The following morning, Francesca had no idea that her beloved Grim had disappeared. She had no way of knowing that night's grim events, and was entirely oblivious to the nasty surprise that was in store for her...
As she walked down the street from her home, she began to wonder whether Billy, Mandy and Grim were still alright together.
'Probably...it was just a little misunderstanding after all, nothing to worry about!' She thought, watching the said house looming into view.
But when she arrived, the first thing she noticed was that the place seemed awfully quiet...so quiet that it actually appeared eerie.
Hoping it was simply her pessimistic imagination, Francesca walked up to the door and knocked. After a short while, Billy himself opened the door.
He didn't look happy.
"Hey, Billy..." Francesca stared down at the boy's unusual look. He wasn't wearing his typical hat, and his orange hair was messed up. His eyes, the eyes that usually brimmed with cheerfulness, now held a certain melancholy which she had never seen on him before.
"Hey Fran..." He lowered his head sadly, and she could see that he was trying his best to hold back tears.
"Billy, what the hell happened boy?!" She knew it was pointless to beat around the bush. The blow was going to come sooner or later anyway...
"It's...It's Grim! H-he...tried t-to kill M-Mandy!" Billy sniffled, bursting into sobs.
Francesca froze. It was as if he had just slapped her in the face, although admitably that would probably have been better than the torture her ears had just been subjected to.
"He t-tried t-to kill M-Mandy...T-there was a-a b-big f-fight!...He l-left...for g-good...Never c-coming back..." He said through sobs.
"No...Billy you don't know what you're saying! Grim kill Mandy?! Grim wouldn't hurt a fly! Let alone you two!" Francesca chuckled nervously. She felt weird. This whole situation felt uncomfortably weird. It was as if someone was messing with them all.
"H-He's a bad g-guy! And we g-got rid of him for g-good! We don't n-need a m-murderer!" Billy cried.
"Billy! Come to your senses kid!" Francesca snapped: "This is ridiculous! I'm telling you, Grim would never try to kill you! Mandy must've been dreaming!"
"Oh really? Then why is my bed snapped in half?"
Francesca whipped around and found herself face to face with Mandy. Her face looked even more sour than usual (if that was possible) and she was glaring up at Francesca.
"Mandy..." Francesca murmured.
"He's gone Fran, I...I'm sorry," the little girl sighed heavily: "I know you shared a strong bond with him, but it's for the best. His actions have gone too far..."
Francesca lowered her head in sadness. She focused hard on a small patch of grass, trying not to cry. There were so many questions she wanted to ask...so many answers she needed...
Why wasn't she getting any?!
"We'd best forget him..." Billy sniffled: "Like he never wa-"
"NO!" Francesca yelled suddenly: "I am NEVER going to believe these ridiculous lies! Something weird is going on here and I know Grim's not the culprit!"
"Just because you don't want to accept it doesn't mean it's not true! He IS the grim reaper!" Mandy reasoned impatiently.
"It's not true! I don't want him to leave me! I need him! I'm gonna go look for him and I'm gonna bring him back!" and with that, Francesca turned and took off running down the patio, with Billy and Mandy staring wide-eyed right after her.
"Are you crazy?! You can't bring back a demon! Hey! Francesca! Get back here!" Mandy shouted, but it was no use. She wasn't going to listen.
She knew her dear Grim was no murderer.
The gathering had started, in the Boogeyman's little room in the hottest part of the Underworld. Nergal was leaning against the black, charred wall, and Jack was sitting on one of the velvet armchairs.
"Now then," Boogey stood up and walked out into the centre of the room: "You're both probably wondering why I gathered you here today."
"Yeah, why?" Jack wasted no time in asking.
"You see, I've learnt that you and I share a common enemy..." Boogey hinted slowly.
"There is only one enemy I have, and that's the Grim Reaper!" Jack snarled.
"Well he certainly is my enemy as well!" said Nergal.
"Yeeees, good good..." Boogey drawled: "You see, I've held a grudge against that pathetic, bag of bones since we were just children, and I hate him so so SO much that it's almost laughable! I dream of murdering him every single cursed night, and ever since I heard of you two I've come up with a plan..."
"Hey, this is getting pretty interesting!" Jack said amusedly.
"Yesterday, I worked hard on tricking his cronies, Billy and Mandy, into thinking he was their enemy. I even went so far as to disguise myself as him and tried to kill Mandy! They kicked him outta the house, and he's all alone now. While he's vulnerable and unprotected, we should kidnap him and torture him into insanity!" Boogey explained with delight.
"My my, that's quite the plan you have there!" Nergal appeared amused.
"Once we have him in our hands, you can do whatever you want with him! Take him apart, crush his bones, burn him down to a pile of ash, your choice! But at the end of it all...we kill him!" Boogey stated firmly.
"I'm in! I ended up like this because of that wretched bastard, an' I won't rest until I see him dead!" said Jack.
"Count me in as well! I always enjoy a bit of cruelty!" Nergal said as he stood up straight.
"Excellent!" Boogey clapped his hands triumphantly: "Then we can get on with our plan, the plan to kill the grim reaper!"
As the fire began to burn itself out, their evil laughter echoed off the blackened walls...