Hello, all! Long time, no see, eh? Well, I'm still getting reviews for A Temporary Cease Fire, for which I am very grateful. For being my first story, an impressive number of people actually LIKED it. Seriously, I'm very flattered, especially since I looked back at it today and realized that my writing pretty much sucked. I hope that my writing's gotten better since then, anyway.
Now onto the story. It's set sometime around 2084/2085 and follows Travis, the great-great grandson of Danny (ducks, trying to dodge thrown objects I know, I know, it's another future-set story. I'm not making you read it, you know). Amity Park has grown considerably, but not to the metropolis portrayed in The Ultimate Enemy – it's still a small city relative to the rest of the world. Ghosts have become a natural part of life for most of the people there, as seen through some of the things mentioned through the story, like the commonplace of ectoplasmic weaponry and the fashions of the day. Hopefully everything else is eventually explained through the story.
One last note for anyone unfamiliar with the story – I started writing this before "Phantom Planet" (or, really, the entire last season) premiered anywhere, so there are obviously parts of this story that contradict what is now canon. Please bear with me – I've had fun writing this story, so even though it's possible to change some of it to fit with the actual series, I'd hate to do so.
Disclaimer: I don't own Danny Phantom.
past participle: a participle that expresses completed action
Travis sighed through his teeth. An awkward motion, yes, and he had never even thought it to be something that could happen naturally, but sure enough, he pulled it off.
The reason for the sigh? Well, you'd be sighing, too, if you had been on a float, smiling and waving for the past three hours. You'd also probably be talking in third person, just like how I was on and off during the parade. Not that I'd admit anything like that out loud – someone would think I was possessed by a ghost, and who knows what kind of chaos would then break out.
So why was I, Travis, on a float?
Because. That's why.
Because Amity Park was turning 300 this year.
Because this year also marked the 80th anniversary of the "ghost plague", and when the town legends, Jack and Maddie Fenton, actually became town legends.
Because I'm their great-great grandson.
Yes, they have other grandsons, but none of them live in Amity Park. Of all their posterity, my family was the only one that decided to stay in this ghost-obsessed town. All the other Fentons were smart enough to move away, but my parents were too "fascinated with their heritage" to leave. Obviously I did not share their interest.
Back to my story. The city had planned this celebration for a couple years now, and for the theme of the festival, "Ghosts" (that's all there is to it … is that the lamest theme or what?), they asked my family, the only Fentons left in the city, to pose as the original Fentons on the biggest float in Amity park history. It was three hundred feet long and two stories tall and went so slow that even the spectators got bored with cheering for it by the time it finished passing by. On it were huge models of the fundamental gadgets to ghost hunting today – the Thermos, Assult Vehicle, Fisher, and Gabber – as well as models of the most historically notable ghosts – The Fright Knight, Technus, Danny Phantom, The Box Ghost, Youngblood (though historians are skeptical about his existence, since only kids ever claimed to see him), and heading them all, Pariah Dark.
My family was scattered around on the float itself. My mom and dad dressed up in the blindingly ugly, outdated blue and orange Hazmat suits, my older sister of nineteen wearing a long orange wig and dressed in (better, but still old fashioned) black jeans and blue shirt. I, being the only boy, had to pose as Danny. I was lucky – I had black hair, so I didn't have to wear a wig, even though I did have to grow it out for a few months beforehand to look like the younger, fourteen-year old version of Danny. I was sixteen, so it's not like anyone could tell the age difference or even cared, but the longer, messier hair helped. My litter sis, Amberly, was the odd one out, so the city council had her dress up as our great-grandma, Sam, according to how she looked when she was fourteen. Amberly was lucky – she had brown hair that was dark enough to pass off as black from a distance, and she was exactly fourteen years old. She was a bit of an actress, too, so she didn't mind dressing up in the horribly outdated costume and putting on a scowl for the entire show.
I was jealous. Amberly's character wasn't forced to wave or smile or anything, whereas my character was. I HAD to get off before I exploded. I took in my surroundings carefully and noted we were kinda near enough to the ghettos that anybody who was watching the parade had probably been relieved of their wallets by then, and were therefore now paying more attention to their purses than the parade. Good.
I looked toward the front of the float at my parents. They were trying to turn the attention of the crowd back onto them. Good.
I looked at my older sister, Leah. She was trying to slightly adjust her wig so it wasn't so uncomfortable and so none of her so-blone-it's-almost-white hair peeked through, all while still trying to look the part. Good.
I looked at Amberly, who was closest to me. Our eyes met, and she made her way over to me. As soon as she was next to me, I nodded, we pounded fists, and I hopped off the float.
Even though she's a couple years younger than me as well as a girl, she's pretty cool and shares the same disinterest in ghosts. We're no where near being real friends, if that's what it sounds like I'm getting at, but we still look out for each other and do have a bit of a friendship thing going on.
Not that I'm EVER going to say that out loud.
I quickly ran off onto a deserted side street, not worried at all about losing the float running on molasses and very happy to be stretching my legs. As soon as I was out of sight from the parade, I slowed down my pace and wandered around to … wherever I felt like moving to.
Was I worried that I was in the ghettos? A little, yeah, but I knew I was safe. Even though great-great grandpa Jack was a klutz, all of his posterity since then was extremely good at sneaking round, almost invisibly. It's a family secret that is guarded carefully because it's gotten us out of tight jams – mostly tardies in school and dull city parades – but there's some amazing stories that are told 'round the dinner table at family reunions of so and so having escaped from a hostage situation or something along the lines of being life-threatening. My grandpa Todd always tells the most outrageous stories of his dad, Danny, and how he could have sworn that my great-grandpa really could turn invisible.
Again, I digress.
I was walking through and realized that I had actually chosen the worst part of the ghettos to run away to. It was the part of town that had originally been the major target of the "ghost epidemic". At the time, the outbreak of ghosts was given negative terms due to the overwhelming numbers they, the ghosts, came in, but it is believed that somewhere along the line the source of the problem in Amity itself was shut down, and now when we get ghosts – about once or twice a week, three or four during football season, though no one knows why – they usually come from the west and we have the equipment to more often then not take care of them easily. Many buildings were broken down and falling apart, but the city didn't want to touch them for two reasons:
1) It is a distinct possibility that many of these buildings are – and I know that this is a silly term, but it is said in a very solemn manner – haunted, and no one wants to disturb what could possibly cause a whole mess of trouble.
2) It is also believed that due to the unstable nature of the early ghost defense weaponry there's an ectoplasmic radiation of a dangerous and unknown level hanging about. Again, it's just believed so, and there's no actual precautions hanging about to protect anyone from this radiation, but this town is so messed up that the number of people who think rationally are in the minority.
Cool. About the radiation and haunted houses, not the fact that I live in an extensive loony bin.
I immediately spied a HUGE house at the corner of one of the streets. It had a lot of ancient junk piled on top and even more yellow 'caution' tape and plywood on the windows.
Okay, so I know it sounds stupid that something clearly dangerous would catch my interest so much, buy hey, I'm a teenage guy – a house marked 'Danger' is basically saying to me, "Hey! I still have time for one more explorer to look around before I collapse! Come on in!"
So that's what I did.
Ugh, it smelled rank. My guess was that it had been abandoned even longer than the statement made by the Health Department deemed this area of town to be unfit to live in. As I walked into the living area to look around better, my suspicions were nearly completely confirmed. What I had thought to be a pile of even more junk was actually a couch and an end table. I guessed that this house had been abandoned in a hurry, because I saw some other odds and ends scattered about the floor, and a jacket hanging up in the open coat closet.
On the dusty table was a raised, boxy pile of dust which I guessed (correctly) to be an overturned picture. I looked at the family portrait and stopped. The shirt that the boy was wearing looked awfully familiar … I looked down at what I was wearing and grinned. Coolest. I was in the original Fenton's house.
I stopped again. At that moment, all rationality took a sabbatical.
HOLYCRUD I WAS IN THE FENTONS HOUSE THIS PLACE HAS GOT TO HAVE SO MUCH RADIATION OHCRUD.
Everything I had ever said about not believing in the tales about this area of town I took back as I tore off the costume I was wearing, very grateful that it was baggy enough to hide my form-fitting, modern, standard-Amity Park wear Hazmat suit but also cursing the costume for being cotton – NOT the cloth of choice for the situation I was in. I pulled my gloves and hood on and relaxed. I know I had some protection now, and that I should get out, but my heart already slowed down enough that curiosity took over again, and now that I knew what house I was in I was too curious to leave. Again, I know it was stupid, and again, I make my argument that I'm a guy.
Instead I looked for an old Hazmat suit. Even though they're outdated, they were made to protect people from the dangers they had to deal with that are not longer an issue now – I didn't want to accidentally touch something and have that special, rare type of ectoplasmic goo splat all over me.
My search went downstairs first, since it simply makes sense to store lab equipment in the basement. I couldn't see much, but I did see a big, round hole in the wall and the outlines of a couple of cabinets. Not risking turning on the light switch and being zapped with worn out electric wiring or whatever, I chose the larger of the cabinets, hoping that in their obvious urgency to leave the house the Fentons left a couple of suits behind. I was lucky enough to choose the one with the clothing in it, and I pulled out about six Hazmat suits of just two different sizes and styles until I found one that looked more my size. I shook it so all the dust and what I'm assuming was a sticker label came off and hastily zipped it up. Fortunately, both this one and the one I was originally wearing were both thin enough that movement was easy and temperature was not an issue. The one I put on didn't have a hood, so I made a mental note to not ram my head into any tubs of goo.
Hoping to find a flashlight I headed back upstairs. The living room and kitchen were unsuccessful, so I carefully went upstairs. Luckily all the stairs were stable, so I continued my search without having to worry about falling through the floor.
The closet at the top was completely empty, so I turned to the room right next to it. It was a bedroom with faded blue walls, a bed, a desk, and a poser of a rocket left in it. I assumed that it was either a guest room or Danny's room, and grinned to myself, hoping it was the latter.
I went straight to the desk and rummaged through it. The likelihood of finding a flashlight was so slim that I was nearly shocked when I found one in the bottom drawer. I took it and quickly shut the drawer, eager to get back downstairs.
The force of my closing the drawer was great enough to cause a chain reaction that went like this: the desk itself, being unstable, knocked against the wall. Dust and chipped paint rained down from the wall. This revealed four cracks in the wall. These four cracks formed a square. This square was waaaaay to perfect to have been formed randomly. Again, everything about this house screamed, "I'm waiting for a kid just like you to check me out!"
And that's where my story begins.
Like it? Hate it? I need to know! The more you critique my writing, the better it'll get, and the faster I'll update! Also, I don't know when I'll be able to update next. I can pretty much guarantee that updates won't be on a regular schedule – two AP classes and general third quarter stress will make sure of that – but I will try and update once a week.