TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
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, Nothing...you'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 him...now 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 rising...to 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 bleeding...is 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 Nothing...it was being seared into his brain.
"Stop looking at it, Ghost...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?"
"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 left...do 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, Steve...it came open...it'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