Feeling oddly tender atm, so have something short, soft, and sweet.
Dogs didn’t like him. You’d have thought cats would, having read so many books and seen so many movies that insisted cats could cross between planes and were privy to so many secrets … but cats hated him even more.
Beej tried to hide how upset it made him with lots of bluster and snarky remarks, but you could tell he did kind of like animals. He always looked wistful when a dog came up to you and you got to pat its head but it ducked and hurried away when he got near. Worse was when the dog would lift a lip and show teeth with its hackles raised, a clear warning for the ghost to back off. It didn’t physically hurt if he was bitten; it just seemed to make him sad.
If he noticed you noticing his disappointment, he made a joke and brushed it off like he didn’t care.
The more you thought about it, the more you wondered. Maybe it was just alpha predators that didn’t like him. Maybe it was just mammals? Like he gave off a scent or something, or they just knew he was a dead guy. Maybe it needed to be some other kind of animal, with a less acute sense of smell. He always had random lizards and snakes tucked away in his pockets, and once there was a mouse he pulled out of his suit, but they always seemed more interested in escaping than hanging around.
Only the mouse was warm-blooded too, and you knew how much he adored warmth. When the possible solution came to you, you could have smacked your head with how simple it could be.
“The what?” Beetlejuice griped. “The where? An aviary?!”
You repeated yes, the aviary, just as you’d had multiple times already.
“I don’t want to look at dumb birds! Stupid little sparrows, dumb pigeons, stinky vultures always hangin’ around looking for a free meal–”
He ticked his complaints off on his fingers. You steadfastly ignored what seemed like mostly made up excuses, although you were interested in knowing more about vultures that may or may not have tried to eat some of him. If he was a ghost, he’d been alive once, right? That could add a little more to his backstory.
You told him you didn’t think the place had any vultures, paid for one ticket. He followed morosely.
Once inside, however, in the immersive exhibits with free-flying birds, Beej was enraptured. He pointed one bird after another to you, exclaiming over each of them.
“Lookit that one! Its bill is spoon-shaped!”
“What the heck is that? A weird peacock? Wait, it’s a Great Argus Pheasant! It’s tail is so long!”
“The penguins have bands on their upper wings with their names on them!”
“Is that a bat? Why are there bats in an aviary?”
Since he’d mentioned ‘dumb pigeons’, you made sure to point out the Victoria Crowned Pigeons. Much larger than their more well-known city-dwelling cousins, their fancy head dresses made him grin. Since he was largely unseen and therefore unsupervised by the employees of the aviary, Beej was able to do what was not allowed of the other visitors and touch the birds.
Habituated to people, the birds were calm. Not habituated to ghosts, they were even calmer, and Beej sat cross-legged on a walkway with the largest of the Crown Pigeon flock in his lap. Stroking its dusty blue feathers, he spoke to it, but his voice was too quiet for you to hear exactly what he was telling it.
He may have sat there all day, but there was still one more room you wanted to show him, so reluctantly he let the bird go. You led him by his wrist to the lorikeet enclosure.
The smallish, brightly colored parrots shrieked in a cacophony of happy noise. They dive-bombed past you from branch to branch. One landed on your shoulder and was gently removed by the employee, who offered the bird to you to hold on your hand. You did. The bird was obviously hoping for a treat even though it was passed their feeding time. Beetlejuice examined the bird up close, and the bird kept an eye on him too.
Eventually it flew off. He tracked it with his eyes.
Although the noise didn’t bother him, it was annoying to you after a bit so you exited their enclosure. The ghost tagged along with a wide grin.
The grin didn’t leave his face. You walked back through the exhibit with the large pigeons, and you sat on a bench as he held the same bird–you thought; they all kind of looked the same–again in his lap. Finally, however, it was time to leave.
Beetlejuice followed you with his hands in his pockets. Uncharacteristically, he was quiet.
“Did you like it?”
He nodded. “Yes.”
There was no continuation after the one syllable answer.
“I was thinking that maybe I could get a bird.”
That pulled him out of his thoughts. “Get a bird? To own? A lorikeet?!”
You laughed. “No, I don’t think I could handle a lorikeet. Too noisy! I was thinking maybe a chicken or two. Hens, not roosters. You could hold them like that big pigeon.”
“You think they’d let me?” he asked quietly.
“Of course they would! They’re domesticated, not tamed, so they’d probably be even more amical about it. We could maybe get some chicks, so we can raise them.”
That large smile returned, and you were glad to have stumbled on a solution to his pet problem.
Summary: BJ haunts you. Gender neutral reader.
The plushness of your blanket snuggled around your shoulders had just begun to let you relax into it, enjoying the momentary peace and quiet that you hoped would last a little longer tonight than it did the previous.
It had been too long of a day at your work. Your muscles ached and coupled with the unsavoury rainy weather you had been drenched in earlier, you were completely ready to call it a night.
That comfort was just about as short lived as a mosquito that had the unfortunate capacity to be spotted before being slapped into mush however. You had just as soon as flopped into bed before hearing the grating voice sounding out from beside you on the mattress. “You’re terrible at making decisions, ya know?”
You tried not to sigh in defeat.
He sounded like a long term chain smoker who had never known to life without at least two packs a day and he smelt like moss and dirt underfoot when leaves are trampled in and left to rot.
The stray ghost that you had inadvertently taken home with you smirked, sending little gusts of wind to blow your hair around. His own green mess of a matted pompadour was peeking out from under the covers and you could already feel the chill of death, making itself comfortable next to you like a cat that had decided that your bed was now it’s bed.
You weren’t even surprised at his antics anymore. The only thing you wondered was if he was still wearing that ratty zebra striped suit ensemble. On a second thought, you decided you’d rather not know.
In a sudden twinge of spite, you fought to bite back a snarky reply. You did not want to be lectured by this dead man tonight.
Maybe if you cared more about your choices you wouldn’t be dead.
Who did this man think he was?
It had been nearing the 4 month mark since he had imposed himself on your life unwillingly and your current game of ignoring him until he decided to let up on haunting you was wearing paper thin. You wondered for a moment if your life would ever go back to normal or if it was time to admit yourself into a psychiatric ward for schizophrenia.
“You’re not feeling awful conversational tonight, babes,” he snorted indifferently, telekinetically occupying himself with flipping the light switch on and off sporadically before continuing to bulldoze on in this very one sided conversation. “But that’s ok, I have a wholeeeeee eternity to spend doing this. I’ll be here long after you’re dead and gone.”
You couldn’t tell if they were bluffing in the slightest, but what he said voiced your greatest unspoken fear; that he would continue, and in fact intended to stick around for a long while.
You had never meant to bring this on yourself. How could you have even known that you could see dead people? This whole situation was just unfair. He looked so... solid the first day you saw him, standing with an air of nonchalance in front of the items you wanted to grab at the grocery store. Maybe if you hadn’t politely said “Excuse me, sir, can I just grab some of that please?” your life would still be as it was. Quiet, unbothered, no demon talking your ear off every waking moment of the day. You missed the normalcy.
The first day he had followed you, and you made the executive decision to march right into the police station to file the report about the strange man in tattered stripes trailing you. But no trace of him could be found, even on CCTV cameras. None of them could see him leering at you from outside the window.
You had swung at hard at him with the hefty bag of groceries that you had picked up that very day when you opened the door to your house, only to find him flipping through your kitchen cabinets and making tea as though he had lived there his entire life. Your bag passed right through him.
Nothing you did could stop him from doing whatever he wanted, and you could swear he was always watching you shower too. Even dead guys can be perverts. Lovely.
A long series of exorcisms from esteemed psychics, two priests and three psychiatrists later, he was still around, and the only thing you gained was a diagnosis of severe anxiety coupled with a healthy dollop of schizophrenia on the side and a bottle of meds which did not work.
It would be somewhat manageable if he were confined to only haunting your house, but instead he had taken the somewhat more sadistic route of following you everywhere you went. Never shutting up either and always trying to convince you to say his name three times like an over enthusiastic used car salesman. He was clearly playing at some angle and you weren’t about to give in to what he wanted for fear of a worse fate than being continually annoyed by him.
Mysterious flyers and letters addressed to you with the same advertisement started showing up all around your house. “Need a Bioexorcist to sort out all of your post-death woes? Breathers taken over your house? Call Betelgeuse, Betelgeuse, Betelgeuse!”
Perhaps that was his name; Betelgeuse.
Maybe you were going crazy. But in the back of your mind, you knew you weren’t. It was just poor luck.
You were too tired to care that night, despite the constant flickering light and the incessant talking, the pull of sleep was too strong.
Just as you were beginning to feel your eyelids grow heavy, the sharp sound of the portable speaker on the counter starting up made your eyes snap wide open again, trying hard to keep your cool. You wouldn’t give him an iota of satisfaction from your annoyance.
Feigning sleep despite all the chaos, he wore an innocent smile as though he had absolutely nothing to do with everything going on.
This was going to be a long night.