Fang: Um… are you alright?
Velya: Haaahahaahhaaahaahahahaaahaa ...hahaahaaahaaha! *falls down and continues to laugh hysterically*
Fang: *Is disturbed* I don't think I even want to know. Be afraid, dear readers, be very afraid. Ah! Disclaimer… ShadowedFang and her splinter personalities do not own Danny Phantom.
Muffled thumps from Jazz's room above me push back the grey haze that I've been living in for the past two weeks. My daughter had come home for the first time in several days, but she hadn't even looked at Jack or I once. Speaking of Jack, I would need to drag him from the lab in ordered to eat… he had been down there for days now. Personally I don't even want to set foot down there, but I can't let him starve himself to death.
The food bubbled cheerily, completely at odds with my current mood. There would be no point in even attempting to dislodge Jack until the food was done, but Jazz might not be staying for very long and I have to talk to her. I put down the spoon that I had been using to stir the chili, for once untainted by ectoplasm. I had personally thrown out all ectoplasm samples ever since… it had happened. Briefly I contemplated whether or not I was brave enough to try to talk to her, she was finally home, trying to talk to her might make her mad enough to leave again… If I didn't try, I never would be able to again.
I hesitate at the top of the stairs, before finally taking those last five steps to the door. Dread slows my movements as I tap twice on my daughter's bedroom door twice before opening it.
"Maddie." She greets me frostily, that one word cutting deeper than any physical injury I have ever sustained. Her eyes are hard, gleaming with cold hatred and her lips draw back ever so briefly in a feral flash of teeth, an ancient show of aggression. Stay away from me, her entire posture screams. Her hands curl into fists by her sides. "What do you want?"
The entire room is in organized chaos, centered around a half full blue duffel bag on the bed. Realization burns through me. "No." It was faint and full of pain, barely even a sound at all, merely an echo of dying hope. Her head tilts to the side for a long moment, the motion so very Danny that I flinch backwards. Cold steel eyes regard me, savage satisfaction flickering in their depths at my reaction. "Don't do this… You can't leave me."
"Whyever not?" All emotion leaves her face, her voice free of all inflection. A cold and distant stranger stands in my daughters place. I could not even blame ghosts for the changes this time. Another wave of pain goes through me. Not my daughter, my best friend, my confidante, not now. I stare at her brokenly. I attempt to speak, but the words catch in my throat, the protests and the pleas dying unspoken. "You aren't yet eighteen ."
She turns her back on me, the action somehow final and resounding. "The paperwork for my emancipation went through far faster than I had expected, there isn't anything that you can do about it. I have both a job and a place to stay." Items slowly find their way into the bag, though many of the things that she once treasured remain. Bearbert, which Jack and I had given her for her fourth birthday lies discarded by the foot of the bed. A picture of all of us as a family lies face down on the nightstand, though I see the glass and wood frame of a picture of her and Danny gleaming softly in the lamplight from within the depths of the bag. Numerous other items that Jack or I had gotten her seemed to be lying in pieces or merely forgotten.
She finishes putting the stacks of clothing lying on the bed into the duffel and zips it before she turns to me, those terribly cold eyes mocking. "If I wanted you to know I would not be moving out." The strap of that bag is over her shoulder and she steps around me without truly looking at me. I reach out, to stop her, to try to explain. Her burning icy glare causes me to flinch, my hand dropping numbly back down to my side. She walks out through the door of what had once been her bedroom.
"I didn't know!" I cried out desperately, willing to do almost anything to keep her from leaving because I knew, in my heart of hearts that if she walks away now… She would never come back.
She stops in the doorway, unmoving… not even looking at me, that cut as much as anything else did. "You say that as if it absolves you of responsibility. Even if it had not been my brother, not been your son under your accursed scalpel it would still be wrong. There was always a reason that I railed against your obsession with catching a ghost and destroying it, even before Danny became one. He saved this city countless times, saved the world at least thrice… and you still set aside all pretense of human compassion and morals for scientific curiosity, or perhaps simply for xenophobic sadism. I will not associate with such creatures." The sound of the front door slamming shut was as that of a tomb. Shattered wood ground together causing the entire frame to groan and abused hinges shrieked like a tortured soul.
She was gone. She was gone and she would never look back. All ties to us, to her former life have been broken. The hardwood floor is harsh against my knees and I subconsciously press a hand to my chest… searching for the wound. There is no warm wetness against my fingers, but somehow my nose is filled with the scent of blood and ectoplasm as the wracking sobs do their best to tear my fragile frame apart. Icy white light and my own wondering murmurs as I cut my son to pieces flit through my mind. Vibrant viridian green ectoplasm and abyss black ebony is replaced by crimson blood and ivory bone in my head. The room spins and I twist violently to get rid of the accusation, the knowledge that I had destroyed everything that I loved. Piercing, echoing spectral shrieks devolve into disturbingly human screams as I kneel there on the cold tile, soaked in the evidence of my own culpability. The memory of screams echoes through me as I flee into silence, perhaps never to return… Anything to stop this pain.
Fang: The disturbing thing is that this chapter was written at the exact same time as the last one, quite literally. On another note, I have come to the conclusion that I need a beta reader. Not in the sense that I need proof reading… but I need someone to read my work and bounce ideas off of for the creative process. I run Nebulous Mistress down occasionally for help, but I need a true volunteer.