The Ghost I knew He'd Be
It was the day after returning back from New Orleans. Steve had stayed in the cemetery over night, too miserable to leave. Ghost had stayed until early morning, then left to go see Miz Caitlin. He'd grabbed a thick coat, scarf and pair of gloves to keep himself warm. Without Steve next to him and a few blankets over him, Ghost got cold easily. Time went by slowly on the walk over to Miz Caitlin's home.
She welcomed him with a big hug and a cup of warm apple cider. It was strange how she always seemed to know when he was coming, but it was nice in a way too.
"Steve decided not to come with you?" Miz Caitlin questioned in her warm, motherly tone.
"Steve didn't know I was coming." Ghost took a chair at the beautifully carved table and nearly began to cry. Instead he sipped on his steaming cup of cider with tears building up in his eyes.
"What is it Ghost honey?" Miz Caitlin questioned as she took her seat beside him. She placed her plump hand on top of his, and met his ocean blue eyes with worry.
"I can't stand to see Steve like this. He slept in the cemetery last night. He cried on the trip home. His pain is tearing me apart." Ghost allowed two lonely tears to fall down his pale cheeks.
Miz Caitlin stood and placed her index finger in her mouth. She walked away toward the wall, then back toward another wall.
"She knew this would happen. Always did."
"What do you mean?"
"For the longest time your grandmother knew this would happen and she made a potion and very powerful spell just for this moment."
Ghost stood up out of his chair and touched Miz Caitlin's shoulders. He gazed into her large, worried eyes and smiled hopefully.
"Are you telling me there's a way to fix this? There is a way to make everything better? She wasn't lying when she said she'd made that?"
"Yes, but Ghost." She paused, trying to find the words. Ghost waited. "You must be positive that this is what you…and Steve…would want."
"I'm sure." Ghost replied instantly.
"You must find a picture of Ann before all this happened. A time when she was happy being with Steve. It must be only her in the picture." She stated. Ghost nodded and smiled brightly.
"I'll be back soon." He started out the door, but Miz Caitlin grabbed his arm and looked Ghost in the eyes seriously.
"I want you to be sure this is the right choice." She seemed as though she was about to cry.
He hurried out the door, moving faster than he had in a long time. Trees flew by and seemed to reach out toward him. All of nature felt the pain, but it reached toward Ghost, trying so hard to stop him. Ghost took a shortcut through the cemetery and wasn't surprised to find Steve still fast asleep by Ann's makeshift grave. He went into the car and grabbed Steve's wallet. Inside he found what he wanted, it was the picture Ann had given Steve about two and a half years ago, while things were still going good.
Ghost quickly pulled out a napkin and pen from off the back seat. He scribbled down a note, letting Steve know what he was doing.
"Steve…I'm going to bring Ann back for you. She will be at Miz Caitlin's waiting for you, come and get her. Be happy again for me. Ghost."
He then ran from the area just as fast as he had come. Carrying the picture of Ann in both hands and smiling with the ignorance of his actions.
As Ghost came trudging through Miz Caitlin's doorway, Steve awoke in the cemetery. He noticed a note on the window of his car, held there by a piece of ABC gum. Steve swore under his breath at Ghost then walked up to the window and read the note. He read it once, then twice then again and again. At first, he didn't realize what this meant, but it quickly came together. Steve remembered when Ghost had come home after a visit with Miz Caitlin and laughed about how his grandmother said she'd made a potion and spell mix that could trade one person's life for another.
Steve jumped into the driver's seat and swore at the car.
"If you don't fucking start I will tear you into the littlest pieces of shit you've ever seen." He threatened, and the car started. Steve speed away, realizing that Ghost must have found out that it wasn't a joke when his grandmother had said she'd made that. Ghost would be trying to trade his life for Ann's and that's not what Steve wanted…that's not what he wanted at all. He only wanted some time to get over the loss of Ann.
When he got to the house, he saw Miz Caitlin sitting on the porch in tears.
"Where's Ghost?" Steve screamed. Miz Caitlin pointed inside. He ran, storming through the front door, just in time to see Ghost drink the potion and pour the small cup of it onto the picture of Ann. "Ghost…no." Steve watched in horror as Ghost fell to the ground, crying. Steve ran to him and grabbed his hand. "Why? I didn't want to lose you Ghost. Just didn't want to lose Ann either." Behind him, Ann began to be formed from the picture, looking just as beautiful as she always had.
"But you'll be happier now?" Ghost nearly questioned, as his grip became weak.
"No…no I won't." Steve scooped Ghost up and held him close as Ann took her first breath, not realizing that she had ever been dead. "Why did you have to leave Ghost? Why you?"
Ghost touched Steve's face and smiled like he always had before taking his last breath. Steve held Ghost's spiritless body closer than before as he started to cry. Ann's eyes opened wide as she hurried outside to Miz Caitlin to see what was wrong.
"What happened to Ghost, Miz Caitlin?" Ann questioned kindly. Miz Caitlin turned to Ann and began bawling. She fell to her knees, knowing that the spell had obviously worked and that Ghost was now dead.
Ann tried to comfort Miz Caitlin, but it seemed to make things worse. Ann didn't know why, but she was persistent to help.
Inside, Steve looked at Ghost's frail body and smiled, tears still streaming down his face.
"You're still here with me…I know you are." He began to cry even harder, and then a quiet melody Ghost had always sung came to Steve's mind. "Lips are turning blue, a kiss that can't renew, I only dream of you…my beautiful." He chokes down a few sobs. "Sing for absolution. I will be singing and falling from your grace." Miz Caitlin walked back into the room. "There's nowhere left to hide, in no one to confide. The truth burns deep inside, and will never die." He looks to Miz Caitlin then to Ann who had walked in only seconds behind her. "Our wrongs remain unrectified an our souls won't be exhumed… sing for absolution…"
"I will be singing and falling from your grace." The quiet melody floated past everyone's ears. It was the same rigid, golden voice they had all known and loved, but somehow it was distant and alone. Steve looked around pitifully.
"We had many reasons for naming him Ghost." Miz Caitlin announced. "And this is the Ghost I always knew he'd be." She finished. Steve looked to Ghost's body then nodded.
"The Ghost I knew he'd be…" He looked to Ann and tried to smile. "He'd be…"
Steve never finished his sentence, and only the person standing next to him, the one that only Steve knew was there, knew how it was supposed to end…