Sunday, June 28, 2015


# 186 content

"Hey, Zach...what's up?" Steve asked, after taking the phone from Ghost.

"Hey, Steve. I just wanted to know when we're gonna do that rehearsal," Zach said.

"Oh, yeah...I think tomorrow. We'll go over to the Yew about one o'clock, and meet with everyone then. I'll call Terry and R. J. and let them know, too."

"Sure thing, Steve...see ya then," Zach said.

Steve turned off the phone, and put it in his pocket. "You were done talking to him, weren't you?" he asked Ghost.

"Uh-huh...we got everything worked out."

"That's cool," Steve said, as he looked out over the graveyard. "I went through the songs."

"I know," Ghost said. "I heard you playing, and I sang along to them out here."

"Ha, good...I guess the old guys liked hearing that," Steve said, and smiled.

Ghost nodded. "Yep, they said they did."

"Ok, here's the plan...tomorrow after lunch, we'll go meet the guys and do a rehearsal. Then, the next night is the show," Steve said.

"Good...finally," Ghost said. He jumped up and hollered out to the graveyard, "Hey guys, we're gonna have a show, and it's gonna be fun. We're gonna sing, and people are gonna come and dance, and now I'm in a good mood."

Steve laughed, watching Ghost. A tiny thought came to him, about his surprise for Ghost, but he quickly thought about something else. He wondered what Ghost's surprise to him would be...probably something unique that Ghost had made for him, and whatever it was, he'd treasure forever.

Ghost swung around, staring hard at Steve. "You won't find out 'til it's time...and you'll never guess either," he said, laughing.

Steve loved it when Ghost laughed; there was total involvement from his blue, blue eyes shining, and his silly grin. Steve could watch him forever. "C'mon, Ghost...let's go in, now," Steve said, holding out his hand for Ghost to help him up. He could feel how warm Ghost's hands were...and, he desperately wanted those warm hands all over his body. Just like that, the feelings came over him.

"Ghost..." Steve said, in a soft, husky voice.

Ghost immediately understood, and smiled. "C'mon Steve, let's go in," he said, leading the way.

Inside, Steve could wait no longer. He spun Ghost around, right in the kitchen, and pulled him into himself. He felt Ghost's arms go around his neck, and he moaned, as they kissed deeply. He had to have Ghost now. They made their way down the hallway to the bedroom, shedding clothes along the way. Covering up with the many blankets on Ghost's bed, they warmed each other's nakedness with soft touches, nips, and kisses. They spent the rest of that long afternoon, giving themselves fully to each other, finally falling asleep in each other's arms.

Waking, just at sunset, they were starving, so made a simple supper, then sat close together on the couch. They took turns reading to each other from a book they both liked. As their eyes grew sleepy again, Ghost laid his head on Steve's shoulder.

"Can we always be like this, Steve?" he asked.

"Like this?" Steve asked.

Ghost nodded, " love," he whispered.

"Yes, I think we can," Steve murmured into Ghost's soft hair.

Ghost sighed. "That's all I want, Steve."

"Me too, Ghost," Steve said.

They kissed again, then went to share the bed that Ghost tried to always have smelling of roses.

The next morning they went about their usual activities, killing time until the rehearsal. Finally, Steve gathered his guitar and music lists, and for once didn't have to urge Ghost to hurry.

But, on the way to the club, Ghost's mood shifted a bit. He began singing the Phil Collins song *"In the Air Tonight", out of nowhere.

Steve glanced over at him. "Why that song?"

Ghost shrugged. "I can feel it the air...tonight...oh, Lord..." he sang, and continued the song.

Steve figured he'd find out soon enough. After a few minutes, Ghost said, "It's true...I can feel something coming. Something strange is in the air."

"Yeah...what? It isn't night yet," Steve said.

"Well, it will be...night, I mean...and I don't know if it will be this night or the next, but it's giving me chills...look..." he held out his arm, to show Steve. Then he rubbed his hands over his arms to warm them.

"Dude, just put your jacket on," Steve said, trying to laugh it off.

"It's not that kind of cold, Steve. Just watch...something is about to happen. Remember I told you, ok?"

"Ok, guess we'll see..." Steve said, but he was a bit creeped out, now.

They were at the Yew, now, so got their gear and went inside. Terry was already there, setting up his drums. R. J. had just walked in the back door, with his bass. Kinsey greeted them all.

"Man, it's good to see everyone getting together again. It's gonna be a packed house tomorrow night. I even got calls asking if they need reservations. Never had that happen before." He was excited.

"That's great, Kinsey," Steve said. We're stoked to be playing again, too. He got up on the stage, unpacking his guitar. "Hey, Terry, R.J., y'all got the set list, right...the order and all?"

Terry nodded. "Yep, we're all set, Steve."

"Good...we're going on after Zach and y'all are done, but we can start the rehearsal, since Zach isn't here yet," Steve said. He looked around, to find Ghost, and could barely see the top of Ghost's head, over the edge of the stage. He was sitting on the floor, writing on the wall.

"Hey, Ghost, ya ready? Come on..."

"Yeah, I'm coming," Ghost said, finishing his last entry.

They began the songs, as everyone fine-tuned their parts. About half way through, Zach and Trevor arrived.

"There y'all are," Kinsey said. "Haven't seen ya around the last few days. How's it going?"

"Aw, Kinsey, we just stayed home and relaxed awhile...or something...and..." Zach said.

"Never mind, Zach...I get the picture," Kinsey said, and laughed. "The guys are about done with their rehearsing. You're up next."

"I'm ready," Zach said. "Terry gave me the line-up of what we're playing, and he's even letting me sing a couple of my original songs. So yeah, we're ready for the show."

Trevor had gone over to the stage to watch Lost Souls. He still was in awe of them. Steve was so intense, and Ghost was flighty, at best, but when they performed, it came together like nothing else. Zach joined him, watching as they finished up.

"Great job, guys," Steve said, "I think we're ready for tomorrow."

Terry and R. J. took a break before their turn with Zach. Zach was geared up, and full of energy. He loved being a singer in a band. One of his lifelong dreams was fulfilled, here in this little backwoods town. A few years ago, he'd never have thought it possible.

Ghost and Zach exchanged secret looks, confident their plans had worked out. Then Zach was on...singing for all he was worth.

"He needs to save some of that for tomorrow," Steve said, shaking his head, but laughing at the same time.

Ghost felt like dancing around, and pulled Steve to the dance floor, in front of the stage. Steve was no dancer, but he tried, to please Ghost. Kinsey stood to the side, laughing at the sight. He remembered how much he loved his friends, his job, and his town.


*In the Air Tonight", written & sung by Phil Collins, on the album, "Face Value", released January 5, 1981, on the Virgin label.

Next part coming soon!

Peace, Love, & Writing

Friday, June 26, 2015


# 185 content

When they reached home, Steve and Ghost gathered up their packages and went inside. Ghost took the phone, and his bags from the thrift store, and magic shop, into his bedroom, closing the door.

Steve took the rest of the food from the take-out place, his packages, and the box of flyers from the print shop, into the kitchen. Spirit wound around his ankles, begging for a bite. "Kitty's hungry, huh? Here's a little bite of chicken, and some of your cat food," Steve said, petting the fur ball cat. Spirit began eating and purring. "Yeah, kitty, Ghost has secrets. He don't want me to find out, either. Well, I have a secret, too."

He could hear Ghost, very faintly talking in the bedroom. He figured he probably called Zach back. He had a strong urge to go listen at the door, but he didn't. If Ghost wanted it to be a surprise, he didn't want to ruin it.

"What happened, Zach?" Ghost asked, when he called him.

"The car repair place called me, and said they were finished early with Steve's car, and could they go ahead and deliver it tomorrow, because they all want to go on their vacation days, now. I didn't know what to tell them...then I couldn't get ahold of you," Zach said.

"Zach, they can't bring it now. It has to be a surprise for Christmas. Tell them no."

"I'll try, Ghost. They're closed now, but I'll call them first thing in the morning," Zach said. He took a breath..."But what if they insist? Do you have a back-up plan?"

"No, I don't think so...what is it?" Ghost asked.

"Oh, somewhere to hide the car, here in town, until you can give it to know."

"But, Zach...I don't have a hiding place like that," Ghost said, getting upset. "I don't know what to do. Help me think of something or somewhere."

"Ok, let me think," Zach said, and took a moment. "First, I'll find out if they can wait a little longer to bring it out here, then, if they can't, I'll try to figure something out, ok? And, I'll call you later to let you know."

"Ok, Zach, and I'll be thinking, too," Ghost said, and hung up. He paced around the room. He didn't want anyone else to know about the surprise, before Steve. He didn't know of a big enough hiding place, either.

Steve heard Ghost pacing and muttering to himself, so went and knocked on the bedroom door. "Ghost, what are you doing in there...come on out." Ghost opened the door, and Steve, asked, "Was that Zach you were talking to?"

Nodding, Ghost said, "Yeah...we were talking about chicken bones, you know...I told ya I was gonna ask him." He came out of the bedroom, handing the phone to Steve. It was warm, from talking on it for so long. Steve followed him down the hall to the living room.

"Sure was a long talk..."

"Umm-hmm, I know, but I gotta talk some more, so when he calls, let me talk to him, ok?"

"Ok, sure thing," Steve said. He watched, as Ghost went to the kitchen, and heated up a cup of coffee in the microwave. Then, passing by Steve, on the way out to the front porch, he didn't say anything more about it. Steve followed him. "You gonna sit out here by yourself?"

"Yeah, I have to think," Ghost said.

Steve shrugged. "Well, ok, but I'm going on to bed. Lock up when you come in."

Ghost sat there in the porch swing for a long time, thinking and staring at the stars. It was a clear night, chilly, but he didn't want to get up to get a blanket. His hands were warmed from the hot coffee. If I have to, I can give Steve his car least he'll have it and it will still be a surprise...I'll tell Zach when he calls...if the car people can't wait 'til Christmas Eve... With that settled in his mind, he went inside. As he passed by Steve's room, Steve asked, "Did ya get it figured out, ok?"

"Yeah, it's ok, now..."

Steve smiled to himself...whatever bothers, Ghost doesn't bother him for long...

The next morning, Ghost was first up, knowing Zach could call at any time. He wanted to be the one to answer the phone. He was too agitated to sit still, so he fixed them a big breakfast. He kept looking at the phone, willing it to ring. They ate, and still no phone call.

"I think Zach is going to call," he told Steve.

Steve figured as much. "And...?" he asked.

"And I want to answer the phone. I'm going down to the graveyard for awhile, and I'm taking the phone."

"Ok, no problem," Steve said.

Ghost and Spirit went down the path toward the cemetery, as Steve watched from the back door. Then he got out his guitar, to go over their songs planned for the show. He figured they had a good mix of them to play on stage, some older ones and some new ones. He played them all in the order he'd listed them, while Ghost was out.

The first hour would be Zach and Gumbo, playing their mix of songs, then a break; Lost Souls would take the stage the second hour. Terry and R. J. would have to be on for both hours, but they'd have no problem, as they were used to a two hour set.  He'd try to get with them tomorrow, to rehearse at the club. The show would be the next night.

He still hadn't thought of a way to get the CDs and books sold, while they were on stage, but he'd talk to Kinsey about it, when he saw him. All in all, he felt ready to get back to playing, and he knew Ghost was.

"Hmm...Ghost has been out there a long time," he thought. "Guess I'll go check on him." He headed out the back door.

Ghost had gone out there to the graveyard, to wait for Zach's call. While he waited, he wandered around to the headstones and crosses. He could hear Steve playing, all the way out here, so he sang aloud to all the songs. He couldn't wait for the show; it had been so long. Finally sitting down at his and Steve's favorite spot, he leaned back against the marker, and almost fell asleep.

He was jolted out of his semi-asleep state, when the phone rang. It kept on ringing, as he figured out the on button, again. "Hello...Zach?"

"Yeah, Ghost, it's me."

"Did you call them?"

"Yeah, got to talk to the manager, and told him the problem. They weren't too happy about it, though. I reminded them that they signed an agreement that they'd deliver the car on Christmas Eve, at the time we agreed on," Zach said.

"Ok, ok, so what's gonna happen?"

"It's gonna be ok...there is one guy that said he could do it. He'd go on and take his vacation, but wasn't going out of town, so he will drive the car over, no problem. So, Ghost you don't have to worry about's all good," Zach said.

"Oh, Zach...thank you for calling them and making it ok," Ghost said, relieved.

"Yeah, the guy said he'd be at your house right after noon, on Christmas Eve. Now, all you have to do is be home and sign the delivery papers, ok? The rest is up to you, how you want to present it to Steve...where he'll be, at home, or away, all that stuff. Can you do that?"

"Yeah, I think so," Ghost said.

"Ok, then...did Steve say anything about when we're all gonna rehearse for the show?"

"Uh, not to me. I'll tell him to call you...oh, wait, here he comes can ask him," Ghost said, and handed the phone to Steve. as he approached. "Here, Steve...Zach wants to talk to you...bye Zach."

Next part coming soon!

Peace, Love, & Writing

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


# 184 content

As they continued out of the city of Raleigh, Steve asked, "So what did you buy at the magic shop?"

"Oh, some oils for me to smell, and some incense for Terry," Ghost said. He reached into the bag and brought out a crystal. "This is for Zach, a different one from the one he got already." He held it up.

"Yeah, that's a nice one," Steve said.

"Then, here's what I got for Trevor. It's a sage broom, so he can cleanse the new house any time he wants to. And look, this is for's a little waterfall that he can plug in, and hear the water going over the rocks. Oh, and a book, 'cause he likes to read. This here one is some meditation poems." He put the items back in the bag.

"Those are real nice gifts," Steve said. "I'm sure they will like them, because you thought of the person and what they'd like or need. Good choices for all."

Ghost smiled. "I know what you're thinking."

"You always do, Ghost," Steve said. "Ok, what am I thinking? I just told you what it was...about the gifts you bought."

"Yeah, but you're thinking what did I get for you," Ghost said.

"Well, maybe I am a little curious, ya know."

"Mmm-hmm, well I tried to find something in there for you, Steve, but we already have all that stuff, so I gotta think of something else for you. I got time," he said, and smiled.

"Ok, that's fine...don't tell me..." Steve said.

They were almost to the highway leading out of the city, now, when Ghost said, "Steve, I need to ask you a really serious question."

Steve's heart did a little lurch. "Ok, I guess I can try to give you an answer...what?"

Ghost frowned, then said, "You know it's kinda getting dark already, and by the time we get home, can I say this..." he sighed and looked over at Steve. "I don't want to cook supper, so can we get some chicken or something to take home to eat, before we leave this big 'ol town, 'cause when we get home there's no take out places, and I think I'll be hungry, by we?" He laughed at the way Steve looked at him.

"Ghost, you scared me for a second. I thought there was something wrong, or bad news, or something."

"It's just I'm hungry, that's all, and that's bad news, and wrong, I think."

"Yeah, it sure is...and yes, we can stop and get food. Good thing you got all the words out before we left town," Steve said.

"I know, right?" Ghost said. "Well, I want chicken."

"Ok, and I think there's a place on the way out...we'll stop."

They did stop and get food to take home, but ate most of it on the way, because thirty miles was a long way to have to wait. As Steve finished a piece, he threw the bones out the car window.

"Steve...don't do that," Ghost said, as he twisted around to look out the back window.

" what?" Steve asked.

"Don't throw those bones's bad."

"Why is it bad? I'm just giving the wolves something to eat, or maybe the buzzards."

"Well, maybe...if they hurry up and eat it, but really, it's not good." Ghost waited for Steve to ask why, but he didn't. He just grabbed another piece to eat.

"Don't you want to know why?" Ghost asked.

"No...but I guess you're gonna tell me anyway, aren't you?"

"'s because of voo-doo, Steve. Remember down in New Orleans? There were people putting spells on people by throwing chicken bones, and saying bad stuff," Ghost said. "You didn't think any bad thoughts when you threw them out, did you?"

"Nope, sure didn't," Steve said. "I was just thinking about eating another piece." He took a big bite out of the one he was holding.

"Ok, well don't throw out any more," Ghost said, finally done with the subject. Steve, though, wanted to know more.

"Well, can anybody do it? I mean, did I just do a spell in the middle of the road?"

"Probably didn't say anything like a spell," Ghost said. "I think maybe you have to be knowing how to do it first."

"Oh, ok...good," Steve said.

"Yeah, I'm gonna have to ask Zach, 'cause he's seen people do it before. I just want to make sure," Ghost said.

They continued on down the highway. "Why don't you check out the phone, Ghost. See if we got any calls. I think I had it turned off," Steve said, handing the phone to Ghost.

Ghost took it, turning it around and staring at it. "Remind me again how to turn it on."

Steve reached over and pushed a button. The phone lit up and displayed several missed calls and voicemails...all from Zach.

"Looks like Zach called a lot, look..." he held the phone up so Steve could see. "What did he want?"

"How should I him back," Steve said.

"Um...ok..." Ghost said, but just hovered his finger over the phone.

Steve waited a minute, then rolled his eyes. "What the hell are you doing?"

"I'm trying to see what he wanted."

"Just push the button, Dude...that's how ya find out."

"Ok, ok..." Ghost pushed the call back button, and waited for the connection to Zach. When he answered, Ghost said, "Hello, Zach, what did you want?"

"Ghost is that you?" Zach said. "I've been trying to call all day. Man, I need to give you some info on that car..."

"Stop...stop," Ghost yelled. "Don't say anything yet. I can't talk about it, now."

Steve had jerked, when Ghost yelled. "What's the matter? Something wrong? Give me the phone."

Zach continued, "Ok, but I have to tell you now."

"Not now, Zach...we're in the car and almost home. Call me later," Ghost said.

Steve grabbed the phone from Ghost. "Zach, what's going on? You got Ghost all crazy acting."

"Nothing, Steve. I'll take care of it...gotta go...bye," Zach said, and hung up.

"Ok, Ghost, what's going on?"

"Nothing, Steve, just me and Zach have to talk about some things. Later ya know...alone."

Steve frowned. "You and Zach are up to something. You know I'll find out...ya know that don't 'cha?"

"I know," Ghost said, "but not yet...please don't try to find out yet. It'll ruin everything."

"Fine, whatever," Steve said, finally getting an inkling of a clue, that it was about Christmas secrets. He smiled. "I promise not to find out yet, ok?"

"Yeah," Ghost said, knowing Steve understood, now.

They reached home, and took all their things inside.

Next part coming soon!

Peace, Love, & Writing

Sunday, June 21, 2015


#183 content

"What kind of asshole would do something like this?" Steve yelled. He walked around the car, taking in the slashed tires, and scratches all along the sides. Yanking open the door, he threw in his bags from the thrift store. "I just got that flat fixed yesterday, and now this? I'll tell ya, Ghost, there's some sick people in the world." He raged on and on, cursing and kicking the fenders.

A small crowd gathered, there on the sidewalk, some laughing and pointing. "What are y'all looking at, who did this?" Steve growled at them, and they went on their way. One young man did offer to help.

Ghost just sat on the curb, with his hands wrapped around his knees, and his head down, listening to Steve holler. He didn't even cry; he was too numb to feel anything, after their encounter in the thrift store.

Finally, Steve calmed down enough to notice the man who was offering to help. He volunteered to drive them to buy new tires. "Come on, Ghost, we have to get the tires fixed, and this guy will take us to the tire store."

"Maybe I should stay and guard the car," Ghost said.

"No, I can't leave you here to face this crowd alone. Let's go."

"Steve, just have him drop me off at the magic shop place, ok? When you're finished, you can come pick me up." He could feel his nerves vibrating inside him. "I really need to smell some oils, and get calm again. I feel like I might blow up, inside."

Steve saw that Ghost was getting a little twitchy, his eyes darting around, and his cheeks flushing.

"Yeah, ok...we can do that," Steve said, knowing that Ghost could go into full blown panic mode at any second. "We're gonna let this guy help us."

They went over to the man's car. As they got in, Steve asked, "Can we drop Ghost off at the shop down the road, first?"

"Sure, no problem, and the tire store isn't far. Sorry about your car, man. You should see if there were any witnesses...those kind of vandals shouldn't get away with that shit. Mine was slashed awhile back, right in my own driveway...never did know who did it."

"Well, thanks for helping out. We'll pay you for your trouble," Steve said.

"Nope, won't take your money. Just help out someone else some day."

They let Ghost out, and continued on their way.

Ghost went inside the little new age shop. The owner saw immediately that something was wrong. "Ghost...what's happened?" she asked, coming over to him and taking his hands in hers. She could feel the tension, as he squeezed her hands, hard. "Come sit down...what can I get you...tea...a potion?" she asked.

"I need some tea, yes," Ghost said. "And I need an oil to smell...something that will calm me down, 'cause I'm about ready to explode." He took a deep breath, and closed his eyes.

"Ok, you sit here, and try to relax. Everything will be fine," she said, then went to prepare the items.

Just being in there was soothing. He felt himself relaxing more, as the tension slowly eased.

"Here ya go, Ghost," the lady said, handing him the cup of hot tea, and small vial of oil. He took a sip of the tea, and then opened the oil to take a deep sniff.

"Ahh, that's just what I needed," he said. He told her of what had just happened.

Shaking her head, she said, "Ghost, I just don't understand people like that. All I can say, is something made them bitter, mean, and bigoted. There will always be haters. I get some of that in here, too. I try to ignore most of it, unless there is damage. I hate to say it, but it happens quite often in this area of town. I've seen car windows shot out, and tires slashed, and even my store here was broken into last year. I'd relocate if I could, but it's not possible right now. The business people stick together, but we can't stop all of it."

"I'm sorry y'all have trouble over here," Ghost said. "We don't have much of that in Missing Mile, 'cause it's so little, and everybody knows everybody. Steve's really mad, though. He wants to find out who did it." He sighed, and drank more of his tea. "He won't find them, though."

"Probably not, Ghost," she said. "Are you feeling better?"

"Yeah, guess so. I'm still sad, but I probably won't explode, now." He looked up into her eyes. "Those people in the store were thinking bad things about us," he said. "I love Steve, and I don't care who knows it. I mind my own business, and don't think bad things about anyone. It just hurts, when they do."

"Oh, Ghost," she said, reaching over giving him a hug.

"I'll be ok, but it might be later," he said.

"Well, anytime you want to talk about things, you just get in touch with me, ok?"

"Ok, I will," Ghost said. "Can I look around some? I maybe need to get stuff."

"Sure, look all you want. I'll be over at the counter."

Ghost got up and went to browse around the little shop. He wanted to get Steve another Christmas present, but this wasn't Steve's kind of store. He did find a gift for Zach and Trevor, and even Kinsey and Terry. He brought up his choices to the counter, to be rung up.

"Hope you have a nice Christmas, Ghost," the lady said.

"Thanks, you too. You're really nice to us," Ghost said, taking the bag of presents.

Just then, Steve came in. "Hi," he said, "Ghost giving you any trouble, today?"

"No, we get along great," she said, laughing. "He told me what happened, Steve. Sorry to hear it."

"Thanks," Steve said. "Everything is taken care of, now...but, it pisses me off that they can get away with doing that...just one of those things, I guess."

"You ready to go, Ghost?"

Ghost nodded, and said, "I got presents in here, for our friends."

"Yeah? That's cool; well, the car is out new tires put on, and I'm ready to go home," Steve said.

"Bye," Ghost said to the lady, and they went outside. "We can't go home, yet, Steve. We have to go to the print shop."

"Oh, man...I almost forgot about that," Steve said.

"You did forget," Ghost said, and laughed.

"Well, thanks for reminding me," Steve said, and so drove over to the printing store.

As they walked into the shop, the clerk said, "Hey there, just in time. Your flyers are ready. Take a look." He pulled out a finished page.

Steve smiled. "These look great, man...better than my drawing of it, that's for sure."

"If you want, I'll put one up in our window. I can also tack some up around town, too."

"Sure, take some...we'd appreciate it. Hope you get to come." 

Getting back in the car, Steve asked, "Can we go home, now, Ghost?"

"Yeah, we can," Ghost said. "Was it much trouble to fix the tires?"

"Well, the whole thing was trouble, Ghost, but was ok. I just bought some new ones, and they guy who drove us helped me put them on. At least somebody in this town is nice."

"There's more than one," Ghost said. "Are you still mad?"

"Yes, at whoever did this, but that's all. You're right, there's more than one nice person here."

Ghost thought a minute, then said, "I don't want to go to that store, again. It has bad feelings, now."

Steve glanced over at Ghost, who was staring out the side window. "Aw, Ghost, the store's was just those people, this one time."

"Well, maybe..." Ghost said.

Next part coming soon!

Peace, Love, & Writing

Friday, June 19, 2015


# 182 content

Steve got out of the car, and going around back, removed the spare tire and jack, from the trunk. "This crappy car is giving me grief every day now," he said, and kicked the fender. "I think it's about time to trade it in, Ghost...I swear..." He got busy changing the tire.

Ghost was trying not to blurt out his secret. "It'll be ok. Just get a new tire, Steve."

"Guess I'll have to, for now," Steve said, as he finished up, and slammed down the trunk. "There's too much other stuff to do right now." He got back in the car, shaking his head, and wiping sweat off his face. "Maybe after Christmas, we can go car shopping."

Starting up the engine, again, he sped off down the highway to their house. Ghost was relieved that he wasn't going to go looking at new cars, today. Finally at home, Steve spread out all the loose pages of all their songs.

"Do you think we should include any of the old songs from the cassette, in the show's playlist?" Steve asked.

"Well, yeah, everyone likes those," Ghost said.

"But, we only have an hour or so, then Zach will do his set. I don't know, maybe Gumbo will go on first. Anyway, there not enough time to do them all."

"We're not doing all the new ones live, though...just some, so I think we can do it," Ghost said.

"Oh, yeah...guess you're right." After looking at the pages awhile, he said, "Ok, these are my choices. What do ya think?"

Ghost looked them over. "Well, I really want to do this one, and this one," he said pointing out a couple. "If we can fit these in, then all the rest are ok with me."

"Good, it's finished, then. I'm calling Terry to let him know," Steve said. They talked a few minutes, and Terry was on board with the choices.

"He's good with these, and he'll let R. J. know," Steve said. "So, do ya want to go into Raleigh tomorrow, and see if the print shop guy still wants to do the flyers for us?"

"Yeah, sure," Ghost said, "and can we go to the thrift store, too?"

"Sure, I guess so. Is there something you need?"

"Well, mostly I won't know until I see it, if I need it," Ghost explained.

"That makes some kind of sense...I think," Steve said. He picked up his guitar, and began going over a song. Ghost settled on the couch, at one end, and sang along to the notes Steve played. At first, he sang quietly, the words coming back to him, then louder. Soon, he couldn't sit still, so jumped up and danced around the room, at one point picking up Spirit, dancing him around, too. Singing was Ghost's passion, and it'd been too long since they'd had a show.

Steve kept playing, and singing along on his parts, late into the night. "Ok, that's all I can do tonight," he said after awhile. "My fingers are getting sore."

"Me too, my thorat is getting crackly, too," Ghost said. He got a big glass of water. "I'm going to bed," he said.

"Steve locked up and turned out the lights. Looking in at Ghost, he said, "Remember, we're getting up kinda early in the morning."

"Ok, I remember," Ghost said, already half asleep.

Steve shook his head, knowing it would be really hard for either of them to get up early.

The next morning, not bright and early, they did manage to get up and about. On the road to Raleigh by ten, was not bad...for them, anyway, Steve figured. The first stop was at the printing company. The same guy who helped with the book, was at the counter.

"Hey guys," he said. "Need some more printing done?"

"Yeah, if you can," Steve said. He showed him the sketch of how they wanted the flyers done.

"No problem...we can get these out probably by late afternoon. Can you stick around town awhile and pick them up about five?" the clerk asked.

Steve asked Ghost what he thought. "Do you want to stay in town, until they're done, or come back tomorrow to pick them up?"

"We can do some things here, awhile, so let's stay," Ghost said.

Steve told the guy, who said he'd get started on the printing job. "Maybe I'll come see y'all play."

"Ok, everyone is welcome," Steve said. "The address is on there, but you can't miss's the only club in town." He laughed at the truth of that.

After leaving the print shop, they went to eat lunch at a pizza place. Their order took awhile, as the place was crowded, but they weren't in any big hurry, now. After eating they drove over to the nearby thrift store. As they entered, they could see it was promoting Christmas items for sale.

"Look, Steve...look at all the decorations," Ghost said, taking it all in.

"Yeah, sure is a lot of them," Steve said, but wasn't really looking at the decorations, as much as he was watching Ghost. He smiled, seeing him so enraptured by the shiny ornaments, the fake trees, and the pretend presents on the displays.

"It kinda even smells like Christmas," Ghost said. "Don't ya think cinnamon, and evergreens."

Steve wrinkled his nose. "I can't really tell. All I smell is funky used clothes, books, and stuff."

They made their way deeper into the store, each going to their favorite sections. Steve had to check out the t-shirt racks, looking for more black ones. Ghost tried on some leather cowboy boots, some sheepskin and fleece ones, and some canvas sneakers, he thought he could write on. He threw them all into a basket. Spying an arrangement of scarves, he decided he needed one of those, too.

Over in the shirt section, Steve had several logo t-shirts picked out. He found one concert tee from an Aerosmith show, and knew he and Steven Tyler would get along just fine. Ghost came up to see what Steve had found.

"Did ya find me anything good?" he asked Steve.

"No, I wasn't looking for can look for yourself." He put his items in the basket, with Ghost's things. "Hey, what's all this girl stuff doing in here?" he asked, picking up the UGG boots, and scarf.

"What girl stuff?" asked Ghost.

"These..." Steve said, holding them up.

Ghost shrugged. "Nobody said they are."

"Yeah, they did...I did," Steve said.

"Well, so what if they are? I like them," Ghost said.

"Oookay, as long as you like them, I guess so..." Steve said. "So what are you gonna put in the middle? You've got the scarf at the top, and the boots at the bottom...what's in between? Are you going to go naked in the middle?" He laughed.

Ghost frowned. "No, there'll be some middle stuff, I'm pretty sure. I just haven't found it, yet."

"Well, go find something, then let's go. "I'm ready to check out."

"Ok," Ghost said, and wandered off back into the store.

Steve went over to the book shelves, while Ghost found a few shirts, some cut off jeans, and a hoodie to try on. The tank tops didn't suit him, as he didn't like showing his arms, but the other things, he threw into the basket. Now he had some middle stuff.

"Ok, I'm finished looking," Ghost said, when he found Steve again. Steve put a few books in the basket, too, and they made their way to the check-out area. On the way, Ghost couldn't resist choosing a few shiny ornaments to put on the Christmas tree they planned on getting.

"We really need to get a tree," he said.

"We will. Let's wait until after we have the show, ok?" Steve said.

As they waited in the long line, for their turn, Steve scanned one of the books, while Ghost was fidgeting and getting antsy, as usual. He kept noticing random words coming into his mind, from the people in line behind them. They were not nice words. He tried to ignore them, but he couldn't shut them all out...the derogatory slurs, and laughter. They were not actual spoken out loud words, but just the thoughts of the people in line, as they stared at Steve and himself.

Steve, of course, could not hear any of this, but did notice that Ghost had grown quiet, and still. That was unusual, so he asked. "Ghost? What's the matter?" Ghost had a strange look on his face...a bit sad, a bit mad.

"Those people..." Ghost said, in a low voice. "All of them are saying bad things about us, in their heads."

Steve looked back at the line of people, which was getting longer and more restless. "Just ignore them," he said.

"But it makes me sad, and mad, too. I want to tell them to stop, Steve."

Steve was afraid Ghost would actually start a scene. "Don't say anything to them...bigots don't deserve our attention. Let's just mind our own business, and leave."

Ghost wasn't satisfied, and gave each person he could catch the eye of, a hard stare. A couple of them looked like they'd like to start something, too. But, as it was their turn to check out, Steve began putting their items on the counter, and distracted Ghost, long enough to pay, and leave the store.

As they walked to the car, they discussed the situation they'd encountered. Nearing the car, however, Steve started frowning, and walking faster. "What the hell?" he yelled. The car had been vandalized.

Next part coming soon!

Peace, Love, & Writing

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


# 181 content

Steve finished watching the tv show, then made Ghost a sandwich, for when he got out of the shower. When Ghost did finish, and come out, he was naked, except for a towel wrapped low on his hips, and he was drying his hair with another. Steve watched him. He's such a skinny little bitch...eats like a horse, hungry all the time, and never gains any weight. And, I've gained some lately...hope I don't squish him, when I lay on him... That gave him a familiar stirring, at the thought of laying on Ghost, fresh and warm from his shower. I need to get him dirty, now... He licked his lips.

Ghost looked up, just then..."What?"

Steve grinned. "Come here..."

"Why?" Ghost grinned, as he backed up down the hallway.

"'Cause I want you," Steve said, getting up from the couch, and slowly walking toward him.

"You have to catch me first," Ghost said, turning, and running for the bedroom.

Steve ran after him, tackling him onto the bed. The smell of Ghost's freshly washed body, and wet hair made Steve ache with need. He turned Ghost over to face him, and kissed him deeply, as the towel fell away. They spent the rest of the afternoon in bed, exploring each other as if it was the first time. Finally, exhausted, they fell asleep.

After breakfast the next morning, they got ready to go visit Kinsey and Terry.

"Do you think they'll look different?" Ghost asked.

"Huh? Why would they look different?" Steve asked.

"Oh, 'cause they've been gone, and people and things change all the time, ya know...every day even," Ghost said. "You know when we were on our road trip, and then we came back? Our house looked different...changed. It took a few days to get used to it again. And even then, Kinsey and Terry was changed a little. We had to get used to them again, too. Didn't you notice it, Steve?"

Steve thought a few minutes. "Yeah, I see what you mean. I never thought much about it before, though."

"Uh-huh, everything changes. Sometimes just a little bit, so you hardly notice, but if you don't see someone for awhile, it's easy to see," Ghost explained.

Steve nodded, "Guess we'll see in a minute then, 'cause we're here." He had just pulled into a parking space, behind the Yew.

"Wait..." Ghost said. "They'll see us, too, and see that we're changed."

Steve shrugged. "Yeah, so what? If what you're saying happens to everyone, then yeah, we changed to them, too."

Frowning, Ghost said, "But it's too weird, Steve...'cause I didn't see you changing." Ghost was looing a bit worried, now.

"Dude, you brought it up...what's the problem?" Steve asked.

"I just feel itchy."


Ghost scratched at his arms. "I think I can feel myself changing, and it itches me."

Steve gave him a look. "Get out of the car,'re obsessing over this...just stop it."

"Don't you feel itchy, Steve?" Ghost said, but got out of the car, anyway.

"No, and stop scratching...they'll think ya got fleas."

Steve pushed open the door to the Yew. Kinsey and Terry were sitting at a table talking. "There y'all are. Come on in, guys," Kinsey said.

"Hey, Kinsey...Terry...good to see y'all made it back in one piece," Steve said, pulling up a chair.

"Hey," Ghost said, still scratching, as he stood by the table.

Terry and Kinsey looked at him. "Pull up a chair, Ghost," Terry said.

"I can't right now," Ghost said.

Kinsey looked over at Steve. "Why? What's wrong with him?"

Steve rolled his eyes. "He's itchy."

"It's 'cause I'm changing, Steve. Can't you see that?"

"Well, go over yonder to do your changing, then," said Steve, pointing to the other side of the room. "When you're finished, you can come back and sit down. They want to tell us about their vacation."

Ghost looked pouty, and heaved a sigh. "Fine, but don't say anything good 'til I get back," he said. He went over to his writing wall. He began to write about changing.

"What's that all about?" asked Kinsey.

Steve explained, and they all laughed.

"Stop's real," Ghost hollered over at them.

"Good to see you, Steve...even if you have changed," said Terry. "Thanks for looking after my place."

"Yeah, same here," Kinsey said.

"No was pretty quiet here, while you were gone," Steve said.

"It's good to be back home. We had a great vacation, though. We sure needed that break, for sure," said Kinsey.

"When do ya plan on opening up the club, again?" Steve asked.

"I'm hoping to by the weekend. I'll have to order fresh supplies in here, then it's back to business, as usual."

Steve nodded. "We were planning on doing a show, soon. Do you figure this Saturday...or should we wait until the next one?"

"Let's have it a week from this Saturday," Kinsey said. "Sound ok?"

"Yeah, we need to rehearse a little...get in the groove again," Steve said, then looked at Terry. "You gonna get with R. J. and let him know?"

Terry nodded. "Yeah, I'll let him know. You can get back with us with the details."

Ghost came back over to the table, and sat down.

"Ya through changing?" Steve asked, a smirk on his face.

"No, not yet, but I feel left out. I want to hear about the places y'all went."

"We had a lot of good times," Kinsey said. "Let me go get my camera, I'll show ya some pictures." He went upstairs to get it. When he got back, they all looked, while Kinsey gave a run-down on what and where they were. "I'll get some of these printed out and hang them up in here, so everyone can see."

"I got some too," Terry said. "Look, here's one at Disneyland. We were on this roller coaster. Kinsey screamed the whole ride. This one was just before it took off." He and the others laughed.

"Here's us at the Statue of Liberty. I wanted to go to the top, but Kinsey didn't want to walk that far." They looked through more, and finally saw one of Kinsey with his catch, from the deep sea fishing trip.

"That sure was fun," Kinsey said.

"Did ya eat it?" Ghost asked.

"No, we threw them back."

"Good," Ghost said.

They talked awhile longer, then got up to leave. Terry, Steve and Ghost walked over to the record shop. "I'll let ya know for sure what we're playing, by tomorrow, Terry," Steve said. "We should have a run through, sometime in the next few days."

"Ok, just let me know. I'll give R. J. a head's up," Terry said.

Steve drove off down the highway toward home. "We really need to get this show figured out," he said. "Lots to do...decide our songs, get the flyers made up, practice, make sure all the CDs and books are ready and haul them over to the club." He kept itemizing things.

"So, who's gonna sell our stuff, if we're all on stage?" Ghost asked.

"This made Steve stop and think a minute. "Ya know, I never thought about that."

"Well, if we're all playing the show, and Kinsey is busy with the bar stuff, who's left?" Ghost asked.

"Maybe we can just set them up at one end of the bar, and Kinsey can ring up a sale, when he does the beer sales?" Steve  said.

Ghost shrugged, "I don't know...maybe. Or one of the kids could help out...or just put a box for the money and they can stuff it in when they buy one?"

Sighing, Steve said, "This is getting complicated...not like I pictured it, at all."

"Well, Steve, I'm out of ideas. You think of something, then," Ghost said.

Just then the car lurched to the side, and the familiar flap, flap sound of a flat tire resonated through the car. Steve pulled over and stopped.

"Damn it," he yelled, and pounded the steering wheel.

Next part coming soon!

Peace, Love, & Writing

Friday, June 12, 2015


# 179 content

"We had better food and ice cream than you did, too," Ghost said, still telling Steve about what he and Zach had done.

"Man, I should have gone with y'all, instead of over to Trevor's house. I like the day you had," Steve said.

"Me, too...and we might do it again someday," Ghost said, as he gathered up his things from the table.

"So, you and Zach are buddy-buddy, now?

"What's that?"


"Oh, I guess so. He said I was fun to hang out with."

"That's nice...just watch him...he better not go making any moves on you," Steve said.

Ghost shook his head. He took his things off into the living room, where he lit an incense stick, and placed the crystal on the table with the others.

"Now, y'all get along. Y'all have to live on this here table, and be friends," Ghost said.

Steve snickered, again.

When Zach reached his and Trevor's house, he found Trevor sitting on the couch, just staring into space. "Hey, Trev, what's the matter?" he asked.

"Zach, I've had a long day," Trevor said, and took a deep breath.

"Why...was it that hard to keep Steve busy?"

Trevor looked at Zach, his eyes dazed. "Yeah, it was. He was suspicious from the time he got over here. I kept making up things to do...just stupid stuff. Oh, he went along with it, but every few minutes, he said he'd better go. He didn't like leaving Ghost alone."

"Damn, sorry Dude...thanks for doing it, though."

"Yeah, did it go with you and Ghost?" Trevor asked.

Zach smiled. "It went surprisingly well. Ghost and I went to the junk yard, and he got Steve's old car back. It's being repaired, right now. He'll have it by Christmas eve. We ate lunch at this crazy Cajun restaurant, and it was really good." He got up to go to the kitchen. Grabbing a beer for them both, he came back and sat down on the couch.

"We went to a hippie store that Ghost likes."

"A hippie store?"

"Yeah, it's got crystals, incense, stuff like that. Here, I'll show you what I bought." He brought the bag over, and pulled out his purchases. "This book tells all kinds of things about the crystals, and what they're good for, and about herbal remedies, and a bunch of other way out there stuff." He laughed, seeing the expression on Trevor's face.

Trevor picked up the crystal Zach had bought. "You really going to get serious about this?"

"Well, probably not as much as Ghost, but yeah, it's pretty interesting. I'll try it...sure..."

"How did you and Ghost get along?"

"Oh, we hit it off, actually. He's pretty cool...funny...and he's a lot smarter than I gave him credit for. I know he has his brain problems, but when he's clear headed, he's a real decent guy," Zach said.

"So he didn't act crazy, today, or flip out?"

"Nope, not once...and he even told me he was trying hard not to. There was one point though, when he saw Steve's smashed up car...he pretty much lost it. Cried for what Steve had gone through." Zach shook his head. "That was tough."

They sat there awhile longer, going over things they'd done that day. "Did Steve mention what he was getting Ghost for Christmas?"

"No, I didn't bring anything up to do with Christmas, and he didn't either. Guess we'll find out later. And...hint, hint...what are you getting me...and what do you want?" Trevor asked.

"Uh, really, Trevor, I don't need anything," Zach said. "I already have you, and we got rid of that bad stuff at the old house. But, what do you want?"

"Nothing but you," Trevor said, with a grin.

" already have me," Zach said. He pushed Trevor down on the couch, and kissed him. "And, I'm ready for you to have me right now." He smiled, and helped Trevor up. They made their way to the bedroom, and didn't surface again until morning.


Ghost had made popcorn for them, and they watched movies for awhile. Every so often, one of them would throw a piece, for Spirit to chase, which made them laugh. Ghost was in a good mood, after his shopping trip to Raleigh, and the present for Steve had been settled. Steve kept planning in his head, his secret trip to get Ghost's gift, and every time he thought of it, he'd try to block it at the same time, so Ghost wouldn't hear.

Finally, he had had this conflict so long, he developed a headache. "Ghost, I'm going to bed. This headache is killing me," Steve said. "You can finish watching this movie by yourself."

"You want some headache powder? It's fresh."

"Are you sure it won't kill me?" Steve asked.

"I'm sure. I'll go get it ready," Ghost said, going into the kitchen to make a cup of hot tea, to put the remedy in.

Steve went to his bed, waiting for Ghost. "Don't think, don't think..." he kept repeating to himself.

Ghost came in, handing the cup of tea to Steve. "Don't think about what?"

Steve had to say something to throw Ghost off. "Oh, uh...don't think about this stuff you're giving me," he finally said.

Ghost gave him a look. "That's not it, Steve, but fine...if you don't want to tell me, then don't. Now, drink this...all of it. You'll feel better soon."

"Ok," Steve said, and took a tiny sip. "The thing is, Ghost, there's a secret I have to keep from you...for Christmas, and I want it to be a surprise. And, it's so hard, when you read my thoughts, and I try not to think of it, but it keeps getting my head." He took another sip. "And, that's why my head is hurting."

Ghost frowned. "Steve, I'm sorry you're having trouble with this. I'll try not to, ok? I don't want to read your secrets. I don't mean to, and I'll try to block it out."

"I know you don't mean to...don't worry about it," Steve said. "I think tomorrow I'm going to go on my shopping trip, for your present. Then I can quit worrying about it."

" finish drinking your tea, and go to sleep. Everything will be better in the morning. Me and Spirit will be fine while you're gone." He leaned over and kissed Steve. "Night..."

"Night, Ghost," Steve said, and gulped the rest of the tea. Ghost turned out the light, and went back to the living room. The movie was still playing, but he'd lost interest in it, now. It was still fairly early...dark out, but not yet late enough for him to be sleepy. He'd never taken the nap he'd planned on earlier, but he was wide awake now, anyway.

Next part coming soon!

Peace, Love, & Writing

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


# 178 content

Ghost gave Zach directions to the little new age shop in the downtown area. As Ghost pushed open the door, the smell of sweet incense greeted them. Zach looked around, wide eyed, at the shelves of brightly colored goods for sale.

"Hey, are you?" the owner said. "Fighting any more demons?"

"No, not today," Ghost said. "This here is my friend, Zach. It was him and his boyfriend's house that had the evil spirits, but we got rid of them, and now it's gone...the house is all gone."

She smiled, and shook Zach's hand. "Well, hi Zach. You've got a real friend here, with Ghost. Don't let him get away."

Zach smiled, too. "You've got a really neat shop."

"Y'all look around, and if you need any help, just holler," she said.

Ghost showed Zach around the small shop, pointing out where the incense was, and the potions, books, and knick-knacks, that crowded the shelves. Going over to a display case, Ghost considered the crystals for sale.

"You gonna buy something?" Zach asked.

"Yep, I always do. I'm liking these crystals. They're real powerful, ya know," Ghost said.

"Well, I never thought about it before...about crystals," Zach said, as he looked them over.

"I have a big one at home, and I have a geode. They're on the hall table, and we smashed a vampire with the big one, one time," Ghost said, as if it was an every day thing to do.

"Oh, yeah," Zach said, "I think I remember y'all telling us about that. Maybe I should get one for me and Trevor. Will any of them do?"

"It depends on what you want to do with it...they all have different meanings." Ghost pointed out one. Here's one you could get for house protection." It was a medium sized one. "Oh, here's one you wear on a chain necklace. It's a prism cut."

"I think I'll get them both," Zach said. "I'm really digging this stuff."

Ghost was enjoying showing Zach around, and telling him about all the different things...things that were so familiar to himself.  "Zach, I could go on telling you about this stuff all day. I love it all. I've used all these thing since I was a kid, and my grandmother showed me. But, you probably don't want to hear me all day."

He picked up a book from a table. "Look, here's where it tells all about crystals, and stones, and all kinds of cool things...if you want to learn some more."

Zach took the book, and flipped through the pages. "Yes, I'll take this, too." He was thinking this would be his new hobby.

Ghost smiled, at hearing Zach's thought. "I think you'll like it. I need to get some remedies, and oils from behind the counter." He called to the lady, who measured out all the items Ghost mentioned. They took their selections up to the counter, and checked out, both leaving with a large bag.

"Ok, guess we can go home, now," Ghost said, then grinned. "Except...let's get ice cream first."

"Are you hungry again, already?"

No, I just want some, 'cause it's so good, and I know this place we can get some," Ghost said.

"Ok, let's do it," Zach said, as he drove off in search of the ice cream place.

They sat in the car while they ate it. "This has been a lot of fun, Ghost. I was a little nervous about it, but you, my man, are a lot of fun to hang with."

"Really?" Ghost asked. "Well, so are you, and I was nervous, too. I thought you'd be all critical and stuffy, and go like...I have to humor Ghost so he won't act crazy." He grinned. "I tried real hard not to, ya know."

Zach laughed at that statement. "I'm glad I got to know you better, Ghost. Steve's very lucky to have you. So, you ready to roll?" He started up the car, and drove toward the highway, back to Missing Mile.

"I'm going to call Trevor...see if Steve's still over there. We gotta sneak you back in the house," Zach said. He made the call, and found out Steve was still there, and he'd have time to drive Ghost home, before Steve found out he'd been gone.

"I'm getting worried, Zach."


"Well, Steve is going to ask me what I did all day. I don't ever lie to him, so what do I do?"

"Well...just say the truth..." Zach said. "Say I came over to say hi, and we decided to go shopping in Raleigh...and we ate lunch. That's the truth. And, you have the things you bought from the shop, anyway. Just leave out the car stuff we did, ok?"

Ghost was nodding. "Yes, we did do that, and it won't be lying at all." He yawned, "I need a nap, now."

"Me too," Zach said. "I'm going to drop you off at your house, then head home and crash. We'll have to hang out together some more, too."

At the house, Ghost got out of the car, and they said their good-byes. He went inside, and not long after, Steve came home. Ghost was at the table, looking through his purchases, as Steve came in.

"Man, what a day," Steve said. He came up behind Ghost, giving him a hug. "Hey, what 'cha got there?"

"Just some things I bought at that little shop in Raleigh," Ghost said, trying hard not to blurt out the real reason he'd been in the city.

"How did ya get there?"

"Oh, after you left this morning, Zach came by to say hi, and talk about the show and all. I asked him if he wanted to drive me to Raleigh, so I could buy he did." He pushed around the things on the table, rearranging them. "He bought stuff, too, and Steve...we found a real good Cajun restaurant, and we ate lunch there. You have to go, sometime."

"Well, it sounds like yu had a good time...better than I had," Steve said, shaking his head. "I'll tell ya, that Trevor was up to something. That furniture moving deal...that was crazy."

"You didn't move any?"

"Yeah, we did, but it wasn't much. Then he kept suggesting odd he wanted to draw my picture...for a comic book, of all things, and so he did. Turned out pretty good, too. Then we ordered a pizza, and he got to talking about his time in the orphanage, and foster homes." Steve sighed. "Then he wanted to play cards...just a random bunch of stuff."

"I think he just didn't want to be alone, today," Ghost said.

"Yeah, maybe that was it." Steve looked at the group of things on the table. Holding up a small, clear envelope, he asked, "What's this for?" Inside was a powdery substance.

"This one? Well, it says powdered willow bark, right on it," Ghost said.

"And...what's it for?"

"Oh, it's for when you a headache, or you have a sore muscle, things like that. And, you only take a pinch at a time, in some hot tea, or even just lemon water," Ghost said.

"Oh, aspirin, then..." Steve said.

"Well, I don't know about that, but it's real strong, so you have to be careful," Ghost explained.

"How can you remember all this stuff? It's not even labeled very good."

Ghost shrugged, "I just do. Oh, look at this...I got a crystal...for house protection." Ghost held up the blocky gem.

Steve took it, turning it over and over, to see all sides. "Thought we already had one of these."

"Yeah, but it's been used a lot, already, so it's not as effective...ya know?"

Steve snickered. "So, these things have an expiration date?"

"Stop it, Steve...gimme that back," Ghost grabbed the stone. "Don't's true, but they can get weaker. So, I have to get fully charged ones, sometimes."

" a battery, then?" Steve kept on teasing.

Ghost rolled his eyes, and sighed. "I guess so, since you evidently know so much about 'em."

Steve lightly punched Ghost's arm. "You know I'm kidding, don't ya?"

"Um-hmm, well, anyway Zach got some too, and he was all interested in hearing me tell about this stuff. He even got a book to study."


"Yep, and we got incense...see?" Ghost held up a package, and smelled it. "Here, smell...what do you think?"

Steve took a sniff, and coughed. "That, smells good," he coughed again.

Ghost narrowed his eyes, staring at Steve, waiting for a wisecrack, but Steve thought better than to say any more.


Next part coming soon!

Peace, Love, & Writing