TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
Trevor and Zach kept talking about the séance, and their plans for finding a place to live. They'd had enough of the old murder house, even if the bad spirits were gone from there. Kinsey's rooms, upstairs from the club, were ok, but they really wanted a place of their own. As they settled their minds on a few things, they kept yawning, needing sleep now.
"I'm going to take a quick shower," Trevor said. "I feel all itchy and sweaty." He headed for the bathroom.
Zach stripped down to his underwear, then got into the crisp sheets on the bed. With the curtains pulled, and the lights out, it would maybe be dim enough in the room to sleep through the day. He'd just drifted off to sleep, when Trevor came back into the room.
"Zach, look at me." He was standing there completely naked.
"What?" Zach pried his eyes open.
"Look, I'm all covered in a rash."
"Huh? Turn on the light," Zach said, He sat up and stared at Trevor's body. "Damn, what happened?" he asked, as he saw red bumps spread all over Trevor's front and back.
"I don't know. I felt itchy for awhile, but this is weird. It still itches. Why is it on me?"
"Hell if I know...go shower, maybe it'll make it feel better. Are you allergic to something?" Zach asked.
"Not that I know of. I didn't eat anything weird, or roll around in anything last night."
"Last night...maybe it was the demon that did it, or maybe just stress from all that happened," Zach said. "It'll go away, don't worry."
"Well, I hope so," Trevor said, then went back to take his shower.
After a few minutes, Zach came in and joined him. He pulled back the shower curtain, which made Trevor scream. "Damn, Zach, I thought I was in that movie Psycho, I heard the door open, then the curtain flew open...what?" He noticed Zach was just standing there with a big grin on his face.
"Oh, come on in, then," Trevor said, grinning back.
And, Zach did come into the shower, and he did attack Trevor, and Trevor didn't mind...didn't mind at all.
Back at the Sacred Yew, Kinsey had come home to the stale, smoky smelling club. He knew the cleaners were going to be there tomorrow, but he hated looking at it. The place was his baby; he'd worked hard these many years, to make it everything he wanted...a job, yes, but also his life. He had regrets...for closing himself off to a loving relationship, and the club was all he knew, now.
It looked forlorn and mistreated, and so empty. He slowly went up the narrow stairs to his apartment. He was exhausted after the long night, but made himself a cup of hot tea and a cold chicken sandwich. As he ate, he went over what had happened out at Trevor's house. He'd always kind of believed Ghost had psychic powers, but this thing tonight, well...it seemed straight out of a horror movie.
The things he'd seen and heard, really got him thinking. "Dammit, guess I have to be a believer of the after-world, now," he said to himself, in his silent room. He'd seen evil, close up, and if he believed in evil beings, then the opposite must be true, too...God, goodness, angels, heaven and hell, good versus evil. Just like he'd always heard. He hadn't prayed in years, not really, but now he felt the need in him.
So, sitting at his rickety table, chicken sandwich in front of him, he remembered Ghost's prayer. He'd just talked like he was right there in the room with God....and now, he was sure the prayer was heard. If that was all you had to do, well, he figured he could do it, too. Taking a deep breath, he began.
"God, it's me, Kinsey. I haven't been in touch in a long time. Sorry, I've just been through a lot of stuff, lately. I'm sure you already know my troubles, so I won't detail them, now. Just...I need to say something about what I saw last night," he stopped, clearing his throat, and taking a gulp of his tea.
Rubbing his face, he sighed, and continued his talk with God. "I got first hand proof of evil in this world. And, I saw first hand proof of your goodness and light shining through your faithful son, and my friend, Ghost. I admit I'd been questioning this subject for a long time, but now, I have no doubts. Just keep a watch over us all. I know you're always around, and want us to call on you when we need help with this life on Earth. So, guess that's all for now. I feel better for having this talk...Amen."
Kinsey did feel a lightness of his soul...a more hopeful feeling, a lessening of his depression. He smiled, then finished his sandwich. Raising his cup of tea in the air, he toasted..."To you," he said.
Everyone who'd been at the séance stayed inside their homes, sleeping for the next twenty-four hours. One by one, each would get up for a quick snack or a drink, or the bathroom, but would get back to sleep with no trouble. They each felt strange, like they'd taken a sleeping pill, and would not remember much about getting up, at all.
The next morning they were all being talked about around town. The old guys at the hardware store gathered as usual, and gossiped about what they'd heard, and about Kinsey.
"Y'all seen Kinsey, lately?"
"Not since yesterday."
"Friend of mine saw him at the diner, along with those kids, and Terry...said they looked like they'd been up all night."
"Maybe we should go check on him."
"Yeah, if he hasn't shown his face by noon, guess we should."
They continued their morning of coffee drinking, and playing checkers. About an hour later, Kinsey did poke his head out of the club's front door. "Hey, guys," he waved over at them.
"Hey, Kinsey, come have some coffee."
Kinsey walked over and sat in one of the porch rocking chairs.
"How's it going? ...Ya been sleeping one off? ... Fixing to come check on ya."
"Everything's fine, guys. I just needed a break. The cleaners are coming today, though. I've got to get the club up and running again, ya know," Kinsey said.
"They ever find out what caused the fire?" one old guy asked.
"No, not yet, but they suspect it was old wiring in the kitchen area," Kinsey said. He knew it wasn't, and didn't like lying, but he wasn't about to mention what really happened.
"Any of those kids coming by, today? I'd think they would want to help you out with getting things in order," the guy said.
"I figure they'll be by sometime," Kinsey said. "Well, thanks for the coffee...got to get back to it," he said, going back across the street. He knew they'd be pumping him for answers if he stayed any longer. He got back to work. In a little while, he heard knocking on the back door. It was Terry, still looking disheveled.
"Hey, Kinsey," he said. "Man, do you feel as bad as I look? I think I slept forever...lost a whole day."
"Yeah, me too. I just came back to the living, this morning...such a weird feeling," Kinsey said.
"You think it's got something to do with the other night?" Terry asked.
"I imagine so, Terry. We were all tired after that."
Terry nodded in agreement. "I'm keeping the shop closed today, too. I'll hang around here and help out, I guess. Give me something to do, ok? Where is everybody...they been here at all?"
"Nope, just you. I expect they'll show up sooner or later. The cleaning crew will be here soon. Until then, I guess we could do some inventory."
"Sure thing," Terry said. They went back to the storeroom to get to work.
The cleaning company did arrive with their heavy duty equipment. They assessed the smoke damage, then started up their noisy machines. Trevor and Zach came in a few minutes later. They needed to get a change of clothes, or at least see if they had any that didn't smell too much of smoke, and take everything else to the laundry.
"Y'all doing ok?" Kinsey asked. He could tell they were feeling pretty good, the way they were smiling.
"Yeah, we're good," Zach said. "We got lots of sleep, but Trevor has a bad rash...maybe from that thing the other night."
"It's going away already, though," Trevor said.
"Well, Terry and I are still feeling the effects of it. We're still all tired out, no energy," Kinsey said.
"Yeah, I got him counting stuff in the storeroom."
"Well, we're gonna do laundry...want to send some of your stuff with us?" Trevor asked.
"Sure, hang on, I'll gather up some," Kinsey said.
Zach and Trevor went on down the hallway to see Terry. "Hey, how's it going?" Zach asked.
"Hey, guys, what's up?" Terry asked.
"Just going to take some clothes to the laundry. How ya feeling...you look like crap." Zach said.
"About like I look," Terry laughed. "That business the other night about did me in. I can't seem to shake it off."
"I know, we can't either. Oh, I got some kind of rash from it, too," Trevor said.
"No shit? Well, are y'all moving back in the house, now?"
"I don't think so. We need a fresh start...gonna find us another place. Do you know of any...any we could afford?" Zach asked.
"Hmm...not right off, but I'll ask around and if something turns up, I'll let ya know," Terry said.
Kinsey came in then, with a duffle bag of dirty clothes. "Here ya go guys, and here's some money for the machines. These ought to last me a few days."
"We'll bring 'em back as soon as they're done, Kinsey," Trevor said.
Kinsey looked out into the club. "Looks like they're about done down here. Oh, have y'all heard from Steve or Ghost? I haven't, and it's not like them to be holed up for very long. I'm getting worried. Maybe I should give them a call."
"Yeah, we haven't heard from them, either. But, I do need to talk to Ghost about some stuff. Tell him to either call me, or come by, ok?" Trevor said.
"Will do, guys," Kinsey said, as they left.
"Hey, Kinsey, it's break time, right?" Terry asked.
"Yeah, it's break time. I can't get much going, either," Kinsey laughed. They grabbed a beer, and went to relax in the office.
Next part coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing