TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
Ghost was writing in his journal all that had happened earlier out in the graveyard. He was bent over, his pale hair, now clean, was hanging down, shading his face. Steve was lying back on the couch, his head on the arm rest, trying to read, but was having trouble concentrating. They both were being distracted by the noises outside. The wind chimes hanging from the front porch overhang, were tinkling, as a cold front moved into the area, with steady wind. Occasionally, there was a thumping sound at the back door.
"It's just the wind," Steve said, every time, but they still jumped when it happened, and looked toward the kitchen.
As the wind got stronger, it seeped through the cracks in the window, off in the back room, making a whistling sound. Ghost looked up from his book.
"This is driving me crazy. It's too much scary noises."
"Yeah, I know what you mean," Steve said. "It's all normal stuff, but it's still spooky, tonight."
"It's getting cold in here, too. Can you feel it?" Ghost asked, shivering. He pulled his blanket tighter around himself.
"Let me check the radiator," Steve said. He got up to feel it. "It's still working, but I don't think the valve is turned all the way open." He fiddled with the lever, to open it more. "Ok, let it do it's thing," he said, as he snuggled back on the couch.
The radiator made hissing and pinging noises, now. Ghost put his hands over his ears to shut out the extra noise. "I really can't deal with this...I'm so nervous," he said.
"Well, you want me to play a song, or turn the tv on awhile?" asked Steve. "Maybe it would mask the other noises."
"Yeah, try that...play a song. My head feels sparkly, and I need to be calm, or I'm gonna be sick," Ghost said. He closed his eyes, the left one already twitching, as he covered it with his hand. He moaned a little.
Steve grabbed his guitar and softly strummed a favorite ballad. He was scared Ghost would go into a seizure any minute, or get a migraine. He sang, and Ghost began humming along, but Steve did notice Ghost was totally out of tune. This scared him even more, but he didn't say anything. After going through several songs, Ghost leaned over on Steve's shoulder. He seemed more at ease, now. Steve played a few minutes longer, before putting his guitar down by the side of the couch. He adjusted himself, and propped his feet up on the coffee table. Ghost lay his head in Steve's lap, and felt Steve tenderly twirl a length of his hair around his fingers. He was able to fall asleep.
It seemed only a second had passed, when Steve felt Spirit walking around on top of them, meowing for his breakfast. It was bright and sunny outside, Steve noticed, when he cracked open his eyes. Ghost hugged Spirit, and smiled. "Kitty's hungry," he said. He sat up and stretched. "I'll make coffee and feed him." He didn't mention anything of the night before, and he seemed to be feeling normal, again.
The house was warm, this morning, and as Steve went to take a shower, he could hear Ghost starting the coffee, and putting together some kind of breakfast for them. After starting the bacon in a frying pan, Ghost glanced out the kitchen window, as usual, and at first thought all was normal.
The wind was still blowing some, through the pine trees, and it looked sunny, but cold out. As he scanned the back yard, he froze. This wasn't right. The yard looked different...but what was it? He took in more detail, and reached out his senses. There...by the garden fence...what was it he was looking at...it seemed out of place...not normal. Then it registered on his mind. His mouth dropped open, and his eyes got wide. He felt it, before he heard it...he screamed...loud and long, again and again. He couldn't move, and heard the screams as if from someone else. He could not look away.
The bacon began burning in the pan, but Ghost didn't notice. Steve had just turned off the shower water, and now heard the screaming. Grabbing a towel, he ran to the kitchen. The smell of burnt bacon and smoke was strong in the air. Grabbing the pan, he shut the burner off, and turned toward Ghost, who was still screaming, and pointing out the window to the back yard.
Crowding up next to Ghost, Steve looked out. It took him a second to see it. He wanted to scream, needed to scream, but he had no breath...it just wouldn't come. As he gasped for air, he tried to turn Ghost away from the window to stop his screaming.
"It's...it's...the coffin," Ghost finally choked out. "It can't be, but it is. Do you see it, too?"
"Yeah, I see it," Steve said, trying to remain calm.
"Why is it there? How...how..." Ghost kept trying to talk.
Steve made Ghost turn away. "Stop looking at it," he said.
"But, it's there...and it's open...and it's empty," Ghost went on and on.
"I know, I know, but we can't let it take over our rational minds. There's some reason it's there, but we're ok. We need to focus. It's not hurting us or anything," Steve said. He closed his eyes and took some much needed deep breaths. "Maybe it's not a good idea for us to go out there."
Ghost pulled out of Steve's grasp, to look out again. They both looked. More details were seared into their brains. The coffin was old, Civil War old...partially wood, partially metal, and the wooden parts were rotting away in places. There were clods of damp, graveyard dirt falling off it, and rotted leaves clung to the top. The lid was opened about a foot. Worst of all, they could see drag marks in the winter grass, leading from the cemetery, all the way up to the garden fence.
"Steve?" Ghost finally said. "This is one of those hallucinations, right? 'Cause this can't be real, even if we both see it. You know, like the weird earthquake?"
Steve didn't know what to think. "I don't know, it looks real enough." He blinked to clear his vision, and shook his head. "It's still there, and I know I'm awake, so it's not a dream." He sighed. "I can't look any more. I'm gonna pretend it's not even there. You should, too." he said. "Now, I'm going to get dressed, and you finish breakfast. That shit outside is not gonna bother us, ya hear?" He yanked shut the window curtain.
Ghost nodded, and went back to the stove to finish cooking. He started a new skillet of bacon. Steve went back to the bathroom. He tried shaving, but cut his chin, he was shaking so bad.
"Crap, this nonsense has to stop. We can't keep on being scared of everything," he said.
Next part coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing