TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
After tending to the children, Linda came back into the kitchen. "The kids are fine. I explained it to them. They seemed to understand, and weren't scared, just curious and concerned for Ghost."
"Oh, that's good," Lisa said.
"Yeah, and I looked in on Steve and Ghost. They're both sound asleep, again." She shook her head and smiled. "I know Ghost needs to rest, but should I wake Steve up? He's supposed to be helping me pack some stuff...and the U-Haul...and the movers are coming. I'll tell ya, there's just too much to think about. All I want to do is go back to bed, too," Linda said. "And, don't tell me I can call it all off. I'm going through with it, for real, and we'll be fine."
Lisa nodded. "I hear ya, sister. If anyone can get it done, it's you. So, go wake up Steve. Ghost can sleep, and we'll look in on him. He'll be fine, too, but Steve really needs to help. He can be lazy when he gets back home." They laughed, and Linda headed off to the bedroom.
She tip-toed in and shook Steve awake. "Steve, come on, get up. I need your help."
Steve groggily rolled over, then sat up. "Ok, I'm up, sis."
"Let Ghost sleep. We'll check on him, but I need to get some things done." She left the room, and Steve soon joined her in the living room.
"Linda was going over what had to be done and in what order. "First, we have to go get the U-Haul, Steve. We both have to go, because you'll be the driver, and it's under my name. So, Lisa and Bill will watch the kids, and let Ghost know where you went, if he wakes up."
Steve was ready to go. Linda hollered out to Lisa, "We're leaving." They went out to the car. "It's not far," she said, pulling out into the street.
Lisa checked on Stevie and Mandy, and she got them to start putting some of their favorite toys into a big box. They would take this with them on the road. Then, going into the kitchen, she began getting out all the dishes Linda said she wanted to take with her. She set them out on the table. The movers would pack these. Bill put tags on the pieces of furniture to be moved. They were busy, going here and there in the house, and almost didn't notice Ghost, as he walked silently through the living room, and out the front door.
He was walking toward the big tree out front, looking up into the branches, when they caught up with him.
"Ghost...where are you going?" Lisa asked, trying to stay calm. He didn't answer her, but stopped and blinked a few times, before continuing on. He reached the tree, and touched it...saying strange sounding words.
Lisa looked around at Bill. "What's he doing? Make him stop, it's scaring me," she said.
"It looks like he's still asleep...like he's sleepwalking or something," Bill said. He took Ghost's arm, turning him back toward the house. He was still saying strange words, and had no recognition of them.
At that point, Steve and Linda returned with the U-Haul. Steve pulled up in front of the house, by the curb, and had not noticed everyone out in the yard, yet. He was still getting used to driving the big truck. Finally getting out, he saw what was going on.
"Steve," Lisa said, "I think he's still asleep, but he came out here to the tree."
"Yeah, looks like he is. He sleep walks all the time. I forgot to tell you," Steve said. He guided Ghost back to the bedroom. After settling Ghost back in the bed, he came out to explain. "Glad ya'll caught up with him...he can wander off pretty fast."
"What if you're asleep, and he leaves your house?" asked Bill.
"He has before, but he don't get very far off...it's just the woods, and the graveyard. Sometimes, though, I handcuff him to the bed. That way I know he won't go running off," Steve said.
They just stared at him. "What?" Lisa asked.
"Oh, yeah...sounds weird, but it works, and it was his idea," Steve said.
They kept looking at him, as if that was the craziest thing they'd ever heard.
"Well," Linda said, "that just sounds so..." She hadn't heard of this before.
"What...you got a better idea?" Steve asked, getting a little defensive.
"No, but can't a doctor give him something?"
Steve sighed, and shook his head. "Linda, he's been to all kinds of doctors...nothing works...and I had to drag him to those. He don't like taking medicine, except those herbal remedies, anyway. So, until something better comes along, this is our solution. It's not great, but it works."
Linda nodded. "Ok...sorry I stuck my nose in where I shouldn't have."
"It's ok...at least you know," Steve said.
Lisa and Bill had already gone to the kitchen, letting Steve and Linda work it out. The kids were now playing in the back yard.
"What needs to be done next," Bill asked.
Lisa looked around. She saw that several boxes had been packed, already. "All the boxes that are full, just take them to the U-Haul...get them out of the way," she said.
Steve and Bill began doing that. Linda came in to sit at the table. "This is overwhelming."
Lisa brought her a glass of iced tea. "Just sit here and rest a few minutes," she said. "I made a bunch of sandwiches for lunch. They're in the refrigerator."
"Oh, thanks, we'll need them," Linda said. "Then, after lunch, the moving van comes; they said around 1:00. Then we can see where we stand."
The guys had finished loading, and now poured themselves tea, and sat at the table, too.
"Any more boxes?" Steve asked Linda.
"There will be in a little while...just the kids things, and some of mine." She got up to start filling another box. The kids ran back inside, through the back door, wanting Kool-Aid, and wanting to know if Ghost could come out to play.
"Take your drinks out on the porch...Ghost is still asleep. He'll come out later on," Lisa said. She went over to help Linda with more packing. Bill kept an eye on the kids, and wondered when all the chaos in the house would stop.
"When we're gone," Ghost said, coming into the kitchen. Bill jumped, as Ghost spoke, not having heard him enter.
"Ghost...didn't hear you come in," he said.
"You'll have peace when we are gone," Ghost said. He started singing the old *Kansas song..."...lay your weary head to rest, don't 'cha cry no more..." he sang. "He smiled at Bill. "It is kinda chaotic, isn't it?"
Bill smiled. "You heard what I was thinking, huh?"
"Yeah, when I came in. Oh, I'm awake now...for real," Ghost said, reading Bill's thoughts again.
Bill laughed. "Damn, you're good."
"Everything ok, now?" Bill asked. "Are you feeling better?"
"Um-hmm, except I'm really hungry."
"Me, too," Bill said. "Lisa made sandwiches. I think we all need to stop and eat. If you'll get them out of the fridge, I'll go get Linda and Lisa. Have you seen Steve?"
"Yeah, he came and woke me up. He's still in the bedroom, I guess," Ghost said.
"Ok, I'll holler at him, too," Bill said, as he went to find everyone. He was humming the song that Ghost had been singing.
Ghost got out the food, then called the kids in.
"Ghost...Ghost," they yelled. They jumped all around him, grabbing his hands. He laughed, but said, "Hey, you two, go wash up...it's time to eat." They hugged him, then ran over to the sink. The others came into the kitchen just in time to hear and see that.
"Amazing," Linda said. "You're a good role model, Ghost."
They all sat down, eating and realizing how tired they were, already. Ghost had had a long nap, but was still a little shaky from earlier, though.
"Here's my list of things that go in the U-Haul, and the moving van, and my car. See if I'm forgetting anything, Lisa," Linda said, handing over her list. "Steve, I want you to map out our route, and where we'll be stopping at night. I've never driven cross-country before, ok?"
Steve took the map, opening it up on the table. "Sure is a long way across, huh? I figure it'll take at least three days...that's if everything goes smooth. I'll work on this," he said.
"Thanks," Linda said. "Ghost, if you feel up to it, can you be in charge of Mandy and Stevie, while the moving people are here? Maybe just play out in the back yard with them?"
"Ok, sure, I can do that," Ghost said, smiling, happy he could help with something.
As Lisa cleared the lunch items from the table, they heard the big moving truck pull up out front. "Oh, my, they're here," Linda said, already flustered.
"Linda, stop worrying...everything is going fine," Lisa said, giving her a hug. They went to let the movers in.
"Come on y'all," Ghost told the kids. "We gotta go out back, outta the way. And, we have games to play," he said, opening the screen door, following them outside in the back yard.
Next part coming soon!
*"Carry On Wayward Son", recorded and sung by Kansas, 1976, on the album "Leftoverture"... Label - Kirshner Written by Kerry Livgen
Peace, Love, & Writing