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Danny Phantom by KaliPhantom


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Note: Again, clean version to be found on FFN (www.fanfiction.net/~cordria), noted version here.  Comment if you'd like me to continue.  Thanks!

Real Life
The Author’s Notes Edition
A Danny Phantom FanFiction by Cordria

--
(chapter 1)

In Which There Are No Such Things as Ghosts

Author’s Comments in Bold

--

This story starts out almost the same as my first one-shot in the Real Life series.  Actually, I just copied and pasted, and changed it from first person to third person.  ;)

Sam stared at the creature that stumbled out of the portal, completely transfixed, her heart pounding a million miles a second as terror-driven adrenaline pumped through her body.  The thing’s skin was savaged and darkened with painful-looking burns.  Shockingly white hair stood straight up from its head, greenish energy still sizzling between the spikes.  Curls of smoky steam swirled upwards from the ragged remains of its black pants, silver-white shirt, and unbuttoned black jacket.

Check the redesign.  I was due to do one.  Remember… no gloves.

It collapsed onto the ground, sitting on its feet, and held up its trembling hands.  Her mouth was moving, trying to talk, trying to do something – anything – as an unnaturally cold breeze blew down her back.  Sam shivered, unable to wrench her eyes away from the human-like creature as it gazed at its palms in silence.  When it flipped one of its hands over to examine the back, she caught a glimpse of a harsh, smoldering wound that stretched from wrist to fingers.  Just for a second, a flicker of jade lightning zapped around its fingers.

That wound becomes important later, a lot like Spiderman’s bite.  Remember it.  But I’ll remind you like all good authors do.

Her back bumped into a table, knocking the random inventions around.  Her brain dimly registered the fact that she had been slowly backing away from this creature since it had emerged from the swirling, emerald mass of energy that had once been a messy hole in the wall.  At the sound of an invention crashing to the ground it looked up, unnatural green eyes that were accented by dark, bruised circles focusing on her.  She gasped, her eyes widening even further – she could see the picture on the wall through the creature’s head.

“Sam?” it muttered faintly.  It had an odd reverberation in its voice, almost like it was talking from really far away.  Its voice caused the hair on her arms to stand up and her knees trembled as an instinctive desire to run away from this thing flooded through her.  But she couldn’t look away from the eerie eyes that had captured hers.  Somehow… somehow there was something familiar about those eyes…

Suddenly it hit her.  “Danny!” she gasped, her hand flying to her mouth in horrified surprise.  Beside her, Tucker sank to the ground, a moan escaping from between his lips.

“What?” Danny asked, narrowing his eyes before glancing back down at his hand.  “It’s so weird, it doesn’t even really hurt any more,” he added softly, flipping his hand over and over, prodding the angry red burn with his finger.

“D-dude,” Tucker stuttered.  “I-I think… I think you might be dead.”

Danny looked up at them with an arched eyebrow.  “What?” he asked again, this time disbelief and humor coloring his tone.  “Are you nuts?  I’m not dead.”

He says for the first of a million times in these first few chapters… it gets a bit old.

Sam couldn’t think of anything to say to that and, from the silence, apparently neither could Tucker.  The only thing she could do was point to the mirror on the wall with a trembling finger.  Slowly he got to his feet and staggered across the room, his white shoes seeming to hover a tiny bit above the floor.  She couldn’t help it – she edged away from his chill presence as he passed by them.  Tucker, still on the ground, scooted backwards a bit and pressed his back against her legs.

Tucker and Sam are afraid of this creature that is floating in front of them, even though they know it’s Danny.  I’ll explain this better as we go along.  Don’t want to give everything away.

Hmm… I have this tough time with the idea of ghosts being intangible and being able to walk through walls and such… and then always being able to walk on the floor.  What is so special about the FLOOR that they don’t just fall through it unless they’ve got haywire ghost powers?  I’ve fixed this in my story.


Danny reached the mirror and stared into it, holding perfectly still for the longest of seconds.  His fingers were clamped by his sides, his arms shaking visibly.

“I think you’re a ghost,” Tucker whispered.

Danny shook his head, fizzled hair flying and settling down in a slightly-more normal pattern.  “Ghosts don’t exist, Tuck.”  But Sam noticed he couldn’t wrench his eyes away from the mirror.  He was just gazing at his reflection, shock and denial coloring his voice.  Glancing at his friends once over his shoulder, taking in their fearful expressions, he turned back to examine the creature in the mirror.  “Ghosts don’t exist,” he muttered darkly.

This phrase also becomes a broken record for awhile… *sigh*

“Danny?” she rasped, finally finding her voice again.  She had seen the growing terror and panic in his face.

“Ghosts don’t exist.  I’m not dead,” he answered, shaking his head again.  Closing his eyes, he clenched his fingers into a tight fist, his whole body beginning to shake.  “I’m not dead, I’m not dead, I’m not dead…” he was muttering it over and over, almost like a mantra.

See what I mean?

Sam pushed herself away from the table, forcing her feet to take a few steps closer towards him.  Ghost or not, this was her best friend.  Fear was warring with her brain, her instincts screaming at her to run away as fast as she could.  Trembling, she took another step, reaching up her hand to touch his shoulder.  “Danny?”

I’m not dead!” he yelled as emerald energy suddenly flared in existence around him.  It blazed; its freezing fire scorching Sam’s raised hand.  As the mirror shattered and inventions all around the room rattled and cascaded from tables in the fury-filled wind that had sprung up in the basement, she lost what little control over her body she had left.

Ever seen Poltergeist?  Neither have I.  I’ve got this vague idea that the ghost in Poltergeist does a lot of this telekinetic stuff.  Thought it’d be fun to put in.  

She ran.

--

Danny wasn’t aware of when his friends left.  His eyes closed and he backed away from the mirror, shaking his head desperately.  He did not want to believe what he had just seen.  He was not a ghost; he was not dead.  It wasn’t possible.

He clenched his fingers, freezing in place with one thought coursing through his head.  If only he could find his heartbeat, then he’d know that he was alive.  His whole being was centered on the hopes of him finding that singular sound.  He stood perfect still, head tipped to the side, listening in growing terror to the silence that was inside of him.  He wanted nothing more than to hear his heart thumping in his chest and to hear the raspy sound of air in his lungs.

As the silence stretched on for an infinitely long moment, his hands started to shake, his toes curled up.  He closed his eyes harder, squeezing them shut to the point of pain, hands coming up to block his ears.  He wasn’t listening hard enough.  That had to be the problem.

I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be dead.  This lead to a not very fun year when I was a teenager, but it’s still a curiosity that bugs me sometimes.  What would be like to not have a heartbeat?  To not breathe?  To have every life process inside of you just stop?  What kind of silence would that be?

I used to sit in the dark, listening to myself breathe and counting my heartbeats, listening to my stomach gurgle and hearing my eyes blink (which is odd… there’s a funky little click that goes with it if you listen carefully).  I’d fall into this state where I wasn’t even thinking anymore and just let myself hang…

If you’re wondering, yes, this is where ‘Darkness’ originally came from.  And the oneshot ‘Tapes’.


He wrapped himself in the desire to be human: to be warm and heavy, to feel the comforting rhythms of life swirling around inside of him.  “Please,” he begged to no one and everyone.  “Please…”

Then an instinct that he had possessed for a whole of thirty seconds swam into his head, directing his thoughts, reaching for a place in his mind that was filled with that longed-for life.  Danny almost cried out loud as his mind touched it and warmth blasted through him.  

A tingling pain slammed into existence in his chest and it rushed around him in all directions like a wave, reaching down to the end of his toes and the tips of his fingers before it rebounded and crashed back together in his heart.  There the pain sat, growing in intensity, sending sharp needles of agony ripping through him.  Finally it reached a point where Danny didn’t think he could take a single moment more when…

Or so says my Grandpa that his heart attack felt like before his heart restarted.

Thump-thump.  The sound of his heart made Danny’s already weak legs collapse underneath him and a too-long-held breath gushed out of his lungs.  For the longest time, he sat on the floor, reveling in the sudden return of his heartbeat and the ebbing ache, letting air rush in and out of his lungs.  Finally, he opened his eyes, looking up into what remained of the cracked mirror and dreading what he would see.

Black hair.  Blue eyes.  Completely solid.  

“What?” he rasped, pushing himself to his feet and carefully stepping over sharp bits of mirror that littered the floor.  He gazed at his reflection in amazement for a moment before turning around and staring at the lab.

It was totally trashed.  Tables were overturned, inventions scattered in every direction.  Two of the shelves on the other side of the room had tipped over and were a chaotic mess.  His head swiveled almost against his will as he glanced over at the where the hole in the wall should have been.  Instead of a hole, the wall seemed to continue in a mass of swirling green.

He took a step towards the ethereal lights, a hand coming up to brush the foggy surface.  It was like touching a cloud.  His hand tingled and ached as it held it against the portal into the realm of the afterlife.  Fingers became translucent and a huge burn mark slowly appeared on his palm.  He gazed at his hand in horrified amazement, watching the tips of the clean suit’s sleeves begin to tinge black.

In my world, Danny can’t be human when in the ‘spirit world’ known as the ghost zone.  If he gets too near the window, he reverts to his ghost form against his will.  (plot point later)  I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to do with the ghost zone… I might just skim over it and have it be a non-issue.  I’m worried it’ll get too confusing with the two planes of existence in the ‘real’ world and then adding in a whole other dimension…  yeah.

“NO!” he gasped, pushing at the encroaching black.  He stumbled away from the table, yanking the white coat off and throwing it across the room.  Swept up in his fear, he didn’t notice his hand fade back into reality as he yanked the clean suit pants off of his legs and left him in his normal jeans and shirt.  Free of the white outfit, he scrambled backwards away from it.

A lot of people have Danny coming out of the portal free of his jumpsuit.  Where’d it go???  I say he took it off.  So his ‘human’ form can look however it wants, and his ‘ghost’ form is imprinted with his clean-suit-costume-thingy.

“No, no, no,” he panted as he turned to race blindly for the stairs.  The forgotten thermos appeared under his foot about half-way across the room and he tripped.  Yelping at the pain that was slicing through his ankle, he picked up the thermos and tossed it angrily towards the wall.  It slapped into the wall inches from the supernatural portal.

Just for a second, he gazed at the swirling clouds.  Two eyes gleamed back at him.

MORE FORESHADOWING!  Hehe…

Danny’s eyes widened in terror.  He threw himself to his feet and darted towards the stairs, never noticing that his feet were passing straight through the scattered inventions on the floor.

Originally, this section wasn’t here.  I was going to do this whole chapter from Sam’s point of view.  Until it was pointed out that I was going to be chased town, skinned, tarred and feathered, and hung out to dry if I didn’t add in Danny’s reaction.  In my original plot-line, we don’t get to see Danny’s POV until after school the next day.  

I’m glad I put it in.


--

Sam sank into her soft bed and choked back desperate sobs.  She had raced her shadow home, blown past her startled parents, and then had locked herself into her room.  She was sobbing – both from lack of breath and from the terror that was clawing at her mind.  Burying her head into her pillows, she didn’t give a second thought to the eyeliner and mascara that smeared all over the purple pillow shams.  She had seen… she had seen…

Danny was dead.  

That shy, blue-eyed boy had been her best friend since kindergarten.  The two of them had grown up with each other, laughing and playing their way through all their troubles with Tucker by their side.  Danny was the only person who knew all of her secrets, the only person who had never judged her when she had proclaimed herself a gothic vegan.  He had always been there to laugh with her and make her smile.  He was the only person who had ever seen her truly fall apart and cry.

Now he was dead, and it had been her fault.

Almost unaware of what she was doing, she got up and walked across the room, her hands scrabbling at one of the drawers.  Fingers curled around a small bottle and she stared at it.  ‘Celexa’ the bottle proudly announced.  Her hands shook for a moment as they tightened around the bottle of antidepressants.  

Sam suffers from depression, and is still recovering from an attempted suicide.  I’m not sure how big a part of the story this will be (probably not much, I’m not going to bring it up unless there’s a point to it), but Celexa is a type of medication for depressed teenagers.

Then, with a curse, she threw the bottle across the room.  The lid snapped off and small brown pills scattered around her bedroom.  She stood still for a moment, tears beginning to slide down her cheeks.  Her shaking legs carried her back to the bed and she collapsed onto the quilt.

A sob wrenched itself out of her, breaking the fragile dam that had been holding her together.  Her crying became so frantic and hysterical that she couldn’t find the room to get a breath in.  

There was no doubt in her mind as to who the blame fell upon: it had been her idea to go into that stupid hole, and Danny had resisted.  She had known that he would do anything if she asked – that was the level of trust they had in each other – and she had asked.  

She had asked.  And now he was a ghost.

Sam curled up into a tight ball on her bed, cramming a pillow over her face and screaming into it.  She didn’t know what to do.  She knew she ought to go do something… she should tell someone… but she didn’t know who.  Tears slid unchecked down her cheeks, smearing the remnants of her thick mascara and making little black spots on the sheets.  There was no way she could tell the Fentons.  They had trusted her and she had gotten their son killed.

Her mind refused to work.  With no idea what to do and nobody to turn to, she just continued to lie on her bed.  As her manic sobbing degenerated into tortured crying, her brain tormented her by replaying bits of Danny’s death over and over.

The bright flash of light.

The way he looked when he came out.

The burned, dead skin.

The hollow, lifeless eyes.

The shattering mirror.


Geez… it was hard to make all those start with ‘the’.

She had no idea what had happened to Tucker; she hadn’t given him a second thought.  For just a moment she wondered where he had gone.  She could vaguely remember him racing up the lab stairs behind her.  But a flicker of memory passed over her… the sizzling, smoking hand… and all thoughts of Tucker were banished as she buried her head back into her pillow.

Added because someone wondered what had happened to poor Tucker since I never say.  A little break in the storyline, but the best way I could find to get the information in.  Otherwise, we don’t hear from Tucker until next chapter.

At some point in the depths of what had to be the darkest night of the year, Sam cried herself to sleep.

I like that last line… *grins*

--

She moaned and rolled over in her warm bed, closing her eyes against the brilliant morning light peaking through her windows.  A bird chipped from a tree outside.  She stretched and yawned, rolling onto her back before allowing herself to open her eyes.  She traced the cracks on the ceiling for a few minutes as she finished waking up.  Something was off, but her sleep-muddled brain was having a tough time figuring it out.

I can’t do a thing in the mornings.  It usually takes about five minutes for me to even remember what day it is and whether or not I need to get up.  So… so do my characters.  I can’t even imagine a morning person.

It wasn’t until she sat up that she noticed what was wrong.  She was still dressed, lying on top of her blanket.  She rubbed her wrist and gazed around the room, struggling to remember.  Her pillows were smeared with black lines from her mascara… she must have been crying…

Memory flooded into her mind and Sam’s eyes widened.  “Danny!”  She leapt up off the bed, her heart racing and her body telling her she needed to do something but her brain refusing to tell her what that something was.  Finally she just sat back down on the edge of her bed and shook her head, running a hand over her face.  “Danny…”

“Was it even real?” she whispered.  “Is Danny a ghost?  Ghosts don’t exist… right?”  She bit her lip and closed her eyes.  “That couldn’t have really happened.”  A smile flickered across her face as her heart slowed down its frantic beating.  “No, that had to have been a nightmare.”

Somewhere deep down inside, she knew that it wasn’t just some nightmare, but in the bright morning sunlight it was hard to believe in mortality.  “Yeah, it was just a scary dream.  Danny’ll be at school this morning, just like normal.”

It’s waaay too easy to just believe that everything is normal and wonderful.  Especially when the birds are singing and the sun is shining.  I can’t blame her for reacting this way.  Of course, she’s fooling herself and, deep down, she knows it.  It won’t last.  But it’s a good plot device that will drive her to school today.  And I needed her to get there.

She pushed herself to her feet and stumbled towards her bedroom door, hesitating when she noticed it was locked.  Her eyes flickered over to the mirror.  Her normally frizzy, black-dyed hair was an untamable mess and the remnants of yesterday’s makeup were still smeared on her face.  A thought slid into her mind – if it was all just a dream, what’s with the makeup and clothes? – but she buried it almost before it was completely thought.

“Danny’s fine.  He’ll be in class.”  She nodded, convincing herself before unlocking the door and slipping tiredly down the steps to get breakfast.

Sam’s mother, a cheerful and beautiful woman named Pamela, was sitting at the table eating a bowl of cold cereal and reading the newspaper.  She glanced up when she heard her daughter enter the kitchen and gasped.  “Sammy!  What’s wrong?”

Playing off my friend’s super-model-esque parents.  Loving and caring, but rich and a little too wrapped up in their own little worlds and circles to deal with their daughters ‘riff-raff’ friends.  Namely?  Yours truly.

Sam shook her head and silently grabbed a bowl.  “I’m fine,” she rasped, her voice still a little raw from crying.

“No you’re not,” Pamela said as she stood up to examine her only child.  “Your eyes are all red and… you’ve been crying.  What happened?”

A flash of light.  Hollow, lifeless eyes.  

Sam blinked back the burning sensation in her eyes.  “Nothing,” she whispered.  “I’m fine.”

“It was that Fenton boy, wasn’t it,” Pamela accused.  “I’ve never liked him, you know.  He’s got that insane family.  If he’s hurt you…”

“He didn’t hurt me,” she flared, suddenly angry.  Of all the people to pick on this morning, she chose to pick on him.  After that nightmare, she couldn’t take anymore of it.  “He never has, and he never will!  Can’t you just leave him alone?”  

Her mother was quiet for a moment before dropping the subject.  “Maybe you should stay home from school today, Sam.  I’ll call you in sick.  You don’t look well.”

Sam finished pouring herself a bowl of cereal and shook her head.  There was no way she wanted to be home today.  She wanted to go listen to some mind-rotting lessons at school and not have to think about that awful dream she had suffered through last night.  “No, I just had a nightmare is all.  I’ll be fine after I take a shower.”

Pamela was silent as she watched her daughter sit down and calmly eat her cereal.  “Are you sure, sweetheart?”

Sam nodded and scooped another spoonful of cereal into her mouth.

I like to think she eats something über healthy, like multi-grain cheerios or something.  Maybe with some chopped up bananas in it.  Where’s the hired help you ask?  I have no idea.  Not working yet?

--

Sam moved quickly through the corridors of Casper High school, searching for the familiar black head of her best friend.  Actually, either friend would do for her at the moment – she needed some sort of confirmation that last night had been the dream she was praying it had been.  Although neither boy was around, the lack of people looking at her like her best friend had just died was a positive.  

Outside her first period class she stopped.  Both Danny and Tucker were in her first hour class.  Going through that door would be the ultimate test.  She took another step and hesitated.  Her heart was beating faster than usual and she felt a little light headed.  What would she do if they weren’t there?

The door swung open as one of the other students slumped into the room.  Her eyes flickered to the back of the room, glancing at the seats that had been unofficially claimed as ‘theirs’.  In one seat was a boy with messy black hair and a white T-shirt: Danny.  Sam sighed and walked into the classroom, feeling her heart slow down its racing.  It had just been a dream.

Right… am I that nice?  I’ve been told I’m ‘evil’.

She slid into the open seat next to the boy that had died in her nightmare.  He didn’t look up, his hair dangling in his eyes.  He was sketching in the margin of his notebook, waiting dismally for school to start.  “Danny,” she hissed at him.

He looked up.  Sam gasped and fought back a shiver.  His sky-blue eyes had an impossible, inhuman shine to them, but beyond the strange glow was nothing.  His eyes were dead and hollow.

Sam’s heart seemed to completely stop and her breath caught in her throat.  Danny wasn’t alive; she knew deep down in her soul that this thing sitting beside her lacked anything that resembled an actual spirit.  He was just gazing at her with those lifeless eyes, sitting too still to be real – frozen – nothing more than a statue.

I love this scene, Sam seeing Danny’s ghost-imbued spirit for the first time.  I’m trying to make him as creepy and horror-movie as possible.  If you’ve read ‘Twilight’, then you might realize that I’m kind of basing some of this off of the character of Edward.  Danny wasn’t blinking, barely breathing, sitting still as stone.

Then he blinked and broke the spell.  “Hey Sam,” he grinned.  His smile brought his haunting eyes back to life.  They glimmered in the light, full of curiosity and spirit.

Two sides to his spirit.  Until he gets some sort of control, he’s going to switch randomly between them.

She started, staring at him in disbelief.  There he was, suddenly real as anything and most definitely not dead.  What was going on?  Had she just imagined that?

“What’s wrong?” he asked softly as the bell rang.  “You’re so white.”

Sam couldn’t think of what to say as she tried to get her heart to beat again.  Danny squinted at her, the life washing out of his eyes again as he leaned towards her and sniffed.  “You smell like…” he drifted off before shaking his head and sending her a grin.  “Sorry, I’m spazzing today.  Do you know what happened to Tucker?”

Smells are important… stick with that.

For the first time, Sam twisted to look at the empty desk behind Danny.  Tucker wasn’t in school today.  Wordlessly she shook her head, but deep inside of her she knew.

Last night hadn’t been a nightmare.  Something was terribly, horribly wrong.

--

This story is written from a *cough* rotating, third-person, omniscient point of view.  Meaning, in less gobeldy-gook, that each section will focus in on one character and their thoughts and reactions.  You can usually tell because I’m starting each section with one of three names.  If it says ‘Danny’, this section is from his point of view.  Get it?

Danny dropped his eyes to his notebook at the teacher droned away in the front of the class.  By this point, the margins were covered in badly-drawn images of bats and rats and other small creatures.  The ferret-like thing he was currently drawing was perched on the empty desk next to a Hispanic girl named Paulina Sanchez.  It sat with its translucent head tipped to the side, two orange eyes that seemed to glow with an internal light fixed on the girl.  The ferret-creature had been there all class period and nobody had said a thing.

PAULINA GETS A FERRET!  I’ve always wanted to have Paulina get attacked by a ferret.  I can’t believe I finally get to do it.

As he put the final few pencil marks on his sketch of the ferret, he let a small smile slip onto his face.  “I’m officially insane,” he muttered darkly.  If it had just been that he was seeing a ferret nobody else was seeing, he might have been able to pass it up as lack of sleep.  Or maybe even a by-product of that shock he’d gotten last night.  But it wasn’t just the ferret-thing, all throughout the school there were other things: see-through shadow-bats that flitted along the ceiling, greenish rats that raced through the hallways and up the walls, and strange blue-red snake-things that curled up in corners and under desks.  The entire school was crawling with tiny, intangible creatures.

None of which had been there yesterday, and none of which anybody else seemed to be able to see today.  To make it even worse, he could only see the things out of the corner of his eye.  The minute he tried to look straight at them they seemed to vanish.  He was steadily growing more and more frustrated as he tried not to twitch and glance over at latest shadowy thing that had just fluttered at the edge of his vision.

Creepy, schitzophrenic ghost boy.  This is what I see when I haven’t gotten sleep in a few days.  Odd, flickering things in the corners of my eyes.  

Danny took a deep breath and let it out slowly, his pencil moving distractedly as he began another sketch – this one of a long, thin creature that had entwined itself under Dash Baxter’s desk.  Really, the only thing that was keeping him from jumping out of his seat and screaming at the top of his lungs was the steady scrape of his pencil lead on the paper.  It was something he could focus on, rather than think about the things flickering at around him.

Can Danny draw well?  No idea.

It was halfway through the sketch that it happened for the fourth time that morning.  The paper in front of him seemed to fade and glaze over.  He blinked a few times, hoping to clear his eyes, but it didn’t help.  He sighed – it hadn’t helped earlier either.  Danny unhappily added this odd happening onto his list of other weird things going on today.  The last few times it had vanished within a few heartbeats.

Imagine getting thrown underwater and opening your eyes.  Everything is blurry (at least it is for me) and it’s hard to hear.

He waited, but the paper and his pencil stayed unfocused.  His breath caught in his throat as he suddenly understood that this oddness wasn’t going to go away.  A blur of green moved just before his eyes and he glanced up.

It took all his willpower to stay in his seat and not scream.  Every person in the room had become an unfocused blur of color, the walls and posters a fuzzy mess in the background.  Everything seemed to not really be there… almost like he could walk straight through things.  

But not the creatures – they were all too real, and all too there.  The ferret sitting next to Paulina had taken on a stomach-twisting aura as its half-eaten body shifted on the desk.  Under Dash’s desk, the snake jumped into sickening focus with every maggot and bloody gash showing in the supernatural light.  The moldy ferret turned its head to gaze at him with one garnet eye.  It opened its mouth and let out a hissing shriek in his direction.

A strangled scream struggled out of his mouth as he flailed away from the creature.  He fell out of his chair and slammed into the ground.  Above the annoyed snarling hisses of the things in the room, a low sound boomed around him.  Danny blinked up at a large tan and blue blur that was standing over him.  

I’m about two steps from being legally blind.  To me, EVERYTHING is a smudgy-colored blur.  Welcome to my world.  ;)

The odd sound rumbled again through the air, impossible to make out.  Then…

Blink

…and everything was back to normal.  The blur suddenly flickered into the imposing figure of their vice-principal, Mr. Lancer.  “Mr. Fenton!” he yelled in that booming voice.

See, there’s two planes of existence, and Danny can flip his ‘spirit’ into either one which maintaining his human form on the human plane.  As of yet, he’s got no control over it.  We need a microwave… *random*  No, really.  We need a microwave.  Wait for chapter four.  You’ll see.

Danny glanced around.  The snake and the ferret were back to their transparent forms, the clock was once again ticking loudly in the dead silence, and all the students in the class were staring at him.  Sam’s violet eyes were wide and full of worried questions.  He licked his lips nervously.  “Sorry,” he whispered.

The teacher squatted down, looking at his student carefully.  “Are you okay, Mr. Fenton?”

Danny’s eyes flicked unconsciously towards the creatures that only he could see.  Hallucinations.  “I… I’m fine,” he stuttered.

Mr. Lancer didn’t look convinced.  “Would you like to go to the nurse?  You look a little pale.”

Aw… he’s all concerned-ish.

Shaking his head, Danny pushed himself to his feet and slipped back into his desk.  “I’m fine,” he repeated a little more firmly.

The teacher stared at him for a moment before turning around and walking back up to the front of the class.  Danny sank down into his seat and let out a shaky breath.  He felt a tap on his arm and he looked up to find Sam still watching him with a worried expression on her face.  “I’m fine,” he mouthed for the third time.  Sam’s eyes narrowed in disbelief, but she turned back to her notes.

Forcing himself to not look up again, Danny picked up his pencil with fingers that were still shaking.  He closed his eyes for a second and took a deep breath, trying to settle his impossibly fast heart beat.  

As he started sketching again, he failed to notice the fact that one student’s gaze had not looked away from him yet.  Valerie Gray bit her lip as she studied her classmate.  Finally her green eyes flickered over to the empty desk next to Paulina and then down to her notebook.  Tiny drawings of half-eaten ferrets were dancing around the edges.  With a confused sigh, she continued to doodle.

I so totally stole this from someone.  Valerie Gray, the medium of Casper High.  How long do you think it’ll take for her to realize Danny’s new status as not-quite-human?

--

These two parts were not originally in the sketch.  Still, I’m glad I added them.  They add a cool depth to the story.

He stood up when the bell rang, trying his hardest not to watch the creatures moving around with the students.  

Out of the corner of his eye he saw a reddish fox slip out through the wall and sniff the air.  Beady eyes opened and it fell into step just behind Sam, its nose inches away from Sam’s hiking boots.  Every few steps the mangy fox would misjudge the distance between its nose and Sam’s feet and a boot heel would pass through its head.  It wasn’t until Sam was quite a few steps ahead of him that he realized he’d stumbled to a stop and was staring at the fox.  “Sam...”

*snicker* Okay, so I think it’s funny.  I gotta put humor in here somewhere.

“What?” she asked, turning around to glance back at him.  Her forehead wrinkled and she looked down at her shoes.  “Do I have something on my shoes?”  She picked up one of her feet – her boot going through the fox’s chest – and checked the bottom of her shoe.

Danny shook his head dazedly.  “No… it’s…”  He just trailed off, giving her a small smile.  “It’s nothing.”

She set her foot back down and sent him an odd look.  “Are you alright Danny?”

“Good question,” he mumbled, setting back off up the hallway.  Sam fell into step next to him and started talking about some history project she needed to work on during study hall next period.  Danny, however, was still glancing at the fox that was following her.  

Suddenly it happened again.  Everything ‘real’ became slightly transparent and fell out of focus, and all the noises seemed to slip away.  Tiny ripples of something, flooding out of all the humans like heartbeats, swirled into existence.  Noises – impossible combinations of chitters, hisses, caws, and shrieks – flooded into his ears as dozens of conflicting smells assaulted his nose.  Sam, still talking and unaware of what was going on, seemed to be giving off the enchanting smell of rainbows after a spring thunderstorm.

Sam… the Goth… smelling of rainbows… *laughter* Oh, but there’s so a reason.  You’ll have to wait though.

The fox jumped into clear view as he looked right at it for the first time, its bushy tail and quivering ears stiffening as it gazed up at him.  Now he could see that the creature’s fur was clumped, matted, and falling apart, and there was a gaping, bloody hole in the fox’s chest.  It made a confused hissing-bark noise.  

Danny and the fox stared each other down.  The fox made that hiss-bark sound again and something surged through Danny.  He knew, somehow, that the fox was feeding off of those strange waves that Sam was giving off.  It was an instinctive knowledge that rocked him to his core; something he couldn’t deny or explain.  He just knew.  He also knew that he would never let this happen – not to Sam.

From somewhere deep inside of him, a growl built up and slipped out his mouth.  It echoed distantly, powerfully.  It was a sound that the fox-like creature understood perfectly: stay away.  The fox’s ears instantly dropped back against its skull and it slithered backwards a few feet, crouched as close to the ground as possible.

The world of ghosts is the world of animals.  I can most easily equate it to a wolf pack.  Danny’s got the power behind him to be the ‘alpha’ wolf of the pack.  If he asserts his dominance and claims control over the other, weaker ghosts, he’d be their ruler.  It’s not a world of words and promises.  It’s a world of snarls and growls, feelings and smells, instincts and fights.  Danny’s been thrown into it, but he’s also got a new set of ingrained instincts.  He’s got all the wild side grafted onto him and he’s not the shy human he was yesterday.  He’s going to have to learn to live with that.  You’ll see more what I mean as we go.

Then it vanished, along with almost every other creature he could see.  Danny blinked, the ‘real’ world dropping back into focus.  He glanced up.  Sam, who was still talking about whether or not she should do her report on Jane Addams or Eugene Victor Debs, was completely oblivious of what had happened.

Jane Addams and Eugene Victor Debs are two important human rights activists.  *trivia*

“…Do you think so, Danny?”

He blinked at her.  “What?”

She rolled her eyes.  “I didn’t think you were listening.  What’s really wrong?”  She had her hands on her hips, her normal gruff exterior exposed for the world to see, but Danny knew her well enough that he could see the worry and concern flickering in her eyes.  “What happened last…”

“Nothing.  I’m fine,” he interrupted.  

She stared at him for a few seconds, obviously struggling with her desire to drag answers out of him.  But finally she just turned and started up the hallway again, silent.

She’s letting him go for now… but only because I need her not to confront him until the next chapter…

Danny trailed after her until their paths diverged.  He hesitated outside his classroom, watching her walk away.  A shadow-bat fluttered down and swooped around her head for a moment before vanishing through a hallway wall.  “What’s wrong with me?” he whispered.

hehe… don’t you wish you knew…

--

Sam couldn’t keep her eyes off of him.  He would vacillate between normal Danny and dead Danny at the drop of a hat.  Normal Danny was the same laughing, easy going guy she had grown up with.  He smiled and joked and wrote her notes when he thought the teacher wasn’t looking.  The other Danny was creepy.  He would lose all the light in his eyes and gaze off into nothingness.  Sometimes he would seem to be following some invisible thing with his eyes, watching whatever-it-was drift around the room.  

Remember, Sam can’t see the shadow-bats and ferrets and things and Danny hasn’t told her.  To her, Danny’s acting weirdly.

The other Danny never looked at her - he always looked through her, like she wasn’t really there.  Whenever they had to sit next to each other, he got too close.  He would lean into her and watch her carefully, never really smiling.  She had eaten lunch with this other Danny.  Well, she had eaten her salad and Danny had stared through her silently, not saying a word or bothering to touch the goop on his lunch tray.  All throughout lunch, it had taken most of her willpower to stop from turning around to see what it was he was looking at every few minutes.  She knew that would be nothing there.

oooh… When Danny’s dropped into the other plane of existence, humans don’t seem to really exist.  He can’t really see them (he can smell them though), and so he’s kind of blind.  He’s trying to look AT her, but he can’t focus ON her… so he seems like he’s looking through her.  Get it?

All it would take was a blink, sometimes, for that light to shine through and for the normal Danny to be back.  He’d grin at her, shake his head with a small laugh, and ask her if she was okay.  Each and every time, she’d simply nod her head and say nothing.  He’d just look at her for a moment, concern flickering in his eyes, before walking away.

She never managed to talk about what had happened last night.  

The end of the day was approaching when she finally dropped into the desk next to him for Language Arts.  Normal Danny flicked a smile in her direction, rolling his eyes as the teacher took roll.  When the class started, normal Danny doodled away in his notebook.

Sam gazed at him during this last class, not even bothering to pretend to listen.  She was still trying to figure out what was going on with him.  He was holding his pencil loosely in his fingers, wiggling the pencil eraser back and forth distractedly as he half-listened to the teacher.  

She sat up a little straighter, wrinkling her forehead.  Something strange was happening to Danny’s restless hand.  It had started at his fingertips – a vague translucency, the color seeming to drain from his fingers.  Slowly and inexplicably, the odd colorlessness oozed along his fingers.  When it reached the part of his hand that held the pencil, the pencil dropped straight through his hand and clunked onto the desk.  

I hate the way intangible is a bluish outline on the show.  I can never keep it straight from invisibility.  So I’m making it colorlessness.  Black and white.  Sort of transparent.

It took a moment for him to notice, but when the lack of pencil caught his attention, he glanced down.  The impossible translucency had spread nearly to his wrist.  His eyes widened and he thrust his hand under his desk.  To Sam’s surprise, his hand went straight through the desk on the way.  He closed his eyes and took a deep breath.  When he finally brought his hand back onto the desk, he examined it carefully before grabbing his pencil again.

Suddenly he wrinkled his nose, glancing over at her with those dead eyes.  Other Danny was back, and he knew she had seen something.  They locked eyes – haunted blue into worried purple.  Sam was the one that looked away first, taking a shaky breath.  Her insides felt cold… almost like someone had taken a dead hand and raked through her intestines.

Danny creepy enough yet?  *shiver*

Glancing at him one last time, Sam noticed that he hadn’t looked away from her yet.  His eyes were glittering with worry, fear, and confusion.

What had happened to him?

--In real life, there are no such things as ghosts.

And if you believe THAT little quote, you should probably stop reading now. ;)

(end chapter 1)
Same as above - comment if you'd like me to continue.
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:icondisneyfreak16:
disneyfreak16 Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2008
yet again, you amaze me with your storytelling skillz:clap:
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:iconcordria:
cordria Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2008  Hobbyist Writer
:iconnewglomp:

-Cori
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:iconpeanutbutter-liver:
peanutbutter-liver Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2007
i can't believe i haven't been reading this... well it's nearly 3 am. guess I better get to sleep.
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:iconcordria:
cordria Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2007  Hobbyist Writer
:hug: Thanks for the comment! Even though it was so early. ;)

-Cori
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:iconkdm13:
kdm13 Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
XD DO I believe that little quote, I'm not really sure, I don't want to, but there are times when I'm afraid for no apparent reason, when there's strange sounds coming from the stairs at my dad's studio, when I feel like something's following me when I'm going up the stairs at my dad's house and I have to mentially lash out at it to keep myself from going faster, I'm just not sure...
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:iconcordria:
cordria Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2007  Hobbyist Writer
Oh I sooo understand. When you walk up the stairs from my parents' basement, there's this chill feeling that races down your spine and all the hairs on your neck stand straight up (it's dark 'cause the lightswitch is at the bottom of the stairs), and you really have to fight to keep from racing up those steps as fast as you can...

-Cori
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:iconkdm13:
kdm13 Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
There's a light switch at the top and bottom of the stairs that scare me, but they're enclosed, so it's like climbing up a tunnel or something... not to mention in the middle they turn at a right angle so you can't see the top from the bottom or anything...
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:iconcordria:
cordria Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2007  Hobbyist Writer
Ew... scary...

-Cori
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:iconkdm13:
kdm13 Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
yeah... it is... I told my dad that I get scared on those stairs once, and he asked why, stating that it's the studio that's haunted, not the house... not completly sure how I feel about the whole 'the studio's haunted' thing... I think it's just a kid too...
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:iconcordria:
cordria Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2007  Hobbyist Writer
Creepy...

-Cori
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