Disclaimer- I own just my idea for this. The amazing Poppy Z. Brite created all the characters used in this story. She owns them and the book (Lost Souls) from which they are taken.
Ghost woke gasping for air and covered in sweat. His dreams kept him from sleeping an entire night through. His dreams of sliding the knife into Zillah's temple. Dreams of Steve killing Christian. He didn't deserve it. He had done nothing wrong but become friends with Zillah. Just as Nothing had. However, for Nothing, it was more than being friends. He was Zillah's lover, his son.
Ghost drew a long deep breath and sat up. He stared at the painted ceiling and wondered why the memories were still so fresh. It had already been five years. It didn't feel like five years though. It seemed like it was just last week that Nothing and the others broke into their house. That he and Steve followed them down to New Orleans. That they found Ann dead, blood-soaked, holding what would have been Nothing's brother or sister.
It seemed like yesterday that he had killed Zillah.
Ghost could hear someone crying and knew it was not Steve. He had heard Steve cry and had memorized it. Knew the way he breathed, the way he shook and tried to wipe the tears away. He knew for sure that this was not Steve.
Ghost squinted in the darkness of his room. He looked around knowing that he wouldn't find anything.
Someone...please. Help me. The crying continued, getting more desperate. The voice was so familiar...
"Help you how?" whispered Ghost. He knew that voice. He knew it so why couldn't he put a name with it?
Ghost? The voice was small, confused, and fearful.
Ghost's eyes widened. "Nothing. How...?"
I...don't know. The small sob that escaped the boy, who Ghost thought must not be a boy anymore, made him want to cry himself.
It was because he was reaching out. Ghost could hear Nothing because he reached out, needed help, and Ghost was there. His mind painfully open, all the time, absorbing the thoughts and pain around him.
Ghost, help me. The plea was pitiful and full of pain.
"What's happened?" Ghost wrapped his blanket tighter around himself and closed his eyes. Maybe if he concentrated hard enough he could be there with Nothing. Maybe enough to comfort him.
Twig and Molochai, they- another sob. Ghost could see Nothing now. He could see that he had aged very little in the past five years. He could see that he was in a corner somewhere, covered in blood and cuts. Bruises scattered across his arms and face.
"Nothing, did they hurt you?" asked Ghost, worry and anger swelling up inside him.
No. It wasn't them. They...they would never hurt me. After all, I am Zillah's son. The bitterness in his voice at the mention of Zillah made Ghost cringe. He didn't realize that he was crying until a warm tear hit his hand. He was crying for Nothing. For his pain and loneliness. And for his emptiness.
They killed them. said Nothing quietly.
Ghost shuddered. The thought that someone was strong enough to kill those two scared him more than they ever could have. "Who killed them?"
Nothing looked up at Ghost, or where Ghost was in his mind. He wasn't sure if Nothing could see him or not and right now he didn't really care. All he wanted was to help him. After everything that happened, he still wanted to help the poor lost soul. He wanted to save the boy with dyed black hair and dark eyes smudged with eyeliner. The twins.
The two words sent a violent tremor through Ghost. The twins that had killed Ashley and Arkady. Their malicious grins, their red and yellow hair. Ghost hadn't forgotten one detail of the twins. He still had nightmares about them.
They want me too, Ghost. I don't want to die. Not yet. I don't... More tears spilled down Nothing's cheeks making his pale skin shine in the little bit of moonlight that spilled into the room.
Ghost wanted so bad to reach up and brush those tears away. He wanted to take all of Nothing's pain away, to protect him and never let anything hurt him again.
I'm scared Ghost...
"Ghost, what's wrong?" Ghost hadn't heard Steve coming or opening his door. "Hey, are you okay? I heard you crying..." Steve walked in and sat down on the edge of Ghost's bed, pulling his friend into his arms as he did so.
"Nothing..." said Ghost quietly. His voice shook as he spoke. His whole body shook. He was scared for Nothing.
"What the hell do you mean 'nothing'?" asked Steve, trying not to get aggravated. He never did this kind of bullshit when Ghost asked him what was up. Then again, it wouldn't have worked. Ghost would know no matter what. "I know you Ghost, you don't cry for nothing."
Ghost shook his head. "No...Nothing. He's in danger. The twins..."
"The ones that killed Arkady and Ashley." Ghost barely spoke loud enough for Steve to hear. Steve hugged Ghost tighter sensing his fear.
Ghost... Nothing's crying had stopped. Now he just sounded drained. Empty. Terrified.
"Where are you?" asked Ghost, just as scared as Nothing. The price he paid for being a seer.
Christian's old bar.
Steve looked down at Ghost; he had never seen his friend this scared before. "What are you talking about?" He whispered. "I'm right here."
Ghost shook his head. "We have to help Nothing. He's in New Orleans...At Christian's."
Steve tensed. He could not go back there. He couldn't face being in the city where Ann died because of that old bastard who didn't know what he was doing. But there was also no way he could deny Ghost's eyes. No way in hell, that he could deny those pleading blue eyes.
"Please..." Ghost stared up at Steve. "I have to try and help him." Fear and anguish swirled in Ghost's pale eyes. That alone was enough for Steve.
Steve stood up, pulling Ghost with him. And without any hesitation, "alright. Let's go."
I wrote this after I read the book Lost Souls for the first time (which was about 4 years ago) so I'm not quite sure where I was going with this, but if I feel enough people review this, I'll post the second chapter I've recently been working on. I hope I did not disappoint... Reviews are very welcome, of course and I thank any nice reviews in advance...