Hi! Welcome to one of my few actually finished fics. This fanfic takes place after the end of Gravity Falls season 1. So anything that happens in GF season 2 won't be mentioned here. As of 8/2/14 I have gone back and edited this fic for mistakes, so hopefully it is much more polished now. Sorry if there are still some mistakes.
I was inspired to write this by some of the amazing fic writers out there. Two writers especially stand out in my mind. (jkl-fff and discogirl-comingthrough are on tumblr and their fics are amazing! Go check them out.)
Chapter One: Gravity Falls Is Not What It Seems
Norman Babcock had barely been Gravity Falls a week and there were already rumors about him around town. His Dad had tried to warn him… not that Norman needed the warning. He knew this would happen.
"We are just going to be in this town for the summer, Norman. Can you please not do anything… different while you're here?" Norman's father had said the word 'different' like he was talking about a rotten piece of food that was stuck in the drain for months instead of his son's ability to talk to the dead. "It's not that there is anything wrong with your, umm, gift, it's just that the people in this town are not like the people back home. They won't understand."
Norman had resisted the urge to roll his eyes. It's true that the people of Blithe Hollow had started to be much friendlier to Norman since the incident with Agatha, but prior to that incident his town used to consider him a complete freak. His father talked like Norman didn't know how people saw him. Norman knew exactly how freaky he was to other people and that was just their initial impression of him even before he mentioned the 'talking to the dead' thing. People aren't all that accepting of a pale, twelve year old boy talking to himself in the street and waving to people who weren't there.
His father continued to insist that Norman should just ignore the ghosts he saw in Gravity Falls and just enjoy his summer like a young boy should. Norman tried to explain that he couldn't just turn his gift off, but his father didn't seem to listen. He insisted that Norman try, and Norman had eventually agreed.
So he tried to ignore the ghosts the first week there. He really did. However, for such a small town Gravity Falls had a lot of ghosts, and it was hard to walk through them as if they weren't there. It felt rude and went against every instinct he had as a medium and as a person. It was hard not to look at them too, and eventually the ghosts noticed him. Multiple ghosts had asked incredulously if Norman could see them, especially if Norman had been staring too long or if he had accidently laughed at a joke one of them made.
The one time Norman made the mistake of answering that yes, he could see them, the whole situation was blown out of proportion. News traveled fast and soon every ghost knew there was a medium in town, and soon they were all asking Norman for favors. Normally, Norman didn't mind; in fact, he has grown to see it as his duty to help ghosts, and occasionally, help them pass over. After all, he was the only one that could. However, there was no way Norman could act normal like his father wanted and help the ghosts.
The towns' people of Gravity Falls began to notice that the new kid was talking to himself and waving at people who weren't there. Unlike in Blithe Hollow, Norman didn't tell people he saw ghosts. He knew they would think he was making it up anyway. So, Norman was seen as that weird, crazy kid in town who was mentally disturbed and should be avoided at all costs.
Despite his father's warnings, Norman once again became the freak in a town that hated his guts. However, this time he didn't have Neil with him to make him feel like he wasn't a complete loser. He didn't have anyone but his family. His grandma had stayed home in Blithe Hollow. She had said something about Norman needing to spend some time with his family without her because it would be good for him. Norman had no idea what she meant by that. Spending time with his family in the cabin they rented for the summer just made Norman feel lonelier.
Not to mention, with all the whispers and rumors circulating around town, Norman was pretty sure his family was embarrassed by him. His dad definitely looked disappointed, but that's how he always looked when he spoke to Norman.
"Hey Freak! Why don't you go talk to yourself some more!" someone called from the other side of the street. Norman kept his head down and didn't look in their direction. Maybe they would just go away?
"He doesn't have any friends," a second kid added, "so who else is he going to talk to?"
"Just go back to wherever you came from!" the first kid added. People looked up and were watching the scene now as Norman tried to walk faster. Not even grownups intervened when kids made fun of him. They just watched and tried to stay out of it; maybe even usher little children away from Norman as if he had rabies or something.
"I don't get it?" A little girl's voice asked. "Why are they so mean to you?" Norman smiled down at his friend. She couldn't have been more than seven when she died.
"It's okay, I'm used to it," Norman assured her. "People… people don't like things they can't explain. I'm weird so they don't like me."
The little girl frowned as she floated beside him. "That's a stupid reason not to like someone! Well, I don't like them because they are mean to my friend Norman! Let's see if they like that!"
Norman laughed. "Thanks Cheyenne, but it's okay, really! I'm used to people not liking me. And I have a good friend back home. His name is Neil. So as long as I have one friend… I'm okay. And now I have you, and you're my friend, right? So that's at least two friends."
Cheyenne continued to frown as she flicked her blonde hair out of her eyes. "I still don't like how mean they are to you. If I was alive I would kick their butts!"
Norman laughed again. He had meat Cheyenne a few days ago and had been amazed at how mature the young girl was. It's true she had been dead for a long time (about fifty years in fact) but children always stayed mentally their same age once they died. Time didn't affect ghosts the same way it did humans. However, although Cheyenne was mentally very young, she still had years of experience as a ghost and that made her very aware of certain things that most ghost children are often not aware of.
Many ghost children as young as Cheyenne never realize they are dead, or at least, they don't fully realize it in the way adult ghosts do. Often, children of a young age pass on easily with just a little coaxing, and the only reason they stuck around at all is because of their confusion. Norman often didn't like dealing with ghosts who died so young. It made him really sad, but Cheyenne was different. She wasn't sad to be dead. Cheyenne was not confused about what she was. She explicitly told him that she would not move on until her parents did.
Cheyenne's parents were a sweet old couple named Mr. and Mrs. Murphy. They were living together in Gravity Falls and they didn't have any more kids after their daughter, Cheyenne, died at such a young age. Cheyenne told Norman that she had been very sick when she died, but that she couldn't remember what the sickness was.
Strangely enough, the ghost of Cheyenne was of a happy, healthy child, and there was no evidence of her sickness on her ghostly form. Some ghosts, if they had enough spectral energy, didn't always look the way when they did when they died. Sometimes they looked the way they did when they were at their happiest.
Cheyenne assured Norman she would cross over once her parents passed away. This way, she could go with them. Cheyenne was a stubborn girl and nothing Norman said could convince her to cross over before them. As a ghost, Cheyenne had stuck with her parents for fifty years; Norman doubted she would change her mind now.
"How are your mom and dad doing?" Norman asked.
"They're really good! They are going to start traveling in a few months so I'm going to go with them! I can't wait to see Hawaii!"
Norman bit his lip. "You sure you don't want me to talk to them?"
Cheyenne shook her head. "No, it's okay. They're not sad about me anymore and I don't want them to know I'm here and make them sad again. They will see me eventually."
Norman smiled at her. "You're really smart, Cheyenne."
Cheyenne beamed. "Thanks! You're really nice, Norman. I'm going to miss you when you go home."
"Yeah, you too," Norman responded, but he didn't look at her when he said it. The truth was, even though she was his friend and he would miss her, he wanted to go home right now.
"You don't like it here, do you?" Cheyenne asked.
Norman swallowed thickly. "N-No, not really. B-but don't worry about me!" He said quickly. He didn't want to tell her how hard it was to be here. He didn't want to tell her how this town was starting to feel like his old one before everyone believed him. He was starting to feel lonely again, and more like a freak than ever before. "I'll be fine!"
Suddenly, the ghost and medium heard loud screaming and the sound of heavy running.
"It's coming!" screeched a loud, feminine voice.
From around the corner came two people about Norman's age. They both had the same brown hair and eyes, and very similar features. One was a girl with long hair and a heavy, home-made sweater, and the other was a boy with a vest and a hat with a pine tree on it. The girl was screaming at the top of her lungs, and the boy kept looking behind him as if something was chasing them. They were holding hands as they sprinted down the street away from the forest.
Norman watched them pass with curiosity.
"That was weird," Cheyenne commented. "What are they running from?"
Norman shrugged. He hadn't seen people scream like that since the undead invaded his hometown. Whatever those two were running from they believed they were running for their lives.
Norman looked around the corner where the twins had come from. The town stopped at the end of the road and there was only the edge of the think forest in front of him. Norman assumed the kids had run out of the forest since they couldn't have come from anywhere else.
"Have you ever been in there, Cheyenne?" Norman asked.
The ghost shuddered involuntarily. "No way! It's too dark in there! And who knows what kind of monsters are in there!"
Norman was about to point out that she was dead and nothing could hurt her, but stopped himself. She was still just a little girl, and most people were afraid of the dark.
Norman, however, didn't quite have the same aversion to the dark that most people did. He had spent many evenings walking through the graveyard in the dark just before his curfew in order to help out some of his ghost friends in Blithe Hallow. The dark was not something to be scared of just because he couldn't see through it. Norman knew firsthand how harmful it was to be afraid of things just because one doesn't understand them.
And so, Norman took a step forward to peer into the brush. He really hoped it wasn't a bear or some other wild animal they had been running from.
Suddenly, it was like all the warmth had been sucked from the world and Norman's chest filled with ice. Norman gasped, but any surprised shout he wanted to make was sucked from his throat. The air was pulsing when some kind of terrible energy and he felt the same way he did when he had visions of Agatha. However, the world around him remained the same, and no vision overtook his grasp on reality. He could hear Cheyenne calling for him to come back, but her words sounded so far away as his body walked to the edge of the woods.
The strange energy pulsed again, and made the hair on his arms stand up. His mind screamed at him to run, and yet, he found himself being pulled forward. Everything about this was wrong. It didn't feel like a ghost; it didn't even feel like a poltergeist.
It felt… somehow worse?
And then, he saw it. The thing he had been pulled towards. In the dark underbrush he saw something glistening up at him. Norman picked it up and inspected the object carefully. It was a white comb. It looked centuries old and as if it was made from some kind of bone. It was plain, but somehow that made it even more beautiful.
"Weird," Norman mumbled to himself.
"Norman!" Cheyenne shouted and suddenly she was by his side. The pulsing energy around him dissipated, and her voice was no longer distorted. Norman looked around, shocked to find he had wondered deeper into the forest than he had thought.
"Norman! I was so scared! I was yelling and you wouldn't say anything! H-hey, what is that?" Cheyenne asked in a rush, finally spotting the comb.
Norman shook his head. "I don't know, but something is weird about it." Norman looked unsteadily around the forest again. "Come on, let's get you home. It's getting late."
Please review! He will actually meet the twins pretty soon, promise.