TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
"What kind of asshole would do something like this?" Steve yelled. He walked around the car, taking in the slashed tires, and scratches all along the sides. Yanking open the door, he threw in his bags from the thrift store. "I just got that flat fixed yesterday, and now this? I'll tell ya, Ghost, there's some sick people in the world." He raged on and on, cursing and kicking the fenders.
A small crowd gathered, there on the sidewalk, some laughing and pointing. "What are y'all looking at, who did this?" Steve growled at them, and they went on their way. One young man did offer to help.
Ghost just sat on the curb, with his hands wrapped around his knees, and his head down, listening to Steve holler. He didn't even cry; he was too numb to feel anything, after their encounter in the thrift store.
Finally, Steve calmed down enough to notice the man who was offering to help. He volunteered to drive them to buy new tires. "Come on, Ghost, we have to get the tires fixed, and this guy will take us to the tire store."
"Maybe I should stay and guard the car," Ghost said.
"No, I can't leave you here to face this crowd alone. Let's go."
"Steve, just have him drop me off at the magic shop place, ok? When you're finished, you can come pick me up." He could feel his nerves vibrating inside him. "I really need to smell some oils, and get calm again. I feel like I might blow up, inside."
Steve saw that Ghost was getting a little twitchy, his eyes darting around, and his cheeks flushing.
"Yeah, ok...we can do that," Steve said, knowing that Ghost could go into full blown panic mode at any second. "We're gonna let this guy help us."
They went over to the man's car. As they got in, Steve asked, "Can we drop Ghost off at the shop down the road, first?"
"Sure, no problem, and the tire store isn't far. Sorry about your car, man. You should see if there were any witnesses...those kind of vandals shouldn't get away with that shit. Mine was slashed awhile back, right in my own driveway...never did know who did it."
"Well, thanks for helping out. We'll pay you for your trouble," Steve said.
"Nope, won't take your money. Just help out someone else some day."
They let Ghost out, and continued on their way.
Ghost went inside the little new age shop. The owner saw immediately that something was wrong. "Ghost...what's happened?" she asked, coming over to him and taking his hands in hers. She could feel the tension, as he squeezed her hands, hard. "Come sit down...what can I get you...tea...a potion?" she asked.
"I need some tea, yes," Ghost said. "And I need an oil to smell...something that will calm me down, 'cause I'm about ready to explode." He took a deep breath, and closed his eyes.
"Ok, you sit here, and try to relax. Everything will be fine," she said, then went to prepare the items.
Just being in there was soothing. He felt himself relaxing more, as the tension slowly eased.
"Here ya go, Ghost," the lady said, handing him the cup of hot tea, and small vial of oil. He took a sip of the tea, and then opened the oil to take a deep sniff.
"Ahh, that's just what I needed," he said. He told her of what had just happened.
Shaking her head, she said, "Ghost, I just don't understand people like that. All I can say, is something made them bitter, mean, and bigoted. There will always be haters. I get some of that in here, too. I try to ignore most of it, unless there is damage. I hate to say it, but it happens quite often in this area of town. I've seen car windows shot out, and tires slashed, and even my store here was broken into last year. I'd relocate if I could, but it's not possible right now. The business people stick together, but we can't stop all of it."
"I'm sorry y'all have trouble over here," Ghost said. "We don't have much of that in Missing Mile, 'cause it's so little, and everybody knows everybody. Steve's really mad, though. He wants to find out who did it." He sighed, and drank more of his tea. "He won't find them, though."
"Probably not, Ghost," she said. "Are you feeling better?"
"Yeah, guess so. I'm still sad, but I probably won't explode, now." He looked up into her eyes. "Those people in the store were thinking bad things about us," he said. "I love Steve, and I don't care who knows it. I mind my own business, and don't think bad things about anyone. It just hurts, when they do."
"Oh, Ghost," she said, reaching over giving him a hug.
"I'll be ok, but it might be later," he said.
"Well, anytime you want to talk about things, you just get in touch with me, ok?"
"Ok, I will," Ghost said. "Can I look around some? I maybe need to get stuff."
"Sure, look all you want. I'll be over at the counter."
Ghost got up and went to browse around the little shop. He wanted to get Steve another Christmas present, but this wasn't Steve's kind of store. He did find a gift for Zach and Trevor, and even Kinsey and Terry. He brought up his choices to the counter, to be rung up.
"Hope you have a nice Christmas, Ghost," the lady said.
"Thanks, you too. You're really nice to us," Ghost said, taking the bag of presents.
Just then, Steve came in. "Hi," he said, "Ghost giving you any trouble, today?"
"No, we get along great," she said, laughing. "He told me what happened, Steve. Sorry to hear it."
"Thanks," Steve said. "Everything is taken care of, now...but, it pisses me off that they can get away with doing that...just one of those things, I guess."
"You ready to go, Ghost?"
Ghost nodded, and said, "I got presents in here, for our friends."
"Yeah? That's cool; well, the car is out front...got new tires put on, and I'm ready to go home," Steve said.
"Bye," Ghost said to the lady, and they went outside. "We can't go home, yet, Steve. We have to go to the print shop."
"Oh, man...I almost forgot about that," Steve said.
"You did forget," Ghost said, and laughed.
"Well, thanks for reminding me," Steve said, and so drove over to the printing store.
As they walked into the shop, the clerk said, "Hey there, just in time. Your flyers are ready. Take a look." He pulled out a finished page.
Steve smiled. "These look great, man...better than my drawing of it, that's for sure."
"If you want, I'll put one up in our window. I can also tack some up around town, too."
"Sure, take some...we'd appreciate it. Hope you get to come."
Getting back in the car, Steve asked, "Can we go home, now, Ghost?"
"Yeah, we can," Ghost said. "Was it much trouble to fix the tires?"
"Well, the whole thing was trouble, Ghost, but no...it was ok. I just bought some new ones, and they guy who drove us helped me put them on. At least somebody in this town is nice."
"There's more than one," Ghost said. "Are you still mad?"
"Yes, at whoever did this, but that's all. You're right, there's more than one nice person here."
Ghost thought a minute, then said, "I don't want to go to that store, again. It has bad feelings, now."
Steve glanced over at Ghost, who was staring out the side window. "Aw, Ghost, the store's ok...it was just those people, this one time."
"Well, maybe..." Ghost said.
Next part coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing