Google+ Followers

Friday, July 3, 2015


# 188 content

Zach, Trevor, R. J., and Terry, all went home too, leaving Kinsey to his own chores. After locking up, he looked around his club. Smiling  he said aloud, "Well, it's just Yew and me tonight...but, tomorrow, we'll be back in business. I think I'm ready for lights, noise, and music." He went on up to his apartment, but before he did, he checked his cell phone. Seeing he had a missed call, he frowned. The call had come from California, and no message was left.

He stared at it for a minute, with chills going up his spine. It was her. It had to be. Ghost had felt it...felt it in the air, even before the call had come in. That made it even more eerie, though he didn't know why he should be surprised. He did not call the number back, figuring it best to let it be, for now. We'll find out soon enough... He put the phone on the charger, turned out the light, and tried to sleep.

Ghost and Steve arrived home, and tried to settle their thoughts. Steve was going over and over the plans put in place for the show. He checked his guitar case, to make sure he had extra strings. He was excited, but anxious for everything to go well. A big part of his anxiety centered on Ghost. He seemed distracted...not a good sign. And that talk he and Kinsey had had...both looking secretive and worried.

That nagged at his mind. What could that be about? And now, Ghost was just wandering around from room to room, muttering to himself, and staring at the walls. Strange, even for Ghost. If Ghost couldn't get it together now, what kind of shape would he be in tomorrow night at the show? After all, Ghost was the heart of Lost Souls...he had the words and the voice...the rest of them were just background.

Yeah, sure they were playing for their home town fans and friends...everyone would understand a mess up or two, but he still wanted it to be a great least their part. Zach and Gumbo were on their own. He shook his head, trying to get the negative thoughts to go away. Finally he could take Ghost's roving around no more...

"Ghost," he said. "Ghost," he said louder. Ghost came into the living room.

"What, Steve? Why ya yelling?"

"To get your attention," Steve said. "Why are you walking around looking at all the rooms? Do you have everything ready for tomorrow?"

"Yeah, I'm ready, except for what I'm gonna wear," Ghost said, avoiding the other question.

"Ok, go pick something out now, and stop pacing're making my head spin."

Ghost shrugged, and turned to go to his bedroom, but said very quietly, before he could stop himself, "Your head's gonna spin a lot more tomorrow." Then his eyes got big, and he put his hand over his mouth, running for the bedroom. He slammed the door behind him.

Steve was surprised at Ghost's sudden exit. "What? What did you say? Ghost, what was that you said...come here," he yelled. Of course Ghost did not come out of the bedroom. Something was going on, and he aimed to find out. He went and banged on the door.

"Ghost, let me in. What's the matter with you?" He rattled the was locked. "What are you doing in there?" He tried not to yell through the door.

"I'm busy, Steve, finding something to wear," Ghost said.

"Well, let me in, I'll help ya."

"Wait, a minute," Ghost said. He'd frantically begun pulling out clothes from his closet, throwing them on the floor and bed. He was afraid to let Steve in, because he might blurt out the premonition he'd had. He knew he had to look and act normal, but it was so hard. And, there Steve was, at the door, fixing to get mad at him. He had to let him in.

He could feel a panic attack coming on. "No, no, not now," he told himself, taking a deep breath. "Calm, be calm...just relax," he said.

Steve banged on the door again. "Hurry up, Ghost."

Ghost jumped, and backed up farther from the door...then tripped over the pile of clothes on the floor. "Ow," he hollered, as he fell.

When Steve heard him fall down, he was afraid Ghost was hurt. The adrenaline rush he got, gave him strength to kick in the door, flinging it against the wall with a bang. He rushed in, to see Ghost in a big jumble with the clothes, laying flat on his back, the wind knocked out of him.

"What the hell, Ghost? You all right?" he asked, helping Ghost up. Ghost was gasping, getting his breath back, and shaking his head. Then he began to cry.

"Steve, I'm so scared."

Steve knelt down, giving him a hug. "What'cha scared of?"

"I can't tell you," Ghost said. "I'm scared you'll change, and everything won't be right anymore," he wailed.

"Are you scared of the show, tomorrow? It will be fine. We'll do a good show, like always," Steve said.

Ghost shook his head. "No, I'm not scared of the show...I love that part. Just, I'm scared at the show...of what's gonna happen." His face was pressed into Steve's shoulder.

"I don't get it," Steve said.

"I know, and I don't want to tell you 'cause you'll be worried, and maybe you'll change...and then the show will change, and..." Ghost couldn't continue. He wiped his nose and eyes onto Steve's shirt.

"Look at me, Ghost," Steve said. Ghost shook his head.

"You look me in the eye, Ghost, and tell me what's bothering you." He twined his fingers through Ghost's hair, pulling his head back, so he'd have to look at him. "Now, I want to hear it, good or bad...right now," he said, firmly.

"No," Ghost whispered. Steve tightened his grip on Ghost's hair. "Yes," he said. Ghost gasped at Steve's insistence, then whispered again, "It's your sister...she's coming...she'll be here at the show."

Steve was stunned. He searched Ghost's eyes, but knowing Ghost would only say the truth, as he knew it. He released Ghost's hair. "What? My sister? Here...tomorrow night?" he was breathing fast, now. " do you...oh my God, saw, or felt, or sensed, or whatever it is you do...that she is coming?" He kept trying to get the information to be absorbed into his stop his see-sawing emotions go from happy to scared.

Getting unsteadily to his feet, his knees shaking, he managed to sit down on the edge of the bed. His eyes had a far away look to them...his thoughts reeling from long ago memories. Then he looked down at Ghost, still on the floor, and now rocking back and forth, silently crying. This still didn't make any sense to him...why was Ghost so upset?

"Ghost," he said, reaching out to pull Ghost up to the bed with him. "Why are you so upset? If she does come, that's a good thing for me."

Ghost nodded. "Yeah, I know, but you'll be changed...and she never even seen me before, and she don't know about us, and maybe she won't like me...and us being together...and then the kids and her moving in here, maybe. I'm scared everything will change, Steve."

Steve could see that Ghost was still saying the truth, however confusing it was coming out. He realized that yes, they would all be probably had already started.

Next part coming soon!

Peace, Love, & Writing

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


# 187 content

The rehearsal over, they all sat at a table, discussing how it went, over a beer.

"So, ok...tomorrow, the doors open at seven," Kinsey said. "Zach, Terry...y'all start at nine, then a short break. Steve, y'all start your set at ten. Lights out at twelve. Sound good?"

"Yeah, we'll be ready to go," Terry said.

"I have one question, Kinsey," Steve said. "We're wondering how can we set up and sell our CDs and books. Do you have any ideas?"

Kinsey nodded. "Sure, I figured you could just set them up at one end of the bar, and I'll ring them up as they get bought. No problem."

"Sure, Kinsey, that'd be great. We did think of that, but weren't sure if it'd be too much trouble for you," Steve said.

"Nope, not at all."

They kept talking for awhile longer. "One more round, guys, then I'm shutting it down for now. I've got lots to do tomorrow," Kinsey said.

Everyone got another beer, and toasted to a great show. Ghost kept humming the song he'd sang earlier, and Zach was throwing out ideas of what he could wear on stage. Terry and Steve were laughing at his ideas for a stage costume...anything from a superman cape, to a Santa Claus hat. Zach always wanted to put on a show, and be noticed.

R. J. was leaning back in his chair, up against the wall, half asleep, as usual. Kinsey just watched them all. They were all so different, but he considered them to be his family... his family. Just then, Ghost looked over at Kinsey, locking eyes with him.

"What is it, Ghost?" Kinsey asked, noticing the strange look on Ghost's face.

In fact, Ghost had gotten a jolt of a thought, that had been triggered by Kinsey thinking of family.

"You were thinking family..." Ghost said.

"Yes, I was, Ghost...because you guys are my family...I love you all like family..." Kinsey said.

"I love you, too, Kinsey, like family," Ghost said, "but I have a weird feeling's more family..." Ghost closed his eyes so he could concentrate better.

Kinsey wondered, not for the first time, how Ghost did it. How he could pull feelings, and visions, and thoughts, and truths, out of thin air. He then felt a strange, electrical, tingling sensation. It made the hairs on his arms stand up, and he shivered. Ghost must be transferring some sort of energy through the air toward me...

Kinsey stared at Ghost, and when Ghost opened his eyes to stare straight into his own, a quick flash of an image came to him...the woman he'd met at Disneyland...the one he'd thought might be Steve's

"Ghost?" Kinsey whispered. "What does it mean?"

"I think she'll be here tomorrow night," Ghost said. He looked over at Steve, and the connection was broken. Shaking his head, to clear it, he grabbed Kinsey's hand. "Don't say anything to Steve, ok? It might not be true."

Kinsey nodded. This was the weirdest experience he'd ever had. He now had a small understanding of what Ghost had lived with every day of his life. It was entirely too strange for him, though, he knew. He admired Ghost for being able to handle it as well as he did. No wonder Ghost freaked out sometimes, he must get awfully crowded in his head, and he had to let it all go once in awhile.

Steve was still laughing with Terry. He hadn't noticed what had just happened between Ghost and Kinsey.

Kinsey frowned..."What do you think will happen, if this woman shows up?" he asked.

"I guess they'll see each other, and know for sure if they're family," Ghost said. "But, Kinsey, I already think they are...and Steve's in for a shock...and his life will change in an instant. Either he'll be happy or he won't, but it'll effect him...and me, too."

Kinsey saw that Ghost looked worried about that.

"I mean, it's been so long. She last saw Steve when he was a kid, and she don't know how things happened to I happened to him." He gulped. "What if she don't like me, Kinsey?"

"I wouldn't worry about that, Ghost," Kinsey said. "Yeah, things happened to Steve, to you, and don't forget, to her, too. Every one of you have changed since then."

Ghost nodded, "Yeah, like I said before, we all get changed...every day, a little bit every day."

"I remember you saying that, Ghost...and it's true."

"And, this here one will be a big one. They'll have to get to know each other again." Ghost looked down at the table. "And me...she'll have to know me, and she never even seen me before."

"I know, Ghost, that will happen," Kinsey said.

They were quiet for a minute. "Oh, I almost forgot," Kinsey said. "She had those two little kids with her."

Ghost looked up at that, his eyes wide. "Kinsey, what if they come live at our house? There's no room, and we don't know about little kids," he said, looking anxious.

"I doubt they'd move in, Ghost. She has her life out in California, now. Probably, she'd just come for a visit, that's all. And, even if she did move back here, she'd want a place of her own."

Ghost didn't seem so sure about it, though. "Yeah, ok, but this whole thing is making me upset. I mean, I'm happy...or happy for Steve, if he is...but, if he's not, then I can't be, and all the rest don't matter. Just that, really," Ghost said, his shoulders drooping. He took a big breath. "I don't know what to think, anymore." He rubbed his hands over his forehead.

Kinsey was afraid Ghost was going to get a migraine, or flip out from thinking so hard. "Ghost, don't be worrying about it. It may not even happen, and if she does show up, well, we'll handle it, ok?"

Ghost nodded. Steve looked over at them, then. "Handle what?" he asked.

"Just things in general, Steve," Kinsey said.

Steve looked from Kinsey to Ghost, knowing he wasn't being let in on the conversation. "Ok, whatever...well, anyway, Ghost, are you ready to go home? We have lots to do, too," he said, standing up.

"Yeah, guess so," Ghost said, as he got up from the table.

"Ok, guys...see y'all tomorrow night." He and Ghost headed for the front door. In the car, Steve asked Ghost again, what they'd been talking about.

"Oh, just the show...and family," Ghost said, trying hard not to reveal his premonition.

Next part coming soon!

Peace, Love, & Writing

Sunday, June 28, 2015


# 186 content

"Hey, Zach...what's up?" Steve asked, after taking the phone from Ghost.

"Hey, Steve. I just wanted to know when we're gonna do that rehearsal," Zach said.

"Oh, yeah...I think tomorrow. We'll go over to the Yew about one o'clock, and meet with everyone then. I'll call Terry and R. J. and let them know, too."

"Sure thing, Steve...see ya then," Zach said.

Steve turned off the phone, and put it in his pocket. "You were done talking to him, weren't you?" he asked Ghost.

"Uh-huh...we got everything worked out."

"That's cool," Steve said, as he looked out over the graveyard. "I went through the songs."

"I know," Ghost said. "I heard you playing, and I sang along to them out here."

"Ha, good...I guess the old guys liked hearing that," Steve said, and smiled.

Ghost nodded. "Yep, they said they did."

"Ok, here's the plan...tomorrow after lunch, we'll go meet the guys and do a rehearsal. Then, the next night is the show," Steve said.

"Good...finally," Ghost said. He jumped up and hollered out to the graveyard, "Hey guys, we're gonna have a show, and it's gonna be fun. We're gonna sing, and people are gonna come and dance, and now I'm in a good mood."

Steve laughed, watching Ghost. A tiny thought came to him, about his surprise for Ghost, but he quickly thought about something else. He wondered what Ghost's surprise to him would be...probably something unique that Ghost had made for him, and whatever it was, he'd treasure forever.

Ghost swung around, staring hard at Steve. "You won't find out 'til it's time...and you'll never guess either," he said, laughing.

Steve loved it when Ghost laughed; there was total involvement from his blue, blue eyes shining, and his silly grin. Steve could watch him forever. "C'mon, Ghost...let's go in, now," Steve said, holding out his hand for Ghost to help him up. He could feel how warm Ghost's hands were...and, he desperately wanted those warm hands all over his body. Just like that, the feelings came over him.

"Ghost..." Steve said, in a soft, husky voice.

Ghost immediately understood, and smiled. "C'mon Steve, let's go in," he said, leading the way.

Inside, Steve could wait no longer. He spun Ghost around, right in the kitchen, and pulled him into himself. He felt Ghost's arms go around his neck, and he moaned, as they kissed deeply. He had to have Ghost now. They made their way down the hallway to the bedroom, shedding clothes along the way. Covering up with the many blankets on Ghost's bed, they warmed each other's nakedness with soft touches, nips, and kisses. They spent the rest of that long afternoon, giving themselves fully to each other, finally falling asleep in each other's arms.

Waking, just at sunset, they were starving, so made a simple supper, then sat close together on the couch. They took turns reading to each other from a book they both liked. As their eyes grew sleepy again, Ghost laid his head on Steve's shoulder.

"Can we always be like this, Steve?" he asked.

"Like this?" Steve asked.

Ghost nodded, " love," he whispered.

"Yes, I think we can," Steve murmured into Ghost's soft hair.

Ghost sighed. "That's all I want, Steve."

"Me too, Ghost," Steve said.

They kissed again, then went to share the bed that Ghost tried to always have smelling of roses.

The next morning they went about their usual activities, killing time until the rehearsal. Finally, Steve gathered his guitar and music lists, and for once didn't have to urge Ghost to hurry.

But, on the way to the club, Ghost's mood shifted a bit. He began singing the Phil Collins song *"In the Air Tonight", out of nowhere.

Steve glanced over at him. "Why that song?"

Ghost shrugged. "I can feel it the air...tonight...oh, Lord..." he sang, and continued the song.

Steve figured he'd find out soon enough. After a few minutes, Ghost said, "It's true...I can feel something coming. Something strange is in the air."

"Yeah...what? It isn't night yet," Steve said.

"Well, it will be...night, I mean...and I don't know if it will be this night or the next, but it's giving me chills...look..." he held out his arm, to show Steve. Then he rubbed his hands over his arms to warm them.

"Dude, just put your jacket on," Steve said, trying to laugh it off.

"It's not that kind of cold, Steve. Just watch...something is about to happen. Remember I told you, ok?"

"Ok, guess we'll see..." Steve said, but he was a bit creeped out, now.

They were at the Yew, now, so got their gear and went inside. Terry was already there, setting up his drums. R. J. had just walked in the back door, with his bass. Kinsey greeted them all.

"Man, it's good to see everyone getting together again. It's gonna be a packed house tomorrow night. I even got calls asking if they need reservations. Never had that happen before." He was excited.

"That's great, Kinsey," Steve said. We're stoked to be playing again, too. He got up on the stage, unpacking his guitar. "Hey, Terry, R.J., y'all got the set list, right...the order and all?"

Terry nodded. "Yep, we're all set, Steve."

"Good...we're going on after Zach and y'all are done, but we can start the rehearsal, since Zach isn't here yet," Steve said. He looked around, to find Ghost, and could barely see the top of Ghost's head, over the edge of the stage. He was sitting on the floor, writing on the wall.

"Hey, Ghost, ya ready? Come on..."

"Yeah, I'm coming," Ghost said, finishing his last entry.

They began the songs, as everyone fine-tuned their parts. About half way through, Zach and Trevor arrived.

"There y'all are," Kinsey said. "Haven't seen ya around the last few days. How's it going?"

"Aw, Kinsey, we just stayed home and relaxed awhile...or something...and..." Zach said.

"Never mind, Zach...I get the picture," Kinsey said, and laughed. "The guys are about done with their rehearsing. You're up next."

"I'm ready," Zach said. "Terry gave me the line-up of what we're playing, and he's even letting me sing a couple of my original songs. So yeah, we're ready for the show."

Trevor had gone over to the stage to watch Lost Souls. He still was in awe of them. Steve was so intense, and Ghost was flighty, at best, but when they performed, it came together like nothing else. Zach joined him, watching as they finished up.

"Great job, guys," Steve said, "I think we're ready for tomorrow."

Terry and R. J. took a break before their turn with Zach. Zach was geared up, and full of energy. He loved being a singer in a band. One of his lifelong dreams was fulfilled, here in this little backwoods town. A few years ago, he'd never have thought it possible.

Ghost and Zach exchanged secret looks, confident their plans had worked out. Then Zach was on...singing for all he was worth.

"He needs to save some of that for tomorrow," Steve said, shaking his head, but laughing at the same time.

Ghost felt like dancing around, and pulled Steve to the dance floor, in front of the stage. Steve was no dancer, but he tried, to please Ghost. Kinsey stood to the side, laughing at the sight. He remembered how much he loved his friends, his job, and his town.


*In the Air Tonight", written & sung by Phil Collins, on the album, "Face Value", released January 5, 1981, on the Virgin label.

Next part coming soon!

Peace, Love, & Writing

Friday, June 26, 2015


# 185 content

When they reached home, Steve and Ghost gathered up their packages and went inside. Ghost took the phone, and his bags from the thrift store, and magic shop, into his bedroom, closing the door.

Steve took the rest of the food from the take-out place, his packages, and the box of flyers from the print shop, into the kitchen. Spirit wound around his ankles, begging for a bite. "Kitty's hungry, huh? Here's a little bite of chicken, and some of your cat food," Steve said, petting the fur ball cat. Spirit began eating and purring. "Yeah, kitty, Ghost has secrets. He don't want me to find out, either. Well, I have a secret, too."

He could hear Ghost, very faintly talking in the bedroom. He figured he probably called Zach back. He had a strong urge to go listen at the door, but he didn't. If Ghost wanted it to be a surprise, he didn't want to ruin it.

"What happened, Zach?" Ghost asked, when he called him.

"The car repair place called me, and said they were finished early with Steve's car, and could they go ahead and deliver it tomorrow, because they all want to go on their vacation days, now. I didn't know what to tell them...then I couldn't get ahold of you," Zach said.

"Zach, they can't bring it now. It has to be a surprise for Christmas. Tell them no."

"I'll try, Ghost. They're closed now, but I'll call them first thing in the morning," Zach said. He took a breath..."But what if they insist? Do you have a back-up plan?"

"No, I don't think so...what is it?" Ghost asked.

"Oh, somewhere to hide the car, here in town, until you can give it to know."

"But, Zach...I don't have a hiding place like that," Ghost said, getting upset. "I don't know what to do. Help me think of something or somewhere."

"Ok, let me think," Zach said, and took a moment. "First, I'll find out if they can wait a little longer to bring it out here, then, if they can't, I'll try to figure something out, ok? And, I'll call you later to let you know."

"Ok, Zach, and I'll be thinking, too," Ghost said, and hung up. He paced around the room. He didn't want anyone else to know about the surprise, before Steve. He didn't know of a big enough hiding place, either.

Steve heard Ghost pacing and muttering to himself, so went and knocked on the bedroom door. "Ghost, what are you doing in there...come on out." Ghost opened the door, and Steve, asked, "Was that Zach you were talking to?"

Nodding, Ghost said, "Yeah...we were talking about chicken bones, you know...I told ya I was gonna ask him." He came out of the bedroom, handing the phone to Steve. It was warm, from talking on it for so long. Steve followed him down the hall to the living room.

"Sure was a long talk..."

"Umm-hmm, I know, but I gotta talk some more, so when he calls, let me talk to him, ok?"

"Ok, sure thing," Steve said. He watched, as Ghost went to the kitchen, and heated up a cup of coffee in the microwave. Then, passing by Steve, on the way out to the front porch, he didn't say anything more about it. Steve followed him. "You gonna sit out here by yourself?"

"Yeah, I have to think," Ghost said.

Steve shrugged. "Well, ok, but I'm going on to bed. Lock up when you come in."

Ghost sat there in the porch swing for a long time, thinking and staring at the stars. It was a clear night, chilly, but he didn't want to get up to get a blanket. His hands were warmed from the hot coffee. If I have to, I can give Steve his car least he'll have it and it will still be a surprise...I'll tell Zach when he calls...if the car people can't wait 'til Christmas Eve... With that settled in his mind, he went inside. As he passed by Steve's room, Steve asked, "Did ya get it figured out, ok?"

"Yeah, it's ok, now..."

Steve smiled to himself...whatever bothers, Ghost doesn't bother him for long...

The next morning, Ghost was first up, knowing Zach could call at any time. He wanted to be the one to answer the phone. He was too agitated to sit still, so he fixed them a big breakfast. He kept looking at the phone, willing it to ring. They ate, and still no phone call.

"I think Zach is going to call," he told Steve.

Steve figured as much. "And...?" he asked.

"And I want to answer the phone. I'm going down to the graveyard for awhile, and I'm taking the phone."

"Ok, no problem," Steve said.

Ghost and Spirit went down the path toward the cemetery, as Steve watched from the back door. Then he got out his guitar, to go over their songs planned for the show. He figured they had a good mix of them to play on stage, some older ones and some new ones. He played them all in the order he'd listed them, while Ghost was out.

The first hour would be Zach and Gumbo, playing their mix of songs, then a break; Lost Souls would take the stage the second hour. Terry and R. J. would have to be on for both hours, but they'd have no problem, as they were used to a two hour set.  He'd try to get with them tomorrow, to rehearse at the club. The show would be the next night.

He still hadn't thought of a way to get the CDs and books sold, while they were on stage, but he'd talk to Kinsey about it, when he saw him. All in all, he felt ready to get back to playing, and he knew Ghost was.

"Hmm...Ghost has been out there a long time," he thought. "Guess I'll go check on him." He headed out the back door.

Ghost had gone out there to the graveyard, to wait for Zach's call. While he waited, he wandered around to the headstones and crosses. He could hear Steve playing, all the way out here, so he sang aloud to all the songs. He couldn't wait for the show; it had been so long. Finally sitting down at his and Steve's favorite spot, he leaned back against the marker, and almost fell asleep.

He was jolted out of his semi-asleep state, when the phone rang. It kept on ringing, as he figured out the on button, again. "Hello...Zach?"

"Yeah, Ghost, it's me."

"Did you call them?"

"Yeah, got to talk to the manager, and told him the problem. They weren't too happy about it, though. I reminded them that they signed an agreement that they'd deliver the car on Christmas Eve, at the time we agreed on," Zach said.

"Ok, ok, so what's gonna happen?"

"It's gonna be ok...there is one guy that said he could do it. He'd go on and take his vacation, but wasn't going out of town, so he will drive the car over, no problem. So, Ghost you don't have to worry about's all good," Zach said.

"Oh, Zach...thank you for calling them and making it ok," Ghost said, relieved.

"Yeah, the guy said he'd be at your house right after noon, on Christmas Eve. Now, all you have to do is be home and sign the delivery papers, ok? The rest is up to you, how you want to present it to Steve...where he'll be, at home, or away, all that stuff. Can you do that?"

"Yeah, I think so," Ghost said.

"Ok, then...did Steve say anything about when we're all gonna rehearse for the show?"

"Uh, not to me. I'll tell him to call you...oh, wait, here he comes can ask him," Ghost said, and handed the phone to Steve. as he approached. "Here, Steve...Zach wants to talk to you...bye Zach."

Next part coming soon!

Peace, Love, & Writing

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


# 184 content

As they continued out of the city of Raleigh, Steve asked, "So what did you buy at the magic shop?"

"Oh, some oils for me to smell, and some incense for Terry," Ghost said. He reached into the bag and brought out a crystal. "This is for Zach, a different one from the one he got already." He held it up.

"Yeah, that's a nice one," Steve said.

"Then, here's what I got for Trevor. It's a sage broom, so he can cleanse the new house any time he wants to. And look, this is for's a little waterfall that he can plug in, and hear the water going over the rocks. Oh, and a book, 'cause he likes to read. This here one is some meditation poems." He put the items back in the bag.

"Those are real nice gifts," Steve said. "I'm sure they will like them, because you thought of the person and what they'd like or need. Good choices for all."

Ghost smiled. "I know what you're thinking."

"You always do, Ghost," Steve said. "Ok, what am I thinking? I just told you what it was...about the gifts you bought."

"Yeah, but you're thinking what did I get for you," Ghost said.

"Well, maybe I am a little curious, ya know."

"Mmm-hmm, well I tried to find something in there for you, Steve, but we already have all that stuff, so I gotta think of something else for you. I got time," he said, and smiled.

"Ok, that's fine...don't tell me..." Steve said.

They were almost to the highway leading out of the city, now, when Ghost said, "Steve, I need to ask you a really serious question."

Steve's heart did a little lurch. "Ok, I guess I can try to give you an answer...what?"

Ghost frowned, then said, "You know it's kinda getting dark already, and by the time we get home, can I say this..." he sighed and looked over at Steve. "I don't want to cook supper, so can we get some chicken or something to take home to eat, before we leave this big 'ol town, 'cause when we get home there's no take out places, and I think I'll be hungry, by we?" He laughed at the way Steve looked at him.

"Ghost, you scared me for a second. I thought there was something wrong, or bad news, or something."

"It's just I'm hungry, that's all, and that's bad news, and wrong, I think."

"Yeah, it sure is...and yes, we can stop and get food. Good thing you got all the words out before we left town," Steve said.

"I know, right?" Ghost said. "Well, I want chicken."

"Ok, and I think there's a place on the way out...we'll stop."

They did stop and get food to take home, but ate most of it on the way, because thirty miles was a long way to have to wait. As Steve finished a piece, he threw the bones out the car window.

"Steve...don't do that," Ghost said, as he twisted around to look out the back window.

" what?" Steve asked.

"Don't throw those bones's bad."

"Why is it bad? I'm just giving the wolves something to eat, or maybe the buzzards."

"Well, maybe...if they hurry up and eat it, but really, it's not good." Ghost waited for Steve to ask why, but he didn't. He just grabbed another piece to eat.

"Don't you want to know why?" Ghost asked.

"No...but I guess you're gonna tell me anyway, aren't you?"

"'s because of voo-doo, Steve. Remember down in New Orleans? There were people putting spells on people by throwing chicken bones, and saying bad stuff," Ghost said. "You didn't think any bad thoughts when you threw them out, did you?"

"Nope, sure didn't," Steve said. "I was just thinking about eating another piece." He took a big bite out of the one he was holding.

"Ok, well don't throw out any more," Ghost said, finally done with the subject. Steve, though, wanted to know more.

"Well, can anybody do it? I mean, did I just do a spell in the middle of the road?"

"Probably didn't say anything like a spell," Ghost said. "I think maybe you have to be knowing how to do it first."

"Oh, ok...good," Steve said.

"Yeah, I'm gonna have to ask Zach, 'cause he's seen people do it before. I just want to make sure," Ghost said.

They continued on down the highway. "Why don't you check out the phone, Ghost. See if we got any calls. I think I had it turned off," Steve said, handing the phone to Ghost.

Ghost took it, turning it around and staring at it. "Remind me again how to turn it on."

Steve reached over and pushed a button. The phone lit up and displayed several missed calls and voicemails...all from Zach.

"Looks like Zach called a lot, look..." he held the phone up so Steve could see. "What did he want?"

"How should I him back," Steve said.

"Um...ok..." Ghost said, but just hovered his finger over the phone.

Steve waited a minute, then rolled his eyes. "What the hell are you doing?"

"I'm trying to see what he wanted."

"Just push the button, Dude...that's how ya find out."

"Ok, ok..." Ghost pushed the call back button, and waited for the connection to Zach. When he answered, Ghost said, "Hello, Zach, what did you want?"

"Ghost is that you?" Zach said. "I've been trying to call all day. Man, I need to give you some info on that car..."

"Stop...stop," Ghost yelled. "Don't say anything yet. I can't talk about it, now."

Steve had jerked, when Ghost yelled. "What's the matter? Something wrong? Give me the phone."

Zach continued, "Ok, but I have to tell you now."

"Not now, Zach...we're in the car and almost home. Call me later," Ghost said.

Steve grabbed the phone from Ghost. "Zach, what's going on? You got Ghost all crazy acting."

"Nothing, Steve. I'll take care of it...gotta go...bye," Zach said, and hung up.

"Ok, Ghost, what's going on?"

"Nothing, Steve, just me and Zach have to talk about some things. Later ya know...alone."

Steve frowned. "You and Zach are up to something. You know I'll find out...ya know that don't 'cha?"

"I know," Ghost said, "but not yet...please don't try to find out yet. It'll ruin everything."

"Fine, whatever," Steve said, finally getting an inkling of a clue, that it was about Christmas secrets. He smiled. "I promise not to find out yet, ok?"

"Yeah," Ghost said, knowing Steve understood, now.

They reached home, and took all their things inside.

Next part coming soon!

Peace, Love, & Writing

Sunday, June 21, 2015


#183 content

"What kind of asshole would do something like this?" Steve yelled. He walked around the car, taking in the slashed tires, and scratches all along the sides. Yanking open the door, he threw in his bags from the thrift store. "I just got that flat fixed yesterday, and now this? I'll tell ya, Ghost, there's some sick people in the world." He raged on and on, cursing and kicking the fenders.

A small crowd gathered, there on the sidewalk, some laughing and pointing. "What are y'all looking at, who did this?" Steve growled at them, and they went on their way. One young man did offer to help.

Ghost just sat on the curb, with his hands wrapped around his knees, and his head down, listening to Steve holler. He didn't even cry; he was too numb to feel anything, after their encounter in the thrift store.

Finally, Steve calmed down enough to notice the man who was offering to help. He volunteered to drive them to buy new tires. "Come on, Ghost, we have to get the tires fixed, and this guy will take us to the tire store."

"Maybe I should stay and guard the car," Ghost said.

"No, I can't leave you here to face this crowd alone. Let's go."

"Steve, just have him drop me off at the magic shop place, ok? When you're finished, you can come pick me up." He could feel his nerves vibrating inside him. "I really need to smell some oils, and get calm again. I feel like I might blow up, inside."

Steve saw that Ghost was getting a little twitchy, his eyes darting around, and his cheeks flushing.

"Yeah, ok...we can do that," Steve said, knowing that Ghost could go into full blown panic mode at any second. "We're gonna let this guy help us."

They went over to the man's car. As they got in, Steve asked, "Can we drop Ghost off at the shop down the road, first?"

"Sure, no problem, and the tire store isn't far. Sorry about your car, man. You should see if there were any witnesses...those kind of vandals shouldn't get away with that shit. Mine was slashed awhile back, right in my own driveway...never did know who did it."

"Well, thanks for helping out. We'll pay you for your trouble," Steve said.

"Nope, won't take your money. Just help out someone else some day."

They let Ghost out, and continued on their way.

Ghost went inside the little new age shop. The owner saw immediately that something was wrong. "Ghost...what's happened?" she asked, coming over to him and taking his hands in hers. She could feel the tension, as he squeezed her hands, hard. "Come sit down...what can I get you...tea...a potion?" she asked.

"I need some tea, yes," Ghost said. "And I need an oil to smell...something that will calm me down, 'cause I'm about ready to explode." He took a deep breath, and closed his eyes.

"Ok, you sit here, and try to relax. Everything will be fine," she said, then went to prepare the items.

Just being in there was soothing. He felt himself relaxing more, as the tension slowly eased.

"Here ya go, Ghost," the lady said, handing him the cup of hot tea, and small vial of oil. He took a sip of the tea, and then opened the oil to take a deep sniff.

"Ahh, that's just what I needed," he said. He told her of what had just happened.

Shaking her head, she said, "Ghost, I just don't understand people like that. All I can say, is something made them bitter, mean, and bigoted. There will always be haters. I get some of that in here, too. I try to ignore most of it, unless there is damage. I hate to say it, but it happens quite often in this area of town. I've seen car windows shot out, and tires slashed, and even my store here was broken into last year. I'd relocate if I could, but it's not possible right now. The business people stick together, but we can't stop all of it."

"I'm sorry y'all have trouble over here," Ghost said. "We don't have much of that in Missing Mile, 'cause it's so little, and everybody knows everybody. Steve's really mad, though. He wants to find out who did it." He sighed, and drank more of his tea. "He won't find them, though."

"Probably not, Ghost," she said. "Are you feeling better?"

"Yeah, guess so. I'm still sad, but I probably won't explode, now." He looked up into her eyes. "Those people in the store were thinking bad things about us," he said. "I love Steve, and I don't care who knows it. I mind my own business, and don't think bad things about anyone. It just hurts, when they do."

"Oh, Ghost," she said, reaching over giving him a hug.

"I'll be ok, but it might be later," he said.

"Well, anytime you want to talk about things, you just get in touch with me, ok?"

"Ok, I will," Ghost said. "Can I look around some? I maybe need to get stuff."

"Sure, look all you want. I'll be over at the counter."

Ghost got up and went to browse around the little shop. He wanted to get Steve another Christmas present, but this wasn't Steve's kind of store. He did find a gift for Zach and Trevor, and even Kinsey and Terry. He brought up his choices to the counter, to be rung up.

"Hope you have a nice Christmas, Ghost," the lady said.

"Thanks, you too. You're really nice to us," Ghost said, taking the bag of presents.

Just then, Steve came in. "Hi," he said, "Ghost giving you any trouble, today?"

"No, we get along great," she said, laughing. "He told me what happened, Steve. Sorry to hear it."

"Thanks," Steve said. "Everything is taken care of, now...but, it pisses me off that they can get away with doing that...just one of those things, I guess."

"You ready to go, Ghost?"

Ghost nodded, and said, "I got presents in here, for our friends."

"Yeah? That's cool; well, the car is out new tires put on, and I'm ready to go home," Steve said.

"Bye," Ghost said to the lady, and they went outside. "We can't go home, yet, Steve. We have to go to the print shop."

"Oh, man...I almost forgot about that," Steve said.

"You did forget," Ghost said, and laughed.

"Well, thanks for reminding me," Steve said, and so drove over to the printing store.

As they walked into the shop, the clerk said, "Hey there, just in time. Your flyers are ready. Take a look." He pulled out a finished page.

Steve smiled. "These look great, man...better than my drawing of it, that's for sure."

"If you want, I'll put one up in our window. I can also tack some up around town, too."

"Sure, take some...we'd appreciate it. Hope you get to come." 

Getting back in the car, Steve asked, "Can we go home, now, Ghost?"

"Yeah, we can," Ghost said. "Was it much trouble to fix the tires?"

"Well, the whole thing was trouble, Ghost, but was ok. I just bought some new ones, and they guy who drove us helped me put them on. At least somebody in this town is nice."

"There's more than one," Ghost said. "Are you still mad?"

"Yes, at whoever did this, but that's all. You're right, there's more than one nice person here."

Ghost thought a minute, then said, "I don't want to go to that store, again. It has bad feelings, now."

Steve glanced over at Ghost, who was staring out the side window. "Aw, Ghost, the store's was just those people, this one time."

"Well, maybe..." Ghost said.

Next part coming soon!

Peace, Love, & Writing

Friday, June 19, 2015


# 182 content

Steve got out of the car, and going around back, removed the spare tire and jack, from the trunk. "This crappy car is giving me grief every day now," he said, and kicked the fender. "I think it's about time to trade it in, Ghost...I swear..." He got busy changing the tire.

Ghost was trying not to blurt out his secret. "It'll be ok. Just get a new tire, Steve."

"Guess I'll have to, for now," Steve said, as he finished up, and slammed down the trunk. "There's too much other stuff to do right now." He got back in the car, shaking his head, and wiping sweat off his face. "Maybe after Christmas, we can go car shopping."

Starting up the engine, again, he sped off down the highway to their house. Ghost was relieved that he wasn't going to go looking at new cars, today. Finally at home, Steve spread out all the loose pages of all their songs.

"Do you think we should include any of the old songs from the cassette, in the show's playlist?" Steve asked.

"Well, yeah, everyone likes those," Ghost said.

"But, we only have an hour or so, then Zach will do his set. I don't know, maybe Gumbo will go on first. Anyway, there not enough time to do them all."

"We're not doing all the new ones live, though...just some, so I think we can do it," Ghost said.

"Oh, yeah...guess you're right." After looking at the pages awhile, he said, "Ok, these are my choices. What do ya think?"

Ghost looked them over. "Well, I really want to do this one, and this one," he said pointing out a couple. "If we can fit these in, then all the rest are ok with me."

"Good, it's finished, then. I'm calling Terry to let him know," Steve said. They talked a few minutes, and Terry was on board with the choices.

"He's good with these, and he'll let R. J. know," Steve said. "So, do ya want to go into Raleigh tomorrow, and see if the print shop guy still wants to do the flyers for us?"

"Yeah, sure," Ghost said, "and can we go to the thrift store, too?"

"Sure, I guess so. Is there something you need?"

"Well, mostly I won't know until I see it, if I need it," Ghost explained.

"That makes some kind of sense...I think," Steve said. He picked up his guitar, and began going over a song. Ghost settled on the couch, at one end, and sang along to the notes Steve played. At first, he sang quietly, the words coming back to him, then louder. Soon, he couldn't sit still, so jumped up and danced around the room, at one point picking up Spirit, dancing him around, too. Singing was Ghost's passion, and it'd been too long since they'd had a show.

Steve kept playing, and singing along on his parts, late into the night. "Ok, that's all I can do tonight," he said after awhile. "My fingers are getting sore."

"Me too, my thorat is getting crackly, too," Ghost said. He got a big glass of water. "I'm going to bed," he said.

"Steve locked up and turned out the lights. Looking in at Ghost, he said, "Remember, we're getting up kinda early in the morning."

"Ok, I remember," Ghost said, already half asleep.

Steve shook his head, knowing it would be really hard for either of them to get up early.

The next morning, not bright and early, they did manage to get up and about. On the road to Raleigh by ten, was not bad...for them, anyway, Steve figured. The first stop was at the printing company. The same guy who helped with the book, was at the counter.

"Hey guys," he said. "Need some more printing done?"

"Yeah, if you can," Steve said. He showed him the sketch of how they wanted the flyers done.

"No problem...we can get these out probably by late afternoon. Can you stick around town awhile and pick them up about five?" the clerk asked.

Steve asked Ghost what he thought. "Do you want to stay in town, until they're done, or come back tomorrow to pick them up?"

"We can do some things here, awhile, so let's stay," Ghost said.

Steve told the guy, who said he'd get started on the printing job. "Maybe I'll come see y'all play."

"Ok, everyone is welcome," Steve said. "The address is on there, but you can't miss's the only club in town." He laughed at the truth of that.

After leaving the print shop, they went to eat lunch at a pizza place. Their order took awhile, as the place was crowded, but they weren't in any big hurry, now. After eating they drove over to the nearby thrift store. As they entered, they could see it was promoting Christmas items for sale.

"Look, Steve...look at all the decorations," Ghost said, taking it all in.

"Yeah, sure is a lot of them," Steve said, but wasn't really looking at the decorations, as much as he was watching Ghost. He smiled, seeing him so enraptured by the shiny ornaments, the fake trees, and the pretend presents on the displays.

"It kinda even smells like Christmas," Ghost said. "Don't ya think cinnamon, and evergreens."

Steve wrinkled his nose. "I can't really tell. All I smell is funky used clothes, books, and stuff."

They made their way deeper into the store, each going to their favorite sections. Steve had to check out the t-shirt racks, looking for more black ones. Ghost tried on some leather cowboy boots, some sheepskin and fleece ones, and some canvas sneakers, he thought he could write on. He threw them all into a basket. Spying an arrangement of scarves, he decided he needed one of those, too.

Over in the shirt section, Steve had several logo t-shirts picked out. He found one concert tee from an Aerosmith show, and knew he and Steven Tyler would get along just fine. Ghost came up to see what Steve had found.

"Did ya find me anything good?" he asked Steve.

"No, I wasn't looking for can look for yourself." He put his items in the basket, with Ghost's things. "Hey, what's all this girl stuff doing in here?" he asked, picking up the UGG boots, and scarf.

"What girl stuff?" asked Ghost.

"These..." Steve said, holding them up.

Ghost shrugged. "Nobody said they are."

"Yeah, they did...I did," Steve said.

"Well, so what if they are? I like them," Ghost said.

"Oookay, as long as you like them, I guess so..." Steve said. "So what are you gonna put in the middle? You've got the scarf at the top, and the boots at the bottom...what's in between? Are you going to go naked in the middle?" He laughed.

Ghost frowned. "No, there'll be some middle stuff, I'm pretty sure. I just haven't found it, yet."

"Well, go find something, then let's go. "I'm ready to check out."

"Ok," Ghost said, and wandered off back into the store.

Steve went over to the book shelves, while Ghost found a few shirts, some cut off jeans, and a hoodie to try on. The tank tops didn't suit him, as he didn't like showing his arms, but the other things, he threw into the basket. Now he had some middle stuff.

"Ok, I'm finished looking," Ghost said, when he found Steve again. Steve put a few books in the basket, too, and they made their way to the check-out area. On the way, Ghost couldn't resist choosing a few shiny ornaments to put on the Christmas tree they planned on getting.

"We really need to get a tree," he said.

"We will. Let's wait until after we have the show, ok?" Steve said.

As they waited in the long line, for their turn, Steve scanned one of the books, while Ghost was fidgeting and getting antsy, as usual. He kept noticing random words coming into his mind, from the people in line behind them. They were not nice words. He tried to ignore them, but he couldn't shut them all out...the derogatory slurs, and laughter. They were not actual spoken out loud words, but just the thoughts of the people in line, as they stared at Steve and himself.

Steve, of course, could not hear any of this, but did notice that Ghost had grown quiet, and still. That was unusual, so he asked. "Ghost? What's the matter?" Ghost had a strange look on his face...a bit sad, a bit mad.

"Those people..." Ghost said, in a low voice. "All of them are saying bad things about us, in their heads."

Steve looked back at the line of people, which was getting longer and more restless. "Just ignore them," he said.

"But it makes me sad, and mad, too. I want to tell them to stop, Steve."

Steve was afraid Ghost would actually start a scene. "Don't say anything to them...bigots don't deserve our attention. Let's just mind our own business, and leave."

Ghost wasn't satisfied, and gave each person he could catch the eye of, a hard stare. A couple of them looked like they'd like to start something, too. But, as it was their turn to check out, Steve began putting their items on the counter, and distracted Ghost, long enough to pay, and leave the store.

As they walked to the car, they discussed the situation they'd encountered. Nearing the car, however, Steve started frowning, and walking faster. "What the hell?" he yelled. The car had been vandalized.

Next part coming soon!

Peace, Love, & Writing