TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
Ghost kept staring at the undulating mist over the grave. It didn't come any closer, like it was tethered down. He got up, and slowly walked toward it.
"Is that you talking to me?" he asked. He sensed that it was. "You're crazy, man. You can't make me do that, uh-uh. There's no way I'm gonna go digging you up."
As he continued to watch, the shape swirled, and writhed, growing brighter. He certainly wasn't bored, now. Maybe they'd answered him, after all. He'd never known any of the spirits out here to be harmful. He just heard them telling their stories over and over. The dead soldiers repeated how they were killed in battle, and why they were buried here.
"You think you can be alive again, or what? Maybe you can go on to the light, if you're opened up? Is that what you want?" He distinctly heard a hissing sound, forming the word Yesssss.
"All of you guys, or just you?" he asked. He thought he heard it say 'just me'. He looked around. No other mists were forming, but he knew the spirits were paying attention to what would happen.
"I don't think I should do it," he said. As soon as the words were out of his mouth, he felt something shove him down from behind. On all fours, now, he was face to face with the crumbling gravestone.
"Stop pushing me."
With his heart pounding, and shaking hands, he did begin to claw at the damp soil over this grave. The dirt came away pretty easy, as it was still a bit wet from the recent snow. His hands were getting muddy, as he kept scraping...the hole getting larger every few minutes. His mind was telling him to stop, that this wasn't right, but his hands would not stop.
Some part of him desperately wanted to stop, and he hollered silently for Steve to come. He tried it out loud, but his voice was weak sounding now, for some strange reason. Seeing Spirit from the corner of his eye, he screamed in his head for the cat to go get Steve. Spirit puffed up and hissed, but then ran back to the house.
Ghost's hands were now bleeding, his nails breaking, but still he clawed at the dirt. He'd gone down about a foot deep and several feet long, trying to reach the coffin below. He was crying now, because he felt possessed, and couldn't stop...and the voice kept pace, saying 'dig...dig...dig'.
At the house, Spirit meowed loudly, and scratched at the back screen door, to get Steve's attention. Finally, Steve heard the caterwauling, and came to let the cat in.
"What the hell's wrong with you, cat?" he asked, as he opened the door. Spirit ran back down the backyard path, stopped and meowed again. "You want in or not? Make up your mind," Steve said. But, Spirit kept trying to get Steve to follow him.
He finally understood what the cat was telling him, as he felt a tiny alarm go off in his mind. His stomach dropped, as he felt his heart speed up. "Oh God...Ghost. Something's wrong," he said, and he ran toward the cemetery, with Spirit leading the way.
"Ghost, Ghost, where are you?" he hollered. He kept following the cat, until he did see Ghost, who was down on his knees, furiously flinging dirt, and crying.
"What are you doing? Stop it, right now," Steve yelled. He tried to pull Ghost up from the ground. "C'mon, stop...look at me...what's happening?" He gripped Ghost's arms and pulled as hard as he could. He'd never felt him be so heavy and hard to move. "This isn't right," he said, still trying to pull Ghost up from the hole. Then, one last yank, and they both tumbled backwards. As Ghost lay on his back, panting from exertion, covered in dirt, Steve dragged him away from the half dug grave.
"Get me away from here," Ghost said. "Help me...I have to go back." He was scrambling back to the hole. "No...no...stop me..." he cried.
Steve was confused, but no way was he letting Ghost get any closer. He was able to pick him up, now, and he slung him over his shoulders, staggering away. Ghost was making no sense, saying he had to go back, and begging to get away.
Steve let Ghost down, as soon as they reached their regular spot. "Can you walk to the house, now?"
Ghost nodded, and they made it into the house, where Ghost collapsed onto the kitchen floor.
"What the hell was all that?" Steve asked.
Ghost managed to tell Steve all that had happened.
"Damn you spirits to hell, forever," Steve shouted out the back door. He felt all kinds of 'I told you not to mess with them' thoughts, but held back the words. Ghost was in enough distress, right now.
"Come on, you're getting in the shower," he said, pulling Ghost up, and they headed down the hall to the bathroom. He stripped Ghost's muddy clothes off, and helped him into the warm water. He went in too, being as he was covered in dirt from hauling Ghost around. This seemed to help calm them both. Afterwards, in clean clothes, they wrapped themselves up in blankets on the couch.
Steve was shivering. "Ugh, that graveyard dirt was nasty. It smelled gross, too. Why were you doing that, anyway?" he asked.
Ghost shrugged. "I told ya, I don't know why. I just heard it say I had to dig him up. Someone pushed me down, and made me dig. I couldn't stop." He sighed, wrapping the blanket tighter around him. "I've never been scared of all of them out there before, ya know, but this was different. Maybe it wasn't really one of the old guys."
"Well who the hell was it, then?" Steve asked.
"Maybe I just dreamed it all...or maybe it's the left over demon that did the earthquake that only we felt. I don't know." He tried to remember how it had started.
"It wasn't any dream, Ghost. You really were digging up that coffin out there." Steve nodded, thinking of how creepy it had been. "You smoked a whole joint, right before that?"
"Yeah, and I was half asleep when I heard it tell me what to do. And, I didn't have any control...it made me do it."
Steve frowned. "The whole thing is weird. I don't think the weed would make you do that, but something did. I'm thinking it was the demon, too, 'cause like you said, the dead guys out there never pushed you before."
"I know," Ghost said. "But, why that? Why dig up a coffin? What does that have to do with anything. I don't get it."
"Me either," Steve said, 'but we're not going back out there anymore, understand?"
"Yeah, and I don't want to either, but what if it is just the fake stuff? Like we were talking about before. Are we sure it really happened?"
"Well, as far as I'm concerned, it was real. I think I should call Zach to let him know what's going down over here. They should be on the look-out, too," Steve said. He reached for his phone, and explained it all to Zach and Trevor, and to watch out for weird voices, and even being pushed around.
"Ok," Steve said, when he was off the phone. They'll let us know if anything happens over at their place."
That's good," Ghost said. After a few minute, he asked, "Is it going to come here in the house, tonight?"
"God, I hope not," Steve shuddered. "I'm gonna sit up awhile, though, just in case. You can go on to bed, if you want to."
"I will in a little while. I just want to feel normal first," Ghost said. He got his notebook and markers, then sat back down on the couch.
Steve picked up his book, and tried to concentrate on the words. He didn't have any idea what to do if he heard or saw anything. "What was it that's supposed to keep bad stuff out?" he asked.
"Well, the other time we had that holy water, and salt to circle around us. We could do that, I guess.," Ghost said.
Steve went and got the box of salt from the cabinet, and poured some all around the inside of the house, making sure the door sills were covered. "There, at least we did something," he said.
Next part coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing