TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
"Guess I better get him home," Steve said. "Thanks for having us over for dinner, Zach, it was really good."
"Yeah, man, glad you could make it," Zach said. "Is he going to be ok?"
Steve nodded, and looked down the hallway. Ghost was coming back from the bathroom.
"Hey, Steve, guess what? They got a big old fashioned bathtub in there...big enough for both of us. Hey, Trevor, can we get in there, now?" Ghost was yelling over the music to be heard. He swayed as he stood there by the table, still holding his mostly empty wine bottle.
"Ghost," Steve said, "it's time to go home. Dinner is over and we have to go, now. Tell Zach and Trevor thank you for inviting us."
"Home? Why? We're having fun, Steve." Ghost tried to focus on Steve's face.
"C'mon, let's get in the car," Steve said, getting up from the table.
"Fine, Steve...bye, y'all...I liked your food," Ghost slurred, and tried to head for the door, but started leaning, as he walked, and ran right into a wall, falling backward onto his butt. He started laughing.
Steve hauled him up, and out the door toward the car. "Thanks, again, Zach...talk to y'all later."
"Where we going?" Ghost asked. He peered out the windshield, as they drove down the highway.
"We're going home," Steve said.
"Oh, well...I don't know how to get there, do you?"
"Yeah, I know how...don't worry about it."
"Why we going...why we going?" Ghost kept saying over and over.
Steve just let him babble on. It had been a long afternoon, and he was tired. It didn't help his nerves any, that the road was now snow packed. He had to concentrate hard on his driving, which made his shoulders ache, and his eyes hurt.
Ghost had been quiet for a few minutes. Steve glanced over at him, seeing that he'd already passed out. Finally pulling into their driveway, he shook Ghost awake. "We're home, wake up."
Ghost yawned real big, but didn't wake up.
"Dude, I'm not gonna carry you in. It's slippery and I don't want to fall again, now...wake up." He shook Ghost harder.
"What?" Ghost said.
Steve opened the car door, letting in a blast of cold air. He hoped it would wake Ghost up long enough to get into the house. Leaning on Steve, Ghost did manage to walk up the steps. They kept going to the bedroom, where he fell onto the bed. Steve put a blanket over him, then went into his own bedroom and collapsed into his own bed. Sometime in the night, he heard Ghost in the bathroom, throwing up. In a few minutes, he came into Steve's room.
"Can I sleep with you? I think I might die, and I don't want to be alone," Ghost said.
"Sure, c'mon," Steve said, scooting over. He snuggled the blankets around them both.
The next time he woke up, it was morning. The sun was out, and was melting the snow. Ghost was still asleep, so Steve went to make the coffee. He'd let Ghost sleep as long as he wanted. After pouring himself a mug of the strong coffee, he opened the front door, to see about three inches of snow still on the ground. The porch was fairly clear, though. Spirit came out, and tentatively sniffed at the snow. He touched it with his paw, then jerked it back, shaking it.
Steve laughed. "Go on and jump in, Spirit," he said. The cat gave him a look, and meowed. "I know...it's cold, Dude."
Ghost had woken up, and was now wrapped in a blanket, holding his own cup of coffee, as he came outside. "Morning..." he said.
"Damn, you look rough," Steve said. "Did you have a wild night, or what?"
"Shut up...I feel like crap. Why'd ya let me drink so much?"
"Like I could stop ya," Steve said. "Suffering now, aren't ya?"
"Yeah," Ghost said. He wrapped the blanket tighter, then sat on the swing. Closing his eyes, he asked, "Did I do stupid stuff?"
"Oh, yeah," Steve laughed. "That's what drunk people do...stupid stuff."
"Oh, like dancing all over the place, and running into walls, and falling down...oh, and laughing like a hyena...that's all. You were quite fun to watch."
"Oh, God...they won't ever want me to come over, again," Ghost said.
"It's fine...they were having a good time, too."
Ghost sat there moaning a little more, as he rocked back and forth. Spirit came to sit on his lap. "Spirit says he wants to make a snowman," Ghost said.
"Spirit says? A cat wants to make a snowman?" Steve asked.
"Well, he can't really make one by himself, so he wants us to do it for him," Ghost said. He scratched the cat under the chin. "Isn't that right, Spirit?"
Steve shrugged. "Well, why not. We better hurry, though, the sun's melting it already." He went out into the yard. Gathering up some snow into a fairly good sized base, he noticed Ghost and Spirit were still on the porch, just watching him. He made a snowball and threw it at them. "C'mon, help me out here, you two."
"I'm too cold...I'll freeze."
"Fine, then go get something for his face and arms, then," Steve said, actually enjoying the snowman making.
Ghost went inside to put on a jacket and boots. Finding a scarf and hat for the snowman, and some charcoal briquettes for the eyes, he came back outside. He found a couple of dried tree branches for the arms. "Here put these on," he said.
When they were finished, they stood back to look at their creation. Spirit crept up to it, hissed, then ran away. This made them laugh so hard, they fell down in the snow. Ghost made some snowballs, and threw them at Steve, who returned fire. Eventually they called it a draw, and went back inside.
"I'm making hot chocolate," Steve said, as they both tried to get warmed up. Ghost turned on the tv to see what was on. It was the news, reporting about all the black Friday sales going on.
"Hey, Steve, what 'cha want for Christmas?" Ghost asked.
"I don't know...haven't thought about it."
"Well, what 'cha gonna get me?"
"I don't know yet...why are you asking all these questions?" He looked over at Ghost, who was grinning.
""Cause I gotta make plans."
"Yeah, secret plans, ya know."
Steve nodded, "I see...well, guess I better make some secret plans, too." He laughed. He tried hard to blank his mind from what he was thinking. He knew already what he was getting Ghost. He'd known for a long time.
"You know, one of these days I'll probably have to do some secret shopping, and you can't come," Steve said, easing into the subject.
"Uh-huh, guess that would make sense, being it's secret," Ghost said. "Guess I have to do that, too...by myself, ya know."
Steve nodded. "I know," he said. They both had sneaky looks on their faces.
They stayed home, though, the rest of the day. Steve played his guitar, while Ghost made a pot of potato soup. He wanted something easy on his stomach, after the night before. He continued to think of something to get Steve for Christmas. He had a lot of ideas, but rejected them all, as to childish, too boring, or just plain dumb. He did write them down, though, so he'd remember what he'd considered. At last the soup was ready.
"Steve," Ghost said, as they sat at the kitchen table, "this here notebook is secret stuff, so you can't look at it, ok?" He had the notebook on the table, beside him.
Steve eyed it. "That one there...that blue one? Where ya gonna hide it?" He figured Ghost would absentmindedly tell him, and he almost did.
"It's gonna be...oh, wait...you're trying to trick me, Steve. I'm not telling, just please don't look, ok?"
"Oh, ok, but don't leave it laying around, or I might be tempted."
After supper, Ghost wrote more plans in the notebook. Steve came into the bedroom, after locking up the house for the night. "You gonna write all night?" he asked.
"No, I'm just about done," Ghost said.
"Suit yourself, I'm going to bed," Steve said.
Ghost wrote a little longer, then put the notebook under the mattress for safekeeping, and turned out the light. He slept most of the night dream free, but then, close to dawn he was jolted awake by a name he heard in a weird dream. It wasn't scary, but unsettling. It had Kinsey and Terry in it, and a lady named Linda. Steve was in it too. He saw two little kids hiding behind the woman, and Steve was laughing and crying at the same time. He didn't understand it at all. He planned on telling it to Steve in the morning.
Next part coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing