The Erlking

Disclaimers: (1) I do not own Danny Phantom; that's all Butch Hartman. (2) The Goethe poem, Der Erlkönig is not mine either.

Author Note: After hearing the Franz Schubert Lieder of Erlking in music history, I thought it would be interesting to see this portrayed by Jack and Danny. I'm not entirely sure why, but I love this song. It's very sad, but it's great.

The forest on the outskirts of Amity Park was dark and silent; the sky above was black; rain poured down. Suddenly, a horse came trotting passed the trees carrying two riders – an old man and his young son.

"What's the matter, Daniel?" the man asked, looking down at his boy. The child had hidden his face in the man's coat.

Daniel peeked out, his blue eyes gazing up at his father fearfully. "Father, don't you see it? A ghost; he's following us."

Young Daniel had a fear of ghosts, regardless of his parents being experts in the world of paranormal. Jack shook his head, glancing around the dark forest. "I see nothing but rain and fog."

But it was not fog that appeared in the dark forest; Daniel saw a pair of red eyes appear in the mist. Its voice was warm, relaxing, calming; it soothed him, but the child knew not to trust it. Ghosts were evil, and this particular ghost, the Erlking was far too dangerous.

"Come with me, my child," Erlking softly said. "We can play together."

"Father; don't you hear it? He's here!"

"Quiet, son; be calm! All I hear is the wind against the trees."

Erlking grinned, reappearing to the boy again. "Don't you want to come with me? My daughters will take care of you; you'll be safe with us."

Daniel's eyes widened further in fear. "Father; look over there! He's here!"

"I see a bolt of lightning strike overhead. There is nothing here."

He pressed himself closer to his father, feeling Erlking's presence grow. The ghost was growing angry at the boy's refusal to join him willingly. Daniel looked ahead, seeing a light. Amity Park was only minutes away, but this ghost wouldn't let him be.

"I love you, child, and you will be mine," the voice of the ghost deepened, frightening young Daniel. "If you do not come willingly, I shall take you."

The ghost flew beside them, his father completely unaware of the spirit. But Daniel shook in fear, seeing Erlking reach out for him. "Father! He is here! He is hurting me."

Jack didn't respond to his son's cry, continuing to ride on through the rain. Several minutes later, he reaches the end of the forest finally back in town, leaving the dark forest behind him. He slowed the horse to a halt, looking down at his son.

"Daniel; we've made it!"

But the child didn't speak.


He pulled the child out from underneath his coat, confused. His son's eyes were shut; his mouth gaped open. Before he could process the sight, Daniel fell limp in his hands.

His son, touched by the ghost Erlking, was dead.