TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
"The kids loved your story, Ghost," Linda said. "I think it was a good way to remind them to be thankful for what they have...and to not be afraid of the dark."
"I didn't know I was teaching them something," Ghost said, looking confused. "I just said what I do."
"Oh...well, it seemed to me, you were saying for them to be happy they have each other, as brother and sister, and that they have friends to play with. Sometimes kids are afraid of the dark, but they shouldn't be, you know."
Ghost smiled. "So, it wasn't too scary?"
"No, it was just right. Now, I've got to get some rest...big day tomorrow. See you in the morning." She gave Ghost another hug, and went down the hallway to her bedroom.
Ghost went out to the kitchen, for a drink of water, turning out the lights, as he went. Then he quietly opened the back door, going out into the night. Breathing deeply of the cool, fresh air, he lay in the now dewy grass. He looked up at the stars...his stars. Letting his mind drift, he spoke random words, and prayers, then sang a song, with made up lyrics. The little puppy came out of the house through the doggie door. He came up to Ghost, to nuzzle his hair and face. Ghost stroked the little dog, and it lay down beside him.
"I miss my kitty, Spirit. I'll just give you lots of hugs, though, 'cause you're so sweet." He and the puppy fell asleep, then, with the stars watching over them.
Steve had read his book for awhile, waiting for Ghost to finish the story for the kids. Then he couldn't keep his eyes open, and dozed off. A couple of hours later, he jerked awake, trying to remember where he was. Blinking, as he came more awake, he saw that the lamp was still on, and the alarm clock read 3 a. m. He sighed, then sat up. "Where's Ghost?" he muttered. It didn't look like he'd been in here, at all. Getting up, he opened the bedroom door. All was dark and quiet in the house.
Trying to not make any noise, he went down the hallway, and into the living room He didn't see Ghost asleep on the couch, either. In the kitchen, he noticed the back door was slightly open, so he opened it all the way, to look out across the moonlit yard. There he saw Ghost and the little dog, sound asleep, bathed in moonlight. Steve caught his breath. Everything was in darkness, and shadows, yet Ghost looked shimmery silver, with his white t-shirt, and pale hair.
He eased out the door, and down the porch steps. The grass was damp on his bare feet. Then, getting down on his knees, he gently woke Ghost.
"Babe, it's time to go in...you're getting cold out here."
Ghost woke, a bit, and mumbled, "The stars are awake tonight..."
"Yeah, I know," Steve said, "but, you need to go to bed. There are nice, warm blankets inside." He helped Ghost up, and the puppy followed them into the house. They quietly went back to the bedroom, where Steve wrapped Ghost in the soft blankets, snuggling with him awhile, to warm him.
Turning from the window in her bedroom, Linda let the curtain fall back into place. She had heard Steve go down the hallway, and out the back door. Looking out, to the yard, she'd seen Ghost and the puppy out under the stars, then Steve, as he woke Ghost to bring him inside. She was happy her brother had found true love. She'd not found it yet, but maybe someday...
"Someday..." she whispered.
Early the next morning, Lisa was up first, and got the coffee brewing. She sat at the table, enjoying the quiet house, and the sound of the coffeemaker softly gurgling. She wasn't surprised when Linda came in.
"I'm gonna miss this place," Linda said, as she got them both a mug.
"Um-hmm, it's been home for a long time, but you can come back any time." Lisa said.
"You know I will, and your wedding is coming soon. I'll be here for that."
"You'd better be," Lisa said, laughing.
Linda told Lisa she'd see Steve and Ghost out in the moonlit yard during the night. "You know, we had a pretty different time of it...him and us. Steve is part of us, but still, so different."
"I know, but we'll all get to know each other better, now," Lisa said.
Just as she finished her thought, Steve came into the kitchen. "Hey, sisters," he said. "I've come for coffee."
The girls giggled, looking at him. He was wearing loudly patterned boxers, and his hair was sleep tangled. "What?" he asked. "Oh, guess I should have dressed first," he said, and smiled.
"No, no...it's fine...doesn't bother us at all," said Lisa.
He shrugged. "Ok, then I'll take these back to the bedroom. Ghost is waking up, and he is impossible 'til he's had coffee," he said. "You know, I hope he isn't coming down with something. We were outside last night, and it was kinda damp. He's been shivering ever since...can't get warm. Maybe this will help." He took the coffees on into the bedroom.
Linda and Lisa looked at each other, and shrugged. "Well, I'm going to start breakfast," Lisa said.
Nodding, Linda agreed. "Sounds good, and I need to get going, too...wake up the kids... so much to do today."
Steve came into the bedroom, and set the coffee mugs down on the night table. He could barely see the top of Ghost's head, he was so snuggled down into the blankets.
"I have coffee for you," Steve said, as he patted the blankets.
"I'm still asleep...go away," Ghost moaned.
"Nope...c'mon...get out of there and have your coffee before it gets cold. We got stuff to do today."
Ghost lowered the covers a bit, so that only his eyes peeked out, barely open. Steve sat on the edge of the bed, bouncing it a little. "Wake up."
"Stop it...I'm awake already...give me my cup." He scootched up until he was leaning back on the headboard. Steve gave him his coffee, and they both drank the rich brew.
Steve was just thinking random thoughts about the day to come, and the stray thought that Ghost wasn't in a very good mood, and he wondered why.
"I'm not," Ghost said.
"Huh? You're not what?"
"In a good mood. That's what you were thinking, wasn't it?" Ghost asked.
"Oh, it might have crossed my mind," Steve said. "You seem grumpy, already. Why?"
Ghost shrugged. "I don't know. I just don't feel good...or right. I'm cold, and my head hurts."
Steve looked closer, at him. "Don't get sick, again. We just got over being sick."
"Well, it's not like I want to," Ghost said, as a shiver made his coffee slosh.
"I'll get you some Tylenol, then. Have you been taking your other meds, like you're supposed to?"
"I think so...unless I forgot. I think I forgot after we got here," Ghost said.
Steve sighed, and shook his head. "Where are they...in your back pack?"
Ghost nodded, and closed his eyes, inhaling the steam from his cup. Steve got all the medicines, and handed them to Ghost.
"Here, take them, and maybe you'll feel better."
"Don't be mad at me...you know I forget things," Ghost said.
"I'm not mad...just I worry about you, Ghost. Last night you were laying out there in the damp grass for I don't know how long...getting all cold. And now, well, let's hope you're not sick from it, ok?"
Ghost swallowed all the pills with the last of his coffee.
"Now, get up, Lisa's got breakfast going, and Linda is getting the kids up," Steve said. He rummaged around in his suitcase for something to wear.
Ghost got up and did the same...teeth chattering so much, Steve could hear them. Ghost never cared much what he put on, or what he looked like when he got dressed. Now, Steve just stared and shook his head at this new combination.
Ghost had put on his raggedy jeans, and a t-shirt, a hoodie, pulled up over his bed-head hair, and a long sweater on to of that...and the thrift shop furry boots.
"You look like you're at the North Pole, dude. This is sunny California."
"I don't care...I'm cold," Ghost said. He went out of the room, and Steve followed.
Next part coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing