TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
"I told my grandmother I was in love with you...a long, long time ago," Ghost said.
Steve looked surprised. "What?"
"Yeah, I did...even before we really knew each other."
"What did she say?"
Ghost shrugged. "She said she already knew...that it was already foretold...written in the book of life, that we'd be together." He looked deep into Steve's eyes. "And, then we got to know each other, and here we are now."
Steve shook his head and sighed. "That's amazing, Ghost. I don't want to bring up bad memories, but that day I brought you home, after...well, you know...your grandmother said almost the same thing to me. And, she'd never even seen me before. She said the time would be right for us, soon...and it was."
Ghost nodded. "I know...I knew it then, that day. I felt it, Steve."
"I think I did too, or something...well, I didn't know what to make of it, but yeah...I think I knew it too, Ghost."
They sat there awhile longer, just enjoying the warmth from the sunshine. "Are you still nervous about tonight?" they both said at the same time, then laughed.
"A little," Steve said. "You?"
"Yeah, a little bit," Ghost said. He jumped down from the headstone, and stretched, moving his shoulders and head around, shaking his hands, and breathing deep, trying to relieve some of the anxiety he was feeling.
"Um...look, Ghost, Terry gave me some smokes, ya know, to get mellow with. You want to?" he asked.
Ghost nodded. "Yeah, I think it would help both of us through this night."
Steve pulled out the carefully wrapped package, and a lighter. They walked over to their favorite smoking spot, settling down on the grave, where they'd sat so many times before. As the whorls of fragrant smoke drifted away on a breeze, their reality became a dream, and their dreams became reality, as they let their worries fade away. They talked of everything and of nothing, and time passed into late afternoon. Both of them fell asleep for awhile, and the spirits hovered over them, smiling.
As the sun went down, it began to grow chilly. Steve woke, and roused Ghost. "I'm hungry; let's go in," he said.
"They're happy for us, Steve," Ghost said, looking up. "The spirits watched over us today."
"I can feel that, too," Steve said. He reached for Ghost's hand, pulling him up, and they walked back up the path to the house.
As he was making a sandwich for them, Steve went over again their show plans, and was relieved to feel no anxiety about it. By the dreamy look on Ghost's face, he knew he felt the same. "Ok, get yourself ready, Ghost...it's almost time to go to the club." He went to his own room to prepare. Ghost took a quick shower, then did the same. They met back in the living room a short time later.
Steve, as he had said, had on all black...boots, jeans, and the Aerosmith tee-shirt he'd bought at the thrift shop. Ghost, who never really cared what he wore, twirled around, showing Steve his outfit for the show.
"Is that it?" Steve asked, and stared.
"Yeah, why not?" Ghost asked. He had on his Ghost Adventures black tee-shirt, cut-off jeans shorts, the UGG boots, and a deep purple scarf with fringe, hung around his neck.
"Aren't you gonna get cold?" Steve asked. "I mean, shorts...in the winter?"
Ghost shrugged. "No, I don't think so. I'm hot, so it's ok, and on the stage, I'm always hot, so yeah, this is it."
"Ok, then, if it works for you, it works for me," Steve said, laughing. He picked up his guitar case. "Then, let's go."
Ghost went ahead, opening the door for Steve. As Steve passed by, he slapped Ghost's butt, "Yeah, you're hot alright." This made Ghost giggle, and on that note, they left for the club.
Over at the Yew, Kinsey had finished his preparations for opening, with the food and drinks ready to go. The tables and chairs were set up, and Lost Souls books and CDs were displayed at the end of the bar. At 7 p.m. he opened the door, and was mobbed by the crowd, who'd been waiting for the fun to start. There were the punked out kids, the goths, the cowboy booted kids, and the farmer's kids, he saw regularly. The college crowd was here, along with some newcomers, and other locals.
Kinsey was kept busy, serving up the soup and sandwiches he'd made, getting drinks, and even selling some of the books and CDs already. The jukebox was playing, and a lively game was going on at the pool table. The arcade games were getting a workout, too.
He looked at the time. Any minute now, there would be a shift in the atmosphere, as the guys came in to set up. Then, right on cue, there was an air change... a cool breeze wafted through, as Zach and Trevor came in through the back door. Terry and R. J. were right behind them. They all headed off to the back dressing room, and Kinsey followed, to ask how it was going. He could hear the crowd noise, getting louder, now that the band members were here.
"Ok guys, they're pumped up out there," Kinsey said. "You've got about thirty minutes before show time. I'll be at the bar if you need anything."
Zach was hopping up and down with excitement. Terry and R. J. went out to the stage to set up their equipment, while, Trevor wanted a minute alone with Zach.
"Zach, come here for a second," Trevor said. Zach danced his way over, and Trevor grabbed hold, giving him a big hug. "You're amazing...you know that, right?" he said. "You're cute, and a great singer, and I love you, Zach." He gave him a kiss, and didn't want to stop.
"Trevor, I love you so much," Zach said. "I could never do this without your support."
Trevor smiled down at Zach. He loved how Zach's enthusiasm bubbled over into everything he did. "Go out there for your fans...I'll be front and center," he said, and opened the door to the club, giving Zach a wink, as he left.
Zach entered the stage area, where Terry, and R. J. were ready and waiting for him. Calvin had come in at the last minute, and was still tuning his guitar, and looking out over the crowd as they moved closer.
Zach had decided against wearing a superhero costume, and instead, had on tight, black leggings, and a red tee-shirt that he'd embellished the front of with sparkly black letters, spelling out Gumbo. He was ready.
Nodding at Terry to get things started on the drums, Zach started singing their first song, as he moved from one side of the stage to the other. They played a mix of punked up pop songs, zydeco, and country oldies...something for everyone, as their name implied.
As Gumbo began their second song, Steve and Ghost arrived, coming in through the back door. The noise and energy in the club was intoxicating, and Ghost was smiling big, his heart pounding in excitement. They waved over to Kinsey, as they went on into the backstage dressing room. Steve was already sweating.
"Wow, Ghost, you had the right idea after all, wearing shorts. It's hot as hell in here." He wiped his forehead.
"Well, I can cut your pants off, if ya want me to," Ghost said. "I'm still hot on top, but my legs are fine."
"Naw, that's ok...I'll manage," Steve said, really meaning he'd not be caught dead wearing shorts...ever. Ghost grinned, knowing exactly what Steve meant.
Kinsey came in to check on them. "Hey, guys...It's off to a great start. Y'all about ready? I figure about twenty minutes."
"Yeah, we're ready, Kinsey," Steve said, as he got his guitar from the case.
"Ok, then...they'll take a ten minute break, then it's all yours. Oh, by the way...your merch is selling good, already," Kinsey said.
"That's great. I was hoping it would," Steve said.
"What's merch?" Ghost asked.
"Oh, it's our merchandise...you know, our CDs and books," Steve said.
"Oh, I get it...and yeah, that's good, Kinsey"
Just then the stage door crashed open, with Terry, Zach, R. J., and Calvin, barreling in. Zach was laughing and talking fast about how much fun it had been out there. Terry said a quick hey, as he headed for the bar, and a beer. R. J. guzzled water.
"Man, it's a mad house out there," R. J. said. "And hot...so hot. Hey, Kinsey, ya got the A/C on, or what?"
"Yeah, it's on, can't do any more to cool it down...sorry," Kinsey said.
"Ah, well...it'll be fine, I guess," R. J. said, and poured water on his head, slicking back his hair.
Terry came back in, half his beer drank already, and sat down to cool off.
"Ok, guys, whenever you're ready," Kinsey said. He left to go back to tending bar.
Steve fiddled with his guitar, making sure it was tuned, and his extra strings were handy. He'd been known to break a string once or twice during a show, and could put a new one on so fast, he hardly missed a beat.
Trevor came in, grabbing Zach, and congratulating him on his performance, then both headed for the bar, for some refreshment, and to get settled before Lost Souls took the stage.
"Y'all ready," Terry asked. He held open the door for R. J., and waited a second for Steve and Ghost to come, but just shook his head. He could tell that Steve and Ghost were talking without words, as they stared into each other's eyes. He left them to it, smiling as he went back to the stage.
"It'll be ok, Steve," Ghost said, even though his voice was shaky. "We'll get through this...we all will." His eyes were getting watery, and he swallowed hard.
Looking down at Ghost, Steve nodded, holding Ghost's hands, gathering strength, as best he could. He knew this night would be a big change, for them all. Taking a deep breath, he asked, "Can you...do you...is she here?"
Ghost nodded, and closed his eyes. "Yeah, Steve...she's here...out there...waiting..."
Next part coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing