TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
The next morning, they got ready to go fairly early. "Let's just get something for breakfast at the little store, to go...we'll eat in the car, on the way to Raleigh," Steve said.
It was another sunny day, with only a slight chill in the air, and they enjoyed the ride, as they munched on doughnuts, and drank their coffee. They arrived in the city, going first to the bank, then drove around until they found the printing company. It was a fairly small business, and they were the only customers there, this early in the morning.
Ghost pulled out the pages he'd made for the book, putting them on the counter.
"We want this made into a real book," Steve said. He explained how they wanted the pages and writing to look, just the way Ghost had them arranged.
"How many copies?" the clerk asked.
Steve looked over at Ghost, "How many do you think we'll need? We'll want one for us, then some to sell at the gig, right?"
Ghost nodded, "Yeah, I want to do that."
Steve turned back to the clerk, "Well, let's start with fifty. We can get more made, if we need to, I suppose."
The clerk looked doubtful that they would be able to even pay for one, much less fifty, but he quoted them a price, anyway.
"Ok, sure, do the fifty. When will they be ready?" Steve asked.
"We'll have them ready in a week," the clerk said. "We'll need half the payment now, then the rest when you pick them up."
Steve wasn't sure if this was normal procedure or not, but he pulled out his wallet.
"Steve..." Ghost said, pulling on Steve's jacket. "Steve, come over here a minute."
"What is it, Ghost? I'm almost done here."
"Steve, that guy thinks we can't pay for them. I heard him thinking that we're too poor to afford to get the books made."
"Oh, yeah?" Steve looked back toward the clerk. "Well, I'll just pay him right now, then, for the whole order...then he won't have anything to say about it."
He went back to the counter. "I think we'll just go ahead and pay you for the whole order, right now, if that's ok...before you do the j0b?"
The clerk looked a bit surprised, but said, "Sure, that will be fine." He did a double-take, as Steve pulled out the cash, counting out the full amount.
"Will that do it?" Steve asked
"Yes, sir, sure will," the clerk said. "You can pick them up a week from today."
Steve smiled at Ghost, as they went out the door. "Thanks, Ghost. That went better than I thought. It took all my effort not to smack him. It's hard being polite."
Ghost patted Steve on the back, and laughed, "You did good, Sir."
"Yeah, I'm sure glad we stopped at the bank first, though."
Next up on their trip to town, was the thrift shop. "From big spenders, to bargain hunters, all in one day," Steve said, as the went into the store.
"What'cha looking for this time?" Ghost asked.
"Guess I'll know it when I see it," Steve said, as they split up to go looking around.
Ghost wandered up and down the aisles, stopping at whatever caught his eye. He found a couple of toys, for the cat to play with, and a dish to put his food in. He also found a hat he could use for his Halloween costume, along with a fishing vest. Then he went looking for Steve.
"Hey, look what I got," he said, showing Steve.
"Cool, those will work fine, Ghost. I just found some shirts, so far." He held up a couple. They were both black...one with the logo of a local radio station, the other a vintage rock band tour shirt.
"Uh, Steve...do ya think ya have enough black t-shirts, already?"
"What...you don't like them?"
"Oh, sure I do, Steve," Ghost said, shaking his head.
"Well, then, shut up about it," Steve said.
Ghost rolled his eyes, then went wandering around the store, again. Eventually, Steve was finished, and he found Ghost sitting on a chair in the furniture section of the store.
"Well, I can't believe it...you finally had enough time to look at everything, and wear your own self out," Steve laughed. "It must be the first time."
"Yeah, guess so," Ghost said. He yawned and stretched, as he got up from the old recliner. "This time you were taking forever."
"Well, let's go pay for this stuff, and go eat lunch somewhere," Steve said.
At the pizza place they'd stopped to eat at, Ghost was unusually quiet.
"What's bugging you?" Steve asked.
Ghost shrugged. "Just thinking about stuff...about the murder house, and what to do about it."
Steve frowned. "Maybe you should just forget it, and tell them you can't do it."
"No, I want to do it...I just need to think how," Ghost said.
"Well, you know my opinion on the matter, so I'll shut up about it, then," Steve said. He finished up the pizza, and they walked back to the car.
"You ready to head home? My leg is aching now, from being up so long," Steve said.
"Yeah, let's go," Ghost said, getting in the car.
Steve drove a few blocks, trying to get back to the main highway, but got turned around, going the wrong way.
"Steve, stop!" Ghost hollered. He pointed to a small store, wedged between a coffee shop and a beauty salon.
"What is it? I can't stop in the middle of the road," Steve said, but he did slow down.
"Well, go around and park somewhere. I saw a store I want to go in," Ghost said.
Steve did find a parking spot, close to the little shop. Ghost jumped out and headed down the sidewalk. "C'mon, Steve," he said. He was walking fast, leaving Steve to catch up on his own.
"Wait up," Steve yelled, but Ghost had already gone inside. As he came closer, Steve could see that the shop was an odd looking place. It wasn't big, but was crammed full of all kinds of colorful items. He just stood at the entrance for a minute, taking in the kaleidoscopic effect. This must be what the inside of Ghost's head looks like.... Ghost's room at home was mild, compared to this place; and from what he could tell, by watching Ghost looking around, a smile on his face, it was like Ghost had found his true home.
He took a deep breath, before he tackled walking down the narrow aisles, hoping his crutches wouldn't knock anything over. Then, he almost choked on the heavy inscense smoke. This reminds me of something...something bad... He began flashing back to Arkady's creepy shop, down in New Orleans...the horror of Ann's death, and the vampires...
Next part coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing