TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
Ghost let go of Steve, but immediately grabbed hold of Terry. Steve took the few steps to the front door, closing and locking it. Terry cackled, half from fright, and half from the ridiculousness of locking the door against the killer fog.
"Get back, Steve," Ghost hollered. "It's evil...I can smell it. It's bad and rotten."
Steve jumped back onto the couch. "I don't smell anything. It just feels moist, and now it's kinda chilly in here."
"Well, I can, and it's not good. I think it wants to disappear us for real this time." Ghost buried his face into Terry's shoulder. "Don't even look at it no more," he said, all muffled.
They all jumped, as the tv came back on. They heard a crackling, and a voice, but no picture. It was reporting wide-spread electrical outages. That's all they heard, before it went off the air again.
"Do we have any electricity, Steve?" Ghost asked.
Steve got up to check the lights. Nothing came on. "Nope."
"But the tv was on," Terry said.
"Yeah, must be an anomaly, or glitch, or something like that," Steve said. "Well, we can't do anything about it, so who wants coffee? I'll heat it on the stove."
They all did, and when it was hot and ready, they began to relax, as they drank. Ghost was getting sleepy, so stretched out, with his head in Steve's lap, and his legs in Terry's. Terry and Steve propped up their feet on the coffee table, and leaned back to rest, too. It was the most any of them had slept all night...and when they did wake again, it was night again.
Steve eased Ghost off him, and went to look out the window. The moon was shrouded in the fog, which had not dissipated yet, curling it's eerie wisps around the trees and their cars. Terry remembered they hadn't heard from Kinsey.
"I'm gonna call," he said, but then found his phone had no service. The battery was drained, too. "How long is this gonna last? I'm feeling worse, and I think I have a fever, too."
"There's medicine in the kitchen cabinet. Go take some," Steve said.
Terry got up off the couch, and found his way into the kitchen. It was almost too dark to see now. "Hey, y'all got a candle or flashlight in here?" he hollered.
"You don't have to yell," Steve yelled back.
"Yeah, I do...'cause when my eyes can't see, my ears can't hear," Terry said.
Steve had come into the kitchen by then, and found a flashlight and a candle in the junk drawer. He flipped the switch...and nothing...He shook it...still nothing. "These were new batteries in here. Why aren't they working?" He dug out a lighter and lit the candle he'd found. He looked around for something to set it in, finally grabbing a saucer.
"The Motrin is in the cabinet." Steve held the candle up, so Terry could find it, and take some.
Back in the living room, Ghost was still asleep. "What now," Terry asked. "I think I'm gonna need to lay down. I'm feeling like crap."
"Go on and take Ghost's bed," Steve said. "I'm staying up awhile. I feel like I need to be on guard."
Terry gave him a look. "For real? From what?" He was getting spooked.
"I don't know...anything...just in case; and I'm getting my gun out, too."
"Oh Lord, help us...Steve, you've got me scared now," Terry said, looking around into the shadowy corners.
"Aww, it's nothing, Dude...don't worry. Ghost just gets me going to where I believe anything. You know how he gets...telling all those crazy stories like they're real." Steve laughed to ease the tension.
"Yeah, I know, but that earthquake was real, and so is that fog."
Steve shrugged. "So, are you saying you're gonna stay up with me?"
Sighing, Terry said, "Well, I guess for a little while." He scooted Ghost's feet off the couch, so he could sit down. "Ya got a radio or something?"
"No, sorry," Steve said. He slid under Ghost's head again, getting himself comfortable.
"Why ya moving me around?" Ghost mumbled.
"Go back to sleep," Steve said.
They sat this way for awhile, finally falling asleep themselves. All three had strange dreams, and at one point Ghost must have sleepwalked back to his bed. Terry's phone ringing at daylight woke them up. He scrambled around, trying to find it. Answering, he said, "Hey, the phone's working again...Hello? Who is it?"
"It's Kinsey. Are y'all all right out there?"
"Yeah, except I'm having a heart attack," Terry said. "You woke us up, and we were all spooked last night. He paused to catch his breath.
"Yeah, us too," Kinsey said, "but we're ok...still sick, but alive anyway. Y'all feeling any better?"
"Well, maybe they are, but mine is just getting going...you?"
"Same here. Did Steve tell you about the last time this happened?" Kinsey asked.
"He said everything was weird, and nobody remembered it later on," Terry said.
"Yeah, I think it must be the same now. Outside looks normal again, and the power is back on...people going about their business like always. Beats me what it is," Kinsey said.
"I know...strange. I'm gonna stay over again and see how this plays out," Terry said.
"Sounds good. I'll be here at Zach's, too," Kinsey said. "Y'all call if something comes up."
"Will do, Kinsey." He ended the call, and turned to face Steve. "You heard?"
"Yeah...let me try the tv again," Steve said, as he pushed the remote's on button. It did come on, and was the news out of Raleigh. The picture wasn't even snowy this morning. There was no mention of anything that had happened...nothing about an earthquake, power outages, fog...nothing.
Steve and Terry looked at each other in confusion. "It did too happen," Terry said. "What's wrong with these people?"
Steve shrugged. "I don't know, Terry. Is it just all of us? It can't be...can it?"
"It kinda seems that way, but my head is all goofy from being sick. I can't concentrate. Maybe later we can make sense of it."
"Yeah, maybe. Anyway, I'm hungry now," Steve said. "I think I must be feeling better, since food sounds good now. Ya want breakfast?"
Terry shook his head. "Not really, but maybe I can eat some toast or something."
Steve went to pull out the bread, butter, and honey. He scrambled some eggs, too. "Toast is on the table, Dude...help yourself," he told Terry, when it was ready. He went down the hall to wake Ghost.
Terry went slowly to the kitchen, and eased himself into a chair. He warily eyed the piece of toast. He knew he should eat, but his stomach was saying no. As Steve came back through, he noticed Terry just sitting there.
"Ghost is getting up...maybe," he said. "Get a piece and force yourself, Terry...and here's your water and pills." He got a plate of everything for himself, and sat down.
"I'm dying..." Terry said, barely above a whisper. He was still staring at the toast.
"I know you are. I already died, and so did Ghost, but it gets better...eventually."
"How come you're over it so quick?"
"I'm not...not all the way. Just my throat is better, but the rest of me is still hurting. I'm just trying to be positive today. You know...let the good energy in," Steve said.
Terry frowned. "Aww crap, Steve...you sound like one of those Yogi Bear people."
"You know...those yogi people...who do that yoga shit...all calm, and serene, and enlightened?"
"Oh, I thought you were talking about a bear. I don't get it," Steve said.
"Forget the bear! I wanna holler, and scream get the fuck outta me, you crappy virus. Or at least get high on some smoke. That would do it...I'd be calm and enlightened, if I got lighted up," Terry said.
Steve laughed. "I'll bet you would. Well, nobody's stopping ya."
"Yeah, I am," Terry said, shaking his head. "That smoke is harsh on a sore throat. I tried it once."
Steve shrugged. "Whatever, Dude." He finished eating his breakfast. Ghost had never gotten up.
Next part coming soon!
Peace, Love, and Writing