TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
The morning came and went, then toward noon, one by one, they staggered out to the kitchen with their individual hangover torture. Steve gulped water and Advil for his pounding head, and Terry grabbed some, too. Kinsey's stomach was rolling around worse than his head, and Ghost slurped down a hangover potion he brought out of the back room. He offered it to the others, but no one took him up on it.
Coffee was made, and they sat in silence around the kitchen table. Ghost finally went out to the front yard, where he stood looking up at the sky. It was his usual ritual of starting his day...a short commune with nature, but as it was already past noon, it was too hot to stay out long. As he came back in, Terry and Kinsey were just about to leave. Steve walked with them out to their car. He had to ask Kinsey if he could borrow it, before he left.
"Hey, Kinsey, I need a favor," he started. "Is it ok if I borrow your car later this afternoon? I've got an errand to run, and if you want, me and Ghost will pick up any supplies you need, over in Raleigh."
Kinsey didn't mind, and he could use a few things. "Yeah, ok, Steve. Come on by later, and I'll have a list for you."
After they'd left, Steve went in to tell Ghost his plan. He found Ghost in his bedroom making a new writing on his wall. He agreed with Steve to go check out the bank vault, and go shopping for Kinsey.
"Well, get ready, and we'll go on over there," Steve said. He picked up his guitar, and went to the couch to strum through a few songs. Ghost came out, humming along, and in a good mood, and they began the walk into town.
They had retrieved the key from the back of the journal, and Steve kept jiggling it around in his pocket. He didn't know why he felt nervous. He felt weird, hoping there was a lot of money in there...because it wasn't his, and he felt greedy to use Ghost's inheritance; but, Miz Deliverance wanted him to manage it for Ghost, so it didn't really hurt to fantasize about it. Maybe there really wasn't any money...maybe she was delusional; or maybe there was some, but not very much. Well, only one way to find out, and that was to go see for sure what was in there.
They reached the Sacred Yew, pushing open the heavy wooden door, to a blast of cool air. "Ahhh," they both sighed at the relief from the hot, humid air outside. Kinsey brought them both a cold soda and a sandwich, and they went over the grocery list.
"No big hurry, this time," he winked in understanding to Steve. They also firmed up a date for the next weekend for Lost Souls? to have a show.
On the way up to Raleigh, Steve suggested the song list they could do, and that they'd need to practice some more. It had been so long since the last time they'd had a gig...over two years now. He missed it, and hoped they'd get back into the groove they'd always had. The he started worrying about the money situation, again.
Ghost rode in silence, just listening to Steve rattle on, and after a few minutes, he fell asleep, as he almost always did on a car ride. As they parked in front of the bank, Steve woke Ghost.They sat there a few minutes, watching people come and go. Steve was thinking that he and Ghost looked like a couple of hooligans, or redneck hillbillies, compared to the people he saw, even though they were both wearing decent clothes, this time out.
"Well, nothing to be done about it now," he thought.
"We belong here as much as they do, Steve...we have a key." Ghost said, as he got out of the car, and walked right on up and through the bank's door. Steve followed, feeling people staring at them. Ghost kept going, straight to the first desk he saw, and asked where the vaults were. They were led down a hall into another room, with about a hundred locked boxes covering each wall.
Steve looked at their key number and found the right box. Taking a deep breath, and even though his hands were shaking, Ghost inserted the key and turned it. Steve was afraid to look...afraid to be disappointed. Inside was a large manilla envelope, which Ghost carefully pulled out. They sat at a table, there in the vault room. Ghost glanced at Steve, then opened the flap.
Inside, he saw actual money. The envelope was stuffed full of it...some in neatly stacked and wrapped piles, others, just loose. He pulled it all out. It was just pieces of paper to him. Looking over at Steve, he asked, "Well, what do you think? It's money, isn't it?"
Steve stared at the piles of money. He was having a hard time finding words. Finally, he said, "It's a lot of money, Ghost...a lot. I'll have to count it, but just on this top layer, my God, Ghost...there's over a hundred thousand dollars, and...and...look at all the layers!"
"Is that good?" Ghost asked.
"Ghost, that is more than good. Where do you think all this came from?" Steve was genuinely puzzled. "Did your grandmother win the lottery or something? Did a rich uncle leave it to her? Is it for real...like real money? Is it stolen? did she have a side business going on, besides her potions? Did she conjure it out of thin air?"
Of course, Ghost didn't know, or even care...as long as they had food to eat, and an occasional trip to the second-hand store, he was happy enough. They discussed what to do now. They decided to take out enough for a car...and not Terry's old junker...and enough to get by on for a few months. That barely made a dent in the pile. Steve asked a bank employee to get an accurate count of it...he was sure he was too nervous to count right.
The banker looked astounded, when he totaled it up...Steve almost fainted. There was two million dollars, minus what he'd taken out. The banker wanted to know if he wanted to make a deposit, but Steve figured it'd be just fine for now, locked back up in the box. They'd think about what to do, later.
With the money safely locked back up, they walked out of the bank, to carry on with their ordinary, little rock 'n roll, hippy lifestyle...and no one suspected they were really a couple of millionaires.
"This is so weird," Steve said.
"Yeah, kin we go shoppin' now?" Ghost asked.
"Sure we can, Ghost, and I'm not even gonna get mad when you get distracted. Take all the time you want," Steve smiled.
They did their shopping for Kinsey, and had fun doing it. Ghost got to look around as much as he wanted, and Steve picked out some things for their own use, and didn't holler, even once. On their way out of town, they stopped at a used car place. Steve looked at all the cars, wishing his T-bird was still around, but he was anxious to have his own wheels, again.
There were a couple he liked, but chose an old caddy convertible, over a newer, sporty car...when Ghost pointed out that if they ever took another road trip, they'd be able to stretch out in the back seat better. Steve understood Ghost's hidden meaning immediately, and since he always did like the big, older cars best, he bought it.
He paid in full, and in cash. The dealer had not paid much attention to them, there on the lot...took them for just a couple of guys wishing they could buy a car. When Steve pulled out the cash, though, he couldn't do enough for them.
"Hah, money talks," he said to Ghost.
"What did it say?" Ghost asked, looking confused.
"Nevermind...we got the car. Now, I'm gonna drive it home. You drive Kinsey's back to his place, ok? I'll follow you."
Next installment coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing