Disclaimer: I don't own any rights to Thir13en Ghosts; this is just my interpretation of the ghosts right before they died.
"Billy the Brat strikes again." Mr. Michaels hummed as he went through the newspaper.
He was speaking, of course, about his wife's 'good china' collection, which was usually on display in the dining room cabinet. Today, however, its shattered remains were all over the dining room floor, a screaming example of what happened when they took their eyes off of the boy for more than a few seconds.
"I swear, that boy needs to be shipped off to military school." Mrs. Michaels growled as she swept the mess up. "He never listens to anything he's told… It all just goes in one ear and out the other…"
"He's a boy. He'll grow out of it."
She gave a little 'hmph' as she got up, marching into the kitchen, heels clicking against the linoleum. As she emptied the dustpan into the trash, she said, "I wish you would say something to him. For heaven's sake, it's the man's job to instill discipline in the house!"
That was his cue; looking at his watch, Mr. Michaels quickly got up and went for the door. "Sorry, dear, gotta go! I just remembered that there's a meeting at work, really early. Love you!"
Mrs. Michaels rolled her eyes with an exasperated sigh.
"Mom! I'm goin' over to Danny's house to play!" Billy ran through the dining room.
"Wait just one second, young man!" He stopped in the living room, turning to see his mother with her hands on her hips. "Have you forgotten about the mess you made? The mess I had to clean up?"
"No. What's that got to do with anything?" The seven-year-old boy frowned at her, braced like he was ready for a Western stand-off.
The woman frowned back. "Well, I think that you should at least wear some normal clothes as punishment."
"Punishment for what? It was an accident! Besides, I like my cowboy clothes!" Billy stomped the rest of the way to the front door and opened it. "And it's not like you even used those stupid dishes, 'cept when Grandma came over, and she smells like cats!"
Mrs. Michaels put a hand to her face as the door slammed shut, rubbing the side of her head. The day that boy shaped up and started acting responsible couldn't come soon enough.
"Hey, Billy! What took ya so long?" Danny asked as the two boys met up where their front lawns connected.
"Ah, my mom was bitchin' and whinin' about some stupid thing or another." Billy was already using the language his cowboy heroes on TV used, right down to their tough accent. Messing with his headband, he nodded to the object in Danny's hand. "What'cha got there?"
"What, this?" Danny held up the crossbow and steel arrow. A sly grin spread across his face. "It's cool, right? I found it in my parents' closet. It's real, too!"
"Wow!" Both boys looked at it affectionately, thinking it was the most amazing thing in the world.
"Ya know what this calls for? A game of Scaredy-Cat." Danny pulled the steel arrow back until it locked in place.
"Scaredy-Cat?" Billy frowned. "What's that?"
"It's a game that separates the men from the boys. I heard that Injuns used it as a rite of passage." Danny held the crossbow up to his shoulder, looking down the line. "What they'd do is shoot an arrow straight up. If you ran away before it fell down, it meant you were a puss, and ya had to stay home with the women for another year."
"Well, I'm not a bitch." Billy muttered.
"Neither am I."
Now the two stood there, staring at the crossbow in anticipation this time. For a long moment, neither one spoke a word. They were two cowboys considering whether or not to listen to the little voice in their head telling them not to go through with this.
Finally, Billy spoke up. "Well… I'll do it if you do it, but if you're too scared…"
"I ain't scared!" Danny looked at his neighbor with his best game face on. "Let's do this, partner."
The crossbow's holder aimed it straight up and shot it off, and both boys stood there, staring into the sky as the dark dot flew ever upward. Neither one budged as the arrow turned and headed back down, each with his determination steeled by the horrible thought of what names the other would call him if he should move.
Danny's knee twitched the entire time, and when he saw the arrow's tip headed for them, he ran off, tossing the crossbow aside. Billy was knocked onto his side.
He rolled onto his back just in time to see the arrow up-close.
Well, that's the first one. Billy Michaels, the First-Born Son! Let's give 'im a hand, folks! His was the easiest, and therefore not that bloody, seeing as the ghosts suffered progressively more gruesome deaths. I went mostly with the back story for Billy that's posted on the movie website under the article "Misery Loves Company". I'll be bouncing back and forth between that, the back stories easily found on Wikipedia, and any other source that I stumble across or someone feels like sending me.
Anyway, I've got other stuff to work on, but I'll post the next one when I can. Later!