ECTOBER NIGHT - PAGE 21
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"Okay thaaaat's weird, thaaaat's suspicious."
At least I was able to keep up with the posting on time on Patreon for a lil while there @[email protected]
It looks like schedules and me just don’t mix no matter how hard I try, if anything it’s like throwing a wrench into gears @[email protected]
But well, you know that won’t stop me! I guess I'll just have to do what I can, when I can, all loosey goosey apple juicy 😤💖 You’d think I'd have learned to be a bit more patient with myself after all this time 👀
day 27- cold case/rewind
“who put danny down the wych elm?”
hello again!! i basically took a week long break from october prompts for a bit to focus on other work, but i had to do at least a couple of prompts for ectober week! not sure how many i’ll do but for the rest of the week but i’ll do my best
The Winds of Summer's Wreckage
We know that in September, we will wander through the warm winds of summer's wreckage. We will welcome summer's ghost.
- Henry Rollins
There are no ghosts, anymore. Nothing necromantic nor preternatural that goes bump in the night. Havent been in a while.
Regardless, the insomnia is a permanent consequence from those late haunts as Danny drifts in the late hours, his feet hanging; hair and skinny limps swaying as if caught in a current, eyes closed. The wind whistles as the crisp cold air bites into the soft meat of his lungs and the leaves scatter and crumple on the forest floor below him.
He needs to do this, Danny learned the hard way. To occasionally stop pretending that he’s only human. There’s a restless energy, if he doesn't. A bitter and over-stimulating buzz as if a wasps nest burrowed in his chest, swallowed his heart, and was trying to eat it’s way out. A feeling that follows from his bone marrow to the very ends of his toes and fingers. Or, perhaps more accurately, akin to the painful static which occurs when a limb falls asleep.
This was a problem, when he lived at his parents house - just because the portal sizzled out and died, that doesn't mean that the detectors and scanners for ghost activity ceased to exist - and in their insatiable curiosity would ceaselessly comb through the streets and alleys for any ghosts that could’ve been left behind.
There weren't any, amazingly. Not even Vlad, given that the portal swallowed him, too. At least, for all except Phantom. Or a singular green dot on the computer screen that occurred in the duration of Danny’s late night exploits. His parents would bedevil whatever sliver of a chance that Amity was once more haunted, and they would’ve done it for as long as it took.
(It doesn't stop, was the second thing Danny learns. His parents won’t stop haunting, even when there’s nothing left to track. Even if there’s nothing to gain. Just because there’s no poltergeist of yore nor neon myths left to deter doesn't mean that his parents wouldn't unspool his inners with a zealous glee if given the chance. Despite the possibility of ever being given the truth)
The wind stops, yet he and his starlight hair still sways as if an echo of a breeze remained. He exhales, opens his eyes, and looks at the stars that begin to blot the sky as the red sun lowers further into the horizon and the red light resides to a ink black.
. . .
Leaving Amity was a quiet affair, all things considering.
Danny should’ve been terrified. The whole event should’ve been marred by some resounding sentiment rather than decisiveness followed by faint rings of guilt. At the least, Tucker and Sam didn’t seem surprised by the conclusion. Sam had simply nodded and Tucker gave a small, sad smile. Danny doesn't know if it made leavening easier or more painful with the fact that they all understood that this was coming.
At the edge of Amity, his friends and sister watched as Danny adjusted his bag on his shoulders.
“Do you have everything?” Jazz inquires. “Water? The med kit? The burner phone? Cash? A blanket?”
“I checked, like, three times. Don’t worry, I have them.”
“I can’t - not - worry, Danny.”
He opens his mouth to say that she, really, doesn't have to. But that’s boldface lie given that he’s going off into the world with only what he can carry, and given her pulled-thin lips and glassy eyes, she knows it too. Maybe even grasps the situation better than he does. After a stretch of silence, he pulls the three of them in and clings on with white-knuckled fists.
Their hold is equally iron-clad.
Tucker burrows his head onto Danny’s shoulder. “I’m gonna miss you, man.”
I’ll visit. Danny doesn't say. I’ll come back. You’ll see. I’ll kick your ass at Doom or get us kicked out of the movie theater and you’ll forget that you’ve ever wanted me back.
I’ll miss you, too. He doesn't say.
All the words he doesn't say clutter in his throat, and leaves him suffocating from the weight of it. And all he can do is hold on to them like a sailor at sea holding on to the wreckage.
They stay there like that. Long enough to see the pale summer sun start to rise in the highways horizon.
(When Danny finally leaves, the guilt echoes louder from the sheer profound relief that comes at the distance he gains from Amity.)
(From his parents.)
. . .
Sometimes, Danny thinks as he drifts back towards the ground, he’s tempted to believe that it was all some dream.
It’s hard to believe that any of it was real when the world is outstandingly average. No Ghosts. No crawling myths. No more dead gods to worry about.
Day 28: Burial
Corpse AU anyone?
Day 15 Curse - The Sword in the Cup
Ectober Month 2021 - Day 15: Curse vs. Blessing
Summary: Lily just wanted to get home on time and pass out before dawn, but no, of course the kid freaking out about a pumpkin shortage would barge in four minutes to closing demanding coffee.
(some wonderful crack inspired by the ectoberhaunt discord)
(also shoutout to renny for the chapter title)
(there's also a drawing at the end of this post)
“How are there no pumpkins?! It’s two weeks before Halloween!”
“I don’t know! Stop yelling at me!”
“Ugh! Okay, okay. This is fine. We can do this. We just need to find a pumpkin or something that looks like a pumpkin and we’ll be fine.” The girl ran a hand through her hair, one hand white knuckled around the lid of a soup thermos. The boy’s eyes traced a path through the air, following Phantom’s harrowing battle against the Fright Night.
Lily didn’t want to know why these kids were searching all over town for pumpkins on a random day in the middle of October. Lily just wanted to finish closing the shop, message Ryan again about taking over her shift tomorrow—there is no way in hell she’s opening when she just covered for him—and collapse in her apartment.
Granted, there was about five minutes to closing, but honestly, the street was deserted except for those kids and with Phantom fighting another ghost nearby, there was definitely no one left to come in the shop—
Lily clenched the broom handle tightly in her hands. Those little snots had to prove her wrong, didn’t they?
The boy was pulling on the door, before noticing it was a push and letting himself in. He jogged up to her and shouted, “Quick, I need a pumpkin spice latte!”
She glared at him. “We’re closed.”
“But the sign says you close at midnight?”
“No. We close at...”—she glanced at the clock—“11:56pm.”
The boy gave her a deadpan look. “Really.”
“On the dot. Everyday.”
“And you’re not just saying that to get out of work sooner?”
“Nope.” Lily turned back to sweeping. Maybe if she ignored him, he’d just leave on his own.
“...What if I asked you to make a drink for Phantom?” Drat. No such luck.
Lily sighed and turned around. “Kid, if you want somewhere to stay until the ghost attack is over, be my guest, but I’m not making you anything.” Turning back to her task, she heard him shuffling around a bit before the unmistakable sound of a screeching chair reached her ears.
A few more seconds passed before he spoke again, “You mind if I play some music?”
Lily shrugged, sweeping together the growing pile of dust and napkins. He’d probably put on a pop song just loud enough to drown out the fighting outside. Lily had practically been doing that already.
“Sure.” A beat later, she added. “Bathroom’s unlocked, if you need it.”
He didn’t respond after that and Lily resumed her music, swaying slightly with the rhythm for a few seconds before an ear shattering heavy metal song burst from behind her, making her jump practically a foot in the air. She swore under her breath before whirling on the boy sitting stiff as a board in his seat by the window.
She didn’t say a word, only glaring at him, but he wasn’t looking at her. Or rather, he did look at her for a moment, sheepish gaze at least letting her know he felt guilty about it, but then his eyes trailed to the window, a familiar look of apprehension and worry on his face that had become rather common this past year in Amity.
Lily took a deep steadying breath and allowed herself a moment to remind herself that this was a kid, away from home, in close-ish proximity to a ghost attack. And a ghost attack involving Fright Night in October, no less. Anyone would be scared out of their minds. Lily would probably be more frightened if she wasn’t so tired.
She decided to be merciful and channel her anger into texting Ryan a third time followed by aggressively increasing the volume on her earbuds. She’d practically drowned out the screeching, but damn her ears were gonna hurt later.
Lily got most of the sweeping done in less than an hour, impressive for her shop, but depressing considering the small size. It wasn’t her fault the owners kept rebuilding the shop weirdly every time a ghost crashed through it and yet she and her coworkers were always the ones paying for it (not including Ryan, he can suffer as much as possible until he agrees to cover her shift).
She opted to keep her back to the boy to give him some form of privacy in his little mini breakdown or whatever and left sweeping around the counter for last.
When she finally turned around though, she regretted every bit of kindness she gave the little brat.
“What. Do you think. You’re doing?” The boy startled from where he stood behind the counter and turned slightly to turn that same sheepish gaze on her.
Oh no, Lily’s not falling for that one again.
The boy’s eyes flick to the atrocious mess of syrup, coffee, milk, and- and matcha? Didn’t this kid want a pumpkin spice latte? The mess was staining the counters, the floor, some of the equipment—one of the espresso machines definitely needed a thorough cleaning and fuck that was gonna take a while—and don’t even get her started on the ceiling. How did he even manage that?
Lily mentally shook her head. Not important right now. The anger boiling in her gut kept her on track.
“Making a latte?” It comes out as a question in a high pitched voice. Good. He should be afraid. This brat just increased her workload and cost her valuable time with her bed.
“I said. No. Drinks.”
“Technically, you said you wouldn’t make me any drinks. You didn’t say I couldn’t make them myself though.”
“It’s implied.” Lily grit out between clenched teeth. “Now you can either sit your ass back down or I can kick you out. Your choice.”
The sound of something hitting the concrete and a large piece of rubble landing much too close for comfort to the windows drew both their attention outside where Phantom was laying in a large crater in the street. When she turned back, Lily saw the boy take on a desperate look. “Listen, I know this doesn’t make much sense, but I have a theory about trapping Fright Night and I need something with pumpkin in it to test it so please just let me do this.”
“Wait wait wait. Why do you need pumpkin? Didn’t your friend have one of those Fenton thermoses with her?”
The boy shook his head. “She did, but he’s too strong to keep in there for long enough to send him back to the Ghost Zone.” He turned back to his monstrosity. “Now if you’ll excuse me, kinda trying to save the day here.”
“Uh uh.” No way Lily is letting this happen. “Dump that.”
The boy looked bewildered. “Uh… no?”
“If you’re gonna trap the spirit of halloween in a cup of pumpkin flavored coffee, the least I can do is make sure it’s actually drinkable.”
The boy blinked. “I don’t see how that’s relevant. Especially since, y’know,”—he gestured outside where Phantom was dodging Fright Night’s sword—“I’m on a deadline.”
Lily ignored him and tossed the overflowing cup of gross into the trash before starting to make a proper pumpkin spice latte as fast as possible.
She handed him the finished product and had to stop herself from asking if he wanted extra whip cream. “That’ll be 5.75.”
“Oh right.” He shoved his hands in his pants pockets and wriggled them around a bit before checking his back pockets and finally the inside of his beret. He looked at her with a sheepish smile.
Lily groaned. “Just go.”
“ThankyousomuchI’llpayyoulater!” And with that barely coherent string of words, the boy ran out the door. Then he yelled something at Phantom before setting the cup down on the asphalt. The ghost boy barely glanced at the drink before rushing past Fright Night towards the cup.
Watching Phantom recite a poem in the middle of the street while swinging around a massive glowing green sword had her considering if he was something of a theater kid before he died. Then he plunged the sword into the tiny coffee cup and the sword shrunk to match the size of the cup as a supernatural force sucked Fright Night into the drink with a small splash. The kids let out a breath of relief and Lily felt incredibly satisfied for actually doing something to help the local hero stop a ghost attack.
Y'know, after doing such a great deed, she deserved to skip cleaning up the mess in the store. Or maybe getting the kid to do it for her. Would that get her fired or just yelled at?
Lily mulled over the ethics of dragging the boy back inside and getting a proper I.O.U. when her eyes landed on the wiggling coffee cup and the angry ghost visible from the circular window on the side of the cup. She could practically feel the lightbulb going off above her head.
She saw the kids start to converge on the cup and hopped over the counter to run out of the store and snatch it away first.
She held up the cup, careful to avoid the blade of the small sword. “My payment.”
“Uh, when I said I’d pay you back, I meant with actual money.” Phantom and the girl whirled on the boy.
“You stole it?” Phantom asked at the same time the girl asked, “You got caught?”
“Yeah, but she said it was okay!” The girl narrowed her eyes at him.
“After I caught you sneaking around, of course.” Phantom put his head in his hands and the girl pinched the bridge of her nose. “But I’m willing to look past all of that if I get to keep this little coffee prison and its inmate.”
Phantom looked ready to protest, but the girl spoke first and asked in a suspicious tone, “The second the sword is removed, Fright will come flying out on his nightmare horse and cause problems all over again. So why should we let you have him?”
“He needs to be punished for destroying a bunch of stuff, right?” Phantom and the boy nodded, confused, but the girl’s eyes seemed to light with realization. “Well, I’ve got a special sort of hell prepared for him.”
The next day, when Lily showed up for the evening shift, nearly every customer commented on the creative Halloween decorations and each time she looked back at the high shelf beside the menu, she could see the Fright Night banging his fists on the circular window, rattling the cup a little inside the glass jar she put it in.
As the first hour ended, Manager Gerry—as opposed to Buff Gerry from her rare morning shifts—walked out of his office during a lull in foot traffic and waved to her. “Hey Lil, I don’t know what came over you last night, but the customers have really been loving the display you set up.” He took a moment to look over the exact same mess from yesterday, but now with little hastily written sticky notes next to each mess with messages reigning from ‘gremlin doesn’t like pumpkin :(‘ on top of a large splatter of pumpkin puree on the pastry display case to ‘gremlin learns to fly!!’ where there were a few small wet spots on the ceiling as well as a hole the size of one of the metal cups from the milk frothing machine. A single piece of paper was taped above the glass jar and read, in large cursive letters: ‘Gremlin’s first Halloween!’ with a simple drawing of a wailing Fright Night in the corner.
“I’m really impressed, Lil, but next time, please warn me before you mess up the place, alright?” He frowned. “And that means at least a few days' notice, not texting me a picture of it at the end of your shift and then ignoring me.”
“Haha, yeah, sorry. I was just so… inspired.” Lily couldn’t look him in the eye so she pretended to admire her work instead. “But this is probably a one time thing anyway so don’t worry too much.”
“That’s too bad, I was hoping I could convince you to cover holiday decorating at least a few more times.” He sighed. “Oh well, I’ll just get Ryan to help me out for Christmas.” Ha. Served him right for making Buff Gerry cover Lily’s shift this morning.
They exchanged a bit more small talk before he wished her luck on her shift and left to return to his office.
When he closed the door, Lily rounded the counter and slumped in the nearest chair mumbling, “Thank fucking God.”
Fandom: Danny Phantom
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Angela Foley/Maurice Foley, Jack Fenton/Maddie Fenton, Danny Fenton & Maddie Fenton, Danny Fenton & Jack Fenton, Danny Fenton & Tucker Foley
Characters: Angela Foley, Maurice Foley, Jack Fenton, Maddie Fenton, Danny Fenton, Tucker Foley, Blob Ghost Characters (Danny Phantom)
Additional Tags: Sick Character, clingy Danny, Games Nights, immune to slash damage Blob, Fluff, Ectober 2021 (Danny Phantom), Ectoberhaunt 2021, Ectober Month 2021, Ectober Week 2021 (Danny Phantom), Ectoberhaunt Treat (Danny Phantom)
Series: Part 27 of Eenie mini Tiny moe, Part 26 of Ectoberhaunt's Domestic Phantoms
Game Night, Game Night!
The Foley household is ready to host the bi-weekly Game Night with the Fentons, but as soon as they greet them at the door, the couple comes upon some technical difficulties:
Why is Phantom hanging limply on Jack's back? Why doesn't either hunter acknowledge it?
Or: Game Night at Foley's gained an extra couple of guests.
After the Angst train of yesterday, @ectoberhaunt be ready for assorted FLUFF! (๑˃ᴗ˂)ﻭ
Thank you @artichokebean for lending me your headcanon!
Here is the post that started everything!
(In the A/N. There's also a mention of @floralflowerpower 's "Observants were once Blobs" AU, but I didn't get to use it... Still, it's worth mentioning the reference. (◡̀_◡́))
Trailing Along the Dark
Day Seventeen: Found Footage
A03 link: https://archiveofourown.org/works/34214308/chapters/86575726
<- Previous Next ->
No Warnings this chapter!
Lance Thunder thought that doing news reports for a living would be easy. He got a job in a city in the midwest that didn’t have a lot going on aside from the occasional new highway or building. Hell, he managed to make an easy living where as long as he got the report done, he was free to do as he pleased.
Until roughly a year ago with the meat monster.
Lance thought it was some sort of hoax made up by teens as a practical joke, an opportunity for bragging rights. The moment the van pulled in to see the area covered in patties, ribs, and flies, however, that’s when the news reporter realized this would only be the beginning.
Several months later, the news had escalated from near accidents and yearly elections to battles in the center of town, ghosts interrupting shopping venues, and a near apocalypse on Halloween. To say Lance wanted at least a three day break from the supernatural activity was an understatement.
Today he would have to settle for covering something normal: Vlad Masters, a known millionaire, opening the newly refurbished football field and training area.
It only lasted for 20 minutes, but all Lance had to do was watch his cameraman, Esteban Sanchez, record the event, and then ask a few quick questions before the event wrapped up.
Lance helped him carry back some equipment back to the van. It was the least he could do for the newest member of channel 14 Action News.
Esteban was quite skillful with capturing footage and editing. Right after they came back to the station, he went right to work on splicing the scenes together and having it ready for the TV coverage. Lance couldn’t help but admire his dedication.
He was scrolling through his social feed when his coworker yelped.
“Dios mio… hey jefe?” Esteban called to him.
“I think you might want to check this out.”
Lance took a quick slurp from his Starbucks drink before walking over to the monitors where Esteban sat. He was somewhat grateful he did cause what he saw would’ve made him spat out the coffee.
On the monitor was a small piece of footage that Esteban was working on. However, whenever the focused on Mr. Masters for more than ten seconds, the screen glitched as if it were a cassette from the 90s, and it gained an eye-straining glare. Even his face seemed to distort to a ghostly appearance with pale blue skin and red eyes.
“..You sure no ghost messed with the equipment?”
Esteban nodded. “Even checked with one of those spectrometers before the event started. Sounds even spookier when you hear the audio.”
He put it on speaker, and the hairs on Lance’s arms stood on end as it grew distorted briefly, right at the same time the screen glitched.
“...Do you think you could just cut them out?”
“Yeah, shouldn’t be any problem,” He confirmed. “Do you think we should tell somebody?”
“.. Nah, don’t think we should. Maybe it was one of those green jello ghosts that sometimes pop up while we’re filming at night.”
The cameraman didn’t appear entirely convinced, but went back to work anyway.
Lance couldn’t help but think if Mr. Masters was briefly possessed by a ghost, like the incident with a few teens and the mayor. Only if it were true, then who knows what powerful connections they could bend to their whim, both from humans and ghosts.
Maybe something as bad as the Halloween apocalypse...
The news reporter gave a sigh as he walked back to his desk. Maybe he was getting paranoid about dealing with paranormal activity, or woken up from ghost cats yowling around midnight at his home. Either way, a headache brewed in his mind.
13. Lucky Number
All my inking pens ran out last Friday and this is the first I drew with the new ones.
Ectober fanfiction || On AO3
Summary: Danny may have died, but he is certainly not gone. And he refuses to be forgotten.
Day 1: Fangs & Shatter
Nobody expected Sam to handle the situation well. It was so sudden, and she felt like she was lying when she said that she had expected something to have eventually happened. That it was only a matter of time. But honestly? Sam never really thought about it. Danny was always so strong and powerful. So honorable and brave. He was the hero, and heroes always saved the day, no matter the cost.
She should have been prepared for the reality that Danny may be seriously hurt from ghost hunting. She really, really should have. But she didn’t. It was a concept so foreign to the barely eighteen year old Casper High senior. And the worst had happened, leaving her heart shattered.
Danny died, and he had died brutally.
From what could be gathered, he had died horrifically at the hands of an unknown ghost, and he died alone. Slowly in a dirty ditch during a harsh stormy night, just outside of Elmerton, only discovered by a passing motorcyclist. He was already dead when he was found.
Sam was never clued in to the extent of his injuries, but the funeral had been closed casket. When she requested to see him, one more time, she was quietly told that it was best that she did not. Leaving the last vision of him a touching one, where he told her he loved her and kissed her good night.
She replaced the scene over and over again in her mind as she stared at the window. The last place she saw him. The way he’d lean on her windowsill, as if his weightless ghost half needed the support. His dorky smile, the freckles that were slowly fading as summer was ending. Eyes that always stared so lovingly at her, as they were that night as he had confessed to her once more his desire to get married to her after college. Something she always confessed back.
Sam could think of nothing better than to be married to her absolute best friend, despite them only being an official couple for a month. Six years of a crush, four years of light flirting, fake out make outs, of them being shy and unsure. Such a slow progression had lead to the official spark, and now she couldn’t, she wouldn’t, imagine a life without him. They talked about that future together. Going to the same college right there in Amity Park with Tucker. Potential wedding plans. How they wanted to go follow Dumpty Humpty on tour. Their playful arguments over getting a cat or a dog. The amount of children they’d have, and their names. Moving in together. How Danny was going to finally manage to get her parents to like him. How much his parents loved and accepted her into the family already. That dream vacation to London they planned to take once in college. Truly having a life together as their young love blossomed into a long, happy life together. All of those plans and memories that were supposed to be made were shattered into millions of what ifs.
Warm tears were wiped away by shaking hands. She rolled over to face her wall, forcing herself to sit up. She couldn’t do this. She couldn’t keep doing this. Get up. Sam had to get up. Maybe get something to eat. Attempt homework. Watch a movie. Her hair stuck up, and it felt greasy. A nice hot bath would likely make her feel tons better. As she rolled her shoulders, she felt them pop. She needed to get up.
She slowly leaned forward, feeling her feet hit the floor as they wobbly supported her weight. The goth purposefully ignored the blank spaces on the wall, dust exposing where picture frames were once hung up. She dragged herself to the bathroom, standing in the doorway. Her hand was so heavy. Too heavy. The palm of her hand slapped the wall and slowly slid to try and flip on a light. It burned the second it flickered on, and she couldn’t help but just stare at the bathroom.
What was she doing? Sam couldn’t figure it out. The bathroom felt foggy despite no water. A bath sounded less and less appealing. Her knees buckled. She turned the light off, and she began to slump back to her bed.
Sam froze with a soft, surprised gasp as she unintentionally locked eyes with something at her window. Something that had not been there before, masked by shadows and her curtain but she saw what she needed to see. Dark red eyes were staring intently at her with a blank expression plastered on light blue skin. Familiar whitehair, a familiar white and black jumpsuit. His entire form was painted in a light glowing green with buckets worth of a dark brownish-red. Ectoplasm and blood. While those eyes seemed to be from him, Sam wasn’t sure. He looked familiar, and she knew who he was. But at the same time, she had no clue who.
The form finally had some kind of expression. He flashed a toothy smile, letting sharp fangs shine in the faint light of her nightstand lamp. His eyes even seemed to sparkle too, but it was far from the warmth that she had experienced before. This one was...almost haunting. It was trying to be charming, but failing miserably. She shivered, but yet she still found herself stepping forward.
“Danny?” she whispered. The form immediately jerked back a foot. “No, Danny,” she breathed as she began to quickly walk to him. With every step she took to him, he moved backwards a step. “DANNY!”
Sam got to the window, immediately slamming the doors open, but by then, the form was gone. Cold wind nipped harshly at her skin as she scanned the skies for him. Any sign of a black and white figure zooming as she had witnessed many times before, flying gracefully and with the faint sound of cheerful laughing.
The night was empty and silent.
Finally, a good night's sleep :)
Ectober Day 15 - Curse/Blessing
Ectober Week, Day 4: Darkness/Poison
Danny would like to show you something
CLICK THE IMAGE :))))
[Edit 2021-07-09: Added light and dark versions under the cut so folks in night mode can see the difference. And bonus OG sketches just for fun :D]
Light -> Dark
The shadows on his face were probably the most technically difficult piece but I had a lot of fun figuring it out. Getting all the different levels of transparency to work right was SO satisfying.
Original sketch idea below; I had to change up my colours a bit so the transparency trick would work. While I was at it I decided to give him a core glow and some will-o’-the-wisp friends because they were a really cool reveal. I also decided to have him look a bit cheeky instead of seeming so serious. Though, the og dark version has a very appealing creepy factor I enjoy.
Proof of Identity
Ectober 2021: Autopsy
"This isn't normal for a body Phantom."
"It totally is, there are several people who get struck by lightning every year. Why is my situation so unnatural?" The ghost in question argued, floating above the medical examiner and the detective, rolling down his sleeves in the process.
"Well you see, Lichtenberg scars usually don't last more than 24 hours on the skin," Dr. Hernandez, the coroner replied.
"Okay but consider this: I'm a ghost. There's a reason I'm doing this in a morgue and not a regular clinic."
Dr. Hernandez, although slightly put out by getting outwitted by a ghost, still offers Phantom a bandaid for the scratch that’s on his cheek from an earlier fight. Immediately, he perks up when he sees one depicting Saturn. Both the detective and doctor smile when the boy’s glowing eyes look away from them to peel off the bandaid. He really looks like a kid, the detective couldn’t help but think.
Detective Harris felt the beginnings of a headache in her temple. All she wanted from this was some hint to Phantom’s past. She didn’t think it would be this much of a challenge when the chief brought up this assignment.
The chief had sat her down a couple of weeks ago requesting to figure out the identity of Phantom. Detective Harris hasn’t been on the team for very long. She initially was working in Chicago, but when she came to visit her sister in Amity Park about a year ago, she witnessed a ghost attack that had Phantom coming to her rescue. She was determined to stay and join the police force to help protect a town that had very little support for everyday normal crimes, and also keep an eye on her sister.
“Just give me a clue to who he may have been, a fingerprint, a hair sample, anything. Hell, if you manage to get a death certificate from him that would be incredible,” he laughed.
This task the chief gave her felt crazy. Couldn’t someone have caught something about Phantom’s past in the past 3 years he’s been saving this town? Turns out that it’s easier said than done.
The first thing she did was to research every single sighting that Phantom has made since his first appearance 3 years ago. She scoured every news reporting, shaky camera footage available, and even read some of the weird conspiracy boards regarding Phantom. The theories that claimed he’s a demi-god or possessing the body of a living teenager were quickly discarded. Throughout all this research, however, Detective Harris had drawn up a final conclusion: No one knows who Phantom was when he was alive.
He couldn’t be a god, he got beat up too often. Neon green scratches were common to appear when a fight got to be too intense for the ghostly hero, so immortality would be unlikely. “Blood” samples have even been collected in the past, which amounted to several errors and even one computer nearly exploding. Even the Fentons haven’t been able to get the samples to process correctly. The theory posted by WesThisMess online claiming that Phantom is possessing a teenager was ludicrous to put it lightly. Everyone can detect the signs of possession nowadays, three years of Phantom possessing a person undetected would be impossible. While very well researched, Detective Harris couldn’t help but laugh at the absurdity.
There’s no real name to connect the boy to. His first alias as Inviso-Bill had Detective Harris looking into any Bill, William, or Billy who may have died young in the town but nothing came out of it. It wasn’t until her third late night in the office, a crushed and empty can of energy drink in her hand did she realize that the name originated from the news reporters themselves. Phantom has only ever labeled himself as Phantom. Another dead end.
Since there was barely information about Phantom as a person, Detective Harris decided to take a different approach.
Now, the detective has only lived in Amity Park for about a year, but she’s a fast learner. She also has to be quite adaptable to witness a ghost battle, get rescued like a damsel in distress, question her entire existence and relationship to death, and finally decide to stay in the town that had tried to kill her.
Very early on, she was taught to never ask a ghost about their deaths. It’s an invasive question, and more often than not leaves the person questioning injured. If she wanted information she would have to tread lightly. Especially with Phantom; no matter how kind he may be, his instincts are still that of a ghost, and his aim is accurate.
Luckily, a couple of weeks after she had begun this investigation, Detective Harris had an opportunity appear while she was on her lunch break. There was another ghost attack, and it seems that Phantom was already finishing up the battle when she ran up on the scene. His face was scratched up, and he had a cut on his arm, and had torn up his jumpsuit. He was still catching his breath (Why does he even do that? Force of habit? Harris wondered) when she reached the ghost boy and offered her help.
“Hi detective,” Phantom said. Harris blinked at him for a second. How does he know who I am? Does he remember rescuing me?
“Hi there, I didn’t realize you knew who I was,” Harris let out a small laugh, “That cut on your arm doesn’t look that great. I know someone who can patch you up real quick if you’d like.”
Phantom smiled a strange quiet smile, much different than the taunting ones seen on camera in news footage amidst a battle. Almost amused. “Sure thing,” he replied, “I’d really appreciate it.”
Taking him to Dr. Hernandez’s office was a piece of cake from there. Phantom thankfully was very chatty about his injuries obtained in the battle. Detective Harris did notice a few things that struck her as odd. For one, he knew the name of everyone he passed by on their way to see Dr. Hernandez; Amity Park isn’t the largest city, but it’s no village either. She also noticed that he heavily avoided the mortuary table and the tools laid out in the corner of the space. She couldn’t really blame him however, this place also gave her some heebie jeebies. But this place is at least more private than taking Phantom to a hospital.
The cut on Phantom’s arm was surprisingly already beginning to heal, but some salve was placed to help prevent infection. From there, the Litchenburg scars were revealed.
Phantom’s departure wasn’t too long after his arms were revealed, and he got more skittish when she tried probing him for questions, and got no answers. When she tried asking if Phantom remembers how he died, the words clogged in her throat.
The boy made direct eye contact with her, and the chills running down her spine quickly reminded her of her nearly fatal mistake. Never ask a ghost about their death.
Harris swallowed back her question and very quickly dismissed Phantom from the office.
This day felt like a milestone and yet like nothing at all with all the other questions that have begun to form in her mind about this ghost boy. She hopes that whatever information Dr. Hernandez gathered with Phantom’s visit will be enough to satisfy the chief.
“To be fair, the kid is dead, so by definition, this is what you asked for. It’s no death certificate, but an autopsy report is just as good, right?”
Detective Harris couldn’t see the expression on Chief Lewis’ since his face was being held in his hands, his shoulders slumped in defeat. The only response she got was a pained groan from the man.
The only thing this did was prove that the boy had died by electrocution, but with no massive storms reaching Amity Park in several years, nor any reports of accidents regarding a storm, this has brought the investigation to a dead end.
She understood his frustration, but the detective also felt so worn out by her day with Phantom she couldn’t think of anything besides going home and collapsing in her bed. That being said, his shady remarks regarding his death have piqued her interest.
Why would a ghost work so hard to remain anonymous? Who was Phantom in life? How does he know so much about the people in Amity Park?
This report was only the beginning of uncovering who the ghostly hero is, and she’ll be damned if she doesn’t succeed in uncovering this mystery.
If she happened to shudder thinking about cold, sharp, glowing green eyes, and the oppressive feeling that rested in her chest long after the ghost boy left...well that’s her secret to keep.
Ectober Day 16 - Bloody Mary
Sometimes girls night is accidentally summoning murderous ghosts into your bedroom at 3am.
“You know it would be really great if you could stop summoning hostile ghosts at 3 in the god damn morning. Some of us need sleep.”
The citizens of Amity Park didn't know for sure it had a resident ghost boy until about 3 weeks after the first reported sighting.
Ghosts were becoming more common, more dangerous. They looked dangerous. They were dark and shadowy figures with glowing red eyes and weapons and hair made of flames and tricks of the light. Among them, there seemed to be one that kept coming back to fight the other ghosts or otherwise be seen flying through the skies relaxed and somersaulting against the stars.
Everyone had a ghost story by October. It had only been a few months since the Fenton's published their paper on their now functional ghost portal and the town had been a hot spot for violence and terror.
Except when it came to our most common spectre.
We had taken to calling him Inviso-Bill because of his habit to dissapear when spotted and, well, Bill just seemed like a nice respectable name to call someone.
The respect came and went in waves however. Bill seemed to have a penchant for giving in to his "evil" ghostly side stealing money and art and jewels one day and rescuing civilians the next, then after that taking the mayor hostage. Public opinion varied and it wasn't ever easy to talk about him because you may never agree 100% with your neighbor about Inviso-Bill: hero or menace?
It would get easier as time went on. October came and went and eventually everyone had started to agree that for all of Phantom's faults, he usually was with other ghosts when he did bad things. Maybe Bill was just a little impressionable. He likely died when he was a child and lost children would often try to fit in. That instinct must be astronomically worse when you're dead and the only company you can find are the firmly evil kind.
If you could manage to find Phantom alone, often on starry nights, you could often see him doing flips and spinning enjoying the sense of zero gravity like a child would. In these moments it was easy to forget that Bill was dead, was a monster and different and every thing that would ruin Amity Park if it's citizens let their guard down.
He saved the town again. This time there was no denying that he was fighting for us, doing good to protect Amity Park for selfish reasons or otherwise, that wasn't for us to judge.
Danny Phantom he called himself. He smiled and we watched and talked amongst ourselves as he flew off again finally feeling light and free as we saw he could be this whole time.
It was so much easier to find comfort in the echoed laugh of the ghost boy. His mirth filled the darkness with something no longer feared and forbidden. When he laughed we could smile at each other too. If you followed the laugh, you could find him and not be afraid. Phantom was a friend in the darkness with snow white hair and glowing green eyes.
Ectober 21 Day 1- Trick
Ectober 21 Day 2- Laugh
Ectober 21 Day 3- Mutant
Valerie grapples with Vlad’s death.
written for day 31 of ectober month 2021: insomnia / blood moon
more parts of this series: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
Valerie hadn't slept much since that night. Her father suggested melatonin capsules, but they never seemed to do the trick. Her muscles would relax and she'd slip into a calm stupor but release from consciousness would never come.
She didn't go to school either. Mr. Lancer had stopped by her apartment a number of times since Vlad's death. Her father was always at work when the school called and Valerie never picked up the home phone herself. The first few times he'd visited Valerie, he'd used words like truancy and expulsion, but as the frequency of his visits increased she could see the worry deepen in his brow.
She wondered how she looked to him.
She knew that she didn't look well, not to herself.
The bags underneath her eyes were pronounced and dark, her hair unkempt and needing more maintenance than Valerie had energy for. Each day her hair grew worse and she couldn't find a reason to care.
Not after what she'd seen.
Not after what she'd done.
She still hadn't made sense of it all, and that was the worst part.
No, that was a lie.
The worst parts were what she'd already pieced together, what she knew now.
Valerie knew that she'd killed a man, a man that she'd thought she'd trusted. And she hadn't even given him a chance to explain himself, she'd been so overwrought with terror that she'd shot before she collected her thoughts. And then everything happened in a rush, the explosions. The screams that left ringing in her ears, even now.
And then she couldn't see or breathe or move and she was dead—!
But she wasn't. She'd made it out, somehow. Well, at least physically she made it out. Something inside of her must have died then, because she still couldn't sleep. What little sleep she had was ridden with nightmares, flashes of that night.
She couldn't stop the memories once they started either. Everything escalated so fast, one event running into another. And before she knew it Valerie was screaming into her pillow, grabbing fistfuls of her comforter. Her father tried to calm her at first, making her chamomile tea and whispering soft assurances that she was safe now, that he wouldn't let anything hurt her again.
She didn't have the heart to tell her father that she wasn't afraid of getting hurt.
That she was afraid that she'd leave more death in her wake. She was a killer.
Gradually, her father grew more and more distant each night. Some nights he still tried comforting her, making her chamomile tea and rubbing vanilla lotion across her palm. Other nights he was gone, asleep in his own bed, waiting until her screams dissolved into a fit of silent sobs.
She couldn't fault him. He had to sleep too, after all.
The mornings were the hardest. Wiping her tears and struggling to make simple conversation because her throat was still raw from the night before. Her father would encourage her to go back to school, just for one day.
"The first day is the hardest, sweetie! If you just do this one day, it'll be easier with each day going forward."
Valerie didn't look up from her cereal. It was soggy. She hadn't wanted cereal, but her father had poured it for her. Insisting.
"Please, Valerie. I'm just trying to understand why you won't give school another shot! Nothing bad happened at school."
No, nothing bad happened at school. But people were there. People were reminders.
Specifically, one person was a reminder of—
No, no, no! Don't think. If you start remembering you won't stop remembering.
(You can't remember that day now. You remember enough at night.)
Instead, Valerie brought a spoonful of cereal to her lips. The texture reminded her of paper-mache. It took everything in her power not to spit it out on the spot.
"Maybe tomorrow," she said. "Not now."
Her father deflated, looking torn. "Val. I know whatever's been going on has been hard for you. Mr. Masters was your benefactor and it must've been hard to watch him pass, but you can't let this eat at you. He'd want you to keep living."
She wasn't sure what Vlad would want now. Vlad Masters was an enigma she'd never have the chance to unravel because she'd killed him in cold blood.
"If you don't want to talk about it with me, I understand. But… if you want I can find someone else for you to talk with?"
Oh, and now he wanted her to see a shrink.
All things considered, that was probably fair—she was a mess of a person that was ruining her father's life. Not that she'd agree to talk with one.
"We can't afford a therapist," she reasoned. "I'm fine."
"Sweetie, when it comes to your wellbeing I don't think price is an issue."
"But I'm fine."
"Val, look me in the eye."
But the cereal was so captivating, as gross as it tasted.
He sighed. "Valerie Rhiannon Gray."
Oh, he just had to play the middle name card. Didn't he? In moments like these, Valerie hated that she was named after her mother. She could never ignore him when he spoke her mother's name. It felt wrong. Reminding Valerie that she could never live up to the woman that had raised her.
(Especially not now.)
Reluctantly, she looked up from the pool of milk and Spook-E-Os (Amity Park's favorite cereal!). She found that her father's deep brown eyes were brimming with sadness, guilt. The tension at the table was almost palpable.
"Why won't you talk about it? You're not fine and you're not getting better. I can't—I can't stand to see you like this!" He placed his head in his hands. "Not after your mother. I can't do this again, Val."
She was hurting him.
Her doing this, wallowing in her own misery, was hurting her father.
God, she hated herself. She wished this was all over. She wished that she'd never gone down to Vlad's lab that night. She'd just meant to ask about when she'd receive her next compensation because it'd been far too long since he'd last paid her. That's all! Just a question, something she could've honestly written an email for.
She'd ventured down into his laboratory. The same laboratory he'd told her never to visit without his permission.
Valerie had… had heard sounds at the door. They weren't good sounds. They were wet sounds and tearing noises and muffled screams. She could see green light through the crack of the door and feared for Vlad's life. She'd thought her benefactor had maybe been captured by ghosts and that they were hurting him.
When Valerie had thrown open the door to the laboratory she'd found Vlad Masters standing at an operating table, donning a brown apron smeared with streaks of red and green. On the table was a young boy, no older than her. His chest was sliced open, flaps of skin pinned back to expose the contents of his chest cavity. Glistening organs, red and pink with an unnatural green sheen to them.
She'd almost dropped her weapon in shock when her brain caught up with her eyes. Because she recognized the body on the table.
It was Danny Fenton.
She'd know his hair anywhere, black and swept up so that it just drooped over his eyes. There was a gag in his mouth, which might have once been white, but was now stained green. His blue eyes were blown wide in anguish, in pain.
Vlad, on the other hand, seemed to relish Danny's screams. His fingers were clutched around something that Valerie couldn't make out, something pulsing and dripping and holy-shit-is-that-a-heart-what-the-FUCK—!
"Oh, don't you worry, Little Badger. I'll give it back," Vlad crowed, his smile not once leaving his face. "You know in Ancient Egypt, they would weigh the heart to see if it was light enough for passage into the afterlife. I wonder if yours would pass…"
Valerie couldn't think. No, that's wrong.
She was thinking too much, too fast. Too many thoughts to process, too many feelings to unravel. What she thought she knew wasn't aligning with what she was seeing. Danny Fenton was dying. Vlad Masters was killing him, experimenting on him. Vlad Masters, the man that had given her a second chance; the man that had put a gun in her hand; the man that was holding Danny Fenton's heart.
Phantom always said that she never thought before she took a shot.
Well, he was wrong. Valerie was thinking now.
There were many things she didn't know, but the one thing she understood with every fiber of her being was this: Vlad Masters must be stopped.
Silently as she'd crept into the lab, Valerie stepped forward to get a better vantage. She aimed her weapon, lining her line of fire with Vlad's shoulder.
Vlad was none the wiser, too engrossed in the moment. This was her chance.
"Will your heart pass, Mr. Masters?" she whispered.
By the time Vlad turned his head, Valerie had already pulled the trigger. The shot hit its mark. Vlad's shoulder sizzled with pink ooze and he stumbled to the side. But that wasn't all. Her shot kept going, it went through Vlad's shoulder and hit the tank behind him. There was a brief flash of green before the lab was thrust into darkness with a BANG.
The laboratory exploded in a dizzying maelstrom of force. The only thing that kept Valerie on her feet was her suit's automated momentum. In the center of the room, something was glowing and Valerie could faintly make out that it was Danny. Eyes that had once been blue were now toxic green. In the chaos, the gag had slipped out of his mouth. She didn't have any time to think before the screaming started, louder than anything she'd ever heard before. She was certain that her ears were bleeding…
The screams themselves were their own force, bringing down the ceiling above. In the darkness, Valerie could just make out Vlad's figure as it was propelled into a pillar of debris.
She could still feel the weight of the mansion in her bones. She could still hear Danny's screams dissolve into gurgles before he ceased to be.
All that Valerie had left was the light in her visor, dim but enough to dig herself out of the wreckage. It was a tedious effort and felt like hours, but her armor spared her from most injuries. In the time she'd made her way to the surface, Phantom had already arrived on the scene. He helped her shove the last of the wreckage off of her, tenderly pulling her to her feet.
She hated Phantom. He was her sworn enemy, the bane of her existence.
Yet, when he found her she pulled him into a hug and cried into his shoulder. His hair smelled like tea tree oil and mint. Ghosts shouldn't need shampoo, but Valerie found the scent comforting.
Sometime in the next few minutes he'd asked her what happened and she struggled to explain. How could she convey what she'd just done? What she'd just seen? That Vlad Masters and Danny Fenton were lying at the bottom of the wreckage and that it was all her fault.
One of Vlad's Packers mementos flapped in the wind. She shouldn't remember that small detail, but the surrealness of it all cemented it in her memory.
"Val, you can take your time. I just have to know, are you still in danger? Where's Vlad?"
She picked up on the unsaid implication at once. Phantom thought that Vlad Masters was a danger.
He wasn't even wrong.
"I think he's dead."
Phantom shook his head. "Not Vlad. Vlad pulls through."
"Vlad is dead," she said, "and so is Danny Fenton."
Phantom stared and took a hesitant step backward.
"How do you mean that?" he asked. "That they're dead, I mean?"
"I mean they're dead, stupid! They were in the lab before—before I—" she cut herself off.
Before I killed them.
Phantom looked even more confused. "Danny Fenton was in Vlad Masters lab? We're talking son of Jack and Maddie Fenton, right? That one?"
"Who the fuck else!"
"What was he doing there?" Something in Phantom's face changed. "What was… what was Vlad doing to him?"
How much did he know? Was he… he couldn't be complicit in this, could he?
"It was—" she hiccuped. "It was bad. He was killing him. It was torture, some kind of… experimentation. I don't fucking know. It's the worst thing I've ever seen. I loved Danny once… and I watched Vlad pull him apart from the inside out."
Phantom looked shaken. He didn't often lose his heroic demeanor.
All of it together made Valerie want to crawl back underneath the wreckage and let the weight of the world squeeze all the oxygen out of her lungs.
"Vlad vivisected Danny Fenton." Phantom's voice shook. "He… he gutted him."
Phantom dropped out of the air and onto the ground. He lowered himself to the ground, broken glass and all, and sat cross-legged.
"I tried to stop him. But my shot… it caused the entire mansion to fall on us." Valerie threw her head in her hands. "I did this. I did this! I didn't want this! None of it!"
"I know," he said. There was a beat of silence. "Val, can you sit down?"
Everything in her screamed NO. She didn't want to do what the ghost said. She didn't follow Phantom's orders.
Except Valerie was tired of fighting. Against her judgment she obliged.
"I'm not sure if Vlad… made it or not," Phantom said, "but I can tell you with certainty that Danny made it. It sounds insane, but that wasn't the real Danny."
He was fucking with her, trying to make her doubt what she'd seen. She knew what she'd seen, knew what she'd witnessed. No ghost would gaslight her.
"I know, I know!" He raised his hands in a 'desist' gesture. "Vlad has a history with illegal cloning. He's hung up on Maddie Fenton and wants Danny as a son of his own. So he's made clones of Danny, but he's never satisfied with them. He doesn't see them as real people and will do anything to improve his cloning results. So he… experiments on the failures. It's fucked up and inhumane and I can't stop him. I knew he was killing them, but I didn't know how. I—" Phantom ran a hand down his face "I'm so sorry you had to see that."
Cloning? Wasn't that a bit too sci-fi? Too much of a convenient explanation?
"Prove it," she challenged.
"Prove that what I saw was a clone," she said. "We may be ghost hunters, but I'm not gullible."
He pursed his lips. "If I prove it… you'll have more questions than answers, Val."
… it hadn't been bull.
It was days later and Valerie still couldn't sort out the intricacies between Danny Fenton and Phantom. She couldn't wrap her brain around the notion that they were the same person. She also couldn't process that Vlad had been a half-ghost the full time. Not immortal, but close to it.
How could she express any of this turmoil to her poor father, who just wanted his daughter to take care of herself again? How could she express this to her father she kept up at night, screaming into her own pillow?
"I'm sorry, Daddy," she whispered. "I'm sorry I'm like this."
Across the breakfast table, her father shook his head. "You have nothing to be sorry about. I know this is rough, I just want you to get the help you need. Please, let me help you. You don't need to talk to me, just someone. Anyone."
Valerie didn't want to talk.
She wanted to bottle it up and keep it where she never needed to think about it.
Though that was turning out to be a poor strategy so far and she doubted that things would start swinging her way anytime soon.
Her father was right, whether she liked it or not.
(She didn't like it.)
Nonetheless, the next words left her lips before she'd had time to think them.
Her father raised a brow. "Danny's sister? The girl with all the college scholarships? Not that I'm disapproving, but why her?"
Danny mentioned she knew about him being Phantom. She knew about Vlad. She knew about the Red Huntress.
If she had to pick anyone to keep her secrets, a good option was someone who already knew it all. Plus, her interest in psychology was a selling point too.
"I just have a hunch."
"Alright, sweetie. But if you ever want someone more… well, licensed, just let me know. I'll hold you to it. I'm gonna trust that you reach out to this girl soon. Not 'eventually.'"
She nodded. "I will."
"Good." Her father stood from the table and moved to exit the room. He gave her a peck on the cheek. "I have to go to work now. Take care of yourself, Val."
Her father left her alone.
And for the first time in weeks, Valerie had a restful nap on the living room couch.
The sun is still out, but I'm so worn out. Maybe I should take a nap? Unless...
No, I shouldn't worry about that. I'm going to go take a walk. Settle my thoughts.
You can't help anyone if you're not well yourself!
Hey, where did all these 🌟 stars 🌟 come from?
Phantom, is that you?
[Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4] [Rivers before...]
Twin green lights greeted the new guest, like lanterns that lit up the foggy night, casting all attention away from the uncertainty of the murky waters up ahead. It drew the visitor to its source, like Icarus ignoring all signs of imminent danger before getting too close to being burnt.
“Phantom?” the new voice calls again.
The sound of their friendly concern made the ghost perk up. The warmth of the wide smile not quite reached the giddiness in his glimmering eyes.
“Oh, you’re really here?” The sound of the ghost boy’s words sent shivers down River’s spine. Where once had been a friendly and playful voice, was now surrounded with a soothing, white noise. The echo was still present. “Are you another gift my brothers sent me? Or just a mirage?”
Rivers looked up, down, and around. Where was ‘here’? Darkness spread below, almost moving to cover their feet. The sight of the millions of stars covering distantly the dark expanse didn’t match any of the constellations found in Amity Park’s sky. The ‘stars’ moved like wisps attached to the dark ooze, pulsing, fading, whispering, creating smaller fractals in their wake.
“Is this the void? Did I stare at it for too long?”
Phantom’s smoke-like body got closer in a blink, with no signs of moving at all to cut the distance between them. Was that even Phantom anymore? Where were the puns and the confidence? The town’s hero usually made them feel protected, safe, untouchable whenever he was fighting a ghost. But now that feeling was nowhere to be found.
“Ha, nice of you to humor me,” the ghost replied with a sinister smile. “I love playing with w̴̬̫̠̿́͗o̴̙̘͌͜r̵̤͊͑d̸͕͇̊s̵͋̐͒͜. I heard you like them too?”
His eerie green eyes stared at the ground, the once black expanse at their feet shifted slightly to a new form. Tiny orbs began to appear, mirroring the endless sky. Each minuscule light shifted into a letter, then a word, then full paragraphs to be followed on a path.
The human tried to make sense of the stream of text that continued beyond the horizon. Familiar names got their attention, “Lethe” stood out in larger letters, floating away in the ghastly road. Another look around showed different paths connecting to a larger one.
As “Lethe” got away, the words that followed whispered secrets. Lore created by ghosts, not available to any other human before, the voices said.
“So what do you say we play a game?” Phantom cut into Rivers’ thoughts. “Unless you’d rather forget about it.”
Rivers felt something nagging, a shadow lurking at the back of their mind. But this was Phantom. They needed to help him. So maybe they could play along for a while… “What kind of game?” the wary human asked.
The smile stretched even wider as the green orbs shone with more intensity. “See how many words we can play with here? It’ll be fun.” The ghost extended his darkened hand. “Here, I’ll even give you a hand.”
The visitor belatedly realized this wasn’t the myth of Icarus. This wasn’t Charon taking them to the other side.
If anything, this was closer to Phantasus and as they followed the path to a door, they lost themselves in the dream...
Art by @13thcat
Audio by @bibliophilea
Story by @summerssixecho
This is a short fanfic I wrote a while ago for Ectober and never posted for some reason, enjoy!
Ectober month 2021 Day 21-Relic.
Sam froze, Tucker froze, Jazz froze, the whole town froze, and Danny just kept walking down the street towards school.
Danny had been up almost until his alarm last night and the night before and the night before that, fighting random ghosts that refused to stay put and all that meant that he was tired, groggy, and slightly delirious that morning. Which meant that he totally missed the heart aching silence that had swept the world, that meant he totally walked straight past frozen people and animals without giving them another look, and that also meant that Danny was totally only wearing pj pants and a dark brown hoodie on the cold October morning.
He continued down his path towards school with his shoulders hunched over as he stared at his feet and tried to not fall asleep where he stood….he was mostly successful.
Danny looked up at the sky once, just to stare at the sparkling twilight darkness that was still covering Amity like a blanket, and though he noticed the unusual silence…..he passed it off as a thick hoodie and the unfairness that parents could sleep later than teenagers like him could. And he continued on his way.
Danny made it all the way to the front door of the school and pushed the slightly heavier than normal door open, mistaking the little ring it made as the warning bell for first period. That got him panicked, but he could barley pick up his pace. He skipped his locker all together and entered Mr Lancers classroom, mumbling a quick good morning to a frozen in place Lancer, not looking up from his feet as he walked to his desk in the back. Mumbling a apology as he brushed past a frozen Mikey before plopping down in his seat, and promptly falling fast asleep.~
A large glowing portal suddenly opened in front of Mr Lancers desk revealing a ghost with blue skin, red eyes, and a clock in his chest floating through the portal at a leisurely pace, heading straight towards a passed out Danny Fenton. A small smile graced the cold lips of the normally so stoic master of time when he laid his eyes in his passed out adopted son as Danny suddenly shivered in his sleep when a blue puff of breath left his open mouth, not even stirring him from his well deserved slumber. Clockwork slowly floated over to the boy and carefully picked him up in his arms, prompting the still mostly asleep Danny to curl in closer to the sound of his vibrating core and the coolness of the elder ghost. This made Clockworks core give a little purr as he smiled down at the young halpha he had sworn to care properly for and floated over the two heads of frozen Mikey and Dean, floating carefully back through the swirl of green and purple leading to an equally as frozen ghost zone.~
~Danny didn’t wake up until almost fourteen hours later, feeling the most rested he had ever felt since his accident. He slowly opened his eyes with a huge yawn before suddenly sitting up like a shot, blue eyes growing wide as he recognized the pale green and blue walls and various star themed clocks here and there as his room at Clockworks. He looked at his cracked watch and saw that it was 7:30 am, he jumped up in a hurry, noticed his less than school worthy apparel, and transformed into phantom before you could say ‘going ghost’.
He flew through the large clock tower and headed straight towards Clockworks viewing room, only to freeze in the air at first sight of the room. All the normally vibrant and moving screens were frozen, just like the clocks around the tower as Danny suddenly felt the still silence settle all around him, sounding like nothing and making him feel deaf and close to being crushed under all the weight of the silence, when his ghostly body suddenly shivered all the way through his spine to his mouth where he let out a puff of pale blue air. He immediately began to hear the ticking of a really slow clock behind him and whipped around to see his guardian ghost almost directly behind him. Danny floated back a bit and before he could even get the words of his question out, Clockwork kinda answered him in his own Clockworky way.
“The relic Danny, my time medallion inside of you has given you this ability. Now, I think that you have had plenty of sleep and need to get to school young halpha.” Clockwork didn’t even wait for his answer before a smirk overcame his blue face and he snapped his fingers with his words echoing around every earth and every timeline.
Yeah they are watching the movie after a long day.
Day 6 Witching hour - Routine
Ectober Month 2021 - Day 6: Witching hour vs. Twilight
Summary: Every Wednesday night, at 3 o'clock in the morning, Danny sits at the fountain in the center of town. On occasion, his friends keep him company and he can have a nice, quiet night.
Tonight, however, is not one of those nights.
Every Wednesday night during the witching hour, Danny is compelled to be in the center of town. There's nothing special to it, just a vaguely satisfying feeling when the clock hits four am and he’s stayed in the right place for that hour. He thinks it's some ghostly instinct forcing him to properly haunt the town, but considering Clockwork’s amusement the last time he asked, he thinks it might be something much more embarrassing.
Usually he's alone those nights, since school starts only four hours later, but, occasionally, his friends will join him on a call through the Fenton Phones or just show up to sit next to him on the rim of the fountain.
His friends keep him company, either in companionable silence or in quiet conversations. In the dead of night, he’ll hear the sound of them shuffling under their covers, or leaning into him for warmth whenever he chooses to stay human. Sometimes, he’ll hear their steady breaths as one or both of them fall asleep in the middle of talking. It reassures him, hearing those breaths and sitting quietly in the chilly night air as he watches the stars above, that they're all alive, that they've survived another day, that things aren't spiraling towards disaster as he fears it one day will.
Those times, most of all, are the ones he treasures.
“What kind of animal lover plans to poison a guy’s sandwich with rotting meat?!”
“Don’t be so dramatic. It’s glowing, not rotting.”
“Either way it’s probably radioactive!”
Of course, most often, he hears loud arguments about complete nonsense.
He loves his friends, really he does, but tonight all he wants is to bask in the peace and beauty of the late night sky in silence.
“I just—I can’t believe you. After all that talk about the moral high ground you give Danny you’re gonna be a hypocrite?”
“That’s because if he doesn’t do the right thing, innocent people could be hurt. You don’t qualify.” An offended gasp sounded right near Danny’s ear where Tucker was leaning around him to yell at Sam. The goth, leaning on his other side, made the audible noise of sticking out her tongue.
Seriously, he's been awake catching ghosts since early morning yesterday, he’s pretty sure he’s earned a quiet night. He told them as much and they promised they wouldn't take long to hash it out.
It's taken nearly the whole hour.
What started out as a hypothetical question about cows on the moon being the cause for it to be made of cheese, led to a whole thing about meat versus veggies that left his two friends seriously arguing about living on the moon and questionable necessity of dairy to a person's diet.
Danny tried leading them to a different discussion by not-so-subtly asking about how long it would take to pass gas to make a cloud as big as Jupiter, which led to cows again and a different version of the first argument.
Again and again, deflection after deflection, they just kept rounding to the same argument. He could say what he wants about them, but Tucker “meat is literally essential to your diet, you're just caught up in plant-based conspiracy theories” Foley and Sam “meat-eaters have questionable morals, vegans are objectively superior” Manson are nothing if not consistent.
He gave up after the most recent deflection of Plasmius being the worst.
The conversation managed to stay civil for a while, even expanding to talk about all of Plasmius' pals also being the worst without any arguments.
He should've known it would be too good to be true.
“I mean, the Fez’s are a bit much, right? It’s not just me?” Tucker asked, sitting next to him with a thin green blanket held tightly over his yellow hoodie. He shivered as a cold breeze blew by them, but Danny, clad in his usual white t-shirt and jeans, and Sam, wearing a winter coat with the hood pulled up, seemed wholly unaffected.
“Nah, Tuck, I get it. Harry, Larry, and Moe need to tone it down. Now, if they wore a couple tiny fez’s like thimbles on the end of their wings? That’d be different—”
“Wait, wait, wait,” Tucker said, “I thought we were naming them after the three stooges?”
“Yeah. Those are their names: Harry, Larry, and Moe.”
“Isn't one of them named Curly Joe, though?”
“And wasn't there a guy named Shemp at some point?” Sam added.
Danny shrugged lightly, careful not to jostle them. “I don’t know, those are the names I remember from the movie Lancer showed us.”
“And you’re mostly right, but one of them was Curly Joe.” Tucker leaned forward a bit to look at Sam. “Who’s that Shemp guy? I don’t remember hearing his name.” Danny nodded in agreement.
“He was one of the first ones.” Danny turned toward her with a blank stare. With how her eyes flicked to the side, he imagined Tucker was mirroring him. “Y’know, like, he was part of the earlier version, The Six Stooges.”
Six? Didn’t their whole gimmick hinge on having only three people? Danny kind of wanted to ask, but Tucker spoke up before he could.
“I’m a little afraid to ask why you know this stuff. Isn’t slapstick comedy like, one of the worst offenses to a goth or something?”
“Where do you learn about goths, on the back of a teen girl’s magazine?” Tucker slid closer down Danny’s side and was trying (and failing) to hide himself behind Danny’s t-shirt. “Unbelievable. I am literally next to you most of the day: we’re seat partners in every class, we patrol together every evening, and you come over to my house so often to steal food, you practically have your own shelf in the fridge.”
Tucker pulled out of his hiding place to retort, “Last time I tried asking about goth stuff you kicked me!”
“Because you said, and I quote, ‘Sam, if your antisocial practices and distaste for the patriarchy were a result of intense narcissism, you’d tell me, right?’” Sam threw her hands up. “What was I supposed to do? Not kick you?”
“Well tough, you were being an ass.”
“Hold on, what.” Danny turned to Tucker. “Dude, why would you ask that?”
“I read something about it in an article—”
“No, Sam. It was an article. Now shh.” Sam mimed zipping her lips. “Okay, look it was talking about how goths are kinda stuck up sometimes and then made a connection to narcissism that sounded fishy so I wanted to ask Sam.”
“And that’s how you did it?”
“We’re getting off track here. Sam wanted to talk about her nonexistent Stooge, Shep.”
“Shemp.” She lightly kicked Tucker’s ankle. “And come on, don't you remember his original appearance on the Six Stooges? Or how he left and had a successful independent career only to choose to come back to the show to save Moe and Larry’s careers?” Both boys offered negatives.
“We literally only play Doomed and hunt ghosts.” Tucker groaned. “I don’t think I could function if I did anything else on top of school.”
“Yeah, what Tucker said.” Danny’s eyes narrowed. “And since when do you have enough free time to magically become an expert on old timey comedy shows? Didn’t you get into a bunch of other stuff already? Like joining that Gloom-and-Doom writing circle.”
Tucker nodded. “And volunteering for that youth voting campaign.”
“And meeting with the rooftop gardening community.”
“And running the horror movie club at school.”
Sam waved a hand. “I get my stuff done before I leave school and a lot of those commitments are just showing up somewhere once a week for fun, but that doesn't matter right now.” She shifted and sat up straighter, looking at both of them with a determined gaze. “Focus. The goal here is to have one of them named Shemp.”
“You mean your goal.”
“No, Danny, it’s our goal.”
“But then they won't rhyme!”
Sam smirked at Tucker. “Not if we take out Moe.”
Tucker scoffed. “His name’s Curly Joe and no, we are not renaming him.”
“Yeah, that’s what you said.”
Sam paused for a moment. “Right, renaming, that is... definitely what I said.”
Danny didn’t believe her in the slightest, but seeing as her eyes remained locked on Tucker, he decided it wasn’t his problem.
He had another brief respite of silence before Tucker’s brain finally caught up and he squawked, “You want to literally take him out? Like turn-to-goo, no-coming-back, gone-forever take him out?”
“You can just say ‘kill’, Tucker. Not like you have any problems killing animals.”
Tucker made a funny noise. “They’re ghosts, not cows!”
“So you admit to being an animal murderer.”
“You’re literally impossible.”
Something about Sam’s answer niggled in the back of Danny’s mind. He briefly debated the merits of letting it go and it possibly coming back to bite him in the ass later before ultimately deciding he should get it over with.
“Hey, Sam?” She grunted. “What were you gonna do if you did end one of them? There’d still be a pile of radioactive-ish goo to clean up and you’re not the type to just dump it in the park.”
Sam leaned back a bit, just so she could smirk at Danny without Tucker noticing. “I know someone. They’ve got an iron cast stomach.” Tucker sputtered.
“Ex-Excuse me?!” Sam said nothing. “Were you going to—”
“No, that’s ridiculous; I'm vegan.”
“That's not what I was going to—” Tucker half-climbed on top of Danny to yell over him. Danny simply slumped further down, resigned to his fate. “Were you going to trick me into eating ghost vulture meat?!”
“I just said no, didn't I?”
“Oh my god. Oh my god, I can’t believe you. You think just because I like meat, I’m not gonna notice glowing green goo in my sandwiches?!” The blanket fell from his shoulders as he leaned even further forward to try and glare at Sam who was using Danny as a shield between them. “I'm a meat-eater, not a moron!”
“Could've fooled me.”
And on and on they went for the better part of the hour, arguing in circles about the same old topics. He stayed mostly silent himself, content to watch the stars and focus on the warm weights on either side of him rather than listen to all the same reused arguments over and over.
When his alarm for four am went off, he sat up and stretched, not bothering to wait for them to finish their argument before starting to move south towards Sam’s house. His two friends quickly caught up and walked on either side of him, bumping elbows every once in a while.
“I frickin hate you.”
“Feelings mutual, Tuck, feelings mutual.”
Danny heaved a sigh of relief and briefly lifted his head to thank whatever higher power finally made them stop when he spotted something. A flicker of soft green light shining down from above them, curving across the sky. It was gone as soon as he blinked.
He slowed his walking and craned his neck to look directly above him, but couldn’t see anything beyond the stars.
“Hey guys, did you see that?”
The other two stopped and turned to him. Tucker made a questioning hum and Sam asked, “See what?”
“There was a light above us. It looked like a giant ghost shield.”
“Where was it?” Tucker asked. Danny pointed right above him and they both followed his finger.
The sky was clear.
Sam started walking again, Tucker following after her. “Make sure you didn’t get ectoplasm in your eye or something.”
“And don’t wipe it on my shirt this time, dude.”
He blinked a couple of times, but the sky stayed clear. On a hunch, he tried switching to his ghostly vision and gasped quietly at the sight.
Strings of all sizes, colours, and thickness trailed down from the centre of the dome’s ceiling with all of the strings being loosely pulled together towards him. They were all twisted and coiled and wound tightly together into a thin gold thread connected to his chest. He held it up, running his fingers up and down the smooth material and squinting at its light that got brighter the closer he looked at it.
He slowly pulled it taut, going through the motions of inspection again, and then strummed it. He felt the small vibration echo in his core and watched as it moved along the line up to the dome, gaining more and more force as it went. He watched as it moved down to the other end of the strings, losing its speed and power the further it travelled.
The end of two strings were close by, one being a thick rope woven from fraying hairs the color of the forest floor in autumn and another being a smooth electrical wire with seamless light blue casing.
Sam and Tucker both shivered as their strings’ vibrations flowed over their bodies from where they were attached at their backs.
“Fuck, it’s cold,” Sam cursed, rubbing her sleeved arms. Tucker just curled up tighter in his blanket. “Danny, you coming?”
They were connected. All of them. Maybe even the whole town considering how many strings were up there. And he could sense them, through their strings. When he held up Sam’s line, he could feel exhaustion and a need to be right, Tucker’s nearly mirroring hers exactly, but with more worries in the mix. He was probably thinking about the assignment due later that day. Danny should probably work on that later.
He was tempted, for a moment, to find his parents’ strings before dismissing the thought.
It should feel at least a little creepy, reading their emotions so freely like this, and he should maybe look into that later, but right now he just wanted to ignore his responsibilities for tomorrow and have a nice walk home with his friends.
Danny grinned. “Yeah, let’s head back.”
“A security blanket,” Danny deadpanned.
Clockwork hummed, flipping a page in a book. Danny has no doubt they’re not reading a single word of it. “That would be the nearest translation for it, yes.”
“You’re saying all that,”—he mimed a dome and plucking strings—“was because I was worried about people so often, my ghost half just decided to make the equivalent of a baby monitor for every single person in Amity Park?”
“It’s more of an early warning system, really.” They held up their book a bit higher, hiding their mouth.
“Uh huh. Try saying that again without that smug look on your face.”
2021 Fic List
I only really started writing in October, but I figured I would do one anyway. Inspired by @apinklion01 and @kawaiijohn.
Total works: 13
Total wordcount: 19,959
Events: Ectober Month and Holiday Truce
All There Is or Was or Ever Will Be: 697 || T Rating || Gen || There were stars in the Ghost Zone. (Just a little fic about Danny learning about ghost stars.)
Taste: 1.6k || G Rating || Gen || As Danny's ghost powers develop, his tastes start to get a little weird. (Injury, minor gore.)
Last Stop: 1.4k || T Rating || Gen || Tucker just wants his ride home to be quick and peaceful after a long day at school. He doesn't want to deal with creepy, spontaneous laughter. (Rated T for spooky corpse lady.)
Weird: 1.1k || G Rating || Gen || The Fenton boy was weird. For most kids at Casper High, that was just a fact of life. The sky was blue, water was wet, and Danny Fenton was weird. Most of them wouldn’t really be able to tell you why. They might mention his crazy parents, or the fact that he ran out of class a lot. Some of them would bring up his friends. He seemed pretty boring himself, sure, but he wouldn’t be friends with those two if he was normal, right? Those were good enough reasons to call him weird, so most people left it at that. Dash knew better.
Sir, This is a Nasty Burger: 416 || G Rating || Gen || Valerie has to deal with some cultists trying to summon their god.
Late Night Answers: 1.6k || G Rating || Gen || Danny keeps waking up in the middle of the night. The same exact time every night. He decides to take a flight around town and runs into a couple ghosts who're willing to give him some answers.
Depths: 531 || G Rating || Gen || How far down does the Ghost Zone go? (Just a little bit of angst and worldbuilding.)
Ghost Lights: INCOMPLETE, 1/2 ch || 978 || G Rating || Gen || It's the annual Foley family Halloween party, and the trio are enjoying carving some pumpkins. They weren't expecting some ghosts to possess them! (Something silly that I need to finish.)
Janus Spirit: 1k || G Rating || Gen || Janus was the god with two faces. Danny had two forms, two faces he showed the world. He tried not to think of the implication that he was ‘two-faced.’ At first, he insisted that he wasn’t a liar. Not really. Not any more than anyone else.
Turnabout: 1.2k || G Rating || Gen || The closer to Halloween they got, the weirder Danny acted. It wasn’t too obvious at first. He floated a little more, even in human form. That happened normally a couple times a month, but suddenly Sam and Tucker were having to pull him down to the ground multiple times a week. Then it became a daily thing.If that was the only ghostly habit, Sam and Tucker wouldn’t have been so stressed out. It seemed like Danny’s eyes were green more often than they were blue recently. Cold practically radiated from him. He was even more quiet and seemed to go invisible as soon as he knew no one was looking at him. Even that wasn’t the worst of it.
One Way or Another: 978 || G Rating || Gen || Clockwork needs to explain to Sam and Tucker how they can help Danny, but he has to find a way around the rules that the Observants have made for him. (Angst.)
Plan C: 1.4 || G Rating || Gen || The whole building reeked of mildew. Some of the doors were broken off their hinges, and bits of what had once been ceiling peppered the floor. Sam was very glad she’d worn her good boots. At the end of the hall she found a directory. It listed a bunch of doctors by their office and specialty. Initially she just skimmed it just to try and figure out what might need to be close to a lab, but then something caught her attention. Dr. Penelope Spencer: Inpatient Psychiatry.
Can’t Go Home Again: INCOMPLETE, 2/5? || 2.8k || T Rating || Gen || Three weeks ago Danny told his parents about him being Phantom. They didn't take it well. His friends haven't heard from him since then, so they summon him back to Earth.
Family Secrets: 3.5k || G Rating || Gen || The Fentons take a week during winter break to fix up the old family cabin. When Danny and Jazz stumble across a secret, an old artifact has a strange effect on Danny.