TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
After eating their supper of eggs and toast, they hauled the box of equipment out to the back porch. It was just beginning to get dusky outside...that in between time of light and dark. Pink streaks from the lingering sunset, filtered through the pine tree branches, giving a surreal pinkish glow to the shadows in the yard. It was quiet out. There was no wind, and the birds had all gone to their nests. Even the forest owl they usually heard, was quiet...unnaturally quiet, Steve thought.
"Get our jackets and some blankets, Ghost," Steve said. "I'll get the big flashlight, too." He had momentarily forgotten they'd not gone out in the back yard all day. Now, he remembered why...the coffin. He shivered, as he stared at it. It had not moved since this morning.
Ghost broke the silence, as he came out the door, loaded down with jackets, blankets, and a paper sack with snacks in it. "Hey, I got us some stuff to eat," he said, as he set it all down on a small table.
"Good thinking," Steve said. "Let's arrange it. We have the lawn chairs, the table, and all this other stuff, so we'll just sit back and wait."
"Do you want the phone, too?" asked Ghost.
"Oh, yeah," Steve said, and got up to go inside for it. He locked the front door before coming back out. "Now, first things first. I'm going to pour this salt and poison around. You hold the flashlight."
They went to the edge of the yard, and sprinkled them sparingly, as they walked a large circle around the house. After washing their hands, just in case poison got on their hands, they sat in the chairs, and begin the vigil...waiting for something to happen, for something to come at them from the dark.
After about an hour, Ghost was getting restless. He kept changing positions, getting up and stretching, yawning, tapping his feet, and humming. Steve gritted his teeth. He knew Ghost wasn't paying attention.
"Would ya sit down and be quiet? How the hell would we hear anything, with all the noise you're making?"
"What? What are we listening for, anyway," Ghost asked. "I thought we were just watching the coffin and stuff."
"Yeah, well you keep making noise, it'll scare away the...whatever it is," Steve said.
"Well, isn't that what we're trying to do...scare it away?"
Steve sighed. Technically, Ghost was right. "Yeah, we are, but if it comes out, we can maybe get rid of it for good. If it just is scared to come out tonight, it'll try again and again. So, we kinda want it to do something. Understand?"
"Oh, yeah, now I do. So, guess I have to be quiet and still and concentrate," Ghost said, and sat back down.
"Uh-huh, and use your senses to see if you feel it out there anywhere close."
"Ok, I'll try," Ghost said. He stood back up by the railing, closed his eyes, and breathed deep, letting it out slowly.
Steve watched, as Ghost swayed from side to side, sort of like using radar to detect faint noises or emanations in the atmosphere. He'd seen Ghost do this hundreds of times, and it never failed to fascinate him.
After a few minutes, Ghost opened his eyes, staring out into the graveyard. "It's out there," he whispered. "It's not real close. I can barely feel it, but it knows were out here. It's hesitant to make a move just yet. It's...it's...gathering strength to manifest." He kept staring at one particular spot across the darkening tombstones.
"Get the candles ready, but be quiet. It'll probably suck the energy from the flashlight battery...and maybe the house electricity, too." He breathed deep again. "I can tell it's not one of the old Civil War guys doing this." He turned toward Steve.
"It's a lesser demon...one that was left over from Trevor's house. It must have clung to us after that night, and has been roaming the graveyard all this time. He thinks he's the boss now...of something...or somebody." He shrugged, and gazed back over the cemetery. "I don't sense any more than the one, though."
Taking another deep breath, made him cough. "He smells...like rotten eggs, or sulfur...well, not good."
Steve tried to smell the air, but didn't detect anything unusual. He did set out the candles and lighter within easy reach, though. "What now?" he whispered.
Ghost shrugged. "Wait, I guess...'til he comes closer, so I can see him."
"Can you talk to it?"
"Not yet. It's just making grumbling sounds. If it gets stronger, I'll maybe hear a word, or a scream, or something." He sat back down. "I think we need to pretend we don't know it's there. Just act normal. Then, when we look out the side of our eyes, you know, not direct focus on it, and well...do something with our stuff, I guess," Ghost said.
Steve nodded. "What first...knife throwing?"
"Huh-uh, first I'm gonna do the oils and herbs. I'll crush them and say the banishment words to it...and flick some holy water at it," Ghost said. "But, if that isn't working, then we throw knives, and shoot it, and all the rest, 'cause then it'll be all out war." His voice caught for a second in a half sob. "And Steve, we have to win it...we have to win it...or...or...we'll get possessed, I guess. And, we'll be one of them." He shivered.
Chills ran up Steve's arms, and he gulped. "Is this for real? I mean, would we really be one of them...a dead demon forever? Would we still be looking like us, just walking around, just be weird and mean like a zombie or something?" His voice was getting higher pitched, the more scared he became.
"Yeah, that's about it...I think," Ghost said. "And, if one of us gets taken, the other of us has to, to...'cause that'd be horrible to see one of us be like that...ok?" He looked up into Steve's eyes. "So, if I see it's got you, I'll give up and be one, too. Will you...for me?"
Steve's eyes were wide with fear, now, and he could tell that Ghost was totally serious. "Yeah, yeah, of course I would, Ghost. You know I would. I couldn't let you be one without me," he said.
Ghost nodded. "Good, but maybe we can banish it first." He sounded confident.
"Oh, yeah, we can do it, we will," Steve said.
"Shhh..." Ghost said. "I hear something." Steve thought his heart stopped, right that second.
They stared out into the graveyard, gone dark now. Their eyes had adjusted to the dark , and they'd not turned on the flashlight. Only the stars and a half moon had control of the sky.
"Ok, kinda look out the side of your eyes, Steve," Ghost said. "I can see it now...can you? It's just a mist, but it's moving this way." He gripped Steve's hand, hard.
Steve tried, but didn't see a mist anywhere. "I don't see it," he said.
Ghost kept looking at it. "Oh, well, it's real swirly and slow, and some kind of...well, I'm not sure, but maybe a face?" Ghost whispered, then took a breath of air, and gagged. "Gahhh, it stinks. Pretend we don't see it, ok?" He looked away and tried to listen for any sounds.
"Shit...it sounds mean, Steve. Even if it's an underling, he's still got power. I'm getting the oils ready, right now, before it's too late."
Next part coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing