Billy's New Home

By: Jo Ann/Draka Dracula/Billi Butcherson

_-_-_

Disclaimer: Hocus Pocus and its characters belong to Disney, not me.

Summery: Thackery Binx arranges to move Billy's body to a mausoleum, but it had amenities that Billy has never seen –like a computer and a fully-stocked modern kitchen!

_-_-_

The mayor of Salem, Massachusetts slept soundly in his bed, dreaming of the upcoming election. He snoozed away, unaware of the ghostly presence that quietly entered his bedroom.

The spirit of Thackery Binx glided toward the mayor's bed. Bending down, the boy began to whisper in the living man's ear.

"A beautification project is the answer," the boy whispered in his light, English accent.

"Beautification…project…" the mayor repeated in his sleep.

"A mausoleum. A nice one. With the following…"

"Mausoleum…nice one…"

Smiling, the ghost boy outlined his plan for his gift for his friend.

_-_-_

Billy Butcherson lay in his grave, asleep. Ever since the witch, Winifred Sanderson, awoke him from his eternal sleep, he had been restless. The last time he awoke, he had a chance to see the world of the twentieth century. The strange and amazing things he had seen made the young –well, young when he had died—Zombie want to see more. But the only time he came out of his grave was to chat with Max, Allison, and Dani.

Thackery suddenly popped into the space between the lid of Billy's coffin and Billy –or, rather, his head did. The Zombie awoke from his sleep at the intrusion.

"What doest thee want, Thackery?" he asked, his gravelly voice sounding oddly smoother than it was when he met the three children.

"Billy, don't ask questions," the ghost boy replied. "Just go into 'dead mode', and don't wake up until I tell you to." "Dead mode" was what Max named Billy's sleep state, when he looked like a normal corpse.

"Why?" Billy asked, perplexed at his friend's request.

"Just do it!" Thackery insisted. "Everything will be explained later."

"Very well," the Zombie sighed. He folded his arms over his chest and lay still.

Grinning, Thackery left the grave. Billy was going to LOVE his new home!

_-_-_

"Billy," Thackery's voice called softly, "you can wake up now…"

Billy opened his eyes, only to discover that he was in a large, stone building of sorts –or, at least, a room of one. The room was long and bare of furniture except for the bed Billy laid on. It was a very sturdy bed, with a strong, wooden frame. It felt like the mattress was filled with feathers, as did the pillow his head rested on. The sheets were soft –cotton perhaps? And the quilts were warm and beautifully stitched.

At the far end of the room, there was a door. Billy got up from the bed and walked to the door, his steps more sure then they were that fateful Halloween night. Carefully, he opened the door and peeked out.

He saw a larger room, also of stone. To the right of the door was an old desk, complete with books, writing paper, inkwell and quill. More bottles of ink rested on shelves in the desk's pigeonholes. A strange machine –a computer, as Max had told him about once?—sat on a smaller desk next to the writing desk.

In the middle of the room was a long, oak-wood table, with a total of six chairs around it. Against the wall opposite the room he came out of was a very modern kitchen, complete with a microwave oven, a range stove, a sink, a refrigerator, and what looked like a pantry.

Behind the kitchen was another area, but from where he was, Billy could only see one door and part of a hallway. Around the room, high up the walls, were pyramid sconces, already with electric lights in them. Billy stepped fully into the room.

On the same wall where the door to his room was located was another door. Curious, Billy walked over and opened it. Peeking inside, he saw a room much like his own, except that there were three cots in the middle of the room. Each cot had a pillow and a sleeping bag.

Billy decided to check the door on the other wall, and found a bathroom, fully-stocked. Down the hallway, he saw yet another door. This door led to an empty store room.

As he re-entered the main room, Thackery appeared, grinning broadly.

"How do you like it?" the young ghost asked.

"Tis a lovely little place, but why was it given to me?"

"Because you needed a better place for Max, Allison, and Dani to visit you," Thackery answered. "Remember that December visit when Dani caught a cold?"

"Aye," Billy nodded. "I was afraid for her life. But Max kept me informed of her condition. I was relieved when he told me that she was well again."

"Well, this mausoleum should help keep that from happening again," Thackery smiled. "It's insulated."

"What is 'insulated'?" Billy asked, puzzled by the new word.

"Basically, it means that your place will be cool in warm weather, and warm in cold weather."

"Thackery!" a voice called. Both ghost and Zombie looked upward, from which direction the voice had come.

"Emily?" the youth queried.

"Yes," the voice of his sister answered. "Mother says to come home."

"Okay," Thackery replied. To Billy, he said, "Gotta go, Billy. See you next time I'm allowed to come and visit."

"Fare thee well, Thackery," Billy replied. Slowly, the ghost boy faded away, returning to Heaven.

Well, thought Billy, I might as well sit down and wait. The young ones will be here soon. Mayhap they, too, will like my new home.

_-_-_

Max Dennison, his little sister, Dani, and his girlfriend, Allison, made their way through the old graveyard, heading toward the newly-erected building. Each carried scrapbooking supplies, for they wanted to celebrate their friend's new home.

"Can you believe it?" Max asked excitedly. "Of all the corpses in the graveyard, Billy was chosen for this new mausoleum!"

"Yeah," Allison agreed. "What are the odds?" she shifted the scrapbook in her hands to get a better grip on it.

"Do you think the mayor knows about Billy being a …you know…a Zombie?" Dani asked worriedly.

"I don't think so," Max replied. "It would have been on the news, or something."

Soon, they arrived. The outside of the building was plain stone, but an added piece of decoration was Billy's tombstone embedded in the wall beside the door, proclaiming to all the inhabitant of the mausoleum.

"Billy," Max called through the door as he knocked. "It's us!" He then waited for the reply.

"Enter," came the unmistakable voice of the young Zombie. The three children entered the building.

Billy rose from his chair, embracing Dani, who had ran ahead of the teens to greet her dear friend.

"This is a great house, Billy!" Dani cried in excitement.

"Yeah," Max agreed. "How'd you score a place like this, anyway?"

"I am not sure," Billy admitted, "but I believe Thackery had doth a bit to do with it."

"Sound like him," Allison smiled. "Always thinking of others."

"What doth thee have with thee?" Billy inquired, indicating the things the three carried.

"I thought we could make a scrapbook for you –a book of memories for us to share."

"We write in this book?" Billy asked, taking the book from Allison to examine it.

"Yeah," Max replied. "And we decorate it with drawings, photographs, paper cut-outs, and things like that.

"Things that mean something to you –and us," Allison added.

"Can we make one, Billy?" Dani begged excitedly. "Please? It'd be really fun…"

"Why not?" the young Zombie smiled, amused by the girl's eagerness. He gestured toward the table. Smiling in anticipation, the kids unloaded their arms of the supplies.

The four friends began their scrapbook project, each contributing their own personal touches.

_-_-_

The scrapbook took several days to complete, for Billy wrote about his early life, his affairs with both Winifred Sanderson and her sister, Sarah, his death, and his resurrection. When they got to the part about him cutting the string that held his mouth shut, Allison suggested taking the remains of the string out of his skin and putting them on the page describing the part where he freed himself of the witches' power.

"Do you think we can?" Dani asked. "They do look awful…"

"Art thou able to remove them?" Billy inquired.

"We can try…" Allison replied. She took out her fingernail care kit, and found a pair of tweezers. Carefully, one at a time, the girl removed the cut strings.

As she removed them, something miraculous happened. As each strand was removed, the hole through which they came closed up, healing instantly to smooth skin.

"How is this happening?" Allison wondered aloud in astonishment.

"What is happening?" Billy asked her.

"You need to see for yourself," she answered. She dug around inside her handbag and brought out a make-up compact and opened it. She showed him the mirror.

His eyes widened in disbelief as he stared at what should have been his hole-riddled mouth. Instead of holes, however, there was just skin. As if the image he saw was an illusion, Billy felt around his mouth.

It was true! The holes were gone, as if his mouth had never been sewn up. He knew that the stitching had been there –he had cut the strings himself. And the remains laid on the table, ready to be placed in the scrapbook.

"Regeneration!" Max exclaimed. "You've got the ability of regeneration!"

"'Re-gen-er-what?" Billy turned to the boy.

"The ability to instantly heal wounds," Allison translated. "It means, simply, that anytime you are injured, your wound will heal automatically, in a manner of seconds."

"Maybe that's why he sounds different and moves more naturally than when we met him," Max said. "Remember when we first met Billy? His movements were jerky and stiff."

"Because it was three hundred years since he had used any of his muscles," Allison reasoned.

"Right!" Max grinned. "And remember when you first heard his voice? It was gravelly and harsh."

"Because, it, too, had not been used in three centuries," Allison replied.

"Exactly!" Max nodded. "So it took a while for even the regeneration ability to heal his muscles and vocal cords."

"Does that mean he'll come back to life?" Dani asked hopefully.

"I'm afraid not, Dani," Allison replied. "Only a divine miracle could do that. But he will be able to heal future injuries."

"It's also probably why he hasn't decomposed as much as he already has," Max added.

"Yeah," Allison agreed. "He's stopped decomposing completely." She smiled and gave Billy a tender hug. "Our Zombie will remain like he is for as long as he has his soul."

"How long do you think that will be?" Dani asked, suddenly afraid. Was there a possibility of losing Billy, even now?

"Don't worry, Dani," Allison reassured the little girl. "I don't think Billy will be leaving us anytime soon. I have a strange feeling that Billy has remained a Zombie for a reason. Why? I couldn't tell you. But Billy will be here for a long time to come."

The four friends looked at one another, pondering what those words could mean. If Billy was a Zombie for a reason, what was it? And how will effect them?

THE END

Next: Billy's First Christmas. The Zombie gets introduced to the folks! But what would they think of their kids hanging around a walking corpse?

Also, Coming Soon: The Earth Angels storyline begins! The stories that is the basis for my Hocus Pocus-inspired role-playing game!