TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
As Linda and Melody looked into Ghost's bedroom, they could tell they were both asleep in the bed. Nothing looked wrong, and both of them were breathing, at least. Melody caught sight of Ghost's face, though, and sucked in her breath. There was blood around his swollen mouth, and the dark shadows around his eyes were turning purple and black. She could see scrapes on Steve's face, too, all down his cheek and chin.
"Oh, my God, should we wake them up?" Melody asked.
"No," Linda said. "We'll just wait here until they wake up on their own. C'mon..." she motioned for Melody to follow her into the kitchen. "I'm calling Kinsey. He needs to know how things are here. See if you can fix us something cold to drink. I'll be outside." She made the phone call, as Melody was looking in the refrigerator for ice.
""Kinsey, it's Linda. They're ok...still asleep."
"Thank God," Kinsey said.
"Yes, but they look just as bad as Terry did...all beat up."
"Damn, what a mess," Kinsey said. "I'll tell you what, Linda, I just don't know what to say or do any more. I'm about ready to wash my hand of the whole thing...the club, this town, and everybody in it. I want to retire and enjoy a few years, ya know." He cleared his throat. "I've seriously considered handing over this place to Steve and Ghost, but when they keep getting into crap like this, well, I don't think they can, or would be able to take on the responsibility. I mean, look at them, Linda. They can barely take care of their own selves." He sighed.
"I had no idea, Kinsey," Linda said. "I do see what you mean. I hate to say it, but you're right to be worrying about it."
"Aw, well...I'll see how it goes for awhile longer. I'm not quite done with this place, yet," Kinsey said. "Y'all gonna stay over there for awhile?"
"Yes, I thought we would, at least until they are up and moving around. Do you mind keeping the kids awhile longer? Are they at least getting along with each other?"
"Oh, they're fine. I just looked in on them," Kinsey said. "If they get bored, I'll put 'em to work." He laughed.
"Sure, Kinsey, and thanks again," Linda said. Going back inside, she joined Melody in the kitchen.
"Hey, where's my cold drink?" she asked.
"Oh, right here. I thought you'd be right back in, sorry...I should have brought it to you," Melody said.
Linda took a long drink of the iced tea. "Ahh, no problem. What are you doing?"
"I'm making coffee and some breakfast for them. I think they'll be getting up soon, and will be hungry," Melody said. "I think I heard them rustling around in there."
"Good idea. Make enough for us, too, ok?"
Melody continued cracking eggs, and buttering toast. Linda didn't know quite what to do with herself. She didn't want to wake them up, and Melody had everything under control in the kitchen. Pacing around, for a few minutes, she looked at the books in the book case, the shabby furniture, and the old wood floor, with years of use showing a path between rooms.
Parts of the house had been rebuilt, after the hurricane, and it showed. She looked out the living room window, pushing aside the yellowed lace curtain. These haven't been changed since Miz Deliverance was alive... Shaking her head, she sighed. She knew her brother had had it pretty hard all these years, living here in Missing Mile with their father. Then, here in this house with Ghost...well...he'd done the best he could, she thought. Still, she wished things could have been different.
She went out the front door to sit in the porch swing. It was so beautiful this time of year, the beginning of summer. She breathed in the afternoon's sun warmed air. There was a hint of wood smoke coming from somewhere. The solitude out here was intoxicating. Having lived many years in the big city of L. A., she relished this quietness. The old porch swing squeaked, as she swang slowly back and forth. The rattle of dishes, and the smell of bacon frying, were the perfect background for peaceful living. She closed her eyes and dozed off.
Steve had been tossing and turning in the bed for a few minutes. He tried not to wake up, because he could feel a headache coming on, but the throbbing behind his eyes was getting worse. As he surfaced a bit closer to being fully awake, his thoughts kept intruding... why is my head hurting...why is my face so sore...what happened here last night? As bits and pieces of the nightmare that was the night before came back to him, he opened his eyes, trying to re-orient himself. He saw the glow-in-the-dark stars up on the ceiling. Ghost's bedroom...Ghost! "Ghost," he said aloud, and his heart lurched in his chest. He began to remember...the beach, the break-up, the frantic call to Terry, and the gun.
His heart skipped a beat. Reaching over to Ghost, he pulled off some of the piled up blankets. There...there he is, and he's breathing, thank God...
Next part coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing