TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
When they turned onto the main street in town, there were lots of cars parked up and down the street, and the jukebox was playing loud music, filtering out into the night air. Entering the club, they made their way to the bar, greeting friends along the way. Kinsey was busy pouring drinks and serving food, so he just brought them a beer, and said he'd talk to them when he got a break.
Steve downed his beer in a couple of gulps, as he scanned the crowd. He didn't see who he was pretending not to look for. Ghost went over to read the wall and see what was new since they'd been away. He noticed the postcards he and Steve had sent, pinned there, and lots of new writings all around them, mostly saying how much they missed him and Steve.
He then noticed a vaguely familiar handwriting. It said 'come home soon Ghost. We need to talk', and it was signed...Nothing...the same way he always signed his name, the letter T with a long tail. It was also kind of drippy looking...like the ink had flowed too fast. But, looking closer, Ghost realized it had been written in blood...Nothing's blood.
He closed his eyes. He could picture Nothing standing there, at this very wall, maybe stabbing himself to get at his blood...writing those words. Shivering, he turned to look out over the crowd. He sensed that Nothing wasn't there, but he still felt a strangeness in the air...a sort of leftover essence. He also knew, now, that it was true...Nothing was back in town.
Ghost wasn't afraid of him, but it still gave him a creepy feeling, to know Nothing had been in this club, at this wall...Ghost's wall...getting all up in his and Steve's space, talking to their friends, and nobody knew the real Nothing. He felt violated. And then, Steve was on the verge of exploding with anger...there was going to be trouble, and he was going to be right in the middle...again.
Ghost looked over at Steve, and tried to send him a message...to keep cool. Steve didn't seem to get it. He just waved back at Ghost. In fact, Steve had been distracted by a crowd of kids, over in the arcade room. Lots of laughter and bustling around, and it was centered on two guys at one of the games.
He'd never seen these two before. One was nerdy looking - skinny, with wild dark hair, not unlike his own. Nothing unusual about that. The other guy was a bit taller, a bit older, and had long, ginger colored hair, held back in a pony tail down his back. They definitely were holding the crowd's attention.
As he watched, the two laughed, then kissed. Ok, Steve thought, they are a couple. But, who are they? Grabbing his third beer, he started over there to see what was up. But, just then, Kinsey grabbed his arm and motioned to come talk.
Kinsey led him back to his office, where it was quieter, and closed the door. He sat down and propped his aching feet up on the desk. Steve sat on the worn out old couch.
"I'll tell ya, Steve, the older I get, the longer these night get," Kinsey laughed, shaking his head. He knew he'd never retire from his club...he loved it.
"Well, glad you and Ghost are back home. Did ya have a blast, or what?"
Steve wasn't really in a talking mood, at least about the trip. He wanted to know about the two guys he saw. "Yeah, the trip was great, Kinsey. We got a lot of pictures and stuff for Ghost's book, and saw lots of weird shit, and played a few places. But it was time to come home for awhile, ya know." He didn't offer up any more details, and they just stared at each other, the moment growing awkward.
"What the hell's wrong with ya, Steve? You don't seem like yourself. What's going on?"
Steve sighed. "I don't know, Kinsey," he said, rubbing his face in his hands. "Things seem weird since we got back...changed, or something."
"You and Ghost getting along ok?" Kinsey asked.
"Yeah, we're fine...just...something Terry told us got us worried, now."
"Well, spill it, what'd he say?"
"He said some guy came looking for us, here in town, and he didn't want to cause trouble, but..but...that's all he does is cause trouble."
Kinsey frowned. "I don't want any trouble in here, Steve. This place is off limits for that shit."
"I know, Kinsey, but..."
"No...no buts, Steve. I mean it. What kind of trouble are you expecting? What's he done in the past, and who is he? Do I know him?"
"Kinsey, I can't even talk about it...but, he's dangerous. Kinsey, he almost killed me and Ghost...or rather his posse did, and he had everything to do with Ann's death!" Steve got up from the couch, pacing around the office.
"All that shit that went down in New Orleans...well...we never told ya the whole story, Kinsey, and I said I'd never talk about it again...but now, here he is, come looking for us...for Ghost!" Steve stared hard at Kinsey, his jaw clenching, his eyes narrowed.
"God, Kinsey...he's obsessed with having Ghost for himself. I can't let that happen. I'll kill him first!"
"Hey, hold on, Steve, settle down. You're not gonna kill anyone, ya hear? And what's Ghost got to say about it? Does he know this creep's back in town?"
"Yeah, and he says he's not afraid of him, but I can tell he is. Man, I'm so messed up!" Steve said.
"So, who is he? I won't let him in here," said Kinsey.
Steve stared right into Kinsey's eyes. "Nothing...his name is Nothing."
Kinsey was confused. "That little kid? That little goth kid? I've seen him...he manages that band Terry put together. They play here some nights. What's dangerous about him?"
Steve banged his fist on Kinsey's desk. "Trust me, he's evil...he's not even human...he's a vampire!"
Kinsey couldn't believe his ears. "Steve! Have you lost your marbles for real this time?" He was laughing. "What the hell are you talking about?"
"Shut up, Kinsey! You have no idea. Stop laughing." Steve began pacing around again, pulling at his wild hair and looking crazed. "I have to get rid of him before he hurts someone else."
Just then, the door opened, and Ghost came in looking for Steve. He took one look at the scene in front of him, turned even paler than usual, and burst out in tears.
Kinsey was stunned at this turn of events, and was at a loss for words, just staring from Steve to Ghost. These two caused chaos everywhere they went.
"You told him?" Ghost whispered, looking like he was going to pass out. "Why?"
"Yeah, I told him all about Nothing, your vampire stalker...and what I was gonna do to him."
Ghost turned frightened eyes to Kinsey.
"He laughed in my face, Ghost...didn't believe a word of it," Steve said. "Isn't that right, Kinsey? How long ya known us, huh? We ever lie to you? No! But now you don't believe us when we tell ya something about how there's evil out there, looking for us? Just because you don't believe in vampires?" Steve was breathing hard. "Hate to tell ya this, but you had one working for ya awhile back...Christian...yeah, he was one. Say it...vampire, vampire...but he's gone now, cause I killed him. Good and dead, vampire dead, and Ghost killed Christian's lover vampire, Zilla...deader than dead...and guess what? Nothing is Zilla's son. So, yeah, he's a vampire, too. And he's after Ghost and me...and, and...we're not lying, and we're not crazy, Kinsey. And..." Steve ran out of words, as tears ran down his face from frustration.
Ghost was in tears, Steve was in tears, and Kinsey was reeling with all this crazy talk and drama. He'd never had reason to doubt Steve or Ghost, ever...about anything, but this...this, well, he didn't know what to think, to believe, to say.
"I'm sorry guys. This is just so outlandish. I've never heard anything like this in my life. But, I'm sorry I laughed, Steve. You just caught me off guard. I know y'all wouldn't lie to me, but, I don't know...could you be mistaken about the vampire thing?"
"Kinsey," Steve said, calmly, too calmly, "you believe whatever you want, but we're not mistaken" He pulled Ghost up from the floor, where he'd collapsed, and they went out the door, and out of the club.
Next installment coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing