TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
Halloween day dawned crisp and clear. The trees were bursting with orange, red, and yellow leaves; it was a perfect Autumn day in North Carolina, the freak blizzard almost forgotten by now. Ghost was out on the porch, as was usual, to greet the morning, and Spirit was chasing falling leaves. Steve came outside to join them, with his coffee in hand.
"Can you smell it?" Ghost asked. "Somebody's burning leaves or something. It smells so good."
"Um-hmm, it is nice," Steve said. He gazed out across the front yard, and into the woods beyond. "You ready for the party, tonight?"
"Yeah, I got my camera and my hat...what are you gonna do?" Ghost asked.
Steve shrugged, "I don't know, but I have a black shirt I can wear."
Ghost snorted, "You got a bunch of black shirts. You need something else, though."
"Well then, when you come up with something, let me know."
"Oh, I'm going to the graveyards today...you wanna come?" Ghost asked.
"Naw, you go on," Steve said, "I'm going to go see if I can do some things over in the studio. That is if Terry will let me in there."
"How long will you be there?"
"I'll be back here later, then we'll get ready to go to the club," Steve said. He was finished with his coffee, so went back inside.
Ghost came in, too, and grabbed his backpack, a couple of granola bars, and a bottle of water. "Guess I'll go on out there, then," he said. "See ya later. He went out the back door, heading down the path. He planned on going to the main cemetery first, then coming back to the one behind their house, afterwards. It was a nice long walk out there, but he was used to it.
Steve fed the cat, got himself some cereal for his breakfast, then left the house, heading for Terry's studio, in town.
Over in Missing Mile, Kinsey was up early, too. He had lots of chores to do, before the doors opened later that evening. The bar was stocked, already, and on his list was floor mopping, and making the food for the hungry customers. He figured he'd need more than usual for the crowd he expected. He got chicken on to boil, for homemade chicken noodle soup, and as a nod to Halloween, he would make deviled ham sandwiches, figuring all that would satisfy everyone.
He was looking forward to seeing the crazy costumes people would wear. As for himself, he would wear black, and he'd found some orange suspenders, to which he'd pinned round buttons, with Halloween pictures on them.
Out on old Violin Road, Zach and Trevor had had another weird night in the murder house. As they'd gotten home, that night, they could tell someone had been up to their house, as there were car tire tracks, and more weeds than usual were mashed down in the road.
Trevor was frowning. It was dark out, but he noticed right away, as the car's headlights shone across the yard. "Zach, did you see all that? Somebody's been here. Who'd be coming all the way out here?"
Zach shrugged, "I don't know, but I can guess...Steve and Ghost. I wouldn't put it past them to come snooping around."
"Well, we weren't here, so guess they left. We'll see them tomorrow night, anyway," Trevor said.
"Yeah, but I don't like it."
"Did ya forget...we snooped around their house too, that time, so guess we're even, now," Trevor rationalized.
They got out and went around back, to go inside the house. Zach flipped the light switch, but nothing happened. "I figured as much...the house didn't like it either...now we're in for trouble." He went into the kitchen to check if they had water. The faucet chugged a bit, then dribbled out a brownish sludge. "Great," he said.
"Well, we can light a candle, or we can go on to bed," Trevor said. "We have a lot of stuff to do to, tomorrow, to get ready for the show, so I'm going to bed...try to get some sleep."
Zach agreed, and found a candle to light, carrying it into the bedroom, then setting it on the nightstand, so there would be a little light in there. The dark shadows it cast, flickered and seemed to writhe on the walls. The overgrown vines, twining all around the room, rustled a bit. They were used to them, now. They'd tried to chop them down a few times, at least to clear the bedroom out, but the deep green vines would just grow back. Still sometimes, they would release an artifact from Trevor's childhood, that had been eaten up long ago.
Tonight was no different. Lying among the leaves, was Trevor's toy guitar he'd had when he lived here as a child...before the murder of his family. Trevor gagged when he saw it, and he definitely didn't want to touch it. The leaves rustled again, to get his attention.
"Are you gonna get it?" Zach asked, as he stared at the toy.
"No, you know what happens when I pick something up," Trevor said.
Zach did know. Trevor would have violent nightmares. "I'll get it, then, and throw it out." He grabbed the small guitar, and pulled. Tendrils of vines twined around the neck of the toy, looking like it was choking it.
"Let it go," Zach demanded, and pulled harder. "Let it go, or I'll chop ya down." The tug of war between Zach and the vines continued for another minute, then in one quick movement, the vine let go, and Zach fell backwards onto the floor. He had the toy in his hands. "Ha...I got it," he hollered, then took it out the back door, tossing it into the trash barrel.
When he returned, Trevor was already in bed, staring at the ceiling.
"You ok?" Zach asked.
"Yeah, just so tired of the tension in here. It's stupid to be fighting a house."
"I know, and as soon as Ghost gets over here and clears out the bad stuff, the better," Zach said. "Let's tell them they should come over, day after tomorrow, ok?"
"Sounds good to me." Trevor said. He blew out the candle, and they both drifted off to an uneasy sleep.
A short time later, though, Zach woke up, shaking his hands, and hollering. "They're burning...Trevor...my hands...they're on fire."
It was totally dark in the room, now, so they couldn't see Zach's hands at all. "I feel like they're on fire...I need to see, Trevor...hurry."
Trevor reached over to the nightstand, fumbling for the candle and lighter. He managed to get it lit, even as his own hands were shaking. "Hold still, Zach, let me see your hands...quit flapping around."
Zach was gritting his teeth, and whining, as he held out his hands close to the candle flame. They both looked close, but couldn't see anything that could be causing the burning sensation.
"I don't see anything, Zach. Maybe it's just a reaction from touching the guitar," Trevor said.
"I need to cool them off, and we don't have any water," Zach said. "Was there any left in the cooler, or the refrigerator...maybe it's still cold?"
"I'll go check, stay here, I'll be right back," Trevor said. He left Zach there in the dark bedroom, taking the candle with him. In the cooler, he did find a bottle of water. He got a dishrag, too, and brought them back to Zach. "Here, put this on your hands. It's all I could find."
As Zach put the wet cloths on his hands, he stared hard at Trevor. "That's better, but Trev, I'm tired of us getting hurt out here. I don't know if this evil house stuff is real, or just in our heads, but really...can't you let this place go? Just go somewhere else to live...leave it, or tear it down?"
Trevor breathed in, letting it out slow. "Zach, we talked about this, before."
"But this stuff keeps happening over and over. It's like we're in a time loop of the past, or something. Please think about it...for our own safety and sanity," Zach pleaded.
Trevor took a moment before answering. "I want to try this last thing...see if Ghost can do something to help. If that doesn't work, then I'll do it. I'll have it torn down, and we can live somewhere else. I'll do it because I love you, Zach, and I want you to be safe, and not scared." He paused for a second, "I already kind of found out why my father didn't kill me, along with my mother and little brother, so I promise you, I'll do it." He took Zach's hands, looking at them. "Are they any better, now?"
"Yeah, guess so...and thank you, Trevor. I know this whole house business is hard for you, but...just thank you." He pulled Trevor in for a kiss. "I'm going to try to go back to sleep, now."
"Me too," Trevor said, and he blew out the candle.
They slept for about an hour, before the house made it's next move...
Next part coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing