TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
As Linda and Melody were trying to set up the tents for their overnight camp-out, Linda had an idea.
"Why don't us girls share one, and the guys can share the other one?"
Steve shrugged. "Sure, it's fine with me, Sis." He began to set up the fire-pit, then lit the fire with the wood he'd bought at the store earlier. They all gathered around , watching the orange flames.
"This is so neat, y'all," Melody said. "Camping is fun."
"Well, it may be fun, but we still need to eat. Where's those weenies?" Steve asked.
Linda got the package from the cooler. Ghost and Melody giggled, and Stevie and Mandy started chanting, 'weenies, weenies, weenies'.
Steve had a smile on his face, as he and Linda cooked the food. "What a night, and it's only seven o'clock."
"I know, and it's already dark. When is the time change, or did it already happen?" Linda asked.
"Hell if I know," Steve said. "I don't even know what day or month it is anymore." He looked up into the trees. The campfire was sending little sparks up into the night sky, along with the aroma of wood smoke, and weenies. "Sometimes I think we've fallen into a time warp or something. This trip has taken so long. I think we may be trapped, and will never get home...just keep travelling forever."
Linda gave him a look. "That's the weirdest thing I've ever heard you say, Steve," Linda said.
"But, what if it's true?" Ghost asked.
"God, y'all just gave me goose bumps," Melody said, rubbing her arms.
"You know what I mean, Steve," Ghost said. "The mist..."
"Oh yeah, that's right," Steve said. "Now, that was weird."
Looking around, Ghost asked, "Have you seen any around here?" The woods were in shadows, now.
"Naw, I didn't see anything. Did you?"
"Not yet, but it's out there, waiting for it's chance to come back." Ghost moved a little closer to Steve, and took hold of his arm.
"Ok, enough talking about it," Steve said. He brushed a few strands of hair from off Ghost's forehead. "We're gonna scare the kids, if we don't stop...and us, too."
"I want to hear it," Melody said. "What happened with this mist thing?"
"I want to hear it, too," Linda said. "Tell us after the kids go to sleep, ok?"
"Ok," Steve said. "Anyway, these hot dogs are ready. Get your plate, and dig in."
Linda took a paper plate for each of the kids, and fixed their hot dogs, then one for herself."
They all sat in a circle around the fire, and were quiet for a little bit.
"These are really good, Steve, thanks for making them," Melody said.
"Have another one," Steve offered. She took another, and so did Linda and Ghost.
They soon finished, and Ghost got out the bag of marshmallows. "Look, marshmallow time. We need sticks, though."
Steve gave Ghost his pocket-knife. "Here, go cut some branches. Get the flashlight, too, it's in the truck." Ghost went on his errand, and when he got back, Linda and Melody put the marshmallows on a stick for each of them. She showed the kids how to hold them over the fire.
"Ok, they look melty now, but be careful, they're hot," she instructed the kids. Stevie and Mandy thought it was great fun..
Just as many marshmallows fell into the fire, as were eaten, and every time, they'd all say 'awww', and laugh. Eventually, the package was empty.
"Well, kids, it's time to get ready for bed, in the tents," Linda said, getting up. The kids began yelling 'yay' and running around.
"Great way to get them to settle down, Sis," Steve said.
"Oh, I have something that'll do the trick," Linda said. She went to the van and brought back the kid's pajamas, and the portable DVD player. "See, I'll put in a movie, and they'll be asleep in no time."
While she tended to the kids, Ghost and Melody cleaned up the camp area. Steve made sure the U-Haul was secured, then got a beer out of the cooler.
"Ahh," he sighed, after the first swallow.
"Did you get my wine?" Ghost asked.
"Oh, no, I forgot...and if you want a cup, they're in the truck."
"Get me a cup, Ghost," Melody said. "I want to try it."
Ghost smiled. "Ok..." but he knew it wouldn't be long until they both wouldn't care about cups; drinking from the bottle would be just fine. He went over to the truck, found the cups, and then felt around under the seat for his and Steve's stash of weed. He wasn't sure if Steve knew he had it. The last time they'd smoked, Steve said to get rid of it...no more until they got home. He stuffed the bag into his jeans pocket.
Back at the fire, Steve and Linda were talking about Missing Mile, and where she might find a job.
"I wish I could see it, already," Melody said. "It sounds so nice there."
"Steve," Ghost said, "let me see the phone a minute. There's some pictures on there."
"Oh, yeah...here," Steve said, and fished the phone out of his pocket.
Ghost found the photos, and showed them to Melody. "We took these ones before I got my good camera. There's more on there, too." Ghost said. He kept scrolling through the pictures. "Hey, here's one of our house."
Melody took the phone to see. "Oh, I love it. It's so cool looking. And, the porch...do y'all sit out there much?" she asked.
Ghost nodded. "All the time." He flipped through some more pictures. "Aww, there's Spirit. I can't wait to see him," he said. They continued looking at the pictures for a few minutes.
"Ok, what's the mist?" Linda asked. "You said you'd tell us, but did I hear about it before?"
"Maybe, but I can't remember what stories we told you, now," Steve said, and laughed. "But anyway, Melody hasn't heard them."
"Is it real scary?" Melody asked.
"Yeah, we were scared, huh, Steve?"
"You better believe it," Steve said. He told the story of the mist, and the earthquake, with Ghost adding to it every little bit.
"That's the creepiest thing I've ever heard," Melody said. She got up and walked to the van, bringing back a couple of blankets for her and Linda.
Linda and Steve started another conversation about schools for the kids. Ghost was getting bored.
"C'mon, let's go," he said. He and Melody went off past the next unoccupied camp site, and sat under a tall pine tree. They were in the shadows, but had the flashlight with them.
"I brought the wine," Ghost said, and took a swig from the bottle. "I forgot the cups." He handed it to Melody. She giggled, and put it to her lips, tilted her head back, taking a long drink. Only sputtering a little, she said,"Mmm, that's good wine."
Next part coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing