Wednesday, May 28, 2014

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE ... (forty fourth installment)

(44th installment) content

They didn't find any hiding places in the kitchen, though, and after eating a snack, they went back into the living room. They stared at the mess, not knowing where else to look. Steve sat on the couch, and Ghost tried to think some more, but it wasn't happening.

"What is it, Ghost?" Steve asked, concerned. Ghost was standing in the center of the room, his eyes closed, as tears began falling silently. He rubbed his hand over his left eye, massaging it some, a frown on his face.

"I'm just tired, Steve...and kinda feeling sad. I'm tired of thinking, I'm tired of looking for something I don't want to find. My head hurts, and my eye hurts, and I miss my grandmother." He was sobbing now.

"Come here," Steve said, a catch in his own throat, to see his best friend in pain.

Ghost slowly came over to the couch, looking about ready to collapse. He sat by Steve, who gently pulled him over, so that Ghost's fragile head was on his lap. Tenderly smoothing Ghost's soft hair back from his forehead, he began rubbing his head for him. Ghost closed his damp eyes, the left one twitching, and tried to relax.

"I just want to have everything be normal again, Steve, and just play music and sing...that's all," Ghost whispered. "Just you and our music." He took a deep shuddery breath, and more tears fell.

"I know, babe, I know. So do I...and we're getting there. I know we are." Steve said.

"Did I tell you about the voices?" Ghost asked.

"No, what are you talking about? Was this part of the dream you had?"

"Well, I had it again, that was in the dream, but I heard them for real once, a long time ago. Right before I left, or maybe the day I got back, or maybe both times. I can't remember, now."

"What did the voices say?"

Ghost shivered and said, "It was so weird. A weird spooky voice, like an echo, or in a cave, or well, I don't know...anyway, it was scary."

Steve waited, knowing Ghost would continue when he was ready.

"Steve, it said, 'You're not supposed to be here!'," he said in a spooky sounding voice, trying to imitate what he'd heard. "What does it mean?"

Steve got chills when Ghost had said that. He was getting freaked out. "I don't know. Was that all it said?"

"Yeah, but it was the same every time!" Ghost pulled his hair over his face, and rubbed his forehead hard. Steve had lapsed in the rubbing.

"Damn, my head hurts!" Ghost cried out.

"You want some Tylenol or something?" Steve asked.

"No, just...can you find me some willow bark extract in the back room? It's labeled in a little blue bottle."

"Ok, I'll try to find it," Steve said. He really didn't want to go back in there, but went anyway. The house had been silent, no music playing, no tv on, so when Steve opened the back room door, he paused a second, at the doorway.

The moonlight shone in the cobwebby window, making eerie shadows in the room. The light bulb had burned out long ago, and had never been replaced. All he had was a flashlight. It didn't help much, though, as the batteries were low.

He tiptoed in, looking at the shelves. Finally finding the blue bottle, he made his way back to the doorway, stumbling on a few old boxes that he swore weren't there two seconds ago. As he reached the door, he thought he heard breathing, then a voice that said, 'come back'. Steve slammed the door and ran back down the hall. Heart pounding, breathing hard, he fell onto the couch with Ghost, again.

"Here's the stuff. Don't ask me to ever go in there again. I think I heard your eerie voice just now."

Ghost sat up, took the bottle and drank the contents. Steve watched him do it.

"Ewww, how can you take all these home remedies and potions?" he asked. He'd rather go to the store and buy a bottle of pills.

After swallowing the liquid, Ghost asked, "What did the voice say?"

"It said, 'come back', Steve shuddered.

"See, I told you...scary," Ghost said.

Steve nodded, and would later not admit to being so scared, he had his feet up on the couch, like the boogey man might reach out from under the couch and grab him.

"Well, what now?" Steve asked. "You're the one who knows about this kinda shit. What do we do now?"

"Calm down, Steve, it's just a voice. Scary, but just a voice. It can't really hurt you. I hear them all the time, every day, all my life, and I'm still here. This one was scary because of what it said to me."

Steve was dumbfounded. He knew Ghost had always spoke to and listened to spook voices, but he'd never heard one before, didn't even believe in such things, really. But, if this is what Ghost had to put up with all the time, all the millions of voices and thoughts of others, bombarding his brain all the time, how could Ghost not be a little crazed and distracted a lot.

"Yeah, Ghost, but that's the first time I ever heard one...and, I didn't like it. Maybe it's really serious, about us finding that journal. It probably explains lots of stuff. How can you do it? How can you hear all those voices all the time?"

"I'm used to it I guess. It's just normal. I can block most of it out, so it's not so bad. And, I like to hear what they say."

"How's your headache?" Steve asked.

"It still hurts. I need to sleep, so I'm going to bed, now," Ghost said, heading off down the hall.

"You're just gonna leave me here with spook voices?" Steve hollered after him.

"Yeah, unless you wanna come in here with me tonight," Ghost grinned at Steve, as Steve ran to catch up with him.

They went into the bedroom, Steve slamming the door fast.

"What's the matter, Steve? The voices come in here with me, too. I can't get away from them, and now, neither can you."

Steve pushed Ghost out of the way, as he leaped onto the bed. "Don't you ever tell anyone that I was scared, Ghost. Don't you dare!"

Ghost just smiled. That night, they both thrashed around with bad dreams. The next morning, as sunlight streamed through the window, things did look brighter than in the dark of night. Steve had to go back to work. Ghost looked toward another long, boring day ahead of him.

Next installment coming soon!

Peace, Love, & Writing

Monday, May 26, 2014

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE ... (Forty third installment)

43rd installment content

During the night, Ghost had bad dreams. He seemed to hear the eerie voice he'd heard before, saying he was never supposed to be here at all...and of spiders crawling down the walls and into his bed. He called out to Steve, to help him in his dream, and he actually did call out loud, and Steve heard him, and went to Ghost's room. Steve hadn't been asleep yet at all. He'd just tossed around thinking of where the journal could be, and what it might say about Ghost, the picture, and how it probably wasn't good. He worried how it would make Ghost feel.

He got into Ghost's bed, holding him close, while Ghost continued to dream. He knew Ghost would tell him about those crazy dreams in the morning. He always did. At last Steve started humming an old song, and it calmed him enough to sleep.

Both of them slept late, the next morning. Bleary eyed, Steve looked at the time, and quickly made coffee, gulping some down. If he didn't really hurry, he'd be late for work. He shook Ghost mostly awake, telling him he'd be back after work, and to keep looking for the journal. Ghost just mumbled uh-huh, and rolled over. Steve wasn't sure Ghost would actually keep looking. He seemed reluctant, but this was pretty important.

Ghost finally stumbled into the kitchen for coffee. Sitting at the table, he thought about his awful dreams. He wrote all his dreams down in a separate notebook. Then, he wondered if he should look for the mystery journal. First, he tried to get a sense of where it might be. He closed his eyes and pushed his mind into every corner of the house...nothing. So he started looking through the books again. He didn't get very far, without Steve there to keep him focused.

His ADD was worse than it had been in awhile, so he was distracted by the titles of the books, and kept thumbing through, reading bits and pieces. Reading about herbs and spices made him hungry, so he went to fix a sandwich. Taking it out to the front porch, he sat in the old swing, and tried to think of some words to a new song. Words were coming to him fast, so he had to go get his lyrics notebook. He wrote for awhile. Getting sleepy now, he dozed off, there on the porch swing.

Waking some time later, he noticed the star sign he'd painted on the porch in front of the door. It was faded. He found his little jars of paint, and re-did the whole warding off sign. As he passed by the books he'd left scattered around the living room, he remembered he was supposed to be searching the house.

"Damn, this is the longest day ever," he muttered to himself. "When's Steve coming home?"

He figured he'd better try looking some more. Steve would ask if he had, but it was too overwhelming...too much to look through.

"This is impossible," he thought, as he stood in the back room, with the dusty little bottles and boxes of herbs, antique medicines, and...spiders. He hurried out of that room, shutting the door.

He sighed, "Now what?"

As he looked out the back screen door, he thought he saw something move over in the thick trees. "Probably a raccoon," he thought, but got spooked, anyway, and shut and locked the back and front doors. He looked through the books luck.

Finally, finally he heard the gravel on the driveway crunching, then Steve was banging on the door. "Hey, let me in, Ghost!"

Ghost hurried to unlock the door, and nearly knocked Steve down, with a big hug and kisses. "I thought you'd never get home, Steve! I missed you so much. I don't like being here by myself, it's boring and scary." Ghost rattled on and on. Steve smiled at the enthusiastic homecoming.

They sat on the couch, each with a beer, and Steve observed the books lying around. "Any luck?" he asked.

"No, not yet," Ghost said.

"So, where all did you look?"

"Well, the books, and I tried to look in the back room, but I thought there was spiders looking at me, so I had to not look in there," Ghost explained.

"Ok, I'll help you look now," Steve said, patiently, knowing pretty much how it had gone that day with Ghost. He'd known Ghost so long, he could predict that he'd have gotten way off course and distracted. Ghost grinned at Steve, and looked at him through fallen strands of hair on his face.

"'re right, that's pretty much what happened."

Steve knew Ghost had heard what he'd been thinking. "So, let's finish up these books, ok?" Steve went to the book wall. Ghost followed. They both just stared at how much there was left, but then started in again.

"It's no use to keep looking, Steve," Ghost complained. They'd been at it for about half an hour."I want to go somewhere," he continued. "I've been here for a bunch of days. I'm tired of staying in the house."

Steve sighed, "I know, Ghost, but I just got home. I don't want to walk all the way back to town. I've got to get a car."

"How ya gonna do that?" asked Ghost.

"Well, I had an idea. Terry has a couple of old junkers he's not using, maybe he'd let me pay a little out of my paycheck each week, for one of them. I'm gonna ask him."

They began to plan where they'd go when they got a car, and Ghost was distracted from going somewhere that night. They still weren't finding anything in the books.

"I'm looking in the kitchen," said Ghost, "and I'm hungry again."

Giving up on the books, Steve went to the back room and opened the door. He'd never been comfortable going in there, even when Ghost and he would sneak in there as kids. It was kind of spooky, but he went in anyway, just to try and poke around. He moved a few dusty boxes, and stomped on the floor, hoping to find a loose floorboard, or a secret safe behind the boxes, but a real spider crawled out from the shelf. Steve decided to get out of there.

"Maybe later," he told himself. He went back to the kitchen, and took in the strange sight of Ghost, standing up on top of the cabinet, throwing stuff out onto the floor, from the top shelves.

"What the hell are you doing?"

"Aiii," Ghost hollered, almost falling off. "You scared me!"

"Well?" Steve asked.

"I'm looking, what does it look like?"

"It looks like you're making a mess, and trying to fall and break your neck. That's what it looks like"

"I'm gonna clean it up. This stuff is so old, it's probably got spiders in it." There were half used up boxes of cereal, rusty cans, outdated seasonings, and other miscellaneous kitchen items.

"Yeah, guess you're right," Steve said, grabbing a garbage bag, filling it with the thrown out things.

"Why are you so scared of spiders, Ghost? They're just little bitty bugs." He didn't mention the fright he'd had himself, not ten minutes ago.

"I don't know, they're just creepy. I never liked them."

Next installment coming soon!

Peace, Love, & Writing


Thursday, May 22, 2014

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE ... (forty second installment)

(42nd installment) content

                                            CHAPTER 11

That night, Ghost was rummaging around in his old backpack.

"Hey, Steve, have you seen my Jesus rock?"

Steve gave him a look, and shook his head.

"It's always in here, and now I can't find it."

"Maybe if you'd clean that thing out sometimes, you'd find what you wanted," Steve suggested. "Let me see it."

Ghost handed it over, with a pouty look. "Hey!" he shouted, when Steve dumped the whole thing out on the floor. "What'cha doin' that for?"

"Look at this shit, Ghost! You're mostly carrying around trash."

He began picking up different things that had scattered on the floor. There were crushed leaves and rose petals, dried up markers, Ghost's notebooks, a crumpled dollar bill, slips of paper with notes written on them, an old dirty t-shirt, a couple of feathers...

"What the hell is this?" Steve asked, holding it up by two fingers. "Ewww!"

"It used to be a peanut butter sandwich," said Ghost, grinning.

Steve looked at it again. It was wrapped in plastic, smushed flat, and dried out. Steve threw it at Ghost, who dodged it.

"It's a wonder you don't have bugs crawling around in here," Steve said.

He continued to pick through the stuff. "Here's your stupid rock. Keep it where you can find it. I don't want to do this again someday," Steve cautioned.

He saw a small, folded up envelope among the papers. It had Ghost's name on the front, and it was still sealed. It wasn't his handwriting, or Ghost's.

"What's this? Don't look like you ever opened it." Steve handed the envelope to Ghost. Ghost looked puzzled.

"Well, are you gonna open it, or just stick it on your forehead and mind read it?" Steve asked.

Ghost didn't want to do either one. Already, he could feel there was something strange about it. So, he just stared at it, trying to get some impression from the handwriting first. Steve rolled his eyes, as he went to the kitchen for a beer.

"It'd be easier to just open it, Dude. That's all I'm saying."

So, Ghost did open it. He gasped, and began sobbing, "Oh, my God, oh my God!"

Inside, were two black and white photographs, and a short note. One photo was of his grandmother, taken many years ago. Sitting beside her was the woman who'd taken care of him up in the mountains. He remembered her saying they'd been best friends.

His grandmother was holding a pale-haired baby, only a few months old. He knew this baby must be himself. The other photo was of a fair-haired girl, a teenager. This must be his mother.

Steve came running back into the living room to see what was upsetting Ghost. "What is it? What's going on?" he asked.

Ghost was shaking, and still crying. He held out the photos to Steve. Kneeling down, Steve put his arm around Ghost's shoulders. He recognized the mountain woman, and Ghost's grandmother, but the, he thought.

"Is this you, Ghost, this your mother?" he asked.

Ghost nodded, "I...I think it must be. I never seen a picture of her before, and Grandmother never, ever talked about her. It's like I never had a mother, but here she is."

A thousand thoughts were going through both their heads...too much to take in. What happened to Ghost's mother? Why didn't his grandmother ever talk about her, her own daughter? How did the note get into the backpack.

Steve then noticed the note, lying on the floor."What's that note say, anyway?"

Ghost had been so shocked by the pictures, he'd forgotten about the note. He picked it up and read: Ghost, this is a picture of your grandmother and me, and you and your mother. Before Deliverance died, I talked to her once on the phone. She said to give this to you someday. I guess that is now.

She also told me to tell you, after she was gone, something that she'd never told another soul before. She kept a secret journal, and it would explain everything. The journal is hidden in your house, there in Missing Mile. It would not be easy to find, but she wanted you to find it.

So, Ghost, I wish you well. I'm glad I could meet you again, and help you on your journey. It was signed by the woman on the mountain.

Ghost and Steve looked at each other with wide eyes. "I'm supposed to find a hidden journal somewhere?" Ghost asked in bewilderment.

"I guess so. Do you have any idea where to start looking?"

"No, and I'm not sure I even want to find it. Maybe I don't want to have things explained. If she couldn't tell me before, why do I need to know stuff now?" asked Ghost.

"Because she wanted you to, that's why." Steve said. He was afraid Ghost would refuse to look, and it would bug him to not know where it was and what it said.

"You were a cute baby," Steve said. "Your Grandmother never had any other pictures?"

Ghost shook his head, "I never saw any."

"Well, what are you waiting for, you have to start looking for that journal." 

Steve got up and turned in a circle, eyeing the living room, trying to scope out what might be a good hiding place.

"Steve, wait a minute. We can't go tearing the place apart. I need to think about it first."

"What's to think about? Just start looking!"

"But, why wouldn't she have said something before? Why didn't I just know about it?" asked Ghost.

"Who knows," said Steve "Maybe she did some kind of hocus-pocus, and put a block on it...or a firewall to keep you out, until the time was right. Where would you hide something around here?"

Ghost shrugged, "I don't know, I've lived here forever, and know every inch of this house. She said it'd be hard to find. Maybe it's buried in a safe under the house...or maybe it's right in front of us, disguised so we don't see it right off?"

They continued to scan the room. "It has to be here, Ghost. There's no attic, and no basement. Do you know of any secret doors, or cubby holes, or loose boards...or maybe it's in the back room, with her potions and stuff. That room is spooky, anyway," Steve said.

"I don't know of any of that what you said, Steve, but I just had an idea. You see that wall of books over there? Nobody ever looks at them. They've always been there. Maybe it's disguised as a book? Maybe one of those fake books, with the insides cut out?" He went over to the book wall.

They were mostly old books about herbs, wild flowers and weeds, medicines, and anatomy. A few were modern fiction, some classics, and biography. They were all dusty and worn looking.

"I don't know, there might be a spider in there. What if one jumps out at me? There are so many of them. It'll take too long to go looking at them all," Ghost whined.

"So, you got anything better to do?" Steve asked.

"Well, no," Ghost answered.

They started in, Ghost taking one shelf, Steve another. They weren't having any luck; just stirring up dust, by the time midnight came. They agreed to do more searching the next day.

Next installment coming soon!

Peace, Love, & Writing


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE ... (forty first installment)

(41st installment) content

"Steve, I have to tell you something," Ghost said.

"What's that, Ghost? Is this gonna be scary?"

"No, I don't think so. I think it's something good. I hope you do, too."

Steve sighed, any number of things Ghost would think was a new song he'd written, or finding a Jesus rock, or seeing a dragonfly and claiming that winter was not gonna be bad this year, or even a rainbow. So, he was startled to hear Ghost say,

"Kinsey came out here today...when you were at work." Ghost stopped to see if Steve had a reaction.

"And..." Steve asked, "what happened? Did you let him in, or pretend you weren't here?"

"I let him in...we talked." Ghost could feel Steve tensing up, maybe getting angry.

"Guess he was so happy to see his good as gold boy come back home. Never mind the bad boy he wouldn't even acknowledge was right here all the time," Steve said, throwing his beer bottle off into the bushes.

"Steve, please, let me finish," pleaded Ghost.

"Sure go on, Ghost, tell me all about it. What on Earth did y'all talk about? Hmmm? Oh, wait, it was about me, wasn't it...don't need no super powers to figure that one out, now do I?"

"Well, yeah, we talked about you, Steve, and other stuff, and..."

"What'd ya do, Ghost...beg and plead for him to like me again? Bet that worked like a charm. Had him wrapped around your little finger in two seconds, I'll bet. Is that how it went, it? I don't need to have you fight my battles for me. If Kinsey can't talk to me, to my face, then fuck him, that's all!"

He paused in his rant, staring hard at Ghost. He was surprised to see that Ghost hadn't broken down in tears, yet. In fact, Ghost was staring at him just as hard. Ghost wasn't backing down, he wasn't scared of his outburst at all. He actually looked a bit disgusted with him.

"Oh, shit, now I'm in for it," he thought. He knew when Ghost got mad, watch out and take cover. He hardly ever got mad, but when he did, it was very effective, because of the shock value."

Ghost stood up then, swaying a bit, as he leaned over Steve, who was still sitting on the grave.

"Stop it right now, Steve! Stop putting yourself down as the evil brother. Yeah, it happened just like you said. I begged and pleaded for Kinsey not to hate you anymore. Only because I know you wouldn't. I'm not fighting your battles, but maybe I opened the door a little, so you can. Face up to your shit, Steve. Own it and move on. Patch up the stuff with Kinsey. He does understand. He said for us to come back to the club. He wants to talk to you and make things right again. He's taken the first step, Steve, now it's your move. And, I hope it's one decision you'll make without letting your temper ruin it."

"Ok, ok, I get it," Steve said. "I still don't have to like it. I'll go talk to Kinsey, but you better be there to help me keep it together. I'll listen to what he has to say, and really, I'm tired of this bullshit. If we can call a truce, then maybe we can all get back to normal around here."

Steve was calming down now, and he had a completely random thought, out of nowhere..."Damn, Ghost looks so cute when he's mad."

Ghost narrowed his eyes, "I heard that, and it's not gonna win you any points, this time." But, he grinned his lopsided grin, and his eyes softened back to their usual sky blue, the stormy darkness fading away.

"So, we'll go over to the club after you get out of work. I'll meet you there," said Ghost.

"Ok, fine. Guess that will work," said Steve.

They went back up to the house and awaited a new day.


The next afternoon, Ghost walked into town to meet Steve. He hoped he wouldn't see anyone yet, and he didn't. The town felt deserted. It was kind of weird. Then, he understood why. Kinsey had spread the word that there was going to be a showdown between the three of them. Steve had told Terry what was up, and Terry had called Kinsey to let him know that Ghost and Steve were coming.

As Ghost got to the door of the Sacred Yew, he hesitated. Memories of all the time he'd spent there over the years came back, flooding his senses. This felt like coming home, too. He opened the big wooden door, entering the cool dimness of the club. Nothing had changed in the two years since he'd last been here. The smell was the same as always...stale beer and a smoky haze, left from last night's customers. The stage was the same, and his writing wall was still there. He was glad everything was the same. He'd missed the place.

He walked to the back, where Kinsey's office was. Kinsey looked up, as he entered. Smiling, he motioned for Ghost to come on in and have a seat on the old couch.

"Hey, Kinsey, I'm here. Steve should be here in a few minutes."

"Hey, Ghost, how did you convince Steve to come...that I wasn't gonna punch his lights out?"

"Well, I got mad and told him he had to," Ghost said.

Kinsey nodded. Then they heard the front door open.

"Hey, Steve, we're back here," Ghost hollered, but he was feeling anxious. This could either go good or go bad, and he was right in the middle. He sent Steve a silent message, to please stay calm, and to stay and work it out with Kinsey...don't go storming out. He hoped it worked.

Steve came to the doorway and just stood there, but gave Ghost a reassuring look. then, he looked over at Kinsey.

Kinsey spoke first, "Hey, Steve."

"Hey, Kinsey."

Ghost swivelled his head between them both.

"Y'all sit down, let's talk this thing out," Kinsey said. He was thinking, though, that this is the first time in two years I've seen these two together. It's amazing the instant electricity and silent communication they have. I've always known it, but these two were meant for each other.They fit so well together...the one dark, the other light...the one with the fiery personality, the other like calm blue water.

So they talked, going over the whole thing, piece by piece. There were some angry words, but they were able to contain them within bounds. There were tears, and there was forgiveness on all their parts. In the end they agreed to let the past stay in the past, and start anew. It took a lot from them emotionally, but it cleared the air.

Kinsey said they could play a show whenever they were ready, and that got them all on the subject of planning it. They were all feeling relieved after their long talk. Ghost and Steve left for home, and Kinsey just leaned back in his chair, shaking his head and smiling.

Next installment coming soon!

Peace, Love, & Writing

Monday, May 19, 2014

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE...(fortieth installment)

(40th installment) content

"Kinsey, please don't hate Steve anymore. He didn't mean to hurt me, and I came back home, and I forgave him, and I love him...and when everyone hates him, and he's hurt and sad about that, it's like it hurts me, too...and...and...I love him," Ghost whispered the last part, and looked so sad with his pleading, his face tear streaked, that Kinsey's heart went out to him.

"Ghost, I know you love Steve. I hated what he did, but I don't hate him. I know I've been hard on him, and maybe unreasonable, but I just couldn't have him around me, reminding guess if you can forgive him, then I can try."

He hugged Ghost. "Y'all come over to the club when you're ready. It'll be cool with me, and I'll pass the word along that everything is worked out with you two, and just let it be."

Ghost nodded, "Can we play our music there again?"

"Yeah, that'd be good. I missed the music, and all the kids ask for y'all," Kinsey said. "Ghost, there's something else I need to talk to you about. I don't know what all went on with you while you were gone, and it's none of my business, but you did call me that time. I was really worried about you. Then, I got this in the mail a few days later. I don't know what it means, but I have a bad feeling about it."

He pulled out the flyers, and showed Ghost. Ghost looked at them and frowned. "You got these in the mail?"

"Yeah, I know this is the one Steve had made and put up everywhere he went, looking for you. This other one..." Kinsey tapped the flyer of Ghost and Maxy's band with the note written on it. "Is this the guy you were singing with?"

"Yeah..." said Ghost. "For a while...but, it didn't work out so good."

"Were you and this Maxy a relationship?" Kinsey tentatively asked.

Ghost paused a minute, remembering his time with Maxy. "Kinsey, I thought I was in love with him. It was good at first, but then, I don't know...he got too controlling. I...I...knew it was over before I could actually leave. He took advantage of me, used me, and hurt me. I finally escaped. I just left, and came back here."

"What do you make of this note he wrote? Do you think he'll come looking for you?" Kinsey asked

Ghost shrugged, "I don't know, I hope not. Guess if he does, Steve will kick his ass...and Steve hits way harder than Maxy does...oh, shit...did I just say that?" He leaned over with his hands over his face, his pale hair streaming down, and sobbed.

Kinsey was startled by Ghost's reaction, and by what Ghost had said. "This poor kid has been through hell," he thought. He rubbed Ghost's back, as he tried to comfort him. "It'll be ok...just let it all out. I'm here if you need me, and I'm sure Steve is, too," and he meant it.

After making sure Ghost would be ok, Kinsey left. Ghost was left with his thoughts, so he tried to write them in his journal, and his lyric book. Writing always had a calming effect on him. It always helped him focus. He wasn't much of a occasional beer, and he did like his Scuppernong wine. He and Steve smoked weed, when they had it, but he always had his notebooks to write in...and the walls.

He'd added new entries to his wall already. It was an obsession. Steve always liked to read what he wrote. Sometimes he was a little embarrassed to let anyone see, but mostly, he didn't mind. After writing awhile, he fell asleep on the couch, notebook open across his chest, markers, minus their tops, scattered around.

That's where Steve found him when he came in. "Typical of Ghost," he thought. "Hey, wake up," Steve shook Ghost. "I'm home."

Ghost startled awake, then stretched, and smiled. "Hey, how did it go today?"

"It went good...I didn't blow up at anyone, didn't cuss at anyone, and it did feel good to get back to work."


They ate the potato soup Ghost had made; he told Steve he'd wanted some for so long...and it was good. Steve sensed Ghost wanted to talk about something, but didn't push him. He'd talk when he was ready.

"Ya wanna beer, Steve?" asked Ghost, as he grabbed his bottle of wine.

"Yeah, but let's go out back for awhile...Terry gave me some smoke."

Back behind the house, in the woods, was the old Civil War graveyard. They'd spent many times out here, in the past. Smoking weed, drinking, and Ghost talking to the spooks, long dead. They'd been coming out here since they were kids, to sneak away from Ghost's grandmother. They'd pretend they were explorers, or Civil war heroes, or just to talk about secrets that were too powerful to speak of in the light of day.

They knew every inch of the old graveyard, and all it's markers. Ghost swore he could hear the souls of the moldering corpses talk to him. Scared the crap out of Steve when Ghost started in, and of course Ghost would jazz it up in a spooky voice, when he told Steve what his visions were. He had no reason to doubt. He'd seen Ghost in action when he sensed something, predicted something, and had outlandish dreams that actually did come true.

They leaned against a couple of crumbly gravestones, sipping their drinks, and passing the joint to each other...just relaxing. It was getting dark, and the moon hadn't risen yet. Ghost's face and hair lit up like an orb, floating alone, whenever he'd toke on the joint. Pretty eerie, Steve thought...and he wondered when the spooky stories would start.

But, when Ghost begain speaking, it wasn't about the past of long dead soldiers. It was about the future...his and Steve's future.

Next installment coming soon!

Peace, Love, & Writing

Monday, May 12, 2014

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE...(thirty ninth installment)

(39th installment) content

                                              CHAPTER 10

Steve and Ghost continued to find their way with each other. Some days were harder than others, but they had come through the fire at last...tempered by the flames of betrayal, painful, physical, and emotional scars. They grew to trust one another again, with an enduring ember, that would burn forever, however many times that ember would flare with sparks, and they knew they could face it together.

Steve had not mentioned to Ghost, that he'd seen Terry on that morning he'd gone out for groceries. As he was leaving the small store, arms full of bags, Terry had just come in. They had not seen each other since Steve had been in the hospital, nor had they spoken on the phone. It had been awhile, so it was a bit awkward now, to see each other.

"Hey, Steve, how's it going?" asked Terry.

"Hey, Terry. It's going ok...been busy." Steve said, as he adjusted the bags he held.

"Looks like you're set for awhile then, with all that food ya got there," Terry chuckled.

Steve wasn't in a mood to talk, but he did want to see if he could come back to work for Terry, so he tentatively, hopefully asked.

Terry gave him a hard look. "Uh...Steve, when you left the shop, you said you weren't ever gonna come back to work for me. You were bored and hated it. What's changed?"

"I know, Terry, I know," Steve humbled himself, "but, I need money. I gotta get another car. And, actually, I'm bored not working. Kinsey won't let me play over there at the club anymore, so...what d'ya say?" he gave Terry a smile.

Terry sighed, "Steve, I know things have been hard for you lately, so...if you're serious, and I mean you come in on time, and no calling in with a hangover...ya know what I mean...then, ok. I'll give you another chance. Just one more, got it?"

"Yeah, Terry, I got it, and thanks, man."

"Ok then, come in starting next Monday morning, regular time, regular pay. We'll see how it goes."

"Sure thing, Terry. See ya then," and as Steve began to walk away, he heard Terry say, almost like he didn't want him to hear, yet loud enough that he did...

"Say hey to Ghost, when ya get home."

Steve froze for a second, then tried to pretend he didn't hear, and continued walking.

"Shit," he thought. "Why did Terry say that? How could he know Ghost was back? Could he just feel my happiness, could he see on my face that it was true?"

He hurried on home. He'd have to tell Ghost that word was out that he was back in town. Then, with all that happened when he got back to the house, he'd forgotten. Now, he decided he'd better say something about it.

"Hey, Ghost? Guess what?" Steve asked the next morning, after their night of soul searching. "I got my job back with Terry."

"You saw Terry?" Ghost asked.

"Yeah, I forgot to tell you. When I got those groceries, he was there. I asked him about it...said I could start next week. What d'ya think?"

"Well, I guess if you have to," said Ghost.

"Yeah, I do kinda have to, since I'm flat broke, and I gotta get another car, and we have to eat," said Steve. And now comes the tricky part... he continued, "Oh, by the way...I think word is out that you're back in town, Ghost."

Ghost caught his breath, "How? I haven't seen anyone, haven't been anywhere."

"I don't know...just that Terry said to tell you hey, when I got back to the house. I didn't say anything at all to make him think you were here."

Ghost sighed, "Well, I didn't want to yet, but guess if Terry figured it out, he's telling everyone in town." He thought for a minute.

"How're we gonna do this? How am I gonna do this? Should I just hoover around the edge of town, and people could say 'yeah, I saw a ghost', or should I just pop out at people and say 'Boo, I'm back."? Ghost started giggling, and couldn't quit, and Steve joined in, until finally they had to stop and catch their breath.

"Oh, shit, Ghost, you crack me up!" Steve laughed. "Well, let's just wait and see what happens. You know Terry probably ran straight to Kinsey, and he'll tell everyone else. I'm going to the record store in a couple of days. I'll see what's been going on, and then we can go from there, ok?"

"Yeah, let's have a couple more days to ourselves first," Ghost agreed.


Meanwhile, Steve was right. Terry had figured it out, and went to see Kinsey. Kinsey was happy to hear Ghost was back, but it complicated things..a lot. He'd always thought of those two as sons he'd never had, stood up for them, and helped them along, however he could. But, he'd been so horrified at what Steve had done, he'd cut off all communication with him, and shut off his feelings...washed his hands of him. Now, if Ghost was back with Steve, and could forgive him, could he do the same? He didn't know. Terry had taken Steve back to work with him, said he was in a much better place after his wreck. He was trying to make things better. Said he looked happier than he'd been in a long time.

"Well," Kinsey sighed, "guess I can try, too." Then, there was the matter of the posters he'd received in the mail a while back. What should he do about that? "Maybe when Steve is on the job on Monday, I'll drive out to Ghost's house...see if he's really there, and bring the posters with me...let Ghost know what's going on with that," he thought.


So on Monday morning, Steve walked into town to work...on time and in a good mood. Ghost planned on writing in his journal, and working on some new songs, then cooking them something for later. He was on the old couch, writing some lyrics, when he heard a car crunching the gravel in the driveway. He looked out through the front screen door, and saw Kinsey's car stop. Watching him come up on the porch, Ghost felt a twinge of anxiety, and was surprised at how much older Kinsey looked after almost two years. He sensed Kinsey's feelings about coming here, too. The feeling of anxiety from him, too and of hopefulness of seeing Ghost again, and his turmoil about Steve.

Then, Ghost mentally shook himself, and realized he had no need to be afraid to see Kinsey. He was sure he could help put it right, about Kinsey's reluctance about Steve. Even so, when Kinsey knocked on the screen door, Ghost jumped, and his heart pounded. He rose off the couch, and slowly walked to the door.

His eyes were beginning to fill with tears, at seeing Kinsey again, after so long. As he opened the door, Kinsey still looked a little surprised to actually find Ghost there. Then at the same time, they both spoke the other's name.

"You really are here, Ghost."

Ghost nodded, which made his tears fall. He reached out, hugging Kinsey tight. "I'm here, Kinsey. I had to come back. This is home."

"I know, Ghost, I know," said Kinsey, with a catch in his throat, as he hugged Ghost, and smoothed his hair away from his face. "Just let me look at you for a minute. It's so good to see you."

They sat on the couch and talked a bit. Ghost telling a little about where he'd been, Kinsey relating town news. Then, they both grew quiet. Both had something important to say, and neither knew how to start. Then Ghost took a deep breath, and began.

Next installment coming soon!

Peace, Love, & Writing 

Friday, May 9, 2014

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE...(thirty eighth installment)

(38th installment) content

Ghost reached up to pull Steve close for a kiss, but suddenly put his hand over his eye and rubbed it.

"Damn it!" he whispered.

"What's going on? Is something in your eye? Why is it jumping like that?"

"It's nothing, Steve, just something that started happening. Mostly if I'm tired or stressed, or..."

"Bullshit, Ghost! You're not telling me everything." Steve pulled Ghost's hand away from his eye. It was red rimmed from crying, the same as the other one. It made his blue eyes stand out even more. But, Ghost was squinching that one up, like it hurt, or the light bothered him or something.

"Don't keep secrets from me, Ghost," he said. "Does it hurt you?"

Ghost nodded, "Sometimes."

"When did it start?" Steve asked.

When Ghost wouldn't answer, Steve realized it must have been after that night, that awful night. He'd hit Ghost so hard in his face and head...more than once.

"Oh, God! No!" he cried. "It was me that did that to you."

Ghost just nodded, and more tears fell. "Steve," he said, softly, "that's not all."

Steve had a pained look in his own eyes, as he heard what Ghost said next.

"Sometimes, sometimes...not all the time, just once in awhile, Steve...I can't even see out of it!"

Steve was breathing hard, feeling faint, or that he might throw up, maybe both, at the horrible thing he'd done. He'd ruined Ghost's eye, and probably his brain, too. Ghost had had a crack in his skull, the woman on the mountain had told him. Then he knew he must have been the one to have broken Ghost's tooth.

Steve lurched around the room, pacing and yelling. "Ghost, you have to get away from me. You can't keep getting hurt by me. I don't deserve to have anyone as good as you anywhere near me. I don't know how you can ever trust me again. Hell, I can't even trust myself! Here..." he said, picking up a pencil from the nearby table. "Go on, just poke out my eye, then we'll be even. Do it, Ghost! That's the least you can do...and it's still not enough!"

He kept pacing and ranting around the room. Then, he saw Ghost, cowering on the bed, as far back away from him as he could get. He was pulling at his hair and screaming something at him. He stopped his own noise. He'd been so loud, he'd not even heard Ghost.

Ghost was screaming over and over, "Stop it...stop it...stop it!" He looked out of his head, with fright.

"I've done it again," Steve thought. He fell down on his knees and cried. It seemed forever he stayed there. Dimly, he was aware of Ghost's screams growing quieter, until they stopped altogether. This was too much. He didn't know how they could work this out, didn't know if they could even survive each other. They were killing each other emotionally, just as much as physically. Maybe this would be the end...maybe it should be the end.

But, how could he go on without Ghost? He knew he couldn't...he couldn't. Steve's thoughts broke through to Ghost's mind...and he ached for Steve, for himself, but he knew it would not be the end. It would never be the end. He had to do something to convince Steve of this. He knew Steve was skeptical of his innate knowledge. He always needed proof that the things he told him were real, even if he couldn't see it.

Ghost slowly eased off the bed, and went to Steve. He gently helped him over to the bed, sitting on his knees in front of him, on the floor. He looked up into Steve's tear streaked face.

"I love you, Steve. Don't ever ask me to hurt you again. I need you to always be here, with me...and I know...look at me, Steve! I know we are supposed to be together. We have been in the past, in the present, and will be in the future. I've known this since I first saw you.

I recognized you as my forever soul mate. Don't think this is just some crazy talk from your weird friend, Steve. It's real. It's so real..." and Ghost searched Steve's eyes to see if he understood, that he'd somehow gotten through to him.

Somehow, Steve did believe him. They knew it in their hearts, that even through their ups and downs, their misunderstandings, their fights, and there would be some, that ultimately their very souls were to be together for eternity.

Ghost sighed, and said simply..."I need you, Steve. Please say you need me, too. Right now, Steve. I need you so much."

Steve grabbed him in a fierce hug, and mumbled into his soft hair, "I need you to...oh, Ghost, I need you, too."

Steve raised Ghost's head, kissing him deeply. He took Ghost's hands, pulling him up from the floor, then removing the soft shirt he wore. Ghost shivered at Steve's touch. Steve began kissing Ghost's shoulder, then worked his way down his left arm, the inside of his elbow, his wrist...and then he saw for the first time, his own name tattooed there. He looked at Ghost questioningly. "What? When?"

Ghost smiled and said, "I wanted one to go with yours."

Steve kissed Ghost's wrist again and murmured, "You're so crazy, and I adore you."

He kissed Ghost's palm, letting his tongue trace circles on it, then took Ghost's fingers into his mouth and sucked each in turn. Ghost was breathing heavily, his eyes closed, letting Steve do whatever he wanted...loving whatever Steve did to him.

As Steve took Ghost's ring finger into his mouth, he kept bringing it in and out in slow motion, deeper and wetter with each movement. Almost breaking the spell they were under, Steve began to ask Ghost about the silver ring he wore. He'd not had it before, and Steve knew it must have come from someone else.

"Did your lover give you this ring, Ghost? Who was he? Was it that guy that you sang with out in L. A.?"

Ghost didn't say anything, but tensed up.

"It's ok, Ghost," Steve continued, still speaking softly, not sounding mad. "I know you whored around out there. You had to do whatever it took to survive. How many more did you have to...? Was this one special? Did he love you, did you love him?

I don't care, Ghost. I fell in love with you the minute I saw you. I'm sure others do, too. I don't blame you for getting whatever you needed from him. I'm just glad you came back to me."

He continued to wet Ghost's finger, until he had the ring in his mouth. He looked at for a second, then threw it across the room, where it pinged off the window, a shiny ray of silver, as it caught the sunlight.

"You won't need it anymore, Ghost. I'll get you a better one."

He looked at the silver necklace Ghost was wearing, the one with the little key. Taking hold of the chain, Steve yanked hard, breaking it, and leaving a red mark on Ghost's neck. "You won't need this either."

Then, Steve thought to himself, "Oh, no. What am I doing? I can never shut up." He looked into Ghost's face, hoping he wouldn't see anger.

Ghost was trembling, there in Steve's arms, his eyes still closed. He breathed in small gasps of the sage scented air. He had the weird feeling that he was in the present with Steve, and the feeling he was in some place wonderful...some place called ecstasy...if there was such a place. He felt free, soaring on Steve's love for him, and his love for Steve.

Tears fell from his eyes now, as he whispered in Steve's ear, "Steve...I need you. I need you right now. I am yours. I'll always be yours. Please, Steve, please. Take me now!"

And they lay together again in each other's arms, bodies, and souls.

Next installment coming soon!

Peace, Love, & Writing

Thursday, May 8, 2014

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE...(thirty seventh installment)

37th installment content

Ghost entered the house, walking down the hall to his bedroom. The door was already opened, the house smelled sage. He smiled, knowing that Steve had burnt the sage for him. In the bedroom, he took off his clothes and got into the bed, with nice clean blankets, only having one twinge of anxiety, before falling asleep. He had no nightmares this night.

Some time later, Steve came in and quietly looked in at Ghost. Going over, he brushed a strand of hair from Ghost's face and lightly kissed his forehead. He felt a rush of love for this child of wonder. Going to his own room, he fell asleep as soon as he lay down. "Tomorrow, we'll have a fresh start," was the last thing he thought about.


Early the next morning, Steve made coffee, then left Ghost a note by the coffee pot. It said, "I've gone to get us some groceries. I'll be back soon. I love you, Steve."

Ghost grinned when he read it. He'd have to tease Steve, when he returned. He had written proof now, that Steve loved him. He drank his coffee, and took a long needed shower. Finding some of his old clothes, he put on a soft, well-worn hoodie and a pair of sweatpants, with only a few holes in them.

He was sitting on the old couch, writing in his journal, when Steve came back, huffing and puffing, carrying bags of stuff, and complaining about the long walk. He looked at Ghost still sitting there, and said,

"So, are you just gonna sit there, or are ya gonna help me with this shit?"

Ghost grinned and said, "I'm just gonna sit here and watch you deal with all that shit," and then had to duck, as Steve lobbed a box of cereal at him.

He grabbed the box and tore it open, grabbing handfuls of the sweet, sugary stuff, spilling some, eating it right from the box.

"Good thing I got the kid cereal. Looks like there's a little kid up in here today," Steve said, as he juggled the bags into the kitchen.

"You got this kind 'cause you looove me," Ghost teased.

"Yeah, right," Steve hollered from the kitchen.

Ghost came and leaned on the door frame, watching Steve put things away.

"What else ya got in there, anyway?"

"Grown up food, that's what," Steve said. "Maybe if you'd grow up, you could have some."

"Hmmmph," muttered Ghost. "I'm grown up."

Steve finished his task, then got himself a bowl of cereal with milk. He looked like he wanted to talk about serious stuff, Ghost thought.

'I hate to break it to ya, Ghost, but that was the last of the money I had. Guess I'll have to go back to work at the record store...if Terry will have me."

"Where's your car, Steve?" Ghost asked.

Narrowing his eyes, Steve stared hard at Ghost. "It got totaled. Guess you didn't hear about that, since you were off doing God knows what." Steve looked at Ghost, and his eyes were not happy.

Ghost didn't like this turn in the conversation. It was like Steve was accusing him of wrecking his car. Steve continued, with a sharp edge to his words.

"Yeah, I wrecked the son-of-a-bitch...had too much to drink. Coming back here after a binge, drowning myself in alcohol, because I couldn't find you, Ghost. Wrapped it around a tree on the way back from Raleigh one night. I had to be in the hospital up there for three weeks. I was a mess, broke arm, broke ribs, stitches...but, I guess it was a wake-up call. I haven't been drinking, at least not as much any more..."

"I'm sorry, Steve. I didn't know."

"Yeah? I thought you were suppoosed to know everything. Well, guess your super powers failed ya this time. Guess it's my turn to tell you not to say you're sorry. If it hadn't been for..." he quit talking then, as he realized what he was doing. He was accusing Ghost, and really, it was his own fault for causing Ghost to leave in the first place. And, he was practically yelling in Ghost's face.

"Oh, my God, Ghost! None of this is your fault, none of it," and he wanted to say I'm sorry, but had been warned not to. So he just clamped his mouth shut and stared at the table in front of him.

Ghost turned, leaving the room.

"Why, why, why did I do that?" Steve thought. "Every time I open my mouth something bad comes out, and then it's too late to take it back. I wind up hurting everyone I know."

More sarcastic thoughts came into his head..."Well, he asked what happened to the car. He didn't know, but I didn't have to tell him all that. Damn!"

He could hear Ghost trying to cry quietly, in the bedroom. Steve sighed as he went to see about try to make things right again.

As he came to the doorway, he saw that Ghost was lying on his back, staring at the ceiling, tears running down into his ears, wetting his hair and pillow. Steve walked over and tried to touch him, but Ghost turned away, then said with a sob...

"God does know what I was off doing, Steve. I was too busy dying to hear about your wreck. But, if I had, I'd have come back to be with you, even when I was dead!"

He turned back toward Steve, wiping the tears from his face, but Steve was already brushing away the tears with his thumbs, cradling Ghost's face in his hands. He noticed Ghost's left eye twitching, and wondered about it.

"Ghost, I didn't mean to make you cry. I never can say things the right way. It comes out all wrong. I'm sorry...yeah, I have to say it, and I mean it. And, I am sorry, too. I'm a sorry son-of-a-bitch for hurting you over and over."

"I know, Steve," Ghost said. "I know you don't mean to, and I try to not let it bother me," he took a deep breath. "Can we just start over?" he grinned, and again Steve saw his broken tooth..

"Yeah, Ghost, we can start over. At least we can try."

Next installment coming soon!

Peace, Love, & Writing

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE ...(thirty sixth installment)

36th installment content

                                          CHAPTER 9

Ghost made his way through the woods to the graveyard. It was several miles by the main road, but seemed to be a shorter distance going this back way. He didn't know why he blew up at Steve, back at the house. It was just this whole business of coming back was complicated.

"Why can't anything be easy?" he thought.

Then an unbidden voice came into his mind. "Death is easy," it whispered.

And he knew it to be He pushed the morbid thought from his mind, as he reached the back of the graveyard. His grandmother's grave was right near, in a secluded, tree shaded area. He stood for a moment, just trying to focus his thoughts. A sudden soft breeze filtered through the pine trees, making a whispering sound. He knew his grandmother was near, and waiting for him to tell her all his troubles, just like she used to do when he was a kid.

Sitting cross-legged on top of her grave, he traced his fingers over the headstone that told her name, and the days of her life, etched there, softly timeworn after so many years. But, Ghost knew she'd never really left him alone. Her spirit would always be with him, would always be his guardian angel, his spirit guide. He spoke to her as if she was there, right in front of him. He remembered the last time he'd been here. His soul in pain, his body torn and bleeding.

"I had to come back," he started. "You knew it before I did, and now felt like the time was right...but, is it? I'm so confused. Everything seems so hard. I messed up so bad. I saw you...I knew you were there when I crossed over for a little while. You told me to come back, to make things right, it wasn't time for me over there. But, I wanted to stay," he sobbed, "I wanted to stay."

Wiping his eyes, he began again. "I met someone else, and I thought he could make me forget about Steve. But, he was too greedy. He took everything he could from me, and then hurt me in the end. Now I'm back here, and I've forgiven Steve, and I love him...but, I'm still afraid, so afraid," he knelt against the gravestone, letting his tears run down the cold granite and into the soft earth below.

"Ghost Child," he heard her voice, a soft whisper in his mind. "You are right where you are supposed to be. I've seen all your pain. I've felt your turmoil. I can see you are troubled, but I know you must go through tough times, go through the fire, to test your love for Steve, to continue to evolve into the true soul spirit you were born to be. I can only guide you so far, Ghost Child. the rest is up to you. You and only you can decide which path you follow. 

I will never forsake you. You will always be here in my heart. Come and talk to me often. I will try to ease some of the confusion and pain you feel. Try not to be afraid of life, Ghost Child...embrace it, learn from the hard parts, and live joyously in the good parts. Your ability to empathize with all creation is only to help you. You can't take on everyone's pain and sorrow. It would ultimately destroy you.

You must go to your love, enjoy this lifetime with him, as you have in the past, and which you will in the future. Do not despair, do not let your depression take over and cloud your emotions. Give everything of yourself to this life, and do not regret anything."

Ghost had fallen into an exhausted sleep. He heard his grandmother's voice while awake, and continued to heed her advice, as he drifed off. He had no idea how long he'd been out there in the graveyard, but as he came slowly awake, it was getting on toward twilight. A few stars were beginning to shine in the idigo sky.


He was tired, so tired still...of trying so hard, of not knowing what to do, of being afraid. He sighed. He did feel the beginnings of a new outlook on things. Maybe he could figure it out. He pulled on his old Army jacket, and as he did, he noticed his left wrist... and the tattoo he'd gotten there. He smiled to himself, as he remembered the day it had happened. It was up in the mountains. There was a guy who practiced the art of tattooing there, one of his kinfolk, he supposed. Being curious, he watched the man at his craft several times, then decided he wanted one. He'd always been scared to before, but he'd seen Steve's silly one, and figured he'd get one to match. So, he gathered his courage and had the guy write the word 'Steve' on the inside of his left wrist in sky blue ink. It hurt like hell, but he managed to get through it. He looked at it now, and kissed it, as he said,

"Help me get through the rest of my life, Steve. I don't think I can do it without you by my side."


He knew he needed to go back to his house and see Steve. He hoped Steve had finished cleaning. Shaking the pine needles from his hair and clothes, he began the walk back. He tried to think of what to say to Steve, when he returned home. He didn't know what mood Steve would be in, but figured he would take his cue and hope for the best. 

As he walked up behind the house, he noticed the porch light on out front, and could hear Steve playing a few chords on his guitar. Coming closer, he saw Steve there, sitting on the old swing and looking calm.

Hesitating a bit, Ghost walked over and sat in the swing, next to Steve.

"Hey," Ghost said, softly.

Steve looked over, "Hey."

Steve continued to strum his guitar, and as he did, he asked Ghost, "You ok?"


There were no more words needed. Ghost began humming along to the song, an old ballad he'd written long ago, and they just enjoyed being there together in the quiet, country night.

After awhile, Ghost, who'd been yawning and could hardly keep his eyes open, got up, saying he was going to bed. Steve looked up at him, and just nodded. They knew each other's thoughts at that moment.

 "Is it ok for me to go in there, now?"

 "It's ok for you to go back in there. Call out for me if you need to...I'll be there."

Next installment coming soon!

Peace, Love, & Writing

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE... (35th installment)

35th installment content

Tears from them both mingled together as they kissed. Then Ghost pulled back a little and said,

"I'm not ready to see anyone from town yet, ok? I just need some time, time to think about stuff, ya know. I don't want to have to explain things, and see the looks they'll have. You know, like feeling sorry for me, wondering why I came back, how we could work things out between us after...after..."

Steve nodded. "Ok, Ghost, when you're ready, not before."

Ghost turned back to looking out the window. "I need to go to the graveyard. I have to talk to my grandmother, and well...I can't be here when you...uh..."

Steve knew. Ghost couldn't be here when he cleaned out the bedroom. He wished he didn't have to he here to do it either, but he nodded and said, "Ok, Ghost. I'll fix it up before you get back. I'm so sorry. Please forgive..."

He didn't finish his words, because Ghost whirled back around, and snapped at him.

"Stop saying you're sorry, Steve! I get it, already. You're sorry you raped me, you're sorry you beat me almost to death, you're sorry the room is a mess, with my blood still all over it. You did it all, Steve. You did it all...and I came back, and I forgive you, and I love you, but it's over now...over and done with. I can't, I won't go on reliving it every time you say you're sorry!"

Ghost was breathing hard. Steve had never seen him so angry, his eyes darkening with emotion. He didn't have a comeback for Ghost's outburst. Then Ghost continued.

"I'm going now. I'm going the back way through the woods. I don't know how long I'll be there, but I need to be alone for awhile. I will be back, Steve. So, now that I've accounted for my every move to you..."

Grabbing his backpack, he left out the back door, letting the screen slam behind him, as he started walking down the path through the trees, without another word, or looking back.

Steve just stood there in shock. "What the hell was that?" he asked himself. "Fine, he can just be alone for awhile, if that's what he wants."

He stomped around looking for cleaning supplies. He dreaded the job before him, but it had to be done, and done now. He grabbed some garbage bags and the broom. He ran a bucket of hot, soapy water, and took them all into the hallway. Opening the bedroom door, the feelings and remembered actions of that night enveloped him.

"This room is always going to he haunted with bad memories," he thought. He shook his head to clear it, and with more confidence, said aloud,

"Ok, room, that's all you have no power over me and Ghost!" Then he thought, "Listen to me, talking to a damn room like a crazy person." But, that didn't stop him from hoping Ghost still had some sage brooms to burn and wave the smoke around, to help cleanse the bad juju away.

He didn't even know where to start. There was stuff everywhere. He picked  up a blanket from the floor, stuffing it into the garbage bag.

Trying not to think about it, he stripped the bed of it's sheets and blankets. Trying to ignore the bloodstains that had soaked all the way down into the mattress, he steeled himself against the tears that were stinging his eyes, threatening to fall. He kept on picking up things. He'd have to take all this to the laundry someday, he thought, as he put the full bag into the back room, where the old, dusty potions were, that Miz Deliverance had stored. They almost never went in there, so this would hold the soiled sheets, until he could, one...find a way to get it to the laundromat in town, without a car, and two...get some money to put in the machines.

He began sweeping the floor, cleaning out dried leaves, rose petals, dried up markers, a few beer cans that had rolled under the bed, and two years worth of dust and cobwebs. With old rags, he began to wipe down the walls and the mattress, but this almost made him lose it. The soapy water turned Ghost's long dried blood into red liquid again, running in streaks down the wall, mingling with marker ink. The mattress was impossible, so he turned it over to the cleaner side.

Finally, he'd done as much as he could. He put clean sheets and blankets on the bed, then looked around. In the closet he'd found some sage bundles, so he lit a wad of it. It smelled good, as he waved it around. He felt a bit silly doing it, but knew that this is what Ghost would do, would want him to do. As he waved the smoke around, he said whatever came to mind, to banish bad spirits. He'd heard Ghost many times, so he figured it couldn't hurt.

"Be gone! Bad spirits, get the hell outta here. Don't ever come back. You have no power over me and Ghost. Leave us alone, or I'll bust your ass! Oogga-boogga...abracadabra...hocus-pocus...and all that shit!"

He burst out laughing like a madman, at hearing himself say all this mumbo-jumbo. He didn't believe half of any of it, but he knew Ghost took it seriously. And he trusted Ghost with his life, so maybe there was something to it.

Finally done, he grabbed the lone beer from the fridge, and went out to the front porch to sit in the old swing. He let his mind go blank, and just sat.

Next installment coming soon!

Peace, Love, & Writing