TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
Back in town, Terry was getting mad. Steve hadn't shown up for work. "Just as I figured," he grumbled. "Give a guy a second chance, and he blows you off without a thought...well, enough." He called Kinsey and told him what was going on, but Kinsey was more worried about Steve's and Ghost's welfare, after the strangeness of the day before. Kinsey suggested that they drive out on Burnt Church Road to check on them.
"Aw, Kinsey, you worry too much. They're fine...probably just goofing off. Steve forgot he even had a job."
Kinsey just headed for his car, and of course Terry followed. He didn't want to miss whatever was going on, and he needed to holler at Steve, anyway. They drove up the gravel drive and got out. The door was open, so Terry yelled through the screen for Steve, but got no response. Kinsey shrugged, then pulled open the door.
As they looked around inside the house, Terry was puzzled. "Where did they go?"
They saw the mess in the bathroom, the broken medicine cabinet and mirror, and the hole in the wall, and were afraid they'd been in a fight again, or worse. But, the house smelled of fresh coffee, and two mugs were sitting on the counter, so at least they were alive enough to drink coffee this morning.
Kinsey thought a minute...where would they go? Then, he remembered that they liked the old Civil War graveyard back in the woods, behind the house. Kinsey's own relative, Miles Hummingbird, was buried there.
"Let's go see if they're at the graveyard," Kinsey said.
Terry agreed, and followed him out the back door. As they got closer, they knew they'd found them. They heard soft voices, and an occasional burst of laughter. Terry and Kinsey didn't try to walk quietly, but Steve and Ghost were in their own world, and they didn't even hear Kinsey, when he said to Terry...
"Shh, go back...give them a minute."
"What is it...let me see." Terry pushed forward. "Oh, I see what you mean," he said, as he turned back toward the house.
Ghost and Steve were kissing and loving each other, there, on a blanket, on top of the graves. There was also a haze of pot smoke hanging over the area. Kinsey and Terry were embarrassed to have almost walked into that scene, and they just looked at each other and started laughing.
"This is so awkward, Terry. Now we have to pretend we just got here and don't know nothing," said Kinsey.
"Yeah, how long should we wait?" asked Terry. I don't want to wait around all day. They're smoking that good shit I gave Steve, yesterday...maybe they got some left. We could join them," he grinned.
"Let's just go back in the house and get some of that coffee. They'll be back up here soon, I hope," Kinsey said.
They went back up the well-worn path toward the back door. Getting their coffee, they settled on the couch to wait. A little later, they heard Steve and Ghost coming up the path, making a lot of noise. They were laughing and stumbling around, and came falling through the back screen door. Steve was still talking, when Ghost saw Terry and Kinsey, sitting in the living room.
He screamed, making Steve turn around in alarm. Then he saw them, too. "What the hell? Y'all scared the shit outta us!"
Ghost was still staring at them...and they were staring back...because he and Steve were both half naked. Ghost had on his striped, knee socks and an oversize tie dyed t-shirt, and nothing else. He'd lost his sweat pants somewhere along the way. All Steve had on was a pair of seen better days boxers.
"Uh...we just came to visit, and couldn't find y'all...figured you'd be back...and we...uh...got a cup of this excellent coffee...and..." Kinsey said, trying not to stare at them.
"Yeah," Terry continued, "and to yell at you, Steve, for not coming to work...and, yeah...I guess y'all were too busy out there to come to work, and ...uh...where's y'all's clothes at?"
Kinsey elbowed Terry, "Shut up, Terry."
Steve gave them both a disgusted look, then grabbed Ghost's arm and jerked him on down the hallway to the bedroom. Terry and Kinsey looked at each other...
"Dude..." Terry said...and they couldn't hold their laughter in any longer.
After a few minutes, Ghost and Steve came back out, with more clothes on, but their hair was still messy with pine needles here and there. Steve still looked put out that they'd showed up, and he just stood there in the doorway, with his arms crossed, waiting for an explanation.
Ghost went over and sat on the couch between Kinsey and Terry, and picked pine needles out of his hair and off his socks. They were both still feeling the high of the pot, and didn't really feel like getting yelled at, or yelling at them.
"Hey, Terry, sorry I forgot about work. Some things happened when we got home last night," Steve began.
Ghost just dreamily said, "That weed was good shit, Terry, we still got some...ya wanna?"
At that, Terry and Kinsey forgot why they'd come over, and they all smoked awhile. They popped open some beers, and Ghost held onto his bottle of Scuppernong, and they all reminisced about days gone by. After ransacking the kitchen for munchies, more pot, and beer, it was getting on toward midnight. Steve invited them to crash there for the night. Kinsey could have Ghost's bed, and Terry could have Steve's, and he and Ghost would sleep on the couch...so that's what they did.
Terry was asleep as soon as he fell into Steve's bed. Kinsey laid there a few minutes...a bit disoriented to be in Ghost's bedroom and bed.
"This is the weirdest room I've ever seen," he thought. "I feel like I'm in Ghost's brain, and it's splattered all over the room. It's freaky." He felt and smelled crushed rose petals in the bed, yanked out a couple of markers he was laying on, and stared at the ceiling...at the glow in the dark stars and planets, and dried bunches of roses and sage. The glow from the starry ceiling, and the full moon shining in from the window, made the thousands of words Ghost had written on the wall, seem to shimmer and undulate. "Quite a trip to be in here stoned," he thought.
Finally, he fell asleep, but was startled awake a time or two, when he heard creaky noises from the old house. Later on, he woke again...this time Ghost was getting into his bed. "Must have forgotten I was in here," Kinsey thought. "Oh, well..." But, he wasn't sure what Ghost was doing. Was he sleepwalking...or what?"
Ghost slipped under the pile of blankets with Kinsey, and snuggled up to him, then put his head on Kinsey's shoulder and neck. Then, he reached up and kissed him...and not just a peck on the cheek...a full on, open mouth with tongue kiss, that lasted awhile. Kinsey was paralyzed...something like this had never happened before...and he knew he should push Ghost away, wake him up...but, God help him, he liked it. It was wrong...so wrong, but his still foggy mind didn't want it to stop. He was having feelings he shouldn't have, but hadn't had in a long, long time.
He did finally get his senses back, and after a lustful thought or two, he did push Ghost away. "Ghost doesn't know what he's doing, evidently. He's just like a friendly little puppy, cuddling up to whoever will show him some kindness and love," Kinsey thought. He felt sad for Ghost, always having such a great need for human kindness, always trying to be loved for who he was...such an innocent soul.
Ghost had turned over now, and was sound asleep. Kinsey could tell he was dreaming; he kept fluttering his eyelids, and murmuring words...always words from this one.
Kinsey finally did fall back to sleep, to the sound of Ghost, now humming an old song he'd written a long time ago.
Next installment coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing