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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE ... # 199

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
# 199
warning...adult content



~
After picking up their take- out food from the diner, Steve drove down the highway toward the house. Linda was excited to see it...her brother's house. For a few minutes, they were quiet, just listening to songs on the radio. Linda glanced into the back seat, wondering why Ghost had stopped talking.

"Steve, he's gone to sleep, already," she said.

Steve laughed. "Yeah, I figured he would be. He always falls asleep in the car. He's so hyper most of the time, as soon as he gets quiet, you know he's crashed. It only takes him a few minutes to restore the energy...I guess you'd call it that...then, he's going again."

Linda smiled, and shook her head. "How much farther to your house?"

"Not far," Steve said. "It's out in the woods."

After a few more minutes, he turned onto the long dirt road leading to the house, then parked on the gravel drive in front.

"Oh, this is such a cute house, Steve," Linda said.

"Cute?"

"Well, yeah...and I like it."

Steve shrugged. "It was Ghost's grandmother's house. She left it to him, and we like it ok. We almost lost it in a hurricane, not long ago. We had help fixing it back up, though. All the people in town helped."

"That sounds so nice, people helping others," Linda said. "You know, I'm seriously considering moving back here...for real."

"Oh, Linda, please do. I'd love it if you did," Steve said.

"Well, let me see the inside," she said, opening the car door to get out.

Steve opened the back door. "Hey, Ghost...we're home. Wake up and help me with this tree."

"We're here already?" Ghost asked, sitting up.

"Yeah, c'mon," Steve said, and began untying the tree from the car's roof. Ghost got out and helped him carry it up on the porch, leaning it against the railing.

"Ok, now...we'll eat, then do the tree," Steve said. "You ready for the grand tour, Linda?"

"Yes, I want to see inside, and see your cat."

Ghost opened the front door, calling out for his cat. Spirit came running out from the bedroom, meowing, and then rubbed against his ankles. Picking him up, Ghost said, "This here is Spirit, Linda."

"Oh, such a cute kitty," Linda said, and scratched the cat behind his ears. Spirit purred.

"He says he likes you, too," Ghost said. "I'm gonna feed him now." He put the cat down, who then led the way into the kitchen.

"Ok, well, this is the living room," Steve said, sweeping his arm around in a grand presentation sort of way. "That's the kitchen, and the bedrooms are down the hall, here."

Linda followed him, peeking into each room, before getting back to the living room.

"You can sleep in my bed, tonight...I'll sleep with Ghost," he said.

"Hey, y'all, it's on the table," Ghost said. He had set the pizza out, and bottles of  beer, and his Scuppernong wine, for himself. "I didn't know what you wanted to drink, Linda, but we have milk and coffee, too."

"This beer is fine, Ghost," Linda said. "It'll go good with the pizza."

As they all ate, Steve and Linda began talking about the past, again. Ghost wasn't listening...he was trying to come up with a plan to get Steve away for awhile, the next day. He didn't want Steve to drive up and see his surprise, before he could present it to him. He needed him to come from inside the house, but it was such a puzzle to figure out how.

Then he had a flicker of an idea. "Linda, are you gonna be here all day...I mean after tonight?"

"I'll be here awhile, I think. The bus doesn't leave town until late. Why?" Linda asked.

"I just need to ask you something," Ghost said. "I'll do it later, ok?"

"Ok, sure...whenever you want," Linda said.

Steve narrowed his eyes. "What 'cha got going on, Ghost?"

"Nothing...just something. You'll know when it's time to know," Ghost said. He was glad that Steve couldn't read his mind. He was finished eating, so he said, "I'm getting my decorations for the tree, now." He went off down the hall.

Steve gave Linda a knowing look. "Ya think it has something to do with a secret present, for me?"

Linda laughed. "I don't know until he tells me, Steve, but I wouldn't be surprised."

"Yeah, me either. Well, I better get that tree inside, and set it up," Steve said. He went out to get it. It wasn't a big tree, only about five feet tall, but it did need the tree stand.

"Hey, Ghost...go find the stand for this tree. I think it's in the back room," he yelled out to Ghost.

"The back room?" Linda asked. "You didn't show me a back room."

"Oh, well, it's just for storage," Steve said. "It used to be Miz Deliverances's potion room. She was an herbalist, and there's still a lot of it back there...all dusty, weird shit. It's kinda spooky back there, anyway."

"Weird, spooky...why?" Linda asked.

"Oh, you know..."

"How can I know unless you tell me, Steve?"

Steve laughed. "Well, guess you can't. You see, I told you about Ghost, how he's psychic and sees visions, and all that...well, his grandmother was like that, too."

"She was a..."

Steve shook his head. "No...no...she wasn't a witch. She was a very nice old lady. A bit strange, but she had a way of knowing stuff. So, anyway, that room is spooky...to me. I even saw something back in there once."

"Really? What? You gotta tell me these things, Steve. Am I staying in a haunted house?"

"No...yes...oh, I don't know. Ghost has me believing all kinds of things are possible," Steve said.

Just then, Ghost came in, carrying the stand, and a big box. "Here, Steve, grab this thing before I drop the box," he said. Steve did get the stand, and began arranging the tree into it.

Ghost sat on the floor by the box. "Look at all these cool decorations I got, Linda. I got these ones at the thrift shop," he said, holding up several, one at a time.

"Oh, I like those, Ghost," Linda said.

Ghost held up a few more. "These ones are some I made, myself."

"You made these?" Linda asked, as she looked at Ghost's art work. There were a couple that had his and Steve's faces painted on flat pieces of pine wood. Others had cut out pictures from their road trip, and there were also some folded origami shapes, in different colored papers.

"This other stuff is just some things from my room, like these glow in the dark stars...and some from my grandmother's Christmas trees... and mine from when I was little." He was proud of them all.

"These are all amazing, Ghost," Linda said. "This tree will be very pretty and special."

They all took a few of the ornaments, and began hanging them on the branches. Ghost was humming Christmas songs, then Steve and Linda joined in singing them. When they were done, Ghost got his camera out, and they took turns posing and snapping pictures. Spirit even got to be in some of them.

Linda was thinking this was one of the nicest Christmases she'd ever seen, when she felt a slight tingle. She glanced over at Ghost, who was smiling. "Yes, it is, Linda," he said.

She was surprised, again, that she'd had her thoughts picked up by Ghost. She looked at him and smiled, while thinking of something else, to see if he'd know. She thought..."Do you read people's minds all the time?"

Ghost nodded. "Yeah, I can, but I try to block most of it out."

"That's so cool, Ghost," Linda said. "I think I heard you in my head, last night, too, as you were leaving?"

"Uh-huh, that was me," Ghost said, and laughed.

She shook her head in amazement. "I've never met anyone like you, Ghost...and I'm so glad I'm getting to know you."

"Me, too," Ghost said.

Steve looked around from behind the tree. "What are you two yammering about?"

"Oh, Ghost was reading my mind, and we were talking about it, that's all, Steve," Linda said.

"Yeah, that...it is kinda strange, but I'm pretty used to it by now," Steve said. "Right, Ghost?"

Shaking his head, Ghost said, "No, it freaks you out every time."

Finished decorating, they stood back and admired how it looked. Steve turned out the lights, and the stars glowed a pale green.

"It's beautiful," Linda said. They all agreed.

"Well, since we're done, I'm going out to the graveyard," Ghost said. "Y'all wanna come? It's cold out, so I won't stay long." He went to get his jacket and scarf.

"I'll come," Linda said, and they all went out back, down the path, Steve lighting the way with a flashlight, so Linda could see where to step. It had stopped snowing, so there was only a light dusting of powder on the headstones. Ghost had grabbed a couple of blankets on their way out.

"You're not scared of graveyards, are ya?" Ghost asked Linda.

"Well, maybe a little," she said, "and this one is so close to your house. Do y'all come out here a lot?"

"We come out here almost every day," Steve said. "Ghost talks to the spirits of the dead soldiers out here."

~
Next part coming soon!



Peace, Love, & Writing

Sunday, July 26, 2015

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE ... # 198

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
# 198
warning...adult content





~
Ghost reached for his jacket, then handed Steve the phone. He called in their take-out order from the diner, then noticed that Zach had called, a little earlier.

"Did you talk to Zach, yet?" Steve asked. "Looks like he called." He handed the phone to Ghost, who frowned at it.

"Oh, yeah...I gotta talk to him...but private. I'm going out there," Ghost said, as he went out into the club area.

"It's a madhouse around here sometimes, Linda, as you can see," Steve said.

"Yes, and I'm loving every minute of it," Linda said. "I'll get a few things from upstairs, then I'll be ready to go."

"Ok...hey, Kinsey, we're fixin' to leave. Guess we'll catch up with ya tomorrow," Steve said.

"Oh, sure, Steve. You feeling ok, now? Sorry, for hitting ya," Kinsey said.

"I'm fine, Kinsey, it's no big deal," Steve said, then went out to find Ghost.

He saw him still talking on the phone, so just motioned to come out to the car, when he was finished. Linda came downstairs, and she and Steve walked out the back door.

~
Ghost finally got Zach back on the phone. "Hey, Zach, it's me. I gotta know something."

"Hi, Ghost...what's up?"

"Um, you know that thing we got, that's a secret from Steve?"

"Yep, it's still a secret, isn't it?"

"Uh-huh, but when is it gonna not be anymore...like I don't know when...'cause I don't, and you need to tell me, so I can get things ready," Ghost said.

Zach took a second to figure out what Ghost was asking. "Oh, you need to know when the car will be delivered, right?"

"Yeah, that's right."

"Ok, it's going to be tomorrow afternoon, at least that's what they said." He was still not sure how to talk to Ghost, when things of time and numbers came up...how to get him to understand. "You know what tomorrow afternoon is, don't you, Ghost?" Zach asked.

"Kinda, but...but, when is that?" Ghost sounded like he had no idea.

Zach sighed. "Ok, tonight is when it gets dark, and you go to sleep. Tomorrow is when it gets light and you wake up. Then you eat breakfast, then you eat lunch, then afternoon is then...between lunch and supper. So the car should be delivered before supper tomorrow."

"Oh, ok...I think I got it," Ghost said. "So we have to be home all day?"

"Yeah, pretty much, 'cause you gotta sign the papers that say you got the car,when they bring it," Zach explained.

"Ok, cool...I'll plan something for when Steve sees it," Ghost said. "Thanks, Zach."

"Good luck...I'm sure Steve will love his surprise," Zach said.

Ghost smiled, thinking about the Christmas surprise for Steve, then went down the hall. "Bye, Kinsey, see ya later."

"Bye, Ghost..." Kinsey said.

As Ghost walked outside, he saw that it was beginning to snow. He tried to catch snowflakes in his mouth. Steve and Linda watched him, as they sat in the car.

"Steve, you amaze me," Linda said. "Just from the last couple of days, I can say I am proud of you, and proud to be your sister." She hugged him close.

"Thanks, Sis, but I don't do anything special. I just try to make it through each day as best I can," Steve said. "Just like everybody else."

"No, not everybody. Not everybody has the thing inside them that makes them overcome trouble in their lives...to keep on, in the face of hard knocks...to face their worst fears, and to have patience and love enough inside them to keep on, Steve." She smiled, and looked out at Ghost, again.

"Look at Ghost...he has it, too. In spite of everything, both of you keep on, never giving up, no matter what. That's what I see. I see that you two belong together," Linda said. "You both hold the other up, when it gets tough. It's inspiring, Steve." She shrugged, and said, "And, sorry if I'm getting all sappy about it, but I just love you...and now, I love Ghost, too."

Steve sighed. "Thank you, Linda. It does get hard, sometimes." He closed his eyes for a moment. "For awhile, when I didn't have Ghost, when he left me...I really thought I'd die. I was dead inside already...and he saved me by coming back to me...forgiving me..." Steve caught his breath. "And, I'll never take that for granted, again...never." He looked out the car window, at Ghost.  "Linda...I got him a ring...for Christmas. I know we can probably never really be married...not officially, but I feel we are, already."

"Oh, Steve," Linda said. "I can see that, too...and a ring...well, that's going to mean so much to him."

"Yeah," Steve nodded, smiling. "I had it engraved on the inside. It says 'forever more', 'cause that's us...and our names, too. That word has been one of Ghost's favorite things to describe us, even since the first," Steve said.

"So it's a surprise?" Linda asked.

"Yeah, I'm giving it to him tomorrow. We already planned to do our gifts on Christmas Eve," Steve said. "I don't have any idea what he's got for me, but even if it was nothing, it would be everything...just him."

"Aww, Steve, you're going to have me crying any second," Linda said, wiping away a tear.

"I wish I'd have known you were coming here sooner. I'd have gotten you something," Steve said.

Linda shook her head. "No, I have everything I need, right here, Steve...being here with you." She took his hand and kissed it.

Just then, Ghost ran over and jumped in the back seat. "Hey, y'all, it's freaking cold out there. Can we go, huh? And, I'm hungry, and Steeeve, you promised we'd get a tree today, and we haven't yet. Today is the day, isn't it, or is it tomorrow? I'm learning day words, I think. Zach was explaining it to me on the phone, 'cause I needed to know when is tomorrow, 'cause...well just 'cause...so let's get one, ok? And I got all those things to put on it. Linda can help now, too." He stopped to take a breath. "Did ya hear me?" Ghost asked, looking at Steve and Linda.

They started laughing. "Yes, we heard you, loud and clear, Ghost," Steve said.

"I say we go get our food, and a tree, and go to y'all's  house, right now," Linda said.

"Ok, then...the mission is...get food, and find a tree, and go home," Steve said, as he backed the car out, and headed for the diner.

On the way, they passed by the little grocery store. "Hey, look..." Steve said, slowing down. "They have some trees for sale. You want to get one of these, Ghost?"

"Yes, yes, yes...stop," Ghost said, and as soon as Steve parked the car, he jumped out. There were only a few trees left...none of them perfect, but Ghost hugged them all, and he did find the one he wanted. He told the other trees, he was sorry, but he could only take one of them home.

"This here tree is it," he told Steve.

"Ok, then," Steve said, and went inside to pay for it. Then finding a length of rope in the trunk of the car, he and Ghost tied it to the roof. Then they went on down to the diner. Linda and Steve went in to get their food order.

"Hey, how's it going?" Steve asked the waitress.

"Steve, hi...well, I'm about finished with my shift. Everything's been good. Are you and Ghost ready for Christmas?" she asked.

"Yeah, we just got our tree. Ghost is out in the car. Oh, this is my sister, Linda. She's here to visit, all the way from California."

"Hope you enjoy our little town, Linda," the waitress said. "You're welcome in here, anytime."

With their food ready to go, Steve and Linda went back to the car. The waitress asked the manager, "I didn't know Steve had a sister, did you?"

"I think I heard of one that ran away, years ago. Guess she'd be the one," he said.

~
Next part coming soon!



Peace, Love, & Writing

Friday, July 24, 2015

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE ... # 197

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
# 197
warning...adult content




~
Linda watched Steve and Ghost dance, for a few minutes, tears running down her face. She then turned and went up to her room. As she got comfortable on the bed, she thought about all Steve had told her. There was so much about him that she'd not known. She wished it had been different...his life...her life...but now this meeting, this finding each other, was the beginning of a new part of them...of her family...and his.

She had been shocked and sad to hear of Steve and Ghost's past. That he had actually beat Ghost to death, that poor child, and only God's grace had saved him, up on the mountain. That Ghost had come back and forgiven Steve, that Steve had conquered his alcoholism, and tempered his anger and violent nature, was heart wrenching to hear what they'd been through. All that Steve had now become, was because of Ghost, and of Steve's love for him.

She then thought of this little town, and how everyone knew and looked after each other. That would never happen in L. A. Most people didn't know or care about their neighbors. Maybe it would be good to live here, and give the kids a more gentle environment to grow up in. The more she thought about it, the more she liked the idea.

Finally, she decided to bring up the subject to Lisa, but that would be tricky. Lisa now had a fiancé and a good job. She wouldn't want to move here. These thoughts were all swirling in her head, but eventually she did fall asleep for a long nap.

~
Steve and Ghost had continued dancing and making out, there in the empty darkness, awhile longer. Their kisses and touches getting more insistent...and they could wait no longer. Steve was breathing hard, and Ghost was relaxed and dreamy eyed, as they made their way to the dressing room behind the stage.

Leaving the lights off, and locking the doors, they fell onto the couch and satisfied their need for each other, as the jukebox music played on.

~
Kinsey meanwhile, had finished his cooking and had sat down for a coffee break. The club would be busy tonight, even if it was just a regular night...no featured band. But, sometimes the kids would bring their guitars or fiddles, whatever they played, and had impromptu jam sessions. Whoever wanted to could get on stage and join in. He was wondering where everyone had gone, when he heard a phone ringing...or rather playing a song he knew wasn't from his phone.

He looked around, finally seeing that it was the phone Ghost had shoved into his Army jacket pocket. He'd left it there in the kitchen. Fumbling around, Kinsey answered it, just in time. "Hello?"

"Uh, this isn't Ghost," Zach said.

"No, Zach...it's Kinsey."

"Oh...well, I'm calling Ghost back. He wanted to talk earlier."

"Yeah, well, he's off doing something with Steve," Kinsey said. "I'll go find him. They're out in the club somewhere."

He walked out into the bar area, scanning over the dance floor, but didn't see them, so walked down the hall to the dressing room. Trying the doorknob, he found it was locked. Curious, he stared at it a second, then heard noises coming from inside the room. There was no mistaking what was going on in there. He shook his head, and walked away, back to the kitchen.

"Zach, I found 'em, but they're not able to come to the phone. When they come out, I'll tell them to call you, ok?" Kinsey explained.

"Yeah, ok," Zach said. "But, just tell Ghost...Steve don't need to know."

"Ok, got it," Kinsey said. He went back to his coffee, putting the phone back in the jacket pocket.

As he sat there, feet propped up on an adjacent chair, he went over what else needed to be done before opening. He had another few hours, though. He closed his eyes, and was just dozing off, when he heard laughing, and what sounded like a horse coming down the hallway. "What the hell is going on?" he thought, as Ghost and Steve banged the kitchen door open, and staggered in, almost falling down. Ghost was riding on Steve's back like a horse, as Steve struggled to stay upright.

Ghost ducked his head as they came in, which threw Steve off balance, and they both tumbled to the floor, laughing. Their hair was wildly mussed up, and their clothes put on haphazardly, but their eyes, as they laughed, were dark with pleasure. Kinsey laughed, too, thinking they were just like a couple of playful puppies.

Steve brushed himself off. "Hey, Kinsey...what's up?"

"I think you two are up...high as a kite up. Y'all been into Terry's weed out there?" Kinsey asked.

"Sure, Kinsey...we're always into Terry's weeeed," Ghost said. He plopped down on a chair next to Kinsey, pulled out a hastily rolled joint, and said, "Here...ya want some, too?" He held it up, right in Kinsey's face, trying hard to focus. Steve was just standing there looking zoned out.

"Guys, get it together. Put that away now," Kinsey said. "This is a respectable business. What if the sheriff walks in?"

"We got respect too, don't we, Steve?" Ghost asked. He looked over at Steve, and repeated "'Spect, re...spect...table...re-spect-table...is that what you said, Kinsey? Well, huh...anyway, who ya talking 'bout...'ol Jimmy? The one that's a cop? Good 'ol Jimmy...right Steve? He comes over all the time and lights up with us. So...maybe we'll call him to come over too, now...over here...not there, and ya know...just have this...this..." he peered at the joint in his hand. What do you call this, anyway?" He starting laughing.

Kinsey saw that Ghost was descending into craziness, and he needed to somehow bring him back to reality. He took the joint from Ghost, meaning to throw it away. As he yanked it out of Ghost's hand, his arm went back, and it hit Steve square in the face. Kinsey and Ghost both watched, as Steve fell backward to floor...out cold.

"Steve!" yelled Ghost. "You killed Steve!" He kept on, going over to revive him. "Wake up, Steve." Ghost was on the floor, yelling at him, and shaking Steve's shoulders.

Steve was only out for a minute, but he had a lump on his forehead. "What happened?" he asked, slowly coming around.

"Kinsey killed you, but now you're back." Ghost was still hollering.

Kinsey had ran to get a package of frozen peas. "Here put these on your head," he said, as he put the package on.

Ghost grabbed it, though. "He don't wanna eat these...they ain't even cooked."

"Ghost, shut up...move back. Steve will be ok...give him some room." Kinsey pushed Ghost out of the way. All three were on the floor now.

Linda had been woken up at the first loud noises, and she'd come downstairs. She'd witnessed the whole incident, and knew it wasn't serious, just an accident. She was doubled over with laughter, seeing the three of them. Then, they noticed her there, and they all started laughing, even Steve, with his lumpy head. Eventually, they were able to get control.

"Sorry that you got hurt, Steve, but that was the funniest thing I've seen in a long time. Y'all remind me of the three Stooges," Linda said. "Whew, my stomach hurts."

Kinsey got up from the floor. "It was all an accident. Didn't mean to knock ya out, Steve."

"Yeah, I know...but what did I miss?" Steve asked.

"You missed me yelling at you, that's what," Ghost said. "Do you need me to yell at ya some more?"

"No, no more yelling," Kinsey said. "Here, Steve..." he held out his hand to help Steve up. "Sit here a minute, you'll be fine." He got Steve settled in a chair, then went to check on his stew.

Ghost was crawling around on the floor, looking for the joint that had fallen. Linda was watching him. "Steve, what's he doing?" she asked.

Steve shrugged. "I don't know...hey, Ghost...what are you doing?"

"Looking for the joint, Steve. It's here somewhere. I gotta find it." He stopped every few seconds, to push his hair out of his eyes. "I think it flew away, when Kinsey hit you...and maybe I need some, 'cause this whole day has been so weird, ya know.  And now, I want to go sit in the graveyard." He looked up at Linda. "Hey, come to our house, ok? You never seen it, and we have a really cute cat I wanna show ya, and..."

Steve started talking to Linda, leaving Ghost to babble on, there on the floor. "Yeah, you should come see our place," he said. "We can go now."

"Well, sure, Steve. I'd like that. Is there someplace to get take-out...a pizza or hamburgers, or something? I'll treat y'all," Linda said.

"Sure, there's a diner. We can call and order something, then go pick it up."

"Ghost was still going on, saying whatever came to mind. "He's still talking," Linda said, looking down at Ghost.

Nodding, Steve said, "Yeah, he never shuts up. It's ok, he does it all the time." He nudged Ghost with the toe of his boot. "Hey, Ghost...Ghost...shut up for a minute. We're going to get food, and go home. Get your stuff. Where's my phone, anyway? I'm calling in our order."

"It's in my jacket," Ghost said, reaching for it.

~
Next part coming soon!




Peace, Love, & Writing

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE ... # 196

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
# 196
warning...adult content




~
Linda got quiet, as she and Steve continued their conversation. "Steve, there's one more thing I have to tell you. It's about our mom."

"Mom? Did she find you?" Steve asked.

Linda shook her head. "No, she passed away, before she could."

Steve took in a sharp breath. "No...how...when?"

"It was a few months before Lisa began teaching. Lisa told me, and it was sad, really. She said they'd done the same as I had, tried to make it however they could. She'd gotten a pretty good job, and everything seemed ok, but she was still a broken woman, Steve. After all the abuse here, and not having me and you...it took it's toll. She got sick, Lisa said, and just never recovered. It was a year past, when I found Lisa."

"God, that's awful, Linda. I had no idea what happened to any of y'all," Steve said. Shaking his head, he said, "It wasn't any better here...he hated me, ya know. He blamed everything on me, but it was all his drinking. I mean, I was just a kid... I didn't know anything different, just I knew it was wrong. Half the time he wasn't even at home, and the rest of the time, he was beating me up." He stopped for a minute, remembering the bad times.

"It was so hard, Linda...and staying in school, that's all I had going for me, and that wasn't much better, but it kept me out of Dad's way for awhile. He did do one thing, though. I don't know why, unless it was to buy me off so I wouldn't turn him in, ya know. Anyway, he got me a car, when I was fourteen. I didn't have a liscense, but I drove it anyway." He rubbed his forehead, thinking back.

"He was worse than ever after that, though...when he was home. I'd had it, Linda. I wanted out of there. But, then I met Ghost." He smiled, and his frown went away. "Ghost saved me, and I saved him."

Steve told his sister the whole story of him and Ghost, leaving nothing out...even the bad parts. "I'm so in love with Ghost, Linda...and I don't deserve to have him. I don't know why he stays...why he still loves me, but he does." He closed his eyes for a moment. "Oh, God, Linda, I'm so afraid, every day, that it will be over...that he will leave me again, or disappear, or something." He said a silent prayer, that that day would never come.

Linda took his hands, again. "Steve, look at me. You do deserve Ghost's love for you. Don't say you don't. Y'all have had a hard road, but managed to work it out, the way that's best for both of you." She sighed. "That young man out there...I can tell he is so, so special. He can see into people's hearts, and he knows you are a good person. From what you've told me, he has some problems, but then, we all do, in one way or another. Just keep loving each other as best you can. I love Ghost already, too."

"Thank you, Linda...and thank you for loving Ghost," Steve said. He hesitated before speaking again. "Um, there's something else that's been worrying me," he said, looking down. "I was scared you'd not like us...me...because I'm gay." Clearing his throat, he continued. "I had a hard time admitting it to myself. I tried not to be...I had lots of girlfriends...one I was going to marry. Her name was Ann, and my God, Linda, she was murdered. It messed me up for a long time, trying...trying to figure out why...you know. Why did things go so wrong? And then, later on, I began to realize, it was Ghost that I loved...was in love with. Somehow, I sort of knew, way back in the early days, but I couldn't understand my feelings, then.

Ghost knew before I did. He stayed through it all...all the running around I did...all the pain I must have cause him, to see that. Argggh...why did it take me so long?"

Linda made him look at her. "Steve, I love you ...it doesn't matter that you're gay...that you love Ghost. I'm just happy for you, and that you have someone that loves you unconditionally." She sighed. "It didn't last for me, and maybe I'll find someone like that some day. So don't worry about it any more, ok?"

Steve nodded. "Ok, and thank you, Linda, I needed to hear that." He reached out to hug his sister. "So what now?" he asked. I don't want us to just find each other, and that's all. You live so far away."

"I know," Linda said. "And, I have to get back there. I'm leaving tomorrow night."

"Oh, no...not yet," Steve said.

She nodded. "Yes, I've got to get back to my kids, and it'll be Christmas and all. But, I don't want this to end here, either. Somehow we'll work it out...visits...phone calls, pictures, I don't know."

"Y'all can all move back here," Steve said.

She was shaking her head.

"Sure ya can. It's really a great town...not much to do, but close to a big city. Think about it. Please?"

"I'll think about it," Linda said. "But, on the other hand, y'all could come to us. I'd love that."

Now, Steve was shaking his head. "No, Linda, we couldn't. This is home, and we'd never like a big city like L. A."

"Well, you think about it, too," Linda said.

They took a minute, just thinking how to work it out.

"Hey, I have an idea," Steve said. "Go have Christmas with the family, then all of y'all come back here...just for a visit. I really want to see Lisa and the kids, so bad."

"Ok, I'll see if we can, for a short visit," Linda said, and laughed.

The meeting had cleared up a lot of questions, and both felt much better, now. "Let's go find Ghost and Kinsey," Linda said, as she opened the office door.

Hearing jukebox music playing, they went down the hallway, curious as to what was going on. At the kitchen door, they saw Kinsey, stirring his stew on the stove, and bouncing along to the music.

"Hey, Kinsey, what's up?" Steve asked.

Kinsey jumped at hearing them come in. "Hey, you two...just cooking for tonight's kids. Y'all done talking for awhile?" he asked.

"Yeah, it's all good. We had a lot of catching up to do," Steve said. "Where's Ghost?"

Kinsey shrugged. "Aw, I don't know...he's out there somewhere, I guess. He was helping me in here, then wandered off, like usual."

"Ok, I'll go find him," Steve said, and went out into the club area. Linda stayed in the kitchen, tasting Kinsey's stew.

Steve walked over to the bar, and paused, as his eyes adjusted to the dimly lit room. Scanning the stage, and dance floor, he finally spotted Ghost, way off in the far corner of the club...a pale figure, dancing and swaying fluidly to the emotions the music made  him feel.

Smiling, Steve wished he could be so free and uninhibited. He was thinking how beautiful Ghost was...dancing in the dark, when Linda came up beside him. She put her arm around his waist, as she watched Ghost dance. Her heart swelled with love for Ghost...for him loving her brother.

She whispered to Steve, "Go to him...go to your love..."

Steve caught his breath, and nodded. "Yes.." he whispered, and moved off into the darkness, to join Ghost in the dance. As he reached him, Ghost turned, then stopped dancing. He moved close to Steve, putting his arms around his neck, and kissing him long and deep. Then he started a swaying dance, and Steve didn't feel awkward, at all.

~
Next part coming soon!



Peace, Love, & Writing

Sunday, July 19, 2015

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE ... # 195

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
# 195
warning...adult content



~

Ghost walked over to the writing wall by the side of the stage. Taking out his markers, he began to write about finding the rose on the porch, this morning. Then he drew a picture of Steve and Linda, and one of himself and Steve up on the stage. Last, he drew a pretty good likeness of Gumbo, playing their songs on stage.

Closing his eyes, now, he tried to envision the scene from the show last night...trying to pinpoint where in the crowd Maxey could have been. All that came to mind was a person that was not dancing, back behind the jostling kids on the dance floor. That must have been him. He didn't know what to think, now. Maxey was out of jail, and at the show. He knew he didn't want to ever see Maxey again, after he'd escaped from him. Finished writing, he got out the phone, and managed to dial Zach's number.

It rang several times, and then Zach answered, sort of... Ghost could hear giggles. Then he heard Trevor say 'hang up', and Zach saying, 'ok, just...' Then Zach spoke into the phone, "Hello?"

"Zach, it's me, Ghost..."

"Oh, Ghost, can I call you back?" There were kissing sounds.

Ghost smiled. "Ok, Zach, when y'all get done loving on each other, call me back." More giggles, and the phone shut off. Ghost stared at it for a minute, then sighed, putting it back in his jacket pocket. He hoped Zach would remember to call him back.

Making his way out to the kitchen, he began to help Kinsey prepare the food. "Got your business taken care of?" Kinsey asked.

"Yeah, some of it. I need to talk to Zach about stuff, but him and Trevor was busy," Ghost said.

"Busy?"

"Uh, yeah...in bed...ya know...he'll call me back."

"Oh, I see," Kinsey said, and smiled. These young'uns never get enough...

"How do you think Steve and Linda's meeting is going," Kinsey asked.

"Ok, I guess. She's real nice and I like her already," Ghost said.

"Seems like it to me, too," Kinsey said. They finished up the sandwiches and began cutting up vegetables for a stew.

"Kinsey, I need some advice," Ghost said.

Kinsey glanced up. "What about, Ghost?"

"Well, something happened this morning, and me and Steve..." Ghost began, then Kinsey interrupted.

"Are y'all ok? Not fighting are ya?" Kinsey was on alert.

"No, we're ok, but I found out Maxey is out of jail now."

"What...already?" Kinsey frowned, hearing that bit of news.

"Yeah, and he was here last night, but we didn't know it. And, he sneaked over to our house later, and there was a rose and a note on the porch. We found it this morning."

"What did the note say?"

"It just said he liked the show, and he wouldn't bother me," Ghost said. He looked up into Kinsey's eyes, and Kinsey could see that he was worried.

"But, Kinsey...he already did bother me, 'cause he came to the house, ya know, and that really bothers me. So now what?"

"It bothers me, too, Ghost. I would have never let him in here, if I'd seen him. I didn't know he was back on the streets so soon. I'll make a few phone calls, and find out what's what. In the meantime, don't acknowledge him...don't respond, or contact him. Just ignore anything he tries. Maybe he's gone, and maybe he really means it, but be alert, Ghost," Kinsey said. "Stay close to Steve, and report anything suspicious. I'm gonna check on that restraining order...make sure it's still in effect, or get a new one, ok?"

Ghost nodded. "Yeah, Steve made me come here today, too. He didn't want me to be alone at the house, either."

Kinsey nodded. "Good, and until we're sure Maxey is gone, keep it that way." He saw that Ghost was still worried about it. Giving him a hug, he said, "We'll work it out, Ghost. Everyone has your back in this."

"Thank you, Kinsey, I'll try not to worry."

"It'll be ok. Now, I do have some good news," Kinsey said. "Y'all's  CDs and books got sold out."

"Really?" Ghost smiled. "That's great, and Steve will be happy, too."

~
In the office, Steve and Linda had started off their meeting a bit awkward, at first, but eased into the conversation a little at a time.

"Steve, I'm so happy to have found you again," Linda said.

"Me too, but why now?" Steve asked. "Didn't you want to...before you saw Kinsey at Disneyland? And, where were you all this time? Would you have just gone on never finding me, if..." Steve said, then stopped. He looked down, and rubbed his face. "I'm sorry, Linda, that sounded bad. I'm really glad you're here."

Linda took his hands, immediately seeing how hurt Steve was...seeing how his defense was up, continuing the way it had always been for him...hiding his very real pain behind the rough exterior.

"Oh, honey, I'm sorry...for having to leave, and for leaving everyone behind. You understand, I had to. It was getting worse with Dad, and then Mom told me to go. She said she'd follow as soon as she could."

"I know that," Steve said. "And, after you, Mom, and Lisa went...it was...it was just me left behind...just me and Dad..." Steve's eyes watered, and a stray tear fell down his cheek. He brushed it away. "Why, why didn't she take me, too?"

Linda shook her head, closing her eyes. "I don't know, Steve. I always wondered about that. I never got a chance to ask."

"Didn't she find you...later, I mean?" asked Steve.

Linda shook her head again. "No, I never saw her again."

Steve sighed, trying to understand how things had gone so wrong for his family. "Where did you go?" he asked.

"I just ran...out of this town. I got a ride...west...and another one, until I ran as far as I could, and that was California. I did what I could to survive. I ate in soup kitchens, did odd jobs, stayed in shelters...all of that," she said.

"And now? You have kids, Linda," Steve said.

Smiling, Linda said, "Yes, two of them. I met a man...we got married, and we were ok for a few years, but then it was over. He took off and never looked back. But, my kids are what keep me going."

"Tell me about them," Steve said.

"Ok, well...first there was Mandy. She's eight now. Then my son...he's six. I hope you don't mind, but I named him after you...Steven. We call him Stevie, though." She smiled at her brother. "I swear he looks like you," she said, nodding.

"You named him after me? I don't mind, I like that. I sure would like to see them someday," Steve said.

"You will, I'm sure."

They sat for a few minutes, absorbing the words. Then, Linda said, "Steve, there's something else. I told you I never saw Mom again, but I did find our sister. I found Lisa."

"What...how?" Steve asked.

"It was crazy how it happened. Her and Mom had come to California, too, trying to find me, but I'd kept moving around. They finally settled, and made a home, never knowing I was so near. Lisa finished her schooling, and got her teaching credentials. She'd just started her first year teaching kindergarten, when I found her."

Steve was leaning forward in his chair, taking it all in, as Linda continued. "Mandy started school that year. She came home that first day, and said she loved her class and her teacher...Miss Finn."

"And, it was her?" Steve asked, wide-eyed.

Linda nodded. "Yes...of course I was startled to hear our last name, but really, there's probably lots of Finn's, you know, and what were the chances?"

"Yeah, one in a million," Steve said.

"Um-hmm, so anyway, the next day I went to the school to see for myself. I walked into the office, and I asked them to see Mandy's teacher. They led me to the classroom. Mandy was of course all excited to get back to school, and for me to meet her new teacher." She paused for a second, remembering how it had been. "Steve, Lisa was at her desk...I knew immediately. I just stood there saying her name over and over, and crying. She called my name and came running to me. That was all it took. We had found each other."

"Wow, that is amazing, Linda," Steve said. "So, y'all have been together now, in L. A.? Is she still teaching?"

"Yes, and we live together now, in a big old house. She still teaches, and has a fiancé. My kids adore their aunt Lisa. And, you know what? They'll adore their uncle Steve, too."

"I want to see them all, like right now," Steve said.

"I'm sure it will be soon, Steve," Linda said.

~

Next part coming soon!




Peace, Love, & Writing

Saturday, July 18, 2015

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE ... # 194

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
# 194
warning...adult content






~
"Ghost, I know you're real. I'm not afraid to touch you...why would you say that?" Steve asked. He came over to Ghost, and held him in his arms. There was no hesitation. "You hear me? I love you...I'm not afraid of you."

Ghost nodded. "But, last night you were, and I can't help what I do in my dreams. Just that you saw one. I sleepwalk, remember? Sometimes it's me, and sometimes it's my spirit." He looked up into Steve's eyes, hoping he'd understand.

"We all have one...even you. I guess your's don't want to come out right now, so I never saw two of you."

Steve wrinkled his nose, and sniffed. "Yeah, that was pretty freaky, seeing that last night...kinda unexpected, ya know, but now I do know what was going on, it's ok. Just, uh, do you know what you're doing when you separate like that?"

Ghost thought about it for a moment. "Well, I kinda do. It's like I'm having a dream, and I know I am, and I can see myself asleep...but then I'm asleep for real, so I don't see me walking around doing stuff. I don't know, Steve, it's hard to explain. He looked down, frowning, now. "It happened when I was dead, too, and...well...other times, when I was awake, and my self can't deal with it so good, and the inside me takes over for awhile."

He shrugged. "I don't know any more, Steve."

"Ok, Ghost, I'm glad you tried to explain it to me," Steve said, and gave him a kiss. "Just know I love you...all of you...whatever you're doing." He didn't want either of them to dwell on the time Ghost was dead, or the other times he'd had to separate, to deal with his pain.

"Yes, me to, Steve," Ghost said.

The coffee was ready, so they got their mugs. Ghost added plenty of cream and sugar to his, and Steve drank his black, as usual.

"That meeting with my sister, is today. I'm still nervous about it, but I want to find out what happened to her, all these years."

"Uh-huh, that'll be good to know," Ghost said.

"Do you have any feelings about it? Do you have a sense of how it'll go?" Steve asked.

Shaking his head, Ghost said, "No, and I'm trying not to. I'll hear about her plans, when you tell me."

"So, you're not coming with me?" Steve asked.

"No, it's better you see her, by yourself. She don't know me, and might feel like she can't say stuff, yet."

"Well, ok...guess I should get on over there," Steve said, getting up from the kitchen table.

"Don't you want something to eat, first?"

"Oh, just something quick, I guess. Maybe a peanut butter sandwich, and some milk. Would you make it for me, while I go get ready?"

"Yeah," Ghost said, and began to get the food out. He then brought it out to the living room, setting it on the coffee table. Turning on the tv, he watched a minute, while a commercial for Christmas shopping at a store in Raleigh, was on. He hummed along to the music. It reminded him that he needed to call Zach, about the car delivery, again. It could be any day now.

Steve came out of his bedroom, grabbed the sandwich, eating it in pretty much two bites. Ghost didn't have much time to say anything, but at the last second, he blurted out, "Can I keep the phone?"

Steve turned from the door, just before going out. "You need the phone...why?"

"Uh, 'cause I gotta talk to Zach...you know..."

Steve smiled. "Oh, sure..." He fished the phone from his pocket, tossing it over to Ghost. "Ok, I'm going, call me if you need anything...now that you have the phone." He opened the door, taking a couple of steps out onto the porch, then was puzzled at what he saw on the top step.

"Hey, Ghost...come here a minute. What's this doing here?"

"Huh? What's there?" Ghost asked, as he walked over to the door.

They stood there, just looking at a long-stemmed, red rose, and a card attached, with a ribbon.

Ghost bent to pick it up.

"Wait..." Steve said. "It might be a booby trap." He pulled Ghost back.

"What? A what...?" Ghost asked. "It's a flower, Steve, it's not a booby...whatever you said."

"Well, be careful, then. Go ahead, see who it's from," Steve said.

Ghost bent down, picking it up, and smelling the sweet fragrance...his favorite. Taking off the card, he started reading it. His face drained of color. "Oh my God, Steve...look, it's from Maxey."

Steve yanked the card away, to read it himself. It was handwritten, and said 'Ghost, I enjoyed watching your show last night. Don't worry, I won't bother you. Love, Maxey'. Steve read it aloud.

"Son of a bitch," he yelled. He looked out across the woods, and down the dirt road, as if he could spot his enemy hiding there. "If you're out there, I'll find you. Don't be coming up to our house, sneaking around in the middle of the night. Ghost don't want no part of you and your little gift."

"Steve...Steve...he's not here. I'd know if he was," Ghost said.

Whirling around, Steve said, "What? You'd know? Why didn't ya know last night, when he was here. Huh? 'Cause you was out of yourself, gallivanting around half the night, that's why." He was getting angrier by the minute.

"Steve, calm down...he's not here, and if he does come back, I'll lock the doors. I don't ever want to see him."

"Ghost, listen...he was in the club last night. How did he go unnoticed, by us...by Kinsey?"

"I don't know. Maybe he was disguised, or something. And, we were busy, ya know," Ghost said.

"Well, you can't stay here now, by yourself. Get ready; you're coming with me," Steve said, pushing Ghost back inside.

"No, it's ok...I have stuff to do here," Ghost protested.

"You can call Zach while I'm talking to Linda. Whatever else there is to do can wait. Now, get yourself dressed, and let's go," Steve insisted.

Ghost sighed, rolling his eyes. "Fine..." he said, stomping off to his room. He sensed that Maxey was long gone from Missing Mile, by now, but the way his senses had been acting unreliable, off and on, lately, he wasn't sure he could trust them.

~
In the car, on the way to the club, they were both agitated. "This is just what I needed, ya know? This meeting's got me nervous already, and now Maxey lurking around...he must be out of jail now," Steve said.

"Ghost was irritated, that Steve had made him come to town with him. "I'm not no baby, Steve. I can stay home alone just fine. And, he's gone now, anyway. Take me back."

They glared at each other. Both started to say something, then stopped. They continued the rest of the way in silence. Steve pulled into the parking lot at the club, then said, "Ghost, I'm sorry. I jut don't want to take any chances...you know? I know you can take care of yourself."

"Ok, I get it," Ghost said. "I'm not mad at you."

They hugged, and got out of the car.  "I hope the meeting with your sister goes ok, too. I like her already," Ghost said.

Steve smiled, "Yeah, I think I like her, too."

They went inside, finding Linda and Kinsey in the office, having their coffee. "Hey, guys...come on in," Kinsey said.

"Hi, Steve...Ghost...we were just saying how much we enjoyed the show last night," Linda said.

Ghost bounced down on the couch, with Linda. "Ya did? I liked it too. Did ya like the music? Steve did good on it. He figures out how it's gonna sound, and some of those songs he wrote...and did ya get a CD of ours? It has more songs on it, and Steve sings good on there, too." He had to stop, to take a breath.

Linda laughed. "Yes, Ghost, I liked the music and songs, and I did get a CD, and a book, and yes, Steve and you sing really good." She was being bounced around on the couch, too, along with Ghost. "I like you, Ghost. You are so enthusiastic, and it makes me happy. I can tell you make my brother happy, too."

Steve was getting embarrassed at all the compliments. "Aw, thanks, Sis...are we ready to talk, now?'

Linda nodded, and got up from the couch. "Sure...where should we go?"

"Oh, hey... y'all can use the office," Kinsey said. "It's more private. Me and Ghost can hang out in the club, or kitchen, or something." He got up from his chair, motioning for Ghost to follow.

"Yeah, I gotta write on my wall, anyway," Ghost said.

"You still have the phone, Ghost?" Steve asked.

"Yeah, somewhere," Ghost said, feeling around in his old Army jacket pocket. "Yeah, here it is." He followed Kinsey out to the kitchen.

"I'm getting things ready for tonight; you can help if you want," Kinsey said.

"Ok, maybe in a little while. I'm gonna do other things first, ok?" Ghost said.

"Sure, go ahead," Kinsey said, getting out supplies for his sandwiches and soup.

~
Next part coming soon!



Peace, Love, & Writing

Thursday, July 16, 2015

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE ... # 193

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
# 193
warning...adult content





~
Ghost plopped down on the couch, as soon as they came in the house. Spirit jumped up in his lap, and as Ghost stroked the soft fur, he asked, "Hey, Steve, did Kinsey say how many CDs and books we sold?"

Steve paused a minute from putting things away. "He didn't say the exact number, but I think it was most of them."

"Oh, good," Ghost said. He continued to watch Steve bustle around the house, but his eyes were closing as he sat there. "I think everyone had a good time, don't you?"

"Yeah, I think so...I know I did, did you?"

"Um-hmm," Ghost mumbled, his eyes completely closed, now.

Steve saw that he'd gone to sleep, and just shook his head.  He took off Ghost's boots, then went to get a blanket to throw over him. "Guess you can just stay here for tonight then," he said, covering him and the cat. "Sleep tight, and have only good dreams. He turned out the lights and went to his room to lay down, but found he was still too wired up to sleep.  He kept thinking of his sister, and the meeting in the morning.

She'll say things...I'll say things...well, duh...of course we'll say things...

It was what they'd each have to say, that was making him anxious. Getting out of bed, he went into the kitchen for some milk, hoping it would help calm him down...help him unwind.  As he passed through the living room, he saw that Ghost was still sleeping soundly. He was surprised. Usually it was Ghost who was restless. He could fall asleep anywhere, but staying asleep was rare.

He didn't turn on the light in the kitchen; he just got his glass of milk, drinking it as he looked out the window over the sink. Out here in the woods, the night always seemed so much darker, with no city lights to interfere. He kept trying to get his thoughts in order...what he'd say, and ask tomorrow...with his sister...his sister... He liked saying that, and smiled.

Gazing out across the darkened cemetery, something caught his attention...a pinprick of light...a movement? He squinted, trying to focus as he stared harder at the spot. There...there it was again...a flash of light, just a tiny spark, and then it was gone. His heart began to pound. There it was again, in a different spot...and he shivered. Was he imagining things?

He wanted to wake Ghost up, to come and see it, but he hesitated. It was probably nothing, and Ghost would say it was just the spirits of the old guys that lived there. Well, what if it really was, and he'd actually seen one? He swiped his arm across his upper lip, where a cold sweat had broken out. He knew he'd seen something, the light, but no shapes he could make out.

A stray thought came to him...I need to go out there...to find out... "No, hell no..." he said aloud. "I'm not going out there." He turned from the window. "Aiii," he hollered, as he came face to face with Ghost. "What the hell, Ghost? You scared the crap out of me," Steve said.

Ghost didn't say anything at all...and his expression was a blank. Steve backed up against the counter. Something wasn't right...something strange was going on here.

"Ghost? What's the matter?" he asked.

Still, Ghost said nothing, but walked slowly toward the back door. He opened it and stepped out into the night. Steve didn't like it...didn't like it at all. He started to follow Ghost, but something made him turn back toward the living room, to look at the couch. He screamed, when he saw Ghost lying there on the couch, still asleep, as before.

This is not real...this can't be real...why are there two Ghosts?... He looked at the open back door, then back to the couch...impossible...

Finally, he did follow the weird Ghost into the back yard. He was moving toward the graveyard. Steve followed quietly. Up ahead of them, he saw the little light flashing on and off, just hovering over the headstones. Ghost went right up to it. The little light grew brighter, illuminating Ghost's face.

As Steve watched, Ghost held his arms up to the light, then slowly dissolved in an ethereal, swirling mist. The light was gone, and so was Ghost, leaving the graveyard silent, and dark. Steve shuddered, and backed away, stumbling on the uneven ground. Then he turned and ran for the house, feeling as if some spook would reach out and grab him.

There was no moon to light the well-worn path, but it didn't matter. He'd been this way so many times, he had no trouble now, as he ran. Banging into the back door, the screen slamming shut behind him, he made sure he shut and locked the wooden door. Then, panting, he eased himself over to the living room doorway, to see if Ghost would still be there on the couch. The only light in the house was from the salt lamp on the hall table, but it was enough to see that Ghost was still there...in fact had not seemed to have moved at all.

As he stared, he could see that Ghost looked funny...sort of shimmery. He shook his head, and blinked a few times, trying to clear his vision. Was his eyes playing tricks on him? Ghost looked a bit wavy, crinkly, now. Shutting his eyes again, he thought he must be hallucinating, or dreaming, or something...he didn't know what, but he was shaking all over.

He moaned deep in his throat, as he now saw the second Ghost again, hovering above the real Ghost. This is not happening...not...happening... yet even as he stared, the unreal Ghost seemed to be sucked right into real Ghost's body, disappearing. The shimmering was gone, too.

As he was still rooted to the spot, unable to move, or to process what he'd just seen, Ghost stirred, rolled over, and mumbled something...just like he always did in his sleep. Steve cautiously walked over to the couch. He bent down, but hesitated a second...a bit of fear touching him. This is stupid...I'm not afraid of Ghost...

He did finally reach out, touching Ghost, shaking his shoulder to wake him. "Ghost, wake up. You have to wake up," he kept saying.

"What...Steve? What is it?" Ghost said, still half asleep.

"Are you...are you,  you?" Steve asked, his voice wavering.

"Huh?" Ghost sat up, yawning, and pushing his hair out of his eyes.

"Are you, you? Is the other one in there with you, now?" Steve kept on.

"You're not making sense, Steve," Ghost said. "Is who, in where?"

Steve took a deep breath, trying to think how to explain. "Ghost, how can there be two of you?"

"There's two of me?"

"Yeah, I saw two of you, just now. How did you do that?"

"Where am I? Where was I?" Ghost said, still confused.

"I saw you asleep right here, and I saw you come in the kitchen and you went out to the graveyard. You did something weird with a ball of light, and then you went back into yourself...right here on the couch," Steve said. "Now, what the hell was that? You better explain, 'cause I'm freaking out already."

Ghost thought a minute. "Um...I did have a dream, Steve. It was kinda weird, and I was outside talking to the spirits...but it was nice...not scary at all."

"Then what the hell was I looking at, Ghost? Your dream? Is that what I was seeing, with my own eyes? Or am I asleep right now, dreaming all this craziness up?" Steve said, getting upset.

"Steve, I think you saw me have an out of body experience. It mostly happens when I'm asleep, but I know how to do it when I'm awake. And, you just happened to actually see it. That's so cool." Ghost said.

"Cool? You call that cool, Ghost? That's totally freaky, dude. You say you go walking around out of your body, all the time?" He stood up, frowning. "How, why? Geeze, Ghost, it scared the shit outta me. Don't do it any more, ok?"

Ghost laughed. "I don't usually do it on purpose, Steve. I can sometimes see myself asleep, while my spirit roams around, but it always comes back. It feels really weird, but it's not scary. You can do it, too. If ya want, I can show ya how."

Steve stared at him. "No, absolutely not...never...uh-uh...don't ever do that to me. And, I don't ever want to see you do it, either, no more." He looked closer at Ghost. "Are you sure you're back together now?" He ran his hands over Ghost's arms, face, and legs. "You're all in there, like normal?"

"Yeah, pretty sure I am," Ghost said. "Oh, wait..." he pretended to grab something from the air. "There's my ear...it didn't make it back." He laughed, again.

"Stop it...quit laughing. It's not funny to me, Ghost. What if something happened, and for real you couldn't get back in there. What then? Huh? You just tell me that."

"I'm sorry for teasing, Steve," Ghost said. He sighed. "I guess I'd be dead for real, and my spirit me would walk around haunting the place. That would be pretty fun, too."

"Fine, just make jokes, then. You and yourself have fun...I'm going back to bed." Steve stomped off to his bedroom and shut the door.

Shrugging, Ghost lay back down. Steve got in his bed, forcing himself to think of nothing, and he did finally go to sleep. There were no more disturbances in the night.

~
When Steve awoke and came into the kitchen, the next morning, he saw Ghost already making coffee. He took a moment to watch him. The strange events of the night before, swirled around in his mind. This Ghost looks real enough...he's doing normal things...

Before he could take a step into the kitchen, though, Ghost turned around to face him. He looked sad, blinking back a few tears that had sprung from his eyes. "Steve, don't be afraid of me. I am real. I'm not your imagination. I can't bear that you are scared to touch me now. I'm not gonna disappear." He began sobbing. "Please?" he whispered.

~
Next part coming soon!




Peace, Love, & Writing