TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
Steve and Melody continued to talk, as Steve kept driving down the highway toward Missing Mile. Ghost was still asleep in the back seat of the van. Then, as they came to the city limits, Steve asked, "Do you want to come back to our house for the night, or go back to the Yew?"
Melody yawned. "Oh, I think I'll go back to the Yew. Linda may want some help with the kids, so you can drop me off there."
Nodding, Steve drove a few more blocks, then pulled up behind the Yew. He helped her carry in the things she'd bought at the grocery store, said a quick hello to Kinsey and Linda, then he and Ghost were finally on the way home.
"We home yet?" Ghost asked, not bothering to open his eyes.
"Will be in a few minutes. Get yourself awake, dude, we have to carry in all this shit we bought. I ain't doing it all by myself."
Turning into the rutted, dirt road that led to their house, Steve sighed. He was ready to get out and relax awhile. Ghost sat up straighter, as they pulled into the gravel driveway.
"Hey, Terry's here," Steve said, seeing Terry's old pickup parked in front of the house.
"Cool, he can help carry stuff in," Ghost said.
Going inside the house, they found Terry sprawled out on the old couch, watching a movie, and smoking a joint...one of many, from the looks of it. He looked up, his eyes bleary.
"Hey, dudes, y'all back?" he asked, drawling out the words.
Ghost plopped down on the couch, squishing in next to Terry, and took a hit. He offered it to Steve.
"Later...we have to unload the van," Steve said.
"Hey, ya got any munchies out there, 'cause there sure aren't any in here," Terry said.
"Yep, but if you want any, you have to help carry 'em in," Steve said. He went back outside to get the first load of grocery bags.
Terry looked at Ghost, and they both burst out laughing. "I think he means it," Terry said.
Ghost nodded, then got up to go help. Terry tried to, but didn't actually make it up off the couch. He went back to watching the movie. Steve and Ghost made several trips in and out of the house, until all the groceries were brought in, and piled up on the kitchen table. The counter tops were full of bags, too. They took a minute to just look at it all.
Both of them started to say something at the same time...
"I'm not gonna..." Ghost said, while Steve was saying, "I don't want to..."
Shoulders sagging, Ghost did find the milk, cheese, and eggs, to put in the refrigerator. Steve grabbed the meat he'd bought, and put it in the freezer. Then, blowing a strand of hair from his eyes, Ghost went back to the living room. Steve took a package of mini-doughnuts out, for them all to snack on.
"Here, Terry, pass them around," Steve said, then lit up his own smoke. Ghost had sat on the floor, and took hits when Steve passed it to him. The afternoon stretched on like this, the earlier fright with the deer and the omen forgotten for the time being.
They were enjoying themselves, laughing and making comments about the movie, quoting lines. They'd all seen this one many times. Steve had brought in beers for Terry and himself, and gave Ghost his bottle of Scuppernong. As the movie was almost over, they heard a car pulling up in the driveway, crunching over the gravel. Steve got up to look out the screen door.
"It's Linda and Kinsey," he said. Opening the door for them, he stood aside, as they walked in. "Welcome, welcome to this humble abode," he said, then started laughing. He draped his arm over Linda's shoulder, breathing into her face, as he said, "Hi, sister." She shrugged out of his hold.
"You stink," Linda said, making a face. "We came to get the van; where are the keys?"
Steve had sat back down on the couch. "They're in the van. Where else would they be?"
"Oh, ok," Linda said. She still wasn't used to people not locking things up around here.
Kinsey had gotten a beer, and was leaning on the kitchen doorframe, watching the others. Terry was too stoned to move, staring into space, and Ghost had already passed out on the floor. He somehow was still holding the wine bottle upright.
Shaking his head, Kinsey was thinking that these were his best friends, and what a motley crew they were. Finished with his beer, he moved toward the door. "I'll be going home, now," he said. "Are you staying awhile, Linda?"
"Nope, I'll be right behind you," she said. "Steve, y'all gonna be ok? Do you need me to stay?"
"No, we're fine, go on home," Steve said.
She bent down, giving Steve a hug. "Love ya, brother," she said, then stepping over Ghost, she left with Kinsey.
"You staying over?" Steve asked Terry.
"Um, yeah...don't think I could make it home." He leaned back on the couch and stretched. "We gonna watch another movie?"
"Maybe later," Steve said. "I have to put all that stuff up in there." Reaching out with his foot, he nudged Ghost. "Hey, Ghost, wake up. We have to put all that shit up."
Ghost mumbled something, and almost turned over the wine bottle. Steve managed to grab it, before it spilled.
"C'mon, get up and help me," Steve said, nudging him again.
"Stop kicking me," Ghost slurred.
"Well, get up then." He stood up, stepped over Ghost, and went into the kitchen.
Next part coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing