TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
Steve and Ghost were hot and sweaty, when they got back to the visitor's center. They found Linda and the kids inside, where it was cool. She'd gotten them sodas, and she was talking to the curator.
Walking up, Ghost said, "I saw the real town."
"What real town?" asked the man.
"The one that's not fake," Ghost said, as he stared hard at the man.
Nodding, the man said, "Yes...you have." He knew Ghost was right.
Stevie and Mandy ran up, handing Ghost and Steve a can of soda, that Linda had bought for them.
"Y'all ready to go?" Steve asked. The kids said they were, so they all went back outside to the car and the U-Haul. The kids ran on ahead, while Linda asked, "What were you talking about in there? A real town?"
"Yeah, the real ghost town," Steve said. "Ghost found it out past the one here, out farther in the desert. This one here is a replica of it...a really good one, but all new buildings that just look old. The real one is all fallen down."
"The spirits are still there," Ghost said. "I heard them."
"Oh, that's sad," Linda said.
"There was an old graveyard, too, and bones of some people that never got buried," Ghost said. "They didn't want to get trapped forever down there, but they did."
Linda was all caught up in Ghost's story. "Are you going to write the story, Ghost?"
"Yeah, I will," he said.
She smiled. "Good, because I want to read it." She got the kids settled back into the car, where they amused themselves with the little toys they'd bought in the gift shop. "We're ready. How many miles to our stopping place, Steve?"
"We're going to try for two hundred more miles, before it gets dark," he said. "That should get us into New Mexico, I think. We'll stop and eat, and get a motel for the night." He looked again at the map.
"That sounds great. I could use a shower," Linda said, and laughed.
They drove back to the main highway, where there weren't many other cars at this time of day. Steve tried to tune in a radio station, but all he got was static. Ghost was busy writing about the ghost town, but kept yawning and nodding off. The air conditioner worked good in the U-Haul, though, and Steve adjusted it to be colder, in order for himself to stay awake.
The next large town they came to, was Flagstaff, but they were not ready to stop for the night, as it was still quite awhile until dark. Besides, the kids were asleep, and so was Ghost. Steve kept seeing mileage signs to Winslow. That rang a bell...the Eagles song. He and Ghost sang that song all the time...*"Take It Easy". He perked up...he wanted to stop and see the famous corner. Calling Linda, he told her he was stopping up ahead. As they got close, he shook Ghost awake.
"Hey, wake up. Guess where we are?"
"What...where?" Ghost sat up straighter and looked out the window. "We're in the desert..."
Steve rolled his eyes. "Yeah, I know, but the next town is Winslow, Arizona." He was talking loud.
"Winslow?" Ghost asked. "Like in that song?"
"Yep, the very same...and we're stopping and standing on that corner. Get your camera ready," Steve said. He and Ghost were smiling big.
Soon, they were in the town. Steve drove around, down the main street. It wasn't a huge city, but he had to look for a sign that maybe would tell them where the special corner was. Finally, he saw one, and followed the arrows, turning up one street, down another. He knew this was another tourist stop, but he didn't care. This was the most excitement he'd had in awhile, and he wasn't going to miss out on it.
Then, he saw it. It was well marked, and other people were there taking pictures. He and Linda found a parking area, and they all got out to walk over and check it out. Ghost was snapping pictures of it, and other scenery. Finally it was their turn to stand on the spot. Ghost took their picture, then Linda took some, then Steve. A passerby took one of them all together. .
"Hey, Steve...I have an idea," Linda said. "Get your guitar, and you and Ghost sing that song...right here on the street."
"What? That might be weird," Steve said.
"Oh, please," Linda said. "It'll be neat, and y'all do it so good. These other people would love to hear y'all, I'll bet. That song is probably in everybody's head, anyway. Maybe they'll sing along."
The more Steve thought about it, the more he liked it. "Ok, I'll see if Ghost will," he said. "Ghost, come here..." he waved him over. "Linda wants us to sing the song, right here on the street. I think I want to...it'll be fun."
"You mean for real? Like for these people out here?" Ghost asked.
"Yep, I'll get my guitar, and everything. Ya want to?"
Ghost grinned. "Hell, yeah...you know I'll sing anywhere. Go get it."
Steve ran back to the truck, and grabbed his acoustic. Ghost was already rounding up an audience.
"Hey, y'all," he shouted. "Ya wanna hear that song, don'cha? Well, me and Steve are in a band, called Lost Souls, and we sing it all the time...so...we're gonna do it for y'all." He kept waving people over, until there was a small crowd.
Steve didn't know if they needed a permit to sing on the street, but by this point, he didn't care. He tuned his guitar, quickly, and nodded to Ghost.
"Ok, ya'll...here we go...sing it with us, if you want to," Ghost urged.
Steve began to play, and needing no microphone to be heard, Ghost started singing. His voice was loud and clear...mesmerizing, as always. Pretty much everyone standing around them joined in. The police security for the tourist stop, came over and joined in, too. Linda was taking pictures of everyone, and every thing. After singing it a couple of times, the crowd shouted and clapped, and cameras were clicking everywhere. Someone hollered, "Can you sing some more Eagles songs?"
Steve looked at Ghost, but didn't even have to ask, so he began another song. Ghost started right in. There was no stage, but none was needed. People kept singing along, for several more songs, keeping the beat with their hands and feet. Finally, it wound down, and it was time to go. Lots of people thanked them for the mini concert. Steve and Ghost were pumped up...the show had revived them, and now they were ready to get back on the road. All they way back to the car, they kept talking about it.
"That was so much fun, Steve," Ghost said. "I'm so glad you stopped here."
"I know...and I think everyone enjoyed it," Steve said. "Maybe we should do it more often."
"Hey, yeah...that's an idea that could work," Linda said. "Just pick a town, and start singing."
"I'd do it, for sure," Ghost said.
"Can we come, too" Stevie asked.
Ghost laughed. "Sure...oh, better ask your mom, first."
"You kids will be in school, but if any of this happens, I might let you go to one or two," Linda said.
They stopped for gas, on their way out of town, agreeing to travel awhile longer, before stopping for the night. Ghost was humming, and writing in his journal, about the afternoon.
"What was your favorite part?" he asked.
"Oh, probably watching you," Steve said. "I always like that part best...you seem so happy when you sing, Ghost."
"I am," Ghost said.
* Take it Easy, recorded by the Eagles, on the Album - Eagles. Released May 1, 1972. Recorded at Olympic Sound Studios, London. Label, Asylum. Written by Jackson Browne and Glen Frey.
Next part coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing