TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
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 then...like 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, yeah...it 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 really...cool 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 Steve...so 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 right...you'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 reference...got 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