TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
Early the next morning, Ghost woke first. He was feeling better, and he watched Steve sleep for awhile. He tried to memorize Steve's face...a favorite thing he liked to do. He traced his fingers over Steve's brow, his cheekbones, his nose, lips, and chin. He wanted to draw a picture of Steve...and something else nagged at him. He couldn't quite get why he needed to feel Steve's face...to remember it.
Then, Steve opened his eyes, to see Ghost, right up in his face. "Ghost," he breathed, "what are you doing?"
Ghost kissed him, then said, "Remembering you."
Steve looked confused. "Why?"
Ghost blinked a few times. "Just 'cause I need to, Steve...'cause...what if I forget?"
"You're scaring me, Ghost," Steve said. "What are you saying?" He searched Ghost's eyes for some meaning to what Ghost had said.
"I don't know," Ghost said, softly. "Just, something makes me need to look at you. I can't explain it."
"Well, stop staring at me, now," Steve shivered a bit. "I'm here and you're here, and we'll always be here. You can look at me later."
"Ok, but I'm going to draw your picture."
"That's nice, Ghost, but can we get some coffee first?"
"Yeah, I'll fix it...and Spirit woke me up 'cause he's hungry." He went into the kitchen to start the coffee brewing.
Steve lay there a bit longer, trying to make some kind of sense out of what Ghost was talking about. The only thing he could come up with was Ghost was afraid he wouldn't be able to see him, someday...why? And, then his next thought scared the hell out of him...Ghost was going blind ...His one eye was already damaged...and his brain...Is he having a premonition of both his eyes going dark, in the future? Oh, please God, no! ...
Ghost couldn't even clearly see it, in his mind's eye; he couldn't see what was the matter yet...and he almost never was cloudy on his visions. They always came to him clear and fully formed. This is bad... Steve's heart pounded... Please, not in this lifetime...and never! Maybe it is just something that happened in a past life, just coming into blurry focus, and he was just now sensing a manifestation of the former life's problems.
"Ok, please...just let it be something like that," he begged. "Whatever it is, it's effecting him now, though."
Steve didn't want to bring any of this up, with Ghost, but he did want to be on watch for any other signs...to do whatever he could to prevent this happening. He scrubbed at his face, threw off the covers, and got out of bed. He forced himself to stop thinking about it.
He could hear Ghost talking to the cat, and getting mugs out for their coffee. He sounds cheerful, at least... He went into the bathroom, to freshen up, then went to get his coffee. His mug was on the counter, and saw that Ghost was out on the front porch, in the swing. He tried to figure out how to get himself, on the crutches, and his coffee out there, but knew it was impossible.
"Ghost," he called out. "Ghost, come here a minute...carry my coffee out there, would 'ya?"
Ghost came in and smiled, "Ya need some help?"
"Yeah, guess I do,"
"You're getting good using those, but ya need more hands," Ghost said, as he took Steve's mug out, and held open the screen for him.
"I know, " Steve said, "and that's what you're here for."
Spirit was playing in the grass just in front of the porch. The snow storm had not quite finished off all the grass, but it was barely hanging on. Leaves were still falling, making a thick, leafy carpet of orange and red, over the yard. They watched the cat pouncing on, and in the leaves.
"This is nice, Ghost. After that freak blizzard, guess this is what...Indian Summer?"
"I like the fall, Steve. There's pumpkins, and it's not too hot or too cold...and there's Halloween. Oh, are we gonna wear a costume to the club?"
"I don't know, maybe, if everyone else does, I guess we could. I'll ask around."
"I know what you can be," said Ghost. "You can wrap up the rest of you like your leg, and be a mummy," he laughed.
"Yeah, real funny," Steve grinned. "About as funny as the time you wore a sheet, and went as a ghost."
"That was a good one, that time I did, though," Ghost said. "Nobody knew it was me, 'cause they thought it'd be too obvious...and they got a big surprise, when I took it off, and went boo!" he giggled, remembering.
"Yeah, that was funny. What did I go as, that time? I already forgot."
"Um...wasn't it a pirate...or was that another time?" Ghost said. Steve thought a minute..." Wait...it was when I went as an old lady...with that gray wig and the cane, and everyone thought I was Kinsey's mother."
"Yeah, that's it," Ghost laughed. "You looked so real, too."
"Well, I can't disguise myself much this time, everybody knows I got a cast on my leg. You got any suggestions?" Steve asked.
"For tricking people? I can't think of anything right now, except just decorating your cast and crutches, and wearing black and orange."
"What about you?" Steve asked.
Ghost thought a couple of minutes. "Maybe, I'll be one of those papa guys."
"Papa guys? What's that?" Steve asked.
"Oh, you know...the ones with the cameras...I can take pictures of everyone, like they do of those famous people. I'd just dress regular, and have a hat on, that says 'press', or whatever magazine I'm from. Then later, I can put the pictures of everybody on the wall," Ghost said. "What do you think?"
Steve was nodding his approval. "I kinda like that idea, Ghost...it's a good one."
They finished their coffee, and went back inside to eat some cold cereal and fruit for breakfast. Then, Steve was ready to try driving his car. Ghost helped him in, then stood back to watch.
"It shouldn't be too hard," Steve said. Since it was his left leg in a cast, and the car was automatic, he had no trouble at all. "Piece 'o cake," he said, when he'd driven up and down their road, a few times. "Ok, hop in, we'll go to town...see Kinsey, Terry...whatever. I'm tired of being stuck out here."
"Yeah me, too," Ghost said, getting in the car.
About halfway down the highway to town, Steve looked over at Ghost. "Uh, guess we didn't bother to get dressed. We forgot...we were in such a hurry to leave." He laughed at what they actually had on. He'd pulled on pajama pants, with the side seam split, to make way for his cast, and a faded band t-shirt, and no shoes. Ghost only had on what he'd grabbed from off the floor that morning...his raggedy tie-dyed t-shirt, that he always wore, and his striped knee socks...no shoes, or pants.
"Well, I don't care...they seen me like this before...and seen us both, with nothing on...and they already know we're weird...so, keep going," Ghost laughed.
"Ok, so be it, then," Steve said. By now, they were already at the club, anyway. Steve parked in front of the Yew, and they got out. Ghost waved over at the hardware store gang, who were out, as usual, on the porch.
"Ya forget something there, Ghost?" one of the guys hollered over.
"Nope, not today," Ghost said. They all laughed.
He and Steve went inside to see Kinsey.
Next part coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing