This is written for jeanette9a. She sent me a rather large stack of youtube videos intended to scare me. Rather than fear...
You put me in a playful mood. This is what happens when I get playful...
The ceremony was beautiful. It had everything the happy couple obsessed over. In front of an assembled crowd of freeloaders and the mildly interested, the Box Ghost and the Lunch Lady formally declared their love for each other and gave the traditional threat to all assembled and the Ghost Zone at large that an attack on one was an attack on both and would be responded to in kind. The venue was a school cafeteria full of boxes. The food was catered by the Lunch Lady herself and no one dared to refuse, no matter how much they sullenly picked at it when she wasn't looking. The chairs and tables were wooden crates, the dance floor cardboard. Dead flowers adorned every table and the decorations on the walls featured vultures pecking at bloodied banners.
Ember caught the bouquet of white lilies and wilted roses. Skulker hid behind the crowd, trying to avoid gaggles of glowing women hounding him about being next. Walker offered his congratulations to the bonded couple, formally declaring their union 'in accordance with the rules'. Spectra sent Bertrand to give her blessings while she moved from table to table lending a sympathetic ear for those who described the food as 'soul-crushing'. Kitty kept giving Johnny 13 expectant looks while he spent the entire time thoroughly uncomfortable. Phantom lurked in a corner making gagging motions until forcibly dragged out by some ghost he didn't know to present the gift his sister had made him bring. All in all it was a successful wedding.
That night as the Box Ghost and Lunch Lady relaxed and recovered from the excitement the Box Ghost kept thinking back to the one tangible gift they'd been given. Maybe gifting was some sort of human thing. Still, he couldn't stop thinking about the perfect cardboard box with its carefully placed tape and lovingly creased paper. That wasn't even the best part. Inside...
"He not only searched the real world for such a wonderful gift but he so expertly killed it for us," the Lunch Lady marveled. Her thoughts dwelled on the same topic as her Boxy. She held the box's contents in her hands. It was far too small for her or even the Box Ghost. It was an old lunch box. The plastic was so worn and faded that its original color was a mystery. A peeling sticker on the front showed a man in bright colors flying like a ghost and a few block words mostly scratched off and lost to time. Inside was a mismatched cracked thermos that still held the soured remains of half a carton of milk, a moldy sandwich, and a few dead bugs. As it sat open in her hands the bugs reanimated and scurried away, off into the Ghost Zone. "And I thought he didn't like us. We misjudged him. He can be such a nice boy."
"Does he know something?" the Box Ghost asked. "We never told anyone we wanted children, did we? I, the Box Ghost! Did not say anything." He raised up to triumphantly announce himself then floated back down to continue the conversation. "And this is just the right size. We weren't that obvious, were we?"
The Lunch Lady shook her head. "I don't think so," she said. "I didn't say anything either; hadn't we decided to wait a little while? Because we weren't sure how people would react?"
"Somehow, my Lady, I don't think we have to worry about people's reactions." The Box Ghost wrapped his arms around his love.
"Oh Boxy, I can't wait." The Lunch Lady picked up her new husband and dragged him away.
Days, weeks, months later left them nervous. Anticipation was brutal as the pair of them sat in the waiting room of the hospital. This place here in the world of the living was said to be the best for their purposes. The Box Ghost wasn't so sure. This place looked just like all the others: bright clean paint and the stench of antiseptic, patients wheeled around by tired nurses, doctors shuffling from one room to another...
"This is the place," the Lunch Lady said. Her voice had a distinct finality to it. The Box Ghost merely nodded and held her hand as they flew to the maternity wing. He began to relax as the feel changed...
Here the walls were marred with cracks and stains. The smell of blood and the sweet perfume of infection warred with the stinging stench of clean. Screams of pain rang out like a symphony behind closed doors. Nurses and doctors ran through the halls from one errand to the next, stripping bloody gloves and soiled aprons as they ran to save time.
The Box Ghost and the Lunch Lady held each other and sighed happily. This was the place.
Tucked into a corner near the deceptively clean entrance sat the maternity ward's observation room. The glass was clean if a little fogged, the babies within their little bassinets kicked and wiggled while their mothers recovered. The Box Ghost's eyes went wide at the sight of all of these children and their blankets kept in perfect little open boxes like unwrapped packages. A nurse went from box to box, checking the babies and occasionally holding one up to the faces pressed against the glass looking in.
The Lunch Lady drifted from bassinet to bassinet, looking at all the wonderful little faces. So many healthy, strong faces that would grow up to be living children in the lunch line, eager little round faces always looking forward to the Monday meatloaf and a carton of wholesome milk.
A scratchy little cry drew both their attention. In the back, hidden away from the glass, was a little girl. Soft black hair, big brown eyes, and a little hiccuping cough...
The Lunch Lady stood over her, entranced. The Box Ghost floated up next to her and laid his head on her shoulder. "She's perfect, my Lady."
"She's the one," the Lunch Lady agreed. She reached down for their little baby.
The nurse was busy holding up a little boy for the father and his two daughters to see when one of the babies gave a shriek like the damned that faded and ended with a scratching rattle. She almost dropped the child, barely managing to get him in his bassinet before rushing to the sound of distress. She picked up the little black-haired baby girl...
She called the code before putting the baby down and yanking the curtains to the observation window closed.
The families didn't like having to watch a baby die.
The Box Ghost and the Lunch Lady walked out of the hospital, their little baby girl in the Lunch Lady's arms. She brushed soft black hair out of the baby's big red eyes.
"We shall call her 'Box Lunch'!" the Box Ghost cried, floating up into the air with the force of his joy. "She will be our perfect daughter with both our strengths!"
Box Lunch cooed and waved her little blue fists.
"See?" he cried. "She likes it!"
The Lunch Lady had to agree. Box Lunch was perfect...