Fenton Family Secrets
Disclaimer: I don't own Danny Phantom; Butch Hartman does. This story was written just for fun, so enjoy!
The Fenton Family Ghost Assault Vehicle bounced violently along the winding gravel road throwing billowing clouds of dust and rocks behind it. In the back seat Danny Fenton moaned as his stomach lurched with each bump and pothole. He had spent the majority of the ride up to his grandparent's farm trying to concentrate on the passing wheat fields, and pastures filled with horses and cows, but nothing could take his mind off the growing queasiness.
"Ohhhh! Are we there, yet?" He asked with a groan.
Next to him, Jasmine rolled her eyes and sighed. "What are you, five?" She asked. "That's the tenth time you've asked mom and dad that question!"
Normally Danny would have had a witty retort to his older sister's comment, but this was not one of those times. All he could do in response was moan.
"You're not going to be sick, are you?" Jazz asked him, scooting closer to the door and further away from her brother.
"Of course he's not going to be sick!" Patriarch Jack Fenton declared as he rounded yet another bend at break-neck speed. "He's a Fenton! And, besides, we're here!"
Jack slammed on the brakes, bringing the vehicle to a screeching halt in front of a two-storey farmhouse. Leaping out of the driver's seat, he threw his arms out. "The Fenton Family Homestead!" He announced.
"Finally!" Danny muttered as he climbed out of the back seat and went to stand beside his father. He took a deep breath and let the fresh country air clear his mind and settle his stomach. After a few moments, he began to feel better; that is, until he got a good look at his father's childhood home.
The Fenton Family Homestead had definitely seen better days, Danny observed. The white paint was peeling, two shutters were askew and one was missing completely. The unlatched screen door banged against the side of the house when the slightest breeze went by, and the stairs leading up to the leaning front porch were missing a couple steps. The hedges and rose bushes were overgrown and the large oak tree loomed ominously over the holey roof.
"One day, Danny, all this will be yours," Jack Fenton declared, throwing his massive arm over his son's slender shoulders.
"Oh, Jack, don't be silly," Jack's petite wife Maddie chided gently. "I'm sure your parents will sell this old place now that they've moved to Florida."
"Hmm. You're probably right, Maddie. Oh, well. Enjoy the Fenton Family Homestead while you can, son. I guess you won't be getting the old place after all."
Jack released Danny and headed up to the house, followed by Maddie and Jazz. Danny hung back and sighed with relief. The last thing he wanted was a crumbling old house in the middle of nowhere. It was bad enough he had to spend his Spring Break here, helping pack up his grandparents' belongings. He missed his friends Tucker and Sam, and wondered what they were doing at that very moment.
"Probably watching movies in Sam's home theater," he mumbled. "or hanging out at the mall like normal teenagers!"
"Come on, Danny," his father hollered. "Let's get this show on the road!"
Danny sighed again, and followed his family up the rickety steps.
Jack unlocked the front door, and burst into the house. "Home sweet home!" He paused for a moment, then dashed upstairs.
Danny followed his mother and sister into the adjacent living room, wrinkling his nose as he inhaled. The place had an old, musty smell to it, and everything was coated in a thick layer of dust. It looked like it hadn't been lived in for years.
"Just how long have Grandma and Grandpa Fenton been travelling anyway?" he asked.
"Hmm, I guess it's been a while," his mother answered, running a finger along the dusty fireplace mantle. "They spent last summer rafting down the Amazon; they were in Egypt digging up mummies before that, and the year before that they were dog-sledding in the Arctic. Your grandparents have been on the go since they retired ten years ago."
"Obviously," Jazz said as she picked up a framed photograph and blew the dust off it. "What made them finally decide to settle down?"
"Settle down?" Jack Fenton burst into the room. "The Fentons never settle down! Florida is merely a pit stop on their whirl-wind 'round the world adventure! That's why we're here to pack this place up and put it in storage. So, let's get started: Maddie, Jasmine, you two pack up the stuff downstairs, Danny, you take the attic, and I will take the barn out back!"
"The attic?" Danny squeaked. "Oh, man! Why me?"
"Oh, Danny, it won't be that bad," Maddie soothed. "Your father and I took most of his stuff with us after we were married, so I don't think there will be much to pack up. You go on up and check it out while Jazz and I get some boxes out of the RV."
Danny walked carefully up the creaking wooden stairs to the second floor. It had been several years since he last visited his grandparents' home during a rare family get-together. It seemed so bright and full of life then, but felt just the opposite now. The walls were dingy, the furniture was ragged and the whole place seemed sad and abandoned. Although he tried not to think of it, in the back of his mind Danny wondered if the old place might be haunted.
At the end of the hallway, a dirty frayed rope hung from the ceiling. Danny pulled on it carefully and the door in the ceiling opened. He reached up and grabbed the folded wooden ladder leading up to the attic and slowly unfolded it until it reached the hardwood floor. Danny peered up into the opening. He could see a shaft of light pierce the dimness; dust motes glittered in it.
"Well, I'd better get this over with," Danny mumbled, and began climbing the ladder.
Once up in the attic, Danny paused a moment to let his eyes adjust to the dim light. Only one window was exposed; the other was boarded up. Danny noticed a bare light bulb in the ceiling and reached for the long string to turn it on. When he pulled on it, the bulb flashed, popped, then went dead.
"Oh, great! Just what I need! I guess I'll be sorting through stuff in the dark!"
Peering into the far corner of the dingy attic, Danny could see there were only a few old dining chairs, a small side table, three oversized cardboard boxes and an old trunk. Maybe this won't be so bad after all, he thought.
"Hey, Danny!" Jasmine's voice rose up through the attic opening. "Whatcha got up there?"
Danny knelt down by the opening and looked down at his sister. "Not much, really," he said, and listed off the items he'd seen. "I can just lower the chairs and stuff down to you, but I'm not sure about the rest. I might need help with those."
"Okay, well let's just get the furniture down first, then I'll come up and see what's left."
Together the siblings worked to remove the furniture from the attic: Danny lowered the items one by one down to his sister, who set them aside and waited to take the next item. Soon there were only the three large boxes and the trunk left. Jazz climbed the ladder and soon the two were lifting and moving the boxes closer to the opening.
"Wow, these are really heavy!" Danny declared. "I wonder what's in them?"
"Why don't we open one and see?"
Danny shrugged. "Why not?"
Danny reached for the nearest box, pulling open the folded cover when a sudden chill rushed through him, and an icy breath escaped his lips. Oh, no! He thought. Not here! Not now! Before he could react, he was knocked backwards and tumbled on the floor, taking his sister with him.
"Danny! What are you doi . . ." Jazz's voice was cut off as a spectral being burst from the opened cardboard box.
"Ha ha! I am the Box Ghost!" The specter announced. "Ruler over all cardboard boxes! Beware!"
Momentarily stunned, Danny and Jazz stared wide-eyed and open-mouthed at the pudgy, overall-clad ghost hovering several feet above them. Recovering first, Danny jumped to his feet, ready to do battle with one of his more annoying foes, then remembered his sister behind him.
Oh, no! I can't go ghost with Jazz here! What am I going to do?