TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
Ghost and Steve were at home now, and had started eating their pizza. Ghost was drinking his Scuppernong wine, right from the bottle, and Steve had cracked open a beer. It was late afternoon. Outside, the wind had picked up, making the air chilly, as it swirled leaves around. Every time a gust would rattle the back door, Ghost would jump and look.
"What's got ya so jumpy, Ghost?" Steve asked.
"Nothing," Ghost answered, as he stared at the back door.
"Yeah, something is getting to you. Are you fixing to have a meltdown, or what? After earlier, I mean...you feel ok?"
"It's something, Steve...it's Nothing," Ghost said, and jumped again as the door rattled.
"That's just the wind...and, what are you talking about, anyway? Is it something, or nothing that's on your mind?" Steve was confused.
"Steve...it's something I'm bothered about, and that is Nothing. I think he wants in, and he's banging on the door...and, I'm scared, and you should go on and do something about Nothing...out there" Ghost started pacing around the living room. "He's either alive, or his spirit is alive, and it's coming after us. I can't forget about it. It's gonna keep on, and on, and on, until he's outta there...somewhere else...like, I don't know...but, can you please do something about Nothing?" He was really frightened.
Steve was shaking his head, "No, I can't do it Ghost. I'm not gonna. I'd die if I had to go do that. I'd freaking lose it, Ghost. What if I dig down there, and it's all moldy? What if it's all gooshy and liquid...what if it stinks? Oh, God...I just can't."
"But, Steve, what if you did, and he wasn't even there. What if he came alive, and clawed his way out, and he's roaming around right now?" Ghost's eyes got wide, as he thought of it. "Oh, shit...I know why he's trying to get in here..he's looking for his head, Steve!" He shuddered, and started sobbing.
Steve's eyes had gotten huge, too as he could picture this. "Stop it, just stop it," he said. "That whole thing you just said is impossible. That'd never happen in a million years." He hoped he sounded convincing.
"You don't know," Ghost said. "It could be real."
"Yeah, and it could be just you telling one of your dream stories," Steve tried to laugh it off.
"Well, you need to go look, anyway...like now, just in case," Ghost urged.
"Like hell I will," Steve said.
"So, ya wanna wait until he breaks in here tonight? Do you wanna deal with it in the dark...huh? Is that what ya wanna do, Steve?" Ghost asked.
Steve stopped for a minute. Ghost had a point. He didn't want to go out to the graveyard in the dark...not tonight, anyway. "Crap, ya got me, Ghost. Guess I'll have to go now, but you're coming with me. Oh, we're bringing our guns, too, just in case we have to kill him again."
"Fine...let's do it then," Ghost said. He got up to go get the guns, and their jackets. "Here," he said, handing Steve his gun. "It's loaded, and the safety is on."
"Where's the shovel?" Steve asked. "Did we leave it out there?"
"I think so," Ghost said, as they went out back. He looked over the yard, not seeing it anywhere. "We'll need the wheel barrow, too...but, Steve...where are we gonna move him to?"
"I think I know. You remember that old trailer house that him and the others were staying at...way across the woods? It's abandoned, still...falling down...so, that's where we'll put him. Sorta like he'd be coming back home, ya know...and it's far away from here. Ok?"
"That's perfect, Steve," Ghost said. He began wheeling down the path.
They slowed, as they reached the spot. Peering through the trees, they kept looking for signs of any disturbance, since they'd been here the last time. It looked the same. The branches still covered the make-shift grave.
"Ok, now we dig," Steve said. "It shouldn't be as hard as last time." He jammed the shovel down into the dirt.
It did go faster, this time. After about a dozen shovelfuls each, they could see the top of the garbage bag. It still looked intact.
"You ready?" Steve asked, looking at Ghost. "We gotta pull it up, and into the wheelbarrow."
"Is it liquid, yet? It had a tear in it already, remember? I don't want none getting on me this time," Ghost said.
They grabbed hold, and began pulling. It did feel a little sloshy, and some bits of fluid seeped out the earlier rip.
"C'mon, Ghost...lift it. We almost got it in." Steve was struggling.
Suddenly, Ghost turned around and vomited.
"What tha..." Steve yelled. "Ghost, what's the matter?" Then he felt a wave of nausea overtake him, too. He let it spew. He was trying his best to block out the fetid smell of Nothing's corpse, but they were being enveloped in it, along with their partially digested pizza, and alcohol.
"Oh, God, Steve...I'm dying," Ghost sputtered, as he was between rounds of heaving. Steve was in no better shape now, either.
After a few minutes, their stomachs empty, they continued to gag, but went on with their plan.
"Well, Steve, it wasn't too messy...it didn't rip open much more."
"Yeah, that's good...but, damn...that smell nearly killed me. I thought I was going to pass out, but I was afraid I would fall in on it, ya know," Steve said. "It still stinks, but less than in that hole. We'll come back and fill it in." They took off toward the old trailer.
"Are we going in the right direction?" Ghost asked, looking around.
"Yeah, it's a little farther on."
They soon found it, and rested a minute. "Are we just setting it in there, or digging another hole?" Ghost asked.
"We better dig," Steve said. They found an out of the way spot, almost under the trailer, to start digging. Now, the ground was hard packed, so it took them awhile.
As they finished, they covered it as best they could, and left. It was almost dark, now. They still had to fill in the graveyard hole. Finally, they made it back to the house, exhausted and filthy. In the kitchen, the remains of their pizza, left on the table, was too much to handle, so Ghost chunked the leftovers out in the trash barrel.
"I'm gonna be in the shower forever, Steve. I might not ever get this nasty shit washed off," Ghost said.
"Well, I have to have some hot water, too, so I'm coming in with ya," Steve said. "We'll just have to share."
They took off their grungy clothes, throwing them out in the back room, to be washed, later. The steaming water felt good on their tired bodies. Ghost just stood there, with his eyes closed, letting the strong jets of water soothe his aching muscles. His long hair turned a darker shade of blond, and it streamed down his back. Steve was behind him. He opened the shampoo and squirted it onto Ghost's head, and began massaging it in.
As the soap ran down and off, Steve bent his own head over Ghost's shoulder and wet his hair, then turned and gave Ghost a long, watery kiss. Ghost reached for the shampoo, and washed Steve's hair.
"You've got funny hair, Steve," Ghost laughed, as he watched Steve shake his head, the curls bouncing back.
"Yeah, but you love it," Steve said, grabbing the bar of soap, using it, then handed it to Ghost. They were both slippery, and so was the tub. Ghost almost fell, but Steve caught him. They realized this could be more than just a shower, so they took full advantage of their nakedness. The hot water began to run out, and this too was refreshing, after their bodies had been heated from steam, and passion.
A little later, they made hot chocolate, and Steve tried to play a game of cards with Ghost, but as usual, Ghost had no idea what the cards meant, so Steve made up silly rules as they went along. At least it was taking their minds off the earlier events.
"I still feel guilty, Steve...I mean, being clean, playing cards, and laughing, ya know; because, he's dead, and can't do that stuff anymore."
"Yeah, but it's done, it's over, and all them vampires are not human, anyway. So, we can't keep from being ourselves...because we are human. Just try to forget about it, ok?
"But, should we still be worried about Twig, and Molochai? I haven't sensed them in awhile."
"I wouldn't worry, then," Steve said. "They probably sensed in their own way, that Nothing was gone, and they have no back-up. Probably went on to something else, like stuffing themselves with ho-ho cakes, and chartreuse," Steve reasoned.
Ghost laughed, "Yeah, they always did go for their ho-ho's"
They continued their game for a bit longer, then went to bed. Everything was peaceful, during the night, as it grew colder. As they slept, the first big snowfall of the season began to fall.
Next part coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing