Season 1: The Neitherworld Saga
Disclaimer: First of all, I do not own Beetlejuice or the characters associated with it. This is, however a brand new story and is not based on nether the movie or the cartoon show. So please, do not compare it to either and bear with me as I take you on an adventure to the Neitherworld and how an unlikely team discovers how their destinies were intertwined.
Episode 1: My name is Lydia
The rain was pouring down like a constant barrage of dense, hard arrows of water, beating against all sides of the gray Ford station wagon of the Deetz family. Finally arriving in Peaceful Pines, a quaint little town in the state of Connecticut. Lydia Deetz, a pale white girl about the age of sixteen. Her hair was jet black and she preferred to keep it tied up with a dark blue ribbon she had received from her deceased late mother Elizabeth Deetz. Dismal and filled to the brim with despair for her loss no more than eight years ago, Lydia displays her feelings by clothing her body with black outfits and by shunning herself from the outside world and mostly crying herself to sleep night after night.
Lydia's father, Charles Deetz, was more of an upbeat fifty seven year old man that lived for the moment as he sold real estate for a living. Believing in only what was in front of him in that instance, he eventually made the decision of remarrying to the lovely, but clueless, Delia Lynn. A woman born and raised in the big cities of New York, She was definitely street smart, but she fancied herself an "artist", even if it was pretty obvious that she had absolutely no talent for anything besides shopping and gossip.
They traveled along until they were able to spot their new home, an abandoned house on top of a hill where all life had vacated long ago. None had lived in the house since its construction and some even believe that it was built on top of a gateway to the Underworld itself. Lydia had only reluctantly agreed to move houses for the seventeenth time in her lifetime recently. They used to live in a decently large house in Portland, Oregon before this and now, due to her father's profession, had to pack up and move once more. It was hard enough to make friends with her dark attitude and pale complexion and moving all of the time had not helped her at all.
"Look dear, we're almost to our new home." Delia squeaked in her high pitched, overly cheery voice. Lydia slowly lifted her head to look at the run down, four story house. "Yah, until we have to move again." She said under her breath in response to her step-mother's optimism. She had a habit of looking at things with a more logical approach and that usually came off as skepticism. "This is the last time we'll move. I promise." Charles Deetz said to his daughter to help reassure her and try to make her feel better. "That's what you said when we moved to Oregon." She retorted again under her breath. She leaned closer to the left rear car window, resting her elbow along the window's ledge and her chin in the palm of her hand. Lydia daydreamed about one of the days she held so fondly in her memory about her mother. She envisioned her mother's black hair, draping down to the center of her back, her mother's flawless face that Lydia had luckily inherited. She pictured her mother's hazel green eyes and the way she always looked so kind and full of light.
Then Lydia suddenly flashed back to that tragic night when Elizabeth and she were driving home from a doctor's appointment. The sun had just set over the horizon when, the owner of a large silver Chevy Blazer, driving in the oncoming lane, somehow fell asleep at the wheel and drifted into the lane Elizabeth and Lidia were driving in. Elizabeth made a split second decision and swerved to the left in order to avoid the SUV, and sounded the horn to alert the driver. A screaming and panicking Lydia stiffened up her back and pressed herself against the leather seat of the small green Acura Legend, as Elizabeth spun the wheel left and right to regain control of the vehicle. In reaction, the car swerved in both directions and eventually, slid perpendicular to the road, the front seats still located in the oncoming lane. The ordeal was over in a flash and there was little time to react to the next one. A white Suburban was driving down the same road as the Blazer at around sixty miles per hour and barely got to his breaks before plowing into the driver side of the helpless Acura. The only thing Elizabeth was able to accomplish before the forceful collision was wrap her body around her eight year old daughter to attempt to protect her from the majority of harm.
The Suburban pushed the now crumpled up and mangled heap of what once was a small sedan around thirty five feet or more before it skidded to a stop. The heap of metal and upholstery still had enough force in it to travel another seven feet before skidding to a stop itself. The now fully awake driver of the Blazer had stopped his vehicle on the other side of the rural road before witnessing the horrible collision. Shocked at the outcome of his own decisions, the man ran to the folded Acura to make any attempts to rectify the damage he figuratively caused. Upon looking in the shattered window of the passenger side, He saw the woman pinned to the inside of the crumpled vehicle, by the bent and folded door and the imploded front end, and nearly covered in blood. Elizabeth slowly lifted her head to reveal a scared and shaking Lydia who was only cut by the flying glass and bruised slightly.
Elizabeth spoke to the man in a weak and gasping voice. "Please, call the paramedics. Help us!" The man did as he was told and the paramedics arrived within ten minutes of the call. The sirens could be heard off in the distance and a minute later, the white ambulance trucks pulled up as close as they could to the wreckage. At this time, Elizabeth was quickly fading from life as the paramedics and the rest of the crack task force worked to pull a panicking, fear stricken Lydia from the mangled vehicle. After pulling the little girl to safety, the team of responders made their way to the other side of the vehicle to pull Elizabeth to safety and move her to a hospital. Using the instrument called the "jaws of life" they pealed back the layers of metal and finally freed the woman from the car. Her shirt was drenched in her own blood both in the front and in the back, as well as there was chatter from the paramedics of injuries to her spinal column and stomach. However, their talk was too technical for the eight year old girl to fully understand.
The ride in the ambulance was a lonely one as they both were rushed to a nearby hospital in separate vehicles. The paramedic man that stayed with Lydia for the duration of the trip, did all he could to comfort her and reassure her that Elizabeth was being taken care of. Even though the statement was completely true, there was little the paramedics were able to do. Elizabeth whispered something inaudible to the paramedic, who was desperately trying to keep her alive, and finally rested her head back and closed her eyes for the eternal sleep, just as the ambulance pulled into the building's parking lot.
"Lydia?" Delia called to the girl, startling her from her daydream. Lydia suddenly found herself back to her dismal reality and also found herself staring face-to-face with the next stop in her obscure destiny. She exited the car and walked around to the trunk of her father's old Ford wagon to grab her luggage and solemnly made her way to the base of the house. Just as she reached the front steps of the house she felt a wind blow at her back. When Lydia looked up at the old rickety house she began noticing more details about it.
The house was definitely three stories tall, with an underground basement totaling to four stories. The house was also measured at around over two thousand square feet in its entirety. It was painted white, but weather and neglect had faded and dirtied the paint until it began cracking and peeling. The fact that the weather was still beating down rain and dark clouds hung thick in the sky didn't help either. The house looked like it was haunted by the devil himself and probably served as his vacation home. "Deadly Voo." Lydia said to herself under her breath. That was a saying she used whenever something either interested her or impressed her. Now to see what was inside.
Charles Deetz set down his bags, wrapped his right hand around the rust stained round door knob and twisted it. When the door bolt clicked, that was the signal that the door could be pushed open, and that's what Charles did. As the door swung gently inward, the hinges creaked loudly, screaming from the neglect. The lights in the entire house were turned off and the inside looked even more condemned than the outside. Wallpaper was beginning to peel off of the walls. There were cobwebs and spiders scurrying from the sudden appearance of dim light from outside, even though the dark clouds blotted out the majority of it.
The little family of three took their first steps inside the old house and was greeted only by dimming darkness and the smell of musty air. Delia made her way over to a light switch and flicked the old thing in its upward position. The lights then flicked on and a great variety of insects scampered away in fright from their new intruders. "Oh", Delia gasped, "Looks like we'll need to call the exterminator tomorrow." Thinking that she might grow to like this house, Lydia turned to her father and said, "I'm going to go pick out my room, oh kay?" Charles simply looked at his daughter, gave the idea a thought and said to her, "Sounds good. But be careful though. And remember to call for help if anything collapses." Lydia rolled her eyes and said with frustration, "Yes dad." Then she made her way to the staircase in the back of the entryway. The entryway itself took up a good quarter of the house and had a two story tall ceiling with a large crystal chandelier in the middle of it. A set of stairs on the far right side of the entryway led Lydia up to the second floor where the bedrooms and a single bathroom were located. She made her way to the right and opened the first door on the left side of the short hallway. The room looked like it use to be a guest room and was still furnished with antique furniture, even if it was covered in cobwebs and caked with dust.
Sitting just to the right of the door was a vanity with a mirror and a stool bench. It looked like it was made of either birch or redwood. Lydia placed her luggage down and flicked on a light switch. The lights failed to turn on in this room. When Lydia realized that it was due to a burned out light bulb, she smiled at the irony. Just as she took one more step forward, she was startled by a flash of lightning off in the distance and the clash of thunder around three seconds later. Regaining her composure, Lydia decided to poke around her new room a bit. She began by opening, looking through and closing the drawers of the vanity. The first drawer was empty, and so was the second. However when the third drawer slid open she found an old skeleton key. It was quite odd though as the bottom of the key's neck was in the shape of a spider. Lydia held the key up in the air with her right hand to inspect the strange thing better. She failed, however, to notice a real spider crawling up her leg and onto her left hand. The spider was fairly large, had a good sized abdomen for its proportions and was jet black. Lydia only realized that something was crawling on her when the spider bit her in between her thumb and her first finger.
Feeling the stab of the spider's fangs, Lydia instinctively shot her hand up and shook it, flinging the spider to the ground in front of her. However, when the spider hit ground, it didn't turn back onto its legs and quickly skitter away. Instead the moment the spider struck ground, it vanished into dust. "Ow!" Lydia gasped as she began sucking on the bite mark, hoping to suck out any lethal poisons. "Are you alright Lydia?" Delia asked Lydia from beyond the door. "Just a spider bite mam." Lydia still didn't call Delia "mother" much, due to the fact that she was still hung up on her mother's accident and wasn't willing to accept Delia as her mom yet. "Oh dear. Are you alright?" The woman then said, slightly worried about her stepdaughter. "Mm hm." Lydia mumbled while sucking on the bite. Delia then made her final decision about calling the exterminator. "I'll go call the exterminator immediately." She said then walked off to go find a phone book and a land line.
Lidia continued looking around the room as she sucked on the bite another few seconds. A few feet from the door and against the leftmost wall, was a queen sized bed with an extremely old mattress that was worn and had springs sticking out of it. Along the back left corner, stood a chest and six drawers. Along the back wall was an arched window with tattered, moth eaten window drapes. In the back right corner, tucked into the wall, was the closet. Lydia decided to take a look inside and slowly opened the closet door hoping to find the boogeyman or something. Instead the closet was completely empty other than a single book lying on the ground in the back of the closet. Curious, Lydia knelt down and picked the book up off of the ground and began to examine it.
The book had no title but was intricately decorated with bound leather. An imprint in the front cover resembled a black widow spider if one looked carefully at it. The corners were decorated with gold plates in the shape of spider webs and the book also had a locking cover that was held together by a triangle clip and a leather strap. Lydia tried to pry the book open thinking that the strap was old enough to break under the strain. However, she had no luck opening the book at all. She examined the lock carefully and noticed a key hole in it. Remembering the key in her right hand, she decided to see if it would fit. She held the book on top of her left arm, holding the book steady with her hand. Taking the strange key in her right hand and holding it with the first knuckle of her forefinger and the tip of her thumb, she fit the key into the keyhole. Noting that the key fit perfectly in the lock, she turned the key to the right and eventually heard a clicking noise as well as saw the books lock snap open. She then carefully pulled back the leather strap and placed the book in her right arm for better access. With her left hand she gripped the cover of the book and pulled it open.
The book was filled with nothing but blank pages at first. Then, suddenly the entire book began to glow in Lydia's hands. At the same time, the glass in the mirror began to turn dark and began to pour out a thick dark mist. The mist began forming the shape of a hand and it forcefully grabbed Lydia around the waist and arms, pressing the book against her stomach. The hand then quickly dragged Lydia toward the mirror. Lydia closed her eyes thinking that she was going to smash right against the mirror. Instead she passed into the mirror and found herself being pulled through a strange tunnel. The walls of the tunnel were cylindrical and looked as if they were made of silver mist. Suddenly, the glow from the book intensified and destroyed the dark misty hand that grabbed her. Now she was freefalling in a mysterious tunnel and had no idea how to get out of it. Just then the book had stopped glowing and then began breaking itself apart into little red spiders that began covering Lydia's entire body. At once Lydia began panicking and freaking out about being covered my millions of tiny spiders. She began swatting and smacking at the tiny little things, but it was no use. No matter what she did, the spiders wouldn't die. Finally she fainted from all of the stress and panic and fell limp. She was now completely at the mercy of the little spiders. Once the spiders stopped moving, they began fusing into a cloth that rested on Lydia's shoulders. The cloth resembled a red poncho with black lines in the form of a spider web that began at Lydia's neck line all the way down the entire piece of fabric.
It wasn't long until there was a bright light at the end of the silvery tunnel and Lydia was spat out of a portal high in the air of a strange new land, in which she began to plummet to its ground below.
A strange figure rummaging through a giant mound of trash was close by and saw a sudden flash of light in the sky and a figure shot out of it. He followed the strange figure that came from the light until it crashed not too far from where he was. At first the shadowy figure continued rummaging for a decent meal and wanted to ignore the strange figure that had crashed, but he soon stopped singing to himself and sighed, "This is gonna continue to eat at me, isn't it?" He said in his gruff deep voice. Then he made his way toward the crash site.
Slowly, slowly the dark figure reached the crater made by the incoming creature. It was a human girl. Her skin was pale, but she was very pretty. Despite the massive impact, she seemed to be unharmed, just unconscious. A small groan came from the girl, indicating that she was alright, but outside was no place for a little girl. The dark figure was about to pick her up when he heard two voices come from a good distance away. "I think she landed over here." One of them said. "I hope so. If we don't find her, the queen will feed us to the sand worms." The other one noted. "Are they talking about her?" The shadowy figure asked himself. He then lifted the girl up off of the ground and took off deep into the piles of junk.
"It's too bad the sand worms can't sniff her out." One of the voices said as they emerged into view. They were two male soldiers wearing bronze colored armor and both wielding bronze spears. Even though the face was exposed, the only thing that could be seen was their glowing, red eyes. The rest of their faces were shrouded in darkness. "Yah, but you know how they get around places like this. This stuff is like cat nip to them." The other soldier said. They were completely identical so it was extremely difficult to tell which soldier was actually talking. They made their way to the crater and both gazed in. "Where did she go?" One of them asked. "There's no way she could have gotten up after that impact." The other one deduced. "Perhaps she did and wandered off somewhere?" The first one added. "Let's search this place before we make our report." The second suggested. "Good idea." The first one said. Then they split up and began to search the dump site for any sign of the girl.
During their conversation, however the shadowy figure slipped away with the girl and made his way into a decrepit bus. In the front seat, he pulled the shifter so the bus was in drive and then turned the door opener to open the folding door. As it did, a wall designed like a wall of junk opened up and revealed a hidden passageway where the shadowy figure slipped in with the girl and closed the secret door behind him.
It took another hour before Lydia began to stir again. The shadowy figure had gone out just minutes before to see exactly how safe it was outside and to prepare a decent meal for the young lady. Lydia's eyes slowly opened and her head felt like a chunk of wood after an ax had gotten to it. She slowly sat up where she was lying and placed her right hand on her forehead to attempt to hold down her headache. The moment her eyes had readjusted and her vision had cleared and her world had stopped spinning, she began looking around her new surroundings.
She was sitting on a small twin sized mattress with no frame or box spring, but the mattress still seemed fairly new and used very little. The room was fairly small but looked like it was cozy enough to allow two people to live in. Like a one-bed-room-apartment. Straight across from Lydia stood another twin sized mattress just lying on the ground like hers was. It even looked to be in the same condition as the one she was lying on. Directly to her right was a concrete wall that looked slightly decorated with schedules and lists of some sort. To her left, there was a small space for a mini kitchen and lounging area. A single light bulb hung from a fixture that was dangling from the ceiling by two inches of chords. The ceiling itself was also made from concrete and was slightly cracked in some areas. Nothing too bad though. Off in the farthest corner from her was placed a staircase that looked like it led outside. The kitchen area had a small card table and two foldable chairs for its dining and prep area. There also was a single refrigerator that was covered in rust and stains for food storage.
Confused and wondering how she had gotten there, she slowly stood to her feet to begin exploring her new surroundings. The ceiling of the little space was no more than two feet taller than her head. In fact, Lydia reached up and touched the ceiling with her palm and still had her elbow slightly bent. "Oh, you're awake." A mysterious, gruff voice that came from the staircase said to her. Startled, Lydia jumped back and fitted herself in the nearest corner of the room, which happened to be at the top right corner of her mattress. "Easy there kiddo. I'm not gonna hurt ya. In fact, I saved ya from those guards outside." The voice said trying to reassure her. "Guards? What guards? Where am I?" Lydia asked confused and in a mild panic instead. The owner of the mysterious voice emerged into the light of the room and revealed his face to her. He was a blondish green haired man in his late forties. His scraggily blondish-green hair was pulled back and extended down to his shoulders. He wore a black and white striped suit with a purple button up shirt and a black tie. His eyes were set back slightly in his darkened sockets, his skin was as pale as her own skin and his teeth made him look like a vampire that refused to brush his entire life. The man also had a severe overbite and a little bit of a pot belly resting on his hips. He also showed off long red fingernails. "The guards that were..." The man started to say. When he realized that the girl still had no clue what he was talking about, he gave up his explanation. "Never mind." He said then stretched his right hand out to shake hers. "You can call me Beetlejuice." He told her. At first Lydia was reluctant to introduce herself let alone shake a stranger's hand. Beetlejuice looked at his own hand puzzled and said, "Look, it's not like it's gonna bite you or anything." Getting over her shock and fear, Lydia took a few steps forward and grasped the man's hand and shook it. "Ly, Lydia. Lydia Deetz." She said. "Well that's a stranger name than mine, Ly-Lydialydiadeetz." Beetlejuice teased. Realizing that his hand was probably dirty from touching garbage, she pulled her hand away and began rubbing it on her right hip. "It's just Lydia." She corrected him.
"Excuse me, Lyds." Bettlejuice retorted then he walked over to the decrepit refrigerator, grabbed it by the sides and pulled it out and away from the wall. He then went to unplug the machine and a small back surge occurred nearly electrocuting him. "Whoa, now that's shocking!" he coughed. Startled yet amused, Lydia chuckled slightly. "Oh, good. You have a sense of humor. We'll get along just fine then." Beetlejuice said as he stood up and gripped the fridge by the nearest corners. He held on tightly and spun the fridge around slowly, walking along with it. As the fridge made a complete revolution, its shape changed from a bucket of bolts covered in rust and multiple colored stains, to a sparkling white brand new fridge. "Deadly voo. Are you a magician or something?" Lydia asked Beetlejuice. The strange man looked at Lydia with half-eyes and said under his breath, "Newbie's. What are ya gonna do?" Then he turned to Lydia and said, "Yah, you could say that." He then plugged the new clean fridge into the wall and pushed the unit into the space of the old one.
"Hungry?" Beetlejuice asked Lydia. "Please." Was her response moments after her stomach grumbled. The man in the suit then opened the new refrigerator and inside, it was completely stocked with fresh food all except one red apple. "Is that why she threw it out? Boy she's getting too picky." Beetlejuice grumbled to himself loud enough for Lydia to hear. "Who?" She asked. Beetlejuice glanced back at the girl for a moment then turned back to the refrigerator and answered, "The queen of the Neitherworld." He thought about how to explain himself for a short while then he simply gave up when nothing came to him. "You know what? Never mind." He finally said. "Dig out whatever you want in there." Lydia cautiously made her way to the fridge and looked through it to find something she thought she wanted to eat. When she found some fresh fruit and some lettuce, she looked around for a knife to cut them up with. Eventually she found a good sharp knife. However, it was quite dirty. She lifted up her cloth to clean off the knife when she realized that she didn't remember putting on the clothes she was currently wearing. As she examined herself, she noticed that she was wearing a pair of form fitting black pants, a pair of black boots, a black long sleeve shirt that fit her perfectly, fingerless black gloves and a silk garment resembling a poncho. The silk garment was the only thing that wasn't completely black. It was red with a black spider web design all along the entire length. The front of the poncho came to a point half way between her knees and her feet while the back of the poncho came to the same point but dragged on the ground slightly.
"What the..." Lydia said to herself. "What is this?" She examined herself a little more and then continued to clean off the knife when she couldn't think of any logical answers. She cut up the fruit and the vegetables she had selected and threw together a small salad after locating and cleaning out a bowl and fork. After Lydia took her meal to the mattress and flopped down upon it, she sat up Indian style and began eating. "You know you're a slob, right?" She blurted out. Beetlejuice was munching on an ear of raw corn in the same manner as a typewriter. "No I'm not..." he retorted, and then looked around at his shabby living quarters, "I'm a survivor." Lydia said nothing. She simply glared at him with doubt in her eyes, stabbed at her salad with her fork, lifted its skewered contents up to her mouth and popped them in her mouth.
After a silent meal, Beetlejuice lead Lydia to the surface where she finally got a whiff of fresh air, or what was supposed to be fresh air. The moment she breathed in, Lydia had caught the smell of what could only be described as the smell of death. Once it entered her lungs she began coughing and nearly choked on the air. When she was finished coughing on the foul air, she opened her eyes and took a good look around. After getting past the enormous mounds of trash, the land was barren and solid with no signs of life at all. A dark purple mist floated just niches off of the ground and covered the area like a dense fog bank. "What is that smell?" Lydia finally asked, completely disgusted by the pungency. "That is a byproduct of the spells in the queen's cauldron." Beetlejuice explained to her. "Spells?" Lydia asked in confusion. "Welcome to the Nietherworld kid. The queen uses lost souls, like yours and mine, and puts them in a cauldron to fuel her magic." He continued to explain. "Lost soul? You mean like dead-lost soul?" Lydia asked, beginning to freak out some. "That's the only way here." Beetlejuice scoffed.
"No, no, no, no, no! There's no way I can be dead." Lydia panicked, and then suddenly a thought came to her head. "If I'm dead, then does that mean I can see my mother?" She asked Beetlejuice. The man thought about it for a little bit and then answered, "It depends on if she became a lost soul, a blessed soul, or a condemned soul. 'Lost souls' are sent here, 'blessed souls' are sent to Heaven, and 'condemned souls' are sent to the Underworld. How did she die?" He said to her. Lydia lowered her head in sadness and pain and simply told him, "She saved my life when I was eight." "Then she probably became a blessed soul." Beetlejuice solemnly told her. Lydia dropped to her knees for a short while and tried to hold back her tears of loss. Beetlejuice placed a kind hand on Lydia's back to try and comfort her, but was startled when he felt a few small thumps coming from Lydia's body. "What? Was that a heartbeat?" He asked himself under his breath. Lydia finally stood up and looked at him. "So, do you think you could at least give me the grand tour?" She then asked.
End of Episode 1