TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
Steve pulled up into the motel's parking lot. It had been pretty easy to find one in this town. It was on the outskirts, right by the highway. He went inside to secure two rooms for the night.
"I think we should get something to eat, Steve," Linda said. "There's a diner, right over there. Then, we can get our things and settle in for the night."
"Ok, sounds good to me," Steve agreed. "I'm just happy to walk around a little. That U-Haul is ok, but my butt's gone to sleep." He laughed, as he shook a leg.
"Same here," Linda said.
She got the kids out of their car, and Steve went to wake up Ghost. The diner was only about half a block away, so they all walked over. Inside, it was pretty much like any diner in any town. They found a booth, and looked around. There were a few other people at tables...most looked local, but a couple of groups looked like travelers, like themselves. It was easy to tell by everyone's rumpled looks, and bleary eyes, from being on the road. They ordered what they wanted, and only the kids had energy to chatter.
Ghost, Steve, and Linda just waited for the food to arrive. After taking a few bites, Linda asked, "Any certain time we're leaving in the morning?"
Steve shrugged. "Nope, just when we get awake. We'll get breakfast here, then need to find a gas station. Like you said, we're not on a strict schedule. It's better that way."
The kids were beginning to get restless, and Ghost looked bored, as he traced circles on the table with drops of water. Steve got the ticket, and paid, while Linda and the rest, headed to the door. The food and the cool desert air had revived them all a bit. They unloaded what they'd need for the night and morning, and said good night, each going to their rooms.
Linda gave Stevie and Mandy a quick bath, and tucked them into the bed. She showered, then joined the kids, who were already asleep. She made a quick call to Lisa, to let her know where they were, then picked up her book to read for a few minutes. But before she had finished a page, she was asleep, too.
Steve unlocked the door to their room, and they brought a few things in from the U-Haul that they might need. The room was fine, nothing fancy, but it did have a big bed and a TV. Ghost dropped his backpack, jacket, and items from the truck, right there where he was. Going over to the bed, he lay on his side, curled up on top of the bedspread. He just stared at the wall. Steve didn't say anything yet, but wondered what was bugging him.
He put his things on the chair, and turned on the TV. Flipping through the channels, he stopped at only a couple for more than a few seconds. He sat on the bed, and looked at Ghost.
"Anything you wanna watch?" he asked.
Ghost shook his head.
Ghost shook his head, again.
""Wanna talk about it?"
"No, I'm just tired, Steve," he said in a low voice.
Steve shrugged. "Well, ok, I'm getting in the shower." He was worried, but didn't want to show it. In the bathroom, he looked at himself in the mirror, not liking what he saw...hair all tangled up, bloodshot eyes, and scruffy face. "Yeah, Ghost really wants to go to bed with this," he said. He cleaned himself up, then went back into the main room. He saw that Ghost was still awake, hadn't moved, and was still staring at the wall.
"Hey, I thought you'd be asleep already," he said.
"I'm not sleepy."
"Oh..." Steve said, then turned out the light, leaving the TV sound on low. Getting into the bed, he tried to get under the covers, and tried to adjust his pillow, but couldn't, because Ghost was still on top of them.
"Get up and get comfortable," Steve said. "Get under here with me."
Ghost sighed, but got up, took off his clothes, and joined Steve. Facing him, he snuggled his face up by Steve's neck. "You smell good," he said. He could feel Steve's still damp hair on his face.
"I thought you were tired."
"I am, but...I..." Ghost said, then he took Steve's hand, putting it on himself. "I want you," he breathed into Steve's ear, the soft words tickling him, giving him chills.
With the one hand still caressing Ghost, Steve turned on his side, and found Ghost's lips. "Mmm...I want you, too." They reaffirmed their love for each other, then fell asleep in each other's arms.
Some time later, Ghost woke from a strange dream. He couldn't get back to sleep, so got up and got his journal. He sat up in the bed, writing for awhile.
Steve was sleeping soundly. Ghost smiled, as he watched him. The bathroom light had been left on, and with that small light, and the on/off flickering of the neon motel sign, through the curtains, Ghost noticed the play of shadows across Steve's face. He began to draw.
The finished portrait was haunting and surreal. Pleased with it, Ghost closed the book, and was able to go back to sleep.
As morning sunshine lit up the room, Steve got up and slipped quietly outside. He went down to the diner, to bring back coffee for everyone. When he got back, Ghost was in the shower, singing, so he turned on the TV. The news was depressing, so he flipped on to an early morning sci-fy movie. Leaning back on the pillows, he sipped his coffee.
Ghost came out then, spied his cup, and joined Steve on the bed. It was a nice way to start the day...no stress, no rushing around.
"I wonder if Linda is up, yet?" Steve asked. "I'm getting hungry, now, are you?" he asked.
"Yeah, I need pancakes," Ghost said.
"Mmm, me too. I'm going to go see what's up over there...or who's up," Steve said.
While he was gone, Ghost picked up his journal, and looked at the picture he'd drawn. He's show it to Steve when he returned.
When Steve got back, he said, "Ok they're up and almost ready to go...maybe ten minutes."
Ghost held up the journal. "Look."
Steve took the journal. "Is that supposed to be me?"
"Not supposed to be...it is you. I drew it last night when you were asleep," Ghost said.
Steve frowned. "Why is it all...uh...wavy? or psychedelic looking? Were you trippin' or something?" He laughed.
"No, this is how you look... or looked last night. It was dark, and those crazy lights were blinking on and off. So you were dark and light. I could'a used the colored markers...then you'd be all red and green." Ghost laughed at that thought.
Steve squinched his eyes to see the picture, again. "Oh, you're talking about the neon sign out there. I get it, now. It's cool, dude. I just didn't get it at first."
Ghost shrugged. "I just drawed it, I didn't analyze it."
"How come you were up?"
"Oh, I had this weird dream...it wouldn't let me go back to sleep."
"I don't know...I wrote some words, but they don't make any sense now...just a feeling...like a coming up soon, happening...on down the road, but it was weird," Ghost said. "I'll know it when it happens."
"Oh, like a pre-condition thing...or an omen, or a deja-vu, or a sign?" Steve asked.
Ghost nodded. "Yeah, like that, only it's pre-cognition..."
"Well was it good or bad?"
"I don't know yet, maybe both...like it might be bad, but turn good in the middle," Ghost said. "But, I'm too hungry to think about it, and I'm tired of talking about it. Can we go eat?"
"Yeah, but let me know when it happens, Steve said.
They went out, and down the way to Linda's room.
Next part coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing