TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
Melody and Ghost passed the wine bottle back and forth, taking swigs of the Scuppernong.
"Oh, I'm feeling it," Melody said, after a few minutes. "Are you?"
Ghost nodded. His eyes were having trouble focusing on Melody's face. Somehow, before he knew how it happened, he was lighting a perfectly rolled joint. He took a toke, and handed it to his sister.
"You think I should? I never..."
"Sure, go ahead..."
She put it to her lips. It was a night of firsts for her, and she planned on enjoying it. Coughing and giggling, she handed it back to Ghost. "I think I'm floating," she said. "And, the trees are laughing. Do you see them?"
Ghost squinched his eyes to stare into the darkness. I don't see the trees, just some spirits walking around over there."
"What? Where?" she asked, looking all around.
He pointed off toward the low shrubbery. "There...pretend you're not looking, then you can see them, sort of, well they're just misty looking."
"I see some fog coming around. That's all," she said, pulling the blanket closer around them.
"Yeah, that's them," Ghost said. "You'll get better at it, don't worry."
"Who are they?" Melody asked.
Ghost shrugged. "I don't know, they aren't saying anything. Maybe they're just travelers , like us. Maybe they can see us too, like all foggy. Maybe they're not really ghosts, but just people on a different wavelength, or well...something...and we just happen to notice at the right time."
"You tell the most interesting stories, Ghost," Melody said. "I want to hear more."
He smiled. "You will. I tell them all the time. Sometimes they're real, though."
They took a few more swallows of wine. Ghost remembered the phone he'd put in his pocket.
"I have an idea," he said. "I'm gonna call Kinsey. I want to say hey, but I'm not going to tell him you're here. You're a surprise."
"Ok, I'll just listen," Melody said, and laughed at the thought that she was a surprise.
Ghost punched in the letters for Kinsey's bar. Kinsey answered, in a loud voice.
"Hello? Kinsey here."
Ghost could hear loud music in the background, probably Gumbo, doing their set.
"Hey, Kinsey, it's me," he said.
"Ghost? Hey man...how are y'all...where are y'all?"
"We're somewhere in a camp out place. We have tents. We're coming home soon, and we have a surprise," Ghost said. He laughed, and Melody covered her mouth so she wouldn't be heard laughing.
"Hey cool, who is that...Linda?" Kinsey asked. He'd heard after all.
"Um, I gotta go, Kinsey," Ghost said. "We're drinking wine, and smoking. Bye."
"Wait..." Kinsey said, but Ghost had already shut off the phone.
"He sounds nice," Melody said.
"Yeah, he is," Ghost said, lighting up another joint. They were enjoying the wine and smoke, and talked quietly about silly things for awhile.
"Ghost, I want to know all about you," Melody said. "I always wanted a real family."
"Did you ever think there was someone in the world that you were connected to?" Ghost asked.
"When I let myself think of it, yeah. I couldn't have just appeared out of nowhere, you know."
Ghost nodded. "Me too, but I did have my grandmother. She raised me...brought me down from the mountains." He sighed. "You would have liked her."
Melody smiled. "I'm sure I would have."
"So you didn't like the parents that adopted you?" Ghost asked.
Melody shrugged. "They're ok, but when I was a little older, they left me alone a lot. Then I just ran off. They didn't care. So, I didn't, either."
Ghost was feeling pretty high by now, but he peered into Melody's eyes. He knew there was more to her story. Melody was thinking the same about him. They grinned at each other.
Back at the campfire, Steve and Linda had finished their conversation. "Hey, where's Ghost and Melody?" Linda asked. She'd just noticed they were gone.
"I don't know, maybe they went into one of the tents," Steve said. He stretched, and walked over to one. "No, not in here."
"Not here either," Linda said, over at the other tent. "Just the kiddos, sound asleep."
Steve scanned the campsite area. "Well, where are they?" He walked a little closer toward the woods, then heard laughing. "Linda, they're over here. I'm gonna check it out," he said.
As he got closer, he could smell the smoke. "What the..." he said, and then saw the flashlight shining over by a tree. "Hey, what the hell are y'all doing?" He was standing over Ghost and Melody.
"Hey, Steve," Ghost slurred. "We drinking this here wine. Ya want some?" he held out the bottle. Melody laughed, because the bottle was empty.
"You're smoking," Steve said. "I thought I told you to get rid of it."
"Um, I forgot," Ghost said, and then tumbled over onto his back.
"Get up," Steve said. "Get back to the tents." He stood there waiting, as they tried to stand up. "Y'all are pitiful," he said, but couldn't keep from laughing at their feeble attempts to get up.
Ghost finally managed to stand upright, by holding onto Steve, who then reached a hand out to help Melody up.
"This is some good shit, Steve, but there's none left...sorry," Ghost said.
"Whatever..." Steve said, shaking his head. He walked back to their camp with them, helping to steady them along the way.
"Look what I found, Linda," Steve said. "They're high as a kite."
"Did y'all at least have fun?" Linda asked.
"Yeah, it was fun," Melody said.
"Well, good. Let's get to bed," Linda said, taking Melody's arm. "Oh, Steve, would you move Stevie over to your tent for me?" She and Melody went inside their tent, while Steve picked up a sleeping Stevie, to carry him over to his and Ghost's tent.
Ghost crawled in after, and was passed out right where he fell. Steve looked at him, and rolled his eyes. Then, he went to check on Linda, again.
"Y'all ok over here?"
"We're fine. How's Ghost?"
"Yep, Melody, too. They're gonna feel great in the morning," Linda said, and laughed.
"Hah, you're right about that," Steve said. "Holler if you need anything."
It seemed only a few minutes had passed, when Steve was wakened by Stevie, yelling right up in his face. "Uncle Steve, get up, it's morning."
Steve cracked open an eye. Stevie's face was inches away from his own. "Go back to sleep," Steve mumbled.
"No, I want mommy and breakfast."
Steve yawned. "Your mom's still asleep, too. It's not morning yet."
"But Ghost is up already," Stevie said.
"Huh?" Steve looked over...Ghost wasn't in the tent. "Aw, shit," he said.
"You said a bad word, you said shit," Stevie said, and laughed.
"Yes, I did, but you shouldn't, kiddo."
"'Cause you're a kid. Anyway, where did Ghost go?"
"Out there..." Stevie opened the tent flap, and pointed.
Next part coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing