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Sunday, February 28, 2016

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE ... # 287

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
# 287
warning...adult content




~
Melody thought for a moment, still feeling that Steve was not wanting to talk about what was bothering him. Ghost was still asleep, so she said, "I can tell you a story, if you want."

Steve raised a shoulder, "Ok, go ahead."

Clearing her throat, Melody began. "It's not a funny one, but I had a dream once...of her...of our mother."

Steve smiled. Another dreamer, just like Ghost...

"Did you know her?" Melody asked.

"No, I didn't, and ...well, never mind," Steve said. Did she forget? Their mother died the same day she and Ghost had been born...or not born...aborted...

"I know it sounds strange, Steve, but I did know her, and so did Ghost"

Frowning, Steve looked over at her. "How can that be?"

She shrugged. "We were part of her...for awhile. There's a place inside us, where she still is. I can sense her, and she comes to me in dreams. She was so pretty." Melody sighed. "She was a rebel, though, and wasn't afraid of anything, except staying there up in the mountains. She wanted out. That's what I know. Ghost told me he knew it, too, even before that journal grandmother gave him. He told me so. He said he talks to her, and sees her spirit sometimes. Those times he goes off by himself...didn't you ever wonder about what he did, alone out there in the woods?" She looked at Steve, and he could feel her eyes boring into him.

He was surprised, as he'd never thought to ask Ghost, before. How could he not have? Those times Ghost would come back, kind of sad, and not wanting to talk, he must have been hurting inside, even more than he realized." He sighed.

"I'm no good at reading signs like that, Melody. I can't usually see below the surface." He shook his head. "It kills me to know this. Why couldn't I have just known what to say to him?" He was disgusted with himself, now, remembering and knowing that Ghost had needed him then, at those times, more than even he could talk about it, or acknowledge it.

"Don't be down on yourself," Melody said. "Most people can't sense these things, but you were there by his side, and that's what really counts."

~
They rode in silence a little while, lost in their own thoughts. Ghost was mumbling something, as he slept. Steve glanced in the rearview mirror at him, hoping his dream would not turn into a nightmare, or day-mare, or whatever you'd call it. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw something leap into the road, right in front of them.

Melody shrieked, as he braked hard, to avoid hitting the thing. The van skidded a bit, but Steve held it steady, slowing, and pulling over to the side of the road. Ghost had been woken up, and was staring out the front windshield.

"What the hell was that?" Steve asked, his voice raised an octave.

"Oh my, God...oh my, God..." Melody was repeating, with her hand over her pounding heart.

"Y'all ok?" Steve asked them.

"It was a deer," Ghost said, calmly. "I was trying to warn you, right before I saw it in my dream." He paused a second. "It's an omen."

Steve snorted. "Bullshit...it was a crazy old deer. They jump in front of cars all the time...don't mean nothing," he said, but the look on Ghost's face was scaring him, even as he tried to blow the incident off as normal.

"What kind of omen?" Melody asked.

"I don't know, yet," Ghost said, shrugging. "But, it's for Steve."

"Hell no..." Steve said, a bit too loud, but he still had that weird feeling from earlier, and knew Ghost was right.

"Can't omens ever be good ones? How do you know what they mean?" Melody asked.

"I never saw a good one, before," Ghost said. "I don't know what they mean, just later you have be on the lookout, after you see or feel one. Then, you'll know when the thing happens, that that is what it was for."

Steve was shaking his head. That's crazy talk...

"It's not crazy talk, Steve," Ghost said. "You need to be careful for awhile."

"Oooh, that's giving me chills," Melody said, as she rubbed her arms.

Steve eased the van back up onto the road. "I'll be careful, 'cause I'm always careful...no more, no less."

Ghost shrugged. "It's your omen. Do with it what you will," he said. He leaned back, closing his eyes, trying to go back to sleep.

Steve didn't want to admit it, but he was a bit jumpy, now. "Dammit, Ghost, why do you have to say things like that. you know it freaks me out."

Ghost opened one eye, and stared at the back of Steve's head. "Because it's the truth," he said. He didn't know if Steve had heard him or not, because he'd turned the radio on pretty loud. Well, it doesn't matter anyway. I'll be watching out for you, even if you don't believe it...

They continued on their way. Steve kept pushing buttons on the radio, but nothing was suiting the mood he was in. Melody gasped, each time a car passed them, sure it was going to hit them. She kept stepping on imaginary brakes.

"Will you stop that?" Steve finally said. "They aren't going to run into us."

"Sorry," Melody said. "I know, but I can't help it. Ghost got me kinda scared, now, and I just want to be out of this car, and safe in my room."

"Yeah, me too. He has a way of doing that, all cryptic...like he gets some terrible message from on high. Then, half the time he don't even know what he's talking about. It creeps me out. I should be used to it, by now," Steve said.

"Does it come true, what he predicts?"

"Sometimes...most times...but, like he said, you don't know it until later."

"Why can't I do that...see things, hear things, know things?" Melody asked.

"I thought you could," Steve said.

"I can a little bit, but I never thought much about it, or even tried to. Now, I'm all interested in it," she said.

Steve laughed. "Hah, then you've come to the right pace. Ghost can tell some tales, all right. Some are true, some from who knows where, and he'll make you believe it every time.

Melody turned to look in the back seat at her sleeping brother. "I wonder what's going on in that head, right now?"

Steve shrugged. "I don't know, but for sure it's way more interesting than what I see when I'm asleep."

~
Next part coming soon!


Peace, Love, & Writing

Friday, February 26, 2016

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE ... # 286

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
# 286
warning...adult content




~
Steve parked the van in front of the magic shop, there in downtown Raleigh. As he, Melody, and Ghost entered the storefront, the little bell tinkled, alerting the store's owner. She came up front, from the back room, and as soon as she saw who her customers were, she smiled. "Ghost, Steve, it's been awhile. Come on in and look around. I have a few new items you might be interested in." She looked toward Melody. "And who is this lovely lady? She, well, she looks an awfully lot like you, Ghost."

"That's 'cause she's my twin sister," Ghost said, then introduced them to each other. Melody was wide-eyed in wonder, as she looked at all the new-age items filling the little shop.

"Go on, look around," the saleslady said. "If you see something you want, put it here on the counter," she urged them.

Ghost and Melody wandered around, exclaiming over everything. Steve leaned on the counter, watching them.

"How've you been, Steve? Everything ok....no more demons to get rid of?"

"Nope, not so far. We've been pretty good. Been out to L. A.  My sister moved back home here, and we all drove back just yesterday."

She nodded. "And, y'all found Ghost's sister along the way. I didn't know he had one."

"We didn't either," Steve said. "It was a strange story how we found her. I'll tell ya sometime. I need to round up those two. We gotta get groceries, then head back home." He went over to where Ghost and Melody were looking at the crystals and gemstones.

"Find anything you want?" he asked them. "We need to get going; let's pay for your stuff and get over to the grocery store."

Ghost put his chosen items up on the counter, along with Melody's. He'd gotten the usual sage bundles, and incense, and Melody had picked out a nice rose quartz stone, and a necklace with a dragonfly pendant.

"Anything for you today, Steve?" the lady asked.

"Naw, you know me...got enough of this stuff already."

"There's never enough magic, Steve," Ghost said, looking serious about it.

"Well, you keep us supplied with plenty," Steve said. They checked out their purchases, then drove around to the grocery store.

"Ok, y'all...in and out, stick to the list, and Ghost..."

"Yeah, I know. I'll try," Ghost said, rolling his eyes.

Inside was nice and cool, and the three of them stayed together for a little while, but Steve got a bit preoccupied at the meat counter. Ghost motioned for Melody to follow him.

"Now, we can look around without Steve bossing us and all," Ghost said.

Melody giggled. "What should we look at?"

Ghost thought a moment. "Um...shiny things. It'll be a game. We have to find just shiny things, and bring it back to the basket...and, sneak it in before Steve sees. Ok?" He laughed.

"Ok," Melody said. "She'd never shopped this way before, and was finding it pretty fun.

They went up and down the aisles, at a pretty quick pace, grabbing a box of tin foil, a cheese grater, a package of light bulbs, and at the last minute, Melody picked up a bottle of metallic silver nail polish. They went back to find Steve. He was no longer at the meat counter, though.

"Where'd he go?" Ghost asked.

Melody shrugged. "Ask somebody."

Ghost nodded, looked around, then walked up to a kid stocking the shelves with frozen foods.

"Did you see Steve?" he asked.

"Huh? Who's that?" the kid asked.

"He's got dark hair, and he's tall. We lost him," Ghost said. His shiny items were slipping from his arms, and he was juggling them around, trying to hold on to them.

The kid looked around the store. "Is that him, way off in the dairy section?"

Ghost looked where the kid was pointing. "Hey, yeah it is. Thanks." He and Melody headed in that direction, but slowed down as they neared, so as not to be seen. As Steve turned from the basket, they both rushed up and dumped their extra items in, covering them with packages of toilet paper, and paper towels. They high-fived each other, just as Steve turned toward them.

"I know y'all disappeared. What were you doing?" Steve asked.

"Just looking around," Ghost said. "Are we done, yet?"

"Almost," Steve said, pushing the basket down the cereal aisle. "Get whatever kind you want," he said. "Did you get the things Linda wanted?"

"Oh, I forgot," Melody said. "What was it; did I write it down?" She took the list from Steve, scanning over it. "Oh, here it is. She wanted cereal, juice, and milk."

"We'll get those, then we'll be finished," Steve said.

"Ok, I'll meet you up front," Melody said.

Steve and Ghost made their way up to the check-out counters. "I'm impressed, Ghost," Steve said. "You did great in here, today."

"Yeah," Ghost nodded. "I think because Melody is here. She is good for me."

"I believe it," Steve said.

Melody returned to set her things on the counter. She looked in the basket, and noticed the shiny items hadn't been seen by Steve. He was casually watching , but then frowned a bit, when he saw the extras go by.

"Hey, those weren't on the list. Why are they here?" He gave Melody and Ghost a look, but they weren't admitting anything. "Ok, fine, y'all had a bit of fun...ha-ha."

"So, y'all still want these?" the clerk asked.

"Yeah, it's ok, we'll use them sooner or later," Steve said, and pulled out his wallet.

While walking out to the van, he said, "If you're waiting for me to get mad, it's not gonna happen.'

"Mad at what?" Ghost asked.

"Come on, don't play that game," Steve said. "You know what." He laughed, and Ghost gave him a look. He knew if Melody hadn't been along, Steve would have not thought the little prank funny at all.

Back in the van, Steve was not looking forward to the thirty mile drive back home. He'd had enough of driving to last him a long time. Not even the sight of his T-bird, sitting in their driveway, could entice him. He could feel a strange mood coming over him, but couldn't really put a name to it. It was making him uneasy, though.

"Hey, Ghost, tell me a story or something...a funny one, ok?" he asked.

"He's asleep already," Melody said.

"Huh, that was fast," Steve said, and sighed.

Melody could sense something going on with Steve, so asked him, "What's wrong? You seem down all of a sudden."

"It's nothing, just a weird mood, I guess. I'll be ok."

~
Next part coming soon!



Peace, Love, & Writing

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE ... # 285

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
# 285
warning...adult content





~
"I really want to know you," Melody said. "Like, how it was growing up. It seems so different from me." She was drawing little hearts on the damp table.

"I do that," Ghost said.

"Huh...do what?"

"That...draw on the table," he said. "Ever since I was a kid, this here table. I drawed lots of stuff on here." He pushed his finger around on the still wet surface of the old-fashioned dinette. "It could tell you lots of stories about me."

"This table was our grandmother's?" Melody asked.

"Um-hmm," Ghost said, as he got a far-away look in his eyes.

"Oh, Ghost, I want to hear about her, too. I've missed so much."

Ghost looked up, meeting her eyes. He knew she meant it, and that he would tell her everything...everything. "Everything," he said aloud.

"Yes, everything." Melody repeated, as she looked deep into Ghost's eyes.

A thousand thoughts and memories were filling his mind...snippets of conversations, long gone, snap shots of his life, running together in fast-forward sequences. He wasn't trying to send his images to her, but she was hearing and seeing some of them, as she stared back. They both were totally in their own world, together...he sending and she receiving the images and feelings. They didn't hear Steve and Linda come quietly to the kitchen door.

They paused, watching Melody and Ghost, and were fascinated. Linda nudged Steve. He smiled, as they both could tell that these two were talking without words. Just then, Spirit jumped up onto the table, breaking their concentration. Both reached out to pet him, then laughed.

Steve cleared his throat to make himself noticed. "Y'all ok?"

"Yeah, we got some things to catch up on," Ghost said. "And Spirit says he's happy Melody came home to us, and I am, too."

"Me, too," Melody said. "I want to really be your sister, not just somebody who looks like you."

"I got lots to tell you, and show you," Ghost said.

Steve laughed. "Melody, you'll learn soon enough that once you get Ghost talking, he don't ever want to stop."

"I can't wait," Melody said.

"Y'all have plenty of time for that. Right now, we gotta go to the store, that is if y'all want to eat, later," Steve said. "Who's coming with me"

"Me and Ghost," Melody said, getting excited.

"I'm not," Linda said. "I'm going back to the Yew. Kinsey's probably pulling his hair out by now, trying to keep up with Stevie and Mandy. Y'all can take the van; it has more room. I'll drive Kinsey's car back."

Melody jumped up from the table. "Where's some paper? I'll make a list."

"I like making lists," Ghost said. "I'll get some paper for you." He went off to his bedroom.

"Well, brother," Linda said, "I'm heading back to town. Y'all coming in later?"

"Sure, we'll be in, and Melody will probably need to recover from the shopping trip, if you know what I mean," Steve said, shaking his head.

Linda laughed. "Oh, I think it's you who'll need to recover. Anyway, give me a hug, I'm outta here."

"Need me to pick up some things at the store, while we're there?" Melody asked Linda.

"Oh, yeah...write down juice, for the kids, and some cereal and milk for in the morning. I don't know what else right now," Linda said.

She and Steve walked toward the front porch. "See ya later," Steve said, waving her off.

Back inside, Ghost handed Melody some paper and markers. "Here, " he said. You can have this notebook for your own."

"Oh, thank you," Melody said. She started writing the list. "Tell me what y'all need to buy, and I'll write it." Ghost looked around the kitchen, naming off items.

"Put beer on there," Steve said, as he came back into the kitchen.

"And, cat food," Ghost said.

After a few minutes, the list was finished, and they were ready to go. "Where is this grocery store?" Melody asked.

"Raleigh...about thirty miles from here," Steve said. "There's a little one here, but for most of it, we go to the big one."

~
As they drove down the highway toward Raleigh, Steve said, "Ok, here's the plan. We go in, we get what's on the list, and we go home. Got it?"

"Uh...we need to go to the magic shop, too," Ghost said.

"And, why is that?" Steve asked.

"There's a magic shop," Melody asked. "I want to go see it."

"Maybe another day," Steve said. He expected to get a rise from Ghost, or even Melody, but they were quiet. He glanced in the rearview mirror at Ghost, then noticed Melody smiling and nodding her head...for some reason he couldn't find a reason for. Then it dawned on him...they were mind talking.

"Hey, y'all stop that ESPing each other." He frowned. "If ya got something to say, just say it."

"Ok, please, please, please, Steve, can we go to the magic shop?" Melody begged, hoping Ghost's suggestion would work.

"We ain't got nothing else to do today," Ghost said.

Steve was shaking his head, no, but said. "Oh, ok...y'all win, but just for a minute. We'll go in, say hi, and you can get what you need. How's that sound?"

"Ok, we can do that," Ghost said. He and Melody high-fived.

~
The rest of the trip was spent with Ghost singing songs, and Melody adding her voice along with him on the ones she knew. Steve smiled. They sound great together...

"Hey, I have an idea," Steve said. "You both should sing a few songs on the stage."

"Me...sing on a stage?" Melody asked.

"Yeah, you sing really good, and if you and Ghost sang together, it would be awesome."

"You do sing good," Ghost said. "When we gonna be on stage again?"

"Soon, I hope," Steve said. "We'll have to clear it with Kinsey, but I'm sure he'd be ok with some Saturday night.

"We can have Zack and Trevor up there, too," Ghost said, getting excited. "I need to sing. Well, more than I do now, anyway."

"I know, and it's been way too long," Steve said.

"What songs would you want me to sing?" Melody asked. "What if I mess it all up?"

"We'd practice a lot first, don't worry about it. You already know most of them, anyway," Ghost said. "It's really fun, and the kids love it when we play. They won't boo you, if you miss a word. They never do to me, and I forget the words sometimes...right, Steve?"

"That's right, Melody. Ghost forgets the words, even though he's been singing them for years. Then, he just makes something up and keeps going." Steve laughed.

"Well, ok...I'll try it, then." Melody said.

They were in Raleigh now, and Steve was negotiating the traffic. "This is a pretty big city," Melody said, looking at the buildings and shops.

"There it is...the magic shop," Ghost hollered, pointing it out to Melody. "It's got all kinds of cool things in there, and the lady is real nice."

~
Next part coming soon!



Peace, Love, & Writing

Sunday, February 21, 2016

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE ... # 284

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
# 284
warning...adult content




~
Linda stirred three teaspoons of sugar into the hot coffee she was going to bring out to Ghost.

"Come on," she said to Melody.

They walked through the living room, and out to the front porch, the screen door slamming behind them.

"Here, Ghost, drink this. It'll calm you down." She handed Ghost the mug, and he gulped half of it right down, not waiting for it to cool.

"Ahh, thanks Linda," he said.

Melody was watching from just in front of the door. She'd not come any farther out. Ghost noticed her hanging back, and knew she was upset, and a bit fearful.

"Melody, it's ok. I didn't mean to scare you." Ghost looked up at Steve. "Tell her, Steve. I never mean to, it just happens."

"Do you do this a lot?" Melody asked.

"Yeah, but I don't plan on it."

"Are you gonna find out what it was this time?" Steve asked.

Ghost shrugged. "It will be more clear later, when it wants to reveal itself." He drank more of his coffee, now feeling he was done talking about the vision he'd had." The others were wanting to hear more, though, but the only thoughts Ghost was picking up on were Melody's. He didn't want to. He didn't like what he was hearing from her.

He tried not to stare at Melody, as he was concentrating on what she was thinking, but she was staring at him, and the look on her face was scaring him. He kept sending reassuring thoughts to her, but it was hard getting through, now. Her own thoughts were too loud. She seemed to be afraid of him...wary. She was overwhelmed at all the new people, ideas, and weirdness that she'd been exposed to the last week or so, since meeting Ghost, and his...now her family. She was surprised that it felt she'd known these people a long time, but a short time, also.

"Melody?" Ghost said, aloud. "I'm not...stop saying it."

"I can't," she said, then ran back inside the house.

Frowning at Ghost's and Melody's sudden outburst, Steve asked, "What's the matter with her, now?"

"I'll go see," Linda said, and followed Melody inside.

"Well? What's the deal," Steve asked Ghost. "What did you want her to stop saying?"

Ghost looked confused. "She was saying I'm crazy and scary, and why did she even have to meet us, and she wished she'd never met any of us."

"Damn, I thought she liked us," Steve said.

"Why would she say that?" Ghost asked. "Why now? I don't understand."

Steve could see Ghost truly seemed bewildered. He never seemed to remember that he had a way of appearing to others as strange, and yes, a bit crazy. It was just normal for him...he was who he was, but it took people awhile to get used to him.

"She's just getting to see us the way we are at home. The traveling and all was fun, and exciting, and new. It's just sinking in that we are her real family now, and there's no going back, now that she knows." Steve said, trying to explain, hoping this was the truth, and this was all that it was.

"I want her to like us, not be scared of us...of me..." Ghost said. "I don't mean to be scary. And, she wanted me to show her how to talk to the spirits."

"I know, Ghost," Steve said. "It just got a little too real for her all of a sudden. She can't help what her thoughts are. And, she didn't actually say any of that out loud."

"Oh, yeah...but I heard them real loud." Ghost sighed, and rubbed his face. "Sometimes I wish I didn't hear things."

Steve didn't have an answer for that, so he said, "Why don't you go in there and talk to her?"

"About what?"

Steve rolled his eyes. "About what we just talked about. Show her you're not scary...weird, yes...but not scary. She don't need to feel afraid of you, I mean, you're twins, for God's sake. Don't even have to talk. Just do that mind meld thing you do. I don't know."

Ghost made a face at Steve. "Mind meld thing?"

Steve shrugged. "Yeah...now go on in there."

Ghost went to the door and peered in through the screen. "They're not in there."

Steve just pointed to the door, giving Ghost a look.

Ghost went in. He could hear Linda and Melody talking in the kitchen. He sidled in, poured himself another mug of coffee, and sat at the table. He nervously stirred sugar into it, making the spoon clink on the cup.

Linda had stopped talking, as she saw him come in. It was an awkward silence, that she felt needed to be broken. "You two need to talk," she said, then left them there, as she went out to join Steve, on the front porch. Ghost was on one end of the table, Melody was on the other.

"Well, they talking?" Steve asked, as Linda came outside.

"Nope, not when I left."

After a couple of minutes spent rocking back and forth on the swing, Steve asked, "You think she'll fit in here?"

Linda was a bit surprised by the question. "Why wouldn't she? She's family."

Steve shrugged. "I know, but I get the same damn feeling that I get from Ghost...that she could just up and disappear at any time."

Linda nodded. "Oh, yeah, I see what you mean. I kind of feel it too, at least about her. She seems a bit flighty."

"Um-hmm, that's it," Steve said. "She should at least give us a chance before taking off, if she does." He closed his eyes, shaking his head. "God help Ghost, if she does take off. He'd be a total wreck. He's always wanted to find some kind of relative, and she looks to be the only one he has."

Linda looked worried. "We have to make sure she sticks around, then."

"Yep," Steve agreed.

~
Inside, at the table, Ghost took a drink of his hot coffee, just as Melody spoke, startling him so, that he spilled half of it onto the table. "Shit, you scared me," he blurted out.

Melody giggled. "I'm sorry." She ran to get a towel. Ghost watched, as she mopped up the spill.

"I don't want you to be scared of me. I'm sorry if I do crazy things, and I never mean to."

Melody sat back down. "I know, and I didn't mean what I said out there." She put her hand over his. "I'm just trying to take in everything that's happened to me, since I met y'all. I'm really glad you found me, and that we're twins, and I have a for real family."

"Me too," Ghost said. "I always wanted to find someone, but never thought it would happen. Are you mad at me?"

"Mad? No, are you?"

"No."

Melody smiled. "Then can we start over?"

Ghost nodded. "Yes."

~

Next part coming soon!


Peace, Love, & Writing






Friday, February 19, 2016

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE ... # 283

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
# 283
warning...adult content




~
Steve went into the kitchen to see what Linda and Melody were doing. There was a rich aroma of coffee infusing the air in the little house, and he inhaled deeply. Linda was setting out mugs for everyone, and Melody was making eggs and toast. They were glad now, that they'd stopped by the little convenience store on the way to Ghost's house this morning. Picking up a few things for breakfast was a good idea, as there was nothing much in the refrigerator to use.

"Hey...breakfast?" Steve asked.

"Yep, that's what it is, brother," Linda said, giving him the once-over.

"About earlier..." Steve said, a bit embarrassed.

"Don't worry about it," Linda said, and winked. "Here, sit down." She handed him a full mug, of the hot coffee. She looked up, as Ghost came into the room. "You, sit down." She poured him a mug of coffee, too, setting it in front of him. "Here's sugar, and there's milk, but I didn't find any creamer. Y'all need to go to the store."

Melody finished the eggs and toast, and set them on the table. Getting out plates and forks, she didn't look either Steve or Ghost in the eye. It was getting awkward, and no one was saying anything, as they concentrated on eating.

Linda sighed. "Ok, enough of this. Sorry we were laughing before, and we didn't mean to surprise you like we did, but we're all grown-ups here, so...oops...and let's forget about it, ok?" They all agreed, and Ghost added, "I love him."

Linda reached over and hugged him. "We know you do, honey."

~
After eating, Ghost showed Melody around the house, small as it was. He pointed out the newest parts that were built after the hurricane. "My room looks just the same as before, but has new walls and stuff, 'cause they were all smashed." He looked at the walls, touching the nearest one. He had been slowly adding to the writing on them. Looking down, he said, "It was all flooded in here, and I almost died, but Steve saved me." He looked sad, remembering that day.

Melody looked up at the ceiling, noticing the stars painted on. "They glow in the dark, don't they?"

When Ghost nodded, she said, "I had some on my ceiling at home, too. They were just the stick-on kind. I'd look at them every night, and dream of being somewhere else."

"We have a song about the stars, on our CD," Ghost said. He got up from the bed, where he'd been laying down, to get something from the dresser. "Here, you can have these," he said, holding out a copy of their book, and the CD they made. "But, don't listen to it now. Wait 'til it's quiet, ok?"

"Ok, I know I'll love it. This is the book y'all did?" Melody asked.

"Yeah," Ghost said.

She flipped through it, stopping at a picture or two. "This is awesome. You really saw the spirits and talked to them?"

"Sure...at least I did. Steve says he can't see them, but I think he just don't want to He gets freaked out a lot." He laughed, because it was true.

"You're not scared?"

"No, not of the spirits of the dead, cause they're not really dead. They're just in spirit form. They're still who they always were." He paused a few seconds. "The other things, yeah, I'm scared."

Melody glanced up at him, wondering what he meant by that, and not sure she wanted to find out. She felt a chill go up her spine, leaving goose-bumps on her arms. Rubbing them away, she asked, "You'll show me how to see them, the good ones?"

Ghost shrugged, "I'll try, but I don't really know how I do it. I was always seeing them...always..." he whispered the last word, as he remembered his past for a minute.

Melody saw the fleeting shadow of his thoughts cloud his face. "Ghost? What is it...something just happened. Was I feeling your thoughts, or sensing something sad?"

Ghost shook his head to clear away the thoughts, to clear his mind. "Hmm? What did you say?"

Melody was confused. Ghost was acting weird, now. She repeated her question.

"Um...yeah, you picked up on something, I guess, like how I was feeling? But, I don't know how I was feeling. Everything just went blank or something. I don't know..." he said, seeming a bit dazed, or confused himself.

"You looked sad, and I could feel it...in here," Melody said, putting her hand over her heart. Coming over to the bed, she gave her brother a hug. "It's ok, whatever it was. We're together, now, and no bad things can stand up to us. Do you believe that?"

Ghost looked into her eyes, a mirror of his eyes. "I want to," he whispered, "but, I can't."

"Now, you're freaking me out, Ghost," Melody said. "I wanted to see and feel things, but you're making me scared."

Ghost didn't answer. He was still looking in her direction, but wasn't really seeing her. She hadn't known Ghost long enough to have seen him like this.

"I'm getting Steve," she said, leaving the room. She stopped for a second, at the door, looking once more at Ghost. He'd not moved or stopped staring into space. She found Steve and Linda on the front porch.

"Steve," she said, as she came outside.

"Hey, Melody, getting the grand tour of the house?" He laughed.

"Not any more. Ghost is acting weird, and he was scaring me. Go look at him."

Steve jumped up from the swing and ran into the house, with Linda and Melody following. At the bedroom door, Steve was relieved to see that Ghost wasn't having a seizure.

"Ghost?" he asked, softly, coming to sit by him on the bed. "What do you see?"

Linda started to say something, but Steve motioned for her to wait. "It's ok, Ghost, you can say what it is."

Ghost finally focused on Steve's face. "Steve?"

"I'm right here...there's just us. No one else in here. You ok?"

Ghost shuddered. "I don't like it. I don't...I can't see it, yet...just a bad feeling, real strong. We need protection..." he faded off, as he began his trance, again, his eyelids fluttering. He was breathing hard. Steve knew he had to break the circuit in Ghost's thoughts, and feelings, or he'd go into a seizure for sure.

"Ghost, come on, get up. You need to walk around, get some fresh air. Let's go NOW." Steve shouted, making Ghost startle.

"What? Why you yelling?"

Steve grabbed is hands, pulling him up, then guided him outside. "Linda, get some coffee. You know how he likes it."

"But, there's no cream," Linda said.

"Crap, well, lots of sugar and milk, then. Hurry."

Linda ran to the kitchen, and Melody trailed after her. "What's going on? Why is Ghost so weird? Tell me."

"Don't worry, he gets like this sometimes," Linda said. "Didn't Steve tell you?"

"He said Ghost has seizures sometimes. Was that one in there?"

Linda looked up from heating the coffee. "You never seen anyone have one before?"

Melody shook her head. "No."

"I'll explain later, but that wasn't one, or maybe a little one. I think Steve calls it Ghost's trances. It's where he does this psychic thing, where he can see into the future, and most times it's bad. Anyway, he'll be ok. It's normal for him, and yeah, it's spooky as hell." Linda still looked worried, though, as she poured coffee into a mug for Ghost.

~
Next part coming soon!


Peace, Love, & Writing

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE ... # 282

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
# 282
warning...adult content





~
Steve was surprised that Ghost wanted to make love out here on the porch swing. He wasn't going to protest, though. After all, their house was way out in the woods; no one else lived out here for miles. He smiled.

Ghost slowly rubbed his bare foot against Steve's thigh. "Come here, I want you."

Steve ran his hand up along Ghost's leg. Ghost could feel the warmth transferred from the hot coffee cup, to Steve's hand, to himself. He closed his eyes, catching his breath.

Steve set his mug on the porch, stood up, and let his pajama bottoms drop. He was ready. It was a bit awkward getting situated on the swing, as it kept rocking back and forth, but as he lay atop Ghost, the rocking began to keep time with their own sensual movements. They were free, and uninhibited with their passion, crying out as each touched the other in special places...in pleasure and a bit of loving pain. They didn't hear the car drive up onto the gravel driveway.

It was Linda and Melody, in Kinsey's car. They were momentarily shocked, but what else could they do...they were facing the porch, as they looked through the front windshield.

"Oh my, God, Linda," Melody said. "What should we do?"

"Um...they'll be done in a few minutes," Linda said, and giggled. "Enjoy the show?"

"I feel like we're watching a porno movie," Melody said.

Linda shook her head. "No, we're watching a love story."

Melody covered her eyes, but Linda laughed, as she caught her peeking through her fingers. "You embarrassed?"

Melody nodded. "I don't want to be seeing this. It's my brother that I just met."

Linda wondered, not for the first time, how much Melody had experienced in her life, she seemed so naïve.

"Ok, don't look. It is pretty awkward. I mean, it's my brother, too."

"Oh, I'm glad the kids didn't come with us out here," Melody said.

"Me, too." Linda took a quick glance up at the porch. All was still and quiet, now. "How should we let them know we're here?"

"Uh...honk the horn? Or, just get out like we just got here. Pretend we didn't see anything?"

"Ok, that's what we'll do," Linda said. "Ready?"

Melody nodded, and reached for the door handle.

"Ok, on the count of three, let's open the doors, and get out. Act normal. One, two, three," she counted. They opened the car doors, and as they got out, both slammed the doors to make a noise. They began talking about the weather, as they walked up the porch steps.

When Steve and Ghost heard the car doors slam shut, they froze. "Oh my, God...they're here," Steve said. He jumped up off of Ghost, grabbed his pajamas, and quickly stepped into them. He managed to get them pulled up, just as the girls had reached the porch steps.

Ghost had nothing to grab, except the blanket. He scrabbled around trying to find it. Steve saw it under the swing. He picked it up, and tossed it over Ghost, including his head.

"Hey," Ghost hollered, his voice muffled. He was squirming around under the blanket, trying to find an edge to get his head out from under.

The girls stopped and stared. Linda couldn't help herself from laughing.

"What are y'all doing here?" Steve asked.

"You told us to come over this morning," Linda said.

"Oh, yeah...well..." he looked down at Ghost. "What the hell are you doing under there?" he asked, jerking the blanket off Ghost's head. His hair was a fly-away, tangled mess from the static electricity in the blanket. Sweaty, and out of breath, he wrapped the blanket around himself, and without a word, stomped into the house, his bare feet barely making a sound. The trailing blanket knocked over the coffee cup, spilling the last dregs of the now cold liquid.

Melody was trying to stifle her giggles, by covering her mouth, but with little success.

"Y'all wanna come in?" Steve asked, trying to sound normal. He held open the screen door for them. Melody was taking it all in. There was a lot to look at...This is my brother's house, and my grandmother's...this is home...

Steve left the girls there in the living room, while he followed Ghost into the bedroom. He closed the door after himself, as he entered. Ghost was on the bed, just staring into space. When he looked up at Steve, a big, crooked grin lit up his face.

"We got caught," he said, then got to laughing until tears ran down his face. Steve sat on the bed, laughing with him.

"Oh my, God...how long were they there?"

"I don't know, they just appeared," Ghost said. He lay back on the bed again, going over the past little while, in his head. He then got more serious, and reached over to pulled Steve to him. Turning on his side, he enveloped Steve in a warm hug, and kissed him. "It was so good out there," he said, and smiled. "I want to do it again."

"Mmm...me too," Steve said. He smoothed Ghost's hair, and looked into those eyes. Sighing, he kissed Ghost again. "We better get out there. Get dressed." He got up off the bed, and went to the door. Ghost nodded, getting up, too.

~
Next part coming soon!



Peace, Love, & Writing

Sunday, February 14, 2016

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE ... # 281

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
# 281
warning...adult content




~
As Ghost got into the warm shower, Steve moved over a bit, to let Ghost stand under the streaming water. Ghost had closed his eyes, letting it wash over him, easing his tiredness from traveling.

Squeezing out some shampoo into his hands, Steve massaged it into Ghost's hair. He could feel himself getting turned on. Taking soap, now, he gently soaped Ghost's body, while Ghost stood there enjoying the feeling of his own arousal, and moaning softly. While soap bubbles cascaded from them both, Steve put his lips on Ghost's, who in turn, kissed him back, with a fierce passion. Then, he pushed Steve's head farther down, until Steve took Ghost into his mouth. Moaning louder, Ghost exploded, coming hard, with a scream of release.

Steve looked up, and saw that Ghost's eyes had turned deep blue, as he stared into his own. Sucking the last bit of essence from his lover, he kept a bit in his mouth, stood up, and kissed him deeply, giving him a small taste of himself. Changing positions, now, Ghost bent forward, Steve was at his back, gripping his shoulders. He entered with a powerful thrust, that almost had them both slipping and falling in the soapy water in the tub. A couple more, and Steve cried out in his excitement, as he reached climax.

Breathing hard, they both faced each other, sated and exhausted. Steve reached over, shutting off the water, then got a towel. He gently dried Ghost's hair, face, and body. He could tell Ghost was half asleep as he stood there.

After they were both dry, they went into Ghost's bedroom and collapsed on the bed. They would sleep uninterrupted by dreams or nightmares, the whole night through.

~
As dawn broke the darkness of night, Ghost opened his eyes. He smiled. He was looking straight into Spirit's eyes. The cat was purring, as he rubbed his face on Ghost's cheek. "Mmm," Ghost stretched and yawned. He saw that Steve was still sound asleep. 

"C'mon, cat," he whispered. They left the bed, headed for the kitchen. Ghost started the water boiling for coffee. They'd still not gotten an automatic coffee maker. Grabbing the opened can of cat food, he filled Spirit's bowl. Waiting, still, for the water, he opened the back door. The breeze was refreshing, as it blew gently through the screen door, and had the slight smell of the ocean, carried all the way to Missing Mile.

Noticing the water was now boiling, he poured it into the drip-o-later's top container. "When I get my coffee, we'll go outside in the swing," he told Spirit. Wondering if Steve was awake, he went to check on him. He wasn't, so he took a small blanket from the bed, made a stop in the bathroom, then went to pour his coffee. They had no fresh cream, so he put extra sugar in it. "We gotta go to the store," he said. "Let's go out, Spirit.

Unlocking the front door he padded barefoot onto the old wooden porch. He'd forgotten to put his knee socks on, but at some point, he realized he just didn't care any more. The sun was trying to rise above the pine trees, but so far had just tinged the sky with pinks and oranges.

He felt like writing about the beauty of it, but had left his journal inside. "Oh well, I'll do it later." He sat down sideways on the porch swing, holding the hot coffee cup in his hands to warm them. It hadn't reached full summer yet, so the air was a bit cool coming off the mountains, in conflict with the warm ocean breeze. He wrapped the blanket closer around his naked body.

Spirit frolicked around in the grass of the front yard, leaping at a moth that was still around this morning. After awhile, he heard Steve moving around inside. Ghost could follow his every move, just by listening to the sounds Steve made. He could also hear Steve's thoughts, and when he talked aloud to himself.

There...he was clinking around the cups in the cabinet, looking for his favorite one. "Where the hell is it," Steve muttered. Ghost grinned, as he noticed he, himself had Steve's favorite cup; it was the large, blue one, with a chip on the rim. He heard him pour coffee, and take a sip, then cuss, because it was so hot...like he always did.

He heard Steve wonder where he was, so he sent him a nudge...I'm out front... He knew Steve received the short message, because he felt Steve pause for a second, listening. Then, the screen door creaked open.

"There you are," Steve said. "Scootch over" he said, as he tried to sit in the swing. Then, he saw it. "What the hell? You got my cup."

"Yeah, sorry, I didn't notice," Ghost said.

Sighing, Steve looked out over the front yard. A fog was forming around the lower branches of the trees. "We're home." He glanced over at Ghost. The blanket Ghost had had wrapped around himself had slipped down a bit, showing the whole left side of Ghost's body.

"You gonna be naked all day?" Steve asked, and grinned.

"Maybe," Ghost said, not bothering to adjust the blanket. He drank the last of his coffee, set the cup down on the porch, then leaned back against the pillow, there on the swing. He now had his feet resting on Steve's lap, the blanket barely covering anything.

This was as blatant an invitation as Steve had ever seen from Ghost. He looked up into Ghost's eyes, and knew that Ghost knew exactly what he was doing...and doing to him.

"Here?" Steve asked. Ghost nodded.

~

Next part coming soon!


 Peace, Love, & Writing



Friday, February 12, 2016

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE ... #280

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
# 280
warning...adult content



~
Ghost took his cat, Spirit, from Trevor. He didn't even mind, when Spirit licked his face, and batted his paws into his hair, getting all tangled up, he was so happy to hug Spirit again.

Trevor was trying not to stare at Melody. She was doing her best not to stare at him.

"You look like Ghost," Trevor said. "Where did you come from?"

Melody smiled. "They found me. I'm Melody, Ghost's twin sister," she said, finally finding her voice.

"Cool...I'm Trevor. I draw things."

Steve rolled his eyes, again, at this awkward exchange. It was getting to be too much for him to take in. "Ok, you got your cat, Ghost, let's go home." He pulled out his wallet, and handed Zack $500.00.

"Oh, no...we did it as a favor...no need..." Zack said.

"Take it," Steve said, thrusting the bills at him. "We appreciate that you watched out for Spirit while we were gone."

Zack nodded, as he stuffed the money into his pocket. He knew they really did need the money.

"Ghost, get in the car; we gotta go."

Ghost looked up from murmuring to the cat. "He says y'all took good care of him. So, thank you."

"He's a great cat. We had lots of fun playing with him," Trevor said.

"Catch y'all later," Steve said, going out the door, followed by Melody, and Ghost. As they drove back to the Yew, Melody held Spirit on her lap. She loved cats, but was never allowed to have one.

At the club, they helped Melody get settled into her room upstairs, then went to find Kinsey again.

"We're heading home, Kinsey," Steve said.

"Ok, guess we'll be fine here. Get some rest," Kinsey said. "Oh, Terry's been out to your place, off and on, to make sure it's all ok, and to air it out. Your house should be just fine."

"Wait, Steve," Linda said, before they left. "Take the van. No need to take the U-Haul out there." She handed Steve the keys. "Whenever you get up and about in the morning, come pick us up, and we'll ride out to your house for awhile."

"Will do, Sis," Steve said, giving her a hug, then he and Ghost were leaving. "Later, y'all."

~
"Ok, y'all make yourselves at home," Kinsey said. "I've got business to take care of."

"We will," Linda said. "I'm going to get the kids in the shower, then myself. It's been a long day." Melody agreed that she'd be doing the same. 

"I'm really wanting to go see their house, tomorrow," she told Linda.

"It's a bit strange, but you'll like it," Linda said, and laughed. "Come on kids, shower time." She went into their room, closing the door.

Melody waited a few minutes. She stood at the railing, overlooking the club. She took it all in, at least what she could see, since it was dimly lit in the far corners. "I'm home...I'm really home..." she thought.

The club was closed for that night. Kinsey was catching up on bookkeeping, so it was a quiet evening for them all. Melody peeked into Linda's room to say good-night.

"I'm right here next door to you, and Kinsey's apartment is just down the hall, so if you need anything, just come on in."

"I will, thanks," Melody said.

"I imagine all this is coming at you pretty fast. You know, everything that has happened," Linda said. "They are all nice people...a bit strange, but don't worry. We're family." Linda tried to reassure Melody.

"It is a bit overwhelming," Melody said, then yawned. "I'm glad you're all my family. Good-night." She went into her room, leaving on only the bathroom light, and tried to sleep, but her mind kept going over all she'd been a part of these last few days.

~
Steve drove down the familiar road to their house. He was glad to be home, and so tired of driving. Ghost cuddled Spirit, and as they pulled into the driveway, he said, "Home...we're finally here."

At the door, Ghost paused to sense the atmosphere inside. "It's clear," he told Steve. "Just Terry's been in." He and Steve went in, and could tell that Terry had spent at least one night there.

"He never cleans up his mess," Steve said, as he looked at the half smoked joints in the ashtray, and a couple of beer cans on the coffee table.

"Good 'ol Terry," Ghost said. Spirit prowled around, checking things out.

"I'm leaving it all until tomorrow," Steve said. "Right now, I'm getting in the shower, and going to bed. I'm beat."

Ghost checked out the kitchen, looking for cat food. He found a can, and gave Spirit a bowl of it. In the refrigerator, he found a six-pack of beer, and some expired lunch meat. Making a face, he closed the door, fast. He went on to his bed room, finding it just as he'd left it. Grabbing a pair of soft, jersey, drawstring pants, he started to change into them, but decided instead to take a shower first, too. Steve was taking forever, though.

He went on into the bathroom, and eased himself into the shower with Steve. Steve smiled, having known Ghost would join him.

~
Next part coming soon!


Peace, Love, & Writing

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE ... # 279

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
# 279
warning...adult content




~
Kinsey jumped up from his chair, when he saw Steve and Ghost come into the office. A big smile creased his face.

"Hey, Kinsey," Ghost said, "we're here. Surprise!" He ran over to give Kinsey a hug. "We have another surprise, too."

Kinsey was taking it all in. His quiet office had suddenly become a noisy, people filled room. It felt like a party, already. Stevie and Mandy were running around hollering, and Linda was shushing them. Melody was hanging back, trying to be inconspicuous, and Ghost was babbling on and on, whether anyone was listening, or not. Steve just leaned against the wall, smiling, but looking tired.

"Well, Steve, you got 'em all back, safe and sound," Kinsey said.

"Um-hmm, and it wasn't easy," Steve said, and sighed.

"Yeah, I can imagine," Kinsey said. "You look beat."

Steve nodded. "I think I need to sleep for about a year, then maybe I'll feel ok."

Kinsey watched the kids for a minute. "What's the story...Ghost's face? What happened?" He really looked at the black eye and swollen mouth.

"A freak accident," Steve said. He didn't want to get into it right now. He knew Kinsey would never fully trust him again, anyway. No need to go into details at this point.

"Ok..." Kinsey said, as he raised his eyebrows. "Then, who's the girl? She looks the spitting image of Ghost."

Nodding, Steve said, "I'll let Ghost tell ya. Hey, Ghost, c'mere," he said, getting Ghost's attention. "You gotta introduce Kinsey to..."

"Oh yeah," Ghost said. He ran over to the couch, where Melody was sitting with Linda. Kinsey and Steve moved a little closer. "You gotta actually meet Kinsey," he said, grabbing Melody's hand, helping her up. "Kinsey, this here is Melody, my sister." He laughed. "We found her, and we didn't even know we was looking for her."

"Well, what do ya know. Nice to meet you, Melody. I'm Kinsey."

"Hey, Kinsey," Melody said, a bit shy now. "It was a big surprise to me, too."

Shaking his head, Kinsey said, "I'm trying to wrap my head around it. Sorry if I stare, but you two are so much alike."

"That's 'cause we're twins, Kinsey," Ghost said. "We're supposed to look alike"

Kinsey laughed. "You're right, and you've got to tell me the whole story. It's amazing. I mean, nobody knew."

"We'll tell ya everything, but right now we need to get Linda, Melody, and the kids settled in," Steve said.

"Of course. Her room is ready and waiting, and it's no problem opening up one for Melody," Kinsey said.

"Thanks, man," Steve said. "You want...I mean, how much, well, all the stuff in the U-Haul. What should we do with it for now?"

"Oh, well, bring in what you want. We'll put it in the other empty rooms for now. I was just thinking of what they need for today, or the next few days?" Kinsey looked at Linda.

"We can do that," Linda said, "but, Steve, don't you have to turn in the U-Haul soon?"

"Yeah, but not today. Why don't you tell me what you want out of there, for now. The rest can be situated tomorrow."

Linda named off several things she and the kids would need right away, and Melody did the same for herself. Some items were from the U-Haul, some were from the van.

"Come on, Ghost, let's start hauling it in." They all went outside, and began unloading. Even Stevie and Mandy were helping, by bringing in their toys.

Trudging up and down the stairs a few times got most of the essentials. "That's enough for now," Linda said, as she and the others went into the office, collapsing into chairs and the onto the couch. Kinsey brought in cold beer, and cokes for everyone.

"This is so nice of you, Kinsey, to let me stay here," Melody said. "I plan on getting a job. I don't want to be a free-loader."

"Aww, don't worry about it...take your time settling in," Kinsey said.

After a little while, Linda suggested they go get something to eat. It had been a long time since any of them had eaten anything, but snack foods.

"I can make us something," Kinsey said.

"No, you've done enough," she said. "I know there's a diner here, let's just all go over there." they all agreed with this.

Ghost and Steve rode with Kinsey, and they all met at the diner. Their favorite waitress was there, and was happy to see them. Introductions were made for Melody, then they all ate until they couldn't hold any more.

"I want to go get Spirit, now," Ghost said. "Then I want to go home."

"Ok, me too," Steve said.

Kinsey drove them around the corner to Zack and Trevor's house. This time Melody rode with them, as Linda and the kids went back to the Yew.

"You'll get to see Spirit," Ghost said. "I missed him so much...and Zack and Trevor, too."

"So you missed them, too?" Steve asked.

"Yeah, but not as much," Ghost said.

Kinsey pulled up into the driveway, and they all got out. Ghost was the first one to the door. He knocked, and waited. He knocked again. "Maybe they're not home," Steve said.

"They're in there," Ghost said. "they're in the kitchen, cooking, and..." he concentrated for a minute. "...and they have the music on." He banged harder on the door.

Finally the door opened. Trevor was surprised, and smiled. "Hey, you're back. Sorry, almost didn't hear you knocking. Y'all come on in. Hey, Zack, guess who's here?" As he turned toward the kitchen, his long ginger hair swung around his bare back.

Melody couldn't help but stare, open mouthed. Ghost caught her thoughts. He smiled his crooked smile. "They're together," he said.

She swallowed. "Uh, I know...but, damn."

Zack came out into the living room. "Hey, it's good to see y'all." He hugged Ghost and Steve. Noticing Melody, he did a double take. "Who's this lovely lady that looks like you, Ghost?" he asked.

"That's my twin sister, Melody," Ghost said. "This here is Zack."

Zack took Melody's hand and kissed the back of it. "Enchante, ma Cherie," he said in hisNew Orleans accented voice.

Melody giggled. "Thank you. I can tell you're from New Orleans. I've lived near there forever, up until a few days ago."

"Ahh, it is a pleasure, and you are right," Zack said.

Steve, watching this exchange, just rolled his eyes.

"Where's Spirit? I come to get him and take him home," Ghost asked.

"Here he is," Trevor said. He was carrying the sleepy cat in his arms.

Ghost reached out for him, and Spirit meowed long and loud, happy to see Ghost again.

~
Next part coming soon!



Peace, Love, & Writing

Sunday, February 7, 2016

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE ... # 278

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
# 278
warning...adult content



~
It was a tight squeeze, but everyone managed to get into the van. Linda started the engine, and pulled out of the police station parking lot, to head back up the mountain to the cabins. They needed to get their belongings, and the U-Haul, then settle up with the manager for the damages.

Stevie kept asking his uncle Steve what happened. "Not now, Stevie," Linda said, trying to shush him.

"You wanna know what happened? I'll tell ya," Steve said, still angry.

Linda gave him a warning look. "Steve, no...they don't need to hear it, and Stevie, stop asking questions...it's grown-up stuff. We're getting the U-Haul, and going back on the road."

"Damn right we are," Steve said. He slammed his fist down onto the arm rest, making them all jump. Ghost had laid his head over on Melody's shoulder, and when Steve startled them, he gripped her arm hard, then began sobbing. 

Linda took a deep breath. This is a waking nightmare...

~
Up at the visitor's center, word had spread among residents and employees. The place was abuzz with speculation. As Linda parked the van, she could see people standing on the porch, and others peering through the windows.

"Steve, my suggestion is we don't need to tell anyone anything. You and Ghost just go straight to the U-Haul and leave. I will give the manager a check, then I'll follow you down. I'm not in any mood to be talking to anyone, even if they say they are your friends. Deal?"

""Deal," Steve said. "I'll be damned if I'm gonna explain anything to anyone here."

"Ok, ready?" she asked.

Steve nodded. "Ghost, let's go. Don't look at anybody, don't talk to anybody. Just get in, and we leave." He opened his door, and the passenger back door, to let Ghost out. They were on the far side of the U-Haul, so the onlookers didn't have a view of them. As soon as they were in, he started it up, and pulled out.

Linda got out, alone, and walked to the office. She heard people calling out to her, but she didn't stop or look their way. Inside, she faced the manager at his desk.

"How much do we owe for the damages?" she asked.

He told her a figure, and she doubled it, then handed him the check. Raising his eyebrows, he asked, "Are they gonna be ok?"

Linda nodded. "Yes, they'll be fine. It was an accident."

"I know, and we do care about them, you know. Sorry I yelled earlier."

"Thank you," Linda said. "They care about y'all, too. You've all been very kind to them. They've already left, though. They're a bit shook up, and embarrassed about the whole incident."

"Y'all are always welcome here...no hard feelings. I mean that," the manager said.

Linda nodded. "I'll let them know." She turned, and went out the door, straight to the van. Inside, she felt she could breathe again. After a minute, she pulled out of the parking lot, and wound her way back down the twisty mountain road. On the outskirts of the little town, she saw the U-Haul pulled over, waiting for her. She pulled in behind it, then called on her cell phone to Steve.

"It's all taken care of. Let's get out of here," she said.

~

They drove for miles. No one was saying anything, in either car. Even the kids weren't complaining that they'd had no breakfast. They were all feeling a pall hanging over them. Exhaustion was showing on their faces, yet determination was keeping them going. The tall pines on both sides of the road seemed to loom over them, casting shadows on the road. The sun was somewhere above the tree tops, but here on the road, it was still, and dark.

As they passed the road that led up to the little community where Ghost had come from, he showed a bit of interest.

"That's the road..." he began.

"We're not stopping," Steve said, and pushed the accelerator down harder.

"It smells like home," Ghost said, smiling as best he could. "Can't you smell the ocean, Steve?"

"Yeah, won't be long," Steve said.

"Where we going?" Ghost asked.

"Huh? We're going home," Steve said, glancing over at Ghost.

"I know, but to our house, or to the Yew? Or to Zack's to get Spirit?"

"Oh...uh...the Yew, I guess," Steve said. "Linda is staying there for now. Maybe Kinsey will have something to eat. I'm about to starve."

"Me, too," Ghost said. "I love home. I don't want to go anywhere else, again."

"You got that right. Hey, look...there it is, straight ahead." Missing Mile was in their sights.

Both of them were grinning. The bad mood had lifted. "Does he know we're here today?" Ghost asked.

"I don't know, I haven't talked to him," Steve said. "Too late, now...we're here." He parked the U-Haul in the back parking lot of the Sacred Yew. Linda did the same, and they all got out, stretching their legs.

"It's done...we're here. Let's go in and surprise Kinsey," Steve said. He opened the back door. The familiar atmosphere of the club washed over them. It was dim in the hallway, and a wonderful smell of coffee was in the air. A light was on in the office, so they walked over, and Steve opened the door.

There was Kinsey, coffee cup in hand, leaning back in his office chair. As the door opened, he looked up in surprise. "What the hell? Y'all are back!"

~
Next part coming soon!


Peace, Love, & Writing