TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
As Steve put away the rest of the groceries, he noticed Ghost had not followed him. Standing in the doorway, looking at him, he shook his head. He'd never even tried to get up. Then, there was Terry, snoring, still on the couch. With the last item put away, he turned out the light in the kitchen. He had to search through the mess on the coffee table to find the TV remote, then clicked it off.
"Well, they can just stay out here, if they want to. I'm going to bed," Steve said to himself. He went into Ghost's room, and seeing Spirit asleep in the middle of the bed, he said, "Scoot over, cat, I'm sleeping in the big bed, tonight."
It seemed he'd just fallen asleep, when Ghost was waking him up. "Wake up...I brung ya some coffee."
He could smell the rich aroma, but why was there coffee in the middle of the night? Opening his eyes, he was surprised to see bright sunshine filtering through the curtains. "It's morning already?"
"No, it's still night time, and you're dreaming all this," Ghost said, then laughed. "Drink your coffee and wake up. I'll be outside."
Steve took the mug, and drank, letting the warmth bring him to full consciousness. It was a weird feeling not knowing how the night had passed so fast. How could it be morning, when he'd only been asleep for five minutes? It was giving him a headache, trying to figure it out. Swallowing the last of his coffee, he went in search for more. He made a face, seeing what was left from the previous night's libations scattered around the room.
"Oh, morning..." Steve said, as he came into the kitchen. Terry was pouring himself another cup. "You just wake up, too?"
"Um-hmm. You got any Tylenol?" Terry asked.
"In the bathroom cabinet; help yourself."
Terry headed down the hallway, as Steve took his fresh cup of coffee out to the front porch. He sat down on the swing, and watched, as Ghost did his morning ritual, out in the grassy area of the yard. He always liked the way Ghost greeted the mornings. He was fluid in his movements, and in his natural element. He never seemed awkward or clumsy, like he was most of the time. It was just the opposite from himself. Whenever Ghost made him do the greeting, he was the one who stumbled, and felt silly. He was smiling, as Ghost came back up the porch steps.
"Everything good?" Steve asked him.
"Yeah...but, I need to go to the ocean today."
"Because, I want to, and Melody said she wants to. She never seen an ocean before, so I told her you'd take us." Ghost smiled.
Steve squinted up at him. "Well, thanks for letting me in on the plan. Kind of last minute, isn't it?"
"What's that?" Ghost asked.
"Oh, just you waited until now to tell me, instead of telling me earlier, when you and Melody were deciding you wanted to go," Steve said, almost confusing himself.
"So, can we go?" Ghost asked, still not knowing what Steve meant.
Steve took a minute to think. Frowning and closing his eyes, he went over the excuses he could use to get out of going. Then, blowing out a big sigh, he said, "I guess so...when...after lunch?" Ghost nodded.
"Ok, you call her, and say we'll come pick her up in a little while."
"Thanks," Ghost said, then went inside to find the phone.
Steve gently swayed back and forth on the swing, sipping his coffee. The clearing in the front yard was a bit shimmery in the mid-morning heat, and he could hear Ghost talking on the phone, to Melody. Closing his eyes, he just sat there listening to the hushed noises. He loved living out here where it was quiet. ...maybe that could be worked into a song, somehow... he thought, as his mind drifted.
A cloud passed over the sun, blocking the light for a minute, and he felt a sudden chill in the air. He looked across the yard, seeing it was shadowed now, but somehow not really a shadow from a cloud...a darkening of the air, and his eyes were feeling funny. ...am I going blind?... Blinking, to clear his eyes, didn't help, and he began to feel panicky, as it continued to get darker.
"What the hell?" he asked. "Ghost...come here...look at this. What's going on?"
Slamming open the screen door, Ghost came out in a hurry. "Steve...the phone quit working. What's going on? It's dark, and it's not night." He ran out into the yard, looking up at the sky.
"Get back up here," Steve yelled.
"Is it the mist? What the hell is it?" Ghost asked, again. He came back up on the porch. The lamp inside the house was on, casting it's light out onto the porch, now. They were transfixed by the eeriness of day turning into night.
"Oh, man, it must be an eclipse...a total one," Steve said, as the darkness began to brighten a bit.
"Cool, I never seen one, before," Ghost said. "I thought it was your omen or something." He wasn't feeling scared, now.
"Aw, shit...why'd ya have to bring that up?" Steve asked. "Now, I'm nervous all over again."
Ghost shrugged. "Well, it wasn't, I don't think, but you never know. It could be a sign...of something." By now it was full daylight, again. "Do you feel strange? I do, like somebody walked over my grave."
Steve looked hard, at Ghost. "Don't...just don't."
"Talk about your grave; that's morbid."
Ghost laughed. "No, it's not. Don't you ever wonder what yours will look like?"
"No...never, and I don't want to even be talking about it," Steve said, and shuddered.
"We go to graves all the time," Ghost said. "There's a bunch of 'em in our back yard. They're not scary."
"Yeah, because they're not ours," Steve said.
"Ok, ok, but you know we'll have one, right?" Ghost asked. "Maybe, I hope, beside each other someday." He kept on about graves.
"Stop it, I mean it," Steve said. "I'm going in. It feels too weird out here in the open." He opened the screen door, and Ghost followed him inside.
Next part coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing