TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
Melody had started giggling, as she'd gone down the stairs, leaving Ghost and Steve alone in her empty apartment. As she reached the sidewalk, she couldn't hold back the laughter. Holding onto the railing she doubled over, letting it out. She was wiping tears from her eyes, as Linda rushed up to her.
"What is it...are you ok?" Linda asked, thinking Melody was hurt, or maybe Steve or Ghost.
"Oh my, God...no, I'm fine, everyone's fine," Melody said, and laughed again, in spite of trying to stop.
"Well, what is it? Are you crying or laughing? Come sit down over here...tell me." Linda said.
Melody followed her to the shade, under a tree. The kids were already there, sitting on the grass, sipping a juice box.
"I can't tell you in front of the kids," Melody said.
"Ok, then let's walk over here. I can keep an eye on the from there," Linda said. When they'd moved a bit away from the kids, Linda looked to Melody for an explanation.
"It's not really funny, but I couldn't stop," Melody said.. "It's just that things up there got kinda...awkward...um...they wanted to be alone. So, I said sure, take as long as you want. They were so intent, I just barely got out of there in time." She snorted and laughed, again.
"Ahh, I get it," Linda snickered. "Yeah, I've had that happen a few times. Really though, those two are so in love, they want to do it all the time...anywhere. I've gotten used to it, but at first, I was like, really...again?" She shook her head, laughing again. "I'm happy they are happy. They haven't always been. It's been a really rough road."
Melody nodded. "Yeah, Ghost mentioned something like that to me. Said he'd tell me someday."
"Good, it should be him to say things, when he's ready."
They watched Stevie and Mandy play under the tree for a few minutes. "Well, Steve suggested we drive over to the store, so I can tell my boss that I'm leaving. I need to give him the address to send my pay. Want to go over there?" Melody asked.
"Sure, why not, let's go," Linda said. "Come on kids, let's go for a short ride." They all got in the van, and headed to the convenience store.
Steve and Ghost made their way down the stairs, then looked around for the girls. "Guess they went on over to the store. We'll have to wait on them, now," Steve said. He looked at his watch. "We've been here half a day, and so much has happened, already, can you believe it?"
Ghost shrugged. "What's not to believe? It happened...we lived it."
Raising his eyebrows, Steve said, "You're right, we did."
They sat in the shade, awhile. It was too hot to get back in the U-Haul. In a little bit, they saw the van turning the corner, then pulling to a stop by the curb. The girls got out to find out if they had a plan.
"Get everything squared away, Melody?" Steve asked.
"Yep, good to go, whenever you say," Melody said. "So, who do I ride with?"
"Your choice, this time. We're trying to make it across Arkansas, before we stop for the night," Steve said.
Smiling, Melody said, "Ok, I'm riding with my brother, then."
"Well, all right, then, let's get going."
Steve helped Melody into the U-Haul. She sat in the middle.
"Y'all ok with this? I can sit by the window, I don't mind."
"Don't matter to me," Steve said.
"I like by the window, mostly," Ghost said.
"Yeah, he likes hanging his head out," Steve said, laughing.
"It keeps me from getting sick," Ghost said.
Steve just shook his head, and started the engine. They pulled out to the road, with Linda following behind in the van. Steve figured they could make it clear across Arkansas, and stay the night in Memphis, Tennessee. Then, maybe one more day and night on the road, then finally home.
"This trip has taken so much longer than I thought. I'll be glad to be home," Steve said.
"I wish we was there, now," Ghost said. "I wanna see Spirit. He probably forgot me."
"Who's Spirit?" Melody asked.
"He's my cat. Zach is taking care of him, and Trevor is helping." Ghost sighed. "I miss all of them, even old Kinsey."
"We'll see them real soon," Steve said.
"Y'all are gonna have to fill me in. I don't know anybody in Missing Mile," Melody said. "How big a place is it?"
"Ha, not very big, right Ghost?" Steve said. "But, we got what we need there, and good friends."
"Well, tell me. We have plenty of time."
"Ok, go ahead, Ghost, you start. I want to hear how you describe everybody," Steve said. He grinned at the thought.
Ok, fine," Ghost said. "You want the funny version, the jazzed up one, or just the facts?"
"You're the storyteller, just tell it how you want to. Mix it all up," Steve said.
"Yeah, tell me about these people you mentioned, so I can know something about them when I meet them," Melody said.
"Oh, ok...I'll start with Kinsey, 'cause he's been around the longest. He knows everybody, too. He owns a bar. Well, it's a club, well both, and it's called the Yew, the Sacred Yew. There's this big old door that's carved wood, just like the tree, and then you go in, and it's dark, and there's the stage where we play, and the bar, and the arcade, and..."
"Ghost...she'll see all that...just tell her about Kinsey, ok?" Steve said, rolling his eyes.
"Huh? Oh...well, he's tall, and thin, and has long hair in a pony tail, and ..." Ghost looked over at Steve. "How old is Kinsey?"
"Hell if I know...old...older than us anyway," Steve said.
"Ok, so that's Kinsey, and he's our friend."
"He sounds interesting, Ghost," Melody said.
"He likes having people at his place," Ghost said.
"Is he funny or serious?"
"Oh, both. He's real serious about his bar, and the whole thing. He don't let anyone get away with much," Steve said.
"Just us," Ghost said.
"Yeah, but he'll clobber us, once in awhile," Steve said. "Go on, Ghost..."
Thinking for a minute, Ghost continued his description of the residents of Missing Mile. "There's Zach and Trevor, and they're kinda new in town. They're together, like me and Steve, and Trevor is an artist, and he draws cartoons real good. Zach is being a singer for Gumbo, and he's real smart with computers."
Who's Gumbo?" Melody asked.
"It's Terry's band," Steve said. "He's the drummer, and Zach sings, R. J. plays bass, and Calvin plays guitar. They're good."
"Terry is old, too," Ghost said. "But, not as old as Kinsey, and he owns the Whirling Disc record store. That's where we recorded our tape and CD...in his studio," Ghost said.
Melody looked at Ghost, her mouth open. "What? Y'all have a CD out? I gotta hear it."
Nodding, Ghost said, "We got one, and we're working on another one, too."
"Oh my, God, my brother is a rock star. How cool."
"Huh? We're not. We just play at the bar. We're not famous, or nothing," Ghost said.
"You are to me," Melody said, and gave Ghost a hug. Then she hugged Steve, too, as best she could, since he was driving. "Who else do I know that has a real CD, and people buy it? Nobody, that's who." She laughed.
Next part coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing