TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
Steve got out of the car, and going around back, removed the spare tire and jack, from the trunk. "This crappy car is giving me grief every day now," he said, and kicked the fender. "I think it's about time to trade it in, Ghost...I swear..." He got busy changing the tire.
Ghost was trying not to blurt out his secret. "It'll be ok. Just get a new tire, Steve."
"Guess I'll have to, for now," Steve said, as he finished up, and slammed down the trunk. "There's too much other stuff to do right now." He got back in the car, shaking his head, and wiping sweat off his face. "Maybe after Christmas, we can go car shopping."
Starting up the engine, again, he sped off down the highway to their house. Ghost was relieved that he wasn't going to go looking at new cars, today. Finally at home, Steve spread out all the loose pages of all their songs.
"Do you think we should include any of the old songs from the cassette, in the show's playlist?" Steve asked.
"Well, yeah, everyone likes those," Ghost said.
"But, we only have an hour or so, then Zach will do his set. I don't know, maybe Gumbo will go on first. Anyway, there not enough time to do them all."
"We're not doing all the new ones live, though...just some, so I think we can do it," Ghost said.
"Oh, yeah...guess you're right." After looking at the pages awhile, he said, "Ok, these are my choices. What do ya think?"
Ghost looked them over. "Well, I really want to do this one, and this one," he said pointing out a couple. "If we can fit these in, then all the rest are ok with me."
"Good, it's finished, then. I'm calling Terry to let him know," Steve said. They talked a few minutes, and Terry was on board with the choices.
"He's good with these, and he'll let R. J. know," Steve said. "So, do ya want to go into Raleigh tomorrow, and see if the print shop guy still wants to do the flyers for us?"
"Yeah, sure," Ghost said, "and can we go to the thrift store, too?"
"Sure, I guess so. Is there something you need?"
"Well, mostly I won't know until I see it, if I need it," Ghost explained.
"That makes some kind of sense...I think," Steve said. He picked up his guitar, and began going over a song. Ghost settled on the couch, at one end, and sang along to the notes Steve played. At first, he sang quietly, the words coming back to him, then louder. Soon, he couldn't sit still, so jumped up and danced around the room, at one point picking up Spirit, dancing him around, too. Singing was Ghost's passion, and it'd been too long since they'd had a show.
Steve kept playing, and singing along on his parts, late into the night. "Ok, that's all I can do tonight," he said after awhile. "My fingers are getting sore."
"Me too, my thorat is getting crackly, too," Ghost said. He got a big glass of water. "I'm going to bed," he said.
"Steve locked up and turned out the lights. Looking in at Ghost, he said, "Remember, we're getting up kinda early in the morning."
"Ok, I remember," Ghost said, already half asleep.
Steve shook his head, knowing it would be really hard for either of them to get up early.
The next morning, not bright and early, they did manage to get up and about. On the road to Raleigh by ten, was not bad...for them, anyway, Steve figured. The first stop was at the printing company. The same guy who helped with the book, was at the counter.
"Hey guys," he said. "Need some more printing done?"
"Yeah, if you can," Steve said. He showed him the sketch of how they wanted the flyers done.
"No problem...we can get these out probably by late afternoon. Can you stick around town awhile and pick them up about five?" the clerk asked.
Steve asked Ghost what he thought. "Do you want to stay in town, until they're done, or come back tomorrow to pick them up?"
"We can do some things here, awhile, so let's stay," Ghost said.
Steve told the guy, who said he'd get started on the printing job. "Maybe I'll come see y'all play."
"Ok, everyone is welcome," Steve said. "The address is on there, but you can't miss it...it's the only club in town." He laughed at the truth of that.
After leaving the print shop, they went to eat lunch at a pizza place. Their order took awhile, as the place was crowded, but they weren't in any big hurry, now. After eating they drove over to the nearby thrift store. As they entered, they could see it was promoting Christmas items for sale.
"Look, Steve...look at all the decorations," Ghost said, taking it all in.
"Yeah, sure is a lot of them," Steve said, but wasn't really looking at the decorations, as much as he was watching Ghost. He smiled, seeing him so enraptured by the shiny ornaments, the fake trees, and the pretend presents on the displays.
"It kinda even smells like Christmas," Ghost said. "Don't ya think so...like cinnamon, and evergreens."
Steve wrinkled his nose. "I can't really tell. All I smell is funky used clothes, books, and stuff."
They made their way deeper into the store, each going to their favorite sections. Steve had to check out the t-shirt racks, looking for more black ones. Ghost tried on some leather cowboy boots, some sheepskin and fleece ones, and some canvas sneakers, he thought he could write on. He threw them all into a basket. Spying an arrangement of scarves, he decided he needed one of those, too.
Over in the shirt section, Steve had several logo t-shirts picked out. He found one concert tee from an Aerosmith show, and knew he and Steven Tyler would get along just fine. Ghost came up to see what Steve had found.
"Did ya find me anything good?" he asked Steve.
"No, I wasn't looking for you...you can look for yourself." He put his items in the basket, with Ghost's things. "Hey, what's all this girl stuff doing in here?" he asked, picking up the UGG boots, and scarf.
"What girl stuff?" asked Ghost.
"These..." Steve said, holding them up.
Ghost shrugged. "Nobody said they are."
"Yeah, they did...I did," Steve said.
"Well, so what if they are? I like them," Ghost said.
"Oookay, as long as you like them, I guess so..." Steve said. "So what are you gonna put in the middle? You've got the scarf at the top, and the boots at the bottom...what's in between? Are you going to go naked in the middle?" He laughed.
Ghost frowned. "No, there'll be some middle stuff, I'm pretty sure. I just haven't found it, yet."
"Well, go find something, then let's go. "I'm ready to check out."
"Ok," Ghost said, and wandered off back into the store.
Steve went over to the book shelves, while Ghost found a few shirts, some cut off jeans, and a hoodie to try on. The tank tops didn't suit him, as he didn't like showing his arms, but the other things, he threw into the basket. Now he had some middle stuff.
"Ok, I'm finished looking," Ghost said, when he found Steve again. Steve put a few books in the basket, too, and they made their way to the check-out area. On the way, Ghost couldn't resist choosing a few shiny ornaments to put on the Christmas tree they planned on getting.
"We really need to get a tree," he said.
"We will. Let's wait until after we have the show, ok?" Steve said.
As they waited in the long line, for their turn, Steve scanned one of the books, while Ghost was fidgeting and getting antsy, as usual. He kept noticing random words coming into his mind, from the people in line behind them. They were not nice words. He tried to ignore them, but he couldn't shut them all out...the derogatory slurs, and laughter. They were not actual spoken out loud words, but just the thoughts of the people in line, as they stared at Steve and himself.
Steve, of course, could not hear any of this, but did notice that Ghost had grown quiet, and still. That was unusual, so he asked. "Ghost? What's the matter?" Ghost had a strange look on his face...a bit sad, a bit mad.
"Those people..." Ghost said, in a low voice. "All of them are saying bad things about us, in their heads."
Steve looked back at the line of people, which was getting longer and more restless. "Just ignore them," he said.
"But it makes me sad, and mad, too. I want to tell them to stop, Steve."
Steve was afraid Ghost would actually start a scene. "Don't say anything to them...bigots don't deserve our attention. Let's just mind our own business, and leave."
Ghost wasn't satisfied, and gave each person he could catch the eye of, a hard stare. A couple of them looked like they'd like to start something, too. But, as it was their turn to check out, Steve began putting their items on the counter, and distracted Ghost, long enough to pay, and leave the store.
As they walked to the car, they discussed the situation they'd encountered. Nearing the car, however, Steve started frowning, and walking faster. "What the hell?" he yelled. The car had been vandalized.
Next part coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing