- 1 Author's Note
- 2 Rating
- 3 Fan Ratings
- 4 Chapters
- 4.1 Chapter I: The Bells
- 4.2 Chapter II: Welcome to Bedum
- 4.3 Chapter III: Every Story Has It's Dark Side
- 4.4 Chapter IV: Inside Hell
- 4.5 Chapter V: The Truth of Honeyhall
- 4.6 Chapter VI: Broken
- 4.7 Chapter VII: The Rain Comes
- 4.8 Chapter VIII: Walking With Lanterns
- 4.9 Chapter IX: The Beast Of Bedum
- 4.10 Chapter X: A Deep Darkness
- 4.11 Chapter XI: The Hurt Henceforth
- 4.12 Chapter XII: The Tower
- 4.13 Chapter XIII: The Light For Our Clouds
I am very sorry for it's length. Take the time to read it, you might love it, but I did something different; I wrote a novel-sized FanFiction. In fact a few people even didn't like it even after they read it all. It also brought darkness to the happy go lucky world of P.I.E. Overall, It caused controversy somewhat which I did not intend. If it is too long to read, please ask me for a summary of the story. -Justjackbros
RATED M FOR STRONG VIOLENCE AND GORE, SOME LANGUAGE, SUGGESTIVE THEMES, AND FRIGHTENING SCENES. For more info about the VenturianTale Wiki Ratings, click the link.
Chapter I: The Bells
Johnny Ghost sat up in a start. He looked around, spectating the surroundings. He had been lying in a concrete lot, surrounded by bright, white lights. He shielded his eyes from the blinding light.
Where am I? he thought. He finally stood up, brushing dust of his grey hoodie. He needed to get out of the lights. He stumbled around for a while, before he tripped on a wire. Down Johnny fell, back to the concrete. Head first. Almost right after the impact, he felt warm liquid brush down his face. Blood. Definitely a broken nose.
The more important thing, however, was that the lights were off.
All except one.
It wasn't a spotlight, thought. It was some sort of a human figure. Glowing bright white. Johnny wiped the blood from his nose, and stood up, facing the light. When he looked it at, he felt a strange mix of eternal bliss, but something so nauseating and horrid that he could barely look it at. Johnny opened his mouth to speak, but found that he couldn't. In fact, his lips were not there. Where his mouth was supposed to be was a gross patch of skin overtop of it. He clapped a hand over his missing mouth. Wait...This has happened before! Johnny thought. The white figure slowly walked towards him. But, the closer it got to Johnny, the white light turned to deep crimson. The happiness factor of looking at it had completly vanished. All Johnny could think was despair. Finally, the white figure was smoking with a deep red, and two eyes on it were black. It got closer. And closer. At this point, Johnny tried to turn around and run, but noticed his legs could not move. Not even his arms. Paralized. The red figure had grabbed the the helm of his jacket, hoisting him up to it. The face looked at Johnny's, and then a mouth shape opened. What he expected to be a deep menacing voice was indeed just a woman's voice. "Life. You have life" it said. Johnny stared at it, but not nodded. It stared back, and after what seemed like hours, it spoke. "You cannot be with us until you have no life..." Johnny did not nod or shake his head, but instead, the despair feeling was gone. And then he noticed that he was staring at a familier face. This time, the eyes and color went back to normal. It spoke again, this time with a british accent. "Johnny? Johnny, wake up! Johnny, sir!" And then Johnny was lifted up into the clouds, hearing strange bell sounds. Oh, those bells. The bells were loud.
And then he was gone.
He sat up in his own bed, covered in maps and maps on end. He rubbed his head, feeling a hood. He had slept in his clothes. He looked up and the man beside him, shaking up to get up.
It was his loyal companion, Johnny Toast.
"Sir, you must get up! We have a phonecall. It sounds rather urgent," he told him. He held out his arm, and Johnny grabbed it, being half lifted out of bed. Johnny, with his british accent, was concerned. "You were sweating. You still are. What were you dreaming about, sir?" he asked. Johnny didn't answer. "Sir?" Toast asked again.
And then Johnny Ghost realized he had his mouth again. "Oh! My! Yes, I-I-I had a dream! Mhmmm... Yes, a very...very odd dream. But no matter, we have a case!" he said cheerfully. He grabbed his laptop from his desk and walked out of the room, Johnny Toast at his heels.
When he stepped out to the breakfast table, the sun was shining brightly. He could hear the gentle calls of distant birds. Beautiful. Johnny Ghost opened his laptop, waiting for it to turn on. Johnny Toast came up and sat down with two plates of english muffins, covered in a orange jam. He handed a plate to Ghost. "Thanks," he said. He took a bite, and the flavor of sweet apricot jam filled his mouth. It was almost a contrast to the bland flavor that was in his mouth. "How long was I asleep, Johnny?" he asked. Toast swallowed his bite, and then gestured towards the clock on the kitchen counter. "I slept for 11 hours? Eleven o' clock?" he said, estonished. Toast nodded. "I tried to wake you up at eight thirty, when the man called. I told him we'd call him back when we got you up!" he said, smiling. Johnny Ghost popped the last bite of muffin into his mouth, and started to type away at his laptop. Toast took his and Ghost's plate to the sink, and brought back a tattered book. "Do you know what this is, Sir?" he said. Johnny Ghost looked up at the book. "Hmmm." He took the book, and brushed away some lint off the cover. It read Honeyhall History. "Honeyhall?" Ghost asked. Toast nodded. "I found it on the foot of your bed, sir, covered in other books." He took it from Ghost and flipped a few pages, before stopping on a page that had a picture. An illustration of an old house. "I'm going to take that drawing is Honeyhall?" he said. Toast nodded. Just then, a bling from the laptop. Ghost looked over at the screen. "I got an email," he said. He read it. He chuckled. "Freak" he said. Toast looked over Johnny's shoulder. "Let's see here...I got an email...A...New email...Hmm, something about pictures? Of houses and...Oh my, sitting in a corner...And that.. 'he' told him too? A new email." Toast laughed. "Sounds like a Jimmy Casket wannabe, sir." Ghost agreed. He clicked the search bar, and typed in Honeyhall.
"Well, I got a few images of an old house again. And there's this website that talks about it." He clicked it. It read:
The mansion known as Honeyhall was home to a wealthy family known as the Honeys. This family was growing larger, and was largest in the late 1800's, roughly around 1897. Sadly, the family lost all of the fourtune and heirs were all lost due to a mass murder spree. All but one of the residents were murdered out of cold blood in the house.
"Oh my....that's quite harsh!" Johnny Toast said. "Wait," Ghost said. "It keeps going."
However, after World War II, It was renivated into a tourist attraction for the history of the town, Bedum. You can go visit it today, but be warned! It is known to be haunted by only one survivor of the murder, the one that watched the others die. The wife. If you're brave enough, go visit Honeyhall. The house is also well known for its large bells on top.
Johnny Ghost sat back. "Wait...Bells? The wife? But I heard those things!" He exclaimed. Toast looked confused. "What are you talking about, sir?"
Ghost explained the dream, and Toast agreed there was a connection. "I have a feeling you had that dream for a reason, sir." he said. Johnny Ghost shut the laptop, grabbed a map, and started to head out the door. "We have a case, Johnny. Grab the phone, and let's go for a road trip!"
Chapter II: Welcome to Bedum
As Johnny Toast climbed into the van, he grabbed a GPS device and placed it on the glass. After inserting the car keys, driving out of the driveway, and finally getting out on the road, Johnny Ghost started to study away at some maps.
"Alright, Johnny. It says it's a 12-hour drive. If you wish, we do shifts at the wheel." he said. Toast nodded. "Sounds good, sir, but I don't really NEED a break. After all, back in Britain, I used to work out all the time!" he told Ghost. He nodded, grabbing a green apple from a backpack. "Sure, Johnny Toast, Paranormal Extrodinare. Tell me about your life." he said. Toast chuckled. "I can take a hint, sir."
Ghost shook his head, apple juices running down his chin. "That wasn't sarcasm." he told Toast. After a bit of silence, Toast spoke up. "Alright, sir, if you want to know about my life..." And with a smile, Johnny Toast began.
"Actually, it's a interesting story. Back in the, I don't know, in the mid 90's, I was born. I was born in a bright hospital in the city of Manchester; And what a city it was, sir! Bright neons, hippies on street corners singing hymes and eating quality chips, I was glad to grow up in such a lively enviorment." his smile, however, faded. "But, sadly, after...The death my loved father, I decided to skip my school lessons..." he said. But, his smile came back on, and he continued. "Well, I was about 11 years old then, sir, and I started to be curious. Oh, how curious I was! I used to sneak out of the house at night, exploring a haunted place. It was the Chillingham Castle, in Alnwick, England. It wasn't too far from the house, but at least a 40 minute walk."
"Stop right there!" Ghost said. "You say 'not too far from the house'? It's a 40 minute walk!". Toast snickered. "Sir, if you want to tell me what you call a short walk, be my guest." he said.
"Buy, anyway, I'd go over to the castle. I'd pack my video recorder, and a few tapes, and sneak through an old window, boarded up window. Yes, I remember it quite vividly, sir...When I got into the castle, the air got surprisingly bone-chilling. The air, to me, smelled like a mix of fresh clothes, old books, and rye bread. Quite detailed, sir, and I could describe almost any smell! That reminds me. When I was around the same age, my cousins would come over, and they'd each take turns finding household things and letting me describe the scents. In my later years, they'd take things from their houses, bring them over, and I'd have to guess what it was! Sounds fun, yes sir? Of course. But then there was the time that old Howard brought his cat's litter box..."
Ghost held up a hand. "Let's not describe THAT smell, alright, Johnny?" Toast nodded. "Yes, sir...Back to the castle!"
"My first part of my exploration was to set up cameras in certain places of the mansion, where supposed ghosts would roam. Of course, there was only one rumored ghost to roam THIS castle...He went by the nickname of 'Blue Boy'. He used to be the envy of all the schoolboys years back, with his shining blue trousers and jacket. Of course, all boys could keep control...But one. They say an older boy, Dutch, followed the boy back to the castle...And murdered him! Only a boy, too. He did it for the clothes. However, after the blue was stained by the red blood, the boy, Dutch, ran off from the house. They said you could here the cries of the boy, and that you could see red-stained pieces of clothing drifting in the night drafts...So, after hearing the rumor years ago, I went of to the house in search of the ghost ever since! After setting up my cameras, I would take a special tool upstairs to the boy's bedroom. I called it the P.I.P.I, or the Paranormal Investigation Poltergeist Investigator. Anyway, I would sit on the tattered bed, holding up the tool to all the spaces of the room, looking for readings. Of course, after finally coming accross some hard readings of a distant lifeform, I threw that tool away. Never went back to the house, out of pure...Well...I was very scared of that place."
"But the very idea of investigating ghosts and spirits attracted me. In fact, after I turned 17, I joined a group of ghost-hunting teens. We were called the Polterguys. Funny name, sir? Yes. It was, but we needed SOME name. We decided that we had to start small, just looking at small evidence in parks or in our very-"
Just then, a large trailer zoomed in front of the Johnny's van, honking loudly. Johnny Toast sat back, surprised. "HEY! HOW ABOUT A DAMN SIGN NEXT TIME!" he yelled out the window. In return, the nice man driving the trailer flipped Toast off. He was about to honk his horn loudly when Ghost put a hand on Toast's shoulder. "Forget it, idiots drive. Continue? Please?" he asked. Still fuming, Johnny started to talk again. "As I was SAYING, we would investigate smal places, such as parks or our houses. Once, we found a splotch of blood hidden behind some wallpaper, and let me tell you, sir, nobody was more hyped up about it than US. We considered calling the newspaper, and the police station, and lots more!" Johnny Toast's face screwed up. "That is until we found out that a previous dog owner had lost their pet in that same spot to rats..." Toast shook himself. "Anyway, after my mum cleaned up the splotch, we were all actually disappointed someone wasn't murdered. We didn't get together as much, since we had no hope."
