TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
Kinsey was stunned. "Ghost...what are you saying? What do you mean?"
Ghost was crying so hard, the ladder was shaking. Kinsey finally could get his feet moving, and ran over to steady the ladder, to help Ghost get down.
"Come down from there, Ghost," he ordered.
"I can't...Steve will kill me, this time. I wasn't supposed to tell."
"You get down here, now...I'll deal with Steve..." Kinsey said. "Ghost! NOW!"
Ghost shakily began climbing down, then fell into Kinsey's arms. Kinsey stroked his hair.
"Now, come in the office. We'll figure this out," Kinsey said. He led Ghost back down the hallway, then closed the door to his office. "Sit down...let's hear it."
Ghost wouldn't meet Kinsey's eyes. "Kinsey, we had to."
"Had to what?" Kinsey asked. He steeled himself for the answer.
"Kill Nothing," Ghost whispered.
Kinsey closed his eyes...Please, Lord, please don't let this be true," he begged. "Go on..." he said.
"Kinsey, he was at our house. He broke in, and attacked me. He bit me on the neck, and was drinking my blood...look, you can still see it." Ghost pulled back his hair, showing Kinsey the fang marks on his neck, still visible, and now looking infected.
"And then, Steve came home, and we tried to make Nothing stop, but he wouldn't...and we had our guns...and we both shot him in the head...and...and...his head was gone. He was dead... for sure dead."
Ghost stopped talking, and looked up at Kinsey, but his eyes weren't focused on Kinsey, they were seeing the scene from a few days ago, as if it were happening all over again.
"Ghost? Ghost?" Kinsey shook him, but he was too far gone, back into reliving it. Kinsey was worried now. Steve was the only one that could ever bring Ghost out of his trances. He needed Steve over here, now, even if Ghost was afraid of him getting mad.
Ghost started talking again, in a faraway kind of voice. "Steve and I buried him in the graveyard, and later we thought we heard him coming back alive, but we were scared to look," he gulped. "And he was a vampire...he was half a vampire..." Nodding his head, Ghost continued, "He tried to kill us before, back in New Orleans, and...and...it was his fault that Ann died...and me and Steve barely made it out of there alive.
So, that was the next time...the other night, 'cause Steve warned him, and we killed him, 'cause he wasn't a real person, just like a spider...and we can't have spider webs gettin' on us no more, ya know...."
Ghost was breaking down into what Kinsey thought was nonsense. He reached for his phone, to call Steve. He hoped Steve had his phone with him. It rang several times, before Steve answered.
"Steve, where are you? This is Kinsey. Get over here, now...Ghost is in trouble...he needs you."
Steve hollered at Terry, as he ran out the door, "That was Kinsey...Ghost's in trouble over there."
Terry ran out, too, leaving the shop open and unlocked. They were at the club in a matter of seconds, banging through the back door of the club.
"What is it? Where's Ghost?" Steve panted, as he looked for them.
"In here, Steve," Kinsey shouted.
Steve ran up to Ghost, who was still staring into space, wide-eyed, and talking crazy.
"So, it was me and Steve, then, and blood and brains all over...and he didn't turn into dirt, like the other ones we killed. So I don't think we're murderers, 'cause they aren't really real, except maybe he was - at least half, but that half was bad too...'cause he was going around drinking blood, and that half probably knew better, but it didn't care, and then..." Ghost kept babbling on.
"Ghost!" Steve grabbed him, and tried to shake him back to reality. "Ghost, wake up!"
Ghost looked at Steve, but there was no recognition in his eyes. "So then, Steve had to clean it up, and then the bag leaked on me, and later, we saw them at our house, and..."
Steve was still trying to break through to Ghost. Finally he was quiet, and seemed to be back.
"Hey, Steve...why ya shaking me?"
Kinsey and Terry were just taking it all in. Terry hadn't heard much of it, but Kinsey was trying to fill him in.
"Ghost, you must have freaked out. I had to wake you up. You were talking crazy shit, Ghost." Steve knew it wasn't crazy talk, though, but was trying to throw Kinsey off. "Are you ok, now?"
"Uh-huh," Ghost said.
"What were you doing...before?"
"I think I was drawing on the wall, then I'm here and you're shaking me," Ghost said.
"Ok, well go get some water or something. I need to talk to Kinsey for a minute."
Ghost was still a little dazed. He felt dizzy, when he got up, but Steve steadied him, and pointed him to the door. He stood in the doorway, like he was lost, looking around, not knowing which way to go. Steve turned him in the right way.
"Go get some water from the bar," Steve said, as he gave Ghost a little push in that direction. Ghost went down the hallway, and Steve turned back to face Kinsey. He shut the door.
"Uh, thanks for calling me, Kinsey," Steve started. "He hasn't done that in awhile. I think he'll be ok, now."
Kinsey wanted to ask so many things, but was having a hard time knowing where to start. Terry was first to break the awkwardness.
"Dude...scared me half to death. What set him off this time? Kinsey...?"
"Yeah, what was going on in here?" Steve asked.
Kinsey looked hard at Steve. "I got some things to say, and I want some answers...real answers."
"Uh...maybe I better go check on him, first," Steve said, backing toward the door.
"NO! You stay where you are," Kinsey said. "First of all...did y'all kill Nothing?"
Steve knew he couldn't think of a lie, fast enough.
"Answer me!" Kinsey yelled.
"Kinsey, it's not like you think. We think we did, but he might come back...they do that ya know...the vampires."
"Cut the crap, Steve," Kinsey said. "If you believe that shit, then you're as crazy as Ghost. I heard y'all's story, before, and it's ridiculous. If ya'll killed that kid, you're in a lot of trouble."
"So, it's against the law to kill vampires? What about them killing Ann, and trying to kill us?" We're just defending ourselves. They're evil...and they're really in the world, and they need to be gotten rid of, however it has to happen," Steve said, breathing hard.
"So yeah, Ghost and I shot his fucking head off. One less bloodsucker in the world."
Terry was staring at Steve. This was the first time he'd ever heard Steve sounding like he totally believed in stuff like vampires.
Kinsey rubbed his hands over his face. "Steve, I think you believe what you're saying...and Ghost, too, but I just can't."
"Well, what do I have to do, or say then?" Steve asked. "You gonna call the cops on us? Turn us in for killing someone you don't even believe exists?"
"Well, there you got me, Steve. I'd be a fool to go to the cops with a story like that. But, Steve...we both know Nothing was real."
"Hey, Steve," Terry said, breaking into the conversation. "Why don't we go dig him up...see if he's still there?"
Both Steve and Kinsey looked at Terry like he'd gone crazy, too.
Kinsey threw up his hands. "Ok, I'm done...y'all do whatever the hell you want. I'm out of it. I know I should report it, but I can't jeopardize my business, and I would hope for your sake, Terry, that you'd feel the same. That's all. Now, go get Ghost, and get outta here. Leave me alone...and until I figure this out for myself...y'all aren't doing the show on Saturday. Maybe in a few weeks. I just gotta have some peace around here. Now, go..."
Steve went for the door. "It's all true, Kinsey, it's all true."
He and Terry left. "I'm done for the day, Terry. I've gotta get Ghost home. I'll try and come in tomorrow, ok?"
"Yeah, go on. Make sure Ghost is ok," Terry said. He just remembered he'd left the record shop open.
Steve went to find Ghost. He looked behind the bar, but then saw him over at the wall. Walking up beside him, Steve saw the large drawing Ghost had done.
"I like it, Ghost," he said.
Ghost turned to face him. "I didn't mean to tell, Steve. It was this," he pointed to Nothing's leaf. "Kinsey saw it, and figured it out. Then, I couldn't...well, I had to..."
"I know, Ghost. It's ok."
"You're not gonna kill me for telling?"
"No, I'm not...and Kinsey isn't going to say anything, either. But our show is cancelled for this weekend. He said maybe later."
"What do we do, now?" Ghost asked.
"Well, Terry wanted to go dig him up...see if he's still there."
Ghost looked frightened, "Uh-uh, not me. But, I don't like him being there. He don't belong with the good dead people. You have to move him, Steve. It's ruining our graveyard. I'm scared he's gonna come out and get in the house."
"Damn, Ghost! Why ya wanna go saying shit like that for?"
"But, nothing...just drop it. You got me all spooked, now," Steve shivered. "Let's get outta here. We'll go get your pictures, then go home...maybe get a pizza to go, ok?"
"Yeah, guess so," Ghost agreed.
They left, and did exactly that.
Next part coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing