TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
Steve opened another can of beer, as he drove the five miles home. Pulling up on the graveled driveway, he cut the engine of his T-bird, and just sat there a few minutes. Dew was already forming on the grassy areas by the house, with a slight fog twining around the base of the pine trees. They'd left no lights on in the house, when they'd left earlier that afternoon, so that now, looking at the darkened little cabin, seemed a bit eerie.
Only unseen crickets and frogs could be heard, somewhere out in the woods. Steve had the feeling that something was watching him. "I've been around Ghost too long, thinking spooks are everywhere, watching us while we sleep...we'd never know..." He shivered, as a sudden chill overtook him. It seemed way too quiet...even the air felt heavy with foreboding.
Shaking his head of this line of thought, he got out of the car, slamming the door, hoping maybe the noise would scare away any lurkers out there among the trees. Stepping on the sagging porch steps, he pulled open the old screen door, hearing it's familiar squeak. Inside he flicked on the table lamp, chasing away the gloom, in the house.
Spirit came out of the bedroom, to rub against his legs. Bending down, Steve patted the cat's head. "Hey, cat...you hungry?" Spirit walked to the front door, sniffing the night air. He looked back and meowed. Steve knew immediately what the cat was asking...'where's Ghost?'.
"Aww, kitty, Ghost didn't come home tonight. He'll be back later on, though." He went into the kitchen to get food for Spirit. "Here ya go," he said, setting the dish down in the living room by the couch. He hefted the 30-pack of beer up onto the coffee table, and proceeded to crack open one after the other.
After a while, he headed off down the hall to the bathroom, only staggering a little bit, but bumping into the little hall table, he knocked off one of Ghost's geodes. It rolled a bit back and forth, as he tried to focus on it. "Shit," Steve said aloud. From the corner of his eye, though, he thought he saw a shadowy form slither into Ghost's bedroom.
"What the hell? Ghost?" He frowned, at the image he thought he saw, but couldn't wait to use the bathroom any longer. He was getting jumpy, now, all alone here in the house, hallucinating things. He finished up, then peeped into Ghost's room, just to check things out. He admitted to himself, that he was a bit scared of what he'd find. Standing at the threshold, he took note of the glowing stars on the ceiling, and the faint smell of dried roses, but saw no weird shadows. Shaking his head, he went back to the couch.
The voices in his head had been quieted somewhat, but now they returned, worse than before. Closing his eyes, he muttered, "What have I done...what have I done?" And then, he cried.
After a while, he scraped his arm across his face, wiping away his tears. He tried to get his thoughts in order, trying to make sense of all that had happened. A hand reached out for another can of beer, and in a moment of clarity, he was surprised to find it was his own, bringing beer after beer to his mouth to guzzle down, one by one. It seemed unattached to him. He could now feel a darkness creeping into his field of vision, as his head swam with dizziness. Falling to his side, on the couch, he lay there, letting the darkness take over. Then the dreams began.
Just as before, he could see images flashing one after another. Images of his life, of Ghost, of everything good and everything bad, stopping only for a bit longer look at certain times. He felt again, the deep depression of the years without Ghost, and how he'd been on the verge of ending it all, when Ghost came back that night.
He startled awake, a bright flash of lightning struck close by, it's silvered electricity, splitting a nearby tree. The following crash of thunder, shook the house...but he didn't care anymore. He only felt the same crushing despair as on that night so long ago. Abruptly sitting up, he shouted, "No! It can't happen again."
He rolled himself off the couch, and onto all fours. Then, bracing his hands on the coffee table, heaved himself up. He almost blacked out again, but the lightning flashed just then, jump starting his heart to a pounding rhythm.
"Why are you tormenting me?" he shouted at the thunder.
Spirit hissed, and ran for cover under the bed in Ghost's room.
"God, if you're punishing me, go ahead. I don't care...I deserve it. I'm a horrible person. I took a vow that I'd never hurt Ghost, again, but I have. I know it, you know it...so strike me with your lightning. Do it now...just do it. Just bring Ghost back to me one more time. I have to tell him I didn't mean it. I don't want him to go away." He was sobbing now, staring up toward the ceiling. "I love him. Is that so wrong...is it? It can't be. You put our souls together before, so many times; there has to be a reason why. Don't let this be the last time...please," he begged.
He'd been pacing as best he could around the living room. The electricity had been knocked out with the storm, leaving the house in darkness, again. He tripped over the empty beer cans on the floor where he'd tossed them, falling to his knees, getting back up. Hail now began hitting the roof, and rain was being blown inside through the screen door. Another crack of thunder and lightning resulted in another pine tree across the way to be struck, with sparks flying through the wind.
"This is Armageddon...or hell...I think I'm in hell..."
A sudden thought hit him. "Where is Ghost? Is he ok? Is he here in hell with him?" He had to find him, and then remembered his phone. Patting hs jeans pockets, he felt it, and scrabbled it out. Trying to focus on the back-lit numbers, he punched the speed-dial for Terry. Then, just as Terry answered, he stumbled again, over a beer can, falling hard.
"Ow," he yelled, then he couldn't help it...he began crying...loud, heart-wrenching wails."
Next part coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing