Sunday, May 31, 2015


# 174 content

Steve thought a minute. "Well, if that woman Kinsey talked to is my sister, and she contacts us, I guess I'll meet her somewhere. I'd really like to, ya know, since it's been so long.  But, until it actually happens, I'm gonna just do what I always do around here. Nothing's changed," he said.

"Ok, Steve," Ghost said, "but, if you ever want to talk more ab0ut things like this, just let me know, ok?"

Steve nodded. "Yeah, I don't like remembering bad things, but I guess I should talk it out some times." He sighed, then shrugged it off. "Well, now that we've checked out Terry and Kinsey's place, I'm ready to go."

They locked up the club, and went out to the car. "Anywhere else you have in mind to go?" Steve asked.

"No, but I'm still bored. I can't get my mind on anything long enough to get interested in it," Ghost said.

"I know what you mean. This town is kind of boring, and with the club closed, even less. But, I hate to drive over to Raleigh all the time," Steve said.

"Well, why don't we just drive around...maybe go check out the lake. We haven't been out there in awhile," Ghost said.

A short time later, they were there, and got out to walk around. There were a couple of groups of people...some fishing, and some teens throwing a Frisbee around. The day had begun to warm up, after the past few days of snow.

"We gotta get a Christmas tree, Steve," Ghost said. "I got that ornament at the thrift store a  long time ago, so I need to hang it up."

"Oh, yeah, sure...good idea," Steve said. "Are we going to cut one down, or just buy one at the store?"

"Let's buy an already cut down one, ok? I don't want to kill a tree," Ghost said.

Steve gave him a look. "Ya know, those are killed ones too, don't 'cha?"

"Yeah, but somebody else did it, and we have to rescue one, and make it all pretty so it won't be all sad."

"Well, when you put it that way," Steve said, and smiled at Ghost's reasoning. "I get it. We'll go get one soon."

They got up from where they'd been sitting. "Damn, shouldn't have sat on that damp grass. Now, I'm all wet," Steve said, brushing off his pants. "You ready to go home?"

"Yeah, I'm getting cold, and I might need a nap."

Just as the reached the car, a flock of geese flew overhead. They watched a few minutes. "Which way are they going?" Ghost asked.

"South, where it's warmer...well warmer than here. They'll be back in the Spring," Steve said.

They were just opening their front door, when Steve's phone rang. It was Trevor. "Hey, how's it going?" Steve asked.

"Everything is good here," Trevor said. "Just wanted to say thanks for coming over for dinner...and to check on Ghost. Did he survive the night?"

"Yeah, barely...he was a mess, though, and this morning was pretty rough, but he's fine, now. We just checked on the shop and the club. All is good there, too," Steve said. "We're just chillin' at the house for awhile." They said their good-byes, and ended the call.

"They wanted to know how you're feeling, today, Ghost," Steve laughed. "How are you feeling, now?"

"I'm over it. I'm just tired and sleepy. I didn't sleep  much lately."

"Well, go on then, take a nap, I'm gonna read awhile," Steve said.

"What 'cha reading?"

"Oh, this one here," Steve said, showing Ghost the paperback. "It's a spy novel, you know...good guys chasing bad guys, and some kind of government conspiracy. It's pretty good."

"Oh, that kind..." Ghost said.

"Yeah, I can find you a good one to start on, if you want."

"Oh, that's ok, Steve...I think I'll find something else."

"Ok, then...I know you like history and sci-fy kinds. There should be some over there."

Ghost went to the overstuffed bookcase. After a few minutes, he said, "We need some new books, Steve. I already read these ones. We should go to the used bookstore."

"We could do that...maybe tomorrow," Steve said. He settled down on the couch again, with his book.

Ghost went to his bedroom. He couldn't get his mind to relax. He kept going over the situation of Steve's maybe sister. Then he started thinking about Christmas trees, and what he could do about a present for Steve...and how to go off by himself to get it, when he didn't like to drive, and Steve wouldn't let him drive his car any more anyway. He figured it would sound stupid, to ask Steve to drive him somewhere to buy him a present. He sighed. "There's gotta be a way..." he said to himself.

Steve was having trouble concentrating on his book. He kept thinking about his sisters, and whatever became of them. Then, he let himself think of his plans for Ghost's Christmas present, from him. It had been hard trying not to think of it for so long, in case Ghost was picking up his thoughts. But now, he figured Ghost was, he'd think of it now.

He needed to get a measurement somehow, without Ghost knowing he was doing it, and how to do that would be weird. And then, he'd have to go off shopping by himself, leaving Ghost alone here, when he knew Ghost hated to be alone, most of the time.

He listened for any sounds coming from Ghost's bedroom. He didn't hear anything, so thought it would be a good time to do the measuring. It would be awkward, but necessary. Quietly, he went into the bedroom. He smiled as he watched Ghost sleep. Perfect. He didn't have a tape measure, so he'd brought a length of string to use. Sneaking over to the bed, he carefully leaned over Ghost. Reaching for Ghost's hand, he took the measurement. Then, he couldn't resist...he kissed the palm of Ghost's hand. The same hand he'd smashed and broken, the day of the hurricane. He knew it still pained Ghost, sometimes...he'd see him flexing and massaging it, and the scar was still visible.

Ghost stirred, and whispered, "Steve?"

"It's ok, Ghost...I'm just loving on you a little bit. You can go back to sleep. I'm going to sleep too." But he was feeling wide awake, now...his breath coming faster, as he watched Ghost's sleepy face. He was hoping Ghost would wake up some more.

"Steve? Come be with me," Ghost whispered in his ear.

Smiling, Steve hugged Ghost, then undressed them both. Ghost had not opened his eyes, but had a sleepy smile, letting Steve do what he wanted. And, Steve wanted to kiss that face, and more. Ghost was so warm, there in the blankets, and he gave Steve warm kisses back, and more, that lazy afternoon.

Ghost woke early the next morning, before dawn. Having slept through most of the afternoon before, and all night, he'd had enough for awhile. He made the coffee, fed Spirit, and went out on the front porch. It was chilly, so he was wrapped in a blanket, he'd pulled off the bed. Outside, it was barely light enough to see, as the sky was just turning a rosy pink. The morning star was still shining in the east. This was Ghost's favorite time of day. He always felt peaceful greeting the mornings.

Raising his coffee mug, he toasted the thanks for having Steve and Spirit in his life. He could hear Steve moving around inside, getting his own coffee, then the squeak of the old screen door, as he came out.

Steve had heard Ghost's prayer of thanks, and he now came up behind him, giving him a hug. "That was beautiful, Ghost. Last night was beautiful, and you are beautiful...and I give thanks that you are in my life, too. I just love you,'s that simple," he said, and kissed the back of Ghost's head.

Ghost leaned back against Steve. "We're soulmates, Steve...always and forever...forever more."

"Yes," Steve whispered.

The sun's first rays beamed through the pines, just then, dazzling their eyes.

"'s like a sign...a sign that we're in the right place, right here together, Steve," Ghost said.

Steve couldn't say anything...his eyes were stinging, and a lump was in his throat.

Next part coming soon!

Peace, Love, & Writing

Saturday, May 30, 2015


# 173 content

                                                    CHAPTER 24

Morning came, and Ghost was still bothered about the dream he'd had. As he and Steve were having their coffee, he did tell him what it was about. He asked, "Steve, who is Linda? I've heard that name before, but why?"

Steve was stunned. "Ghost...that's my sister's oldest sister. She ran away from home when it got too bad, a long time ago. I was probably ten, that year. No one ever heard from her again. Not long after that, my mother took my next oldest sister, and left. I never saw any of them again." He stopped, a pained look on his face at the memory.

"It was just me and my dad, and he was getting worse every, when you asked me to come stay at your house, well...I never went home again. But, why would she be in a dream with Kinsey and Terry? It don't make any sense." He looked at Ghost, in confusion.

"I don't know, Steve, that's just how it came in my head," Ghost said shrugging.
They went about their day, but the conversation kept nagging at them. Later Ghost asked Steve if they could go do something. "I'm bored," he complained.

"Well, where ya wanna go?" Steve asked.

"Anywhere but here. The snow's all melted, so we can get on the road again."

"Ok, why don't we go into town, and we can check on the club and the record shop. You know, go in and look around."

"Ok, I'll get ready," Ghost said.

They drove first to the record shop. Letting themselves in with the key, Steve turned on the lights.

"It's weird in here, with Terry gone," Ghost said.

"I know...too quiet...let's check the club," Steve said.

They drove over to the back parking lot of the Yew. Everything was dim and quiet over here, too. Steve went through the whole place, while Ghost wrote an entry onto the writing wall. As Steve came back downstairs, his phone rang. It was Kinsey.

"Hey, Kinsey," Steve said, "we're over here right now, checking on things. Everything looks good, and tell Terry the shop is ok, too."

"That's great, Steve," Kinsey said.

"Where are y'all, now?"

"We just got back to our hotel...spent all day at Disneyland. Man, Terry was having a ball, and I took a lot of pictures," Kinsey said.

"Cool, can't wait to see them," Steve said. "Oh, yeah...Ghost had a weird dream about y'all last night..."

Kinsey interrupted him, "Steve, there's something I need to ask you."

"Ok, what?"

Kinsey paused a moment, "Well, I don't know how to put it, but did you ever hear anything about your sister, Linda? I know she left home, shortly before your mother and your other sister left. I hate to bring this up, Steve, but..."

"Kinsey, it's ok..." Steve said. "What's weird is that's what Ghost had a dream about... you, and Terry, and Linda, and Disneyland...and no, I never heard anything from any of them after they left. It was just me and my dad, and know that whole situation."

"Yeah, I always felt bad for you...about all of that, but listen...this is the really weird part," Kinsey said, "I thought I saw someone that I'd swear was Linda, today. This woman looked a lot like you, and of course it's been so many years, I couldn't be sure..."

"You saw her?" Steve asked.

"Well, I thought it could be her, but see, I don't know," Kinsey explained. "This lady was waiting for a ride, with two kids...looked about six or seven years old, I don't know. Anyway, I went up and said hi, and asked if she was Linda. Well, she acted funny. At first she smiled, when I said her name, then I have a feeling she recognized me...maybe. But, then she looked like she was just going to run away from me, but said her name wasn't Linda, and I must be mistaken. I asked did she have a brother named Steve...and she looked straight at me and said no. Then she took the kids, and walked away real fast.

Now, Steve, I don't know what to make of it, and I probably shouldn't have, but I took her picture with my phone, as the three of them walked away," Kinsey said. "They're not great photos, but if you want, I'll send them to your phone. This may not mean anything at all, ya know...just a weird encounter."

Kinsey waited a few seconds, thinking his phone had disconnected. "Ya there, Steve? Can ya hear me?"

Steve had not said a word while Kinsey had been talking, trying to take it all in. "Yeah, I'm here," he finally said. "Go ahead and send the pictures, Kinsey. I don't know what to think, it's so random, ya know. But, then that dream Ghost had last night...could be something to it."

"Ok, it'll take a few minutes. There's three pictures I'm sending. Anyway, that's all the news from us. We're heading back east, tomorrow. Call me back if you want to talk," Kinsey said.

Steve was agitated, and paced around, there in Kinsey's office. Ghost was sitting on the couch. He'd heard Steve's part of the conversation. "It's her, has to be." he said.

"I don't know, Ghost. It's strange, but what if it is? What should I do about it? From what Kinsey said, she doesn't want to be found." He sighed, trying to calm himself. "Oh, here's the pictures, now."

He stared closely at the photos as he searched the woman's features. They were not ideal, being at a distance, and only one full facing the camera. "Look, what do you think?" He gave Ghost the phone.

"That's her, Steve. That's her...and those little kids...they're the same ones as in my dream. And yeah, she does kinda look like you, with the same kind of hair. I can't see her eye color, but they are dark like yours. I'm gonna say yes. Of course, I never seen your sister before, so I can't really know, but that's for sure the ones I seen in my dream." Ghost handed the phone back to Steve.

"But, what am I supposed to do about it?" Steve asked. "I mean, she said she wasn't, and we don't know where she lives or anything..."

"Call Kinsey back."

Steve did call back..."Hey we looked at those pictures. It's hard to tell, but we both see the resemblance. So, what do you think we should do? We don't know where she went after talking to you."

"I know, Steve, but listen...I did give her my business card, and also wrote your phone number on the back, too. Maybe she'll contact one of us. Guess we'll just have to wait and see. If not, well, probably wasn't meant to be, or it really wasn't her at all," Kinsey said.

"Yeah, guess that's all, just wait and see. Anyway, thanks Kinsey," Steve said, ending the call.

He looked at Ghost, and shrugged. "We'll have to just wait and see if she calls. If we get contacted, then I'll deal with it. Now, though, it's business as usual around here."

"You don't seem very excited...or upset about it," Ghost said. "Why not?"

"I don't know, guess because it's not for sure. And truthfully, I don't even half way remember her. I was just a little kid when she left, and so much was going on at the time...all the bad stuff, and then my mom and my other sister, Lisa, left..." he closed his eyes, as he rubbed his face.

" was bad. I know you've heard me say how it was, but that's just something that gets deep inside ya...and, it's all I could do to make it through. Well, I know you understand...then, I finally left to go to your house that day. I look at it like you and your grandmother pretty much saved me." He stopped for a minute.

"Steve..." Ghost asked. "whatever happened to your dad?"

Steve sighed, shaking his head. "I don't think you remember, 'cause it happened when you were out at the graveyard, messing around in the woods one day. I'd come in the house for something. I think your grandmother was getting us something to eat and drink. I was going to bring it back outside for us. Anyway, my dad came to the house, and Ghost...he started yelling and threatening your grandmother...about stealing me away from him. I hid in the bedroom, but I could hear him. Your grandmother was a strong, feisty lady. She let him have it right back. She told him she'd turn him in for child abuse, if he ever came back."

Steve looked into Ghost's eyes. "She meant it, too. Anyway, he left. That was the first time in probably five years I'd even seen him. Well, I was about sixteen then, I already had the T-bird. That was the last time I ever saw him...well, ya know...hear him. Why he pretended to care that day, I don't know. Anyway, I was embarrassed to face your grandmother, but she came in the bedroom and saw me...a big 'ol teenager, crying like a baby. But, she said not to worry, she'd always stick up for what was right. She gave me the biggest hug...I loved your grandmother, Ghost..."

He took a deep breath. "Anyway, some time later, maybe a year, I don't know, she told me he'd killed himself...over in Georgia. She'd heard it from someone. I don't know the details, but I didn't even care. I was glad, and that was the end of it."

Ghost was frowning. "How come I never knew any of this, Steve? You didn't say anything about it, and neither did my grandmother. I wish I would'a known...I maybe could have helped ya feel better."

Steve shrugged. "I don't know...I was still embarrassed that my family was so messed up, and it was over anyway. I asked your grandmother not to say anything to you. I'm sorry, Ghost. I knew even then that it would really bother you."

"Ok, Steve, I get it. So, now what? What are you gonna do if that lady is your long, lost sister?"


Next part coming soon!

Peace, Love, & Writing

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


# 172 content

"Guess I better get him home," Steve said. "Thanks for having us over for dinner, Zach, it was really good."

"Yeah, man, glad you could make it," Zach said. "Is he going to be ok?"

Steve nodded, and looked down the hallway. Ghost was coming back from the bathroom.

"Hey, Steve, guess what? They got a big old fashioned bathtub in there...big enough for both of us. Hey, Trevor, can we get in there, now?" Ghost was yelling over the music to be heard. He swayed as he stood there by the table, still holding his mostly empty wine bottle.

"Ghost," Steve said, "it's time to go home. Dinner is over and we have to go, now. Tell Zach and Trevor thank you for inviting us."

"Home? Why? We're having fun, Steve." Ghost tried to focus on Steve's face.

"C'mon, let's get in the car," Steve said, getting up from the table.

"Fine, Steve...bye, y'all...I liked your food," Ghost slurred, and tried to head for the door, but started leaning, as he walked, and ran right into a wall, falling backward onto his butt. He started laughing.

Steve hauled him up, and out the door toward the car. "Thanks, again, to y'all later."

"Where we going?" Ghost asked. He peered out the windshield, as they drove down the highway.

"We're going home," Steve said.

"Oh, well...I don't know how to get there, do you?"

"Yeah, I know how...don't worry about it."

"Why we going...why we going?" Ghost kept saying over and over.

Steve just let him babble on. It had been a long afternoon, and he was tired. It didn't help his nerves any, that the road was now snow packed. He had to concentrate hard on his driving, which made his shoulders ache, and his eyes hurt.

Ghost had been quiet for a few minutes. Steve glanced over at him, seeing that he'd already passed out. Finally pulling into their driveway, he shook Ghost awake. "We're home, wake up."

Ghost yawned real big, but didn't wake up.

"Dude, I'm not gonna carry you in. It's slippery and I don't want to fall again, now...wake up." He shook Ghost harder.

"What?" Ghost said.

Steve opened the car door, letting in a blast of cold air. He hoped it would wake Ghost up long enough to get into the house.  Leaning on Steve, Ghost did manage to walk up the steps. They kept going to the bedroom, where he fell onto the bed. Steve put a blanket over him, then went into his own bedroom and collapsed into his own bed. Sometime in the night, he heard Ghost in the bathroom, throwing up. In a few minutes, he came into Steve's room.

"Can I sleep with you? I think I might die, and I don't want to be alone," Ghost said.

"Sure, c'mon," Steve said, scooting over. He snuggled the blankets around them both.

The next time he woke up, it was morning. The sun was out, and was melting the snow. Ghost was still asleep, so Steve went to make the coffee. He'd let Ghost sleep as long as he wanted. After pouring himself a mug of the strong coffee, he opened the front door, to see about three inches of snow still on the ground. The porch was fairly clear, though. Spirit came out, and tentatively sniffed at the snow. He touched it with his paw, then jerked it back, shaking it.

Steve laughed. "Go on and jump in, Spirit," he said. The cat gave him a look, and meowed. "I's cold, Dude."

Ghost had woken up, and was now wrapped in a blanket, holding his own cup of coffee, as he came outside. "Morning..." he said.

"Damn, you look rough," Steve said. "Did you have a wild night, or what?"

"Shut up...I feel like crap. Why'd ya let me drink so much?"

"Like I could stop ya," Steve said. "Suffering now, aren't ya?"

"Yeah," Ghost said. He wrapped the blanket tighter, then sat on the swing. Closing his eyes, he asked, "Did I do stupid stuff?"

"Oh, yeah," Steve laughed. "That's what drunk people do...stupid stuff."

"Like what?"

"Oh, like dancing all over the place, and running into walls, and falling down...oh, and laughing like a hyena...that's all. You were quite fun to watch."

"Oh, God...they won't ever want me to come over, again," Ghost said.

"It's fine...they were having a good time, too."

Ghost sat there moaning a little more, as he rocked back and forth. Spirit came to sit on his lap. "Spirit says he wants to make a snowman," Ghost said.

"Spirit says? A cat wants to make a snowman?" Steve asked.

"Well, he can't really make one by himself, so he wants us to do it for him," Ghost said. He scratched the cat under the chin. "Isn't that right, Spirit?"

Steve shrugged. "Well, why not. We better hurry, though, the sun's melting it already." He went out into the yard. Gathering up some snow into a fairly good sized base, he noticed Ghost and Spirit were still on the porch, just watching him. He made a snowball and threw it at them. "C'mon, help me out here, you two."

"I'm too cold...I'll freeze."

"Fine, then go get something for his face and arms, then," Steve said, actually enjoying the snowman making.

Ghost went inside to put on a jacket and boots. Finding a scarf and hat for the snowman, and some charcoal briquettes for the eyes, he came back outside. He found a couple of dried tree branches for the arms. "Here put these on," he said.

When they were finished, they stood back to look at their creation. Spirit crept up to it, hissed, then ran away.  This made them laugh so hard, they fell down in the snow. Ghost made some snowballs, and threw them at Steve, who returned fire. Eventually they called it a draw, and went back inside.

"I'm making hot chocolate," Steve said, as they both tried to get warmed up. Ghost turned on the tv to see what was on. It was the news, reporting about all the black Friday sales going on.

"Hey, Steve, what 'cha want for Christmas?" Ghost asked.

"I don't know...haven't thought about it."

"Well, what 'cha gonna get me?"

"I don't know yet...why are you asking all these questions?" He looked over at Ghost, who was grinning.

""Cause I gotta make plans."

"Oh, plans..."

"Yeah, secret plans, ya know."

Steve nodded, "I see...well, guess I better make some secret plans, too." He laughed. He tried hard to blank his mind from what he was thinking. He knew already what he was getting Ghost. He'd known for a long time.

"You know, one of these days I'll probably have to do some secret shopping, and you can't come," Steve said, easing into the subject.

"Uh-huh, guess that would make sense, being it's secret," Ghost said. "Guess I have to do that, myself, ya know."

Steve nodded. "I know," he said. They both had sneaky looks on their faces.

They stayed home, though, the rest of the day. Steve played his guitar, while Ghost made a pot of potato soup. He wanted something easy on his stomach, after the night before. He continued to think of something to get Steve for Christmas. He had a lot of ideas, but rejected them all, as to childish, too boring, or just plain dumb. He did write them down, though, so he'd remember what he'd considered. At last the soup was ready.

"Steve," Ghost said, as they sat at the kitchen table, "this here notebook is secret stuff, so you can't look at it, ok?" He had the notebook on the table, beside him.

Steve eyed it. "That one there...that blue one? Where ya gonna hide it?" He figured Ghost would absentmindedly tell him, and he almost did.

"It's gonna be...oh,'re trying to trick me, Steve. I'm not telling, just please don't look, ok?"

"Oh, ok, but don't leave it laying around, or I might be tempted."

After supper, Ghost wrote more plans in the notebook. Steve came into the bedroom, after locking up the house for the night. "You gonna write all night?" he asked.

"No, I'm just about done," Ghost said.

"Suit yourself, I'm going to bed," Steve said.

Ghost wrote a little longer, then put the notebook under the mattress for safekeeping, and turned out the light. He slept most of the night dream free, but then, close to dawn he was jolted awake by a name he heard in a weird dream. It wasn't scary, but unsettling. It had Kinsey and Terry in it, and a lady named Linda. Steve was in it too. He saw two little kids hiding behind the woman, and Steve was laughing and crying at the same time. He didn't understand it at all. He planned on telling it to Steve in the morning.

Next part coming soon!

Peace, Love, & Writing

Monday, May 25, 2015


# 171 content

They watched the snowflakes begin to thicken, leaving a dusting of white over the golden leaves that covered the ground.

"Steve, I'm hungry. It has to be lunch time, now. Can we go?" Ghost asked.

Steve laughed. "Yeah, it probably is, and I'm hungry, too. Come on."

They walked back down the path to the house. Inside, they got dressed in something a little nicer than pajamas, grabbed the beer and wine, and left for Trevor and Zach's house.

"Turn the heater on, it's getting colder," Ghost said, as he shivered. Driving through town, they saw that the Yew and the Whirling Disc were still problems there.

Ghost closed his eyes and tapped his forehead, while making a humming noise. Steve gave him a funny look. "What's that for?" he asked. "You got a headache?"

His eyes still closed, Ghost said, "No, it's me trying to see what we're gonna have to eat."

"Ok, tell me...what do you see?" asked Steve.

"I see a big, fat turkey, and cornbread stuffing. But he did it Cajun style, ya know, with spices and red pepper, and something else...I can't quite get it, but it'll be good," Ghost said. "Then there's pumpkin pie, but it's from the store...and...fried okra. Oh, he's got shrimp cocktail, too," he said.

"Sounds different, but I'm not picky, are you?" Steve asked.

"Nope, I'm eating everything."

They drove up into the driveway of the newly rented house. "This looks way better than that old creepy one," Steve said.

Ghost was staring hard at the house, trying to sense any evil presence. Steve watched him for a minute. "Well?" he asked. "Is it safe to go in?"

"Yeah, I don't sense anything bad over here."

They got out of the car, and knocked on the front door. Trevor opened it. "Hey, guys, come on in." He held the door open for them.

"It smells so good in here," Ghost said.

"Y'all come on in the kitchen. Zach is being a chef today," Trevor said.

Zach was bustling around, and said, "Hey,'ll be ready in a little while. I just have to do a few more things."

"We brought some beer and wine," Steve said, handing it to Trevor, who put it in the refrigerator.

"Come on, I'll show you around," Trevor said, and led them around the house, room by room.

"This is nice, Dude," Steve said.

"Yeah, and no demons," Ghost said.

Trevor laughed. "I know...we love it, and it's so good to not be scared all the time."

They went into the living room and got comfortable on the couch. "Y'all make yourselves at home. I'll see if Zach needs help."

Ghost and Steve looked around at the furniture and pictures. "It looks like a real home," Steve said.

"Yeah, they must have gone shopping, 'cause that other place didn't have anything in it, except that grungy mattress," Ghost said.

"Yep, this is real nice," Steve said. He walked over to look at some framed drawings of Trevor's comics, that were hanging on the wall. "He draws really good."

Trevor came back in, carrying everyone a drink. "It'll be ready soon. So what have y'all been up to?"

"We finished our CD," Ghost said. "It's ready to sell at our show, when Kinsey and Terry get back."

"That's great, guys. So, they already left on their vacation?"

"Yeah, they were excited to go. Kinsey said he'd call us to let us know where they are, and how much fun they're having," Steve said.

Zach came in to let them know the food was ready to eat. Sitting at the kitchen table, they watched, as Zach carved the turkey, giving everyone as much as they wanted.

"This is so good," Ghost said. "I love it."

"The stuffing is great, Zach...really hot, but good," Steve said, as he kept drinking water to cool off his mouth.

An hour later, they were finished and full, so went into the living room to hang out awhile. Steve's phone rang, just as they sat down. It was Kinsey. "Hey, happy Thanksgiving," he said.

"Happy Thanksgiving to you and Terry, too," Steve said. "How's the vacation, so far?"

"We're having a blast. We have a great meal coming up, and we've been seeing the sights in Arizona," Kinsey said.

Ghost grabbed the phone from Steve, and yelled into it. "Kinsey we're over at Zach and Trevor's house, and Zach cooked, and it was real good, and it's snowing. I told Steve to not fall down again, and he didn't...and we had an earthquake, and it disappeared people..."

"You don't have to yell," Kinsey said, "I can hear you just fine." He laughed...Ghost always yelled into the phone.

Steve took back the phone, as Ghost yelled again, "Wait, wait...I wasn't done talking."

"Ghost, if I didn't take this phone, you'd talk all night," Steve said.

"Well, bye Kinsey..." Ghost yelled again.

Zach and Trevor were just sitting there staring at the two of them.

"Kinsey, we're all fine, y'all's places are all fine," Steve said. "Are y'all ok? Where ya going next?"

"Yeah, we're doing great. Saw the Grand Canyon was awesome. Tomorrow we're heading to Disneyland...Terry can't wait. Y'all sound good. I'll talk to you later," Kinsey said.

"Ok, have fun," Steve said, and hung up. "They're doing what they want to do, having fun."

"Where they headed next?" Trevor asked.

", I can just imagine them two over there," Steve said. They all laughed at the thought.

Ghost had gone into the kitchen and brought back his bottle of wine. "Anybody want any?" he asked, holding it up.

"No, but I'll have a beer...anyone else?" Zach asked. He got up to get them all one.

Ghost began drinking his wine, right from the bottle. Steve watched him take a huge swallow. He was thinking this may be a long night. He could tell Ghost was already feeling good, and would be feeling even better, later...or could go either way.

Zach brought out a deck of cards. "Poker, anyone?" he asked, as he shuffled them.

Steve was non-committal, because he knew Ghost would want to play, and Zach and Trevor had never heard of Ghost's problems with numbers. He didn't want to call attention to it, so he hoped Zach would decide not to. But, he'd already started dealing out the cards.

"I'll sit out," Steve said.

"What? I planned on taking your money, dude," Zach said.

"Yeah, well Ghost wants to play, except he don't know this game very well, so I'll just coach him...if that's ok."

"You don't have to, play. I'll just's ok," Ghost said.

"Well, y'all decide. I'm ready to play," Zach said.

Steve looked at Ghost..."Go ahead and play a time or two, if you want, then I'll jump in."

"Well, ok..." He picked up his cards, and looked at them. All he could tell was they were red and black.

Trevor put a card down, then Zach. Then it was Ghost's turn. He looked at Steve..."Which one?"

Steve considered, then pointed..."That one."

Ghost smiled, and put it on the table. This went on through two rounds. Ghost was happy he got to play, sort of, and Zach and Trevor were none the wiser. "Ok, Steve...your turn," he said. He got up, and asked Zach, "You got any CDs we can listen to?"

"Yeah, in that cabinet over whatever you want."

The others started another hand of the card game. Ghost kept swigging his wine, as he looked through the music selection, finally choosing an eighty's rock band album. He put it on...loud.

"Damn, turn it down some," Steve yelled.

Ghost did, but just a little. He was feeling tipsy, now, and he started dancing around the room, while singing along. Once, he bumped into Trevor's chair, and almost fell down. "Sorry...sorry..." he giggled, and kept dancing around the table.

"Where's the bathroom, Zach?" he asked, right up in Zach's face.

Zach leaned back, and pointed down the hall. "Down there..." he said.

Ghost swerved down the hall, only bumping into the wall twice.

"Steve, he's drunk," Zach said.

Steve rubbed his face, "I know, man. He hardly ever drinks a lot, but when he does, it's crazy time."

Next part coming soon!

Peace, Love, & Writing

Friday, May 22, 2015


# 170 content

As Steve and Ghost headed back down the sidewalk to their car, they noticed a few other people outside, now. Some kids were shooting hoops in the school yard, a car drove by, and a guy was raking leaves in his front yard. It was all normal activities for a holiday eve afternoon. In the car, Ghost was still trying to work out something.

"You know and I know there weren't any people around earlier, and now there are, like regular...right?" Ghost said.

"Uh-huh, but I think we found out why," Steve said. "It's because of the Thanksgiving holiday."

"No, not really, Steve. I heard about this other place, this other dimension place, and I think we got into one for a little bit, and now we came out of it."

"What are you talking about?"

Ghost was nodding his head, and looking out the car windows. "It's like the same as here, but a little bit the same time. The door opened, and we went through it, even though we didn't know it, or see it, or even mean to go through. We saw the town empty, and now we're on the right side of the door, so it looks ok again. Ya see?" Ghost said.

"Not really, but I have heard of that. Sounds kind of hocus-pocus to me," Steve said.

"Well, I don't care. I think that's what happened to us." Ghost looked pretty positive about it, so Steve agreed with him, but had his doubts.

"Ok, mystery solved," Steve said. "Now, another thing...Zach said for us to come over at lunch time tomorrow. We don't have to bring anything, but I'm taking some beer, and you could take some of your wine, if you want to."

"Yeah, let's do that," Ghost said. "But, if the store's are all closed, how would we get some?"

"I'll drive by the convenience store, surely they'll be open."

It was open. They both got out and went in. "Hey, guys...y'all are the only customers in here all day," the clerk greeted them. Steve and Ghost gave each other a look.

"See..." Ghost said.

Steve rolled his eyes, "Yeah, I see...I see some beer I'm gonna buy." He walked over to the cooler.

Ghost found his Scuppernong wine, and they met back at the counter. He started to ask the clerk about the strange day, but Steve elbowed him, and shook his head. After they were back in the car, Ghost said, "Why didn't you let me ask him about it?"

"Because we didn't need to get into any long conversation about it. I just want to get home," Steve said.
At home they put the drinks in the refrigerator to keep cold. "I'm gonna write all this stuff down, so I won't forget today. We'll have a record of it," Ghost said.

Steve smiled. "Why don't you do that. You never know, we may need to remember it someday."

"Yeah, I know," Ghost said, getting out his journal. He changed into his soft jersey pants, and tie-dyed t-shirt, and got comfortable on the couch. He began writing.

Steve found the book he'd been reading, and plopped down on the couch, too. The tv was on, the volume was turned low, and they weren't paying much attention to it, but then a news break caught their attention.

Ghost looked up. "What did they say? Turn it up, Steve."

"Hang on, let me find the remote," Steve said, as he felt around the couch cushions, finally finding it. He turned up the sound, and they heard the reporter interviewing a man in Raleigh. "It was the strangest thing I ever heard," he was saying. "Early this morning, before dawn, I heard a couple of loud booms...just outta in the air or something. Then later, people were acting strange. At least in my neighborhood, they were." The reporter continued the information. "It has been the same story in many communities, here in the county. Calls have been coming in all day. We haven't received any word  yet, from NOAA officials, confirming the story of loud booms. Seismologists did record a 4.0 earthquake in central North Carolina over night, however. Stay tuned for any late breaking news."

"Ok, Ghost," Steve said, "that's gotta be it...the reason everything is so weird, today." He was getting agitated about it, now.

"Yep, I knew it," Ghost said. "I knew something was off, like not normal. That earthquake opened a crack in space, and everybody fell in through that door, and everything changed for awhile. Now it's getting back like it was." He started writing down all this new information.

"Well, nothing we can do about it, I guess. Just hang on and enjoy the ride of weirdness, while it lasts," Steve said, trying to sound philosophical.

Ghost snorted. "You sound funny, Steve. I don't know what you mean, but you sounded funny." He laughed. He finished his writing, and went to bed.

Steve read his book a little longer, then turned off the tv and lights, and went to bed, too.

The next morning, was cold and gray, and a few snow flakes were falling. The predicted change in weather had arrived. Steve made breakfast, and turned on the heater. "Remind me not to fall down on the steps, again," he told Ghost. They tried to watch the Thanksgiving parades on tv, but the reception was snowy, too.

"When are we going over to Zach's, to eat?" Ghost asked.

"Not much longer...I mean soon," Steve said.
Over at Trevor and Zach's house, preparations for the big dinner had started early. Zach had the turkey baking, and was working on the stuffing. Trevor mostly watched. He'd not had much experience with cooking.

"Hey, Trev, put on some music. I feel like singing, and dancing while I do this," Zach said. He pretended to be a tv chef, explaining how he did this and that. Trevor made sketches of him, in his drawing pad.

"Where did you learn to cook?" Trevor asked.

"Oh, mostly watching tv cooking shows. I was left alone most of the time, when I was a kid. We always had plenty of food in the house, but never any parents, unless they came home and got mad at me for something. So, I experimented. Then Eddy and I'd try things when I was living on my own. It's not hard...I can show you," Zach said.

"Yeah, I'd like that," Trevor said.
Steve and Ghost continued to talk abut the earthquake. "Did you feel any shaking last night, Steve?" Ghost asked.

"No, I was asleep. I don't think it was even big enough to feel, not unless it was right under you."

"But the door opened all the way here, too."

"Well, that's just our idea."

Ghost just gave Steve a look. "You never want to believe in these kind of things, Steve, and then later, you see it's true."

"I know, that's just the way it works for me." Steve was done talking about it, so got his guitar, and began playing a new song he was working on.

After a minute, Ghost said, "I'm going out back to the graveyard. I have to check if anybody was shaken loose." He grabbed his Army jacket, and scarf.

"What are you gonna do if one of the old, dead guys are running around loose out there, Ghost?"

"Umm, guess I'll tell them to go back to their coffin,"

Steve laughed. "Ghost, you're funny. I can see Ghost chasing ghosts around the graveyard."

Ghost shrugged. "Well, ya wanna come watch, then?"

"I'll be out in a few minutes. You go on and get them rounded up first."

"Ok, but don't fall on the's snowing," Ghost said, as he left out the back door.

Steve watched him go through the back yard, and down the path to the cemetery. "Ghost is something else," he thought. Getting another cup of coffee, he went back to the living room, and tried out a few more chords. It was coming together pretty good.

Ghost went around to all the grave markers...about fifty in all, checking to see if any had turned over, or had any cracks in them.

"Hey,'s me, Ghost. Is everyone ok out here?" Then he was still, listening for any voices. All he got was a peaceful sense...then, very faintly, he heard "thank you, Ghost...thank you, Ghost" several times. Ghost grinned at that. He loved it when he got an answer.

"Ok, guess everyone survived the earthquake...that's good." He brushed some light snow off the tops of the markers. He felt a connection to the civil war dead that were buried here.

Steve had come down to join him. He'd heard the last bit of words Ghost had spoken. This was Ghost in one of his truest forms...communicating, and empathizing with the other side, with ease.

"Hey, Ghost, everyone ok out here?" He came up to where Ghost was standing, putting his arm across Ghost's shoulders. Ghost leaned his head on Steve, and nodded. "Yeah, they're ok. I heard one say thank you. That means a lot to me, Steve. That they care that I come out here, and they're not always feeling so alone...that they like visiting with me. I'm so glad that we live here, so close to them."

"I know, me too," Steve said. "Some people would be scared, living out here, but you've made me see there's nothing to be afraid of...and I thank you for that."

Ghost turned and pulled Steve's face to his, and kissed him. "I love you, Steve, and I'm so thankful you understand me...the things I do. And even when I know you think I'm crazy, I still love you."

Steve put his forehead onto Ghost's, and looked into those amazing blue eyes. "Ghost, I try to understand you, and I learn more every day why I love you. And, the days you drive me crazy, are the days I fall more in love with you. It's the best feeling in the world to know you love me back."

Ghost sighed, contentedly. "Me, too, Steve. I feel safe and warm, with you."

Steve started to remind Ghost of a time...that time...when Ghost did not feel safe from him, for a long time. But Ghost put his finger to Steve's lips..." is all that matters, Steve."

Steve nodded, knowing it was true.


Next part coming soon!

Peace, Love, & Writing

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


# 169 content

Steve drove up and down some of the business area streets, then in the residential areas. Finally coming around to the diner, they saw that it was open.

"Thank goodness," Steve said. "I was beginning to feel like we're the last people on Earth, it's so empty around here." He half-heartedly laughed.

"Let's go in...I need to see people," Ghost said.

As they entered, they could see the waitress and the cook at a table, talking. They looked startled, then relieved to see Steve and Ghost come in.

"Hey, guys," the waitress said, as she came over. "You have your choice of tables, today, and we're glad you came in. We thought we'd never get any customers today."

"It's weird in this here town," Ghost said.

"I know, right?" she said. "It's deserted and that's just impossible. Where is everyone? Did y'all see anyone on the way here?"

"No, even the hardware store is closed," Steve said. "We know Terry and Kinsey left on their vacation, this morning, and we're checking on their places, but we've not seen anyone else, at all."

Shaking her head, the waitress said, "All I know is we we opened up this morning, and not a soul has come in, until ya'll showed up...not even the regulars. I'll tell ya, it's weird. So what can I get for y'all?"

"I want a cheeseburger, and I don't like it," Ghost said.

"Huh?" Steve asked.

"What? I said what I wanted," Ghost said.

Steve shrugged, then said, "I'll have one of those too, please, and Ghost...what don't you like?"

"Oh, the empty town."

"Now it makes sense," Steve said. "I thought you were talking about the burger." He laughed, then looked out the big picture windows of the diner. "Ya know what, Ghost, it's like some creepy movie, where every person was told to get out of town, except we didn't get the message."

"Yeah, or zoomed up by a UFO, or something," Ghost said, getting really interested in talking about it.

Steve knew if they kept on, Ghost would have him believing any number of strange and magical stories. He loved it, though, and so threw out possibilities, just to hear Ghost run with them.

"You know that happened one time, where a UFO snatched up a town, for like a whole day, and then put them back," Ghost said.

Steve smiled. "Where was this?"

"I think I heard it was over in the swamps. It was in the summer time."

"Um-hum, and, well...did they report it when they got back?" Steve asked.

"Well, yeah, how do you think I heard about it?"

"Maybe you had a psychic revelation or something...however that works?" Steve kept on asking.

"Naw, it wasn't was on tv. I thought it was talking about a movie, but turns out it was real." Ghost said. "They talked to the people when they came back." He sounded pretty sure of the facts.

"How big a town was this anyway? You said everyone was beamed up?" Steve tried to keep a straight face.

"It wasn't very big. You know how those swamp people are...they stick together in little communities. And, besides, how many could fit in a UFO? Not that many, so it would still be able to fly around. You know how it is with these things," Ghost said.

"Uh-huh, sure do," Steve said. "Oh, here's our food."

They began eating, and Steve figured the story was over, but then Ghost said, "It wasn't a UFO that got Missing Mile, though."

"Really, how do you know that?" Steve asked.

Ghost gulped down some of his coke, taking a minute to look out the window. "Ya see that out there...the misty, fog stuff?"

"Yeah, so what? There's some cold, rainy weather moving in. That's what I heard," Steve said.

Ghost shook his head. "No, they don't really know, over in Raleigh, what's gonna happen here. And, it already did, anyway, early this morning." He narrowed his eyes, still looking out the window.

"What did?" asked Steve.

"The fog. It's just a pretend fog, Steve. It's just now creeping it's way over to this street. See?" Ghost shivered.

"Is that bad?" Steve asked, actually getting a little creeped out now.

"Yeah, 'cause it gets in the doors, and windows, and through the little cracks and stuff. And, whatever it touches, like living, breathing things, it disappears them." Ghost was getting nervous, now. He stood up, wringing his hands.

"Sit down,'re scaring me," Steve said.

Ghost gave him a look. "Well, you should be. Where's the waitress? We need to seal up this place, before it comes in," Ghost said. He went to find her.

They came back, holding a roll of duct tape. "Steve, Ghost insists we tape up the windows and doors, before the fog gets in," the waitress said, looking worried.

Steve gave Ghost a look. "It's time to stop, now. That was a cool story, but you know it's not real. You just made it up, for fun."

Ghost seemed to be still in his fantasy world, for a minute, then shook his head, and took a big breath. "Guess so, Steve, but I think it was real to me, and it could happen. I mean, everyone is still gone away."

"Well, maybe, but not today. I'm sure people are in their houses, as usual," Steve said.

The waitress, sighed. "Ok, guess we don't have to use the tape then, huh?" She looked relieved, as she went back to work.

Ghost sat back down. "Ya sure it isn't real, Steve?"

"I'm sure...but I loved the story you told. I was getting a little scared there, myself."

"Yeah, me too," Ghost said.

Steve wasn't sure if Ghost was still kidding, or had truly believed the story. All he knew, was he wouldn't look at fog again in the same way.

"So, where is everybody, then," Ghost asked.

"I don't know. I'm going to call Zach, and see if he knows anything about it," Steve said. He dialed the number.

"Hello?" Zach answered.

"Hey, Zach, are y'all at home?"

"No, we're in Raleigh, at the grocery store. Why...what's going on?" Zach asked.

"Well, we're at the diner, and it's just us and the waitress and the cook...and the whole town looks empty. It's just weird, ya know," Steve said. "What time did y'all leave? Did you notaice anything going on?"

Zach took a minute to think. "We've been here a couple of hours. I didn't see anyone around, when we left. I don't know what's going on, but we'll be back home pretty soon. Oh, and we want you and Ghost to come over tomorrow around noon. Does that sound ok?"

"Yeah, we'll be there. I think Ghost and I are gonna hang around here, see if we can find anyone," Steve said, ending the call.

"Well, Zach and Trevor are in Raleigh, so they didn't disappear," Steve said.

"I know, let's go knocking on doors, and see if anybody answers," Ghost said.

"Like what, just random houses?"

"Yeah, why not?" Ghost got up, ready to go.

Steve shrugged. "Sounds crazy, but we might as well." He paid their bill for the food, and they left.

"Ok, Ghost, you lead the way...pick a house," Steve said.

Ghost looked around at the nearby houses.

"Why can't you use your special senses to find out what's going on?" Steve asked.

"I did...that's how I knew it was weird, but it didn't say why."

They'd been walking up the block, and chose a house with Thanksgiving decorations in the yard, and a fall wreath on the door. Ghost rang the doorbell. They could hear a tv on inside, and then the door opened. It was a middle-aged woman, who answered, and they could see a couple of teens inside, watching a movie.

"Can I help you?" the woman asked.

"You didn't disappear?" Ghost asked.

"What?" she asked, confused.

Steve cleared his throat. "Sorry, we just wondered where everybody is. The town is sort of empty today. Thought maybe you'd heard something about it."

"Oh, we're home, and the kids are out of school for the holiday. I expect most people are inside getting ready for tomorrow," she said.

"Yeah, probably. Well, thank you," Steve said, as he and Ghost left down the sidewalk.

"Ok, that's all it is then, Ghost. The stores are closed, and everyone is cooking and stuff."

"Yeah, guess so, but it's still weird," Ghost said.

"Can we go home, now?" Steve asked.

"Yeah, guess so," Ghost said, disappointed that something sinister wasn't going on.

Next part coming soon!

Peace, Love, & Writing

Sunday, May 17, 2015


# 168 content

"Let's hear the good news, Steve," Kinsey said, as he joined the others at the table.

Steve smiled, and said, "We finished our CD today." He looked over at Ghost. "Did ya bring it?"

Ghost dug around in his backpack, and brought out a brand new copy of their CD. "Here it is, Kinsey. We want you to have the very first copy...and we ain't even gonna make ya pay for it. It's comp...compli...well, what's that word, Steve?" he asked.

"Complimentary...yeah, for you, Kinsey," Steve said.

Ghost handed the CD to Kinsey.

"This is great, guys. Thank you all," Kinsey said, as he looked at the front and back of the CD. "I'll listen to it tonight."

"Well, Kinsey, I've got a clean slate, and I'm ready to go, whenever you are," Terry said.

"Ok, then..." Kinsey said, "we'll go tomorrow...everything's ready."

They continued to discuss their travel plans. Ghost and R. J. had gone over to the arcade room to play some games, and Steve racked up the balls on the pool table. Kinsey ordered pizzas to be delivered, and they all decided this was a party, after all...a CD launch party, and a bon voyage party for Terry and Kinsey. They were all enjoying themselves, listening to music on the jukebox, and challenging each other on the games.

After a few hours, things wound down, and Kinsey and Terry began cleaning up. "Well, guys, this has been really great, but I've gotta finish packing, and try to get some sleep," Kinsey said.

"Yeah, me too," Terry said. "Oh, Steve, here's the keys to the shop. You'll check up on things over there, too?"

"Yeah, we'll keep an eye on things for both of y'all."

They said their good-byes, and left, as Kinsey locked up the club. Terry, Steve, Ghost, and R. J. walked back down to the shop. "Later, Dudes," Terry said. "See y'all in about two weeks, or so."

"You ready to head home, Ghost?" Steve asked.

"Yeah, guess so."

"Hey, Ghost," R. J. said. "We should hang out more often. You're a lot of fun."

"Who, me?" Ghost asked.

"Yeah, I'll call you. We can go do something," R. J. said, as he got into his car.

"Ok, sure..." Ghost said. He smiled, but was a little unsettled by R. J.'s request.

Steve was leaning back against his car, and had been watching them. He rolled his eyes, and shook his head, as Ghost came over to the car. "What was all that about?"

"Huh? Oh, nothing. R. J. said he'd call me, maybe...said we could go do something sometime. I don't know..." Ghost said, shrugging.

"Why now, I wonder?" Steve asked. "In all these years y'all never hung out...hardly said two words to each other. So, why now? Just asking, I mean...I think it'd be great if y'all got together for games and whatever, sometimes. It's just weird, is all."

Ghost nodded. "I know, 'cause R. J.'s always been your friend...since you were kids. He's just being nice to me 'cause of what I did, and 'cause he feels sorry that I don't have any friends. That's all. He'll call, and we'll go do something, but it won't last, ya know. It's ok..." Ghost said, and sighed. He and Steve got in the car.

"Ghost, I think he means it. He wants to be your friend. He's always been kinda quiet and shy, and never had many friends, either. I think he's finally coming out of that, and wants to get to know you better...not just as a band member," Steve said. "I know we used to hang out, but we had different goals, I guess. Anyway, go have some fun sometimes. It's ok to do things without me."

"Ok, if he calls, I will, I guess," Ghost said. He leaned his head back on the car seat and closed his eyes. "Let's just go home. I gotta feed Spirit," he said, the conversation about R. J. over for now.

Steve drove them home down the dark, deserted highway. Steve turned on the radio, finding a song he liked, and hummed along. It had been a long day.

At the house, Ghost gave Spirit his cat food, and played with him awhile, there on the living room floor. Steve grabbed his book to read, and stretched out on the couch.

"When is Thanksgiving, Steve?"

"In a few days," Steve said.

Ghost didn't know what to make of that, so he just hoped Steve would let him know on the day of. "Ok, I'm gonna make a card, like I seen in the store, for Trevor and Zach."

"That's nice," Steve said, not really paying attention.

Ghost got out his markers and some paper, and began drawing. He was a pretty talented artist, even though he didn't think so. For this project, he drew a picture of the four of them, at a table, set with Thanksgiving food. This was done in pen, and very detailed. Next was a border of fall leaves, and over all, an orange and yellow shading. Inside he wrote, 'Thanksgiving is for friends'. Smiling, he showed it to Steve.

"Look, I finished it."

Steve took the card, and was struck again at how Ghost could capture a scene so realistically. "This is really made us look real," he said. "I love this card, and so will they."

Ghost set the card up on the bookshelf, to enjoy looking at it, until time to give it to Trevor and Zach, when they went over for Thanksgiving dinner.

"Come here, Ghost," Steve said. He scooched over on the couch, so Ghost could sit by him.
"I don't think I tell you enough how much I admire you," he said. "I love everything you do. You draw good, you sing good, and you cook good. Well, I just wanted to tell you I appreciate you, and thank you for being with me." He hugged Ghost close.

"But, Steve...I act crazy, and make you mad...and do stupid stuff all the time. I'm not good enough for you," Ghost said, his voice muffled into Steve's chest.

Steve ran his hands through Ghost's hair, and brought his face up to see into Ghost's eyes. "Don't say that. I'm sorry I get mad sometimes, but I feel I can never measure up, be enough for you." He kissed Ghost, tenderly. His book fell to the floor, and they showed each other how very much they loved each other. There, they eventually fell asleep, each dreaming of the other.


As morning broke, Zach and Trevor were excited about hosting their dinner, the next day. They were having fun getting their house prepared, and were going later, into Raleigh, to the big grocery store.

"So, Zach...are you sure you can cook a turkey?" Trevor asked.

"Sure, it's just like a giant chicken, isn't it? You like how I make chicken, don't you?" Zach asked.

"Yeah," Trevor said.

"Ok, then, let's go get one," Zach said. They headed out to the store, where they bought everything they needed for them, and their guests.

Steve and Ghost woke, still on the couch, where they'd fallen asleep. They had no definite plans for the day, so took their time with breakfast and coffee.

"We should go into town, I guess," Steve said. "We can check on Terry and Kinsey's places."

Ghost agreed, and around noon, they drove over there. "This town is weird today," Ghost said, looking up and down the main street. "It don't feel right."

Steve checked the locks on Terry's shop, studio, and apartment. "I know what ya mean. I think it's 'cause they're both not here."

"Yeah, and where are the other people? You know, usually somebody is at the hardware store," said Ghost.

"Hell, if I know. Let's go take a look."

They walked across the street, and tried the door to the hardware store. Peering in the window, Ghost said, "The lights aren't on, either. You know those guys are always out here playing checkers...where are they?"

"Well, maybe since it's Thanksgiving tomorrow, they all went on vacation, ya think?" Steve said. "Lets go check the club, then see if the diner or pizza place is open."

They found that the Yew was locked up tight, with no problems there, so went back to their car. "I'm going to drive around town for a look see...this really isn't right, Ghost," Steve said.


Next Part Coming Soon!

Peace, Love, & Writing

Friday, May 15, 2015


# 167 content

The next morning, Steve and Ghost got ready, and drove into town. They were both in a good mood. Ghost was messing with the radio, trying to find something to listen to.

"Hey, Steve, do ya think our songs will ever be on the radio?"

"I don't know...maybe one day. Right now we're just a local, small town band that almost nobody's ever heard of, ya know. If we can sell these new CDs, then maybe more people would know us."

"Yeah, and if we got to play more places, like on a tour or something, we could get better known. But, I don't want it to be like we did before...that wasn't fun to get in fights."

"You got that right," Steve said. "Well, we'll get these ready to go today, then see what happens."

They arrived at Terry's shop, and since it wasn't open yet, they went around back, to Terry's little place, and knocked on his door.

"Hey, y'all are here early," Terry said. "Hold on a minute, I'll open up the studio."

They all walked over, and as they went inside, Ghost stopped to talk to Terry. "I'm sorry I caused trouble in here, Terry," he said. He had his head down, afraid to look at Terry, now.

"Ghost, look at me," Terry said, and as Ghost raised his head, Terry was struck again at how much he did care for Ghost. "Look, I'm your friend. You don't have to apologize to me, and I'm not mad at you. I understand how it is, sometimes. I just hope you know that I really care about you, and want you to feel better, and don't worry about coming in here. This is like your home, too. You should feel comfortable hanging out with me, ok?"

Ghost nodded. "Ok, Terry." He could tell that Terry meant what he said. "I don't mean to scare you...I love you."

Terry smiled, knowing Ghost meant it, too. "Ok, then...let's get busy. I'm giving you the job of folding the CD inserts, then we'll all put them in the cases."

At the big work table, they stared at the large stack of  CDs, paper inserts, and clear cases. "You said you wanted five hundred, didn't you, Steve?" Terry asked.

"Yeah, but I didn't know it'd look like this much."

"I know," Terry said. "Did you decide how much you were selling them for?"

"No, what do these self-made CDs usually sell for, anyway?"

"Well, whenever we order some for the shop, they usually go for around fifteen dollars each. Ya want to do that...see what happens?"

"Ok, if that's what they sell for, we might as well do it, too," Steve said. "Also, Ghost has his book to sell, I think for twenty-five dollars, so hopefully the people who come to our shows will have money to spend."

"Yeah, that would be good, Steve," Terry said, and laughed. "Well, guess we should get started on it." He got the cases ready, and had Ghost begin folding the inserts.

As Ghost folded, he admired the picture, and writing on the papers. Steve and Terry discussed plans to get flyers made up for their upcoming show. "Kinsey said we should wait until y'all get back from vacation, then set it up maybe a week later," Steve said. "We'll have to wait to know what date to put on it. I do have a guy over in Raleigh who said he'd print them up...the same guy that did the book."

"That sounds fine. We'll need a few days to get over our vacation, anyway. We only plan on being gone a couple of weeks. We'll call you to let you know where we are, and when we're expected to be back in town," Terry said.

They all looked up, as the back door opened, and R. J. came in. "Hey guys, I'm here...what can I do to help?" He came over to the table to see what had been started.

"You can help Ghost fold, or start inserting them in the cases...whichever you want," Terry said.

R. J. grabbed some cases, sat down beside Ghost, and started putting the papers into the front of the plastic cases. He was feeling a little awkward. He didn't know what to say to Ghost, since the episode the day before, and also because of the songs.

Ghost could sense this, but didn't want to speak first, so he just kept folding. Finally he couldn't hold back...he had to say something. So, when R. J. reached for another folded paper, he slapped his own hand down on top of them, before R. J. could get one. R. J. jumped, and sucked in his breath.

"Ya gonna talk to me ever again?" Ghost asked, as he looked at R. J.

"Uh, sure, Ghost...why wouldn't I?" R. J. said, still acting scared of Ghost.

"'Cause you're scared I'll go crazy and throw something at 'cha," Ghost said.

"Ghost..." R. J. tried to find something to say, without admitting Ghost was totally right.

"R. J. please don't be scared of me. I didn't mean to scare y'all, I just can't help it sometimes. I hope you're still my friend...'cause hardly anybody is...and, please don't be mad, and hate me, and not talk to me...please, R. J." Ghost was still looking at him, but R. J. was still looking down at the table. Then he did raise his eyes to meet Ghost's, and saw that his friend was still in there, not just a crazy person to be scared of.

"Ghost, I'm so sorry...I'll always be your friend. Nothing will ever change that. Yeah, I was kinda scared, yesterday. I never seen ya throw things, before, but mostly I was worried if you were ok. So yeah, I'm still gonna talk to you, Ghost." He smiled. "Besides, I need you on my side, when we act silly, and Steve and Terry are ragging on us," he said, and laughed.

Ghost laughed, too. "I know, they can be kinda stuffy, sometimes."

They went back to work.

Steve and Terry had been listening to them. "Glad that's settled, then," Steve said.

"Yeah, it's definitely settled...that we're stuffy," Terry said.

They continued to work on packaging the five hundred CDs. "Oh, guess who called last night," Steve said. "Zach invited us to their new place for Thanksgiving dinner."

"Really...that's they know how to cook?" Terry asked.

"I don't know, but we're going to find out," Steve said.

"Yeah, Kinsey and I will be on the road somewhere, that day. Who knows what we'll be eating," Terry said.

"Yep, I'm sure it'll be interesting, and I'll give you the full story of how ours turns out," Steve said.

They were nearing the end of the stack of CDs. Terry got a couple of large boxes to put them all in. "I'll keep these over here, until the show, Steve," he said. "It was lots of work, but they turned out great. I say we go over to see Kinsey, and celebrate with a beer."

They all agreed, and walked down the block to the club. They were all in a good mood, Steve and Terry leading the way down the sidewalk. Ghost and R. J. were making wisecracks, about them, and trying to imitate the way they walked. As they entered the back door of the club, they found Kinsey in his office. They were making a lot of noise, as one by one, they passed by the office door, each one saying hello to Kinsey. They were laughing as they made their way to the bar, where Terry grabbed each of them a cold beer from the cooler.

Kinsey came out and just stood watching them. No one paid him any more attention, so he hollered, "Hey." They all stopped talking, then.

"What the hell is going on here? Y'all act like you own the place," Kinsey said, shaking his head.

"Hey, Kinsey," Terry said, "grab a beer and join us...we're celebrating."

"You think those beers are just walk in there and take 'em?" Kinsey said.

They knew he wasn't really mad. "C'mon, Kinsey...we have good news," Steve said.

"Well, if ya can't beat 'em, then might as well join 'em," Kinsey said, as he got himself a beer, and sat down at the table. "Ok, let's hear it, then."

Next part coming soon!

Peace, Love, & Writing