Everyone stopped playing, the people stopped singing, and the spotlight shut off. Complete and utter darkness enveloped the room, as a slight breeze from the overhead fans blew out the lighters. Total silence - everyone's ears were muffled in the aftermath of excruciating decibels. Then pandemonium broke out. People were screaming, crying, falling over each other, trying to reach the door to get out. The venue manager managed to get to the fuse box and flip a switch to get the lights back on. His club was in a shambles.
Maxy had dropped his guitar in the dark, and felt his way over to Ghost, who was still on his knees, crying. Maxy was afraid they'd both fall off the stage. He helped Ghost up, and they stumbled backstage, tripping on instruments and power cords, and over other band members. By the time the lights came back on, they had exited the back door, and taken off in Maxy's car.
Ghost was unresponsive. Maxy was scared. What the hell was gonna happen now, he frantically thought. He hoped Ghost was ok first, then a crazy thought came to him, at least crazy at a time like this. He realized he was sitting on a gold mine! This was his and Ghost's ticket to the big time - to fame and fortune! He couldn't stifle a laugh at his own delusions of grandeur. He had plans...awesome plans. He just had to get Ghost to go along with them.
He glanced over at Ghost, who still seemed to be in a trance, eyes half closed, leaning his head on the car window. "Shouldn't be too hard," Maxy thought. "Ghost'll do anything I tell him to," he laughed again.
What he didn't know, was that Ghost had heard it all...all his plans for them...and felt the underlying need for complete control. Greediness had taken over this basically good kid, and turned him into just another kind of vampire...a soul sucker, and Ghost knew he'd almost been sucked dry by Maxy...almost.
Later, Maxy told Ghost of his big plans for them. Ghost had already heard them, but tried to discourage Maxy against moving too fast, to let it ride for awhile. It did no good. By the next night, they'd been booked solid for a month of gigs around town. Ghost felt so trapped. Maxy wouldn't let Ghost out of his sight. He knew Ghost would bolt, if he got the chance.
Ghost's life source, his soul's path for him, was still alive inside. A tiny flicker still, but beginning to make itself known. Ghost could feel the restlessness beginning again, like it had done up in the mountains. He couldn't verbalize it yet, but it was felt.
The two of them continued to play their gig commitments, but it was routine, nothing like the incredible set they'd done that unforgettable night. Maxy was beside himself, with begging Ghost to do it again. Ghost never would. He would not relent to Maxy's pleadings.
Then, late one night, after Maxy had gone to sleep, Ghost eased himself out of bed, and quietly closed the door. In the living room, he found Maxy's phone. He knew that the big letter O would get someone on the line. He hoped it would work. He pushed the button, and an operator answered. He asked quietly, if they could call a place for him. He explained that he didn't know the number. She said yes, and he asked her to call the Sacred Yew, in Missing Mile, North Carolina.
He hoped Kinsey would be there to answer. Kinsey lived above the club, so he'd hear the phone, if he was there. It rang and rang...he didn't dare hang up, just in case. Finally a sleepy voice answered.
"This better be good, waking an old man up in the middle of the night," Kinsey growled into the phone.
Ghost was startled to hear Kinsey's voice, from all the way back home. He hardly ever talked on a phone, and was still amazed that such a thing could be possible. He didn't say anything for a few seconds. Kinsey could hear breathing on the other end, and started to hang up, but suddenly had a strong image in his mind, of Ghost. Ghost had without even trying, projected his image into Kinsey's mind, willing him to not hang up yet.
Kinsey had thought about Ghost a lot in the past year and a half, since he'd left. No one had ever heard what had become of him...least of all, Steve. And Steve had not been back to the club since that fateful day. So, he took a chance and said,
He heard a sobbing on the other end, and knew for certain, it was him.
"Where are you, are you all right, are you coming home, how can I help you? Answer me right now, Ghost!"
The sobbing continued, and Kinsey got the image of heartbreaking homesickness and loneliness....and something more...some kind of trouble. Ghost didn't say any of that...his feelings just crossed the ether of space into Kinsey's mind.
"Kinsey," Ghost managed to choke out. "I just needed to hear a familiar voice. I miss home."
"Where are you, Ghost, I'll come and get you right now!" Kinsey pleaded to the distraught boy.
"I can't come right now," Ghost sobbed. "There's some things I have to do."
Kinsey thought for a minute. "Steve misses you, Ghost. He's not been the same. He's messed up his life. Should I tell him you called?"
Ghost sucked in his breath at the mention of Steve. In a firmer voice, he said, "I don't care what you tell him...just don't come looking for me...it's not time yet. I don't know how much longer I can hold on, Kinsey, but I'm trying to...every day I'm trying to hold on till the time is right."
Kinsey had no idea what Ghost was babbling on about, but it broke his heart to hear the despair in his voice...and that he wouldn't let anyone help him. He hoped Ghost could work it out before it was too late.
Just then, Ghost heard Maxy opening the door to the bedroom, coming out looking angry to see Ghost using his phone.
Next installment coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing