TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
They'd never been to the Raleigh-Durham International Airport, before, so Steve drove around, finally finding the parking area to leave his car for a few days. They got their suitcases and went in. It was bustling with travelers, and there were confusing signs, and loudspeaker announcements.
They stared at it all for a few minutes, trying to make sense of it. Steve pulled out the paperwork he had. "Our tickets are waiting for us...over there," he said, as he spied the right airline desk.
The counter person was nice and helpful, checking them in, taking their bags, and pointing them in the right direction to the security area. They managed to get through the screening process ok, and came out the other side, to see people going in every direction.
"Ok, we have to find the gate we leave from," Steve said. "Stay close, and we'll find it, then see how much time we have left." Ghost followed, trying to keep up and not get distracted. It was hard, though, as there were so many things to see.
"Here it is," Steve said. He checked them in at the right gate. "Ok, we have some time before we go. You want to get something to eat and drink?"
Ghost smiled. "Sure, let's go find something."
They walked down the carpeted walkway, looking at the restaurants, and food kiosks, then decided on having a breakfast burrito, at a place called the 'Flying Burrito'. They laughed at that, and Ghost took a picture of the sign. After eating, they wandered some more, stopping into a gift shop.
Steve picked out a magazine and some candy, then looked around for Ghost. "Aw, crap, where'd he go?" he said. "Not now...you can't be getting lost." He scanned the aisles in the small shop, but didn't see him. "Ghost? Where are you?" he said, a bit loud, which made people stop and stare. He didn't care. He had to find him. Then he heard, "Over here, Steve."
He headed toward the sound of Ghost's voice. Finding him over by the shelf of books for sale, he said, "Thought you got lost."
"Look, they have our book, right here," Ghost said, holding it up to show Steve. There were a few people gathered around him, as he'd been telling them all about their book. They were all smiling, and grabbing one to buy.
"This here is Steve, y'all," Ghost said to them. "Me and him did this book, and it's real good, and kinda spooky." He laughed. The people were asking Ghost if he could really talk to the dead, and he was assuring them he could.
Steve wasn't surprised that Ghost had an audience. He let him have his moment in the spotlight for a bit. "Thank you for buying our book," Ghost said to the crowd. "Hey, Steve, why is our book here, anyway?"
"I don't know," Steve said. "I thought we sold out at the show. I'll ask the saleslady if she knows anything about it. Then we need to go."
They walked to the counter, stopping a minute by the display of sunglasses. Ghost tried on a pair or two. "Which one?" he asked.
Steve considered, then said, "Those are cool looking...get those. Do ya want some candy or anything to take with us?" Ghost picked a couple of candy bars, and a package of markers, putting it all on the counter.
As they waited, the clerk said, "Hey, y'all look familiar...been here before?"
Shaking his head, Steve said, "No, but our book is on your shelf. Do you know why?"
"Oh, yes," she said. "There's a young man that brings them in, once in awhile. Says he's doing it for y'all, and collects the money to put in a savings for y'all."
Steve looked at Ghost, his eyebrows raised. "It must be the printing company guy, ya think? We'll have to call him when we get back. He never told us he was doing this." He looked back at the clerk. "If you see him in the next few day, tell him we'll be getting in touch, soon."
As they walked back down toward their departure gate, Ghost said, "I took a picture of our book on the shelf, with all the other books."
"Yeah? That was a good idea," Steve said. Finding a seat, he was getting more nervous as the time to board got closer. He kept jiggling his foot, and changing positions. He noticed that Ghost seemed fine. He thought to himself, that Ghost had probably forgotten why they were here, already...thinking it was just a field trip. He was glad of that, in a way. But then, Ghost looked at him, over the top of his sunglasses.
"I didn't forget...we're flying to California," Ghost said, then smiled, knowing it bugged Steve for him to read his mind.
"Oh, well...good..." Steve sputtered, trying to save face at being caught.
"You know, you really should be used to it, after all this time. I told ya, you come in loud and clear to me," Ghost said.
"Aww...I know...It just surprises me, every time," Steve said.
"Why you so nervous, anyway?" Ghost asked.
Steve shrugged. "I don't know. I know it's going to be fine, it's just...well...a better question, is why aren't you?"
Ghost grinned. "This is a fun adventure we're doing. Trevor said for me to just look at the other people. They go places all the time, and if they don't look scared, then we don't need to be, either." He looked around. "Does anyone look scared?" he asked.
Steve watched people walking around the area, for a minute. "No, I don't think so."
"See...we shouldn't be scared either," Ghost said.
Just then the announcement to board came over the speakers. Steve clutched Ghost's hand, hard. "Calm down, Steve," Ghost said. "It'll be ok. Come on, we gotta go find a seat." He stood up, pulling Steve up.
Steve felt his legs shaking, as he walked the boarding hall. The sounds and jet fuel smell assaulted his senses. At one point he made to turn back, but Ghost kept a tight grip on his hand, tugging him forward. As they entered the plane, he was surprised at how narrow it was. He thought for a second he was leaving reality, and was in every airplane movie he'd ever seen.
"Excuse me, excuse me," Ghost was saying and smiling, as he kept going forward down the aisle. Steve was feeling like a zombie, being led around for the final scene, where the zombies are all killed.
Finding them a seat, Ghost put his backpack in the overhead bin. "Ya want by the window, or not?" he asked. Steve just shook his head; he was beyond words, at the moment. So, Ghost took the window seat, and pulled Steve down to the middle one.
"Hey, look, they got seatbelts, and look...here's a little tray that comes down," Ghost said, as he fiddled with everything. Then he noticed the light and air controls, above their seats. "Ya need some air?" He turned it on full blast, pointing it toward Steve's face.
Steve gulped, and took a breath. He felt like he'd been holding it for awhile. This revived him a little, so he was able to look around. People were still finding seats. He was feeling claustrophobic now, though.
"Ghost, can you knock me out, or something? It'd be better if I don't know anything until we get there," he said.
Ghost laughed. "Just relax...nothing bad is gonna happen...and I would know, ya know...and I don't sense any badness at all...just fun."
"Ok, ok, I'm trying...think good thoughts, think good thoughts he repeated over and over.
Ghost watched him, knowing there wasn't one good thought in Steve's head.
Next part coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing!