TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
Ghost peered through the glass door of the drugstore, but it wasn't open. He decided to walk around town, for awhile, taking in the fall air, the beautiful colors of the trees, and the pumpkin decorations on people's doorsteps. No stores were open yet. He figured he could go see Kinsey, but didn't really want to wake him. Kinsey kept late hours at the club, and usually slept in. He passed by the hardware store, and saw the 'veteran's club', as they were referred to, out on the porch.
"Hey, Ghost, where ya going? Come sit a spell," one of the men invited.
Ghost was relieved to have somewhere to go, so he greeted everyone, and sat on the porch steps.
"Why are you up so early, anyway?" another man asked.
"I gotta get my pictures done, over at the drugstore, but they aren't open," Ghost explained
"Is that the graveyard pictures, I heard tell about?"
"Yeah, we got some pretty good ones, I think," Ghost said.
"Steve treating you ok, these days?" the man asked, for everyone.
"Yeah, we're fine," Ghost said, not wanting to get into a discussion about it.
"Well, we're here, if you ever need us Ghost...remember that."
"I will. Guess I better go...see y'all later," Ghost said, getting up to leave.
"Sure thing," said the man.
Ghost went back to the drugstore to wait. He could hear the men's thoughts loud and clear, though. They still didn't trust Steve.
The store finally opened, and Ghost left his memory card there, to let them print out everything on it. Now he had to wait some more. He hated waiting. He walked on down to Terry's shop. Maybe he could talk to Steve and Terry awhile. The closed sign was still on the shop's door, but Steve's car was around back. He guessed Steve was either in the back of the shop, or at Terry's house, there behind the shop.
He just stood in the parking lot, turning in a circle, to decide which door he was going to knock on. Steve was inside Terry's house. They were talking, when Terry pointed out the window.
"There's Ghost. What's he doing?"
Steve looked, then shook his head. "Probably conjuring up spirits," he said.
They watched Ghost a few minutes. "Guess I better go reel him in," Steve said, as he went to the door.
"Yeah, I better get over to the shop, anyway," Terry said.
"Ghost!" Steve hollered, as he went outside. "What's going on?"
Ghost opened his eyes, and grinned. "Nothing's goin' on. I was trying to find you."
"Did you get your pictures, already?"
"Not yet. They have them, but it'll be awhile, I think...he said come back later. So, can I hang out here?"
Steve looked over at Terry, "Ok?"
Terry nodded, then opened the shop door.
Terry began his office work, while Steve got the register ready. Ghost wandered around, looking at the CDs and old vinyls. There was a bin of old cassettes, too, and Ghost found their tape. The only one Lost Souls? had ever made.
"Hey, look, Steve...it's us."
"Yeah, that's us, all right...right in the obsolete, bargain bin," Steve said.
"That's sad, Steve. It's still good though. Maybe we should put it on a CD, now. Hey, maybe we could make a new one, too...with more songs on it. We got a bunch more."
"Maybe you're right, Ghost. It's been a long time since that first one. I'll check into it," Steve said.
Ghost continued to look around, starting to get bored. . "Hey, Steve...remember that time Terry almost shot me? It was right in this here shop."
"Hey, Steve...are you listening?"
"What is it, Ghost? I'm busy here."
"I don't know, I'm bored," Ghost said, sighing.
"Well, go find something else to do...go see if those pictures are ready."
"Guess I will. See ya later, I'm gonna go home after I get them."
"Ok, later..." Steve said, as he went back to work.
Ghost walked back down the street. Maybe Kinsey's up by now, he thought...so he tried the door. It was still locked. He went around back and looked up to Kinsey's window. There was a light on. He knocked on the back door, until Kinsey opened it.
"Ghost, what in the world? Why are you banging on my door so early? I'm just getting my first cup of coffee."
"Hey, Kinsey, can I come in? I'm bored. I've been in town forever, already."
"Why?" Kinsey asked, as he led the way inside, then poured himself and Ghost some coffee.
"Because Steve made me get up early, and the drugstore wasn't open."
"O-k..." Kinsey didn't think this made much sense, but was hesitant to ask more, knowing if Ghost got started, he go on and on.
"Yeah," Ghost began, anyway, and told the whole morning's events, leaving out no details. "So, can I wait here?"
"I'll let you stay, Ghost, but I have work to do. You can do some chores around here, too." Kinsey said.
"Like what?" Ghost asked.
"Like sweeping or washing dishes. Either one...you choose," Kinsey said, heading for his office.
Ghost just decided he'd write on the wall, first. He pulled out a marker and looked for a blank spot. He saw the older message from Nothing, but didn't want to write anywhere near it. Most of the areas he could reach, were filled up. He looked up...plenty of space near the ceiling. He found a ladder, back in the storage room, and set it up.
Climbing up, made him think of climbing trees, so he drew a big tree, with lots of bare branches. On each branch, he wrote the name of someone he knew, that was living. He drew falling leaves for people no longer alive, in this world. In between the branches, he drew blue birds, carrying messages to the people. The messages told how he knew them...how everyone was connected.
He was engrossed in his project, and didn't hear Kinsey come in. Kinsey just stood there, watching. "An artist at work," he thought. It was fascinating to kind of get a peek into Ghost's brain. He'd had a small taste of that once before...Ghost's bedroom. He sighed. He loved this strange kid.
Ghost seemed to have finished, and was just sitting on top of the ladder, staring into space. Kinsey kind of got the meaning of the drawing. The falling leaves were all people that had passed on, but on the last leaf was written, 'Nothing'.
He was confused. Looking at Ghost, closer, he could see tears on his face, partially hidden by his long hair, hanging down, as he bent his head. Was this what he thought it meant? Was Nothing dead now, too? His heart began beating faster. "I don't want to know..." he thought. "I don't want to know, but I'm afraid I'm going to find out."
Kinsey couldn't look away, and the incident with Steve and Ghost came back to him. Did they actually believe Nothing was a vampire...and did they kill him?
Ghost hadn't moved, but knew Kinsey was there, and what his thoughts were. He'd figured it out. He knew he shouldn't say anything. He knew Steve would be mad. He also knew that there was no way he could keep the words in, any longer. Not from Kinsey...and not from admitting to himself, too, the horrible truth.
"We had to, Kinsey," was all he said, then sobbed. "We had to...we had to.." over and over.
Next installment coming soon!
Peace, Love, and Writing