TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
The fresh, cool air revived them, and cooled them down.
"Steve, why did you say anything?" Ghost asked.
"I had to...I had to warn him of the danger. This puts everyone we love in danger. He had to know, Ghost, he had to."
They left for home. Steve was so paranoid, he kept looking over his shoulder, and in the rear view mirror, thinking every shadow was Nothing. Ghost was shivering so much his teeth were chattering. Neither wanted to admit they were scared. At the house, they walked carefully up to the door. Ghost held up his arm in front of Steve.
"Wait, something's not right." He concentrated, and what he sensed, was someone had been in the house while they'd been gone. He knew it was Nothing. He looked at Steve, and nodded.
"Do ya think he's still in there?" Steve whispered.
"No, he gone, but he was snooping around, not long ago."
Steve looked all around the yard and woods, on either side of the house, but it was too dark to make out anything. "What if he's still out there, watching us right now?"
"He's not," Ghost said, with certainty. He pushed open the door, knowing it had been locked when they'd left, but wasn't, now. They went in, turning on all the lights, and making a check of all the rooms. Nothing seemed out of place, but the air was heavy feeling now.
"It stinks of evil, Ghost...even I smell it," Steve said.
Ghost was already lighting a sage smudge, to wave around.
"This is crazy," Steve said. "I keep thinking they're all gonna bust in here, like last time."
"Yeah, me too," Ghost agreed. "But, Nothing's by himself now, just him and those two band guys, and I guess they're regular people...not vampires."
"Yeah? Well, we'll see, I guess. He probably already turned 'em into one by now, so..."
Ghost gave Steve a look. "You know that's ridiculous, don't you?" Ghost said.
"So what? So is vampires...I seen it with my own eyes, and I still don't believe it happened. I think they're just mean, evil people...you know, just people people." Steve said, but he was talking to an empty room, as Ghost had gone waving his sage broom around in the kitchen.
"Hey, what are we gonna do now?" Steve hollered to Ghost.
"We're just gonna act normal," Ghost said, as he came back into the living room. "We are not gonna go asking for trouble. When we see him...and we will, we'll just talk and see what he's up to. If it looks like he's minding his own business, then fine. If not, guess we gotta kick some vampire butt."
"Kick some vampire butt...hah! That sounds like fun," Steve laughed.
"Yeah, but only if he's up to no good. Maybe he just wants to show us his band, and say hi...tell us what he's been doing all this time. Maybe he's joined the good side, now, and forgot about his vampire half," Ghost said, being optimistic.
"Uh-huh, sure, we'll see about that," Steve said. "So do you want the first half of the night, for guard duty, or the last half?" Even he wasn't sure if he was serious or not.
Ghost rolled his eyes, and went into his bedroom. Steve made sure the doors were locked, and went to bed, too. Tomorrow night they were supposed to go see Terry's band play. Nothing was sure to be there.
Ghost lay in bed, not sleeping. He knew Steve was awake, too. As the old house settled, in the cool night air, there was the usual creaks and noises. The wind picked up, making the tree branches scrape against the windows, casting shadows on the wall. Steve jumped with every sound, even familiar ones. "Ghost, did you hear that?" he asked every few minutes. "What was that? Did you hear it?"
"Yeah, it was just the refrigerator coming on," Ghost hollered back.
Steve got up and came into Ghost's bedroom. "I can't sleep, too much noise...scootch over," he said, as he got into bed with Ghost. "Tell me a story, or sing me a song, Ghost...anything to take my mind off everything."
"Uh, well...ok...let me think of something," Ghost said. Steve lay there waiting. The wind made an eerie, whistling sound through the cracked window.
"Well, hurry up, Ghost."
"Ok, ok...uh...ya remember those *Siamese twins we saw that time; when your car broke down out in the country?"
"Yeah, what about 'em? They died, already," Steve said.
"Well, I don't think they did, really, Steve. I had a dream about 'em, and they were alive, back on their farm. That quack doctor that sawed them apart, he almost killed them. He thought they were dead, though, but they pulled through. They were in real bad shape...all cut up, and infected, but eventually got better."
"That's dumb, Ghost. If they were half dead, how'd they go get food...how'd they get medicine...how'd they get back to their home? Their parents didn't even want them, anymore. That's why they never came looking for them," Steve said.
"I don't know all that; I just dreamed it, that they were still alive."
"Well, crap...now ya got me thinking of creepy, half dead, cut apart Siamese twins. I don't know what's worse, that or real alive vampires." Steve sat up on the edge of the bed. I'm gonna get something to eat. Maybe that'll help.
Steve went to the kitchen, and rummaged around in the fridge, finally settling on baloney and a piece of bread. Sitting at the table, in the dark, he felt a chilly breeze on his bare feet. Then, he noticed the back door was open a bit. "That's weird," he thought. "I know I locked the doors. Guess it wasn't closed good, and the wind blew it open."
He got up and closed it, making sure it was locked, this time. As he passed by the counter, he noticed a piece of notebook paper, lying there. It was too dark to read it, so he turned on the small light over the sink, to take a closer look.
"Ghost! Ghost! Get in here! Look at this!" he hollered.
Ghost came in, squinting his eyes against the sudden light. "What is it?"
"Look, this wasn't in here before...I just found it...it's from Nothing."
Ghost took the paper and read...'Ghost, I have to talk to you. Meet me at the club tomorrow, before the show.' And, again it was signed in blood.
"He was in here, Ghost! After we went to bed. This note was not here earlier," Steve said.
"Turn off the light, Steve...now!" Ghost said. "He's still out there, he can see us in this light, reading his note."
Steve flipped off the light, and they both stared out the window, into the darkness.
"What the hell does he want? Why is he sneaking around?" Steve asked. He went to the door and yanked it open. "Hey, Nothing! We know you're out there! Come out in the open, you're not scaring us with your tricks, you little bastard!" Steve yelled.
They waited, but Nothing didn't show himself. Steve slammed the door shut. "That does it. I'm getting a gun. The next time he comes sneaking into our house, he'll wish he hadn't. I mean it Ghost...this is harassment, and it's gonna stop."
"He's gone, now," Ghost said, as he continued to look out the window. "We'll talk to him tomorrow. And, you're not getting a gun."
"Yeah? Watch me."
Ghost turned and went back to his bed. "He's not gonna bother us anymore tonight. I'm gonna go to sleep. You can keep watching if you want to."
"You're not gonna talk me out of it, Ghost," Steve hollered.
Ghost knew Steve would do what he said...and he knew he was actually ok with it. He was tired of the harassment and sneakiness, too. And, if Steve did shoot Nothing...well, so what? Was it really murder, if the one that got killed was not even human...or even half? Maybe it'd be like Christian and Zilla...he'd just shrivel up into dust...into nothing.
He closed his eyes, and tried to block out any and all thoughts.
*Siamese twins reference = from the book "Wormwood" by Poppy Z. Brite, chapter 1, "Angels", Dell Publishing, 1994.
Next installment coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing