TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
"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, soon...how 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 survive...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 them...like 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