. Probably, I'm not supposed to hear, but I do," Ghost went on. 

"Don't pay any attention to that, Ghost. Try to block out stuff like that, if you can. It don't mean anything anyway. I think things about people too, but they don't hear me...everybody does that. Don't you?" Steve asked.

"Guess so, but I don't say bad things out loud."

"Yeah, some people are just rude and mean and don't care what they say. Just ignore them."

"But, I can't! What if I am dirty, what if I am retarded, what if I just don't know it? You'd tell me, wouldn't you, Steve?"

"What are you getting at, Ghost? Is that what you hear people saying?" Steve asked.

"Yeah, I hear it a lot. Sometimes out loud, sometimes just hearing what they're thinking, but hearing it a lot, maybe it's true. But, I don't think I'm dirty...and I wash myself all the time. So, why do they say that, Steve? And what does retarded mean, anyway? Is it something bad...about me? And how would I know, except people say I am. I want to know, Steve. Will you tell me? Or, do you think so, too, and don't want me to know?"

Steve wasn't sure what he should say to ease Ghost's mind on all this. He got quiet for a few minutes, kind of hoping Ghost would just go on to sleep and forget about it. But, then...

"Steve...are you gonna tell me?" 

Steve cleared his throat. "Ghost, what people say don't mean nothing when they're being mean or saying bad things, ya know?"

"You already said that, I get it," Ghost said. "I try not to let it bother me, but I want to know if it's true."

"Ghost, please, just drop it, ok?"

"No, Steve, I want to know...what do those words mean when they say them about me?"

"Look, I can't explain it right," Steve said.

"Well, try, ok? I'm not gonna get mad at you. I just need to know." 

"Ok, then...all I know is some people are born with problems. Maybe they can't talk, or walk very good, or learn things easy...so people call them retarded, which just means they're slower at doing things than other people. That's all. Everybody has things they can't do, or have a hard time trying to do...that they're slower at...so I suppose everyone is retarded in some ways. Like you can't do numbers, so what? Maybe somebody else can't sing good. But, you can.

You've had a hard time, ever since you were born. Then you had those head injuries, that made your brain hurt, and maybe made you be confused about some things. But, you overcame things like that by finding another way to do them. If you have trouble in one thing, try another way. Everyone has something they're good at, and some things they're not good at. You're a genius when it comes to writing and singing. Most people couldn't do that, no matter how hard they tried. 

Well, anyway, does that help you any? That's all I know how to explain it," Steve said. 

Ghost thought for a minute. "So, are people calling me a bad word? It makes me feel bad. I don't understand it, yet." 

"Well, I guess it's not really a bad word, but the way they use it is meant in a bad way...to hurt your feelings, to make you feel bad. They use it to explain to themselves something they don't understand. People should just keep their mouths shut, and not say stuff like that, you know." Steve said. 

"Yeah, I don't like to hear it, but I do," Ghost said.

"You shouldn't worry about a stupid word, said by people who don't know any better than to be mean and rude," said Steve. 

"Ok, guess I'll try not to hear it, then," sighed Ghost. 

After a few minutes, when he was sure Ghost was asleep, Steve couldn't hold back silent tears for his friend and lover. 

~

The next morning, Ghost woke Steve for a change. He was ready to go and get breakfast. He tickled, and kissed, and jiggled Steve, until he woke up. Steve swatted him away a couple of times, but finally opened his eyes. He'd lain awake most of the night, and now Ghost noticed Steve's swollen, red rimmed eyes, and the tiredness on his face. 

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

"Nothing, just couldn't get to sleep, that's all. I'll be up in a minute."

Ghost looked hard at Steve, and caught fragments of his not well hidden thoughts of the night before. "Ok, Steve, but hurry up, I'm hungry," he said, not very happily, and his shoulders drooped. He got up and left the room entirely, going outside.

"Crap, I've done it again, without even saying a word," Steve thought. All he could do now, was get up and get ready to go. As he came outside, he saw Ghost across the way, at the overlook area. He was holding his arms up, and turning in a slow circle, eyes closed, and saying something. 

Steve watched for awhile, not wanting to interrupt whatever it was Ghost was doing. Finally, he walked on over. "What was that all abut?" he asked. 

Ghost grinned, and said, "Just saying hey to the mountains, and trees, and sun, and saying thank you for a beautiful day."

"That's nice...are you done now?" 

"I am, but you're not...you have to do it too, Steve." 

"Like hell! I'd feel stupid doing that. That's your speciality, saying morning to nature."

"But, I want you to. It makes you feel good, and I want you to feel good, Steve."

Steve gave a little put-upon growl, "What ever...how do you do it, then?" 

Ghost showed him, then sat back and watched. Steve stumbled around in a circle, almost losing his balance, and said a few words..."Hey mountain, hey tree...I see you, do you see me?"

Ghost snickered. Steve opened his eyes and glared. "You better start running, Ghost, 'cause if I catch ya, you'll regret making me do that." 

So, Ghost took off for the restaurant. Steve followed, smiling and shaking his head. 

~


Next installment coming soon!



Peace, Love, & Writing
 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE...(eighty fourth installment)

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
84th installment
warning...adult content 


~

Kinsey wished he could do something to help, but of course that was impossible. Then, he did hear a voice asking Ghost if they could help, but Ghost just wailed that he needed Steve. Another voice was heard, possibly an airport employee, or security, trying to ask Ghost what the problem was. There seemed to be a crowd of onlookers surrounding him now.

He could hear Ghost saying things like, leave me alone...go away...my head hurts so bad it might explode...I want Steve to come back. He heard Ghost saying no, no, no...I have to wait here, I can't leave, as another person urged him to come with them. When Kinsey couldn't hear any more commotion, though, he figured Ghost had been taken somewhere, but he could still hear people talking among themselves, saying ... dirty hippie...he said he was going to explode something...is he retarded...shouldn't be left alone...is he ok?

No one noticed the phone lying on the floor. Kinsey finally hung up his end. There was nothing he could do. He didn't even know where they were. Ghost was taken to a holding room, where he was to be questioned, and because he was mostly incoherent by now, a medic was called.

Meanwhile, the gate personnel had gathered Ghost's belongings, and noticed the phone. The line on this end was still open, but no one was on the other end, by then. Trying something, the lady hit redial, hoping whomever they were, would answer.

And, Kinsey did answer. She explained who she was and asked if he knew the person that they'd taken away. Kinsey told her who Ghost was, and that he had some problems, but was no threat to anyone, and that he was traveling with Steve, who was somewhere in the airport. They needed to find him, because that's one reason Ghost was so upset. The lady said she'd make an announcement, and thanked Kinsey for the information.

~

As for Steve, he was lost. He'd found a place to get food, but the line was long, and it was taking forever, so he went to another place...same thing. After trying two more food outlets, he finally was able to order something to eat. As he left, he realized he was all turned around. He didn't know which direction to go, now, so he started down one hallway, but nothing seemed familiar. He backtracked and tried another way. He didn't remember how far he'd walked, or even the gate number they'd been at before. He was starting to get worried; he knew how Ghost could be, being left alone so long.

He kept going off in different directions, and every time would think he'd gone too far, and double back. Finally, he asked a clerk, who pointed out the general direction of the boarding gates. He knew he needed to hurry, he had a strange feeling he could hear Ghost crying out for him. Then, there they were...he figured he'd see Ghost when he got to the right place. He went from one end to the other..."Where the hell is he?" He just stood still then, and tried to breathe, looking confused.

A gate clerk noticed, and had heard the bulletin about them looking for a guy that fit the way Steve looked, so went over to talk to him. "Are you Steve?" she asked.

Steve spun around. "Yeah, where's Ghost? Am I in the right place?"

"Oh, thank goodness I found you. I have to let them know." She used her two-way radio to call in. "Come with me...we have your friend in a private room."

Steve followed, thinking why were they holding Ghost...it must be worse than I thought.

In the room, after they heard Steve had been found, they told Ghost that Steve was on his way. The shots the medic had given him were taking effect, and he was almost nodding off, but still tearful. "Steve's coming?" he asked. His vision had cleared a little, so he tried focusing on the person's face, now that he wasn't blind.

Just then, the door burst open as Steve rushed in. He was so relieved to see Ghost. Going to him, he knelt down, grabbed Ghost in a big hug, and kissed him. "I'm here, Ghost. I'm here. I'm sorry I took so long...I got lost, but it's ok now. Are you ok? What happened?"

There were a few raised eyebrows from the group of people in the room, but they were happy these two had been reunited.

"Hey, Steve," Ghost said, "I was scared you weren't comin' back 'n now I'm ok...I got shot, and I feel better now. I called Kinsey, and he said you were coming back...and I'm still hungry, and sleepy, too." He laid his head on Steve's shoulder, and drifted off. Steve eased him down again, onto the cot, and smoothed Ghost's hair from his sweaty forehead.

He looked around the room at the people staring, and he started saying thank you to them, for taking care of Ghost, but he couldn't finish. He started sobbing, himself, at the relief he felt, and to ease some of the tension he'd had. The people were surprised at this turn of events. They'd all seen plenty of drama before, at the airport, but this really touched them like none before.

The medic came over to see if Steve needed anything for himself, but Steve shook his head. "Just thank you for helping Ghost...and is he going to be ok?"

"Yes, he'll be fine, probably sleep awhile. Y'all can stay in this room. I'm pretty sure you missed your plane, though. We'll help you take care of that, later, and find your baggage."

"Ok, I'll just stay with Ghost until he wakes up, then," Steve said, as he pulled up a chair beside Ghost, and squeezed his hand.

The airport workers had left, and the medic started asking questions, for the forms he had to fill out. Steve told him the main information, about Ghost and himself. Then the medic asked more personal questions. He was curious about why Ghost was the way he was. 

Steve explained some about Ghost having his skull cracked open at least twice, and it had definitely caused a lot of his problems. How his brain injuries had maybe made it so his mental age didn't quite match up with his real age, and that he was vulnerable and naive in lots of ways...but that he was genius in other ways. He didn't mention Ghost's psychic abilities. He did tell about their singing, and songwriting. They talked a bit more, and the medic said Ghost would probably be awake in a couple of hours. Other people came in to check on them. 

Steve dozed off and on, and then remembered Ghost had called Kinsey. He called him back, just to let him know what had been going on. He knew Kinsey would be busy at the club, and wouldn't have time to talk very long. 

"Hey, Kinsey...just wanted to let ya know we're both ok, now," he explained everything.

"Steve, why don't y'all just come on back home, now?" Kinsey asked.

"I'll have to talk to Ghost first, Kinsey. I think I'm about ready to, but I'll see what he says. We'll let ya know, soon." 

~
And so, Steve waited for Ghost to wake up. When he did, he was groggy, and asked Steve, "Where are we? Are we in the desert yet?

"Not yet, Ghost. Do you remember what all happened to you?"

Ghost thought a minute, "Uh...you were lost, and I was lost without you, and...there was too much noise. Then I went to the desert...and did you come, too? Now I don't know where we are." He looked confused. 

"I think you just dreamed part of that...the desert part, anyway. We're still at the airport. We never got to go on the plane, and...maybe we should just wait until another time? I'm kinda wanting to go home for awhile, ok? What do you think?"

Ghost frowned, then said, "Well, I promised you I'd go on a plane, but...guess it don't have to be today. I kinda already seen the desert, so if ya want to, we can go home. Maybe next time we'll do the plane thing, ok, Steve? I'm kinda tired." Ghost closed his eyes, as he squeezed Steve's hand. 

"Ok, Ghost, that's what we'll do then, as soon as you get cleared to leave, we'll head back to Missing Mile."

~

Next installment coming soon!




Peace, Love, & Writing 


Monday, October 20, 2014

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE... (eighty third installment)

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
83rd installment
warning...adult content 

~

They traveled on down the highway, through the night, coming into Knoxville, as dawn was breaking. Steve was yawning and could barely keep his eyes open. Ghost had fallen asleep some time back.

"Ghost, wake up," Steve said, nudging him. "I'm exhausted. I need to sleep. I'm renting a room here for a couple of days, ok?" 

"Ok, Steve, sounds good," Ghost muttered, his eyes still closed. 

A few minutes later they were in a motel room, and were sound asleep. The next morning, they figured they should do some laundry, and get organized for the rest of the trip.

"Look, Ghost, here's where we are now," Steve said, pointing it out on the map. "Here's all the rest of the country. Where should we go?"

Ghost looked mostly at the colors, then said, "Brown."

Steve gave him a look. "Brown?"

"Yeah, to a brown place...like over there." He put his finger over on Arizona. Looking at the town names he got excited, when he saw Tombstone. "Here's a good one, and it can go in our book when we find a graveyard." 

"Is that desert enough for ya, then?" Steve asked.

"Guess so, but I like the name best."

"Ok then, let's go to Tucson and rent a car, then we'll drive over there to Tombstone and check it out. Maybe we can even find a ghost town somewhere, too." Steve said.

"For real? There's whole towns with ghosts in them?" 

"Well, just abandoned towns...nobody lives there anymore, but maybe there's ghosts."

Ghost had a worried look on his face, "Yeah, guess I'd like to see that." 

Steve shoved Ghost's arm. "You're weird, Ghost, ya know that?" 

"Yeah, ya told me before, Steve." He folded up the map. "So, let's get going."

~

They drove out to the airport, and Steve figured out how to leave his car there until they got back. As they walked through the entrance, they stared at all the people, and counters, taking it all in. They'd never been in such a place, before. 

* "Is this gonna be like the big 'ol bus station in New York?" asked Ghost.

"I don't think there'll be any homeless bums jumping out at us here...but, this sure is big," Steve said. "Where do you think we should go, in here?"

"I'll ask," said Ghost, as he headed off to the nearest counter, dodging people who actually did know where they were going. 

Steve followed, lugging their duffel bags, and trying to keep up. As he caught up with Ghost, he heard him asking where to get a ticket to Arizona. The lady was tapping on her computer, and talking fast. Ghost had already gotten confused, so Steve took over. Finally they understood they'd have to go to another counter, way off down the row, to get the tickets. 

"Don't walk so fast, Steve...my head's spinnin' already."

"Well keep up, then. We have to hurry. She said there's a plane leaving pretty soon." 

They did manage to get their tickets and find the right gate. Steve had checked in their bags, but they carried on Steve's guitar and Ghost's backpack. On the other side of the security check-point, they found a place to sit down.

"We've got about an hour to wait, Ghost. I'm going to go find us something to eat. You stay here, ok...don't move, don't wander off."

"I'm not going anywhere, Steve...just...I'm getting nervous."

"Yeah, me too, but food will help probably. I'll be back in a little bit." He turned away to find a bathroom and a food place. He hoped he, himself wouldn't get lost.

Ghost sat there awhile, watching the parade of people pass by. He was getting restless, though. He began fidgeting, and could feel his eye twitching, and a headache coming on...and he was hungry. 

"Come on, Steve, come on Steve," he said over and over, out loud.

The loudspeaker announcements were blaring, and unintelligible. Ghost could feel his anxiety mounting. He couldn't block out all the thoughts of the people around him...all their fears and thoughts. It was getting to be too much for him. He tried leaning back in the seat, and closing his eyes, but he was still breathing hard, and could sense his panic increasing. 

And still, Steve wasn't back. "Where the hell are you, Steve?" he asked nobody, and continued to wait. He wanted so bad to get up and go look for Steve. He got his back pack, and rummaged through it. There was nothing to hold his interest. He didn't want to write, at the moment. His stomach was growling and he was getting light headed; he found no snacks in his bag. 

He decided to at least stand up by his seat. Maybe he could see over the heads of the crowd, and see if Steve was coming back. But, as he stood up, he could feel the whole place start to tilt, and he almost fell down. His eyes felt funny too, like huge...but he was having trouble seeing anything, just a big, blurry, noisy scene swirling all around him. His heart was pounding. He didn't know what to do.

He opened Steve's guitar case, just to see something familiar. Inside, he found the cell phone Kinsey had given them. That gave him the idea to try and call Kinsey...just to say hi, and to let him know where they were, and where they were going. He stared hard at the phone, trying to make the letters stop swimming around in his blurry vision. 

"I think I remember how to do this...he said use the letters," he said to himself, as he pushed the keypad in the order he remembered. He could hear it ringing. He heard Kinsey's voice coming out of the phone. 

"Hello, Sacred Yew, Kinsey here." 


Ghost was always amazed that it actually worked. He smiled and began talking in his round about way.

"Hey, Kinsey, can you help me find Steve? He went somewhere, and I think he's lost. He said he'd come back, but it's been forever. I'm still here, and this place is freaking me out. There's too much noise and people, and I'm so hungry I think I'm gonna faint."

"Ghost? What's going on? Don't talk so fast. Where are you, and where's Steve. Let me talk to him, now."

"I can't find him, Kinsey. I'm scared. I'm by myself, and we're gonna get on an airplane, and go see a tombstone, and...and...where's Steve? I need help!"

Kinsey could tell by the tone of Ghost's words, that he was about to lose it. "Calm down, Ghost," he said. "Let me get this straight. Y'all are at an airport, and Steve went somewhere and hasn't come back, yet?" 

"Yeah, and he was gonna get us some food 'cause we're hungry, and it's been forever, and he never came back. I'm still here where he left me. He said don't move, so I didn't. But I need to go find him, but I can't cause I'm all dizzy, and there's too many people."

Kinsey knew he had to give Ghost reassurance, and get him to calm down, before he really did go wandering off.  "Just stay where you are, ok? Steve will be back, don't worry. He's going to be back to get you." 

"Ok, Kinsey, but I'll probably be starved to death by then, and the plane I think already left without us."

"Where are y'all going anyway, on a plane?" Kinsey asked.

"We're going to Arizona to see the desert, but looking at graveyards, too...and other stuff. But we're scared to go on a plane, but Steve's tired of driving. Why won't he come back, Kinsey? I need him!" Ghost completely fell apart, then, sobbing and saying through his tears, "Where are you, Steve...I need you!" 

He had dropped the phone, and Kinsey couldn't yell loud enough to get his attention again, so he just kept listening to Ghost cry, and the airport noises. He hoped someone would notice, and that Steve would show up, soon.

~
Next installment coming soon!


*a reference to a story in the book "Wormwood" by Poppy Z. Brite, called "How to Get Ahead in New York"



Peace, Love, & Writing



w

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE...(eighty second installment)

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
82nd installment
warning...adult content

~

"So, I guess it's like you hear; you act like, you know, same as him. I get drunk and beat people up. I don't want to, I don't mean to, it just happens, then I regret it."

Steve took a moment, then said, "Ghost, I know it sounds stupid or crazy, or, I don't even know. I feel like I still need to protect you from bad things like those kids back then - and now, but then why do I end up hurting you? Why? And how do I stop?"

Steve was openly crying now. Ghost held onto him, letting him get it all out.

"I don't know, Steve," Ghost said, as he rocked back and forth, holding Steve close. "I had no idea of all of that.Thank you for telling me that...for letting me in. I think I understand you better now, why you do things like you do. I can only be here with you and listen when you need to talk. I hope it helps you, but maybe you need to talk to someone who really knows how to help.

Steve nodded. "Maybe you're right. I do feel better, now that you know. It did hurt to remember all that. I haven't thought of that stuff in a long, long time. But, knowing maybe why I do things, doesn't mean I can just stop, but I have to try, somehow, because it's not working just going along doing it over and over.

I know I don't get drunk as much as I used to, since my wreck. That scared me so much, I promised I'd try to slow down, and I have...but, that didn't stop me from losing my temper and all that I've done since then to hurt you. I don't know why, or when...it just...something just blows up in me and I lose it. I don't want you to be scared of me all the time...always having to wonder when I might get mad or hit you again. I hate myself for doing it...I just hate myself," he sobbed.

"Don't say that, Steve. Don't ever say that again. It doesn't help to turn it in on yourself. It's dangerous to think like that. I don't hate you...I never could, even after...well...you're more than the things you do, Steve. That's just how the hurt you feel comes out. It's not who you really are, I know. I love you Steve, the real you inside.

Ghost kissed Steve, and brushed his tears away. They were quiet for awhile. Then, Ghost continued...

"Steve, when you came to pretty much live with me and my grandmother, that was when you were basically abandoned, huh? Your family was gone, you couldn't protect your sister, so when I needed you, you did all you could for me. That's the real you, Steve...the person you are, the good, kind protector, who feels so bad when others are in trouble. You need to rescue them...me, your sister, anyone you feel something for. Your caring soul goes deep, and I think the start of it was back then...and I wouldn't even be alive if you hadn't helped me." Ghost took a few moments, thinking back.

"You know, I came over to your house one time. Do you remember? It was after you saved me. It was just you and your father there, and you didn't really want me to be there."

Steve nodded. "I remember. I was ashamed for you to see where I lived. I didn't want you to see how it really was...and I was afraid he'd hurt you, too. That's why I hurried up and left with you. Later, he did say bad things about you...awful things...said I may as well go be with you. He didn't want me around anymore. So, that was it, the day I came to your house and I just stayed. I never went back." Steve smiled, "I'm glad y'all let me in."

"Yeah, me too, Steve, me too."

"So, what now?" Steve asked. He'd calmed down; everything was out in the open, now. He was done with his past...for now, anyway.

"Ya wanna go home? If ya do, I'm ok with it," Ghost said. "Either way, Steve."

"Well, thought you wanted to ride in an airplane," Steve said.

"Uh, sure...someday."

"Well, I think someday is maybe tomorrow. We'll go get our tickets and fly away." Steve was grinning, now.

Ghost wasn't sure what just happened. One minute Steve was crying and depressed, remembering the past, and now he was smiling and acting like nothing special just went down. It made him wary. He was glad Steve had admitted things to himself, brought it out into the open, but this was too fast a turn-around. He was afraid Steve was covering up his pain, by being too happy - a fake happiness.

He seems to be trying to turn the attention off of himself, and onto me again...

Ghost could feel another blow up, a crash of emotions coming. Well at least Seve was willing to try to figure it all out. He needs more help than I can give him. When we do get back home, I'll keep after him, urge him to find somebody who can actually help. So, he decided to just humor Steve, for now. After all, our trip isn't over yet. We still love each other, and have a good time together wherever we are...we'll just take one day at a time.

"Ok, Steve," Ghost said, as he headed back to the car. "Let's go then. Where's the next place that has an airport?"

"I'll look at the map," Steve said, following Ghost. "Ya really gonna go through with this?"

Ghost looked directly at Steve, and nodded. "Yep, I'm gonna do it, and so are you."

As they looked at the map, Ghost reached out for Steve's hand. "Steve, are you, ok? I mean really? After all that back there, I feel like I made you do something you didn't want to do. I didn't mean to make you feel bad...about me wanting in...for all those awful memories to hurt so much." He searched Steve's eyes for the truth.

"I'm ok, really. I'm not mad because you wanted answers. I guess I did need to open up, remember, and let it out. It was there all the time, lurking behind everything I say or do. Kinda like a dark cloud over me. I think it's lifted a little, now. And, I'm for real gonna talk to a therapist or somebody. I'm not gonna push it under any more." Steve took a deep, cleansing breath.

"So, I'm feeling a lot better, now, and that's thanks to you. You and that crazy positive attitude you always have. You gave me some of that...I guess, I hope," Steve said. "So, maybe I seem too happy now? I guess I do. It still feels like a roller coaster, up and down...and I don't know how long it will be up, and when it will come down again, and it will, well, maybe it won't be such a low drop off, anymore."

Steve took Ghost's hands, and squeezed. "For now, I want for us to just be happy, for however long, ok? And please try not to be always looking for something bad to happen. I wouldn't want that. Just...I want for now to forget the past, to just have fun for awhile. Can we do that, Ghost?"

Ghost nodded, yes. "Ok then, Steve, let's just keep on with our trip, and I know we can still have fun. All this serious talk is getting to me, anyway. So, where to?"

Steve looked again at the map. "We're the closest to Knoxville, I guess. We'll go there next."

~

Next installment coming soon!





Peace, Love, & Writing

Sunday, October 12, 2014

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE... (eighty first installment)

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
81st installment
warning...adult content



~
"I'm an open book to you. I tell you everything about me, and show you all I feel and dream...and how I love you. And, you can't read my mind or anything, and yes, you know me inside out...past, present, and future. And, I can read your mind, and know things about you, but you won't let me in any farther. You have a brick wall around some part of you that won't reveal itself, that you won't let out in the open." Ghost took Steve's hands in his own.

"I want in, Steve...I want in. I want to know why...why you won't let me in, why you keep it a secret, why you're mean to me sometimes, why you love me...and then hurt me so bad. It's in there, Steve...the why. The layer I can't find. It's killing me, you're killing me. My soul needs an answer. What happened that makes you do that?" Ghost asked.

Steve's heart was pounding. He thought he might know finally what Ghost was getting at, and he was scared. When Ghost put it that way, he realized there was a part of him that no one knew. He had blocked it off from anyone ever seeing, even himself. Maybe I need to see a shrink...maybe that would be the breakthrough I need, Steve thought.

Ghost was pretty amazing at seeing through all his bullshit, and putting it in words he could understand..but, he still couldn't voice his feeling about it...and, did he even want to, to himself, or to Ghost? It had been hidden, like someone else's secret, not his own. But, if he and Ghost were ever going to get past this...this that Ghost knew was there, and kept digging at...then he had to start chipping away at it, too.

Ghost squeezed Steve's hands, pulling him closer. He laid his head onto Steve's, and said softly, "It's ok, Steve, it's just me that wants in. It's gonna be hard to face whatever demons are in there, but I want to help you face them. You're not alone. You'll never be alone."

Steve sobbed in Ghost's arms. There was so much, so many flashes of memory flooding his mind right now. He didn't know if Ghost could see it or not, but knew he had to try and let them out...out loud.

"What's in there, Steve? It must have been something awful for you to hide it for so long. Do you even remember? It's still there, holding you back. I can tell. I only met you when you were like, what...eleven or so? You were already pretty much who you are now. Did something happen before then?"

Ghost kept trying to pry open Steve's memory.

"I can't...I can't go back there, Ghost," Steve cried out. "Not right now; please don't make me remember."

Ghost knew he was getting close to hearing a painful truth from Steve. He just needed to push a little more, but not so much to destroy Steve's trust...to destroy Steve in the process. He knew it would help, but Steve didn't feel like it would. Maybe he'd already asked for too much. Maybe Steve would hate him for it, but he had to keep going. Leaving it like this would make it worse - half done, and would cause the memories to come out in destructive ways. It needed to be resolved now...tonight...right here when the door was cracking open.

Ghost smoothed Steve's hair back and wiped his tears. "Look at me, Steve. It's time. Time to face it, now, before it's too late, and it eats you alive from the inside. It will hurt to remember, but it'll be better if you go on and do it now. I'm right here to help you through. I won't leave, and I won't stop loving you, no matter what."

Steve shook himself, and nodded.

"Do you know what it is? Do you remember?" Ghost asked.

"I think so, but I'm afraid, Ghost. I don't want to remember. It...the feelings I have...they hurt me," Steve whispered, as he looked into Ghost's eyes.

"I know, Steve, but...well, maybe you think I'm being too nosey, that I should mind my own business...leave it alone. After all, I'm not a psychiatrist, and I can't promise you this will put an end to the pain you feel, but it's a start. Every day of life is a struggle, but at least you'll have a better understanding of why you do things...why you hurt yourself with too much drinking, why you have to hurt me. And, why you have to always be the bad guy, when I know you are more than that...can be more than that."

Ghost was quiet, then, waiting for Steve to think over what he wanted to say...to remember.

After a minute, Steve nodded. "I do remember something, maybe the start of it, anyway, but I don't know how to say it. I just don't have the words, like you."

"Ok," Ghost said, "just think of it, and let whatever is in your head come out. It doesn't matter how...we can figure it out together."

"Ok, I'll try," Steve said. "You know my family lived out on Violin Road, right?"

Ghost nodded.

"Well, you know how it is out there. Just shacks and poverty, and no hope for anyone to better themselves. We hadn't been there very long, before you came to town, but it's the only place I remember...nothing before that.

My old man was so mean to us, my mother, and sisters, and me."

"You have a sister?" Ghost asked. He'd never heard Steve mention them.

"Yeah, an older one and a younger one. I don't know what happened to them. Maybe they made it out alive, or maybe not. Anyway, he'd get drunk and beat us all. The last time I saw my little sister, they were taking her away in an ambulance. She never came back. Maybe she died, or maybe they gave her to somebody else. They acted like they didn't care." Steve closed his eyes, over his tears that began to fall again. He sighed and sniffed.

"The next thing I remember, I was in school, probably third or fourth grade. Nobody'd have anything to do with me. I had crappy clothes and never had enough to eat. They'd make fun of me. Then I finally figured out how to fit in a little bit. That was by acting tough, even though I didn't think I was. I got in fights, and won some. I talked a good game, I guess. But, at home, I was still just a punching bag.

One drunk night, he told me my mother wasn't my mother. He said my older sister was...that he'd raped her, and her kid was me. That didn't make any sense then, and it still doesn't...she was only a couple of years older than me." Steve shook his head.

"Fuck him, fuck him for telling me that lie, and me, for being so stupid as to believe it. I mean, he never let me forget it, either, kept on telling me that, and that I was just a bastard, and didn't deserve to live." Steve pounded his fist on the table.

"Next I remember, mom had already left by then, and so had my sister...or mother... or...I was so confused. The only half way good thing, was going to school. So, I was always hanging out late over there, and that's when you came in...the new kid.

They started bullying you, then. I felt they sort of accepted me by now - not completely - but, it took some of the attention off of me, and I still tried to fit in with the guys. But, I couldn't stand to see them come after you. I knew how it felt. I didn't know you yet, but when they almost killed you, I had to try and save you. Well, you know the rest." Steve stopped, looking into Ghost's eyes, before going on.


~

Next installment coming soon!




Peace, Love, & Writing  

Thursday, October 9, 2014

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE...(eightieth installment)

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
80th installment
warning...adult content


~
Out at the car, Steve did yank Ghost's hair to turn him around. He saw himself as he did it, and it felt like he was watching someone else's  hand do it. Ghost yelped at the sudden pain, and reached up to knock Steve's hand away. Steve grabbed hold of Ghost and shoved him up against the side of the car.

"Ow, Steve! What's the matter with you? Let me go."

"I saw you flirting with that guy in there," Steve said. "You know how that makes me feel, Ghost...huh? It makes me feel like shit, that's what's the matter. What'cha got to say about it?" Steve kept pushing hard, up against Ghost.

"I got nothing to say...I don't even know what you're talking about," Ghost said.

"I saw you, you little whore...making eyes, and smiling, and saying stuff...and...and...forgetting the words you were supposed to be singing. That proves it. You were so much into that guy, that you couldn't even keep your mind on the songs."

Ghost was getting scared, now...Steve was going ballistic on him, for no reason. He had to calm him down, but how?

"Steve, stop! You got it all wrong."

"Oh, I do, do I?" Steve was getting louder. "So, you didn't see that blond guy right in front of you...the one you said something to? Don't you dare lie to me, Ghost."

"You mean that guy that..."

"Yeah, that one. What'd you say to him?"

"Uh, uh...I think he asked me if I wanted to go somewhere with him after the show. I said no! That's it. I can't help it if people stare at me and ask me to do stuff. I don't control their thoughts."

"Yeah? But, I bet you're thinking it'd be fun to go off with some of them...like this guy. I swear, Ghost, I'd kill him before he could take you anywhere."

"Steve, that's never gonna happen," Ghost said. "Never! Now stop being mean to me and let me go, ok?" Ghost begged.

"Fine, Ghost, this time...and I don't want to see another time - got it?"

"Yeah, I got it, Steve," Ghost said as he rubbed his wrist's where Steve had been crushing them. "Can we get out of here?"

"Get in the car," Steve ordered, shoving Ghost in, and slamming the door. He got in the dirver's side, and sped out of the parking lot. He didn't see the guy from the coffee shop watching them, from around the corner of the building.

Steve drove fast, out of the town, and down the highway...no idea where he was going. He just wanted to drive away from the ugliness, that he'd brought upon them, back there. He needed to calm down, needed to apologise to Ghost, needed to get his temper under control, before he really hurt Ghost again.

Ghost just sat there looking out at the stars, as they drove off into the night. He couldn't bring himself to say anything, right now. Tears welled up in his eyes and fell silently down his face. He didn't want Steve to see or hear him sobbing. But, eventually he couldn't stop, and Steve did hear.

Steve could not apologise right now, though. The hurt he felt, was still too raw. He hated that he'd hurt Ghost, even a little. This would blow over, he knew, but it would take time.

As the miles put distance from the argument, Steve slowly calmed down. Ghost had stopped crying, but was still awake. Neither had said a word, and both felt an awkwardness in their silence. Finally, Steve pulled over at a rest stop, there on the side of the road. It was a dark and lonely looking place...just the tall trees shrouded in the fog that was forming.

"We need to talk," Steve said, and sighed.

Ghost didn't say anything, or look at Steve.

"Did ya hear me, Ghost?"

When Ghost still wouldn't say anything, Steve leaned over and yelled, "Answer me, damnit!"

At that, Ghost got out of the car, and walked away. Steve narrowed his eyes, and yelled, "Fine, go over there and pout like a baby...see if I care." He regretted it as soon as he said it, though. He got out and walked toward Ghost, who was sitting at the small table, with his arms crossed on top, and his head down.

Steve came up beside him and knelt down. "I'm sorry, Ghost. I didn't mean anything I said, or did tonight. I do care. I don't mean to hurt you, hurt your feelings, say awful things. I don't know why I do it. Just please talk to me."

Tell me how horrible I am, tell me to go fuck myself, kick me to the curb, hit me, knock me out...whatever...just don't hate me...don't give up on me...please, Ghost?"

Ghost sighed, then said, "Did you ever wonder about layers, Steve? That's a word that has a lot of meanings, lots of layers...layers." He stopped then, and looked at Steve, like he was searching for something in Steve's face, his eyes, his expression, even his mind...his inner self.

Steve felt uncomfortable with this close scrutiny. He didn't know what Ghost was getting at. Maybe he'd finally gone bonkers. But, he kept his mouth shut for once, and let Ghost continue.

"Lots of things have layers, Steve. Like an onion, or a cake, the Earth...even people. You see on the outside, one layer. Then you look closer, and you find another layer." He sighed again, and said, "I can see your layers, Steve. Some of them, but not all, yet. I want to see all your layers, but you hide them from me. Why? Why do you hide them from me?" He hung his head and cried.

Steve still had no idea what Ghost was talking about, but if he said that, it would be the wrong thing to say. But, what was the right thing?  "Ghost, what is making you so sad? I said I was sorry. I know I say it all the time, because I keep doing stupid stuff, saying stupid stuff..." he trailed off, at a loss of words.

"You don't get it, do ya Steve?" Ghost asked.

Steve shrugged.

"Do you see me?" asked Ghost.

"Yeah," Steve said.

"Do I keep secrets from you? Do you know all about me? Am I hiding who I am from you?"

"No, I think I know you, Ghost. I see you, and I've known you a long time."

Ghost looked at Steve, knowing he still didn't understand.

"Oh, my God, Steve, how can I explain it to you?"