TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
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