TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
Steve got back in his car, as Trevor and Zach waved good-bye.
"It was in there, wasn't it?" Ghost asked.
"Yeah, I think so, but it didn't do much. It just made the vines grow some more. It did feel creepy, though," Steve said. "Oh, and guess what? The lamp was on, but it wasn't plugged in. Did anything happen out here in the yard?"
Ghost shrugged, "I don't know, I had my eyes closed, and I didn't let anything in my head."
"So, you weren't listening in?"
"No, why...what did you say?"
"Oh, just that we'll be here tomorrow night; and, here's something you might be interested in. I'd never heard of it, anyway. It's called All Soul's Day."
"What's that? Is it like us...Lost Souls?"
"Nope, it a celebration...a kind of party, where people pay respect to their dead relatives. Anyway, it's tomorrow," Steve said.
"Why just that one day, Steve? The souls are here all the time, just waiting to be acknowledged. They come and go, however they want to. This Day of the Dead thing sounds nice, to me," he smiled. He saw the look on Steve's face. "Oh, guess y'all were scared, huh?"
"Yeah, we were. At least me and Trevor were. Zach's seen it all down in New Orleans, so he was telling us about it," Steve said. He sighed, "I really don't want to see ghosts, Ghost."
Ghost laughed, "You won't, unless you're like me...I'll see them just fine."
"And the demon ones...what about that...you want to see those?"
"No, but I know I will. That's why we're doing this. So I can see what's possessing the house and tell it to go away. And, y'all are my back-up tough guys, so none of y'all better freak out."
"Oh, I plan on freaking out plenty," Steve said, "but, I'll stay on guard, like you say. I just want to keep you from freaking out. I mean it, Ghost...if it gets too much, promise me you'll stop, ok?"
"Yeah, ok," Ghost said.
"Really, I think we should have a code word, too," Steve said. "You know, if you say the word, then we'll know it's trying to take you away, or something...or you want to call it off, and need our help."
"Hey, yeah...that's sounds good, Steve. What can be our safe word?"
"I think it should be something easy, and something you probably wouldn't say at a séance."
"Ok, let me think...I know, how about pancakes?"
Steve laughed, "That's easy enough."
"Yeah, and I don't think I'd be saying it to the evil spirit, like asking it to stay for supper."
"Ok, pancakes is the safe word. We'll tell the guys, tomorrow."
"Good...and Steve, it might be making me say crazy stuff, but if I can break through and say the word, y'all will know to rescue me, and kick butt on the demon, ok?"
"Sure, we will, but...how are we supposed to fight it off, if we can't even see it?" Steve asked.
"Y'all just fight like you'd do in a real fight. Do anything you have to do, like kick, and punch, and holler, and...I don't know...say some Bible stuff at it, and do some karate chops, too," Ghost said. "Oh, and if it has ahold of me, I'll probably say a bunch of mean stuff to you, and to them. It won't be me saying it, just that it's talking through me. So, if I can, I'll say the word, and y'all drag me out, fast...even if I say not to, ok? Promise?" he sighed.
"Yeah, I promise, Ghost. I'll be so glad when it's over and done with."
They were back home now. Spirit was sleeping on the couch, but when he got up to greet them, he yowled and hissed, as he rubbed against Steve's leg. He swatted at Steve's boot.
"What the hell is wrong with your cat?" Steve asked, shoving the cat away from him.
"He can smell the evil clinging to you, from being in that house," Ghost said.
"Oh, well...sorry, cat...I'll go wash it off, then," Steve said, going into the bathroom to take a shower. "I do feel dirty, now."
They spent the rest of the night trying to relax. As morning dawned, Ghost woke, made coffee, and went out front to greet the day, as usual. He was subdued, thinking of what would happen that night, but trying not to. Steve came out and joined him on the old porch swing.
"You ok?" he asked.
"Yeah, just sitting here," Ghost said. He held his cup up to his face, with both hands, breathing in the steam. He sighed. "I'm going to the graveyards today, Steve...I need to."
"You want me to come with you?" Steve asked.
"If you want to, but you don't have to. I'm gonna re-paint my warding off sign on the porch, too. It's faded again," he said, looking down at it. He sighed again, closing his eyes.
Steve noticed how tired Ghost looked, and the dark circles under his eyes. He hadn't been eating right, and his sleep had been interrupted by nightmares the past few nights.
"Ghost, try not to worry about tonight. You look exhausted, and that makes me worry about you."
"I can't help it, Steve. I don't have any energy anymore. Maybe I'm getting sick, or something," he sighed, and yawned, "and, I'm so sleepy."
"Come here, Ghost," Steve said, as he pulled him down to rest on his lap. "You can sleep out here with me, if you want. It's peaceful and I'll rock you to sleep on this swing."
Ghost smiled, and gulped the rest of his coffee. He closed his eyes, and was instantly asleep. Steve stroked Ghost's hair, closed his own eyes, and dozed off, too. The breeze made a soft shushing sound through the pine trees, and the wind chime tinkled. Spirit curled up beside them.
After a couple of hours, Ghost woke feeling better. Steve woke, too. It was getting hot outside, again.
"How ya feeling?" Steve asked.
"Better, but I'm hungry, let's go in."
As they headed inside to the kitchen, Steve noticed the time. They'd slept longer than the couple hours he'd thought. "It's almost lunch time, Ghost. We missed breakfast."
"Oh, well, guess we can just have a sandwich, then," Ghost said, getting out lunchmeat and bread.
They felt revived after eating, so Ghost then got out his paints, to freshen up the star. Steve took his guitar out with him, and played some songs, while he watched Ghost. When he was finished, he said, "I'm going on down to the graveyards, first the little one, then the big one. You coming?"
"Sure, nothing else to do," Steve said. "What 'cha gonna do?" he asked, as they walked the well worn path behind their house.
"I don't know, guess I'll just say hi, and wish everyone a peaceful All Soul's Day," Ghost said.
"Like what...call a meeting?" Steve smiled at that.
"Hey, yeah, that would work," Ghost laughed. "I mean, you did say it was a happy time, this celebration, didn't ya?"
"That what I heard," Steve shrugged.
"Ok, so go back and get your guitar...we'll sing 'em a song."
"You're serious about this, for real?"
"Yeah, go on, Steve."
"Ok," he said, as he went back up to the house. This is very strange, but if it makes Ghost laugh, then it'll be worth the trouble...
When he got back, Ghost was sitting on one of the markers, swinging his legs, and already humming a song. "Ok, what song do you want for this meeting?" Steve asked.
"Let's do *"Peaceful Easy Feeling"," Ghost suggested.
"Sure, that's a good one. Are you gonna talk first?" Steve asked.
"Yeah," Ghost said, and stood up on top of the marker, barely balancing himself.
"Oh, hey, I got your camera, too," Steve said. "I'll take your picture."
"Cool, do one now, and then some when I'm talking, too," Ghost said, smiling down at Steve.
Steve was shaking his head and grinning, "You're such a ham, dude." He laughed at the crazy pose Ghost was in.
"Yeah, I know," Ghost laughed. He turned to face all the tombstones.
"Hey, everybody, this is Ghost. I know I come out here and talk to y'all all the time, but I found out this here is a special day. So, All Soul's Day means to pay respect to all souls...even us, me and Steve, 'cause we're Lost Souls?...and I didn't bring any food out here, but me and Steve will sing ya a song." Ghost nodded to Steve, who'd been taking pictures.
Steve grabbed his guitar, and they began singing. They played it loud, and not at all peaceful, but were in a great mood, when they were finished.
"That was so much fun, Steve," Ghost said, as he jumped down from the tombstone.
"You know what? I was a little down before we came out here, but this was really a good idea," Steve said. "I feel happy,"
"Yeah, me too," Ghost said, then hollered to all the souls in the graveyard, "Bye y'all, see ya later."
"Ready to go to the big cemetery, now?" Steve asked.
"Yep, let's do it," Ghost said. They walked the back pathway, to the main cemetery in town, kicking at the autumn leaves, and joking around all the way.
*Peaceful Easy Feeling, by the Eagles, released December 1, 1972, on the album "Eagles"; label, Asylum, recorded at Olympic Sound Studios - London, written by - Jack Tempchin.
Next part coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing