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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE...(ninety seventh installment)

97th installment content 


"Here, this is as close as I can get it, Steve," Ghost said, as he returned with the wheelbarrow.

"Ok, it'll do, I guess," Steve said. "Now, hold on to the handles, so it don't tip over, and I'm gonna roll this off in there." 

He did, and it landed mostly in the wheelbarrow, with just one edge hanging over the side. Steve came down off the porch. Ghost began wheeling the uneven load down the path toward the graveyard, almost tipping it over a couple of times. 

"I'm sweating to death, Steve, and these gnats are sticking to me," Ghost said, stopping to slap at them. 

"I know, me too, but we're almost to the back, now. Did you get the shovel?"

"The shovel? Crap, I didn't even think of it," Ghost said. 

Steve rolled his eyes, "Well, here...take the flashlight, and go back and get it. I'll keep going the last part over there."

When Ghost returned, he sat down next to Steve, to rest. "It's gonna be daylight, fast can you dig?" 

"It's gonna take awhile, I think. You're gonna do some too, ya know," Steve said. He wiped sweat off his face. "I'll get it started."

They took turns digging, and finally figured it was deep enough. They rolled the wheelbarrow over, and tipped the bag into the hole. As they finished shoveling dirt over it, they pulled some branches over the whole thing, hoping it was hidden. 

"That's it, then. Let's go back to the house. I've got to hose down the porch." Steve got up to leave. 

They made it back, just as the sun was rising. Steve got the garden hose, and squirted the blood off the back porch, while Ghost chunked his shoes in the trash barrel.

"I'm going in, Steve...gonna light the sage, then get in the shower. I feel filthy." 

When he was done, Steve took his turn getting cleaned up. The house smelled fresh again, and felt cleansed, but they were both exhausted. 

"I'm so tired, Steve,and I'm hungry. But, I don't feel like I should be happy about eating, ya know?" 

"What are you talking about?" Steve asked. "We're still here, and we're lucky to be alive." 

"But, Nothing was alive, too...and now he can't eat, or be happy anymore."

"Stop thinking like that, Ghost. It don't help. We just need to forget it and do our best to live for as long as we got, and be happy about it."

"Yeah, guess so," Ghost said. "So, what can we eat, then?"

"I don't know..ya want to go get pizza?"

Ghost laughed. "Steve, it's morning, and I want pancakes."

"Oh, yeah...well, let's go to the diner. They'll be open already."


When they drove up to the diner and parked, Ghost said, "I feel like everyone is staring at us. It's like they know what we did."

"Shut up, Ghost. They don't know anything...and if you keep talking about it, somebody might actually get suspicious and find out."

They found a booth and ordered their breakfast. The diner was filling up with customers, this early Sunday morning. Some said hello. Ghost and Steve tried to look normal, even though they both were feeling conspicuous. Then Ghost looked up, as the door opened again.

"Steve," he whispered. "It's Trevor and Zach."

"So what?" Steve asked.

"So, maybe they'll ask where's 'you know who' , and have we seen him...that's what," Ghost said. 

"Well, just be cool, ok? Don't give anything away."

Their breakfast arrived, and they ate quickly, keeping an eye on Trevor and Zach. 

"Steve, they're coming over here," Ghost whispered, again.

"Hi, guys," Zach greeted them. "Did y'all like the show last night?"

"Yeah, it was good...and loud," Ghost said. 

"We saw you leave early, thought maybe you didn't like it or something...?" Zach asked.

"No...I mean yeah...I liked it. Just I was getting a headache. I mean, not from y'all's music...just...I needed to go home 'cause..." Ghost kept on, until Steve kicked him under the table.

"Good to see ya, then," Steve broke in. "Looks like y'all's food is ready."

"Yeah, man...see ya later," Zach said. He and Trevor went back to their table. 

"What was that, Ghost? What was all that crazy talk you were doing?" 

"I don't know, Steve...I couldn't stop."

"Well, watch yourself. Just keep calm, and think before ya go blabbing everything, ok?" Steve said. 

They finished, eating, then headed for the door. Ghost went on out, and before Steve could pay and leave, Zach motioned him over to their table. 

"I was wondering, Steve, did you see Nothing, after we left last night? He was supposed to come by, but he never showed up," Zach said.

"Uh, yeah, I saw him," Steve said. "He was in the office. I was at the pool table, when he came out. Guess he left..I didn't see him after that."

"Well, ok..." Zach said. "If you do see him, tell him we're looking for him."

"Sure, will do, Zach," Steve said. "Later, man..."


Ghost was already in the car, waiting on Steve. "What took ya so long?" he asked.

"It was that Zach dude. He wanted to know if I'd seen Nothing. I told him I saw him leave, that's all."

"Oh, man, what are going to do, now? Was that all... you just saw him leave?" Ghost asked.

"Yeah, Ghost...only before he left, he made some wisecracks, and I told him to leave you alone, if he knew what was good for him. Then he left. Then I came home, and there he is biting you.,..well you know the rest."

"Damn, Steve, how many people saw you yell at him? They'll know you were the last one to see him, and you were mad."

"Well, so what? That's all they know...nothing after that...don't worry about it."

"Yeah, that's what you always say. I'll try, but now we gotta worry about the others," Ghost said.

"Are you still feeling they're coming here, like soon?" Steve asked. 

"Yeah, I can feel them, but maybe not so strong. It's like they got lost, or sidetracked or, I don't know. Nothing said they were mad at us, and wanted to kill us, but that they were stupid and useless, too. So I'm not sure now."

"So, we just wait around...never know when they'll show up? That's just great, Ghost."

"No, I'll know for sure, if they get very close. It just isn't right now."

"Ok, then...guess I'll have to trust your 'feeling' then, huh?" 

"Yeah, guess so," Ghost smiled. 

Steve started the car. "I need to get outta here for awhile," Steve said. Let's go into Raleigh...look around or something."

"Ok, I need to get some new shoes, now, anyway," Ghost agreed. "Can we go to that thrift store we were at before?"

"Sure, Ghost, anything to get our mind off stuff here."

So they headed down the highway.


Next installment coming soon!

Peace, Love, & Writing  

Monday, November 24, 2014

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE...(ninety sixth installment)

96th installment content 


Back at the club, Steve was winning a few games against R. J. The band had finished their set for the night, and everyone was just hanging out, playing games, and drinking beer. He hadn't seen Zach or Trevor in awhile. He supposed they'd gone home, already.

He did notice that Nothing was over talking to Kinsey, wrapping up band business. After a few minutes, Nothing came over to talk to Steve. 

"What'd'ya want?" Steve asked, frowning.

Nothing looked him straight in the eye, and said, "I told you I was leaving, but I have to stay. The band is counting on me, and I have friends here. I never had that before. And, I heard from Twig and Molochai...they're planning to come after Ghost, for killing Zilla. I have to try and get control of them again, so they won't hurt y'all."

Steve stood up to his full height, glaring at Nothing. "Fuck you, Nothing. We don't need your kind of help. You stay the hell away from Ghost, and tell those other two I'll kill them, just like I'll kill you. One wrong move,'re history...I'll make sure of that. You may not be as much of a blood sucker as Zilla, but you suck people dry anyway, with your innocent look, and your poor little me scam. Evil comes in all types. You can fool some, but not me, and not Ghost." Steve took a step toward Nothing. "Count the days, Nothing...count the hours until you're no more. Now, get outta here...I can't stand to look at you." He slammed down the pool stick, onto the table with a loud crack. 

Nothing jumped, and actually hissed at Steve. Steve could see that he'd filed his teeth into sharp points. 

"You don't scare me, anymore," Steve laughed in Nothing's face. "Now, go on."

Nothing turned and left the game room. This confrontation pretty much broke up the party atmosphere, and people started gathering their belongings, and leaving. Steve had another beer, and seethed. Some asked him what that had been all about, but he just waved it off as nothing to worry about. 

Then, he remembered that Ghost was home by himself. "Shit, I gotta go home," he said to no one. He was a little fuzzy headed, from the beers, but managed to get out the door and into his car, without too much trouble. He sat there a few minutes, trying to clear his head. The parking lot was deserted, and so was the road leading out to the house. He started the car, and drove slowly down the dark road. 

Nothing had left, after talking to Steve, and had planned on going out to Trevor and Zach's house, on Violin Road. He needed to give them their part of the money they'd earned for the night.  He had good intentions for that to happen, but deep in thought, he wasn't paying attention. So, when he stopped walking and looked around, he was right in front of Ghost's house. There was a light on, so he figured Ghost was still up. Maybe they could talk some more.

He went up the porch steps, and knocked at the door. When Ghost didn't answer, Nothing had no trouble jimmying the lock...and then, he was inside. "I shouldn't be here," he thought to himself, as he silently glided down the darkened hallway. Coming to Ghost's bedroom, he pushed open the door.

His breath caught in his throat, as he looked at Ghost lying there, asleep. He wanted him. He wanted him more than anything he'd ever wanted...ever since he'd first heard Ghost sing on that tape from years ago. He'd led all the trouble right to this house...all because of his need for Ghost...for his friendship, maybe, and then for his love. 

But, things had gone so terribly wrong. Now, could he maybe have a small chance of making things right? Could he make Ghost see how much he meant to that they were alone? 

He quietly moved to the bed, and knelt down. He breathed in the scent of roses and molasses, and yes, blood. Blood pulsing through Ghost's veins, alive and rich. 

"I'll just take a tiny taste," he thought, as he bent over Ghost's lips and kissed him. He parted Ghost's lips with his own, and tasted Ghost's spit...then, he wanted more, and began nuzzling Ghost's neck, right where he could feel the vein throbbing to the beat of Ghost's heart.

Ghost was slowly coming awake, still dreaming of Steve, and he moaned, "Steve, you came home."

Nothing paused, at hearing Steve's name. He could feel his jealousy know that Ghost would always love Steve, and never himself. He took a little nip into Ghost's neck. One sharp tooth drew blood, and he licked at it.

Ghost came fully awake, now. "Nothing! Get the fuck off me," he said, as he pushed Nothing away. 

Nothing fell back, but came at Ghost again, and they began to struggle against one another. They did not hear Steve's car drive up. They did not hear Steve, until he banged open the door, and started yelling. 

He charged at Nothing, and ripped him off the bed, and Ghost. Landing up against the wall, Nothing whined, "I just wanted a little taste of him...I didn't hurt Ghost."

Steve roared back, "What did I tell you, you motherfucker. You don't listen too good, do ya?"
He grabbed Nothing, throwing him against the other wall. 

Remembering the guns he'd put under his pillow, Ghost yelled out, "Steve!"

Steve looked around, seeing Ghost, eerily calm, holding his gun out to him. He took it. Ghost nodded and flipped the safety off his own gun. Steve did the same.

"No, no...I'm sorry, Ghost...I'll leave now! Don't kill me," Nothing pleaded.

But, Ghost pointed his gun at Nothing, and so did Steve...and they fired at the same time. Nothing's head exploded in a mass of blood and brains. They'd both hit their target.

They stared at what they'd done. The silence after the gun's firing, was profound. There was no more head. Nothing's body slumped against the wall, blood splattered everywhere. 

Their ears still ringing from the gun's blast, they waited in stunned silence. "Well, guess there's no coming back from that," Steve said, as he turned to Ghost. 

Ghost was still staring, breathing hard. In the dim light, Steve could see that tears were running down Ghost's face. They were dripping down, mingling with the blood that was still running down his neck, onto his shirt.

"Ghost, you're it bad?"

"No, I don't think so," Ghost said, but then he began shaking from the shock of what had happened. He dropped his gun to the floor. His knees buckled, but he managed to sit back on the bed. He had still not taken his eyes off the destruction of was being seared into his brain. 

"Stop looking at it,'s over." Steve begged him to turn away.

Ghost closed his eyes, and said, "It's not over, Steve...they are coming. I can hear them, and they're close."

"Who's coming?" Steve asked.

Ghost turned his face up to Steve, and Steve could see it in his eyes. He knew who. 

"How long?" he asked. "How long do we have to get ready?"

"I don't know, but soon...Steve, what are we gonna do? What are we gonna do with..." Ghost pointed to what used to be Nothing. "He didn't turn into dust, like the others."

"Don't worry about it. I'll take care of it...I'll get rid of it, ok?"

Ghost nodded.

"If you feel like you can help, ok, but if not...that's ok, too. Just go out on the porch. I'll clean up in here."

Ghost got up and walked to the doorway, trying not to look, and trying not to step in the blood. He went out to the kitchen, put some water on to boil, for some calming tea. He was still dazed...his mind whirling. He couldn't even feel himself walking, as he gathered up garbage bags, and a bucked of hot, soapy water, to take in to Steve. 

"This is so gross," Ghost said, as he came back to his bedroom. He handed the bucket to Steve, then went back to finish the tea.

As Steve began to pick up pieces of Nothing, he was reminded of the last time he'd had to clean up Ghost's bedroom. That time, it was Ghost's blood he was wiping up. He shuddered. 

He'd heard the screen door squeak open, as Ghost went out to the porch. He could hear Ghost humming a sad tune. "He'll be ok," he reassured himself.

The garbage bag was getting full, and heavy with gore. "Where am I supposed to get rid of this at?" he asked himself.  He stopped in the bathroom, to wash his hands, before going out front to talk to Ghost. 

"Hey," he said, as he sat down in the swing.

"Are you done?" Ghost asked.

"Almost...just...what do I do with it?"

Ghost thought for a minute. "Guess you can bury it in the graveyard...out behind the house. No one ever goes there but us. No one will ever see or know anything."

Steve wiped the sweat from his forehead, as he stared out across the dark yard. "Ghost, are we really murderers? Does it count, if the ones we kill are vampires... or even half vampires? Are we half murderers?" He kept rocking the swing faster, back and forth. "I mean, it's kinda like squishing a bug, or swatting a fly, don't'cha think?

"Maybe so, Steve. That's what I think, too." Ghost took a few moments, then sighed. "You know, I talked to my grandmother about it."

"You did? When?"

"Not long ago...when we got the guns."

"What did she say?"

"She said we had to do whatever had to be done, and don't hesitate to save ourselves," Ghost said. He took Steve's hand, and looked into his eyes. "I asked her to send us courage to be able to do that. I think she did...tonight, Steve."

Steve smiled, "Me too, Ghost. And, I still feel like I have some you? I mean, for the next round?"

"Yeah, I have enough," Ghost said, "I have to." He looked up into the heavens, sprinkled with stars. 

They sat out there in the night for a while longer, the swing slowly stopping it's rocking.

"Guess it's time," Steve said. 

"Ok...I'll help ya drag it out there," Ghost said.

They went inside and stared at the full bag. 

"Did ya find the..."Ghost asked.

"Uh-uh..there wasn't nothing left of Nothing's head," Steve said, as he gagged on those words. 

Ghost shivered, as he looked around the room, hoping he wouldn't see a piece of skin or bone, or an eyeball, laying around, that Steve had missed. 

"I don't think I like my room, anymore. Bad things keep happening in here," he said.

"Well, we're not gonna switch," Steve said. 

"Guess I'll have to do a sage cleansing, then...clear out the bad stuff." 

Steve agreed. "Well, let's do this." He and Ghost grabbed hold of the garbage bag, and began dragging it down the hallway, toward the kitchen, and back door.

"This sucker's heavy...please don't let it rip open," Steve grunted.

Ghost stopped pulling. "No, that wasn't a joke," Steve said, when Ghost gave him a disgusted look. 

Catching their breath for a minute, Steve said, "Ok, here's the plan. I'm thinking we'll drag this out the back, and you know that old wheelbarrow, out by the garden? Well, we'll use that to roll him out there...way in the back. Then...uh, dig a hole and dump it in, then cover it up."

They were at the back door, now. Steve propped open the screen, and they tried dragging the bag onto the back porch, but were having trouble.

"Ghost, can ya...just get behind there, and push it. Gotta get it over the door frame thing, here."

Ghost reached out to push. "Ewww, Steve it's all squishy...I can't do this."

"Well, shit, use your foot then, if ya don't want to touch it," Steve said. "I'm pulling on this end...I need you to push."

Ghost put his foot against the bag, and it finally went over the door sill. "Oh, God, came's leaking!" He hopped around, shaking his foot. "It got on me, now I have to throw these shoes away."

"Would ya stop freaking out, Ghost? It's just a little bit. I need you to help...go get the wheelbarrow, and bring it right up next to the porch here, and I'll push it over and in."

Ghost went out to the garden, wiping his shoes on the grass, as he went.


Next installment coming soon!

Peace, Love, & Writing

Friday, November 21, 2014

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE...(ninety fifth installment)

95th installment content 


Zach and Trevor came over to the stage to set up. Terry and R. J. had come in and were back in the office, talking to Kinsey. Trevor had seen Steve and Ghost crying, and wondered why. He'd talked to Zach when he went back to find him...told him to try not to come on so strong, but then he felt like a hypocrite, telling Zach this. He himself wasn't any better at making friends. They both had a lot to learn about how to get along with other people.

"We're both just a couple of social misfits, Zach," he'd said. "You talk too much, and put your foot in your mouth, and I don't talk at all. Jeeze, they must think we're weird."

So, they began getting things ready on the stage, as they sneaked glances at Steve and Ghost, who finally walked over. "Hey, man...didn't mean to go off like that...sorry," Zach said.

Yeah, it's ok, I guess. It just took us by surprise, that's all,"Steve said. Ghost and Trevor said nothing. "So, have a good show, then, we'll be here," Steve said, then led Ghost back toward the bar. They grabbed a beer, and talked to Terry and R.J. a few minutes.

"What do ya think of the new band members?" Terry asked. "Wait'll ya hear us."

"Guess we'll stay awhile and find out. Kinsey told us a little about them," Steve said. "You ever tell them we used to be scared of their house?"

"Oh, man, I tried to, but it didn't seem to bother them. Said the house was fine, and they seem to like it out there," Terry shook his head at the thought of it. "Well, gotta get up there...ya ready, R. J.?" 

R. J. took his beer with him, as he and Terry went back to the little room, behind the stage. 

"Ok, guys," said Kinsey, "I'm opening the door in ten." He bustled around doing last minute  checks. 

"You ready for this, Ghost?" Steve asked.

"Yeah, guess so...but, I might want to go home early. I still have a funny feeling about Nothing."

"You think he's here...or breaking into the house?" Steve asked.

"Oh, he's here, Steve," Ghost said, looking toward the office. "He's back there doing his manager stuff." He hesitated, a second. "There's something else, though, that's trying to get in my head. Some kind of unfinished he needs to tell us something." He closed his eyes, concentrating. "I can't get it, yet." 

"Well, go ask him, then. Tell him we don't want no more surprises." Steve started toward the office.

Ghost stopped him. "Not yet...not here."

"Ok, but this has to be settled before he leaves town...if he really does," said Steve. 


The doors were open, now, and the place was filling up. Kids of all kinds, from teens to college age. They headed for the arcade room, and the pool table, and ordered Kinsey's soup of the day. All were waiting for the music to begin. The band was tuning up...R.J. was talking with Calvin and hitting a few bass notes, Terry was randomly hitting his drums, and Zach was just standing at the mic stand, smiling at Trevor, who was front and center.

Steve and Ghost greeted friends, and waited along with everyone else. Finally, they were ready...and they were loud. Starting with some of Terry's original songs, they had the crowd on their feet. Gumbo played a variety of genres, a mix of old, new, country, and pop, Then, as they got further along in their play list, they did rock, and some strange sounding music for the goths. 

Zach was a dynamo on stage, striding from one side of the stage to the other, putting his all into his performance...and he did sing good. He drew in the crowd, right along with him.

"Not bad," Steve yelled at Ghost, trying to be heard above the amplifiers. Ghost agreed, but didn't look all that into it. He was still worried about Nothing. 

Steve decided to take advantage of the empty pool table, while everyone was dancing out on the floor. Ghost walked down the hall to the office. He opened the door. Nothing was sitting behind the desk.

"What else, Nothing?" Ghost asked. "There's something else you're not telling us."

Nothing nodded, "Yeah, but I didn't want to tell you in front of Steve. 

"Go on, then what is it? I can sense it's not good."

"It's, know, I really like you and Steve. I'd never want anything bad to happen to you. I hated all that...before. I was so confused, and just finding out who I was..and what I was. And then, hooking up with my father, like that, out of the blue." Nothing stopped, remembering how it had been.

"After that, I didn't know what to do. Twig and Molochai were devastated, useless. They took off. I didn't hear from them for a long time. I just wandered around, but nothing was right, anymore. I tried to be like them, you know...all vampire, but my human part kept me from doing too much damage. Then I tried to forget about that, and just be all human. That didn't work out very good either.

So, I figured I'd just end it all, and tried to kill myself," Nothing shook his head. "But, I guess vampires can't really do that. I'd feel like I was dead, but then I'd be alive again. I know it sounds crazy. Anyway, I just came back here, because it was familiar. But, you weren't here to give me any advice. That's when I met up with Zach and Trevor. They seemed ok, so we started hanging out at Terry's record store. Then, everything seemed to be working out better for me, for all of us really. I had friends, real friends, for the first time." He looked up at Ghost, hoping he'd understand. "So, I really don't want to leave. I feel like I'm finally doing something right...and this is home to me now. But, I already promised you and Steve that I'd leave."

Ghost started to say his piece, but Nothing stopped him with one more reason he should stay. "Another reason, is that I feel like I should stay, kinda as a protection for y'all. I heard from Twig that they're still mad that you killed Zilla, and they're looking for you...and they know where you live. So...if I can stay here, I can probably keep them from killing you, again." Nothing was finished with what he had to say. "Ghost, please convince Steve... I'm not the bad guy here, ok?"

Ghost thought about what Nothing had said. He had a point, but could he even believe his story? "But, kinda are the bad guy, at least partly, because it was you that led the others here...right to my house. Ya remember? That's what started all this, and why it ended the way it did. I don't think I can ever forget that fact, and I know Steve won't."

Nothing closed his eyes and nodded. "I know, but please try, ok?"

Ghost shrugged, and said, "I'll tell Steve what you said. I can't promise anything, though."

"Ok, I'm still staying, at least tonight, anyway. You'll let me know tomorrow?"

"I'll talk it over with Steve," Ghost said, then turned and left the office. He didn't know how he was going to tell Steve, but this was getting too complicated and out of control for him to figure out by himself. He needed Steve. He needed to go home. He found Steve still playing pool, and watched him for a few minutes.

"Hey, Ghost...wanna play?" Steve asked. 

"No, I'm ready to go home," Ghost said. 

"Home...already? I'm just now in the mood to stay," Steve said. "Can't ya wait awhile?"

"I don't think so, Steve. I need to get out of here. I need some air, and my head's spinnin'. Guess I'll go on. You can stay here, if ya want." He started for the door.

"Ghost...ya sure?"

"Yeah," Ghost said.

"Ok, man...catch up with ya later," Steve said, then went back to his game.


Ghost stepped outside, took a deep breath of cool, night air. The music was muffled now, but his ears were still ringing. He began the long walk home. He had time to think about what Nothing had said. He still didn't want Nothing to stay here in Missing Mile. No good would come of it, he was sure. But, he couldn't order someone to get out of town. And, Steve would go ballistic. He definitely didn't want that to happen. 

As he came up to his house, he felt stupid for having to be careful of entering his own house. But now, he'd have to always be looking around, never knowing when Twig and Molochai would show up. He didn't sense any danger right now, though, so he went on in. Steve would be along, soon, he hoped.

The house was quiet. Ghost checked all the rooms to make sure everything was ok. He was alone...just his thoughts to keep him company...and he didn't like his thoughts, right now. He didn't  like being alone, either. He never did. It was getting late, though, and he kept yawning and nodding off. He just couldn't stay awake waiting for Steve any longer.

He checked the doors again, to make sure they were locked, but still feeling uneasy, he got his and Steve's guns down from the cabinet. He put them under his pillow, then got into bed. Only one lamp was left on, in the living room. He looked at his glow-in-the-dark stars on his ceiling for a few minutes. He said a silent good night to his grandmother, and told her he felt like something wasn't right...that if she could, send him some courage to deal with whatever happened. He then fell asleep. 


Next installment coming soon!

Peace, Love, & Writing

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE...(ninety fourth installment)

94th installment content 


Kinsey came in to begin getting the club ready to open. It was still a little over an hour, before he would open the door. He'd missed the confrontation. Ghost turned back to the wall to write some more, and Steve took this chance to talk to Kinsey about the new guys in Terry's band.

"So, who are these guys, anyway? Where'd they come from?" Steve asked.

Kinsey paused, in his work, wondering how much he should say. "Guess I could fill you in a little, Steve." He sat down on a bar stool, next to Steve. "Well, you know it's Terry's and R.J.'s band, and they took on Calvin, too. I think you met him before...plays lead guitar? Anyway, since you and Ghost were gone, Terry needed some extras, so that's why Calvin came on board. Terry was doing the singing for Gumbo, while he was playing the drums, but he can't sing worth a shit, ya know. So these other two guys were new here in town...just happened to show up about the same time; Trevor's the tall one, and Zach is the dark haired one. Come to find out, this Zach can sing really good, so Terry asked if he wanted the gig. Of course, he accepted, and all was going good."

"Where does Nothing come in?" Steve asked.

"That's kind of a weird situation there, Steve. I know I'd seen him before in here, a long time ago, but this time he got friendly with the guys in the band. They asked him to be their sort of manager...ya know, book gigs around the area, keep the money straight, stuff like that. He's good at it, too."

"Ok, I got that part, but what about those two new guys...what else do you know about 'em?"

"Well, that's a crazy story, Steve. See, Trevor used to live here when he was a kid, over on Violin Road, but...oh, yeah...y'all know the old murder house, don't ya?" Kinsey asked.

"Yeah, the one us kids were scared to go in," Steve said.

"Well," Kinsey continued, "you know the whole family was murdered, except for the little boy...that's Trevor. He came back all grown up. I think he might be a little...well...weird...'cause he started living out there in the old house. Creepy, if ya ask me. Anyway, this Zach guy happens to come into town, like the same day, or maybe a day or two later, and they meet and hit it off. I mean, like love at first sight stuff. So he's just here with the band because of Zach singing and all. That's about all I know," Kinsey thought a minute, "oh, yeah, Trevor's dad was a famous cartoonist, but you heard the story, I know...he went bonkers and killed the family and himself, all except Trevor. Now, Trevor is an artist too. He does comics and sells them, stuff like that."

"Wait a minute," Steve said, "when, Ghost and I were out on the road that first time, didn't I hear some talk about a new singer, and the F.B.I. looking for this the same guy, this Zach? Ghost mentioned something like that after talking to you."

"Yeah, that's the same fraud, I think. I guess all this was when you and Ghost were gone, so y'all never met them. By the time y'all got back in town, they'd already taken off for somewhere, laid low awhile. They just showed up again, recently," Kinsey remembered.

"Yeah, we never saw them before, but Ghost was worried about it at the that's what that was all about," Steve said. "Sounds like a big mess to me."

"I know, it was, but now here they are, and they put on a good show...the kids all seem to like it, and keep coming back. Tonight's the last night for them, for awhile. I heard Nothing's leaving for some reason," Kinsey said. "Of course, Terry and R.J. will still be here, helping y'all out, I imagine...and Trevor and Zach, they plan on hanging around out at their house, for awhile. Guess you and Ghost will meet them tonight." He looked at his watch, "In fact, any time now, it's almost time for them to set up. I gotta get back to work, Steve. Ya'll kick back and enjoy the show. It'll be you and Ghost up there next weekend, yeah?"

"Yeah, guess so, Kinsey," Steve said. He went back over to find Ghost, and tell him what he'd learned.

"Hey, Ghost, Kinsey filled me in on those two new guys in town," Steve said. "The one that does the singing for Terry's new band, Gumbo..."

"Gumbo?" Ghost laughed.

"Yeah, even Terry said it sounded dumb, but anyways, the nerdy one, Zach, he sings ok I guess, and he's the one you were worried about before, with the F.B.I. stuff. The other one is Trevor, and he's Zach's boyfriend. He's an artist or something, but the good part, is he's the kid from the murder house...and they're living out there in it." Steve waited for Ghost's reaction.

"Living there?" Ghost asked. "That's creepy as hell, Steve. Why'd they wanna do that?"

"Beats me, guess they're not scared of it. So, anyway, guess we'll meet them tonight...oh, hey, maybe sooner..." Steve said, as he looked back into the club. There were voices coming from the back hallway, by the office. "Seems they're here already."

"You think Nothing is coming back for the show? He's their manager, after all, Steve."

"I don't know, but if he does, so what...we said our piece, and he's leaving after tonight. I'm not gonna start nothing if he don't," Steve said. "but, we should keep our eyes open for any tricks he might be up to."

"Yeah, guess so," Ghost said.


                                                 CHAPTER 17

They looked up, as Kinsey came around the edge of the stage...and trailing behind him, were Trevor and Zach.

"Hey, guys, this here is Trevor and Zach," Kinsey said, "and you guys, this is Ghost and Steve."  Kinsey looked like a proud papa, introducing his sons from his first family, to the sons of his second family. "Y'all get acquainted now...I got work to do," Kinsey said, as he grinned and walked away, leaving the four of them staring at each other. 

"Hey," Ghost said.

"Hey, I know you!" Zach said. "I've seen you before!"

"What, where?" Ghost asked, looking confused.

"You, too, Steve...that's your name?" Zach was nodding his head, "Yeah, I saw both of you...a long time ago. It New Orleans, at a club." 

Steve was frowning, trying to remember that time he and Ghost were there, and if they'd gone to a club. 

"Yeah, you," Zach pointed to Ghost. "You were crazy, man...dancing with some little blond kid...looked like you were having a great time...and turning that kid on, too," Zach laughed.

He turned to Steve, then. "And cracked me up! You looked totally embarrassed to be in a gay bar," Zach kept laughing at the memory. "But, Ghost here, dragged you out to dance with him. sure were funny. Me and my friend Eddy was having a ball, watching you two. We knew everybody else there, but, you new guys were putting on a show...and didn't even know it. Damn, now here you are all the way out here in North Carolina. Is this where y'all are from?" Zach kept talking. The others were at a loss for words, as Zach kept rambling on and on. 

"I never heard of this place, until I got stranded here, and then I met Trevor," Zach stopped a second to take a breath. 

Steve and Ghost were wondering if he'd ever stop talking...wanted him to please stop talking. Trevor was staring at Zach, like what's wrong with you? 

"What?" Zach said. He looked at them staring at him. "Y'all ain't very talkative, are ya? Hey, Trev, say something. Introduce yourself. I gotta go take a piss." He turned and walked down the hallway. 

"What was that?" Steve asked. "Is he always like that?" He looked to Trevor for the answer.

"Uh...sometimes, but..." Trevor said, then he took off after Zach, leaving Steve and Ghost alone.

Ghost and Steve exchanged a look. "I remember that night, now," Ghost said, "but, I don't want to, Steve...I don't want to." He started to cry.

Steve reached out and hugged Ghost to himself. "I know...I don't want to remember, either." Steve let his tears fall for Ann, too. "Let's get outta here. Ya want to?"

"No...they don't know, Steve. They don't know what happened down there with us. All they know is a funny club story; and that's all they'll ever know, ok? We all live here in the same town. It's not like we'll never see them again. Guess we better, well, make the best of it?"

Steve nodded, and hugged Ghost harder. "Yeah, can't change the past, anyway. But, be reminded of all from out of nowhere...just hit ya in the face with it."

They were quiet for a moment, remembering. "Kinsey and Terry want us to hear them play. Maybe they'll be good. Guess we'll stay awhile," Ghost said.


Next installment coming soon!

Peace, Love, & Writing

Sunday, November 16, 2014

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE...(ninety third installment)

93rd installment content 


Round after round, re-load after re-load...still no hits. 

"What the hell am I doing wrong, Ghost? I aim right at it!" Steve said, frustration showing on his face. 

"Nothing's wrong, Steve. I told ya, it just takes practice..lots of it," Ghost said.

"Well, how long did it take you?" Steve asked.

"I don't know, don't remember...probably a long time, but I remember practicing a whole lot. Eventually, I got it."

"Where was I, when you learned how? I never saw you doing it." 

"Steve....I was a little kid, up in the mountains, before we ever moved here."

"You mean you really had a gun really?" Steve asked, trying to fathom this.

"Yeah, really," Ghost said. "All kids up there learn to shoot a gun by, I don't know, maybe before they even go to school."

Steve thought about that a minute. "Well, then, I got a lot of catching up to do, huh?"

"Uh-huh, guess so," Ghost smiled.

Steve heaved a big sigh, turning back to practice some more. Ghost didn't want to show off, but he wanted to practice some more, too, so he aimed and shot every can in one try. 

"Damn, you're good!" Steve said, grinning.

They stayed out there another hour; by then it was starting to get dark. 

"Let's go back to the house," Steve said, "and are we going into town tonight?"

"Guess so. We'll see what that band of Terry's is like." ...And, have to talk to Nothing... he thought.


Arriving at the club early, there wasn't anyone there, yet. 

"Kinsey's probably mad at us, Ghost. After last night, he might not even let us in," Steve said.

"Yeah, I know, but it seems like that was a long time ago, not just last night, doesn't it?" Ghost said. 

Steve nodded, "Yeah, it sure does. Guess we better go on in and see what kind of mood he's in."

Going up to the heavy wooden door, they hesitated. "What if he asks us about the vampires?" Ghost asked. 

"Oh, does sound kinda stupid, now...accusing people of that, but I can't help it if it's true," Steve reasoned. 

Ghost shrugged, "Well, he thinks we're idiots now, anyway...maybe we should just say it was nothing...I mean, not Nothing ... but, not as bad as we were carrying on. Ya know?" 

Steve nodded, and blew out a big breath of air onto his hair that was hanging on his forehead. "Let's go get this over with. Maybe that creep won't even show up." 

They went in. Everything was quiet; the lights were dim, only the ones on the stage, and behind the bar were on. Steve's boots clacked on the hard cement floor...Ghost's canvas sneakers just squeaked, as they walked back to Kinsey's office. 

Kinsey heard them coming. He was seated at his desk, and he looked up as they peered around the door frame. 

"Hey, Kinsey," Ghost said with a shy smile. 

Kinsey didn't say anything, just narrowed his eyes, looking at them.

"Can we come in?" asked Steve. 

"Y'all here to cause trouble?" Kinsey asked. 

"I don't think so," Steve said.

"Look, Kinsey," Ghost said, "we was crazy last night. We didn't even know what we was saying. Can we just forget about it...please?" 

Kinsey made them wait for a long minute. "Why should I give y'all another chance? Y'all promise every time not to cause trouble..and then ya do it again. What's gonna be different this time? Can ya tell me that, guys?" 

They just shrugged, looking at the floor. "We can't help it, Kinsey. It just happens," Ghost said. 

"Yeah, we don't mean to wreck the place. We're trying to be better - just, we're sorry, Kinsey. I'm sorry I yelled," Steve said. 

Kinsey loved these two, like sons. He couldn't stay mad at them for long, but he was trying to make a point...trying to teach them a better way to do things. 

"Fine, ya'll can come in, but it with the rampaging in here."

Ghost smiled, "We love you too, Kinsey!" 

Both Steve and Kinsey looked at him. Kinsey shook his head, "Go on get outta here."

They went back into the club - Ghost to his writing wall, and Steve racked up the balls on the pool table. As they busied themselves, the front door opened quietly, and Nothing slipped in, alone.  He made his way over, in the darkened club, to the wall where Ghost was writing by the one light over the stage. 

Ghost kept writing, finishing his thoughts, but he could sense that Nothing was staring at him. Then, he turned to Nothing. "Hey..." he said, not smiling. 

Nothing had not changed in looks since the last time Ghost had seen him in New Orleans. "Hey, Ghost," Nothing said.

Ghost didn't speak, just tried pushing into Nothing's mind, to get a sense of how things were. Nothing knew he was doing it, and let him...let Ghost see he was sorry how things went down; that he didn't want to get revenge on Steve and Ghost for killing his father, Zilla, and Christian, too. 

"Ghost," Nothing finally began, "I just wanted to see you...see if you were ok. I still love you...but, I know there could never be anything between us...not after...well, there never could have been. We're too different. I'm sorry for everything that happened, and for ever coming here. I didn't know then. I just didn't know what I was. Now I do, so...guess that's it."

Ghost knew he meant it; he didn't totally hate Nothing, even now. But, he'd brought so much pain and misery to him and much. 

"Nothing...I can't hate you...but, I can't love you, either. We just want to forget - everything that happened."

"I know, me too," Nothing said, his eyes tearing up. "I'm leaving after tonight...just me. I'll never come looking for you again." His tears fell freely, now. He still had some human emotion, after all. 

Ghost steeled himself against those tears. There was no way he wanted to be sucked back into Nothing's world. "Steve wants to kill you," he said. "I'll try to hold him off, but you have to leave. Don't come to our house, don't send postcards...don't...just don't...'cause I'll always back Steve...always...even if he kills you," Ghost vowed. 

Nothing nodded, "I know, Ghost." 

They both tensed up, as they heard Steve coming their way. "Hey, Ghost," Steve was saying, as he came around the edge of the stage. He stopped short, when he saw Nothing.

"YOU!" he snarled. He looked at Ghost. "You, ok, Ghost?" 

"Yeah, we just talked. It's ok."

"Steve..." Nothing began, "I'm leaving after the show, tonight. I don't want to cause any trouble...just wanted to say good-bye to Ghost. I'll never bother y'all again, that's a promise."

Steve was barely containing his loathing. "That's'll never bother us again...'cause if I ever see your fucking vampire face again, I'll blast it off with my gun. Just so it won't be a surprise to ya, I'm telling ya right now, for future it?"

Nothing nodded, "I got it, Steve. I promised I wouldn't let Zilla kill you, and I kept that promise. And, I promise I'll stay away from y'all, from now on...forever." He turned and left as quietly as he'd come in.

Steve and Ghost watched, as he went out the door.  "Good riddance," Steve said, as he punched his fist into the wall. "Aaaggghhh," he yelled. "That's what I wanted do do to him. I swear, Ghost, if he comes to the house, I won't ask questions...I'll shoot to kill."

Ghost gulped, "I know, Steve...and I'll be right by you, doing the same."

Steve looked at Ghost, and smiled. "Damn, Ghost...I think you finally grew a pair."

Ghost smiled and shrugged, "Guess so."


Next installment coming soon!

Peace, Love, & Writing 

Friday, November 14, 2014

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE...(ninety second installment)

92nd installment content 


Steve had found the address of the guy Terry had told him about. He parked at the curb. Nothing was unusual about the house or the neighborhood. There was nothing to indicate that this was someone operating outside the law. These were nice family homes, with kids playing in the front yards. He looked at the paper again. "Yep, this is the right place."

He checked his wallet. He didn't know how much a gun cost from this guy, but he'd brought $500.00 with him. He walked up to the door and rang the bell. A casually dressed man opened the door. Steve noticed he didn't look mean, or thuggish at all.

"You must be Steve?" the man asked. "Terry gave me a call, said to be expecting you. Come on in."

Steve followed him into a nicely furnished home, but was led out to the back yard, and to a storage shed.

"Terry said you were looking for some home protection...that right?"

"Yeah, that's right," Steve said. "I'm not sure what I'd need for that, though."

The man unlocked the shed door, and they went inside. "Well, I have a few I can show you; let's take a look."

There in homemade display cases, were guns of every size...from small lady-like pink ones, to full size rifles. The walls were lined with shelves full of ammunition. Steve just stared, not knowing even what to ask for.

"Let me suggest a couple of pretty popular ones, for home protection," the man said, as he brought out two pistols. He described their features, and ease of use.

"That one," Steve said as he pointed to one.

"Good, choice," the man said, as he showed Steve how to load it, the type of ammunition, the safety lock, and a carrying case. "I'd advise a little practice, first. Maybe even take a gun safety class." He hesitated a second, then said, "Here's the thing, though...You never heard of didn't get the gun here. Make something up if you have to, but don't ever mention my name, or implicate me in any way. Got it?"

"Sure, man, I got it," Steve said. He paid the price that was asked, almost the whole $500.00, but Steve didn't argue about it. He put the gun, in its padded, zippered case, into his jacket pocket, and left.

He was paranoid the whole way back to Missing Mile. He felt like everyone was staring at him...could see right through the car doors, through his jacket, and see the gun on display. He tried to drive carefully; he couldn't chance getting pulled over with an illegal gun in his possession. He was even scared the thing was going to go off at any second, like a time bomb, fixing to explode...probably blow his crotch off...even if it wasn't loaded.

He laughed, nervously. He even talked aloud to himself, "I can't believe I did that. I bought a gun...a damn gun I don't even know how to use. Shit, I'm scared to even touch it. How am I gonna shoot Nothing, when I'm too scared to pick it up. That kid'll kill me with his fangs before I could get it out of my pocket. I'm an idiot," his laugh now, more like a high-pitched giggle, verging on hysterical crying. "Now, I gotta figure out a way to tell Ghost. Oh, Lord, how am I gonna do that?" He worried and planned all the way home.

Ghost himself, was worrying how he was going to tell Steve about his own gun. He'd gotten home, and cleaned it, and reloaded, and put the safety on. He was sitting on the couch with it, practicing his aiming, as he had to now compensate for his eye problem, when he heard Steve pull up into the driveway. "Well, the time has come," he thought. He wondered what Steve had done, too.

Steve gasped, as he came in the door, seeing Ghost sitting there aiming the gun at the eye squinched shut, and a calm look on his face.

"Wha...what are you doing, Ghost?" He barely got the words out; he'd seemed to lose his breath at the sight.

Ghost put down the gun, and looked over at Steve, "Just practicing my aiming."

"Where'd ya get that? Did you go out and buy it when I was gone?"

Ghost shook his head. "No, it's mine. I've always had it. My grandmother gave it to me when I was a kid...and Steve, I'm sorry I never told ya about never came up. I kinda forgot about it, too." he looked up into Steve's eyes. "I know how to use it. I took it out and practiced shooting it today...out in the woods." He waited to see if Steve would tell him he'd gotten one, too.

"Well, shit, Ghost...if I'd have known you already had one, I wouldn't have had to go get this one," Steve said, as he pulled his gun out of his jacket. It was still in it's padded case, but Steve held it like it was gonna explode.

"Do you know how to use it?" Ghost asked.

"Not really. The guy who sold it to me showed me a few things...but, I never shot a gun before."

Ghost nodded, not wanting to make Steve feel bad. "Well, I can show you...we can go practice. Bring it over here and let me look at it, then."

Steve carefully handed it over, and Ghost unzipped the case. "It's a nice one, Steve," he said, as he checked the safety on it...just in case. "Ya wanna go shoot it, now? I'll show ya how."

Steve was still awed by the fact that Ghost even knew about guns, much less that he had one, and could use it, and that he'd never, ever told him about it. "All these years, and you never told me? Jeeze, Ghost, that some secret ya held out on me."

Ghost shrugged, "Well, it never seemed important. I never use least in a long, long time. But since you was talking about needing one, ya know, just in case, well, I thought I'd practice again and...and...well, I'm telling ya now about it."

"Yeah, I guess you are," Steve smiled. "So, where do we go to shoot these things? I gotta learn how."

Ghost grinned. "Come on." He grabbed his jacket, heading for the back door. Steve followed.

"Grab some empty cans, too...we can shoot at them out in the woods," Ghost said.

They reached the area where Ghost had practiced earlier. Steve set up his cans, and saw the others laying there, each with several holes in them.

"You shot all these?" he asked Ghost.

"Yeah, earlier," Ghost nodded.

"How long do ya think I can get good at this?"

"Well, I don't know...ya have to practice. Maybe you'll do ok right now."

"Ok, show me what to do," Steve said.

"Ok, watch me first...remember the steps," Ghost said. He flipped the safety switch off his pistol. "Don't ever point it at anyone or anything unless you're sure you're gonna kill it."

"I know, I know..." Steve said, but Ghost gave him a serious look. "What?" Steve asked.

"Are you gonna be serious about this, and listen?" Ghost asked. "These things are deadly...even on accident, even if sometimes you'll still kill someone...maybe me, maybe even yourself...that's why I'm kinda scared to even know you have it," Ghost gulped. "You know how you are, Steve." He didn't have to spell it out. Steve knew Ghost meant when his temper flared, and he flew off into a rage."

"Ok, but you don't have to be scared of me accidentally shooting you," Steve said.

Ghost looked into Steve's eyes...a silent prayer, that Steve would never be careless with the gun.

"Ok, then, here's what you do." He pointed at the cans, held the gun up at arm's length, sighted, and fired. He hit the can. Steve jumped at the loud sound, and he was still amazed that Ghost could actually do it.

"Now, you do it," Ghost said, putting the safety back on.

Steve took his gun out of it's case. He wasn't paying attention to how he held it, just held it up, looking for the safety switch. Ghost ducked, and hollered.

"Steve! Steve! Stop waving it around! You know how many times you just pointed it right at me? Pay attention to what you're doing!"

"What? I didn't point it at you. I was just looking at it."

"Yeah, ya did, Steve...all that waving it around...just hold it with it pointed down at the ground...all the time ...until you're ready to actually shoot, ok?"

"Ok, ok, what now?"

"Walk over there, keep it pointed down. Now flip the safety off."

Steve did this, all right.

"Now hold it up and point it at the can you want to shoot. Look down the barrel and close one eye. If it's still on the can, fine. If it's not, try the other eye. Remember which one is accurate...that's the one you always use." He waited for Steve to find the right one.

"Got it? Now, slowly squeeze the trigger. It'll be loud. Then, as soon as you fire, point it down again!" 

"Ok, but it seems so complicated...too much to remember," Steve said, as he was trying to sight the can with his dominate eye.

"Yeah, you're right, Steve, but this isn't TV...this is real. So go on, shoot a can."

Steve followed Ghost's instructions, with only a couple of prompts. "Wow!" he said, after the first shot. "That was loud, and it really had a kick, huh? Did I hit it?"

Ghost almost laughed out loud at Steve's remark. The pistol had absolutely no 'kick' at all to it, but he let it slide. "Sorry, dude, didn't hit it, but you were close. So, try again, and keep'll get one soon enough."

He sat down, to watch Steve 'in action' for awhile.


Next installment coming soon!

Peace, Love, & Writing

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE...(ninety first installment)

91st installment content 


Steve, meanwhile, had left the house that afternoon with a mission in mind. The problem was, that he wasn't sure how to go about it. He'd never had any dealings with guns, or people who used them. He figured he could buy one at a gun store, but he was afraid they'd ask him what he wanted it for. And, if they did a background check, well...he was sure his record wasn't exactly spotless. So, he drove over to Terry's place. He knew he'd be at work at the record store, but maybe he could ask his advice.

Terry was busy with a customer, when Steve entered the Whirling Disc, so he just kept walking all the way to the back room, letting Terry know he needed to talk to him.

When Terry came back there, Steve just blurted out, "What'cha know about guns?"

"Uh...why, Steve? You planning on getting one?" Terry asked.

"Yeah, I gotta get one, and I need to know where should I get it," Steve said.

"You gonna go hunting this year?"

"Yeah, something like that," Steve said. "Only I never used one before. How do I get one, and how do I learn how to use it?"

"Well, if you're hunting dove, ya need a smaller rifle, than if you're hunting something bigger. It all depends. And, I guess the sporting goods store over in Raleigh would have shooting lessons, or something. Why don't you just go there and find out?" Terry explained.

"Well, it's not that easy, Terry. I need something now, today, and I need to know how to use"

"Wait a minute, Steve. What's going on? This don't sound like a hunting trip. What's the real deal?"

"Terry, if I told you, you wouldn't believe me, anyway. So, all I can say, is someone's been breaking into our house, and I'm gonna be ready for next time."

"So, do you know who it is? Did they take anything, did they threaten you and Ghost?"

"I know who it is, and it feels threatening, when they come in and harass us and spy on us all the time," Steve said. "So, ya gonna hook me up, or what?"

Terry thought for a minute, frowning. "Let me think...uh, I know a guy over in in cash only, no questions asked...but, are you sure this is how you want to handle it? I mean, just call the cops on the guy; let them do their job...get him off the street, ya know."

Steve nodded, then said, "I get ya, Terry, but this is a special circumstance. It's an old score I need to settle, so yeah, I need protection at the house."

"Well,'s the guy you need to see," Terry said, as he wrote down the information. "But, really..try not to kill anyone. Just scare him off. That'd probably work, too."

"We'll see, Terry...thanks," Steve said as he left.

As he sped off down the highway out of town, he didn't notice he was being watched. Terry needed a break, so he put his 'Be Back Later' sign on the shop door, and walked on down to the Yew. He needed to see Kinsey...let him know what was going on, now. He pushed open the door the the club, and hollered, "Hey, dude, where are ya?"

"Back here, Terry, c'mon in," Kinsey hollered back. Kinsey was doing some office work, but motioned for Terry to take a seat. After another minute of adding up receipts, he looked up. "What's up?" he asked.

"Uh, ya know I'm not one to gossip...heh, heh...but, I got something I want to let ya know about," Terry said.

Kinsey shook his head, and sighed. "Don't tell me, let me has something to do with those two renegades we call Steve and Ghost."

Terry nodded, "Yep, and it don't sound good."

"What did they do this wait...I don't even want to know."

"Well, here it is anyway. Maybe you can makes heads or tails out of it," said Terry. "I got no freakin' clue." He shrugged, then begin telling Kinsey what had just happened.

"So, Steve comes in, just a few minutes ago, and he goes - hey, do you know anything about guns? - Well, sure I do, I mean, I got one under the counter...almost shot Ghost, that time. Anyway, come to find out, he wants to buy one. Like right now. Says it's for protection out at the house..." he was interrupted by Kinsey.

"Protection...from what? They never had any trouble out there...why now?"

"Well, he says someone's been breaking in, and threatening them, and all kinds of shit...I don't know. Anyway, what I did, was I gave him the name of a guy over in Raleigh, ya know, he'll sell him one, for sure. So Steve takes off, and now I'm telling you. What'd'ya think?"

Kinsey sat back, closed his eyes, and rubbed his forehead. "Could be about that business last night. Probably is...I swear, Terry, I think they just go making up shit, so they can stay in trouble; can't wait to get in the middle of something...gotta go looking for it."

"What are you talking about?" Terry asked. "I was here for awhile; I didn't see anything going on."

"Well, you missed it then. There was plenty going on. I think they've finally gone crazy, this time," Kinsey explained. "Steve was in here ranting about some kid was a goddam vampire, and he was after them. I laughed in his face, and told him he was officially insane, and to get outta my office. But, then Ghost comes in and totally freaks...thought he was gonna die on the spot, and kept saying why did Steve tell me." Kinsey stopped, seeing Terry's reaction to this was the same as he'd had the night before.

"Then, Steve goes on and on about New Orleans, and murder, and Ann, and I don't know what all. Ghost was crying, and Steve was banging his fist on my desk, saying I have to believe him. And, it's something to do with that little kid, Nothing, and it's all his fault. Shit, Terry, I'd heard enough, and I kicked them out. That's the last I heard. I don't have time for this kinda crap...ya know?" Kinsey said.

"That's crazy, Kinsey. Vampires? I know that kid is kinda creepy, but he does a good job booking our gigs, stuff like that," Terry said. He thought about it a minute. "Well, you  know those other two in the band...they're kinda weird too, living out there in the *murder house, where Trevor's family got killed...but vampires?"

Kinsey nodded, "That's what they said."

"Sounds like Steve's been smoking some of that shit I gave him, and watching too many horror movies on TV," Terry said.

"Well, I don't know, but Steve with a gun? That is real trouble, right know how he is. I don't like it, I don't like it at all, Terry," Kinsey said.

"What are you gonna do about it?" Terry asked.

"What do you mean, me? All I know is he's not bringing it in here. I'm just scared they'll kill each other, trying to figure out how to use the thing."

They sat there imagining the many things that could go wrong.

"They'll probably be here tonight, to see the band. At least, that's what I heard 'em say," Kinsey said. "Should I just not let them in?"

"Kinsey, they're like our can't do that. These other guys...we don't even know them, really. They just showed up outta nowhere. Maybe you should tell them to get lost."

"Crap, Terry, I feel like I'm the mediator between two warring gangs. Why? Why me?"

"'Cause, dude, you're the only one around here that acts like a grown-up. You're the only one that can keep us 'kids' in line," Terry laughed.

"Hmmph, maybe I'll resign the position and let hell break loose...let everybody do whatever the hell that want to," Kinsey said.

"Good luck, man," said Terry, as he got up to leave. "See ya tonight at the show, I guess."

*reference to murder house = in the book "Drawing Blood", by Poppy Z. Brite, 1993, published by Dell

Next installment coming soon!

Peace, Love, & Writing