TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
"I gotta g..." he started, but didn't finish his goodbye to Kinsey, because Maxy grabbed him and threw him across the room. The phone went flying and crashed onto the tile floor of the entryway, where it broke. Kinsey heard someone bellow, "Get off the phone, Ghost," and the sound of of Ghost being thrown up against the wall. He heard Ghost cry out, "Leave me alone!" then the phone crashed, and the connection was broken.
Kinsey was frantic. He wanted to help Ghost, but there was no way...no way at all. He didn't even know where he was calling from. He paced around the room, thinking of every angle he could, to trace the call. He called the phone company, but they couldn't tell him much. It was long distance, was all they could say, unless an investigation demanded their phone records.
Kinsey tried to calm down, telling himself Ghost would be ok. He was able to survive all this time on his own, surely he could take care of himself.
He never went back to bed...just sat up drinking coffee...cup after cup, deciding whether to talk to Steve. In the end, he decided he would have to. In the morning he'd drive out to Ghost's house on Burnt Church Road, and confront Steve. He dreaded it. Steve had gone from raging rapist, to a broken down drunk, when he couldn't find Ghost.
He'd heard about Steve's search. It had gone on for almost a year. Steve had criss-crossed the country in his old T-bird, asking for any word or sighting of Ghost, and came up with absolutely nothing. He'd left flyers and contact information everywhere he went...big towns, little towns, clubs and bars, hippie communes, thrift stores, and voo-doo shops, but he'd had no luck.
Then, about six months ago, he'd gotten a lead. It was quite by accident...a real accident. Steve was driving home from Raleigh, after drinking too much, and crashed his T-bird into a tree. The car was totaled, and Steve was hospitalized with broken bones and lacerations. He spent a couple of weeks there.
Terry had gone up to see him there, and said Steve was in pretty bad shape, but would survive, at least survive his injuries. It seemed he'd almost lost his will to live, kept going on about how Ghost had put a hoo-doo curse on him, and he might as well die right now, rather than go on being cursed by his best friend.
He finally got released from the hospital, and on the way back home, had to hitch hike, since he had no car anymore. A guy in an old pick-up gave him a ride. He saw Steve trudging along the side of the road, with his arm in a sling, and stopped to see if he needed a ride.
They got to talking, and Steve told him some of the story, about the accident, and how he'd been searching for his missing friend. The man mentioned he was on his way to visit family, up in the mountains. He'd heard talk of a stranger that came to stay, maybe about a year and a half ago, he wasn't sure...wasn't even at his family's little place. He'd just heard it through the grapevine. It didn't involve his people, so he didn't put much thought into it...just another bit of mountain gossip.
"Maybe it was your friend?" he asked.
Steve thought about it and mentally groaned. Why hadn't he remembered...Ghost came from the mountains...maybe he'd gone back there.
"It all fits," he said, getting excited. "That's where I should have started looking. But, I wouldn't even know where to start. There's a lot of mountains. Can you take me there?" Steve asked. "I have to find out if anyone up there knows anything at all."
"Well, I reckon so...I'm going there anyway, and could use the company. It's at least another two or three hours, though," said the man.
They kept on driving down the highway, past Missing Mile, and soon came to the first crossroads off the highway, that led up to the first settlement. The man stopped, and told Steve that up that twisty, dirt road was a little community. Maybe he could start asking for information on his friend, there.
"My family is on up the highway, and I know they didn't take in any strangers," he said.
Steve nodded, and thanked the man for the ride. He'd take it from here.
"Well, good luck then...uh...I guess I should give you a bit of advice. I don't know if you're familiar with the kind of people up here, but they don't really take to outsiders much, so don't be too surprised if they're pretty wary and closed mouthed. They're good people, but have been set in their ways for probably a hundred years. They don't like change. I hope you get some information."
Steve said he understood, and they went their separate ways.
Next installment coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing