TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
Steve found a radio station that came in good, and Ghost wrote in his journal, as they continued their way down I-40 toward home. Missing Mile was still so far away, though, but they were making good time on the road now. There were increasing signs of trees, as they were coming out of the desert lands, and getting closer to the Lincoln National Forest, in New Mexico. They were happy to see mountains again. It reminded them of home.
Steve was getting tired of driving, after awhile, and he yawned. It was growing dark, but there were still around forty miles yet, until the next town, where they planned on spending the night. Ghost had fallen asleep a little while ago, his journal still open, with the marker ink soaking into the page.
Remembering Ghost's UFO stories, Steve kept scanning the darkening sky for one. Finally, they approached the town of Tucumcari, and Steve reached over to wake Ghost up.
"Hey, we're almost there...wake up."
"Ok, ok...are we getting out?" Ghost asked.
"Yeah, help me look for a motel sign," Steve said, and in a few minutes they did spot one, and he pulled into the parking lot. Linda was close behind them in her van.
"I'll go in and get a couple of rooms," Steve said. When he returned, they drove around, and were able to be right in front of their rooms. They began unloading a few essentials that they'd need for overnight. Linda, Stevie and Mandy went inside theirs, to get ready for bed. She settled the kids and herself onto the bed, watching the tv until they all fell asleep.
Steve and Ghost did the same in their room. Ghost took a shower, then climbed into bed. Steve was next, and as Ghost listened and smiled, as he heard Steve singing. Steve usually didn't think he had a good singing voice, but Ghost liked hearing him.
"Was that the new song you've been working on?" Ghost asked, when Steve came back into the room.
"Yeah...you could hear me?"
"It sounded good. I want to hear some more," Ghost said.
"Ok, let me get my guitar, then you can hear what I've got so far." He sat on the edge of the bed, and played and sang the words. It wasn't finished, but the theme of it was about traveling on the road in the desert, including moonlight, UFOs and the both of them."
"I love it already," Ghost said.
Steve shrugged. "Really? The words just sorta came to me, and then I just played some notes I was thinking of. I think it goes together ok, do you?"
"Yes, it's kinda eerie, too...I like that sound," Ghost said. "We'll have to record it for our next CD. I need to do some, too."
Steve laughed, and agreed. "We've been so busy lately, but we'll be back to normal real soon. We'll get back to our songs and gigs again." Then, yawning, he put the guitar down. "I'm beat...I've gotta get some sleep. You can keep watching tv, if you want to. It won't bother me."
"Ok...yeah, since I slept some already today, I'm kinda awake now," Ghost said. "I'll turn it down low, though."
Steve lay down, and was out in no time. Ghost got his back-pack, and found a half package of peanut butter crackers, and a bottle of water. He finished writing what he'd started earlier, in his journal. On the tv, there was an old black and white, scary movie, so he watched most of that, then went outside for a few minutes.
Looking up into the night sky, the stars seemed closer, and brighter, here in the mountain atmosphere. He figured he wouldn't really know what to do if he actually saw a UFO...probably wave at it, or something just as silly. He giggled at the thought. In a few more minutes, he went back inside, having not seen one.
Getting into the bed with Steve, he pulled up the covers, snuggling into the warmth, after being chilled from the night air. Steve stirred, coming half-awake.
"Did ya see any?" he asked.
"No, but I looked," Ghost said.
"Well, maybe tomorrow then," Steve said. They both fell asleep.
Some time later, before dawn, there was a loud banging noise outside. Steve jerked awake, disoriented in the dark, unfamiliar room. The only light was from the neon motel sign.
"Ghost...did you hear that?" Steve shook Ghost awake. "Was that noise real, or was I dreaming it?"
The sound of breaking glass, made them both to sit straight up in the bed.
"That was real," Ghost said, grabbing hold of Steve. "What is it?"
Steve went to the window. "Aww, shit...call 911...some asshole just broke into our cars," he yelled. He leapt over to the door, and yanked it open. He saw a figure running away into the darkness.
Without thinking, Steve ran after the person, hollering curses at him. Ghost had found the phone, and actually remembered the letters for 911, and was now talking to the dispatcher.
"Yeah, they broke into our car and the U-Haul," he told them. "Steve is chasing them, and we're at a motel. Huh? ...I don't know the address or the name...just a minute, I'll go see." He ran outside to look for the motel sign. "It's the Road Runner Motel, and it says, free cable tv, and pool..." he read. He stayed on the line, until he heard sirens coming down the street. "Ok, yeah, I hear them coming," he said, "thank you."
He looked around for Steve, and saw him walking back. "Did you catch him?" Ghost asked.
"Naw, I almost did, but he got away," Steve said, shaking his head. "Those cops for us?"
"Uh-huh...go tell them."
Steve went to talk to the police, telling them what had happened, and they all went over to look at the damage to the van and U-Haul. Linda had come out of her room, to see what was going on, along with several other motel guest. The motel manager was there, too. Assessing the damage, they found the U-Haul's back loading door had been dented, and the lock cut, but evidently the thief hadn't been able to get in. Linda's car, though, had a window broken out, and the door was standing open. Things were scattered out on the pavement...mostly the kid's toys. Taking the description of the vandal for their report, the police then left, saying they'd be in touch, when they found the person.
Linda couldn't tell if anything had been taken, but there wasn't much of value in the van, anyway. But now, everything was covered in shattered glass. She began picking up items and shaking them off. "Why...why me...why now?" she kept muttering to herself.
There wasn't much they could do about the damage, until morning, and insurance would cover the repairs to the window. The manager brought out a sheet of clear plastic to tape over the window for now. Linda thanked him, and he mentioned a window repair place in town.
"I don't think he'll be coming back tonight, but if you and the kids want to stay in our room, you can," Steve said.
"Thanks, Steve, I'll be ok, and the kids are still asleep. We'll just stay in our room." She looked at him. "I can't believe you chased after him...and you're in just your underwear," she said, and laughed. "I was scared he might have a gun, or something."
"I know, me too," Steve said. "Probably wasn't the smart thing to do, running after him like that. Well, if you're sure y'all will be ok over there, I'm going back to bed for awhile."
"Me too, Steve. We'll get the window fixed, then I want to get going again," Linda said.
Steve paced around the motel room, too agitated to try and go back to sleep. Ghost had gotten back in bed, and was watching Steve go back and forth.
"I do, too" Ghost said.
Steve looked over at him. "Huh? You do too, what?"
"Want to get out of this state. That's what you were thinking, wasn't it?" Ghost asked.
"Oh, yeah...it was."
"I heard you, and I know why...'cause just bad stuff has happened, ever since we got here, and maybe more bad stuff is gonna happen."
Steve nodded. "Yeah, I mean, New Mexico is cool and all, but just too weird for me, I guess. I know you wanted to see a UFO, but with our luck, if we did, it'd probably suck us up, and we'd never be seen again."
Nodding, Ghost said, "It'd disappear us, huh?"
"Yep, or take us underground in those tunnels I heard about."
"Ooo, I don't wanna go in no tunnels, Steve," Ghost said. "But, we could go in that big 'ol cave, though, 'cause other people would be there...not just aliens. That would be ok."
Steve rolled his eyes. "Yeah, but we're not gonna do either one...we're getting the hell outta here as soon as we can, in the morning." He took another look out the window, then came and got into the bed. Slipping under the covers, he snuggled close to Ghost.
"I just really want to be home, Steve," Ghost said.
"Me too, this road trip adventure is just a bit too much..." Steve said, and Ghost finished, saying, "adventure..."
"Mm-hmm," Steve said, right up next to Ghost's ear.
Ghost turned toward Steve, running his hand lightly over Steve's face. "I love you."
"I love you, too," Steve said. They kissed and fell asleep holding each other close.
Next part coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing