TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
"Ghost, I know you're real. I'm not afraid to touch you...why would you say that?" Steve asked. He came over to Ghost, and held him in his arms. There was no hesitation. "You hear me? I love you...I'm not afraid of you."
Ghost nodded. "But, last night you were, and I can't help what I do in my dreams. Just that you saw one. I sleepwalk, remember? Sometimes it's me, and sometimes it's my spirit." He looked up into Steve's eyes, hoping he'd understand.
"We all have one...even you. I guess your's don't want to come out right now, so I never saw two of you."
Steve wrinkled his nose, and sniffed. "Yeah, that was pretty freaky, seeing that last night...kinda unexpected, ya know, but now I do know what was going on, it's ok. Just, uh, do you know what you're doing when you separate like that?"
Ghost thought about it for a moment. "Well, I kinda do. It's like I'm having a dream, and I know I am, and I can see myself asleep...but then I'm asleep for real, so I don't see me walking around doing stuff. I don't know, Steve, it's hard to explain. He looked down, frowning, now. "It happened when I was dead, too, and...well...other times, when I was awake, and my self can't deal with it so good, and the inside me takes over for awhile."
He shrugged. "I don't know any more, Steve."
"Ok, Ghost, I'm glad you tried to explain it to me," Steve said, and gave him a kiss. "Just know I love you...all of you...whatever you're doing." He didn't want either of them to dwell on the time Ghost was dead, or the other times he'd had to separate, to deal with his pain.
"Yes, me to, Steve," Ghost said.
The coffee was ready, so they got their mugs. Ghost added plenty of cream and sugar to his, and Steve drank his black, as usual.
"That meeting with my sister, is today. I'm still nervous about it, but I want to find out what happened to her, all these years."
"Uh-huh, that'll be good to know," Ghost said.
"Do you have any feelings about it? Do you have a sense of how it'll go?" Steve asked.
Shaking his head, Ghost said, "No, and I'm trying not to. I'll hear about her plans, when you tell me."
"So, you're not coming with me?" Steve asked.
"No, it's better you see her, by yourself. She don't know me, and might feel like she can't say stuff, yet."
"Well, ok...guess I should get on over there," Steve said, getting up from the kitchen table.
"Don't you want something to eat, first?"
"Oh, just something quick, I guess. Maybe a peanut butter sandwich, and some milk. Would you make it for me, while I go get ready?"
"Yeah," Ghost said, and began to get the food out. He then brought it out to the living room, setting it on the coffee table. Turning on the tv, he watched a minute, while a commercial for Christmas shopping at a store in Raleigh, was on. He hummed along to the music. It reminded him that he needed to call Zach, about the car delivery, again. It could be any day now.
Steve came out of his bedroom, grabbed the sandwich, eating it in pretty much two bites. Ghost didn't have much time to say anything, but at the last second, he blurted out, "Can I keep the phone?"
Steve turned from the door, just before going out. "You need the phone...why?"
"Uh, 'cause I gotta talk to Zach...you know..."
Steve smiled. "Oh, sure..." He fished the phone from his pocket, tossing it over to Ghost. "Ok, I'm going, call me if you need anything...now that you have the phone." He opened the door, taking a couple of steps out onto the porch, then was puzzled at what he saw on the top step.
"Hey, Ghost...come here a minute. What's this doing here?"
"Huh? What's there?" Ghost asked, as he walked over to the door.
They stood there, just looking at a long-stemmed, red rose, and a card attached, with a ribbon.
Ghost bent to pick it up.
"Wait..." Steve said. "It might be a booby trap." He pulled Ghost back.
"What? A what...?" Ghost asked. "It's a flower, Steve, it's not a booby...whatever you said."
"Well, be careful, then. Go ahead, see who it's from," Steve said.
Ghost bent down, picking it up, and smelling the sweet fragrance...his favorite. Taking off the card, he started reading it. His face drained of color. "Oh my God, Steve...look, it's from Maxey."
Steve yanked the card away, to read it himself. It was handwritten, and said 'Ghost, I enjoyed watching your show last night. Don't worry, I won't bother you. Love, Maxey'. Steve read it aloud.
"Son of a bitch," he yelled. He looked out across the woods, and down the dirt road, as if he could spot his enemy hiding there. "If you're out there, I'll find you. Don't be coming up to our house, sneaking around in the middle of the night. Ghost don't want no part of you and your little gift."
"Steve...Steve...he's not here. I'd know if he was," Ghost said.
Whirling around, Steve said, "What? You'd know? Why didn't ya know last night, when he was here. Huh? 'Cause you was out of yourself, gallivanting around half the night, that's why." He was getting angrier by the minute.
"Steve, calm down...he's not here, and if he does come back, I'll lock the doors. I don't ever want to see him."
"Ghost, listen...he was in the club last night. How did he go unnoticed, by us...by Kinsey?"
"I don't know. Maybe he was disguised, or something. And, we were busy, ya know," Ghost said.
"Well, you can't stay here now, by yourself. Get ready; you're coming with me," Steve said, pushing Ghost back inside.
"No, it's ok...I have stuff to do here," Ghost protested.
"You can call Zach while I'm talking to Linda. Whatever else there is to do can wait. Now, get yourself dressed, and let's go," Steve insisted.
Ghost sighed, rolling his eyes. "Fine..." he said, stomping off to his room. He sensed that Maxey was long gone from Missing Mile, by now, but the way his senses had been acting unreliable, off and on, lately, he wasn't sure he could trust them.
In the car, on the way to the club, they were both agitated. "This is just what I needed, ya know? This meeting's got me nervous already, and now Maxey lurking around...he must be out of jail now," Steve said.
"Ghost was irritated, that Steve had made him come to town with him. "I'm not no baby, Steve. I can stay home alone just fine. And, he's gone now, anyway. Take me back."
They glared at each other. Both started to say something, then stopped. They continued the rest of the way in silence. Steve pulled into the parking lot at the club, then said, "Ghost, I'm sorry. I jut don't want to take any chances...you know? I know you can take care of yourself."
"Ok, I get it," Ghost said. "I'm not mad at you."
They hugged, and got out of the car. "I hope the meeting with your sister goes ok, too. I like her already," Ghost said.
Steve smiled, "Yeah, I think I like her, too."
They went inside, finding Linda and Kinsey in the office, having their coffee. "Hey, guys...come on in," Kinsey said.
"Hi, Steve...Ghost...we were just saying how much we enjoyed the show last night," Linda said.
Ghost bounced down on the couch, with Linda. "Ya did? I liked it too. Did ya like the music? Steve did good on it. He figures out how it's gonna sound, and some of those songs he wrote...and did ya get a CD of ours? It has more songs on it, and Steve sings good on there, too." He had to stop, to take a breath.
Linda laughed. "Yes, Ghost, I liked the music and songs, and I did get a CD, and a book, and yes, Steve and you sing really good." She was being bounced around on the couch, too, along with Ghost. "I like you, Ghost. You are so enthusiastic, and it makes me happy. I can tell you make my brother happy, too."
Steve was getting embarrassed at all the compliments. "Aw, thanks, Sis...are we ready to talk, now?'
Linda nodded, and got up from the couch. "Sure...where should we go?"
"Oh, hey... y'all can use the office," Kinsey said. "It's more private. Me and Ghost can hang out in the club, or kitchen, or something." He got up from his chair, motioning for Ghost to follow.
"Yeah, I gotta write on my wall, anyway," Ghost said.
"You still have the phone, Ghost?" Steve asked.
"Yeah, somewhere," Ghost said, feeling around in his old Army jacket pocket. "Yeah, here it is." He followed Kinsey out to the kitchen.
"I'm getting things ready for tonight; you can help if you want," Kinsey said.
"Ok, maybe in a little while. I'm gonna do other things first, ok?" Ghost said.
"Sure, go ahead," Kinsey said, getting out supplies for his sandwiches and soup.
Next part coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing