TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
He was in a frenzy, trying to get over his fright, and get them out of danger. Ghost was screaming something right in his ear, but he could only hear snatches of it, as the wind blew his words away.
"Key! ... Steve...get...unlock...find...key!" Ghost was screaming.
"What?" Steve yelled. He had forgotten that Ghost was still hooked to the bed rail."
"Oh, shit! The key..." he finally realized. "What did I do with the key?" He tried to remember. "It was on the table by the bed..." he said, looking around. Trying to see in the darkness, he wiped rain from his eyes, but couldn't make out where the table was. It was not there now, in it's usual place. It had turned over, and branches were in it's place. The whole room was in chaos. Anything that had been on the table, was now lost in the water on the floor.
Ghost kept jerking his arm, trying to get loose. He'd scooted up as far as he could, toward the top of the bed, but it didn't give him much room to maneuver. The water was now up to the top edge of the bed's mattress, and things were floating around and around in the room. The key was hopelessly lost.
"Think, think, what can I do?" Steve was screaming in his head. "I have to get Ghost unlocked!" He tried pulling the cuffs open as hard as he could, but that didn't work. He then tried squishing Ghost's hand smaller, so it would slip through the opening, but that didn't work either. It was just too small an opening. Then he had an idea...a horrible idea...if only Ghost's hand was a tiny bit smaller, there at the widest part, he could make it work.
"Ghost, listen to me," he hollered in Ghost's ear. "I have to get you out of here...I have to make your hand fit through, to get you out. The key is lost. I'm gonna have to break the bones in your hand, so I can squeeze it through. It'll hurt like hell, but I can't think of anything else...ok...ok?" Steve pleaded.
"No, no, no! Don't break my hand, Steve!" Ghost was freaking out, now.
Steve grabbed Ghost's face in his hands and said, "I have to. If I don't, you're gonna drown...the water is getting higher. I have to find something to smash with."
He sloshed off as best he could through the house. The darkness had somehow lightened a little; there was an eerie glow coming from somewhere. He kept stumbling over branches, until he found a hammer...the hammer they'd left in the bathroom, after smashing the hole in the wall. He half walked, half swam back to the bed. The water was now covering the top of the bed. Ghost was sitting there with the water almost up to his chin. His pale eyes glowed in the eerie light, like a mad person had taken over. His mouth was open in a scream, but the only thing Steve heard was the roaring wind.
He hated what he was about to do, but there was no other choices left. He took hold of Ghost's handcuffed hand and propped it against the iron railing.
"Be still, Ghost," he yelled, but of course his words went unheard. He brought the hammer up, and then down, as hard as he could onto Ghost's hand, right where the thumb attached to the bones in his hand...then again. Ghost had fainted, and was now limp, and slipping under the water. Steve squeezed his hand full force, trying to pull it out. He felt bones cracking, but it wouldn't quite fit through the surrounding cuff. He hammered again and again. He saw Ghost's face, now under water, his pale hair floating in strands all around.
Pulling him up quickly, Ghost sputtered and coughed, and Steve could hear Ghost talking in his own head..."Leave me here, Steve...just go on...it's ok."" Then Ghost fainted again. Steve was horrified. He would never leave Ghost alone to die. He'd die with him, if he had to...he would die without Ghost, anyway.
"No, Ghost. You're coming with me. We're gonna get outta here." He jerked Ghost's hand hard, one more time, and it was free. Ghost fell back under the water, and Steve flailed his own arms, as he fell backwards, going under, too. He came up and pulled Ghost up, again. In another few seconds it would have been to late. The water was now over the top rail of the bed frame.
Steve grabbed at Ghost and pulled him along, as he navigated over the branches and through chest deep water. He was heading for the back door. The only thing he could think of was to get outside and get to higher ground, if possible. The backyard and the woods sloped upward some, so that's where he was headed. The wind was still howling...keeping his footing was almost impossible. He fell several times. Tree limbs were criss-crossed every which way, and under water. Ghost had come around somewhat, and was trying to walk with Steve, but with the use of only one hand, and in terrible pain, it still was slow going. At least the water wasn't quite so deep, as they climbed slightly higher.
Then, the wind stopped. It was completely calm, even though their ears were still ringing. They stopped a minute to catch their breath.
"Ghost, you know these woods better than me...where can we go?This is just the eye of the hurricane. The wind will be back in a few minutes. We have to get somewhere where the trees won't fall on us." Steve said. "Ghost, are you hearing me?" he spoke loudly, right in Ghost's face.
But, Ghost was in such shock, he couldn't speak, or even focus on Steve. Steve shook him, and yelled, "Snap out of it, Ghost! We have to save ourselves. I need you to help me."
Ghost finally seemed to notice Steve, and understood what he was saying. He pointed farther on through the woods in the direction they were already headed. "Cave...in the cliffs...up there."
Then Steve remembered the small pocket in the rocks of the range of cliffs, farther up. He and Ghost used to go up there as kids and hide out. He hadn't been there in years, but it would probably be high enough, and provide a little shelter...if they could manage to climb up there. They needed to hurry, though, before the wind came back. He helped Ghost to his feet. The water here was only up to their knees, so it was a bit easier to slosh through.
Finally, he saw the cliffs, and the indention of the small cave. The rain was picking up, along with the rising wind, but they did make it there before the worst slammed back full force. They didn't remember the cave being so small, but then, they were just kids, the last time they were here. It would have to do for now. They both were able to scrunch into the opening. As the wind and rain continued for a couple more hours, they shivered there in their rock shelter...in each other's arms.
Ghost rested his head on Steve's chest, and Steve rested his head on top of Ghost's wet hair; he could smell the always faint odor of molasses, that made up Ghost's unique chemistry. His own hair dripped around him. Ghost was cradling his smashed hand, and crying silently. Steve could feel his sobs against his chest.
"Ghost,I'm so sorry I had to hurt you. There wasn't anything else I could do. I would never, ever leave you there. I hope you understand...please, Ghost, I'm so sorry. I should never have chained you up...but, I didn't know all this would happen. We'll get you fixed up when this is over, ok? Ghost? Please talk to me."
Next installment coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing