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Monday, December 30, 2013

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE (first installment)

This is a work of "fan fiction" based on the novel, "Lost Souls" by Poppy Z. Brite. All credit for the original characters, places, and some backstory mentions, belong to Ms. Brite and her publishing affiliates. Only newly introduced characters, places, and original elements of this story are entirely from my imagination. Character descriptions are a blend of the original book descriptions and my interpretation of them.

All songs included in this work will be solely owned by the original performers/writers and will be credited. Creative liscense is taken in including them in this story. 

No harm is intended toward author, muscians, or people and situations to whom there may be a resemblence.

warning      warning      warning      warning

The content herein is rated by me as being at the high end of MA (Mature Audience). It includes strong language, violence, sexual themes, including same sex pairings, religious themes, and fantasy horror.

............................................................................................................................................
Summary:   One is dark.
                      One is light.
                      Brought together by evil
                      and prejudice, they struggle
                      to make sense of their love and
                      their place in the world.


                                              TWO SOULS:   INTO THE FIRE

Cast of Characters:

Ghost.........................21 year old psychic, pale skin, straight, long blond hair, sky blue eyes, thin, about 5'8". Lead singer of "Lost Souls?". Modern day hippie. Boyfriend of Steve Finn.


                                           

Steve Finn.................22 year old rebel, black, shoulder length, curly hair, 6' tall, thin, but muscular, dark brown eyes. Guitar player and singer of "Lost Souls?". Boyfriend of Ghost.

Ms. Deliverance........Ghost's Grandmother, deceased. Was an herbalist, some psychic abilities, thought of as a kook or a witch.

Kinsey........................Owner of the Sacred Yew, Missing Mile, North Carolina's only club. 65 years old, 6'1" tall, salt and pepper hair worn in short, low ponytail. Friend and mentor to Steve and Ghost.

Terry...........................40 years old, blond wavy hair below ears, 5'10", owner of the Whirling Disc" record shop. Never quit being a true hippie. Friend of everyone, has a band called "Gumbo", drummer for "Lost Souls?" as needed.

R.J...............................24 years old, brown straight hair, below ears, with bangs. Black frame glasses, shy 5'7". Bass player for "Lost Souls?" and "Gumbo". Friend since childhood of Steve, and later Ghost.

Trevor...........................6'2", thin, long to the waist, straight, ginger hair. Comic book creator and illustrator. Owner of the murder house. Very shy. Boyfriend of Zach. A newcomer to Missing Mile, NC (this character was in the book "Drawing Blood" by Poppy Z. Brite. Same disclaimer applies)

Zach..............................5'6", dark, crazy curly hair, nerdy, glasses. Boyfriend of Trevor. Computer hacker. Singer for Terry's band "Gumbo". Newcomer to Missing Mile, NC from New Orleans, Louisiana. (this character was in the book "Drawing Blood" by Poppy Z. Brite. Same disclaimer applies)

Christian........................Very tall, thin pale, mysterious. A vampire from New Orleans. Worked for a while at Kinsey's club as bartender.

Nothing...........................15 years old, 1/2 human, 1/2 vampire. When born, Christian delivered him, then took him to another state and left him on a couple's doorstep. They kept him. Dark, shaggy hair, searching for who he really is. Comes to Missing Mile, NC because he likes "Lost Souls?" music, and stalks Ghost.

Zilla, Twig, & Molochai...Vampires who befriend Nothing, Nothing's father is Zilla.

Maxey..............................Singer, guitar player of a band in Los Angeles, CA. Tall, dark hair. Falls in love with Ghost, then trys to enslave him.

Miz Caitlin.......................Herbalist and friend of Ghost and Steve. Longtime friend of Ms. Deliverance.

Man & Woman of the Mountains.....Knew Ghost and his Grandmother years ago.

Ann...................................Steve's former girlfriend, deceased.

Linda................................Steve's sister

Lisa...................................Steve's sister

Bill.....................................Lisa's husband

Stevie.................................Linda's son

Mandy................................Linda's daughter

Melody................................Ghost's sister



                                                CHAPTER ONE

It was early afternoon at the Sacred Yew. Ghost and Steve had just finished their sound check and rehearsal for that night's show. It had gone pretty good, and a big crowd of Club Kids, as they were known, were expected. Whenever Lost Souls? played at the Yew, Kinsey, the owner and bartender of the club, could always count on the kids of the night to show up. Lost Souls? was practically a legend in Missing Mile, North Carolina. This is where Steve and Ghost had first began their band. Just the two of them. Kinsey had known both boys since they were Club Kids themselves, actually even before that. Growing up in Missing Mile, everybody knew everybody and everybody's business.

Kinsey had been very busy getting his bar ready for the night's opening. However, he had a problem. He was dangerously low on supplies. He kept a fully stocked bar, including sodas for the minors. He also provided a few foods to snack on, such as sandwiches and homemade soup. But, things had gotten backed up the last few days, and Kinsey hadn't had time to go shopping for supplies. The nearest grocery was half an hour away. He was pondering how he was going to make it all come together in just a few hours, when he had an idea. He mentally, slapped his forehead. Why hadn't he thought of it before. There were two perfectly fine young men with a car right in front of him, Steve and Ghost.

They'd always been happy to lend a hand around the place. They always felt grateful to Kinsey for giving them a place to learn the ropes and practice their music.

"Hmm," he thought, "I'm gonna ask Steve and Ghost to run over to the grocery for me."

At the moment, Steve was just hanging out by the pool table, knocking balls around, and Ghost was sitting on the floor by the stage, writing on the wall again with his markers. Damned if he knew why he let Ghost deface his bar like that, but it was kind of cool, in it's own way. The kids had all taken to it and added their musings to the wall, too, and called it their own. But, it was Ghost who'd started it all, late one night when he and Steve were just starting out. They were both really too young to even be in a bar, but Ghost had thought of some new lyrics for a song they were working on and couldn't find a piece of paper handy.

He always had a couple of markers stuck in his jacket pockets, so he pulled them out - sky blue and red, and wrote the words to the song on the blank wall so he wouldn't forget. After that, it just became a habit of his. Everyone else loved reading whatever he wrote next. Usually, it was the first thing the kids did when they got there...read the wall. Ghost wrote on it every day, something new, something bizarre, an interesting word or two, lyrics...a sort of journal entry on his day. It was pretty amazing, actually. Over the years the wall was pretty much covered. He had started a second wall awhile back, and this was the one he was working on now.

"Well," Kinsey thought to himself, "it encourages the kids to read at least. That's beginning to be a lost art these days, what with texting, abbreviated letters for words and such."

He shook his head, "Enough wool gathering," he said, "back to the business at hand."

"Hey, Steve, c'mere a minute," Kinsey hollered over toward the game room. 

Steve took one last shot at the table and ambled over to the bar. He was wearing his usual get up...black leather jacket and tight jeans. His dark hair ruffled out in crazy whorls and spikes, untameable.

Kinsey had known Steve since he was a little kid. He'd had a pretty rotten childhood, but he'd managed to turn out all right. A seemingly dangerous heartbreaker on the outside, but full of angst and emotion he barely kept hidden on the inside...a good guy at heart.

"Hey, Kinsey, what's up?" Steve asked, as he neared the bar.

"I need a favor from you and Ghost. Think y'all are up for the challenge?"

"Uhh...sure, Kinsey, guess so. What 'cha need?" Steve asked.

"Well, I'm really low on supplies for tonight and I'd like for you and Ghost to go over to the big grocery and pick up some things. I'd do it myself, but I'm swamped here. What do ya say?"

Steve was about to quickly agree to the task, then looked over at Ghost and heaved a sigh. "You want me and Ghost to go shopping for ya?" He looked a little hesitant at the thought.

"Yeah, Steve, ya got a problem with that? If so, never mind, just thought if y'all had some free time this afternoon...", Kinsey's voice faded off, but he gave a look that said in essence - you know you kinda owe me, and I know you're gonna do it.

Steve sighed again and nodded assent. "Ok, but when exactly do you need the stuff, Kinsey, 'cause if we leave now, it'll be hours till we get back, and we still gotta get ready for tonight."

"Jesus, Steve, how long do you think it takes to get a few supplies... thirty minutes up there, thirty minutes back, and maybe an hour in the store. But probably not that long with the way you drive," Kinsey said.

"Ok, ok," Steve threw up his hands in mock defeat. "But, really, don't expect us back any time soon, ok?"

"And why the hell not, Steve? What excuse would you have for taking all day for a simple errand, huh?"

Kinsey was getting exasperated at Steve's reluctance now. Maybe he should have never brought it up, but Steve asked him a question then, and Kinsey struggled for an empathetic reply.

"Have you ever been shopping with Ghost, Kinsey? Have you?" Steve implored.

Kinsey took a second to respond, wondering what exactly Steve was getting at. "No, can't say that I have, why?"

Steve rolled his eyes. He then started in on a long monologue, while Kinsey just listened, sort of dumbfounded at the rush of words coming at him from Steve. At first he thought to interrupt him, after all he was in a hurry for his supplies, but couldn't get a word in. Despite himself, he got interested in hearing all about how Steve and Ghost did their shopping. It was a completely new look at the dynamics of those two that he'd never taken the time to see before, and Steve seemed so eager to talk to someone about his feelings on the subject.

Kinsey almost laughed at the earnestness of this Steve he thought he knew, but evidently didn't, and all because of the word, shopping, that brought it all forth. He caught himself in time, though, and swallowed his almost formed laugh. He was being bombarded by fact after fact, incidents of pain, caring, and frustration, and yes...love. It went on and on. Kinsey was helpless to stop the words...didn't want to  now anyway.





To be continued......check back often for added entries!





Peace, Love, & Writing!










                                          
                                          
                                          


                                           
                                   

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A TEST FROM AN ANGEL IN AN UNLIKELY PLACE

This incident happened a few years ago. It was on Christmas Eve, if I remember correctly. The unlikely place was the grocery store.

I'd gone to the store to get some last minute items. The store was crowded, as they were to close early that night. I was over in the produce section. I kept noticing a woman that was there by me. She was shorter than me, and had on a beige coat, a scarf, and glasses. Her hair was light brown, going gray, and it was messy. She also had a slight disability in her speech and demeanor.

I can't remember the exact conversation, but it was about the fruits and vegetables, and also about the crowds and Christmas...things like that. Just a normal verbal exchange between strangers at a grocery store.

It was a little hard to understand her, but she was nice and I talked to her for a bit. Then I went on with my shopping. However, everywhere I went in the store, this woman would be there, too. I didn't see her come up the aisle, and I don't think she had a basket, but there she'd be, still wanting to talk.

This went on the whole time I was there. I kept getting this really strong feeling...and I kept getting the thought of angels. No real reason I should be thinking of angels at that time, though, but got the sense that this woman was maybe an angel. I couldn't shake the feeling, it just kept getting stronger.

Well, I kept talking to her, as everywhere I went in the store she would be there right beside me. Then I seemed to get an inkling, or revelation of why this was happening.

This was a test...a test to see if I was perceptive and could recognize what was going on, and of my compassion and empathy for those less fortunate with disabilities, by how I responded and treated this woman. There was definitely some kind of reason for this to be going on...I knew that then.

Well, in the end I went to check out my groceries and I said goodbye to her. Never saw her again, but she will remain in my memories of that night! Now I don't know for sure if angels appear as regular people at random times or for what reasons, but in my mind, this is what it was.






Peace, Love, & Angels

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

IT'S ALL IN MY HEAD

My ear was itching in that deep down, hard to reach place. I tried for several days to scratch it by trial and error. Sticking my finger in there, jiggling it around did not help. Doing that thing with my tongue, scratching my throat did not help. Carefully inserting a cotton swab a little ways in did not work either. I tried flushing it out with warm water, then suctioning it out. This just made it worse. Now every sound was muffled, and the itch was still there.

There was no relief. Itching day and night was taking it's toll on me. Lack of sleep, and unable to concentrate on daily activities caused me to call in sick to my place of employment on more than one occasion as the days and weeks went by.

I didn't want to, but I made an appointment with the ear, nose, and throat doctor. The exam, which included tiny lights being shone down my ear canal, and small wire probing instruments poked down inside, turned up no clear cut diagnosis. I was sent home with only some ear drops.

After one day of using the drops, I noticed a change. The itching was barely noticeable now, but very faintly I could hear music. Even when in the silence of my house, I could hear snippets of songs, one after the other. Day by day the music became louder until it was a perfect volume.

I was able to shake my head, and the music would change to another song like magic. It was very strange, but at least it was not the infernal itching. In fact, I kind of enjoyed it, this radio in my head...turn my head, change the station, as often as I wanted.

All kinds of music was represented. I'd go about my business, at home or work, walking down the sidewalk, or shopping and be listening to a soundtrack to my days. Lucky for me, it would stop when I went to bed, so that was appreciated.

I had no need of my I-Pod anymore. I didn't even feel embarrassed when I banged my head, or did a sudden hip-hop move in the grocery store. I even showed some people waiting at the bus stop my awesome ballet pirouettes.  Most people smiled along with me. A few tried some dance moves themselves, but I knew they couldn't hear my music. They had their earbuds plugged into their own ears. Mine was internal, organic, awesome.

Word got around soon enough. I even had an interview that was broadcast on local television. Did that make me a celebrity? I think it did. After all, I sang and danced on camera, and now was recognized everywhere I went.

I did have one strange phone call, though. It was from a travelling troupe of performers. Their talent scout asked if I wanted to tour the fifty states with their "Amazing Freak Show". I would be billed as "The Woman Who Hears Music In Her Head". They promised a nice paycheck, a giant poster of me, smiling, free carnival rides, and all the cotton candy I could ever want.

I reluctantly had to turn them down. To be honest, after a year of constant music, I was beginning to be annoyed. I mean, the same playlist was on a thousand song replay. After I'd heard them three hundred sixty five days in a row, it was getting to me...and not in a good way. My dancing was becoming jerky, and I was forgetting the words to songs. More and more I'd find myself blocking out whole genres of music.

It happened gradually. I began to feel the tiny tickles of the itch coming back. After about a month, it was in full force again, and the music had completely stopped. The itching was much worse this time, so I made another doctor appointment. This time, to my relief, the doctor made a definite diagnosis.

As he reached into my ear with his long tweezers, he pulled out an object, putting it on a paper covered tray in front of me. I recoiled in horror at the sight of it.

"What in hell is that?" I managed to ask.

"You have had a bad case of Heliocoverpa zea...earworms."

~
                                                         

*earworm...a catchy piece of music that continually repeats through a person's mind.

*Heliocoverpa zea...the larva of the moth commonly known as corn earworm.






Peace, Love, & Music 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

TRUE STORY!

When I was a kid, Sunday morning sermons were a bit boring to me. Oh, I liked Sunday school just fine. We got to do crafts, sing kid type Bible songs, and had a small book that had stories geared to a child's understanding. There was usually a snack of cookies and kool-aid, also. It was fun to visit with your friends and show off your Sunday best clothes.

After a short break, we'd meet up with our parents, while everyone filed into the main sanctuary of the church. If allowed, friends would get to sit together. However, we'd be admonished to be on our best behavior. Unruly giggling, talking, or kicking the pew in front of us were met with a hasty removal by a parent to the outer foyer, or even outside, where we'd be reprimanded. We may or may not be brought back inside.

So, it was one fine Sunday that some friends and I were sitting there, minding our manners, for the most part, anyway. The preacher droned on and on about attendance levels, the building fund, the upcoming church events, and the missionary field work. The hustle for money came next with the passing around of the offering plate.

Passed around from pew to pew, when it got to me, I'd proudly put my small envelope of nickles and pennies in the felt lined plate...that is if I had any left after buying candy that week.

There would be singing from the hymnal songbook, which we all tried to be the one holding it. If not, we'd just get to hum along to the music, as we couldn't see the words.

By then, we kids would have dug into our pockets or little purses to bring out our pieces of crinkly wrapped butterscotch and peppermint candies to suck on. We'd trade each other for better ones, trying to unwrap them silently. At some point, one of us (usually me) would find the short orange pencil and a blank envelope in the holder in front of us to start a game of hangman. There would be little notes to each other passed back and forth down the line, and stifling our giggles was not easy.

The preacher may have been reciting his sermon, but we weren't listening. We were in our own little world in the midst of the grown-ups.

One Sunday, as we were getting restless, someone elbowed the friend next to them, pointing to the lady sitting in the pew in front of us. Soon we all were staring in amazement. The woman had teased up hair, heavily lacquered, with who knows how many days of hairspray.

Our jaws dropped, and our eyes grew wide at the horror in front of us. A spider was crawling in and out and between the woman's carefully coiffed hair do! We were spellbound. Should we tell her? Should we make a ruckus and run screaming down the center aisle? We'd probably be in trouble either way.

What if that spider jumped on us, I mean, it was only a couple of feet in front of our faces. We leaned back into our pew as far as we could, checked our watches to see how much longer we'd be sitting there before church was let out, calculating our options. What to do? What to do?

At the crucial point of fighting the spider off, or taking flight, we were saved. Literally saved from making a descision, as the preacher called for anyone needing to be saved by salvation, to come to the front. As everyone stood up, we all took off down the aisle, past the preacher and the congregation, giggling all the way out the door.

I don't know what happened to the woman or the spider that day. Hopefully they were saved, too!









Peace, Love, & Salvation

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE IN A WORD?


There are lots of words. I like words. I write words. I like to learn new words. I even like to read the dictionary. Some words have similar meanings, some are opposites of each other. Some words are used for a certain situation and time period, then they evolve into another word entirely, for the same type of activity.

That is what I am writing about today. There are three that seem to have switched places over the years. These are....

1. Photo Albums
2. Scrapbooks
3. Smash Books

Take the photo album. For many years it has been thought of as a place to put your snapshots in book form. You buy a book that has blank pages designated for this purpose. There are lots of ways to stick them in and be a bit creative in the layout. In earlier days you would purchase little stick on photo corners to hold the photos in place. Mostly they would be arranged in a row, with maybe a caption underneath saying who was in the picture.

Later on there were the magnetic photo books. You'd peel back a clear film on the page, arrange your pictures on the sticky cardboard, then pull the filmy plastic back over them to protect them.

There were also books that had separate picture sized holders which you just slipped your photo into.

To me, that is a photo album.

Next we have scrapbooks. People have been scrapbooking for many years. It would consist of a purchased blank book, usually large. On these pages people glue in all types of things. These could and did include photos, but also souvenirs, mementos...something you wanted to save to remember. There could be bits of colored paper, cards, ticket stubs, newspaper clippings, and whatever the person felt like including in their book. It was a personal record of their interests and reflected their individual personality.

To me, that is a scrapbook.

Here is where it gets tricky, and the words seem to have switched places.
What people of today are calling 'scrapbooking' is by my reasoning, just a pretty, decorative photo album. Photos arranged on a page with some cute purchased thematic stickers or cutouts pleasing to the creator of the book.

What was once actual scrapbooking is now called a 'smash book'. It's the same as it always was, just using a different word.

When and why they switched, I don't know. I have been doing the traditional scrapbooking since I was a kid. There were a few years that I didn't glue anything into books, but I saved all my bits and pieces of items I would eventually use to fill them. When I did begin to do this, I found the words had changed as to which was which.

All words put aside, though, if you like doing pretty photo albums, or scrapbooks, or smash books, it is a wonderful and creative process. It is fun to look back at the pictures and remembrances that you saved, and for later generations to look at and have more of a sense of who you were at that time in history.






Peace, Love, & Create!