TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
Steve pulled into the driveway of the little place - really just a dirt path up to the front. No one was around. This church was on the outskirts of the small town, and Steve still felt like he was trespassing on private property. Ghost had grabbed his camera and notebook already, and was heading out toward the graves.
Steve let him go by himself, while he finished his soda. He reasoned that Ghost could talk to the spooks better by himself...and he knew he was being silly, but he was a little scared, even in broad daylight.
When Ghost hadn't come back, Steve figured he'd go take a look, just to check on him. This place seemed to have a weird vibe, to him. It wasn't like back at the graveyards at home, where they were comfortable sitting in amongst the granite, marble, wood, and metal head stones.
Maybe, that was the problem...it felt too nice, too lonely and empty. He found Ghost over by a headstone, making an etching of the name and date.
"Found anything, yet?" Steve asked, as he scanned the sun dappled area.
"Hey, Steve...this here one is the oldest one," Ghost said.
Steve was confused. He knew Ghost couldn't read the dates on there, but it did look pretty old. The stone was a little crumbly on the edges, and the carvings were weather worn.
"How do you know?" Steve asked.
Ghost finished his etching, and said simply, and with total assurance, "They told me."
Steve started to say 'who', but then remembered...Ghost's ability to talk and listen to spirits unseen.
"Oh, cool," Steve said. "Did ya take a picture, yet?"
"Yeah, I took one of all of them. They were nice to let me. They thought it was interesting what we're doing."
"Yeah, uh...well...are you ready to go, yet?" Steve asked, as he began backing away farther from the area.
"Yeah, but can you write in here what time it is that we found this place?" Ghost held out his notebook.
Steve could see already written, the place, all the particulars of weather and type of vegetation, types of headstones, etc. Very detailed notes. He entered the time and date, then flipped to the next page. Ghost had drawn a sketch of a woman...an old fashioned woman, with a long dress, and a braided bun on top of her head. Next to her, was a man of about the same era, in baggy pants, with suspenders, work boots, and an old felt hat. They looked like farmers, or pioneer people.
"Who are these people, Ghost?" Steve asked.
"Oh, they're the people in this grave, right here. They told me their's was the oldest one."
"Uh...you could see them?" asked Steve.
"Yeah, sure. So I drew their picture. I didn't know if the camera would do it or not."
"Where are they now?" Steve asked, looking around nervously.
"They're right there...standing by you."
Steve didn't see any such thing, but he moved way, away anyway. "Ok, time to go, now," he said. He began walking fast toward the car, trying not to run, and give Ghost something else to laugh about.
Ghost took a couple more pictures, and lured Steve back to take a picture of him by the graves.
"That was great." Ghost was smiling. "We have our first entry. Let's go find another one."
They pulled out some beef jerky and another soda, and continued down the road. They passed another couple of small towns, but didn't find a reason to stop. By now, it was late afternoon, and at the next good sized town, Steve stopped to get gas. Ghost went inside the convenience store. He asked the clerk if he had any knowledge of old graveyards, or haunted houses.
Ghost liked to talk to people, and the conversation got a little long, so Steve came to fetch him.
"Hey, Steve, Jim here says there's an old cemetery down the road we can look at. He don't know any haunted houses, though."
Steve was glad of that. "Oh, ok, we'll check it out then. Gotta go now." He held open the door, motioning for Ghost to come on.
They continued on, looking for the landmark the clerk had mentioned. It was a lightning struck old tree. They had to turn up the next dirt road, to the right. They were dodging pot holes, and low hanging tree branches were scraping against the car.
"Are you sure it's up here, Ghost?"
"Well, that's what he said. Just keep going, ok?"
After another half mile they came upon a small clearing, of sorts. It was overgrown now, but there were quite a few markers set in a haphazard manner. The late afternoon sun was getting lower, and cast shadows all around.
"For real, Ghost, I don't want to be here when it gets dark. Hurry up and take some pictures. You don't have to talk to anybody, this time."
Ghost got out of the car and wandered around, snapping pictures, and making entries in his notebook. Steve stayed by the car.
"Hurry up! I don't want to do that road in the dark!" Steve yelled over at Ghost.
"Shhh, I'm listening," Ghost said.
Steve rolled his eyes and tapped his foot. He wanted to say five more minutes, but knew it wouldn't matter. Ghost would take as much time as it took to get what he wanted. As he watched Ghost do his thing, he let his thoughts wander. Then a stray, unbidden thought came to him. It wasn't audible, but just a weird inside feeling of 'danger, danger'.
"What, the..." he didn't know what to make of it. He hollered over to Ghost. "Hey, I think I just got one of your signals. It said 'danger, danger'...what's it mean?
Ghost was walking around one old grave marker, when he heard Steve yell. He immediately stopped. Looking down to where he would have taken the next step, he saw that vines and grass had grown over a deep hole in the ground. It was a sunken grave. Erosion had caused the top soil to fall in.
Ghost squatted down and pulled away some of the vines and old leaves. At some time, rain must have washed away most of the dirt, and an exposed coffin was down in the hole. He waved Steve over to have a look.
"If you hadn't hollered danger at me, Steve, I'd have been down there," he pointed.
Steve grabbed Ghost's arm, jerking him back from the edge of the grave. "We're getting outta here, now!"
Next installment coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing