TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
Sometime before dawn, Steve and Ghost had made their way to bed. Now, as the sun rose, Steve did wake, and went out to the kitchen, to make the morning coffee. Coming back to the bedroom, he watched Ghost trying to wake up. He always had a hard time breaking away from his dreams of the night. Ghost almost always dreamed...sometimes good, sometimes bad, but always fantastic and magical. He'd dream so vividly, that he sometimes thought they were real...and sometimes they were. He'd tell Steve, in detail, what he did during those dream escapes from his awake self. Sometimes, Steve even believed it, too.
As he watched, Steve wanted Ghost. He carefully untangled the blankets, pushing them off to the side of the bed. He then helped Ghost out of his clothes, while Ghost lay there, his eyes blinking up at him, totally relaxed.
"You're beautiful," Steve said in a whisper, his throat closing up with emotion. He continued to look at Ghost, taking in the whole of his body, fully exposed in front of his eyes. Every scar was a reminder of Ghost's strong spirit, his endurance, to keep a positive light to his very soul.
From the scars on his skull from the fractures, his damaged eye, that still gave him pain, the cigarette burns, from long ago, the missing toe, and even his brain was scarred...Steve took it all in with his gaze. Now, Ghost had the scars from Nothing's fangs, on his neck, and the scratch marks from the evil demon, on him. He still had a slight crook in his left hand, too, from Steve smashing it during the hurricane. And, the invisible scars to Ghost's heart and mind...the emotional scars that he'd dished out on him...were the worst of all.
And still, he was the most beautiful thing Steve had ever seen. "You're beautiful," Steve had to whisper, again.
Ghost had heard everything Steve had been thinking, and now he shook his head no, and his eyes squeezed shut, as tears fell down his face.
"I'm not, Steve...I'm not..." he cried.
"Yes, you are, Ghost. You've got the pure light of your soul shining through. You give me your unconditional love, when I don't deserve it. You have tamed me and claimed me, and I can only try to keep pleasing you...because if I fail, and you deserted me, I'd have nothing. I would not live a day without you. So yes, you are beautiful, and I love you."
Steve leaned close, and kissed Ghost's tears away. "I want to please you, now..." he said.
Ghost nodded. "Yes..."
That afternoon, Ghost got out his markers to create a card for Kinsey, and one for Terry. He didn't consider himself an artist, but he loved to draw and make designs. Of course words and lettering were his favorite.
"Hey, Steve, how's this look?" He held up the folded cardstock.
"It's, well...it's very colorful. Here, let me get a closer look," Steve said. He reached over for the card.
Ghost had written Kinsey's name in calligraphy on the front, in black ink. Curling around the name, in brown ink, was an exact replica of the Yew tree that was carved into the club's wooden door. He'd done it from memory. In between the branches, were different colors, making it look like stained glass.
Inside, he'd written: Kinsey, we appreciate everything you do...from helping us when we're in trouble, for being a shoulder to cry on, and most of all for being our friend. Please accept this as a small way of saying thank you. Have a wonderful vacation! We love you!
There were lots of hearts drawn on the card's inside, too. "Now, we both have to sign it," Ghost said. "Oh, and put the money in it...don't forget that part."
This is amazing, Ghost. It's better than any card we could have bought. He'll love it," Steve said.
Ghost smiled, then said, "Now I gotta do one for Terry."
They both signed Kinsey's card, and Steve put in the $1,000, and sealed the envelope. Ghost took a break for some snacks, and to rest his hand. Steve went back to his guitar, and song list for the CD.
"Hey, I've just about got the list done," Steve said. "We should get back to the studio, maybe tomorrow? And, we can deliver the surprise. Sound good?"
"Yeah, guess we could. I'm really ready to get to sing again, and get a show planned. Maybe when they get back from their trip," Ghost said. "We can do a welcome back show," he said, as he munched on potato chips.
"Let's call it a plan, then," Steve said, and reached for a handful of chips.
After Ghost washed the grease from his fingers, he asked, "What should Terry's card look like?"
Steve shrugged. "That's your department. Think of something he likes or...hell, I don't know...things he likes could get a little tricky, if ya know what I mean." Laughing, he pretended to smoke a joint.
"Yeah, guess that wouldn't work. Well, I'll figure something out," Ghost said. He lay down on the floor, staring at the ceiling. Steve went back to playing a song.
After a few minutes, Ghost got up and got some water, bringing it back to the living room. He tried out a few ideas with his markers. "Ok, I think I got it," he said. This time he colored his finger tips with several colors, and stamped them on the card front. Then he took his fingers and dipped them in the water, then smeared them around on the card. The effect looked like tie-dye. When it dried, he wrote Terry's name in black calligraphy.
"Hmm, not very fancy, but guess it's ok," he said.
"He'll treasure it, Ghost," Steve said, and snickered.
"Shut up," Ghost said, then wrote on the inside of the card: Terry, we want to thank you for being our friend for so long. You show you care in so many ways...from sticking with us in hard times, to sharing your music on stage with us. And, for giving Steve a job, and for letting us use your studio, and for sharing laughs, and "more". We want to show you our appreciation by gifting you with this small token. Enjoy your vacation! Love, from both of us.
"Ok, I'm done...read it, Steve." Ghost handed him the card.
Steve smiled, as he read. "This is perfect."
They signed it, and Steve put Terry's money inside, and sealed it.
They sat quietly for a few minutes. Steve leaned back on the couch, resting his eyes, and he massaged his calloused finger tips. Ghost gathered his markers, remembering to put the caps back on. Taking the cup of water back to the kitchen, he noticed that Steve was almost asleep. As he came back through, he gently kissed the top of Steve's head.
"I'm going outside for awhile. The stars are shining, now." And, he went out the front door, the screen squeaking, as he opened it.
Next part coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing