So, for those of you who remember, this story was originally released in 2010. Sometime after, all of my works fell into hiatus mode as I had no time to really work on them. Now, three years later, I want to jumpstart this story.
This was a lengthy process that took a few days, seeing as how my classes officially began yesterday, 14 January 2013. I am taking three classes this semester (Intro. to Shakespeare, Editing/Production, and Intermediate Algebra). With my Shakespeare class, it's mostly reading from the books and taking the quizzes. Editing/Production is another fairly easy one. Algebra… not so much. My school is using a new program and I am unfortunately stuck in it, if I want to graduate before my sister starts attending in the fall. I am ridiculously close to receiving my Associates degree that I am very willing to put up with this utter nonsense. Anyway, mathematics have never been my strong suit (I barely passed my Geometry course last semester) so I'm fairly behind on everything.
Well my initial readers will remember most of these facts, very few things have changed from the original context. Minor details, the first conversation Sam has with her grandmother in this chapter, the partial introduction of Reapers, and a few other miniscule things were altered.
Some people are probably wondering why I'm doing all of this in the first place, going back and reworking a story. It's for my own piece of mind. There are some things I cannot remember from my lost notes (hidden in the depths of my room), so I had to change a few things. The flow at parts wasn't perfect and I spotted some errors when I was going over it. That, and I've done a lot more research on some things.
For my new readers, I welcome you. I may seem quite peculiar in many fashions, being in my early twenties and all that jazz. But I love writing and this idea is one of my favorites that I've ever had. It's so… unique for this section at FF and I was utterly compelled to write it. If I didn't write it, the little plot bunny would have beaten the living daylight out of me.
So without much further ado, I welcome you all to Do Not Cross, an interesting tale of a girl who can not only see ghosts but fight them as well and the things she encountered while living in Amity Park.
Summary: Samantha Manson, or Sam, has many things to deal with; her parent's disappointment, she knows all of the police force by name and face (and not because she wants to), moving to a new city, her grandmother's slowly dying, her Necromancy is getting stronger, she has no instructor to teach her, and she's not exactly the most popular girl in school. As she learns about this new city, she learns of its mysterious secrets and as to why so many haunts happen there. While trying to find out how to help this city, she finding that she slowly crushing on a kind of cute geeky boy whose parents hunt supernatural things. AU. She eyed the yellow tape, daring it to keep her from the school grounds. After a moment, she decided to ignore the forbidding warning of the black DO NOT CROSS letters.
Disclaimer: I do not hold any legal rights to Danny Phantom or to any of the characters you are going to read about. This story, however, is my own original idea, with a nod to Meg Cabbot's Mediator series and Kelly Armstrong's Darkest Powers trilogy for inspiring me somewhat.
Do Not Cross
"Of all human opinions that is to be reputed the most foolish which deals with the belief in Necromancy, the sister of Alchemy, which gives birth to simple and natural things." Leonardo da Vinci.
With a skilled flick of her wrist, Samantha Marie Manson, better known as Sam, tied her hair up with an elastic band. It was something that every female could do quite simply and over the past few years she had become a master at the task.
She was readying herself for the feat ahead. It was as easy to her as keeping her shoulder length hair from her heart-shaped face, although she rather detested it and found that this part of her life was rather maddening.
Again, she looked around to check to make sure what she wouldn't be caught. What Samantha was doing wasn't something that was exactly legal. In any country. Especially at night when no one was around.
She was in the clear. Until her cellphone started crooning its set ringtone.
"I'm bulletproof, nothing to lose, Fire away, fire way. Ricochet, you take your aim, Fire away, fire away. You shoot me down, but I won't fall, I am titanium—"
She winced and quickly answered. She kept her voice hushed, squatting down against the fence. Anyone patrolling the area would be less likely to see her in that position than if she remained standing.
"Hello?" she answered.
"Sam? Good, you picked up." It was her bubeleh, her grandmother. Why was she calling? "I was worried. Where did you go?"
"I'm patrolling. A warehouse has been giving me a weird vibe lately. I had to check it out. I'll try to be back in an hour. Hopefully less. Do you think you can cover for me?"
"For a short time, yes. It is your mother's birthday. Just remember to not get caught and to be careful."
"Don't worry, bubeleh, you know nothing can really hurt me. I'm tough as they come."
"Still, be on the lookout for any Reapers. Rumor has it they've been spotted in the city by Charles and his brood. He almost lost his grandson last week."
"I'll be extra careful. Besides, I can handle a Reaper. I've fought one before, remember?"
"Sam." Her voice was laced with worry. Sam let out a sigh and nodded.
"Alright, I promise. Cross my heart and hope to die, stick a wooden stake in my eye."
"Thank you. But that is a poor word choice."
"Whatever. I have my duty to do. I'll call you when I'm done?"
"Please do. Bye, I love you."
"I love you, too. Bye."
The line beeped and then went dead.
Sam glanced at her phone before shoving it into one of her jean pockets. She had work that needed to get done. She stood up, and straightened her gloves and her hair, preparing to climb up the chain-link fencing surrounding an abandoned warehouse. She skillfully mastered the barrier and landed on her toes, rolling back to her heels. She checked behind her before sprinting to the building.
She headed straight for the door and only to find that it was locked.
"Great." she muttered to the open air, glancing around with an irritated look. She found a forsaken crowbar that was starting to rust over. "Looks like you have one more job to do, my trusty friend."
She broke the small glass panel above the doorknob, the glass shattering on impact and splintering on the cement ground inside. Maneuvering her arm so she wouldn't scrape herself, she unlocked the door to let herself in.
Her heavy combat boot crunched whatever pieces of glass hadn't already broken. She listened intently for any other sounds. Her knuckles under her gloves were white as she gripped the crowbar. She breathed quietly through her nose, lips pursed and brow furrowed.
Off to the left and in the shadows.
Great, she thought. Way to be cliché there, pal. Hiding in the shadows, like some creeper that lives down the street from me. Not that that's not what you are.
The air around her grew thick and sweet, heavy with a cool humidity. She found herself taking deeper breaths due to this simple factor. Goose flesh puckered up on her skin beneath the flannel jacket she had gotten earlier that month at a thrift store. She wore it despite the summer heat.
"Alright, come out." she said to the being cloaked by rather menacing looking shadows. She cocked all of her weight onto one leg and on to the crowbar, her one hand draped casually over the small hook of the metal rod; the other rested in the nook of her slight dip of her natural waist. "I have no times for games. I also don't want to be grounded. So why not make this easier on the both of us?"
"You have no right to be here." hissed a voice from over her shoulder.
Quick as lightening, she whipped the crowbar behind her into what she hoped what was the being's stomach. She heard a groaning 'oof,' which satisfied her.
She walked over to the transparent bipedal being, who was rubbing its head. She dipped the crowbar under its chin, cocking her head off to the side as she watched the confused and angered look in its glowing eyes grow.
"Give up? Please?" she asked politely. "I can make your eternity much more pleasant if you do."
The being howled in rage, throwing itself off the ground and tackling her. The crowbar was knocked from her hands and her breaths were beat from her lungs. She gasped for air like a fish out of water, grasping for the just-out-of-reach metal rod.
The being snatched it up just as her fingers brushed it. It raised it up over its head, posing for a strike.
Sam just had time to dodge the crowbar as it cracked upon the cement ground, leaving a small cavity where her head had once been. She gaped at it, knowing that if she would be hit, it was game over.
They repeated this process of it raising the rod above his head and her just barely getting out of the way. It wasn't long before this got too repetitive for the girl and she changed things up.
She stopped the crowbar with the sole of her boots, yanking it out of the being's grasp and tossing it off into oblivion to clatter on the ground and break something.
She spun on her toe, lashing out at the last second to send a powerful blow to the being's side. Her fists were quick to follow with rapid punches on the bipedal's upper torso and head, skin stinging with pain from the biting cold that its body was made of.
She was able to back it up into a circle she had made earlier that day out of pig's blood. Her well trained mind clicked things into position. Everything was perfect.
"As Necromancer of this city, I, Samantha Marie Manson, banish thee into the eternal depths of Hell where you will not receive fair trial for your actions." she quickly recited the words she had said thousands of times before this night.
A wail reverberated off the walls as a wind picked up seemingly from nowhere. Thunder boomed as a blinding light ripped open a hole to a grim looking place in the ground. A hand made out of a dark smoky substance reached out and grabbed the being within the circle.
She watched silently, expressionless. This was standard treatment, after all. There was nothing new to get excited about.
The hand pulled the being into the hole and they were gone within seconds of being there.
Sam turned around, ready to leave, and cursed. Apparently whatever the crowbar hit was flammable and was spreading at a good pace.
Her eyes darted around the room for an exit. There was a back door. She groaned when she realized that it was bolted shut. There were no knobs.
"How convenient." she growled. "Only one way to do this."
She kicked the deadbolt with as much force as she could. The door slammed open, allowing her to escape into free air. She thanked whatever powerful deity was looking out for her that she had been blessed with her great strength.
Already sirens were crying and heading her way. The flashing red and blue lights sped down the buildings.
"Hey, you okay?" someone asked.
She turned and saw two men in police uniforms trotting over to her.
"Sam?" one of the men asked incredulously. His face went from shock to exasperation. "Should have known you were behind this. You're always behind these things."
"I didn't do it!" she squeaked. It wasn't really a lie. True she had flung the crowbar, but damn it, she was fighting for her life – and their lives! Who knew what could have happened had she allowed the being to continue to reside there. She didn't have a chance to look at every freaking thing before she started the battle. Now, though, was the time to lie straight through her teeth.
"I went in there when I saw flames. I thought I could try and put them out, but I bumped into something and it broke. Things got out of control after that."
The policeman raised a brow, hardly believing the story. This girl was known throughout the police force for being brought home or into the station almost every night for something she did or didn't claim to do.
"And what were you doing over here?" he asked.
"Uh, that's classified information?"
He shot her an annoyed look.
"Fine, I was scouting a new hang out. Geeze."
The firemen arrived, already moving to put out the blaze that was overtaking the weakened structure. They worked quickly.
"In the back?" she asked blandly.
"You know the drill."
"I just hope I won't be grounded." she said, sliding in.
"Fat chance." the officer told her, closing the door behind her.
"Hello, Pamela, Jeremy." Officer Donald Clark greeted the two annoyed parents. "Sam's in back."
"Hello, Donald." Pamela Manson sighed. She shook her head. "How's Betty and the girls?"
"They're fine. Nickie's got a part in the school play."
"I wish Sammy would audition for a school play. She's so good at acting. And quite dramatic, too." There was a hint of acid in her voice. Her daughter was indeed quite good at acting. She has seemingly gotten good at it in middle school and had nearly perfected it by now.
"Now, now, dear," Jeremy soothed. "I'm sure Sam has a good reason."
"She claims that she was out scouting for a new place to hang out." Donald said, opening the door to the room Samantha was chatting with one of the officers who was fresh out of the academy. "She just happened to be near the fire—"
"A fire!" Pamela screeched.
"—at a warehouse. She was attempting to put it out but it got out of control. That right, Sam?"
"You are correct, Don." Sam beamed. "Hey, tell Nickie congrats for me, will you? Bye, Greg. I hope everything goes great with your girlfriend. Hi, mom. Hey, dad."
"Samantha Marie!" he mother scolded. "What, pray tell you, were you doing out? Your father and I bid you goodnight not two hours ago. Two hours, Sammy! And on my birthday!"
"I'm sorry I was being a good citizen for once?"
"Look, if I hadn't been there it could have been worse." the girl tried to soothe her raging mother.
"She's right." Officer Donald told the woman. "If Sam hadn't knock over the gasoline, the glass tanks would have exploded. Other warehouses nearby could have been caught in the whole mess."
"Wait, why was there gas in glass tanks?" Sam asked, baffled by the strangeness.
"A gang apparently was looking to blow up a few places. We've been after them for a while." He turned to Pamela. "Sam's completely innocent in this case. Although, I have a feeling she'll get worse than a scolding and a slap on the wrist."
"Darn straight." Jeremy said, grabbing his daughter's wrist.
"But I'm innocent!" she wailed pitifully as she was dragged away, the heavy door slamming with a loud clang behind her.
"You'll find that she keeps things interesting around here, Greg." Donald told the young officer, chuckling to himself. Oh, yes, Samantha Manson definitely kept them, guessing.
"This isn't fair." Sam huffed, throwing herself on her bed, muffling her voice with a bat-shaped pillow. She dropped her flannel jacket on the floor beside her bed. Her boots she had to work off her feet, but they both eventually clunked down next to her coat, ridiculous flailing aside.
"What did you do this time?" an elderly voice asked.
She looked up to see her grandmother riding on the quiet motor scooter that she had gotten two years ago for her birthday from her only granddaughter.
"I snuck out to do the city some civil service, you know to make up for the fact that I blew up the gym. But no~o! Mom and dad had to ground me for the sneaking out part. I can't be a hero at this rate if they keep pulling me back from destiny."
"The ghost was that bad?"
"Yep. I kind of wish I could tell mom and dad. I mean, maybe then they'd cut me some slack if they realized I was helping lost souls find their place in life. Well, afterlife."
"Unfortunately the Necromancer gene skips a generation." the old woman sighed, smiling lightly. "I'll tell you what, I'll convince them to ease the punishment a little, say, oh, by thirty years or so."
"Thanks, bubeleh." Sam said, hugging her grandmother gratefully. "You're the greatest."
"So, tell me, was this that ghost that kept torturing humans?"
"Uh-huh. I got him good. Sent him to where he belongs."
"That's good. Oh, by the way, your mother wants to talk to you in the morning."
Samantha blinked. What on earth did she have to tell her that she already hadn't before?
Sam nibbled on the organic, low calorie cookies her mother set in front of her. They seemed to be the only thing the both of them liked.
"Sammy, I know this seems kind of sudden and whatnot, but your father and I have been planning this for months now. You were always off doing… whatever it is you do in your free time, which is something I want to talk to you about at some point, by the way. We never really got the chance to tell you." Pamela said, fixing her 1950's styled dress as she sat nervously perched in her chair.
"Well?" Sam asked, mid-nibble.
"Um, oh, dear, how do I say this? Sammy, dear, we'll be going to Amity Park, a quaint town."
"All of us. We're all going to Amity Park, dear."
"Uh-huh." Samantha said slowly, not quite sure where her mother was going with this. She set her cookie back on the plate, mostly to see how serious her mother was at that moment. When the woman gauged no reaction to the half-eaten treat, she knew that this was something big.
"They have a nice school system. You'd be able to start off fresh. A clean slate! Wouldn't like that, Sammy?"
"Mom, what are you talking about?"
"We got a nice house out there. It's big. Your room will be twice the size of the one you have here. We also have a private film theater and bowling alley. Won't that be nice, dear, to not have to go out to go bowling?"
"Mom, what the hell are you talking about? School system? Big room? Bowling alley?"
"Sammy, darling dearest, light of my eye… sweetie… We're moving to Amity Park." Pamela replied with a nervous smile, awaiting her daughter's outburst that was sure to come.
Sam sat there in silence, quietly thinking it over.
"I'll be able to start over? Clean slate?" Sam asked quietly.
"Y-yes…?" Pamela Manson found herself to be confused. This was not what she had expected. Sam would have exploded like a volcano after receiving such news. Perhaps she had matured?
"In a few days…"
Sam smiled, grabbed a few more cookies – leaving her partially eaten one – and trailed off to her room in rather chipper spirits.
Teenagers were so confusing.
"Mom told you, right?" Samantha asked her grandmother as they packed away the monster plushies that were as cute as they were soft despite the fact that they wanted to be evil and terrifying. She was stroking one that had a gaping mouth, set in a roar.
"We're moving. A clean slate. A new school. A new town."
"Possibly new friends?" her grandmother asked, hinting hope.
"Possibly. I mean, it'd be nice but I don't want them to worry too much about my health or about my 'rebellious phase.' Bubeleh, did you ever have this problem?"
"Sometimes." the elderly woman said slowly. "People don't… understand. It's difficult for them to grasp. Ghosts. Necromancers. The supernatural… It goes against modern ways of thinking. Too chaotic. And you know how the human mind is, it can't handle the chaos or else a person is driven insane by it."
Sam nodded, understanding fully. The life as a Necromancer was never easy. They constantly put other in danger from ghosts, dead animals, and the like. She counted numerous times that she was thankful that her parents hadn't seen some of the things that she had. Decaying bodies with angered spirits slammed back in to them weren't exactly the types of guests her mother would like to cater to.
"Sam, don't worry. You're a sweet girl who's beautiful inside and out with a… colorful lifestyle. I just know that there's someone out there who'd willingly put up with you."
"Now, at this new house, I think you should refurbish your room and your wardrobe. I'm thinking dark Victorian. Very Goth. What do you say?"
"You're the bee's knees, bubeleh."
The rest of the day, they talked about some ideas and packed; tossing out any clothes Sam had outgrown or thought useless to her new Gothic image they were going to create for her in Amity Park.
By that night, all of their stuff was packed and shipped to a storage unit in Amity, except for the essentials (Sam, though, was roughing it with a sleeping bag on her bedroom floor).
She sat on her floor, typing away at her laptop. She was adding her last exorcism of the ghost to her log on her external hard drive. She really didn't need to keep the log, since she had wonderful memory but it was nice to remember what happened, when, and where. It was also nice to have a record of what lies she told and if she wormed her way out of trouble or not.
She scanned over some of her earlier files and winced at the memory of some of her earliest Necromancy efforts. Sure she had her grandmother to help teach her the basics of the ancient craft, but the fighting she had to learn on her own. Her grandma had had an accident after she had given birth to her twins, Jeremy and Jerrod. It had involved a super pissed of ghost and an archway support system.
"Us Necromancers don't die easily." the elderly woman had once said. "We bruise and scrape with difficulty. Broken bones are freak accidents to us. But to die, it can only be something to the heart and only at the hands of a Reaper."
Sam had a few bruises and scrapes, bruised bones, one sprained wrist, and a broken nose over the years she been actively acting as one of the city's local Necromancers – there were four of them total. She was living proof that it was difficult to break such strange, supernatural people.
Then again, she thought amusedly, our job requires us to deal with strange, supernatural people. It only makes sense.
Looking around her room, she felt very lonely. The place practically reverberated every breath she took. It was all together quite eerie, even for her.
Shuddering, she turned off her laptop and snuggled up under the sleeping bag. For tonight and tomorrow night, she would sleep in the emptiness of this room.
The night passed quickly, as did the day counterpart, until they found Samantha standing in the doorway of her new bedroom.
It was a large expanse of white walls, flush red floors, and gaping windows that overlooked the garden. So much work needed to be done and she had so little time to do it in.
Already ideas on how to sneak out in case there was any paranormal activity were forming in her ever ticking clock of a mind.
For those of you whom were paying attention, I made a little nod towards Buffy the Vampire Slayer, an amazing TV series that ended much too soon for my taste. If you spotted it, tell me in a response. ;D
The song that Sam has set as her ringtone in "Titanium" by David Guetta (feat. Sia). I have always loved Sia and it makes me proud to hear how far she's come from her previous works. I have "Titanium" as my ringtone and it happened to go off as I was reworking this beauty.
My favorite part of this chapter is when Sam's parents pick her up from the police station. They're so blasé when talking to the officer it was kind of hard for me not to laugh.
If you have any questions that you want answered right away, contact me via pm, review, Facebook message, Twitter, snail mail, or carrier pigeon. I'll get back to you as soon as I am able to.
Ciao, my loves!