TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
They didn't find any hiding places in the kitchen, though, and after eating a snack, they went back into the living room. They stared at the mess, not knowing where else to look. Steve sat on the couch, and Ghost tried to think some more, but it wasn't happening.
"What is it, Ghost?" Steve asked, concerned. Ghost was standing in the center of the room, his eyes closed, as tears began falling silently. He rubbed his hand over his left eye, massaging it some, a frown on his face.
"I'm just tired, Steve...and kinda feeling sad. I'm tired of thinking, I'm tired of looking for something I don't want to find. My head hurts, and my eye hurts, and I miss my grandmother." He was sobbing now.
"Come here," Steve said, a catch in his own throat, to see his best friend in pain.
Ghost slowly came over to the couch, looking about ready to collapse. He sat by Steve, who gently pulled him over, so that Ghost's fragile head was on his lap. Tenderly smoothing Ghost's soft hair back from his forehead, he began rubbing his head for him. Ghost closed his damp eyes, the left one twitching, and tried to relax.
"I just want to have everything be normal again, Steve, and just play music and sing...that's all," Ghost whispered. "Just you and our music." He took a deep shuddery breath, and more tears fell.
"I know, babe, I know. So do I...and we're getting there. I know we are." Steve said.
"Did I tell you about the voices?" Ghost asked.
"No, what are you talking about? Was this part of the dream you had?"
"Well, I had it again, that was in the dream, but I heard them for real once, a long time ago. Right before I left, or maybe the day I got back, or maybe both times. I can't remember, now."
"What did the voices say?"
Ghost shivered and said, "It was so weird. A weird spooky voice, like an echo, or in a cave, or well, I don't know...anyway, it was scary."
Steve waited, knowing Ghost would continue when he was ready.
"Steve, it said, 'You're not supposed to be here!'," he said in a spooky sounding voice, trying to imitate what he'd heard. "What does it mean?"
Steve got chills when Ghost had said that. He was getting freaked out. "I don't know. Was that all it said?"
"Yeah, but it was the same every time!" Ghost pulled his hair over his face, and rubbed his forehead hard. Steve had lapsed in the rubbing.
"Damn, my head hurts!" Ghost cried out.
"You want some Tylenol or something?" Steve asked.
"No, just...can you find me some willow bark extract in the back room? It's labeled in a little blue bottle."
"Ok, I'll try to find it," Steve said. He really didn't want to go back in there, but went anyway. The house had been silent, no music playing, no tv on, so when Steve opened the back room door, he paused a second, at the doorway.
The moonlight shone in the cobwebby window, making eerie shadows in the room. The light bulb had burned out long ago, and had never been replaced. All he had was a flashlight. It didn't help much, though, as the batteries were low.
He tiptoed in, looking at the shelves. Finally finding the blue bottle, he made his way back to the doorway, stumbling on a few old boxes that he swore weren't there two seconds ago. As he reached the door, he thought he heard breathing, then a voice that said, 'come back'. Steve slammed the door and ran back down the hall. Heart pounding, breathing hard, he fell onto the couch with Ghost, again.
"Here's the stuff. Don't ask me to ever go in there again. I think I heard your eerie voice just now."
Ghost sat up, took the bottle and drank the contents. Steve watched him do it.
"Ewww, how can you take all these home remedies and potions?" he asked. He'd rather go to the store and buy a bottle of pills.
After swallowing the liquid, Ghost asked, "What did the voice say?"
"It said, 'come back', Steve shuddered.
"See, I told you...scary," Ghost said.
Steve nodded, and would later not admit to being so scared, he had his feet up on the couch, like the boogey man might reach out from under the couch and grab him.
"Well, what now?" Steve asked. "You're the one who knows about this kinda shit. What do we do now?"
"Calm down, Steve, it's just a voice. Scary, but just a voice. It can't really hurt you. I hear them all the time, every day, all my life, and I'm still here. This one was scary because of what it said to me."
Steve was dumbfounded. He knew Ghost had always spoke to and listened to spook voices, but he'd never heard one before, didn't even believe in such things, really. But, if this is what Ghost had to put up with all the time, all the millions of voices and thoughts of others, bombarding his brain all the time, how could Ghost not be a little crazed and distracted a lot.
"Yeah, Ghost, but that's the first time I ever heard one...and, I didn't like it. Maybe it's really serious, about us finding that journal. It probably explains lots of stuff. How can you do it? How can you hear all those voices all the time?"
"I'm used to it I guess. It's just normal. I can block most of it out, so it's not so bad. And, I like to hear what they say."
"How's your headache?" Steve asked.
"It still hurts. I need to sleep, so I'm going to bed, now," Ghost said, heading off down the hall.
"You're just gonna leave me here with spook voices?" Steve hollered after him.
"Yeah, unless you wanna come in here with me tonight," Ghost grinned at Steve, as Steve ran to catch up with him.
They went into the bedroom, Steve slamming the door fast.
"What's the matter, Steve? The voices come in here with me, too. I can't get away from them, and now, neither can you."
Steve pushed Ghost out of the way, as he leaped onto the bed. "Don't you ever tell anyone that I was scared, Ghost. Don't you dare!"
Ghost just smiled. That night, they both thrashed around with bad dreams. The next morning, as sunlight streamed through the window, things did look brighter than in the dark of night. Steve had to go back to work. Ghost looked toward another long, boring day ahead of him.
Next installment coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing