TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
"Ok, ok, Ghost, you win. I'll go along with your crazy idea, but if some haint comes after me, you better tell it to back off, ok?"
"Yeah, I'll do that. I'll tell 'em to lay off Steve, or he'll bust some spook butt!"
"Ok, then," Steve said. "Let's do it, starting tomorrow. You figure out where the first one is, and we'll go out there. Oh, does it have to be at night, or do they come out in the daytime, too?"
Ghost looked at Steve with a serious face, and making his voice deeper, he said, "They're there all the time, Steve...all the time...but, they like it best when it's daaarrrkkk!" He reached over and grabbed Steve, who jumped, almost falling off the bed. Ghost laughed even louder.
"Damn you, Ghost! Why'd ya go and do that? I'm creeped out enough, already. But, seriously, you do have a way of drawing the dead to you, you know. That's what's really eerie."
"I know I do, Steve, but for me it's fun. I get to find out all kinds of things, and now I'll write it down - what I find out."
"Ok, then...tomorrow we begin," said Steve, as he turned out the light. Ghost mentioned his headache had gone, and he was too antsy to sleep, but he cuddled up with Steve, thinking some more of their new plan, while Steve slept.
After awhile, Ghost got up and paced around the room. He didn't turn on any lights, but he could see pretty good because of the flashing red, neon vacancy sign shining through the thin curtains. He tried to plan what they'd do the next day and night. He'd get one scenario going, then he'd go in a different direction, and his plan would morph into something totally different.
He wondered what road they should take, or should he just let the dead call out to him...lead him to them? That sounded the best - he'd be sure to hear the ones that were in a mood to talk.
He stood still, in the middle of the room, closed his eyes, and swayed a little, trying to hone in on a signal of some sort. There...over that way! Something was trying to get his attention. He turned, like a radar detector, bringing in the signal clearer. He didn't notice that he was slowly walking in that direction, too, when he hit the wall with a bang, falling backwards onto the floor.
Steve woke up, alarmed when he saw Ghost on the floor. "What the hell are you doin'?" he asked. "Are you sleepwalking, again?"
Ghost peeked up over the edge of the bed at Steve. "No, I'm awake. I just ran into the wall, then I busted my ass. I was getting a signal."
Steve gave him a look that meant he definitely didn't want to hear about it, right now. Then he rolled over and went back to sleep. Ghost leaned his head back on the side of the bed, and closed his eyes, trying to get the signal back, but it was gone. He yawned, wishing he could go to sleep as easily as Steve.
"All I got for my trouble, was a sore butt, a sore head from hitting the wall, and my headache is coming back," he muttered. He eventually did fall asleep, right there on the floor.
The next morning, Steve went to get up, forgetting that Ghost was there on the floor by the bed, and he tripped over him, and landed in the floor, too.
"Why ya falling on me, Steve?" Ghost asked, as he came awake.
"Get up, Ghost...get off the floor! You're making me crazy!" Steve said, scrabbling to get up. "We're gonna go get breakfast, then we're leaving. Five minutes, Ghost!" he said, forgetting Ghost had no idea when five minutes would be up.
They did manage to make it out the door and to the car, pretty quick. Steve drove them over to the little diner, where they ordered pancakes and coffee. Ghost was exhausted, after having only about an hour of sleep, so he kept nodding off.
"Wake up, you gotta point us in what way to go," Steve shook Ghost more or less awake. "Well...?" he asked.
"Which way?"asked Steve.
"Which way was the wall last night? In the room, the one I hit? Which way was it?" Ghost asked.
Steve took a minute, marvelling that he actually understood what Ghost was talking about. Strange how that worked. You get to know someone so well, that even their gibberish makes sense to you.
"The wall was like southwest, I think...or maybe more west."
"Ok, go that way then," Ghost said.
After eating, they stopped by the 7-11, to get road food, and put sodas in their cooler. Steve got a map, just in case, and Ghost picked out a package of markers and a spiral notebook. Then, after gassing up, they were off down the road. The map didn't have graveyards listed, so he just took whatever little roads went the closest to southwest as he could find.
"Let me know if you feel any tingling from beyond, Ghost," Steve said. He was going to be positive about this harebrained scheme, even if it killed him...for Ghost.
"Ok, Steve, uh...I'm getting a tingling, right now."
Steve looked over, then slowed the car. "Really? I don't see any place that looks like a graveyard. Are you sure?"
Ghost started shaking his foot. "Look, look...my foot's shaking, Steve!"
"What does that mean...tell me what it means!" Steve said.
Ghost laughed..."It means my foot is tingling...it's asleep!" He couldn't help teasing Steve, even though he knew he'd get yelled at. It was too much fun, and the occasions didn't come up very often, so he took advantage of every opportunity that came along.
Steve stopped the car. "Get out! Get out now! I mean it, Ghost. I've had enough. I'm trying to go along with your idea, but crap like that - what you just did...uh-uh...this trip is over. Now, get out and find your own way home."
Ghost kept laughing, he knew Steve wasn't really mad...just annoyed that he'd been so gullible. Steve just sat staring ahead, at the road. Then he started the car up, and drove slowly on down the road...never saying another word.
Ghost folded his arms on the rolled down window ledge and let the breeze blow his hair around. He started singing a sort of road song, *Take it to the Limit". The words fit - they were going down the highway, and he was looking for a sign. "So, put me on a highway, show me a sign, and take it to the limit, one more time..." he kept singing, over and over.
"Are you concentrating, Ghost? Or, have you already forgotten what we're doing out here in the middle of nowhere, on these crappy little deserted roads?"
"I'm just singing...it helps me think. I can do that, and concentrate, too, ya know."
They continued down the road another couple of miles. It was hot and humid, and the car's air-conditioner was low on cooling liquid...and with Ghost's window down, and the broken window, covered in plastic, the air-conditioner wasn't much help.
"Reach back there and get me a cold drink. Can ya do that, too?" Steve asked.
"Yep, sure can," said Ghost, and he scrambled around in the seat, reaching for the cooler. He got a cola for Steve, and one for himself. They had just popped open the cans, when they passed a small town, that wasn't listed on the map.
"Hold up, Steve." Ghost sat up, so he could see out the window better. "Back there...behind that little 'ol church...there's some headstones. Let's go look."
*Take it to the Limit", by The Eagles, released November 15, 1975, on the album "One of These Nights", written by Randy Meisner, Don Henley, and Glenn Frey, label - Asylum
Next installment coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing