TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
As morning dawned, Steve and Ghost were awakened by a knocking on the motel room's door. The policeman from the night before was there.
"We caught the vandal," he said. "He's in lock-up. We need to know if you are going to press charges, because your's isn't the only cars he broke into last night. The other victims have already made their statements, and charges have been filed, already," the cop explained.
"So, he's already going to be getting charged?" Steve asked.
The cop nodded.
"Ok, then...guess we won't. Nothing was stolen, and the insurance will cover the cost of the window repair. We just want to get going. We have a long way yet to go."
"Ok, then," the policeman said. "Good luck, and have a safe journey."
Steve went back into the room. Ghost was still trying to wake up. "I'm going to go check on Linda, and I'll bring back coffee," he said.
"Ok," Ghost said, sitting up, running his hands through his tangled hair.
Steve left, going next door to Linda and the kid's room, and knocked. She opened it, then went back to getting Stevie and Mandy dressed.
"Everything ok over here?" Steve asked.
"Um-hmm...I just got off the phone with a repair shop," Linda said. "They'll be able to fix the window in about an hour."
Steve nodded. "Ok, I'm going to go get us all some coffee, and donuts, then we can go on over there," Steve said.
"Oh, get the kids some milk, too," Linda said.
"Right...be back in a few minutes." He walked down the block to a convenience store.
Linda finished getting the kids ready for the day, and by then, Steve was back. They all went over to Steve and Ghost's room to eat. Ghost was just finishing a shower, so he grabbed his coffee. They all sat there, watching the tv for a few minutes. The kids were watching some early morning cartoons.
"Ok, here's the plan, y'all," Steve said. "We get the car fixed, then head on out of here."
Linda nodded. "The sooner the better." She looked over at Ghost, who was propped up on the bed pillows. "Ghost...would you want to stay here with the kiddos...keep them occupied, while we're gone?"
"Sure, if you want me to...I'll watch them," Ghost said.
"Yes, that would be best. I think they'll probably just keep watching tv, and it shouldn't take long at the repair shop," Linda said.
"Ok, we'll be fine, don't worry." He did pick up a small hint of worry from Linda, though.
She smiled. "Yeah, I always worry a bit, but I know you can handle it, Ghost." She and Steve finished their coffee, then left to get the broken car window repaired. The drive to the place was short, and they got right in.
Ghost got out his journal and wrote in it, while the kids flipped the tv channels.
"Where we going next?" Stevie asked.
"Umm...down the highway and into Texas, I think," Ghost said.
"Oh, that's cool. Will we see some cowboys and Indians and horses?" Stevie asked.
Ghost shrugged. "I don't know...maybe. I've never been there, so we will just get to see what we see."
"See what we see...see what we see..." Mandy said, in a squeaky voice, over and over, until Stevie pushed her off the bed.
"Stop saying that," he said. He looked at Ghost. "I know...why don't you use your super-secret powers to see what we'll see, Ghost."
"My what?" Ghost asked.
"You know...when you see things, like a dream. I heard Uncle Steve say you can see things nobody else can...so do it...do it now...please?" Stevie begged.
"Maybe I shouldn't," Ghost said. He was surprised that Stevie knew about his psychic abilities.
"Oh, please...tell me what we'll see in Texas," Steve kept on.
Sighing, Ghost thought about it a minute. He knew he could just pretend, and talk about horses or something.
"Ok, I'll try...give me a minute...and be quiet, ok?" Ghost said, and closed his eyes, concentrating. Stevie watched intently. Even Mandy was keeping quiet for a change.
"What'cha see?" Stevie whispered.
"Mmm...just the highway, so far," Ghost said. "There's open spaces, fields, a little town, with a tall tower...it holds water, I think..." Keeping his eyes closed, he continued to tell the kids what he was seeing. "Ok, I see us stopping to eat at a little diner. There's just regular people in there, but...wait...two guys come in, and I'm not sure, but they might be cowboys..."
"Yay...cowboys," Stevie hollered. "What do they do?"
"Hang on...hang on...they have on cowboy boots, and hats, but no guns, and they drove up in a pick-up truck...not a horse...but on the back of their truck is a big long trailer, and...there's horses in there." He opened his eyes, to see Stevie all smiles. "Well, that's what I think we'll see, but we'll have to just see if it happens, ok?" Ghost said.
"Yeah, I can't wait," Stevie said.
"I can't wait," Mandy yelled.
They hopped off the bed, and started jumping around the room, pretending to ride horses. Ghost grinned, as he watched them. Playing with the kids was fun. He continued to write, but something was nagging at his thoughts, just beyond reach. If he tried to bring it to his conscious mind, it would fade away. All he could tell, so far, was that there was some kind of trouble up ahead, as they drove east. He wrote what he could about it, in his journal, then tried drawing pictures of Mandy and Stevie. They had settled down a bit, by now, and were coloring pictures, as they sat on the floor. He enjoyed listening to their kid's conversation. After a few minutes, Mandy came over to show him what she drew.
"Look, Ghost, look at my picture." She handed her paper to him.
"Oh, that's really good, Mandy," Ghost said. And, it was. He could see she had artistic talent, even at her young age.
"It's a picture of where you live, Ghost...you and Uncle Steve. See...here's the front door, and the porch," she continued, pointing out places on the page.
Ghost smiled. "You know what? This is just what our house looks like. How did you know?"
"Because Mama told us what it looked like," Mandy said. "She was at your house one time."
"Hey, yes she was," Ghost said. "I'll be glad to be home, again, and I'll show you around, ok?"
Mandy nodded. "Mmm-hmm, I want to see your house. I think it's a magic house."
"Yeah, 'cause you're magic," she said.
He smiled. "Who told you that?"
"Nobody, I just know it. You look magic, and tell good stories," she laughed.
"Oh...well, guess that makes me magic, then," Ghost said, and laughed, too.
"Can I braid your hair, again?" she asked.
Ghost nodded. "Ok, go ahead."
She fished around in her little purse, and brought out a brush. She hummed a song, while she braided his hair.
"You sing good, Mandy, just like your Uncle Steve," Ghost said.
"Yes, really...keep going, maybe you can sing with us on stage, someday." They continued this awhile, as he finished his drawing of Stevie. He was wondering when Steve and Linda would be back, and then, they were there.
"Mama," Mandy hollered, when she came in the door. She ran to hug her.
"Hey, sweetie, did y'all have fun?" Linda asked.
"Yeah, and we colored pictures, and Ghost told us stories."
"Oh, looks like you fixed his hair, too," Linda said, and smiled.
"Everything ok," Steve asked.
"Yeah, we're good," Ghost said. "We had a good time. Is the window fixed?"
"It is...and we found out that the punk who did it is going to jail, too. This wasn't the first time he'd been in trouble," Steve said. He reached over and flipped a few of Ghost's braids. "Mandy do this?"
"Uh-huh...just now got it done."
Steve smiled. "You know you can take these out, anytime."
"I know, but I'm gonna leave them awhile. I don't mind," Ghost said.
"Suit yourself," Steve said. "Ok...y'all ready to hit the road again?"
Next part coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing