Tuesday, January 28, 2014


We were finally getting an indoor toilet. Time had passed us by, being that we were stuck way out here in the woodsy, forgotten land. There were yew trees, and pine trees, and it was peaceful.

Now, we're no naifs...we'd heard of the newfangled plumbing, but, why should we bother. We had no city water pipes or taps out here in the sticks... at least until recently. The encroaching populated cities were closing in our idyllic solitude. They were in a rush to incorporate our vast wilderness.

I don't know what we'll do with our ox. We've had that heifer for years. We use her milk to make our favorite cheese...Brie. At first, we thought the sex of the ox was male. Then she birthed a baby ox, and the rest was history in the making. We give Grace, that's her name, a rubdown every week to thank her for providing us with her oh, so creamy milk. We even bottle grams of it to sell at the farmer's market down the hill. We net a good profit.

I dread when those effin' drunkards from city hall come jutting their chins at us, telling us to quit this place...move on or be part of their @x!# beeping city. Oy! How I would love to cane a couple of those nibs. I'm firm in being jaded. I'll openly duke it out with them...and win. I'm no dozer. I've maced nitwits before...I'll do it again.

It's apt for those ragtag litho newspapers to get everyone riled up. But then, it would be nice to have that indoor plumbing, I dare say. Mi!

Words used from crossword game are underlined.

toilet                       naif                              openly                   nib
grace                       maced                         rub                         oy
gram                       drunkards                  net                          ox
woodsy                   sex                               quit                         juts                
dread                       jade                             litho                       Brie
yew                          doze                            caned                     apt
firm                          beeps                          rush                      rag
duke                         mi                                win                       ef

Hope you enjoyed my silly crossword story!

Peace, Love, Laughter!


This post is just to say a few words about my Crossword Stories. That's what I'm calling them. There may have been other writers to try this form of coming up with story ideas, but I've never ran across any mention of it. Could be they call them something else...maybe just word prompts to get the ideas to come.

I've been thinking of doing this for quite a while, but just recently tried it out for the first time. This was when I was participating in @FridayNightWrites and @WriteClub on Twitter. It is lots of fun and a good time to practice different forms of writing.

What I did was to take all the words from an online game I play, "Words With Friends", and make a list from one of the boards. Those are the words I have to incorporate into my story. I've done a few so far, and they are short, so I will lable them under Flash Fiction, also. The stories are turning out to be humorous, so far. I'm usually giggling while I'm writing them.

I plan on doing more in the days ahead. Hope you get a giggle or two out of reading them!

Peace, Love, & Laughter

Monday, January 27, 2014

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE (tenth installment)

10th Installment
warning...adult content

Ghost walked down the gravelly path back to the highway. He was still so mad at Steve. He fumed and snorted and muttered to himself as he walked. As he went along the side of the road, cars whizzed by, their occupants staring at the red faced, blond hippie stomping along in his old Army jacket. The heat must have tetched him, they thought. Ghost began to slow down his pace.

"It's too hot out here to keep going," he panted. The cool shade of the North Carolina woods beckoned, so he figured he'd rest awhile over there in the shade. He knew these woods around Missing Mile probably better than anyone. He'd roamed this area since he was a kid. Being mountain born, and raised by his herbalist Grandmother had its advantages, he guessed. He never got lost out here. He hoped Steve got bit by a spider, maybe he even fell in the lake. That would serve him right.

"Hmmph," he snorted, as he leaned back against a tree. His mind began to wander as he cooled off. He thought about the day he met Steve...that day in these same woods. How he'd warned Steve of the giant spider web he was about to walk into. He couldn't stand the thought of anyone else getting spiders on them, since he hated them so much his own self.

"Hmmph, should'a let him run right into it," he thought. He didn't know why he had a spider phobia, or when it started. They even came to him in his dreams.

"Maybe a harbinger of bad things to come, a warning omen." He shuddered at the thought. Saying the word out loud, "harbinger," he shuddered again. "I ain't skeered of much a'nothin', just spiders," he told himself. "Nothin' wrong about that...it just is."

The shadows grew longer as the day passed along lazily. Ghost fell asleep. He was exhausted, and his sleep was dreamless for a change. When he awoke, he was disoriented for a bit. It came back to him slowly, but by then, the edge of his anger had worn down. What he felt now was hunger. He'd not eaten all day. Steve had all the food back at the campsite. It was beginning to be twilight...how long had he been asleep, he wondered.

Getting to his feet, he worked out what he'd say to Steve when he got back there.


Steve had been worried about Ghost off and on throughout the afternoon. On the one hand, he probably should go look for him. On the other hand, Ghost was probably still mad at him. And anyway, he thought, Ghost never gets lost in these woods. He knows exactly where he is, and he himself would probably be the one who got lost.

So he waited. The fishing had been pretty good...caught a few...cleaned them, and as it got dark, he lit a campfire and began to cook them. He figured if Ghost was anywhere nearby, the smell of cooking, and his hunger would lure him out. Sure enough, Ghost slowly took shape in the shadows of the woods, looking for all the world like a ghostly, pale wraith.

Steve smiled to himself. He tried to judge what Ghost's mood was. He wasn't getting a mad vibe from him, just a really hungry guy who's a little leery of coming near. He kept cooking the fish, and Ghost edged closer.

When he was a little closer, still, Steve said softly, "Hey," and looked at Ghost. "Come and eat."

Ghost nodded, came and sat down. He looked at the fire and began his rehearsed speech. "Steve," he whispered, "sorry I got mad at you." He bit his lower lip.

Steve's heard melted at his friend's obvious discomfort at apology. "Yeah, I'm sorry I laughed at you, Ghost," Steve said softly. They both looked up into each other's eyes, and both knew they'd been forgiven. They smiled.

They ate the fish, and then the sandwiches, washing it all down with the cold beer. Then Ghost remembered something.

"Hey, Steve, did you bring the molasses?" he asked.

"Yeah, it's over here," Steve replied. "Here, catch," he tossed the jar to Ghost. "What are you gonna put it on? You already ate the sandwiches."

Ghost looked at Steve and showed him he didn't need anything else. He took off the lid, inhaling the dark, rich aroma of liquid sorghum. He closed his eyes and breathed deep. "Ahhh," he sighed.

Steve watched as his best friend dipped his fingers into the thick, sweet syrup and slowly licked them. He watched with his mouth open, a bit of drool flooding his mouth. He licked his own lips as Ghost continued to lick his sticky fingers, again and again. Ghost kept making a slurping sound...almost a sexual sound. He looked as if he was in ecstasy, and maybe he was. As long as Steve had known him, he associated Ghost with molasses. Ghost always smelled faintly of the stuff, and his kisses tasted of it. Molasses was Ghost's drug of choice. He never went a day without it. He'd probably have withdrawal if he couldn't get it, Steve marveled. For some reason it seemed to calm him down.

Steve continued to watch Ghost, who was totally focused for once. In spite of himself he felt turned on. He felt hmself begin to breathe harder. In spite of himself he wanted to taste Ghost's molasses covered lips, his molasses covered tongue...and so he did.

He reached over and held Ghost's face in his rough hands and touched his own tongue to Ghost's sticky lips, parting them, and the resulting warm sweetness of tongue on tongue was almost enough to make him loose control right then.

Ghost relaxed into the deep kiss, and they fell together back onto their blanket. Stickiness of their rising heat of skin on skin. Stickiness of the sweat hot day, stickiness of molasses...and stickiness of their love, co-mingled under the twinkling stars.

They fell asleep in each other's arms once again.

Next installment coming soon!

Peace, Love, & Writing

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE (ninth installment)

9th installment
warning...adult content

                                                     CHAPTER 3

Morning came as it always did in Missing Mile, hot and humid, even this early. Kinsey had closed up the Yew the night before after everyone had left. Ghost and Steve had packed up and left, to sleep and to head out on their fishing adventure this morning. Kinsey chuckled at the thought of those two. He brewed a strong pot of coffee and sat thinking of what he had to do this day.

The bar wasn't open in the mornings, but Terry knew Kinsey would be up, and he really needed a mug of the coffee he knew would be just about ready. As he quietly opened the door, he felt the refreshing coolness inside, and smelled the rich, dark coffee. Kinsey was seated at one of the tables, feet propped up on a chair.

"Hey, get yourself a cup," Kinsey nodded toward the kitchen. They sat in companionable silence for a bit, letting the steaming mugs of liquid do it's work in waking them up.

"Quite a show last night, huh?" mused Terry.

"Yeah, we did good on the count, and you guys were amazing! I can always depend on Lost Souls? to pack the house. I'm glad they're back in town," Kinsey replied.

"So, what's everyone doing today?" asked Terry.

"Well, I'm cleaning up, and then we'll be open for regular hours tonight. No bands are booked, so it'll just be the kids wanting food, beer, and games. The jukebox will have to do tonight."

"Yeah, I'll probably drop in later. I have to go open the store in a little bit. I gave Steve the next couple days off," said Terry. "Oh, what's that I heard about them going fishing? Was that today?"

"Yep, them two had it all planned out. Gonna leave first thing this morning and head over to the lake," Kinsey chuckled again. "I can't even begin to imagine how that'll go."

"Hmm," Terry mused. "Why don't we sneak out there and see for ourselves? I'll bet we'd get a few laughs out of it."

"Yeah, that'd be something to see, but I got too much to do around here. I suspect we'll hear all about it when they get back. Might be interesting to hear what they say. You know, we'll be hearing two different versions of the thing. It'll be funny to compare the two stories...and I do mean 'stories', ya know...neither one will be what actually went on."

"You got that right, Kinsey," laughed Terry, as he got up to leave. "See ya later."

Kinsey went to get the supplies to begin his chores.


Meanwhile, at the house out on Burnt Church Road, Steve prodded Ghost to get up.

"Get your ass outta bed, Ghost, we've got fish to catch!"

"Wha...what time is it?" mumbled Ghost.

"Time to go, man...I've already got the T-Bird packed. Get your butt in gear and let's get outta here," Steve replied in a sing-song voice.

"You made a rhyme, Steve, that's funny," said Ghost, as he burrowed deeper into his blankets. Steve yanked off the covers, grabbed Ghost by the ankles and dragged him to the floor.

"Get up, NOW!" he said, as he left the room.

Ghost rubbed his eyes as he slowly made his way to the kitchen in search of coffee. He poured a cup from the pot Steve had made earlier. Going into the living room, he sat cross legged on the couch. He could hear Steve pacing around on the porch.

"Guess I better get dressed," he thought, "before Steve comes back in here."

Too late, Steve slammed open the screen door and stood looking at Ghost. He pretended to be mad, but really, he was thinking how cute Ghost looked, all sleepy soft, and messy hair, his eyes looking at him over his hot coffee cup. Steve shoook his head and just said, "Hurry up," and he smiled

Ghost bit his lower lip and whispered, "Ok."


Finally, they were on their way to the lake. It was only outside of town a short way. Steve was in a good mood. He babbled on about what fun they were going to have. Ghost just looked doubtful. After finding what Steve deemed a good spot to find fish, they lugged the fishing poles, a dilapidated old Army tent, a cooler of beer, and some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches Steve had put together, over to the lake's edge.

"What now, Steve?" Ghost asked. "I never done this before, ya know."

"Hmm," said Steve. "Let me get the fishing stuff ready, and you can put up the tent."

He started off with the poles and bait bucket, while Ghost just stood there staring at the tent. He had no idea what to do to put it together. It was one of those old fashioned canvas one, from an Army supply store. They'd had it for years. It was unwieldy, with wooden poles, ropes, and pegs. It was also dusty and had cobwebs on it. It smelled funky from being stored for so long.

"Ewww, this is gross," Ghost wrinkled his nose in disgust, but he started to unroll it anyway. As he did, a big spider scuttled out of the rolls of canvas.

"Aiiii," Ghost hollered and started hopping around, sure the giant monster spider had somehow jumped on him. He was flapping his arms, and stomping his feet, and shaking his hair all around. Steve looked over in alarm, thinking Ghost was having some kind of psychic fit or something.

"Ghost! What's wrong?" he hollered.

"I think it touched me! I think it bit me...I think I'm gonna die out here! And you don't even care!" Ghost wailed.

Steve ran over, trying to find out what Ghost was actually screaming about. "Slow down, dude, what bit you?"

"It was a giant, ugly spider...do you see it on me, Steve, do you? Look on my back, look in my hair...Oh, Steve, get it off me!"

Steve looked, and brushed Ghost off, but never saw any spider. "It's ok now," he said, to a much relieved Ghost. "It's gone."

He started laughing. He laughed until he thought his sides would burst. "Dude, you screamed like a little girl. I never saw anybody flap around like that in my life!" Steve was rolling on the ground, holding his stomach. "Oh, my God, I wish I had a camera, Ghost. You should'a seen yourself." He went on and on.

Ghost did not think it was funny at all. "Fuck you, Steve. Just fuck you!"

Steve looked up at Ghost, and still laughing, said, "Is that all you got to say? Huh? Let's hear what the funny guy has to say."

Ghost gave him a look of daggers, but didn't say anything for a long moment. Then he let Steve have it. He rarely lost his cool, but Steve deserved his wrath.

"You asshole, Steve," Ghost said in a deadly calm voice, his blue eyes stormy. "You dragged me out here in the middle of nowhere, and you know I hate stuff like this. You probably hoped I'd get freaked out about something, so you could be all 'I have to save Ghost from his crazy ideas' and be a big shot. Well, congratulations, Steve, you got your wish. So, I'm walking home now. You can stay here and fish your brains out." He turned and stomped away.

"Ghost..." Steve started.

Ghost turned back and hollered,"And furthermore...I DON'T KILL FISH!"

Steve just blinked at the sight of his best friend's back, as he left. He'd never seen Ghost so mad. "Damn," he said to himself. "Well, he'll be back soon enough."

He set about his task of baiting the fish-hooks, dropping them in the water, and waiting. He was waiting for a bite, and waiting for Ghost to return.

Next installment coming soon!

Peace, Love, & Writing

Sunday, January 19, 2014

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE (eighth installment)

8th Installment
warning...adult content

The club was soon filled with hungry and excited kids. Food orders were kept coming and the drinks and sandwiches were disappearing fast. Kids milled around, listening to the jukebox, playing pool and video games, and reading the wall. Some looked confused at the strange new writing Ghost had put on there earlier that morning. It was scribbled and unfinished, just as they'd left it.

"Wow, that seems like so long ago," Kinsey thought. It had been a long day.

Steve and Ghost slowly made their way to the stage, greeting the kids along the way. This is what the kids had been waiting for. Lost Souls? were back in town, and they were ready for the music to start.

Steve got his guitar, and Ghost got his microphone. Terry and R.J. were sitting in tonight, too, on drums and bass. They did so occasionally, and this was one night they didn't want to miss out on. Steve strummed the strings and nodded to the guys in back. As he played the first notes of the first song, he nodded at Ghost and smiled. Ghost grinned and began singing.

Tonight's set was going to be mostly covers of southern rock songs, with a couple of their own originals thrown in the mix. They always included  their "World"* song and "We Are Not Afraid". The crowd stood transfixed as the golden, gravelly voice of Ghost began the first song...a cover of the Eagles, "One Of These Nights".* When Ghost sang, he was the song, and he brought everyone along with him. From the first to last note, from the first to last song, Ghost was who he was meant to be.

Kinsey watched the magic happen. With a new-found knowledge of how Steve and Ghost meshed together, he could see that every song was chosen very carefully, whether anyone knew or not, to be a meaningful, loving tribute to each other. That gave the show, the songs, the looks Steve and Ghost gave each other on stage, and even the smiles, the movements, and the banter to the crowd a whole, new fuller, more special dimension.

Kinsey felt his eyes begin to sting at the love he felt between those two. "Damn, I'm a silly old fool, getting all choked up at a couple of employees," he thought, "but they are more than that," he knew. They were more like family, in a way. He continued to watch as the show progressed through a foot stomping cover of Pure Prairie League's, "Amie."*

Everyone was having a great time. As the songs neared the finale, they sang "Serenade",* by the Steve Miller Band, which was always an eerie kind of song, but fit so well with Steve and Ghost and the club kids they played for. Without a pause, it segued into the anthem they always ended the show with, "Hole in the World"*, by the Eagles. Those were the very first words of the very first song Ghost had written on the wall.

Steve and Ghost stood back to back, as if they would always be together and have each other's back, no matter what...and if you're not alone, if you have that special someone, you will not be afraid of anything. Blond shining hair and ebony curls mingled together as they sang and played their last song of the night. The crowd drew closer, mesmerized by the words and the rhythmic beats all around them.

By the time the last vibrations of the guitar had echoed off the walls, Steve and Ghost both were in tears. Tears of sadness, tears of love, tears of hope...that their lives would mean something...that there was a reason they were here at this time and this place.

The crowd was holding on to each other as they swayed together, shedding their own tears for humanity and the future. Kinsey was moved to tears of his own this night, for reasons he knew, and something else he felt in the air, in the electricity, in the essence of everyone here, but especially for Ghost and Steve. Something very unsettling to him...but, he knew not what it was.

*"One of These Nights" by the Eagles (Don Henley/Glenn Frey; Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.)

*"Amie" by Pure Prarie League (Craig Lee Fuller; Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.)

*"Serenade" by The Steve Miller Band (Sailor Records/Capitol Records, Inc.)

*"Hole in the World" by the Eagles (Don Henley/Glenn Frey; Universal Music Publishing Group)

Next installment coming soon!

Peace, Love, Writing

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE (seventh installment)

7th Installment -
warning...adult content

Back at the Sacred Yew, they unloaded the supplies. Kinsey looked at his watch, "Well, it must have gone better than you expected, huh? Only took three and a half hours."

Steve muttered, "You just should'a been there."

Ghost stumbled in, then, carrying the fishing poles and wearing the hat. "Look what Steve'n me got!"

Kinsey looked surprised.

"It's fishing stuff, Kinsey. We're gonna go tomorrow and ketch us some, and Steve'll kill 'em and I'll cook 'em and...and then we'll eat 'em, and maybe we'll bring back some for you." Ghost babbled on and on.

"Was this really your idea, Steve?" Kinsey asked.

"Yeah, thought it'd be something fun to do."

"Well, I don't know what you've gotten yourself into, Steve, but y'all have fun. I've got to get back to work. Y'all be back here by eight, ok? Get set up and start the show by nine." '

"Yeah, I'm gonna go catch a nap I guess. Eight sounds good. See ya then," said Steve. "C'mon, Ghost, let's go."

"Kin I just stay here, Steve? I think I'll help Kinsey with his chores. I already took a nap on the way back," Ghost said.

"Suit yourself...see ya later," answered Steve, as he shuffled out the big wooden door.

Kinsey came back out of the store room and looked at Ghost, who just smiled and said he was going to help out awhile. "What 'cha need me to do, Kinsey?"

"Well, let's see...the floor needs mopping, the tables wiped down, the bar stocked, oh, and I still need to get the soup and sandwiches made. Why don't you get the mop and get started?"

Ghost made a sour face, then brightened up. "I kin do the food, ok?"

"You can do the food?" Kinsey looked doubtful.

"Sure, I do the cooking at home all the time. Steve loves what I cook."

"Well...," Kinsey hesitated, "it's just simple soup and sandwiches. I guess you can handle that, so ok, Ghost, it's all your's tonight."

                                                CHAPTER TWO

"Yay! Show me where the stuff is and I'll start," bubbled Ghost.

Kinsey showed him the kitchen area and supplies, ramen noodles, lunchmeat, and bread.

"I need enough for about a hundred customers, I guess."

"Ok, Kinsey, but not ramen...I hate that stuff. I'll make my speciality and surprise you, and it won't take long either."

"Fine, fine, let's just get started, ok?"

Kinsey began mopping the floors. Ghost worked as fast as he could, making a towering mound of sandwiches. He was just finishing up the huge pot of soup, when Kinsey wandered in.

"Hey, something smells great, Ghost! What kind is it?"

Ghost had Kinsey close his eyes and have a taste.

"Is that...potato soup?" Kinsey asked, reaching for another spoonful.

"Sure is."

"It's delicious, Ghost."

Ghost beamed at the compliment. "Well, it's all finished and there's still a while left before the show, so kin I just kinda rest a bit in your office, Kinsey, on that nice soft couch ya got in there?"

Kinsey smiled and nodded. Ghost took off while Kinsey finished up his chores and then took a much needed coffee break, himself. He then went to get his register tape and a few other items from the office. When he opened the door, he found that Ghost had indeed fallen asleep on the old couch. He looked at the eccentric young man, smiled, and shook his head. Who would have thought Ghost was such a good cook. He'd heard Steve going on about the banana pancakes and such before, but when had Ghost learned cooking anyway? Old Miz Deliverance must have been teaching him something after all.

He then noticed that Ghost had a book opened on his chest, while he'd fallen asleep.  "What on Earth?" he asked himself. "It's my old college math textbook."  He had all sorts of books in his office, as he was a bit of a hoarder and liked to read a lot. He never threw away a book. But, why would Ghost choose a math text to read? There were so many more interesting choices. He shrugged and went on about his business. "Maybe I'll ask him about it later," he thought.

Steve showed up pretty much on time, and Kinsey pointed to the office, telling him that Ghost had finally wound down...he should go wake him up. Steve entered the office and saw Ghost still asleep. His heart did a little flip flop as he looked at his best friend, all relaxed in sleep. Then he, too noticed the book Ghost had chosen.

He shook his head and his bottom lip quivered at the sight...the anguish it caused.

"Oh, Ghost," he whispered. "I'm so sorry it pains you so much."

Steve walked over to Ghost and knelt down beside the couch, watching him sleep for just a moment. He loved to watch Ghost sleep. Ghost always had the most vivid dreams, and always told him about them. Steve brushed a strand of hair off Ghost's forehead.

"Hey...wake up, Ghost," he whispered. Then he shook Ghost's shoulder. Ghost's pale blue eyes fluttered open, looking at Steve in that half awake state, then he smiled.

"Hey, Steve."

"You ready to sing?" Steve asked.

"Yeah, I'm always ready to sing," Ghost yawned and sat up, putting his arms around Steve in a warm embrace.

They had not noticed Kinsey watching them from the doorway. "Ahem," Kinsey cleared his throat. "It's about time, guys. I'm opening the door. The crowd's already getting impatient."

Next installment coming soon!

Peace, Love, & Writing

Friday, January 10, 2014

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE (sixth installment)

6th installment
warning...adult content

"Why not, Steve? Are you scared to get one?" Ghost teased.

"No, I'm not, but I know you are," Steve said as a matter of fact. "Besides, I already got one a long time ago."

Ghost stopped there on the sidewalk and looked hard at Steve. "Where?" he asked. "I've seen all of you and never saw one."

"It's hidden," Steve said, "end of subject."

"Let me see it or I won't believe it...right here, right now."

"Fine, you want to see it? Here ya go." Steve pulled back his hair and pointed to the area behind his left ear.

Ghost looked amazed that he'd never noticed it before. "Did it hurt much?" he asked.

"Yeah, it hurt, what do ya think it felt like, a tickle?"

"Well," Ghost said, "let me look closer." He did, then said in wonder, "It's your own name! It says Steve!"

"So what?" Steve answered back.

At this, Ghost burst out laughing. He was overcome with the thought of Steve's  unique tattoo. He doubled over and could hardly stand up, he was laughing so hard. He tried talking through his giggles, snorts, and tears of laughter running down his face.

"What...why...why do you...need to remember your own...name? do you...have to look...look...in the mirror to remember...who...who...you are every day?" He continued, "Then...Oh, my God...it would be backwards! It'd be evets." He laughed even harder.

Steve just glared at him, not seeing anything funny about it. "So what if it's my name. I got it when I was stupid and drunk one night. The guy asked me what I wanted, and I thought he asked me what my name was...so thats's what I said. And that's what he put on there...and that's all there was to it."

Ghost just couldn't let it go. "At least it wasn't on your arm or something!" he howled.

Steve had had enough by then. "Ghost, if you don't shut the fuck up, I'm gonna smack you. I mean it! SHUT-UP!"

He started walking again. Behind him, Ghost kept trying to stop, wiping his face on his jacket sleeve, but still a fresh burst of laughter would rise up and be heard.

Steve whirled around, punched Ghost in the shoulder. "I told you to shut up!"

Ghost kept trying to stifle his giggles and finally had a little more control. He took a deep breath and said, "Now I'm really hungry, Steeeve!"

"Forget it, we're going home now. At least I am. You can just stay here and laugh for all I care." Steve stomped off to the T-Bird.

"No, no, no, we haven't got our prize yet!" Ghost trailed after him.

They sat in the car now while Steve tried to calm down. "Hey, Ghost, I was thinking of something to buy. You know that show we were watching the other day...some guys were out there on a lake, fishing?"

"Yeah," answered Ghost.

"Well," Steve continued, "we could get us some fishing poles and catch some fish."

Ghost just looked at him like, what a crazy idea. "Have you ever fished before?" he asked.

"Yeah, a long time ago. I caught some, too. Then the guys I was with, we cooked them over the campfire and ate them. Mmmm."

Ghost looked worried.

"What? You have something against fishing? You eat fish, don't you?" Steve asked.

"Well, yeah, but, I don't kill them!" Ghost said.

"Well, how do you think you got to eat them then. Somebody had to kill them," Steve reasoned.

"Yeah, but, it wasn't me."

"Don't worry about it, then. You just eat what we catch, I'll do the rest. Let's check out the thrift shop down the road. Bet they'll have some fishing stuff." Steve started the car and they went to find fishing gear.

Ghost was still a bit hesitant about the whole idea, so he let Steve find equipment, while he just looked around.

"Hey, Steve, this stuff is what you wanted to buy. What's mine?"

Steve shrugged and plopped an old fisherman's hat onto Ghost's head, saying, "Here ya go, this is what you want, right? See, it has fish hooks on it and everything!"

"Yeah, sure, Steve," Ghost said as they paid and left the store. Steve went on and on about how the fishing trip would go. Ghost was hardly listening. He laid his head on the door frame, blond hair hanging out the open window, feet in Steve's lap. He closed his eyes and drowsed to Steve's words.

Next installment coming soon!

Peace, Love, & Writing

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE (fifth installment)

(Fifth Installment)
warning...adult content

They walked over to the bar where Kinsey was pretending to work. Ghost then did something totally unexpected. He broke free from Steve, came to Kinsey and said softly...

"I know Steve told you everything. It's ok. I'm glad you know. You've been here for both of us all this time and, and...thank you."

Coming closer, he brushed a feather light kiss on Kinsey's lips and smiled as he looked up at Kinsey through strands of blond hair. Kinsey was astonished at all he'd witnessed, and at the crazy emotions that had been brought out that afternoon.

He cleared his throat and said huskily, "Aw, Ghost, you know I love you guys. I'll have your back any time."

Ghost grinned mischievously and said in a happy voice, "Kin I buy somethin' for me at the store?"

This made Steve and Kinsey both laugh, as the tension was broken and things felt normal again.

"Sure, Ghost, you and Steve can get something for yourselves, just try to hurry back," said Kinsey, as he handed Steve his credit card and the list of things he needed.

Steve pushed Ghost out the door toward the car, while looking back, rolling his eyes and crossing his fingers. Kinsey shrugged and mouthed the word, "Hurry!"

Steve slid into the driver's seat and started the old T-Bird. "Hope we have enough gas," he thought. Ghost was already humming a song and hanging his head out the window.

"You remember what songs we're doing tonight?" Steve asked.

"Yeah, I think so, but you can remind me if I forget," said Ghost.

They rode in silence for awhile on the long drive to Raleigh. Steve was tired already, and he wondered if Ghost was feeling well enough to sing for two hours tonight. "Maybe we should just cancel the gig," he was thinking.

"We can't do that. I'll be fine and you won't be tired when you start playing," Ghost muttered. "Besides, Kinsey is counting on us, and the kids are excited to see us."

Steve looked over at Ghost and knew he'd just had his mind read again. Such a weird feeling to know that Ghost could do that...even when he sometimes had thoughts he'd rather Ghost not hear.

As they arrived at the store, Steve lectured Ghost about not getting distracted, and that they needed to hurry. Of course Ghost agreed, but knew it was impossible. So did Steve. As they entered the store, Steve headed for the shopping carts, while Ghost stood transfixed by the array of goods, colors, and lights. The smell of fresh baked cinnamon rolls from the bakery department bombarded his senses. He knew he wanted to obey Steve and not get distracted, but he was helpless not to notice things like this. He couldn't even take a step forward, because he knew for a fact he would off and running from one display to another.

So, he just closed his eyes and tried to ignore his ADD. At least he tried. He held out his arms in front of him, hoping Steve would notice his effort and come lead him around like a blind person. He could feel other customers passing by him and staring.

He could hear their thoughts and whispered comments, "Damn hippie", "I think he's blind", "Who let that weirdo in here?","Somebody should call the manager." But Ghost didn't care if he was attracting attention.

He hoped Steve would come rescue him soon. Steve thought Ghost was following him into the store's aisles, so when he looked around and didn't see him, he growled under his breath, "Shit, here we go." Then he got worried. Ghost could be anywhere. He started backtracking to the front of the store again.

"What the hell?" he said when he saw Ghost standing there still, with his eyes closed and his arms stretched out in front of him. "Why me?" he thought. "I've gotta go over there and get him," he sighed.

People were still milling around making wisecracks, and Steve could see a manager type heading in their direction.He walked over as quickly as he could, head down, hoping to not cause any more of a scene. As he reached Ghost, he grabbed his wrist and jerked him toward him. Ghost squeaked in surprise.

"Get over here right now. You look like a damn zombie. What the hell are you doing?" Steve pulled Ghost along with him.

"I was trying to not get distracted like you asked. It worked so far." Ghost seemed proud of himself. 

Steve rolled his eyes and put Ghost's hands on the cart handle. "Now just hold on to this and follow me. Don't let go. Can you do that, huh?" Steve asked.

Ghost nodded and whispered, "Yeah."

The rest of the shopping went on with any major incidents. They packed up the T-Bird, then walked down the sidewalk to a fast food place. On the way, Ghost wondered aloud what they could get for themselves.

"Hey, Steve, what'cha gonna get?" Steve shrugged as Ghost went on about possibilities. "We could get a video game, or new clothes, or I could get some new markers. Mine are almost empty...oh, hey Steve, we could get a tattoo! We could get the same one that says Lost Souls? How 'bout that?" His eyes were shining with the thought, even though he wasn't sure he'd even be brave enough to go through with it. He'd never seriously considered it before. Steve just gave him a look that dismissed the idea.

Stay tuned for next installment!

Peace, Love, & Writing

Monday, January 6, 2014

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE (Fourth Installment)

Later on, maybe a few months later, I was walking around in the woods, looking for who knows what. It was hot summer by then. There were spider webs and shit all in the trees, and I kept having to brush them off me. I was thinking what was I gonna do with my life now. No ideas were coming to me. I heard a noise...then again.

"Hey," it said. I looked around, then up, and in the tree was Ghost. He pointed to a giant web right in front of me, and laughed. I knew then that he'd lived. I saw in his eyes that he knew that I'd been the one to help save him.

Well, the rest you probably know. That's when we actually met each other." Steve sighed as his story of the past wound down. He sat there on the floor of Kinsey's bar and hung his head. He and Kinsey were both quiet then for a few minutes, each with their own thoughts.

Then from out of nowhere is seemed, they heard an eerie voice from the other side of the bar, over behind the stage.

"Immelled, inspelled, in, in, elled, nooooo...shit, what is it?" The voice got higher and then wailed, "Steeeeve!!! Help me!"

Steve and Kinsey stared at each other, their eyes big. Kinsey said, "What the..." and at the same time Steve said, "Oh, my God!" They both jumped up and ran over to Ghost, who was pounding his hands into both sides of his shaggy blond hair and screeching.

"Get out, get out, I need the damn word and it won't get out where I need it!"

He was laying on the floor now, kicking the wall over and over as he yelled. Sky blue marker smears were in his hair and red smears were joining them on his face, because of the marker ink he'd painted his fingernails with, one color on each hand.

"Dude, what the hell is wrong with you? Get a grip!" Steve frowned and hollered down at his best friend.

Kinsey stood there, mouth open in total incomprehension at the scene in front of him. Ghost opened his tear flooded blue eyes, saw Steve, and reached up for him. He was breathing hard and a little shaky. Steve supported him as he sat up, looking into Ghost's pale eyes. He still seemed a little out of it, like he wasn't really sure where he was or what had happened.

"It's ok, Ghost, it's ok now. Just breathe through it, ok. You'll be fine in a minute." Steve spoke in soothing tones.

After a few minutes, Ghost said in a little soft voice, "My head hurts, Steve. Why is it hurting?"

Steve stroked Ghost's soft hair and sweaty forehead. "You're ok, man, it'll be better in a minute. You just had one of your spells. You were hollering some kind of words you wanted out of your head," Steve explained. "Do you remember what that was about?"

Ghost took a deep breath, then nodded. "I think so. I was trying to write a word on the wall and couldn't get it right."

"What word?" Steve asked.

Ghost pointed to the wall where he'd left off writing, way at the bottom by the floor. It said "I don't know why, but I am INSTILLED no IMMELED no INSPELLED NO INELLED NO SHIT WHAT IS IT? NONONONONOINEEDHELP!"

Kinsey couldn't make heads or tails of the scribbles, but Steve knew immediately what Ghost was trying to say. Kinsey stared at the two of them in wonder as he watched them work as a team to figure out what happened.

"The word you're looking for, Ghost, is impelled," Steve said slowly. "What was the rest of the thought? Do you remember?"

Ghost nodded his head and said softly, "to write on the wall."

"Ok, so you were writing 'I don't know why, but I am impelled to write on the wall'?" Steve asked.

Ghost nodded again and began sobbing. He whispered, "It wouldn't come out, Steve!"

"I know, Ghost, I know, but now it is out and it's ok."

"Yeah," Ghost whispered.

Steve sighed and looked at Kinsey, who hadn't moved. "C'mon, Ghost, I'll help you stand up, then go wash that marker shit off your face and hands. Kinsey wants us to go shopping for him," Steve said.

"Shopping? Ghost looked up at Steve, who nodded.

"Ok," said Ghost as he took Steve's hand. Steve put his arm behind Ghost's shoulders and helped him to his feet. Ghost wobbled a little as he went down the hall to clean off the ink. Kinsey went back to the bar, but was watching as Steve rubbed his hands over his face and just took in some cleansing breaths.

Ghost came back into the room looking a little better. He came over to Steve and unashamedly put his arms around Steve's neck and his fingers into Steve's unruly, dark hair. Then he kissed Steve on the mouth. Soft innocent lips against rough, chapped ones. The kiss, though, was not innocent. Ghost laid his head on Steve's shoulder and breathed softly.

"Thank you, Steve."

Steve hugged him fiercly, then took Ghost's face in his hands and kissed Ghost slowly and tenderly.

Next installment coming soon!

Peace, Love, & Writing

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE (third installment)

3rd installment:
warning...adult content

"One day after school," Steve continued, "a gang of guys trapped Ghost just as he left the building. They dragged him into the woods behind the school. I didn't see this happen, but followed the sounds I was hearing."

Steve was breathing heavily now, his heart beating in his chest like it would explode. After a deep shuddery breath, he went on.

"What I saw in those woods will haunt me forever. They had stripped Ghost of his clothes and were holding him down, taking turns torturing him. They punched and kicked and burnt him with lit cigarettes. I hollered at them to stop, and a couple of them grabbed me and called me a fag lover, and if I didn't keep out of it they'd do the same to me. I tried to fight them off, but just couldn't, Kinsey, I just couldn't take on all of them at once." Steve's voice was anguished at his helplessness to save Ghost.

Kinsey said slowly, "Did they...?"

Steve shook his head. "They were going to, all of them, but that was for later. They still had more pain to dish out. One guy had a pocket knife. He pulled it out of his dirty pocket and flicked it open. He looked around the circle of guys and they all nodded, like this had been planned all along. As they held Ghost down even tighter, the guy put the knife over Ghost's right foot and started...oh, God!...oh, God!" Steve whimpered.
"He started sawing off Ghost's little toe, back and forth, over and over, the sawing, through skin and then bone. I could hear the knife cutting through the bone, Kinsey! I could hear it! Oh, God! I could hear it even over Ghost's screams. I hear it now, in my nightmares, the screams and the cutting."

Tears were pouring down Steve's face now and he sobbed. Kinsey's eyes were full of tears, too. He even felt faint, so he sat down on the floor behind the bar where they'd been standing.

"Jesus, Steve," was all he said.

Steve went on. "Finally the toe was off and the guys were going to go to the next part of their plan...taking their turn on Ghost. But, they got scared of someone hearing them. Ghost was still screaming and I was cussing everyone as loud as I could, hoping someone would hear. So the gang decided to shut Ghost up.

They hit him on the head with a baseball bat. I heard it crack down on Ghost's head. You know, I think it was his skull that cracked, not the bat." Steve said, as if in a trance now, his voice monotone and calm. Kinsey didn't know what to think. Steve was reliving it all.
"Ghost was knocked out cold. The screaming stopped, the bleeding hadn't though. They got scared they'd killed him, so they all suddenly took off, leaving me and Ghost there alone. I'm totally freaked out. What could I do to help Ghost? I didn't really even know him, but I had to do something. I knew I couldn't drag him all the way down to the school parking lot, so I ran as fast as I could over there and got the T-Bird started on one try, drove it as close as I could over the grass and up to the tree line. I ran up to see if he was still alive. He was, but just barely.

Just barely breathing and still bleeding. I wrapped his foot up as best as I could in my t-shirt and picked Ghost up and carried him to the car. I knew he lived out of town on Burnt Church Road somewhere, so I hauled ass out that way. Ghost was moaning some, and I knew I had to hurry. Maybe his Grandmother would know what to do. Shit, Kinsey, we were just barely into our teens. We weren't supposed to be having crises like this to figure out.

So I got to the house at the dead end of the road and figured this was it. It looked kinda spooky. I'd heard all the stories about the voo-doo lady that lived there. I start honking the horn, and then scrambled out and lifted Ghost out and ran to the door. She came out and took one look and said softly "Ghost Child, what's happened?"

I told her of his injuries and she patted me on the arm and said,"Thank you, Steve. Thank you for helping my Ghost Child." I asked should I go find a doctor, or carry him to Raleigh for the hospital. She just shook her head no...said she'd take care of him. I didn't know what else to do, but I hung around awhile, just in case. She came out of the bedroom, then and said I could stay if I wanted. So I did for a little bit. Then I just drove around. We never did go back to school. That was it for us. I did wonder how she knew my name, though." Steve stopped for a minute, thinking.

"I went back up there once in awhile to check on how Ghost was...scared, really to hear that maybe he didn't make it. But, every time, Miz Deliverance met me at the door and wouldn't let me in. She said the time wasn't right, that Ghost would be ok one day. Thanks for checking on him. You know, stuff like that.

Then she said something that at the time seemed ok, but now, looking back on it, was maybe a premonition? She said the time will come one day when the two of us would be like one. Then she closed the door. It freaks me out now...how did she know? How did she know? She'd never laid eyes on me before that day I'd brought Ghost home."

next installment coming soon...

Peace, Love, & Writing

Thursday, January 2, 2014

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE (second installment)

2nd Installment
warning...adult content

"Kinsey, I love Ghost, you know I do. I've loved him since I first met him, in one way or another. But, damn, it's so frustrating sometimes to get Ghost to focus on anything! You go somewhere, or maybe not even anywhere, just at home, but, it's worse when we go somewhere. It doesn't matter where. Everything is a distraction to him. You go to get what you came for and twenty things will catch his eye on the way, and he'll have to stop and look at it, or touch it, and tell me a story about it, and make up a song on the spot about it. Over and over it happens. I grab his wrist or shove him from behind to get him to move along, but then he gets pouty about it, drags his feet, then a second later something else grabs his attention and I have to do it all over again. He's like a damned little kid you have to reprimand and then bribe him with something to get him out of there. Meantime, I've forgotten whatever it was I was needing to get. I just want to get out of there." Steve finally took a much needed breath and looked over at Ghost.

Kinsey could feel the emotion coming from Steve in waves. Fierce love and a need to be Ghost's protector always. He thought that was all Steve had to say, but then he was stunned again by his next revelation.

"You know," Steve said quietly, "Ghost has ADD don't you?"

"What?" Kinsey looked at Steve incredulously.

"Yeah, since he was a little kid." Steve looked down at the floor. "I don't think he wants people to know about it, but I sometimes just need to vent about stuff, ya know?"

"Damn," Kinsey said, not knowing what else to say.

"Yeah, back in school they evaluated him and contacted his Grandmother about it, but she basically told them to fuck off...that she'd give him some herbs and potions and work her magic and Ghost would be fine. Well, guess it didn't help him much."

Kinsey glanced over at Ghost, who was still happily writing on the wall and humming to himself. His mind was reeling with theis information. He'd known Miz Deliverance for many years, and had considered her a valued friend. Some folks called her a kook and avoided her, but he'd overlooked her eccentric ways for the most part. She'd never in all those years mentioned a word about her Grandson's problems.

He tried to remember if he'd ever noticed any behavior in Ghost that was ADD related. He couldn't pinpoint anything. Ghost seemed like every other active and imaginative kid. He always knew Ghost had a gift of empathy, and could sometimes seem psychic, but he wasn't even sure he believed any of that. Maybe this explained why Ghost always had a hard time in school, along with being bullied by the other kids. He was thinking of something reassuring to say to Steve, who'd been quiet for a bit, when Steve started talking again in a softer tone than before.

"You know, I think that's probably when the worst started for Ghost," Steve went on. "When he first came here, the kids all thought he was kinda weird, because of his name and all. They'd tease him about it. They'd make fun of him, didn't want to include him in any of their groups. When he started bragging about how his Grandmother was gonna cure him with her mountain medicine, it got worse...so much worse."

Steve put a hand over his eyes at the remembrance of it. "I'm ashamed to admit this, but I went along with the teasing, too...for a while. I wanted to be liked by the kids. Peer pressure I guess you'd call it now. But, back then all I knew was you stay within your group or be outcast. I was already on thin ice as it was, what with my situation at home. Well, you know about all that, anyway."

Kinsey nodded. He knew of Steve's family and how they were, He knew Steve must have tried very hard to fit in, and didn't want to do anything to upset the way things were for him, tenuous as it was.

Steve went on, a faraway look in his eyes as he recounted his and Ghost's early years. "The kids all now had even more reason to come after Ghost. Not only with their hateful, hurtful words, but real, painful ammuntion. They'd throw stuff at him, like pinecones at first, and rocks, and sometimes garbage. Called him names...white trash, liar, spook..." Steve swallowed hard and was silent for a minute.

Kinsey just waited. He didn't know if Steve would continue. In a way he hoped this was all to the story. Then Steve squinched his dark eyes closed for a long moment. Kinsey was transfixed looking at Steve's face. Rough, tough, Steve Finn was on the verge of crying. His bottom lip quivered and his voice shook as he began talking again.

"Steve," Kinsey said, stopping him. He touched Steve's shoulder. "Man, you don't have to go on. I think I understand."

Steve made a keening sound in his throat and shook his head, trying to get control of his emotions. "I have to, Kinsey, I have to. I have to tell somebody. It's been eating me alive all these years, all these memories." He brushed a tear off his cheek and continued. Kinsey was feeling afraid of what else he would hear...then he was horrified.

next installment coming soon...

Peace, Love, & Writing