TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
Ghost decided to make himself a cup of hot tea, too, and put a preventative dose of headache powder in it. Taking that, a peanut butter sandwich, and a blanket, he went out front. He settled himself on the swing. Rocking back and forth, he gazed up at the night sky. The stars glittered like brilliant diamonds in the dark. The tea and blanket warmed him, and the faint smell of his incense was still drifting out through the screen door, adding to the comfortable peace and quiet out here in the woods.
He really didn't want to know what Steve was planning...not until it was time. He hoped he could not read Steve's mind for awhile...he'd try anyway. He was happy for the way the day had turned out, too, and kept thinking of it. After a while he did go in to bed. He looked in on Steve, and he was sound asleep, now. Grabbing his journal, he wrote about his day for awhile, then turned out the light. He was asleep in a matter of minutes.
The next morning, Steve was feeling good as new, and made a huge breakfast for them. He was singing to Spirit, as he flipped pancakes. Ghost had woken up, and made his way down the hall to the kitchen doorway. He watched Steve for a few minutes.
Steve hadn't noticed Ghost standing there, so when he turned around, he jumped. "Ghost...you scared me. How long ya been there?"
Ghost laughed. "Long enough to see ya dancing around."
"Well, it'll be ready in a few minutes. Sit down and I'll fix you a plate," Steve said.
As he sat down, Spirit jumped up in his lap. Stroking the soft fur, Ghost said in baby talk, "Did Kitty get something to eat? Did silly 'ol Steve give you a bite?"
Steve laughed, as he looked over at them. Ghost's hair was a tangled mess, and the clothes he'd slept in were definitely mismatched. And, on his feet, he had fuzzy elephant slippers, that were a gag gift he'd gotten three years ago. He shook his head in wonder.
"You look like something that cat dragged in, Ghost. Did you even look at yourself?"
Ghost sneered, shot Steve the finger, and went back to sipping his coffee.
"Ok, ok...here's your breakfast," Steve said, setting the full plate in front of him. "You in a mood today?"
"No, are you?"
"Yeah, I am...a good one," Steve said. "That remedy you gave me didn't kill me, and it really did work."
"Good, told ya it would."
"Well, I'm going secret shopping today, right after I eat," Steve said, looking to see what kind of reaction he'd get.
Ghost put his hands over his ears, and screwed up his face. "I'm trying real hard here, Steve...real hard."
"Yeah, to block your secret, happy, shopping thoughts."
"Oh, guess that's why you're not talking like a magpie this morning," Steve said, as he made a talking motion with his hands.
"Steve, stop it...just hurry up and go, already."
"Yeah, I will. I'm done eating, anyway," Steve said. Since he was already dressed and ready to go, he gave Ghost a kiss, and a hug, and grabbed his keys, then was out the door.
"Finally..." Ghost said. He breathed a sigh of relief. "Ok, cat...we have the house to ourselves. What 'cha want to do?" The cat meowed. "Yeah, me too...tv time." He poured himself another cup of coffee, and he and Spirit got comfy on the couch. Flipping the channels, he found the three they had were coming in pretty good. "Looks like we have a game show, cartoons, and a cooking show...what do ya think?" Spirit just meowed, and kneaded the blanket, there on the couch.
"Ok, then...cartoons for us today," Ghost said. They watched awhile, then both went back to sleep.
Steve had left that morning, heading toward Raleigh. Sometimes he wished there was another big city close by...something different to drive toward, but he'd find what he wanted just fine. He went to the bank, first. Then driving over to the store he wanted, he went in to speak to the manager. He told him what he had in mind for Ghost's gift. The manager laughed at the string measure, Steve had brought, but said it was no problem. It would be ready before Christmas.
Since this hadn't taken very long, he walked around the downtown area for awhile, looking at Christmas displays, and going into a couple of shops. He wanted to get Ghost a few more things, and also gifts for Kinsey, Terry, Zach, and Trevor. Then, his shopping done, he headed back to Missing Mile. He hoped Ghost had managed ok, and that now he could stop thinking about the gift.
All was quiet, as he pulled into their driveway. Inside, he saw that Ghost and Spirit were asleep on the couch, and the tv was still playing cartoons. It seemed as if they hadn't moved since breakfast, a few hours ago.
"Hey, wake up, Ghost..." he said, as he sat down beside him. "I'm back."
"Huh...already?" Ghost said, as he rubbed his eyes, trying to wake up.
"Yeah, have you been asleep this whole time? It's almost lunch time."
"Mmm, I guess so.."
"Well, you can keep on sleeping, if you want to. It's fine with me, but I'm making a sandwich...if you want one, let me know." He went into the kitchen.
"Do we want one, Spirit?" Ghost asked. The cat just opened one eye, and didn't get up. "Yeah, me neither." He lay back down, to go back to sleep.
Steve came back in. "Scootch over, Ghost. I want to sit down and watch tv," he said.
Ghost complained, but moved to the other end of the couch. Spirit had had enough, and stalked off to the bedroom. Steve flipped the channel over to a fishing show. "Hey, we need to do that again," he said. "Want to?"
"No, and be quiet, I'm sleeping."
Steve shrugged, and continued watching the show. After a few minutes, Steve's phone rang. He jumped up to go get it, in the kitchen, where he'd left it. "Hello?" It was Kinsey.
"Hey, Steve, we just got in...unpacking now."
"Oh, hey Kinsey."
"Thanks for watching the place and getting the mail for me. I'm beat, so I'm staying in tonight, but y'all come around tomorrow. I'll tell ya all about the trip," Kinsey said.
"Sure, we'll do that. Glad you're back," Steve said.
"Hey, Ghost...guess who's back...Kinsey and Terry. Let's go over there tomorrow."
"Ok," Ghost mumbled. "I'm hungry, now, Steve." He was still on the couch, with his eyes closed. "Will you fix me a sandwich?"
"Thought you were going back to sleep."
"Yeah, well, I can't with all this noise going on." He sat up. "Never mind, I'll get it in a minute." He wobbled down the hall to the bathroom. Then he screamed.
"What's the matter?" Steve hollered.
"There's a crazy person in there. It looks like a berserk clown, with nasty hair," Ghost said.
Steve started laughing.
"Why'd ya let me look so stupid, Steve?" Ghost asked, coming back in the living room. He was laughing at himself.
"Oh, God, Ghost...you did that all on your own." He was still laughing at the berserk clown comment.
"I know...well I gotta fix myself," Ghost said. He went to start the water running for a shower.
Next part coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing