Grimm Tales from Down Below
All Characters relating to the "Adventures of Billy and Mandy" are © Cartoon Network™, and are not to be altered etc. blah blah, legal jargan. Check out Cartoon Network dot Com
Grim jr. and MinnieMandy are intellectual property of E.R.M Griffon and Bleedman, who rawks so much Cartoon Network should hire him on. He does exquisite art which can be seen at bleedman dot deviantart dot com.
His web comic Grim Tales From Down Below can be seen at grim dot snafu-comics dot com
Author Notes: I started watching The Adventures of Billy and Mandy a short time ago, and I've thought right along the concept of the Grim Reaper being strung along by a couple ten year olds was interesting. When my friend Tim sent me a link to Bleedman's Grim Tales, he created a monster. I work in a bakery, and a lot of the things we put on the shelves start out frozen; and I spend a lot of time in Frozen Hell. Maybe that numbed my brain or something, but I drafted most of this story mentally arguing points between Grim and Mandy... Then finally the story linking The Grim Adventures and the Grim Tales had to be written down, and here you have the (I hope) finished product.
Since I first posted it, most of the changes have been in spelling and capitolization. Any spelling errors now are meant to indicate Grims' Jamaican accent. True, it isn't consistant through the whole story, but I don't feel it detracts from the piece. Please enjoy and thanks to all those who have replied, both positively and with criticism. I hope the next story I write is as well received.
Originally, the story was going to be in two parts; Mandy's perspective, then Grim's. However, thinking like Mandy all the time, hurts. So with that, I'll give you the one line I wish I'd been able to work into the final;
"Fine Grim, I'll let you tell it from your perspective later..."
"Hmph, alright. In de meantime, I'm going to go make shrinky-dinks with the kids."
Now on with our regularly scheduled Fanfiction...
I... Am death personified... The Grim Reaper. Feared above all manner of monster or demon that has ever arisen from the depths of the Nether world. At least, second most feared. I believe the most feared of all creatures happens to be me lovely wife, Mandy. Still, it's a lot better than being the laughing stock of the underworld... which I was when I met them... when I met... Billy and Mandy. Where do I begin wit' those two? Hmm... Well, it all started over a sick hamster and a limbo contest. For my failure, I became "Best... Friends... Forever..." with Billy and Mandy; a thought I utterly loathed and truth be told, I'm positive Mandy knew it... especially since I said so many times, which prompted the rarely seen smirk on her atrociously dour little face.
Mandy, you see, hates and loathes the world about her. She was a very very contentious and morbid child; though not your typical angsty protagonist. She had a very cute dog by the name of Saliva, and oddly enough, never wore goth clothing. She was a domineering type who reduced me, The Grim Reaper, to a veritable 'slave'. In that, she had me doing the most demeaning tasks with me magic Scythe! Imagine it, if you will... A scythe with power to rip reality itself in half, summon forth demons from Heck, and rend your soul from your body for all eternity... Now imagine using it to plunge the toilet, or materialize a Ham and Cheese Sandwich! I must actually admit, she had some rather creative ideas for using me magic powers, and if I was a 'slave' to a little girl, I think she would've at least made the Pharaohs of Egypt look benevolent.
Billy, on de other hand... is an idiot. A complete and total nitwit with an I.Q. of -5. I do believe that if the world was populated by his ilk, Zombies everywhere would starve to death. Loathsome, flatulent child, prone to picking his nose and eating grotesque amounts of junk food, one wondered where he ever stored it, but I'd rather not take a guess. It also happened that he has a rather bulbous nose, as opposed to Mandy, who has none. I don't have one either, and at times, I consider that a great blessing. Personally, I simply marveled at his sheer stupidity. It is truly a wonder the boy didn't die off sooner, the way he would go through my many magic objects, or considering how many times he's put himself in harms' way, none the wiser. If ignorance is bliss; he has truly cornered the market. He was nicer to me than Mandy... though I was the first one to discourage looking for him when he'd get into trouble. Why did Mandy hang around him? Simple; she wanted to exploit the stupid and had clearly hit the mother-lode.
During our time together, we went on many many Adventures, and most of the time, I would be the one getting the short end of the stick. The Adventures of Billy and Mandy seemed like they would never end, and every day, I hoped it would be their last... at least, that is how it started. Oh sure, the world would blow up, or we'd be horribly disfigured, or there'd be some cosmic rift that caused reality to be torn asunder, but it always turned out right in the end.
Hanging around with those two all the time seriously affected my status in the underworld... My reputation had plummeted to an all-time low. Fear of death waned, as time after time those brats continued to diss me. ME! Might I remind you I am death personified! My ego took many slings and arrows from dat pair... I had really felt personally doomed to a 'life' sentence of a completely menial existence.
Nonetheless... as time went on, I had developed... feelings toward them. I would some times comment things such as "If anybody's going to take their heads, it's going to be ME!" or "I'm sorry, killing them is my job, and unfortunately for the world, it's not their time."
Mandy was no fool though, and in a way, we had a grudging respect for each other. She had an other worldly feel to her from the very start; the dark aura around her constantly has actually frightened some very unruly beasts. The cause of this force is Mandy herself, though how she acquired such a dark and disturbing aura is beyond my ethereal grasp. For a corporeal being, she was one sharp tack... and there were times she would acknowledge my skills too.
Despite how I felt about them, time was running out for those two. Eventually, I would reap their souls and be rid of them for good... but when I would think about it seriously, it disturbed me quite a bit. Some times, I would check out their hour glasses, and put a bit of the Sands of Time into them.. That was when I knew all commonsense I had, had finally left me. I was the Grim Reaper, after all, it should be easy killing them, right? Friends forever doesn't carry into de grave now do it? It was only a matter of time... and those ... those maddening, troublesome children... Always, always, ALWAYS causing me no small amount of grief! Unimaginable! Unthinkable that those two... Uhg! Me blood pressure'd be through the roof just thinking about it... that is, if I had any.
Well, at any rate... Mandy knew their time was coming, and while the blissful idiot went about the normal routines, never realizing how close they were, figuratively and literally, to death, Mandy began asking me questions. Hard Questions.
"Okay Grim, What is the square root of 3,567,344,768.2?"
"Hmm... give me a second Mandy... hmmm..." After mulling it over a while, I finally came up with the answer... "De square root of 3,567,344,768.2 is 59,727.25314... now just what in blazes did you need that for?"
She simply shrugged and retorted, "Homework." Answering questions like that were rather simple compared to the kind she would ask me later.
It was a blisteringly cold winters' Day...
'It was the middle of August Grim, and it was Blisteringly Hot.'
'Mandy? What are you doing in my narration?'
'Helping jar your memory.'
'Jarred, packaged, and manhandled by the Postal Service, thank you very much! Now go along and play with de kids!'
'Suit yourself. Enjoy the flashback sequences.'
''Tank you, Mandy...' Now, as I was saying... It was a blisteringly hot day in mid August.. Billy decided to down a tray of ice cubes to cool off, and was recovering from a major case of Brain Freeze.
As usual, Mandy was her typical sourpuss self. "Grim?"
"Yes Mandy?" I said, handing her an ice cream cone fresh off de truck.
"I've been doing some thinking.."
Mandy gave an unnaturally long pause before speaking again. "I was thinking Grim... We've been through a lot together haven't we?"
"...More than I care to recount."
She nodded, "Well, we've been in a lot of dangerous spots lately."
"A few, yes."
"Sixteen in the last 2 n' a half weeks, to be precise."
"Nuttin' unusual about that for us." I huffed and leaned back on me scythe for support.
"Maybe, but we vaporized the world twice, were vaporized by Aliens once this last week, I had a nail run through my head.."
"...You did have a portal between your ears last Thursday I believe."
"There was no portal this time Grim."
"Blame it on the spoon."
"Spoon? There is no spoon." She sighed, "Grim, be honest with me ok?" That was Mandy, always right to the point. "Is it my time?"
"My time, Grim, don't play stupid with me." She really did look like some vicious troglodyte when she scowled, a mono-brow that would've made Neanderthals jealous.
"What in Heck are you talking about? What would ever possess you to say such a ting?" I pretended not to know where she was going with this, and instead, was suddenly interested in Billy's belching contest he was engaged in wit his Fadder.
She shrugged with her usual dismissive attitude. "Because we're getting blown up, stabbed and maimed more than magically altered and disfigured lately."
"Oh. Well, no trouble 'den, since we're all alive and everything is Hunk-ee-do-ry!" I smiled. I shouldn't. Ever. Smile. Mandy left me alone dat dey, but as the weeks passed, she continued probing me with similar questions. Surely, I wanted them dead, right? Once that happened, I would be free to live a normal, death bringing life... so to speak.
But then she asked... "Grim?"
"Mandy, I am simply Not in de mood!" I scolded, having just laid back in a hammock, wit' a nice facial mask and cucumbers over my eye sockets.
With just the tug of a cord, she spun me 'round like laundry in a clothes dryer and dumped me half hazardly on de ground! "You are now."
Disgruntled, I picked meself up and rubbed off de facial. "For a hundred 'tirty-five dollars, dat better be some darn good stuff." I sighed. "What is it now?"
"I want to see my hourglass." She said matter-of-factly.
"Why in heavens' name would you want to be seeing dat thing?"
"No, Mandy. No mortal should ever know when exactly their time has come."
"I ain't no regular mortal Grim. I 'own' you. Now show me the damn hourglass." I was a bit startled at the sudden demand, but that, I had no option of getting out of... So I showed it to her. I had forgotten to put more sand in it, and it had indeed run out of sand. In other words, she should have been dead. "Thought so."
"Dere, Happy now?" I mocked.
"Am I ever?"
"Was dat a trick question?" ... Silence.
"So how long has it been empty?" She grabbed it away from me and flicked it with her finger.
"... A while." She studied it for a few minutes and handed it back to me before she began to laugh uncontrollably. It took her a while to regain her composure. "So... why haven't you collected my soul? You have every right to."
"Don't tell me it's something sappy like 'friendship'. You never wanted to be our friend any way did you?"
"So... what's the excuse?" Mandy then started looking around for something.
"... I be a man of me word. We said friends forever, well, I... didn't mean it den, but I do now."
"Oh man, Grim, you have truly lost it. I bow at your new low of ascending to the next level of worthless!"
"Do not anger me child!" I was getting a wee bit ticked at this point.
"Or what? You'll kill me." She laughed again, "You're a joke Grim. Don't you realize who you are? You're Death. And you're letting a ten year old run your life." ...Mandy is nothing if not brutally honest. "You don't even have the guts to kill me!" ...I really wished I could disappear at that point. The girl was right... I was... spineless.
"Honestly Mandy, it just isn't your time yet."
"Really?" She went and got a butchers' knife from the kitchen and proceeded to slit her throat.
"MANDY!" I almost couldn't bare to watch... but the blood dried up in an instant, and she simply discarded the knife, I think I heard Irwin scream next door...
"Interesting... So I'm immortal?"
"Not exactly... it just means you won't die until I say so."
That's when Mandy gave me her most disturbing grin. "Thank you Grim." After a moment of silence, "And stupid?" She indicated Billy who was now imitating a dog and attempting to chase his imaginary tail.
"I'm... not sure about him."
"See for yourself." And wit dat, I presented the most peculiar hour glass you have ever seen. It had twists and turns and large bulbous parts and narrow channels, and it was very hard to tell where it began or ended. There was still sand in it though, so it was clear that Billy should still be alive, but how much time he had? No one could say. "Considering you and Billy are woven together by the threads of fate, I would say he is fated to die shortly before or after you."
"I see. So, when you gonna' go through with it bud?"
"... Not today."
And so concluded yet another series of questions. Mandy never really took advantage of her temporary 'immortality', which was for the best. Mandy never really had any fear in her before, so there wasn't a substantial change in her attitude. Occasionally, she would smile a bit more, knowing secretly she could not be harmed. Disturbing and refreshing at de same time.
But then, we had another series of talks. She asked me when I would take her life. "You are a very morbid little girl."
"I know. So?"
"I'll take your life when I'm good and ready." And so the cycle continued until her asking became as annoying to me, as Billy's antics. I knew she was trying to inflame me, and for that very reason alone, the answer was always "NO! Why must you CONSTANTLY ask me such questions?"
Mandy, in her usual calm, simply shrugged. "Well, the sooner I get to hell, the sooner I can conspire to take over, right?"
"That's where I'm going isn't it?"
"Well, yes but..."
"So, what's the difference between now and twenty years?"
"Well Mandy..." What was the difference? Why was I holding back? I couldn't keep refilling her hourglass, and I couldn't put it off forever. Maybe postponing one persons' death would be okay with the universe, but eventually, the others around her would come into question...
"Not... Another talk Mandy..."
"I just wanted to tell you something... In case you're afraid of finishing the job..."
"What is it?"
"You're no longer my friend."
"You heard me, our bet is off. I don't 'own' you... you're free to Go." I felt kinda' like an animal that's been injured and nursed back to health, and the master finally tells it to go home. You know, a sappy Disney-esque moment. "You can't be who you're supposed to be around us Grim... You need to be who you're supposed to be - Death. So, go on a killing spree or something."
"... T'ank you... Mandy." I paused, I really didn't know what to say. "But bet or no, you still be my friend."
"Go on, get out of here."
"What about Billy?"
"Oh, don't worry about him, he won't even notice you're gone."
And she was right, he was easily fooled by a black Halloween robe draped over a broomstick. He constantly nagged that thing, and I think the broom would've begged me for death if it were alive.
So time passed, and it was finally time to collect on Billy. Idiot ignited one of his farts at a gas station. But that wasn't really the end of Billy. At times he would escape the afterlife and come around to haunt Mandy. You see, he was so stupid, he was technically sinless... so he was allowed into Heaven... for a while. He got kicked out when the saints lost patience with him and he was cast into Purgatory. He managed to piss off the Popes waiting in line, and was banished from Asgard while he was still alive. Following that, we tried placing him somewhere in Heck, but that wasn't really working out either. Most of the beings he met learned to fear his moronic behavior. So, as a wandering spirit, he'd manage to find his way back to friends and family. It was like old times... we'd go and have a few adventures, and then after a while, it was time to go. A piece of me was left behind every time Mandy asked "Is today the day?" No Mandy... not 'til I'm ready.
Some people said Mandy was cursed. That wasn't very far from the truth. She exploited Irwin for a while, until it was his time, and successively usurped power in the neighborhood. The neighborhood watch seemed more like a Nazi march under her iron fisted control. I expected no less. So, as she grew, her left wing politics got her far as mayor, then she decided, since I was clearly not returning for her soul, she'd pursue a career as a hitman, or woman as the case may be.
She saw me at work often, and the questions were always the same. How was I? Has Billy escaped again? and... When is it my time?
I saw Mandy grow into a beautiful woman, and it was in the prime of her life, I finally had the nerve to strike her down. "Is it time?"
"Yes. But... before I do this.."
"I have to ask you something."
"What is it?"
"Mandy... Would you... marry me?"
I think without my help, Mandy's heart stopped for a moment. She was visibly surprised. "... W...W-w-w-what did you say?"
"I know... it doesn't seem like me but..."
"Don't give me this wishy-washy namby-pamby make you a better person type thing."
"Well.. No. Mandy? You drive me completely insane! You have, ever since I met you! You... have completely and utterly humiliated me! You've driven me insane with hatred, dread, and loathing... I envy that radiantly dark aura exuding from every fiber of your being! You... are so dark and gloomy you make dark caves seem bright. The fact is Mandy, you don't make me a better person, you make me a worse being... And because of that..."
"...Because of that...?"
"Because of dat, young lady... that you have reminded me... who I am, who I am supposed to be... The Grim Reaper. You have ten seconds to make up your mind before I kill you." The Expression on Mandy's face at that moment was priceless. For an instant, shock... and fear.
"Grim..." She said uncertainly as I brandished my Scythe.
"Only nine seconds now Mandy... Eight... Seven..."
"Hey, what happened to six?"
"Four and a half... four and one third..."
"...Am I going to turn into some hideous ugly beast the likes of which the world's never Seen?"
"You're frightening enough already. Tree... Two..."
"DO!" And wit dat, the bonds of mortality were cut. First 'ting she said was... "You... do know I hate kids, right Grim?"
"We'll discuss that later Mandy."
"How would that even work anyhow?"
"Not important for you to know right now..." Of all de embarrassing questions to ask... I didn't know exactly what I was getting into, but it turned out to be de best move I had ever made.
'So, you still regret that bet?'
'I thout I told you to get out of my narration?'
'I asked you a question.'
'Okay... I only slightly regret it.'
'What the Fook? BILLY! Go back to Tartarus right this instant young man!'
'Don't worry Grim, I'll take care of stupid, you finish your silly little narrative.'
Where was I? Oh yeah... I married Mandy, obviously. So now my reputation is not only restored, it's increased. She is a very very frightening woman. After a while, and I shall not divulge details, we had our first child... Grim jr. he seems normal enough, and has fortunately, much more brain power than that imbecile I am forever cursed to know... Billy.
Not long after that, we had a daughter; Minimandy. She really liked Minieme from Austin Powers, so MiniMandy was her choice... we call her Minnie for short. She's very polite, well mannered, beautiful as her mom, only when she smiles, it's natural.
Mandy is actually a pretty good mudder, though I sometimes question the de safety of some of the places she lets them play.. Molten Lava lakes, Jagged Cliffs... Ahh... Ahem, at any rate, we're going to visit their Uncle Jack in Halloween Town for the kids' first official Halloween. I'm rather interested at how they'll be received. It will be quite the event, I'm sure, so we have to be going. Still, all's well that ends well right?
'Stop being a Yutz and let's go.'
'Right.' So anyway folks, that's how the Grim Family came to be...