"In fact, for some reason, it reminded me of my FATHER'S Murder. For days after that, I'd look at my father's photographs, wondering what REALLY happended. When I was younger, I used to walk in on my mom crying over a picture of my father with his brand new car. She'd always wipe away the tears when I walked in, saying it was just some sort of depression....Little did she know that...that I overheard her and the police talking about the death of my father. Why did my own mum tell me he was just sailing in the Pacific Ocean? Did she really think I'd fall for-" he said, but just then, his voice cracked. Ghost handed him a bar chocolate truffle. "You don't have to continue." he soothed Toast. Toast nodded. "No, no, it's ok. The rest of my life you probaly already know. I found you in the convention, we went on the case of the moving barrels, you know, sir." he said, plucking the chocolate into his mouth.
Ghost looked back to the road. A road side read "Bedum: 98 Miles". Ghost pulled up the hood of his hoodie. "It's going to be a little longer. I'm going for a nap." he said, leaving over in the chair. Toast grinned. "Johnny Toast could drive for days, sir. Don't worry at all...."
For what seemed like seconds, Johnny Ghost woke up with a start. He looked around, sitting up. He was still the in the car. He looked over at Johnny Toast. He looked back. "Good morning, sir. Look!" he said. Ghost looked up. Instead of the highways they were once heading over, they were on a green path. WIth trees. And old houses. Ghost smiled. "Beautiful place," he said. Throwing back his hoodie, he tore the laptop from his bag. "What are you doing, sir? If you're going to research some more about Bedum and Honeyhall, why don't you look?" he told Ghost. Johnny looked up from the window to see a sign right in front of him. It read "Welcome to Bedum"....Or at least that what it was supposed to say. Where the word 'Bedum' was intended to be, black spray paint covered the sign, reading 'Welcome to HELL'. Ghost clicked his tounge. "Oh, Bedum, why must you have vandals in a lovely town?" he said. Toast turned the car over to a small house in the town. After they parked, Toast and Ghost stepped out of the car, stretching their sore legs and arms. "OOOOH, my, 'feels good," Toast said. Ghost agreed.
They both looked around, seeing the Bently cars zooming around the road. In fact, it was very old looking, with the exception of the graffiti on the sign. "Look's like this is our motel for the night," Toast said, pointing to a sign on the house. "John's Motel, eh?" Ghost said. "Alright, sounds legit..." Toast locked the doors of their van, and opened the door for Johnny Ghost. "After you, Sir Ghost" he said. Ghost smiled. As he followed him into the house, Toast looked at a large, pretty mansion not far from their location. He smiled. "Welcome to Bedum," he said, closing the door behind him.
Chapter III: Every Story Has It's Dark Side
In the early Thursday morning, Johnny Toast and Johnny Ghost were busy chatting in their motel room.
They were both sitting on their beds, looking over research notes and pages, investigating all signs of the Honeyhall house, and just doing what they do best.
Johnny Ghost was looking over his laptop, as usual. "I don't understand," he said, scratching his head. "They say that between the time of the renivation and the last tourist that visited there was twnety years ago!" Johnny Toast held out a page in the book, History of Honeyhall. "But look here, sir, it says that 2 years ago, a tourist visted and got killed by unknown sources."
"But that makes no sence, Johnny! It says on this webiste that the-"
"Last visitor was twenty years ago, yes, sir. But how do we know which is right? The book...or this new website?" Toast said. Ghost grabbed a granola bar of the desk, and took a bite, looking over the laptop. After a few minutes, Ghost snapped his fingers. "I got it! This website was made in 1980....That would be twenty four years ago!" he explained. Toast nodded, getting it. "But, the website cleary states, sir, that the last tourist that visited was twnenty years ago! That means that person wouldn't have come for another four years!" Ghost smiled. "Yes, yes! So that means the website is a fake. And that tourists are still activly visiting it...Or are they?" "If that visitor really DID die in the house, I'm pretty sure that would stop people from wanting to go there, sir." Ghost threw the wrapper in the trash, and put on his shoes, closing the laptops. Toast picked up one of the Bedum city maps. "Alright, sir, only one way to find out!" Ghost grinned. "Indeed. Let's go to Honeyhall!"
As the two paranormal investigators drove up and down on the road to Honeyhall, they noticed many people. Johnny Ghost had seem almost 10 people dressed in red clothes, all in groups. He just couldn't get his mind off it; Those clothes were just blood stained. Everytime Johnny saw one of those people, he shook himself and continued to read from the map. Until something caught his eye. While they were stopping at a red light, Johnny Ghost saw a man walk out of a gas station. He was a young man, like him. Shaggy black hair, casual clothes, and carrying a six pack of Coke. That is, until an older man approached him.
As the older man saw the younger man walking towards his car, putting his wallet away in his back pocket, he walked over to the Coke-man. And suddenly, the older man had his hand in his pocket, the other holding the man in place. And then suddenly, time seemed to stop as the older man pulled out a gun. It was a large pistol--And he was holding it right to the young mans forehead!
Johnny's eyes widened. "Toast! That man! He's being mugged!" he exclaimed. Toast looked over the window. He squinted, "Where?" he asked. Ghost pointed over near the red car. "There!" he yelled. Toast looked over. "Sir, nobody is there," he said, sounding worried. Ghost was about to obejct, until he saw a flash of light, and a huge bang.
The older man had shot.
Blood sprayed from the young man's head. The coke bottles dropped to the floor, crashing with ever bottle. "NO!" Ghost yelled. The younger man was now lying dead on the pavement. But the strange thing was that nobody around had even cared to notice! Could they not see what had just happened? And then, the older man did something terrible. He took out another pistol, aimed both guns at the young man on the ground, and shot him multiple times in the head.
With every flash, left and right, left and right, more blood and brain matter hit the concrete. It was sickening. In fact, Johnny felt he was going to cry. "That man is shooting--I need to get to him!" he said. Just as he was going to open the door of the van, Toast grabbed Ghost's shoulder. "Sir! Nobody is out there!" he yelled. Ghost and Toast looked into each others eyes, and finally Ghost looked back to the gas station. What he saw was even more horrid.
Every single person in the lot of the gas station was dead. Every. Single. One.
The old women, the men, and employees were lying on the ground, all forming giant blood puddles under their bodies. Johnny Ghost grabbed his head. "NO! NO NO NO NO! IT CAN'T BE REAL! MAKE IT STOP!" Johnny screeched. And then, Johnny noticed he was feeling sick. Not because of the sight, but because... He didn't know. He tried to open his eyes, but only warm liquids were coming down his face. What was happening? And then, Ghost was able to open his eyes.
He was covered in blood. Lots of it. And he was screaming.
He looked over at Toast, yelling at him to help him, to get off the blood, but Toast was just laying there, very still. Ghost felt his eyes feel like mush as he looked at him. Johnny Toast was looking straight back at Ghost, with deep, black, staring eyes. And then, blood started to pour of his mouth. Toast smiled. "I think it's time we wake up, sir, before we lose our minds." it said, with a little girl voice. Johnny Ghost felt his insides melting. "NOOOOOO!"
"NOOO!" Ghost screamed, sitting up in the car. Toast slammed on the brakes. "W-What is it, sir? Wake up, sir, wake up!" Toast rustled Johnny awake, while people behind the van honked. Ghost was sweating. Scared, he looked over at the gas station.
Everything was going fine.
He wiped his brow, laying back down. "I had the worst nightmare. I don't want to explain it" he shuttered. Toast nodded, going on the gas pedel again. "I guess every story has it's dark side."
"Well, we're here!" Toast said happily. Ghost smiled. "Time to find some haunting haunts!" He said, as both Johnnys walked up the stairs to the manor, Honeyhall.
Just then, Toast stopped. "Sir," he asked. "Do you have any idea what is going to be in there?" Ghost looked up at the wooden house, large and beautiful, yet eerie. "Well, not really. I don't know WHAT we'll find in this place." he said cooly. Toast shook his head. "We don't know if it's fake, sir, or if it's real. But when we go in, we're going to act like it's the most bloody real thing there is." he said. Ghost nodded. "Let's go".
Johnny Ghost stepped up to the giant door, knocking. After waiting not too long, a man in a suit opened the door. Toast and Ghost smiling, bowing. "Johnny Toast!" "Johnny Ghost!" "We are the experts at all things wrong!" "Ghosts and spirits are our song!" "If you have a problem, step out way!" "We'll stomp out intruders day after day!", they both recited. The man didn't look amused. They both stood straight again. "We are the Paranormal Investigators! And we're here to investigate!" Ghost said. The man looked them both up and down. "Fine. Come in," he said lazily.
Chapter IV: Inside Hell
Stepping into a brown and crimson covered house, Johnny Toast and Johnny Ghost took in the surroundings.
"Alright, Johnny, are you marking this down?" Ghost asked. Toast nodded. "It seems to have a lot of good pressure points. I wonder..." he said, taking out something from the back pocket of his pants. It was a small, silver object, with a bright screen. It had a small knob at the end of it, for reading. "I'm going to scan, sir," he said.
As he waved the object around, getting small noises from it, Johnny Ghost was watching the man, who was leading him to the breakfast table, it seemed. Throughout the large roof of the house, there were chandeliers, but only a few were lit.
It seemed that the longer they were walking down the hallways of Honeyhall, the darker it seemed to get. This was making Ghost very uneasy. Suddenly, he grabbed Toast's device, and tapped something into the screen. "Hey-What are you doing with that, sir?" Toast asked. The man looked behind his shoulder, looking at the two with large, brown eyes. Toast and Ghost stared back, until the man shook his head and looked back. Odd. When Ghost handed back the device, it read:
IHave Uneasy Feeling ABout ThisPlace. ManIs TakingUs 2 Somewhere Other Than Toursite Or MeeetingRooom.
Toast read it carefully, and looked up at the man. He was walking with a limp, and had scraggly hair. Ghost looked at the man's leg, and it was obvious why he was limping; The man was wearing black pants, but it was clear that something was protruding from his kneecap. Toast came up closer to Ghost, and whispered, "Get ready. Wherever he's taking us, be ready for action, sir," he said. Ghost nodded. Good thing he kept a knife in his pocket at all times.
The man limped on down the hallways, as Ghost and Toast admired the head busts and paintings on the hallways they passed. Many faces, many scenes, many people walking, many people-
Ghost stopped walking. He slowly backed up until he saw the painting again. People walking, three people to me exact. All men, and they were walking in a slightly lit hallway. And then Ghost noticed it. Those men were him, Toast, and the man. Ghost's heart raced, looking at the painting. What was a future telling painting like THIS doing in Honeyhall? No, it wasn't as much the fact they were all IN the painting, as much as the man in the front whom he and Toast were following....The man's shadow, reflected on the wall, was terrible. It had a hunced back, skinny arms, horns, a snarling face. This was a message. "Sir!" Toast called, "What are you looking at, come on!" But Ghost didn't move. Instead, he just beckoned Toast over with a shaking hand. "What is it, sir?" he asked. Ghost pointed to the painting. Toast's mouth dropped slightly. "What the....What the bloody hell are we doing in a p-painting?" he whispered. Ghost shook his head. "This is bad. Hurry" he told Toast, turning around towards where the man was leading him. But the man wasn't ahead. The man was right in front of them, staring at them and the painting. Smiling, showing large, crooked teeth. "Fools. You must hurry, you should! Don't waste time...Honeyhall!" he said. He sounded insane, but the the Johnnys didn't follow the man. "We demand to know...." Toast stared. The man stopped. Ghost stepped forward. "Why we are in this painting?" He said.
The man didn't move. He was staring at the both of them, nose twitching. Toast and Ghost slowly put their hands in their pockets, clutching their knives. "Easy, sir," Ghost told the man. The man started to twitch even more out of control. His legs started twitching too. And then, the man let out a bloodcurdling screech. Ghost and Toast covered their ears. The man fell to the floor, clutching his stomach. His back was now shaking, and it started to move back and forth, breaking the man's back it seemed. Ghost screamed, taking out his name. Toast the same, They cautionly approached the writhing man, shaking on the floor. The man looked up and them, eyes turning into a demonic black, nostrils bleeding, mouth expanding. He screeched at them again, watching his back go back and forth, with sickening bone breaking sounds. "WHAT IS THIS?" Toast screamed. Ghost shook his head, holding his knife ahead of him like a sword. The man's legs started to show, as his pants tore. The skin turned to a muscle-looking red, with bumpy bones protruding even more. The man stopped his back-moving and lay still. Ghost stared at the 'man'. "You d-don't think he's dead...Is he?" he said. Toast shook his head. "N-no idea, sir" he whispered. And then, the man's chest started to shake again. The man jerked, and started to screech again. The man, with ever screech, sended blood spewing out his mouth, covering his chin and cheeks. And then, a skinny, beetle-arm burst out of the man's chest, sending blood particles everywhere. It hit the walls, and it hit the Johnhys' faces. The arm started to move, along the ground, sticking out from the chest. And then Toast smashed a glass case on the wall, taking out a sword. "GAH!" He yelled, sending it down over and over on the deranged creature on the floor. The yells started to cease, and the blood spraying out turned to a dark green, sizzling on the ground.
Toast and Ghost stood there at the beast. Ghost rubbed his eyes with his hands, and Toast threw the blood-stained sword on the ground with a clang.
"W-We need to get down to what caused this." Ghost said. "I agree, sir. Hurry now!" Toast exclaimed, both running down the hallway. After they ran down the hallway, they found themselves in what used to be a living room, with couches and many more things. But instead, there was a huge hole in the middle of the floor, leading down to a rockey, graffiti-filled chamber. Ghost looked at Toast, "Should we go down?" he asked, but Toast had already hopped down into the hole. The room was dark, and they could both hear water. A bright light shone in front of Toast. He was holding out his device again. "Whatever that man turned into...Well, the man come from here, I can assume. Let's go" Toast said, Ghost following him.
However, they could see a red light not too far off in the rock corridor. The red light was getting closer. Ghost pulled out his knife again, "I think that's another one! Toast!" He said. Toast shook his head, "No, it's crackling, sir. That's a flare! Somebody else is down here," he explained. Johnny Ghost and Toast stood their ground until the flare was close enough. "You really shouldn't be down here. You're inside Hell now, Ghost," a man holding the flare said. Ghost froze, "How do you know my name?" he said. The man with the flare was close enough to see now. He smiled, showing stubble and dark brown hair. "Because we share it, Johnny."
Johnny Ghost stared at the man. "No...No, you can't be! They said you-"
"Died?" the man finished. "Yes, everyone says that." The man embraced Ghost, smiling. "I can't believe I found you!"
Toast looked confused. "Sir, who IS this?" he asked.
Ghost looked over at Toast. "Johnny, this is my brother. Gregory."
Gregory smiled at Toast. "Welcome to Hell, rookie," he said, winking, knowing he saw the graffiti as well.
Chapter V: The Truth of Honeyhall
Johnny Toast sat down on the hard ground. "Congratulations, sir," Toast said. "You've officaly screwed up my view of your family tree."
Johnny Toast smiled. Gregory sat down too, Ghost soon after. "Perhaps we should all explain." Toast nodded.
"Ok. First, I think you want to know how Gregory is my brother. Alright then." he said.
Gregory cleared his throat. "We'll start off with a man named Maxwell. Maxwel Acachalla." Ghost suddenly snapped his fingers. "I knew Acachallas. In that...Chamber! I was stuck with a few of them. Will Acachalla, Gertrude Acachalla, Sally Acachalla, and...." he trailed off. Gregory nodded. "Billy," he finished. Toast looked up at Gregory. "Y-You're not saying he is related to YOU two....Are you?" he said, confused. Ghost nodded. "It's true. There are three brothers. The exile, the troubled, and the hurt. I'm the exile...Ghost is the troubled...Billy is...the hurt. The only one left at a gas station. Alone."
"I'll explain. A long time ago...And I mean, a very long time ago, in the 1800's wild west era, there was a man named Maxwell Acachalla. He was a dashing man, with black silk for clothes. Everybody in the small town wanted to be 'em. And then, a fine lady came into town from a rusty old train. Of course, Maxwell wanted her for his own, so he bought an expensive dress, a bottle of honey, and he flirted with her. She was taken the second he showed up by her side. They had a night on the roof of the saloon, looking at the stars. They were happy."
"And of course, they were in deep love. So, they had a kid. They just loved him to death. They fed him, played with him, and were just great parents. But then, clouds came accross them. A bandit raid. They held up the saloon...And started shootin' the place down. Killing anyone. No reason to. Men and woman, falling down. Maxwell and the lady tried to make a run for it with the baby... Maxwell had the baby, and made a run up the stairs, but the girl tripped on her dress. The bandit saw this, of course....And shot her. She screamed, and begged for Maxwell to run with the baby." Ghost buried his head in his hands. Toast put his hand on Ghost's shoulder. "This baby...Who was it? Was...it you?" Ghost nodded. "Never knew my mother...." he said, shaking. Gregory started to look sad too. "My story's darker."
"Anyway, the bandits killed the poor lady...So Maxwell soothed the cries of Johnny. And when he heard the bandits go, he ran downstairs. The police cheif was tending to her wounds. When Maxwell walked up, the cheif just shook his head. S-She was...pregnant" Gregory finished.
Toast started to tear up. "W-with you?" he asked gently. Gregory nodded. Toast sat back. "That's so sad," he said.
Gregory started to speak again. "Of course, somehow, I survived. She didn't...And it was for that reason that Maxwell...Just...Turned. As I grew up, he always left me alone with Johnny over here. He was always sad the Maxwel wasn't there, so he called himself Ghost," he said, slighly smiling. Ghost smiled too. "Don't judge," he said. Gregory looked up at Toast again. "So, I was 6 then, he was about 3 and a half. And that's when Acachalla showed up. He was a burly man, and surprisingly thin." Ghost shook his head, "The Acachalla I saw was fat. I know that," he said. Gregory laughed, "Well that was years ago, Ghost."
"Anyway, that's when it happend. Acachalla and Maxwell decided to rob the bank. You probaly know this story. Maxwell was beaten to death, Acachalla escaped. Maxwell blamed Acachalla for not saving him, and running away. And we say it's because of his rage...That he came back. Alive, but...Not alive. He was a ghost. And that's when Johnny and I ran away, scared Maxwell would kill us. We hopped aboard the train, didn't care where we were going. Of course, we only nabbed one ticket....And that's when the conducter saw me. I didn't have a ticket, only Johnny did. So he threw me out of the train. I was alone, without my brother. I roamed the wood outside of a town, and this was around 1835, and I found a giant mansion. Giant. And nobody was there. So I went in and made myself at home. When nobody was there, I was going to leave, but I had no where else to go. So I stayed. Stayed there for six years. SIX YEARS! I was 12, and my mind was playing tricks on me. In fact, I even made an imaginary box character. And then, when there was no food left in the house, I left."
"The rest of the story is boring. I found the town Johnny was in, we found each other, and so on. But weird things happened. When I turned of age, twenty-six, I stopped. Growing. Aging. I still am twenty-six." Toast whistled. "That's so...odd. Isn't it, sir?" he asked. Ghost nodded. "It happened to me when I turned twenty-four. I'm twenty-four now." Gregory looked at Toast. "And you are twenty-six as well, correct?" he asked. "Of course," Toast answered. "Alright then, well, we figured that it was some sort of power Maxwell leaked into us. What we didn't know was that Maxwell was accross the states, having a child with a woman named Sally Jessica. The reason he needed another child was because he wanted to put his power into a child. Well, what he did NOT know was that Sally Jessica didn't have powers, therefore the power didn't quite pass into the kid." Gregory looked over at Toast. "Wanna guess who he is?" he asked. "Billy," Toast said. "Bingo, Toast," Gregory nodded towards Toast.
Ghost opened his mouth to speak when a defining screech was heard past the hallway. All three of them bolted up, ready for action. Pounding footsteps were heard coming closer. Ghost looked around, franticly. He pointed to a small room, which also had dusty walls and rocky floor. "There! Quick!" he yelped, and the three of them ran into the room. Right behind the wall, they could here a liquidated growling, as if a werewolf was gurgling water, or had too much saliva in his mouth. They smelled a foul stentch, like a rotting dead body, and the small tap of clawed feet against the floor. Whatever it was, it was breathing fast and loud. When they heard it screech and run off, Toast peeked his head out of the room. What he saw was disgusting. The creature had all muscle showing, huncing over. The back of it's head was mangy, with slight fur coming out of certain parts. Toast was horrified. "What...Is....That thing?" he breathed. Gregory shook his head, coming out of the room with Ghost. "That's a bender." Ghost and Toast looked at Gregory. "A bender? What's a bender?" Toast asked. He looked at Ghost. "What's a bender? Did you study it, sir?" Ghost shook his head. Gregory started to move forward on the stone hallway. "I call them benders. They used to be the residence of the Honeyhall house."
"They were murdered, but for some reason they were not satisfied with death. They came back, much like Maxwell, but they wished for their bodies back. They pleaded the lord of this world...The dark one. He accepted, but what the people got was much less than human. That form." He said mistily. Ghost looked revolted. "Satan rejected them? Are they demons now?" he asked. Gregory shrugged. "I have no idea. All I know is that they want to kill anyone that visits the house. They guard it. I feel that they want to protect the people from being killed like them, but at the same time, they want revenge," he said.
Ghost pulled out the map he was carrying, turned it over, and grabbed a piece of charcol from the ground. He placed it on a cobwebbed table in the corner, peering over it, writing. "Ok. Benders. We need to watch out for them. So, is our mystery solved? Is this what has been hitting off tourists? Or is there...something else? I think there is. I had a dream about it, Greg, I know there's someone here." he said, and explained the bells dream to Gregory. He looked shocked. "I had that dream too, with a woman. But I woke up before I could really see here," he said. Ghost scribbled down on the map. "Ok, there is the benders, and the unknown host." he looked up at Toast. "Johnny, how many family members lived here?" he asked. Toast didn't blink. "Seven, sir. The husband and wife, a teenage daughter and son, an uncle, a step brother and a grandfather." he said. But then froze. "Wait. That one we ran into at the start, remember? With the strange arm coming out of the chest?" Toast reminded Ghost. Gregory shook his head. "That means he was the husband, the leader. He had a missing arm when he was alive, so he begged Satan to give one back. What he got was far worse than a missing arm, as you can imagine." he shuttered. Ghost wrote it down. "That leaves six benders. Alright, sounds good." Ghost said, folding up the map and putting it in his pocket. "Let's get a move on," he said, and the three started to walk down the dark hallway. Toast laughed. Gregory looked at him, "What's so funny?" he asked. Toast shook his head. "Nothing, it's just I knew that Honeyhall had more story to it than a few snarky blokes under a haunted house." After hearing it, Gregory started to chuckle too. In fact, Ghost snickered a bit too. Of course, the laughing alerted somebody. A loud screech. The three of them froze. Gregory whispered. "We. Need. To Run." he said. And then, suddenly, he yelled "RUN!" The two Johnnys and Gregory ran down the hallway, as they heard heavy footsteps in the distance.
Chapter VI: Broken
They pounded down the hard hallway, looking for an exit.
Gregory screamed. "WE'RE RUNNING INTO A WALL!"
Johnny Toast and Johnny Ghost looked up. Right in front of them was a sharp wall. All three of them stopped instantly. They were trapped. Wary, Ghost looked behind him. Like they thought, three monsterous 'benders' were sulking towards them, growling. Toast gulped, raising his knife in front of him. Ghost did the same. Gregory, who was in the back, was typing away at some sort of small screen. He looked up and Toast and Ghost, only to find out they were staring at the monsters. He gulped as well. "I think it is time I use this," he shuttered. He clicked on last time on his device and set it against the wall. Gregory grabbed the two Johnnys by the shirt and threw them to the floor. Gregory fell on top of them. And then, without warning, an explosion sounded above their heads. Gregory stood up, helpin Ghost and Toast up. They brushed the dust of their jackets. "Violent..." Toast grunted. But the explosion had provoked the benders. They all made identical shreiks, and they started to run. So did the group.
Thinking there would be more wall, Ghost was surprised to see they were in the hallway they entered when he and Toast jumped into the hole the first time. Looking up at the exit, they started to climb up. As he was climbing, Ghost turned around. The two benders were staring up at them climbing the hole, but were keeping a general distance from it. When all three of them climbed up out of the hole, the creatures took one last look before turning around into the rock rooms again. Gregory and Toast kneeled, panting. Ghost stood up, his legs feeling like jelly. Expecting to see the crumpled, bloody man lying the floor ahead of them, Ghost was surprised. The body was missing. He shook his head. "No..." he muttered. He turned to look at Gregory and Toast. "The body is gone, the father. He's not here," he said, worried. Toast shot up from the ground. "What do you...the body is there?" he asked wearily. Gregory walked past the two Johnnys, looking at a blood puddle on the floor. "I see. Something was murdered here," he confirmed. "Where did it go? Did it come back? Alive?" he asked. Ghost looked at Toast. "I don't see how it could have...Are you sure you killed it, Johnny?" he said. Toast nodded his head. "Of course, sir," Gregory sat on the floor, head in his hands. "What am I going to do about this? Just like you two, I came down to take a look at this mystery. When I found out it was far more satanic, I was worried. I stayed there for 2 days, just in those hallways. There was much more rock than we saw down there."
"And one of the rooms was a torture chamber, by the looks of it. Different...Tools. Scalpels, knives, hammers, rope, all sorts of horrible things. The room's floor was stained with dark blood, and at that point I wondered who had been tortured. The people that visited..." He looked at Ghost. "Or them." Ghost looked scared. "Maybe they don't want to protect the house, maybe they do. I think that they don't because...they were tortured," Ghost deduced. Toast shook his head. "And who might have tortured them, sir? I mean, the people that came to see the house?" he said. Ghost felt a wave of disappointment. "We won't find out how to stop these creatures," he said. They all walked down to the dining table of the house, looking at phones and laptops. Gregory, who was searching news reports on Honeyhall, was deep in thought. Ghost was also on his laptop, researching. Toast was on his phone, looking at something. They all sat there at work. After a while, they heard screeches from below, from the creatures talking. Everytime, it made Ghost cringe. He wasn't in for such a job. His job was to go to places, look for the problem, determine it is a poltergeist or a ghost, and get rid of it. That simple. But bring some sort of hell-human...What could a man do?
Ghost shut his laptop. "Ok. I've had enough of the benders. I think something is controlling them. I've seen the dreams, remember? Whoever that figure was is in this house. We need to find out where," he said. Toast looked up. "Actually, sir, that's what I was looking into. You see, I put probes on the house entrance. And it has a parking space, right? That's where you woke up in your dream. And lights. I don't know what the lights are, but I have a good feeling you were out of the house lying there," he told him. Ghost nodded. "Ok. So, did you find anything on the video?" he asked. Toast smiled. That meant yes. Gregory sat up from his chair, coming over to look at the video. It showed the man on the floor, being turned into a bender. Right after a grotesque arm had sprouted from his chest, Toast grabbed the sword and killed it on the floor. Soon, they walked past it. For a while, it showed the creature just lying there, dead. Until, distant in the video, a singing voice was heard. A white shadow developed in front of the creature. It held out a hand over it, and it started to get up. Soon, it was fully bender, hunching over, growling. The shadow disappeared, and the remaining bender walked out of screen. But the most chilling part was...The bender started to walk left. Left was the entrance. Right was the hole. Was the creature trying to get out of the house?
Ghost looked horrified. "It's g-going to the town! It's going to the town..." he whispered. Toast and Gregory looked creeped out too. "It can't go out into Bedum. Who knows what will happen to the people..." Gregory trailed off. Toast opened his mouth to speak, but the singing voice was heard again. Not from the video, but from the hole. But Johnny Ghost felt warm. The voice seemed to sooth him, like he had heard it before. But then, breaking the relaxation, large screaming erupted from the hole. Whatever had sung, it provoked the benders a ton. All three of them walked over to the hole where they heard it. "I don't think we should go back in there, sir," Toast told Ghost. Ghost nodded. "We shouldn't, but we're going to have to." Gregory leaned over for a look. "I feel they're close, but I don't see them," he said. As they all turned back to go to their seats, a large, red arm shot out of the hole, and took a hold of Gregory's leg. He yelped, falling to the ground. The Johnnys spun around. "GREGORY!" they yelled. They grabbed his arms, trying to pull him back. The other muscle arm was grabbing on very hard. As Ghost and Toast pulled, the creature started to growl. "GAH! G-Get it off me!" Gregory yelled. But then, a loud cracking sound came from Gregory's leg. He screamed. The force was going to pull off his leg. Toast shook his head, eyes tearing from the pain of his arms. "BETTER AN ARM THAN A LIFE, GREGORY!" he yelled, pulling harder. Ghost felt HIS arms would fall off. He had never put his arms to so much work in his life. It was getting harder to breath. But just when it started to seem Gregory would be pulled out, a second large arm shot out of the hole. It grabbed Gregory's second leg, pulling harder. "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!" Gregory yelled. And then, horrificly, he fell into the hole. Ghost and Toast fell back, relaxing their arms. But Ghost didn't stay up. He looked over the hole. Gregory was being dragged by the giant mutant. "GREGORY!" Ghost screamed. Gregory took a hold of a rock on the floor, holding him back from being dragged shortly. With a bloody face, he looked up at Johnny. "G-Goodbye..." he said, losing his grip on the rock, being pulled into the cavern. Ghost was horror stricken. "NOO!" he said, tearing up. Toast stood up, looking worried. "No..." he said, putting his hands in his hair. Ghost wiped away a tear. "You're alive, brother, you have to be..." he muttered. And then he stood up, leaping into the hole. Until Toast grabbed his shirt, pulling him back. "No, sir! He can't live down there. You can't save him." "YES I CAN!" And then, for the first time, Toast turned Ghost around and half-slapped him. Ghost just stared at Toast. He was silent. "I'm sorry, sir, but he cannot survive them," he said. Ghost let a tear go down his cheek. Toast shook his head. "I can't..." he began, but stopped and wiped Ghost's tear. To break the moment, loud screams sounded from the hole below. Ghost jumped. "G-Gregory...."
When the sound trailed off, Ghost couldn't help himself. He jumped into the hole. "Sir!" Toast protested, but Ghost went on his way. He walked down the rock hallway, looking for Gregory, and then he saw an outline resting on the wall. He ran over to it to find Gregory sitting there against the wall, head bleeding, chest almost torn open. Gregory looked up at Ghost. "G-G-Ghost....T-They did it. T-They had a reason..." he sputtered, blood coming out of his chest. Ghost shook his head, crying. "No...No! Gregory, come on, you can get up," Ghost said, standing up. He held out his hand. "Get up, Gregory, stand up," he told him. He spat out some blood. "G-Ghost, I....I can't make it. T-They put a s-sharp arm through my c-chest. I'm going to b-bleed to death," he got out. Ghost held out his hand still. "No, you'll be ok! I know you will!" he said sternly. Toast had appeared in the hallway. "Sir, why did-" he began, but saw Gregory. Ghost was shaking. "STAND UP!" he yelled. Gregory's head started to hunch down. Ghost kneeled again. "What do you need? What is your request?" he asked. Toast got down on one knee. Gregory's head lifted up. "You....Need to show....Her," he said. "Who?" Ghost asked. Gregory's eyes started to fade away. "Tell her to know....her b-baby boy...Tell her to r-remember stars....stars..." Gregory trailed off. And then, he fell limp. Ghost seized Gregory's dead shoulders, silently crying. Toast stood up. "Whenever you're ready, sir," he said calmly, walking out of the hallway. Ghost just sat there. With his brother, the only relative he had left. He was the only one. Alone.
Chapter VII: The Rain Comes
Climbing out of the hole felt like climbing a mountain.
Johnny Ghost's loss was a deep one. His only real brother had been killed by a force so unatural that not even he, a paranormal investigator, could handle.
It was his fault, it seemed, that he died. If Johnny hadn't accepted the case that he saw in his dreams, Gregory would be alive.
"Really, sir, it's not your fault. Don't blame yourself. He could have died anyway by those creatures," Toast tried to sooth. It didn't help. Ghost and Toast were sitting on a big leather couch in a living room, having just warmed up a mug of tea. They found some containers with tea leaves in them, in a cupboard. When they stepped into the house, it was in the middle of the afternoon. When they came out of the hole, it was pitch dark. Right now, and Toast had checked the clock, it was four o' clock in the morning. Both Johnnys were considering sleeping in the house for the night, but came to a conclusion that they shouldn't. After all, if a bender decided it was brave enough to come out of the hole, they wouldn't want to be sound asleep while it roamed Honeyhall. So they checked out the house more to try to get Ghost's mind of Gregory.
Ghost sipped his tea. "Johnny, I really do feel that I'm alone. My mother is dead, my father is a ghost, and now my brother is dead too. Who's left of my family?" he said. Toast looked down. "Well, sir, there's always that Billy..." he muttered. Ghost shook his head. "He'll never be my brother," he said coldly. "I told you." Toast was about to speak, but they heard a loud clap of thunder outside, followed by the pounding of rain. Ghost rolled his eyes. "Great," he said. "Now we can focus on who the ghost might be with the lovely sound of rain. I'll be damned..." Ghost grunted. Toast stood up, looking outside the window. "It's pouring, sir," he said. Ghost nodded. "Yeah, I noticed." "No, sir, It's really raining!" he said again. Ghost stood up, looking out the window. "Oh my...!" Ghost said. It was raining so hard, it was almost impossible to look out more than about ten inches out the window. But something caught Ghost's eye. In the rain, there was a light. A very bright light. Ghost tugged Toast's shoulder. "Johnny. Quick, look. Right there!" he exclaimed. He looked out. "Sir, what is-" he began, but then saw the light. "What the bloody hell...What is it?" he said, staring at the light. It wasn't just any circle light, it was light in the shape of a person. And then it hit Ghost. "Johnny, I saw her in my dream! At least I think it was a her..." he whispered. "W-What should we do?" he asked. No answer. "Johnny?" he repeated. He looked over at Toast. But he wasn't there. "Johnny? Where are you?" he called out. And then to answer his question, a door shut. He spun around, and found himself looking at a door. Toast had gone out into the rain.
He ran towards the big wooden door, and without thinking, threw it open. A blast of cold air hit his cheeks, and was almost instantly drenched in hard rain. Rubbing the water from his eyes, he walked out into the lot. "WHERE ARE YOU?" He yelled. Toast didn't answer. Ghost wiped the hair out of his eyes, looking around for the light. It couln't just disappear. It's got to be here he thought, turning around and around looking for it. He started to shiver in the freezing rain. He called 'Johnny' over and over again, but there was never an answer. At this point, Ghost could not get over how cold the rain was. "W-What temperature is it out..." he tried to say, but something scared the words out of him. With a flash of loud lightning, he saw a large outline in the rain. At first, he thought it was Toast. "J-Johnny! It's cold! Hurry back!" he yelled. But then, another streak of lightning came, and he saw what it was. It was a bender.
It's large shape and hunched back couldn't be ignored. He saw it walking closer, and then it screamed. His heart raced. He spun around in the rain, trying to run. He felt the sloshing of water against his ankles, and it was hard to move. Run! he told himself. He just couldn't. His legs were tiried of running, and he already felt the hot breath behind him. And finally, he hit normal ground. He jumped, bounding as fast as he could against the wind. Another shreik, and heavy steps behind him. Ignoring the raindrops and temperture, Ghost still started to run until his legs burned. Where was the house? He should be feeling the steps going up to the door by now. And then a horrible thought crossed his mind: He was going the wrong way, farther from the house. He didn't dare stop though, he had to keep going. When he heard another scream, it seemed right in his ear. How close was the creature? He kept forward though, and ran. When it seemed it would be a waste, he decided to turn sharply right, and then turn the other way. "Three..." Ghost muttered. "....T-Two...ONE!" he yelled, and then turned right. With a flash of lightning, he saw a large wall that he was about to run into, and a large thud, followed by a small yelp. The bender had hit the wall, stunning it. Taking it to his advantage, he started to pound through the rain again. Not a part of him was dry, and his eyes were blinking like crazy trying to get the water out. And then, to his excitement, he saw a few lights. Honeyhall's windows! But shockingly, he heard more panting of the monster behinnd him again. When the lights were closer than ever, he got ready to jump up unto the stairs. But right when he was nearing, he tripped on a large rock. Down he fell, until he heard the cracking of his nose. And then, with massive pain felt the bender run straight over his back. Cracks came from his back, and it felt as if his back was being broken. He screamed, but kept his eyes ahead. The sillohouette ran up stone stairs, and then a large space of light came from ahead. At first, he thought the bender had crashed the door open, exposing light inside. But when the light switched to the shape of a person, he felt his eyes go wary. Soon, the vision he had of darkness all turned into light, What was going on? He took one last shuttering breath before he felt his body relax.
Am I dead? he thought, looking around. "No," a man answered. "You're fine."
Ghost saw a man in black standing in front of him. He looked around him, and they were in some sort of old-looking hotel room. He was lying in bed, and the man was at the foot of the bed. He smilled. "You know who I am, do you not?" he said. Ghost laid his head back on the pillow. "Maxwell..." he said, sighing. Maxwell nodded. "This isn't real. I'm not really here, and she isn't here either." he said, and Ghost looked over at the other bed. A beautiful woman was holding a baby, feeding it a small piece of bread. She looked up at him. "Hello, Johnny," she said. She held up the baby. Ghost gasped. "I-Is that me?" he asked, almost hopefully. Maxwell nodded. "Such a cute baby," he said softly. Ghost sat up. "If this isn't real, what's going on? Am I...Is this a dream?" he said. Maxwell shrugged. "It can be whatever you want it to be, son," he said. Ghost sat back down. What was he talking about? This had to be a dream. The question was-Why was he having it?
Ghost relaxed, closing his eyes. "Why am I here? Do you have to tell me something?" he asked. Maxwell nodded. "I do. But I can't say. You just need to look out the window, my son." Ghost was about to answer when he heard a small laugh. He opened his eyes, but Maxwell wasn't near his bed. He was near the one with baby Johnny and his mother. Maxwell was smiling at the infant as it looked out the window. Maxwell picked him up, and carried him to the window. "Do you see stars?" he said. The baby nodded. Ghost remembered something about stars earlier, but his head hurt madly, and couldn't remember exactly what. He got out of bed to go look out the window, but he saw something else. He was looking into another wooden room. It was blurry, but he could clearly see flashing lights and bangs. With the last bang, the window cleared up. He could see his mother lying on the ground, a small blood puddle forming on her chest. "The answer lies within me, my son," Maxwell said behind him, but it sounded more raspy. Ghost was about to turn around, but he had to see what was going on. Maxwell was kneeling in front of his wife, holding her. But then, a small cloud of cyan floated above his head, and then over the woman's head as well. When the clouds formed, it showed her and Maxwell above the real people. The ghosts above their heads bowed to each other, and then a third cloud rose above the stomach of the woman. A baby, floating in midair. It then was thrown back into the bodies, with the other two clouds. And then the woman's stomach lurched, catching the attention of the police cheif and Maxwell. Maxwell's eyes widened. "The baby!" he exclaimed. Ghost felt tears going down his eyes, and without control, his head was torn away from the window he was looking in. Expecting to see the real Maxwell, his wife, and young Johnny, he was looking at darkness.
He was back in the rain outside Honeyhall, lying there in pain.
Chapter VIII: Walking With Lanterns
There was as much blood in his eyes as there was rain.
He tried to move, but couldn't. Only his head could move.
It was slightly lighter outside, and the rain had died down, but he was still lying on the ground. What he was wondering was...Where was the bender?
His answer was in front of him.
Again, standing in front of Johnny's stationary body, was the bender. It growled deeply, flexing it's reddish muscle that was it's skin. Johnny craned his head up to see the wet creature standing over hin. "What do you want, you foul creature?" he asked coldly. To answer his question, the bender screeched again. It started to twitch it's chest muscles, and then some overlapping skin flexed back to reveal a hole in it's chest. Once again, the arm came out, thrashing about looking for it's victim. It started to lower down to it's chest. "Do what you want with me..." Johnny muttered quietly. "Put me out of my misery." The bender growled, and the arm shot out, just inches away from Johnny's chest. But then, a blinding light shown from behind the large figure of the bender. Looking surprised yet tranquil, it turned to look it at. Breathtakingly, the bender held it's arms out, and they slowly started to form into regular, white arms. And then the head, the torso, and the legs, until a regular person was standing it front of him. The bender, or the man, turned around. He was glowing, but it was easy to make out he had a suit on, and his hair was nicely combed. Johnny shook his head, regaining himself "I...am adressing....the entity....known as...as..." Johnny tried to say, but the man smiled. "I am David," he said. Johnny, suddenly, felt his body relaxing, coming back into place. He moved his arms up, trying to hoist himself up. "You are a normal person. But death betrayed you. You're overtaken with e-evil. How can I help you?" Johnny made out, feeling his back moving again. Before he knew it, he was standing up again. The man stepped forward. "I do not judge my actions when I am not a man. If the time comes when you're life is in danger by the hands of me, let me know by striking me down. For my place has been made," the man said, glacing up. "You must help my kin. My daughter, my son. And you must also help my relatives, my grandfather and step brother. Johnny nodded. "Yes...And what about your wife?" But then, the man's figure started to fade up. He turned back to Johnny one more time. "I am about to go back to my ground state," he said. Johnny nodded, and then turned around to run. He started to run that way until he felt the heat of the light fade, and rain start to come down. When he saw the door of Honeyhall before him, he started to run faster. However, right as he ran into the doorway, his back bended again. Johnny screamed, and fell down on the floor. He heard the door shut behind him, followed by a scream of the bender.
He started to feel scared. "I can't feel my legs...or arms...or anything..." he whispered, trying to lift his arms. He tightened his jaws, trying with all his might. And finally, he gave up, lying on the floor.
Johnny Toast sat up in a start. He looked around, spectating the surroundings. He had been lying in a concrete lot, surrounded by bright, white lights. He shielded his eyes from the blinding light.
Where am I? he thought. He finally stood up, brushing dust of his leather jacket and jeans. He needed to get out of the lights. He stumbled around for a while, before he tripped on a wire. Down Johnny fell, back to the concrete. Head first. Almost right after the impact, he felt warm liquid brush down his face. Blood. Definitely a broken nose.
The more important thing, however, was that the lights were off.
All except one.
It wasn't a spotlight, thought. It was some sort of a human figure. Glowing bright white. Johnny wiped the blood from his nose, and stood up, facing the light. When he looked it at, he felt a strange mix of eternal bliss, but something so nauseating and horrid that he could barely look it at. Johnny opened his mouth to speak, but found that he couldn't. In fact, his lips were not there. Where his mouth was supposed to be was a gross patch of skin overtop of it. He clapped a hand over his missing mouth. Wait...This has happened before! Johnny thought. The white figure slowly walked towards him. But, the closer it got to Johnny, the white light turned to deep crimson. The happiness factor of looking at it had completly vanished. All Johnny could think was despair. Finally, the white figure was smoking with a deep red, and two eyes on it were black. It got closer. And closer. At this point, Johnny tried to turn around and run, but noticed his legs could not move. Not even his arms. Paralized. The red figure had grabbed the the helm of his jacket, hoisting him up to it. The face looked at Johnny's, and then a mouth shape opened. What he expected to be a deep menacing voice was indeed just a woman's voice. "Life. You have life" it said. Johnny stared at it, but not nodded. It stared back, and after what seemed like hours, it spoke. "You cannot be with us until you have no life..." Johnny did not nod or shake his head, but instead, he fell to the ground again. Luckily, he landed on his feet. Johnny looked up. "What do you want with me? Who are you?" he asked. The woman looked down. "You ran after me, so I am adressing you," she answered. He thought for a moment, and looked up. "Tell me though, are you the surviving wife of the house known as...Honeyhall?" he asked. The woman shook her head. "I cannot answer that," she said. Johnny smirked. "That counts as a yes if you don't answer..." he said. The glowing woman looked confused. "I gave you my answer! And that is that I cannot answer..." he said. Johnny nodded. "Sure it is. Well then, let me bargain," Johnny looked around. "Well, behind me is Honeyhall, so I'm still in the parking lot. Ok, that's good..." he said. The woman nodded. He snapped his fingers. "So that mean's you came here for a reason! You're the wife! You have to be, since you're wanting to go home!" he deduced. The woman looked angry. "If you want to believe that, you may, but has it ever crossed your rather thick head that I came after you and that other one?" she spat. Johnny toast looked up, thinking. "That would make sence....And that' quite the lie I must say. Unless it's not a lie, and you're telling the truth. But what did you say about the 'other' one? Are you speaking about Johnny-" he stopped. "Sir! He's gone!" he yelped, looking around for him. The woman clicked her tounge. "Perhaps you don't know what happened," she said. "Here."
Johnny was looking not at the woman, but at a clouded vision of what happened to Ghost. After it was done, it faded away, exposing the woman again. Johnny grabbed his head. "Oh my goodness...Sir Johnny is paralized?" he said. The woman nodded. "If you help me, I will help him," she said. Toast thought it over. "If by 'help' you, you mean those blasted benders, right?" he said. The woman looked taken aback. "They were humans like you, young man. Would you like to be one too?" she said angerly. Johnny shook his head. "No, but I'm surprised by your reaction to those things. If they were a family once, and you're the wife, that would explain why you're so angry about them being-"
"I AM NOT THE WIFE!", she screamed, her figure getting darker. Johnny jumped back. "Easy! I was just thinking...." he said, as the woman became light again. Johnny started to pace. "Ok. You got me. I'll help your fam-The benders. And you will help Johnny," he said. The woman smiled. "The job must be yours. You must save the husband by yourself. Johnny can help you with the others. I cannot answer why," she said. Johnny smiled again. "Yes, yes you can," he said. The woman and Johnny stared at each other, until the woman shook her head. "I want you to do the husband yourself because he's harder!" she said. Johnny chuckled. "Whatever, I'll do it. I feel there's another reason, but ok." The woman lifted her hands up. Two, glowing lanterns were in her hands. "These are the lantern spirits. They represent the family of Honeyhall," she explained. She threw her hands back wards, and the lanterns multiplied into eight, each floating around Johnny. He looked confused, "There was only seven family members," he said. The woman shrugged. "The family dog..." she muttered. Johnny smiled, turning around at a smaller lantern. "Well, I'm going to guess there's a bender-dog pouncing around the house too?" he said. The woman looked down. "Well..."
To his horror, Johnny Ghost found himself looking into the eyes of what looked like a dog, but had mangy hair and black looking skin, with hints of red mucle sticking out. "You have to be the most disgusting looking creature I've ever seen..." he whispered. The dog took a step back, and surprisingly, whimpered. "Wait. Are you friendly?" Johnny asked. The dog looked up, and back down. Johnny smiled. "I didn't mean to hurt your feelings, I just didn't know if you wanted to kill me!" He explained. The dog let his tounge come out, panting again. But his tounge was small, and only a half tounge. Johhny laughed. "I don't care. You're not that bad."
"HE COULD BE GETTING HIS LUNGS TEARED OUT BY THE BEAST!" Johnny Toast yelled. The woman levitated back. "I didn't know!" she said. Johnny looked confused. "What do you mean, you didn't know? Did you put him there?" he said. The woman nodded. "Why?" he asked. She smiled. "Because he was a lower life form, and I had the power, and the family wanted company," she said. Johnny rolled his eyes. "Well can you at least make it a normal dog? He's paralized! He can't fight back-" The woman looked angry. "Friendly! It's a nice dog! But I'll make it look better. In the mean time..." she said. Johnny started to float back into the air. "You need to get down there and save them."
Ghost was being licked by a now normal looking dog, when a blinding light appeared in the entry way of Honeyhall, where Ghost was lying. After the light died down, he saw a man. Ghost looked relieved. "Johnny!" he said. Toast smiled. "Hello, sir. I see you found a pet," he said. Ghost smiled. "I'm warming up." And then, Ghost felt his legs and arms regaining strength. And finally, he stood up. "I can walk again...Thank goodness!" he said. The dog barked at Johnny trying to jump up at him. Toast looked up. "I promise. I'll save them. Thanks," he said.
Chapter IX: The Beast Of Bedum
After spending a generous amount of time on the television, Johnny Ghost and Johnny Toast finally were able to turn it on.
They were listening to the news, trying to get any ideas of what was going on, or where the benders were. However, after Toast told Ghost about the woman who requested that they not kill the beasts, but save them, Ghost needed to find out how to get them back to normal. "Alright. Here we go, the news," Ghost said. They both turned their attention to the screen. A woman was sitting there.
After a span of two days, terror breaks out in the town of Bedum. There has been many sightings of a large animal that walks on both feat with large hands, an almost canine jaw, and scarlet-grey skin. There has been shocking yells coming from the big mansion, Honeyhall, that rests in the middle of Bedum. There has been officers searching the house since.
Toast nearly fell out off the chair. "Officers? We c-can't have the police here! They'd dispose of the place. It's still a lovely house, really-" Ghost grabbed Toast's shoulder, "If we don't get out of here, we'll be arrested. They'll think WE did something to the benders. That's not going to happen," he said. He stood up, grabbed his laptop and maps, shoved them in a backpack, and put his hand on the doorknob. "Ready? We have to go." Toast turned of the television and stood up by Ghost. "Hurry," he muttered. But when Ghost opened the door, there were near six police officers coming to the door. The Johnnys froze. The officers put their hands on their nightsticks. "Stay where you are," one of them said. Three of them came over to pat them down. When one of the officers felt Ghost's laptop, they pulled it out. "Why are you carrying this?" he asked. Ghost gestured to the officer's nightstick. "Why you carrying that?" he replied. The officer frowned. "Nevermind. I'm going to have to take this," he said, turning around to his car. But Ghost leaned over, and got the the nightstick. "Ok. I'll trade you," he said happily. The officer spun around. But then, he took out a pistol. So did the other officers, and they aimed it a Ghost. Toast looked worried. "Sir! Think of something!" he whispered. Ghost nodded. He screamed at the top of his lungs, and pointed behind one the leading officer. Stupidly, they all turned. That's when the Johnnys went into action. Ghost swung the nightstick around, and pummeled the lead officer with it. He fell to the ground, and Toast took his pistol. He shot it in the air, and dangerously close to the officers. Ghost ran over to two officers, and also beat them with the hard stick. He went over to the remaining ones, threw the stick at one of them, and grabbed the other by the neck. "You go into that house, and you'll get worse than this," he warned. Ghost squeezed his grip on the officer, and tilted his head, until a mysterious gravel-coloured liquid came up in his throat and out his mouth. The officer screamed, and Ghost threw him down. He turned to Toast. "Hurry. Get the outfit of this unconscious one, and that one too." Toast grabbed it, and the two got into the police car, driving off from the house. Ghost sighed. "Finally, we're getting away from that place," he said.
As they were passing the roads and neighborhoods, police cars drove by them, sirens flashing. Ghost turned to Toast, who was driving. "So...You think they're here, right?" he said, and Toast nodded. "We need to search where the benders might go. Something made them flee the house, that's for sure, sir," he told Ghost. They were driving by a gas station now, the one they passed on the way to the motel. This time, Ghost didn't dare look over at it. When they passed a grocery store, though, they saw an older woman running out of the building, followed by other men and woman. Ghost froze. "Stop the car, Johnny," he said. When they stopped, Toast and Ghost ran out of the car towards the buildings. When they were about to go through the door, a far too familiar scream filled the air. A man was thrown out the door, and landed on the hard concrete. And then, a bender walked out the door in all it's glory. It was looking at the crowd of people outside, and then it caught sight of Ghost and Toast. It screamed again, and ran towards them, and the Johnnys turned to run. Running down the sidewalk, the bender's panting slowly died away. Ghost was heaving. "That....one...wasn't so....big...and fast...." he made out. They both stopped, and turned around; The bender was still coming. But right when they were about to start on running again, sirens filled the air, and it caught the bender's attention. It turned to look at the cars coming, and was surprised to see men in body armor with fully automatic firearms. Toast shook his head. "Sir, they can't be killed! We've got to stop them..." he said, running towards the force. When they got there, a man whose chest said 'S.W.A.T.' stopped them. "Stand aside, officer, this is code red!" he yelled. Toast didn't move. "If you hurt that creature, the REST WILL COME! AND WORSE!" he yelled. The man stared, "The REST of them?" he said. Toast nodded. "Don't shoot! I know what this is, but you won't believe me, you just have-" But then, several gun shots filled the air. Toast and Ghost turned around to see the men firing at the bender. "NO!" Ghost yelled, running forward, Toast behind him. But when they got over there, the bender was covered in bloody wounds, and was staggering. And finally, it turned to look at Toast. And he could have sworn it said distantly "My life is gone, and a new one starts..." The bender fell down, dead.
Toast screamed. Ghost put a hand of Toast. "What's happening? Is the woman screaming?" he asked. Toast nodded. "I'm sorry!" he said over and over again. Finally, he seemed to calm down. But he turned around to the SWAT men. One of them was speaking into a radio. "All clear. Animal has been compromised," he said. They started to pack into the van. But Toast took out his gun, and fired it into the air four times. The men turned around, guns pulled. "Freeze," they yelled. "Put the gun down!" But just then, a police car drove up. Inside was a man wearing only an undershirt and undergarments. He pointed at Toast. "You!" he yelled. "You're under arrest!" Just then, tons of policer officers came up beside the Johnnys, and they were handcuffed, disarmed, and were being walked to the car. But when they were walking, Ghost saw something that took his breath away; Two more giant benders standing on top of a hill, glooming down on the town. Ghost gasped. "You've got to listen! Turn around, there is-" He started to say, but the officer with no clothing stopped him. "Not falling for that again," he said. Toast glared at the officers. "If you don't stop this, it's going to get worse! TURN THE BLOODY HELL AROUND-" He was yelling, but Ghost shushed him. They were already in the car now. "I just thought that if they see it they'll kill the benders..." he said. Toast shook his head. "This is very, very bad," he said, slumping into the seat.
But Johnny Toast was in another place; A white concrete lot, staring at a glowing, red woman. She looked furious. Toast backed up. "It wasn't our fault!" he said. The woman screamed at him. "I don't CARE! I asked you to SAVE THEM! And now the step-brother is dead!" he said. But Toast then snapped his fingers. "Wait," he whispered. He looked up. "If they're dying, and they're going to, well, the grey haven," he said, looking up. "Why should we not kill them? They're going to live a good life in the glowing lands..." he said. The woman became white again. "Don't recite fairy tales, you idiot!" she snapped. "If we kill them, there's no chance of them coming back as humans on this world!" she said, almost sadly. She turned away. "Like me" she muttered. Toast froze. "Like you?" he said. He laughed. "So you ARE the wife-"
"NO! I'm not!" she yelled. "It's because I was one of those things shortly. It was horrible. It was when I died, and then I became whatever this ghost form is, and the only way to get back is to get the evil out of me. I'm fine now, but if THEY don't be saved, I won't get back. I have a debt to pay to someone," she said, and left it at that. Toast nodded. "Fine. You're not the wife. I get it. You just died, became a bender, and you made a deal that if they die, you won't get to go to the afterlife, and you won't get to go to earth, and you'll be stuck, so we have to save THEM and then they'll save YOU. Right?" he said quickly. The woman stared at him, but then nodded. "Ok! I'll need to get back and tell Johnny that, thought," he said. "You better do it right," she said, and Toast started to sink back into the car.
Chapter X: A Deep Darkness
P.I.E. was on it's way to prison.
Johnny Toast had told Johnny Ghost about what the woman had said, and he was as worried as Toast. "Listen," Ghost was saying. "We need to get out of here before they all see the benders. If they die, she dies, and it is most likely possible that since we damned her to wherever or something, she'll kill us." Toast was sitting with his head in his hands, in deep thought. "Well, sir, I think we need to be criminals if we, and the Honeyhall residence, wish to live," he said. Ghost sat back in his seat. They stared at out the window in silence. Partly because they had nothing to say, and partly because they wanted to hear what they were talking about in the front seat of the police car. They used some sort of code words to speak, making it near impossible. While Ghost was doing whatever closing his eyes and looking up was, Toast felt the familar feeling of rising up again....
Shielding his eyes from the light, Toast was back in the strong light, staring at the woman. "You know," Toast said smugly, "You could just admit you love my dashing looks...." The woman didn't budge. "I heard what you said. I suppose you want to know?" she said. Toast looked confused. "I didn't say anything..." he muttered. The woman shook her head. "You want to know what debt I have," she told him. He looked even more confused. "Well, y-yes, I thought it. But sure, tell me," he said. The woman nodded, and she evaporated, showing a window. Toast went over to look in it. It showed a large house being built. The bell tower, in the left corner of the roof, was being made as well. But it went down to the bottom of the house, where a man in a suit and a woman in a gown were sitting, on a bench. They didn't look quite happy. "Listen, Cathrine, I don't care if the building of this house isn't justified. I told you about our family, and if you-" The woman, Cathrine, cut him off, "No. I said I'm sorry, but without legal permission for this house to be here..." she said, but the man stood up harsly. "You've done enough to harm our family! I'd suggest you let the Honeyhalls thrive, and you hurry up and move to that barren desert!" he yelled. Cathrine stood up too. "Fine," she snapped. "But Adam's death wasn't my fault," and with that, she walked off from the house. The man sat back down on the bench, head in his hands.
Toast snapped back into the real world again, to see the woman. "Cathrine?" he asked. The woman nodded. "Yes, I am Cathrine," she admitted. Toast nodded, "Okay then, so you're Johnny's mother?" he asked. Cathrine looked like she was going to faint. "B-But w-what?" she said. Toast laughed. "Ah, yes, I am that good. Why didn't you say so?" he said. The woman sank down to the ground, and her glowing white image started to fade, until she looked normal again. She was wearing the same gown that she wore in the window, and she had shining, blonde hair. Toast smiled. "You're not too bad, yourself!" he said. The woman blushed. "That is not important. The important thing is that Adam, the third child of the Henry Honeyhall, died because I was in charge of the police the day he was killed. Henry thought I either killed him, or didn't protect him like he should. Even thought it wasn't my fault, I threatened to take Honeyhall, the house, away because it wasn't legal. Of course, it was, and I didn't know it. I feel that because of what I've done, I owe the Honeyhall family. And they feel it too." She looked down. "And so does Satan..." she muttered. Toast didn't move, taking it all in. Then he started pacing. "Ok, I know that much. And I assumed to save the family we have to remind them about how you owe them?" he said. Cathrine walked over to Toast. "Yes, but..." she whispered. "They might not listen," she said. Toast started pacing again. "Alright then. I think I know what we should do!" he said. Cathrine smiled. "Then go save me. Good-" she was saying, but then he snapped back to the car.
Ghost had awoken him. "Sir? What is it?" he said. Ghost pointed a finger out the window of the immobile car. The officers driving it were looking out the window to see a bender staring at them. He screamed, and before Ghost and Toast could embrace for impact, it charged right into the car, sending it tumbling over on it's back. Ghost hit the roof of the car, and unbuckled his seatbelt. He crawled out the shattered window space, and went over to where the drivers were. The officer in the passenger seat wasn't moving, and the driver had his head imbedded in a sharp piece of metal from the ceiling, with blood slightly trickling down. The man was twitching, and Toast thought he was alive. "We need to save him!" he exclaimed. Ghost shook his head. "We need to get this big guy!" he yelled, turning around to see the bender facing him. He screamed, raising his giant, clawed hands. He hit the ground, shaking the Johnnys, but Toast walked up to it, slowly. Ghost tried to grab his shoulder. "No!" he said. Toast shook it off. "No, listen..." he said, right up close to the beast. "I am addressing the entity known as...Henry Honeyhall!" he yelled. The bender froze in place. Toast felt triumph, and continued. "Cathrine Batters is in debt to the Honeyhalls! She wishes to be relieved! You are her life, and she is yours. Be gone, demon!" he yelled. And then the bender started to scream more, clutching it's arms and head. It's reddish skin began to turn to a more appealing gray, and then it froze in place, glistening white. Toast backed away. "Sir, get down!" he yelled, and they both hit the ground. The bender exploded, sending what looked like shards of the creature overhead, and a blinding light came from the empty space that was the bender. When Ghost and Toast finally went up and looked, a young man was standing there. He looked about 14, and was in a suit as well. He shivered, looking up. "Where a-am I? Where is f-father?" he stuttered. But then, police sirens flashed in the distance. The police were coming. It was at that point that Ghost noticed his head was bleeding. He was so focused on the bender that he forgot that the car crashed. He turned to the boy, "Listen, you need to stay here. We're going to fake it," he told the boy. The boy looked confused, but obeyed. Toast and Ghost fell to the ground, looking knocked out. And then the sirens got closer and closer until they stopped, and the tires felt close. Footsteps sounded, and an officer shouted. "FREEZE!" at the boy. More footsteps, and another more calm voice said "This boy is innocent. They are not. I'm going to take them away." Ghost felt his body being lifted by men.
Ghost woke up in a dark room with a mattress, sink, and urinal. Prison. He sat up with a big headache, and went over to the rusted bars to look out. It was chaos. A bunch of men in orange were yelling and pounding on the bars, while others were being thrown into empty cells. A tired voice came from behind him, "Sir?" Ghost turned around to see Toast lying on the ground. "I have a feeling something bad has happened," he said, smiling slightly. Ghost smiled too. "I think something bad has happened..." he repeated, staring through the bars. He turned back around and sat on the floor with Toast. "Well, we're going to have to get out of this place. We need to save the rest of the Honeyhalls," he said. Toast nodded. "I hope they're not searching for more..." he said. "For what?" A man's voice said by the bars. Ghost looked over. A man was looking in the bars, but he wasn't wearing an orange jumpsuit, he was wearing a black jacket with a tie. "I heard some things that I didn't before. I strongly suggest you come with me," he said, opening the bars. Ghost and Toast stood up. The man grabbed them by the arms and threw them out of the cell. "Follow me," he said.
They followed him into a room with other men in suits and jackets, and the man they were followed grabbed a name tag of the wall. He stuck it on his jacket, and pointed to it. "Hardy," he said. "Hardy Stokes." He ushered the Johnnys to follow him more, so they did. As they were walking down the hallway, they noticed white rooms with prisoners inside, being interrogated by officers. Ghost leaned over to Toast, who was walking in front of him. "He's taking us to these rooms. We shouldn't tell these men anything they don't need to know," he whispered. Toast nodded. After what seemed like an hour, Hardy walked Ghost into a white room, and another man went in a room with Toast. As Ghost sat down in the hard chair, Hardy strapped his hands down to the table. "Just in case you snap," he said. Ghost rolled his eyes, "You know how those paranormal investigators are with phony officers. Insane," he said. Hardy slammed his hands on the table. "If you think that's funny, it's not! People have died because of whatever you've done with that...that thing! That creature! I have the government searching for-" Ghost wasn't going to take it, and he started to yell too. "You think I DID THIS? I didn't even SIGN UP for this job! I was assigned to take it away!" he said. Hardy looked furious. "Don't you DARE TALK TO ME THAT WAY! DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?" he yelled. Ghost didn't move. "THE MAN WHO'S ABOUT TO DIE BECAUSE HE LET HIS EGO CONTROL HIS MIND!" he bellowed. Hardy looked shaken, and he sat back. They both glared at each other for a long time, until Hardy shook his head. "Ok, mister, why don't you tell me what we should do?" he said coldly. "That sounds great," he said. "I have a few ideas of my own...Like to back off!" he snapped. Hardy looked angry again. "We're not going to let you and that OTHER ghost chaser to take over a prime case. This could be alien for all we know-" Ghost groaned. "It's not an alien! It used to be a man named-" he froze. Hardy sat up. Ghost didn't say anything. Hardy's frown curled into a sly smile. "What did you say? I think you know more than we do. Perhaps you'd like to say it!" he said. Ghost didn't. Hardy stood up, and unhooked Ghost's hands from the table, and grabbed his arm. "Come one, we're going to Frank..." he said, walking him out the door. Ghost felt that he almost let slip something very confidential. And he also had a feeling that wherever he was going was most likely GOING to make him slip. Whoever 'Frank' was, he must be bad. As he was walking out the door, he saw Toast in the room talking to the man, who was yelling. Guess his conversation isn't going any better than mine, Ghost thought. He and Hardy were walking down the hallway again when he saw a door. Hardy opened it and threw Ghost in. Inside was a giant, wooden table, where other men in suits were sitting. The only exception was that they all had pistols. Hardy shut the door, and locked it. He forced Ghost into a seat. Then, he sat down on one. "Speak," he commanded. Ghost gulped. A deep darkness was going to occur if he didn't choose his words carefully.
He was doomed.
Chapter XI: The Hurt Henceforth
He had a deep and sinking feeling he wouldn't live through today.
Sitting in the wooden chair, all the men were staring at him. Hardy was in the front, having just pulled out a pistol, and aiming it across the table at Ghost.
"Must I tell you again, mister Ghost?" he snapped. Ghost was thinking carefully. Letting one supernatural element slip about the benders and they'll all die. But he cleared his throat, and stood up. The moment he stood, all the men grabbed their guns. Ghost put his hands up. "Can I not stand?" he said innocently. They all settled down. Ghost nodded. "That's better. Alright then, Hardy. I'll talk," Ghost said. "First, I'd like to put this into picture. If you, when you were about seven years old, you dropped an egg on the kitchen floor and your mother yelled at you, how would you react?" he said. Hardy frowned. "Tell us. NOW!" he yelled. Ghost crossed his arms. "I'm getting to that-Now, if you dropped the egg on accident, would it be fair if you got spanked? If it wasn't your fault?" Hardy looked furious, but he still answered "That wouldn't be fair, you're right..." he grumbled. Ghost smirked slightly. "Now, would you deserve the punishment if you dropped it intentionally?" he said. Hardy looked down at the floor, thinking. He looked up. "Of course, 'cause you made a mess. Well I'll tell you one thing. If-"
"Wait just one minute, Hardy," Ghost said. "I know what you're going to say. Those benders...or those beasts, those creatures, they aren't making a mess just because they want to. It's because their yolk isn't holy." Hardy frowned again. "What in the name of sanity are you talking about?" he said loudly. "Well," Ghost continued, "Their yolk, their soul, is something not from this world." Nobody moved. And then Hardy sat back. "Alright....Ok, I think I know what you're saying here. You're saying we're dealing with extraterrestrial life?" he said, his voice sounding curious but cautioned. Ghost sat back down. "No. I'm saying..." he began to say, but then was silent for a long time. Hardy stood up. "Aliens. These are aliens. How should I believe you?" he said, pointing a finger at Ghost. He stood up too. "It's not an alien.... THEY'RE DEMONS!" he yelled.
Hardy looked very angry. "Are you saying that...that...Satan sent these things?" Ghost nodded. "Ridicule me. Arrest me. It's the truth," he said calmly. And then, Hardy didn't move. He just kept on staring at Ghost. But something so unpredictable happened, Ghost wasn't ready. "SEND FRANK IN!" he yelled. Ghost had forgotten about this 'Frank' man, and he wondered what his job was. But his thoughts were answered when a burly man walked in. He looked worried. He turned his head to Hardy. "Sir, you must put your hands in the air..." he said with a thick austrian accent. Hardy stood up. "Excuse me?" he said. Frank slowly turned to the side, exposing another man bearing a black shirt with jeans holding a pistol to Frank's back. All the men in the seats stood up, grabbing their guns. The man behind Frank smiled. He pulled out a small grenade and threw it on top of the table. Ghost dropped under the table, and his ears went silent for a while. When he got out, all the men had their eyes shut and grabbing their ears. "Flashbang! GET OVER HERE! HURRY," the man yelled. He threw Frank to the table and ran out of the room, Ghost following. Red lights were flashing down the hallway, men running after them. Ghost was wondering while they were running who this man was. So, "Who are you?" Ghost yelled at the man. He didn't answer. Men were yelling behind him, and the occasional gunshot flew past them. But after a few yells, a familiar voice was behind him. "Hello, sir," Toast said, now running along side him. Ghost smiled. "I thought you'd catch up."
They were all running through the prison part of wherever they were, and all the prisoners were cheering, throwing old wrappers and such at the guards chasing the three. They saw double doors ahead, and before they knew it, they were running out of the building. As soon as they stepped out, the man they were following turned around, grabbed a device out of his pocket, and threw it at the doors. As soon as it thit the floor, a blue energy created a forcefield around it, stopping anyone from coming out the doors. Once the men were trapped and pounding on the door, Ghost turned to look at the man. He had slight stubble and shorter hair. "Billy?" Ghost said, astonished. Billy turned to look at Ghost. "Hey..." he said, panting. "I've been following you two. I thought I'd follow in my brother's footsteps!" he said. Ghost smiled. "Well, you know how to save him. And that little gadget was mine. I suppose I left it at a motel?" he said. Billy laughed. "For a top notch investigator, you sure don't count your things before you leave a motel."
The three of them talked while they were walking back to Bedum. "-And it turns out those men back there used the station for their whole government thing. Just to catch you in hopes you did it!" Billy was saying. When they reached town, however, they saw something that couldn't be ignored. A floating man surrounded by red and black smoke was in the middle of the square. Billy looked scared. "No... It's Maxwell..." he whispered. Ghost shook his head. "No! It can't be! Not again..." he said. Toast pointed. "It looks like he's looking for someone," he said. Maxwell was grabbing people and looking at them, and then throwing them back to the ground. Before they knew it, Ghost, Toast, and Billy were running down the pavement towards the ghost. They stood in front of him. "FATHER!" Billy yelled. Maxwell froze. He turned his smoked, levitating form over to Billy. "You're looking for me, aren't you?" he said quietly. Maxwell looked down at Billy. "No," he said, pushing him out of the way. Billy flew to the ground. And then Maxwell went over to Ghost. "YOU!" he yelled, grabbing him by the collar of his shirt, lifiting him up. "Why do you have to interfere with our family, SON!" he yelled. Ghost started to sweat. "It's not about our family. And don't call me son," he said coldly. Maxwell looked even more angry. "If you think you can toy with spirits, you're mistaken! Those things cannot be saved. They're dead," he told Ghost. He shook his head. "No, Maxwell, they CAN be saved. A woman talked to us. She said she made a debt with the Honeyhalls a long time ago. They-" Ghost said, but then he was thrown back against the road again, banging his head. Maxwell flew over. "Sir!" Toast yelled. Maxwell looked down at Ghost. "WHO IS THIS WOMAN?" he shouted deeply. Ghost stood up, "My mother. And your wife."
Maxwell froze. And then, he stopped smoking. He fell to his feet, clearing up to a human form. He was wearing black slik, and looked almost identical to Billy. He looked hurt. "Cathrine..." he muttered. And then, a crystal blue speck fell from his eye. A tear. "My...wife," he said. Ghost nodded. "Why do you keep coming back?" Maxwell looked up at him. "Because I don't have my life anymore. My life with my family..." he said. Ghost felt sad. "But you can be saved, right? Just like she can! She wants to come back," he said. Maxwell shook his head. "I cannot be with her. I'm stuck between death and life. She is stuck between afterlives. We cannot reach each other," he said. Ghost felt his eyes tearing up. "What did we e-ever do? Why did all this happen to our family?" he asked. Maxwell floated back up again. "I will never know. I will not return," he said, and with that, he flew off into the sky.
Toast put a hand on Ghost's shoulder. "Hurry! Look!" he said, pointing to a bender facing Billy. Ghost spun around. Another bender was facing a large man holding a shotgun. Behind him was Billy, looking scared. The bender screamed, but the man didn't flinch. "Get away from my son," the man growled, cocking his shotgun. Ghost ran foward. "No! Don't!" The man turned to look at him. His eyes widened. "You!" he said. Toast ran over to the man, and got in front of him. "I am addressing the entity known as...as..the uncle!" he said. Billy smiled. "Let's hope you're right," he said, still looking shaken. The bender raised it's giant hands. Toast gulped. "I'm addressing the e-entity known as t-the grandfather!" he yelled. The bender froze, panting. "John Honeyhall, you're in debt to Cathrine Batters! She w-wishes to be relieved! You are her life, and she is yours! Be gone, demon!" he got out. The bender screamed one more time before grabbing his chest. Before Toast knew it, the bender was shining with bright light, and when it vanished, an older man was standing there. "What..?" he said, looking around. He was wearing a button-up shirt with a red tie. Toast smiled. "Another one saved..."
The man walked over to Ghost, throwing his gun down. "You're Ghost! You're Johnny Ghost. We were in that...that room, remember? And with Billy..." he was saying. Ghost smiled. "Acachalla," he said. "Papa Acachalla." Papa smiled "Got me," he said. But then, he turned around and ran over to Billy. "You alright," he asked. Billy nodded. "I am going with them, Papa. Tell mama and Sally to stay put where they are, and to not come to Bedum!" he said. Papa Acachalla nodded. "Got it," he said. He looked over at Toast. "Thanks. So was that man inside that huge thing?" he said. Toast laughed. "About so, yes," he said. Papa looked at Ghost. "And you to, see ya 'round," he said, and he ran off. Billy went over to the man. "Sir, go over to that big house over there," he commanded. The older man looked at him. "Eh?" he said. Billy pointed to a retirement home over near the street. "GO OVER THERE!" He yelled. The man nodded. "Sure..." he muttered, walked slowly over. Billy turned to Toast and Ghost. "So, we gotta save those things, huh?" he said. Ghost nodded. "Yes, but...How come you were more childish with your father in that big room we were in a month ago?" he asked. "Ah," Billy said. "Well, I guess when you're around a girl like Sally, you're more childish. Plus, I've changed. Papa treats me like a man now, really," he said. Ghost nodded. "But," Billy said, "Why did you act like you didn't know me? In that place?" he said. Ghost shrugged. "To be honest, It was hard to recognize you, and I didn't know much about the family yet," he said. "Ok," Billy said. They all stood there for a second, but Toast spoke up. "Well what are we waiting for? We got a family to save!" he said cheerfully. Billy smiled, but Ghost felt something bad. He knew that something dark was coming.
Chapter XII: The Tower
Billy Acachalla, Johnny Toast, and Johnny Ghost were standing by a demolished gas station, researching more on a small laptop. Ghost rubbed his eyes, "Come on! There are benders still around!" he said. Toast and Billy didn't look up from the screen. "Doesn't look like it," Billy muttered. Ghost walked over to the laptop Toast was holding. They were watching a camera inside Honeyhall. Toast smirked. "Put a cam down, sir," he said. Ghost nodded, looking back at the screen.
It was a normal hallway, but right after, three benders walked into view, following a larger one. It had many cuts and scrapes on its arms and chest, and a small part of its head was gone, exposing bone and even some brain. "Gross..." Billy muttered. The lead bender turned around to face the other two. It started to grunt over and over again, and it seemed it was talking to the others. They looked at each other, and they all screamed. The lead bender then grabbed its chest. The small arm shot out of the chest, swinging around as if it were looking for a victim to get. But the bender started to pull the arm out. His chest started to expand, showing overlaying skin. Soon, the bony arm became an arm and a shoulder, shoulder and a foot, foot and a torso, and grotesquely, the whole body stumbled out of the hole in the bender's chest. The skin slowly went back into place, and the creature was crouching on the ground. When it stood up straight, it showed a dark blue skin, skinny body, and beady black eyes. The head expanded, and it had razor sharp claws. It opened its mouth, and a call that sounded like a raspy bird call came from it's mouth. The bender grabbed the creature by the neck, holding it up to him. He spun the creature around, to get a view of it, and then set it down. "Go...." a dark, hoarse voice said, and then Ghost discovered it came from the bender. The small creature screamed, and turned to run down the hallway, out of screen. Billy and Toast looked mortified. "What...was...that thing?" Toast said, as the screen faded.
And then, Ghost thought of something, "Wait a minute...What if that lead bender wasn't the husband, but the wife?" he asked. Toast and Billy looked at each other. Toast closed his eyes, nodding. "Yes, sir, that would make sence...Because of that creature, it might have been an unborn baby or something, but when we first went to Honeyhall, the lead bender was born, and it was the man..." and Toast stopped. "Wait, how come the man could be a man for so long, while the others were benders? When we saw him, he was just transforming!" he said. Ghost nodded. "He must of had some sort of control, being the leader or something, but when he saw us in the house, he went berserk," he explained. Toast shut the laptop, putting it in his backpack, which was now on Billy's back. "Billy, go with Johnny," Toast said. "I'm going to Honeyhall." He turned around to go, but Billy grabbed his shoulder. "Um, just one thing I researched...After a few sites, I deduced that they're hyper sensitive about noise. Just saying. It's ironic, I mean, they have really loud screams, but they're kinda...Well, I don't know. Anyway, if you can try to lead the leader to that bell tower," he said, pointing to the larger roofed area of Honeyhall, with a bell on top. Toast turned to Billy. "Thanks...And good luck," he said, as he ran down the street. Billy turned to Ghost. "Ok, we should go back to that place you were captured in. With the men. I know, the screen showed that there were all four-" he stopped. "Ok, we DO need to go there. There are four benders left, but there were only three on the screen in Honeyhall," he said. Ghost turned around towards the road. "Then we need to get going."
They started to run down the road, but a sirens filled the air again. However, this time, it was a fire engine. It drove past them quickly. Ghost and Billy started to run faster, and after what seemed like hours, they finally saw the building. But it was much different. Smoke was clouding the whole area, and fire engulfed most of it. Billy's mouth dropped, "What happened? Do you think the bender did it?" he asked. Ghost nodded. "He sure did help." As they got closer, the smoke started to cease as large water bursts hit the building. Soon, all that was left was the scorched building. Three ambulances were parked near the rubble, bringing out people on stretchers. Ghost watched as two man carried a stretcher out, holding a blackened man. They were carrying it to the ambulance when a doctor stopped them both, shaking his head. They looked down at the man, and then carried the body solemnly back to the rubble, and dumped the body back. Instead, they picked up a better looking man and put him into the ambulance. Ghost closed his eyes. "Just because these men didn't know what they were doing doesn't mean they should all die," he said. He looked up at Billy, "That dead man was Hardy. He was mean, but he didn't...Well...You know." Billy gulped. They stood there, watching what was left of the building, until a far too familiar screech filled the air. All the people looked around, Until they saw it: A bender standing on top of the ambulance. It hopped down, facing Ghost and Billy. Ghost shook his body, ready. "Welcome to the party."
Toast finally reached Honeyhall, and after trudging through water and mud that covered the entrance, he stepped inside. The hallways were torn, with muddy stains covering the floors. He couldn't believe that nobody had come in to look. He walked carefully through the house, feeling as if something was watching him, that something was right behind him. He felt uneasy. Every gust of air felt like a bender breath. It was at this point that Toast horribly discovered he was quite scared. When he reached a spiraling staircase, half of the railing had fallen to the floor, and claw marks covered the walls on the way up. Walking up, the steps creaked, and he knew whatever was ahead was going to be hard. When he got to the very top, he was looking in another hallway. There were two rooms as well. But standing right at the end of the corridor was a small creature. Toast's eyes widened. "Oh my, hello," he whispered. The creature snarled, raising its small, bony arms. It was puny, but if it grabbed a hold of Toast, it could do some damage. It started right at Toast, and he stared right back. "I don't think you can be saved..." he said. The creature screamed, running towards Toast. Right as the creature leaped for Toast's head, he ducked, sending the bony thing tumbling. When it stood up, recovering, Toast grabbed a stray stick. "Come on, little bugger, kill me!" he yelled. The creature leaped for him again, but Toast swung the wood and hit it in the head, sending it down again. It howled, grabbing its face, but looked up. This time, it ran up and grabbed Toast's leg. "Gah!" he screamed, using the other leg to kick it. But that only angered it, as it bit Toast's leg. Toast screamed. Not only did it bite him, but it started to chew and possibly eat Toast's leg. He screamed, bending down and grabbing the creature by the neck. It immediatly let go, and Toast threw it to the ground, looking him in the eyes. It spit out flesh, staring at the man. "You're hopeless," he said, and he grabbed the creature by the head, slammed in against the wall, and grabbed the stick again. "You're only two feet by the looks of it, you scrawny little whiner. Back in my day, we'd kill you're type for chicken breast!" he said, hitting the collapsed creature with the stick. Over and over, it screeched, until Toast saw it sprawled on the ground. It wasn't dead, but just lying there. He walked over to the whimpering thing, looking down at it. "Shut up," he said, kicking it down the stairway, thump after thump it went down, until it hit the bottom. It didn't move. Toast smiled. "One down..." he said, holding the stick on his shoudler, walking towards a ladder. "Three to go."
Ghost and Billy were staring at the eyes of a bender, dull and lifeless. Billy backed away. "You can do it, Ghost, you know how," he said. Ghost nodded stepping forward. "Alright, you beast, listen up! You don't mean what you've done! You've killed innocent-" he started, but the bender threw it's giant fist into Ghost, sending him backwards to the ground. All the people around them started to scramble into their cars, driving off. Ghost gulped, "I'm adress...Oh forget it, a woman you know well, Cathrine Batters! She owes you, get over it! Hurry up and transform, you beast!" he yelled. The bender looked slightly spooked, but still couragous. He lifted his paw once more, and right as Ghost ducked, Billy stepped forward. "Convertame, Es!" he yelled, and the bender stopped. It started to shake, foaming at the mouth. Ghost looked surprised. "What?" he muttered, confused, and he saw the bender start to shrink with light. What was left a young woman in a night gown. She looked around, shaking. "What's going o-on?" she stuttered. Ghost smiled. "Lots. Not for you, though," he said. An ambulance came back after a few minutes to take back the girl, and Billy and Ghost looked at each other. "Is our job done? Should we head back to Toast?" Billy asked. Ghost nodded. "He's gonna need help."
As Toast climbed a long ladder, supposedly going up the to the bell tower, he heard growls. No doubt there were three of them up there. But still, he climbed until he reached the top. He peeked over, and saw the deranged feet of at least two benders. But they were looked down at him. One of them grabbed Toast by the shirt, and held him up. Toast looked at it. It was no doubt the leader. It was very huge, at least seven feet, and it was staring at Toast. He couldn't help but stare at the gap in the bender's head. The bender leaned in on him. "You will die..." he grumbled in a deep voice. Toast gulped. "Oh...You can speak. Bloody brilliant..." he whispered. The bender threw him to the ground, and Toast noticed they were standing on an exposed bell tower, with a giant bell in the center of the floor. Under it was a large hole, covered in wood panels, obivously covering up nails. Toast looked up. The other bender walked over to Toast. "Um, I'm adressing you both! Cathrine Batters is in debt to... to the Honeyhalls a-and she needs you to...to" he got out. The other bender started to freeze, grabbing it's shoulders, but the lead bender didn't move. As light filled the air, though, the bender covered it's eyes. What was standing there was a middle aged man, standing there, looking scared beyond belief at the bender. But the bender just stopped to look at the man, as if it recognized him. The man, or the uncle, however, looked very, very scared. The bender's face didn't look angry, but more non-believing. Taking it as his chance, Toast looked over at the bell. "Loud noises..." he muttered. He looked below the bell. It was a large rope, to ring it. Toast looked at the man, staring at the bender. He snapped, catching his attention. He mouthed, "Cover your ears" the man nodded, and Toast looked at the rope. With all his might, he jumped down into the hole. Right as he was falling, he grabbed the rope, holding on with arms and legs. At first nothing happened, but then the rope sunk down and back up. Without warning, a very loud ring sounded. Toast felt his ears burst with sound, but he heard the giant bender scream. Toast rose with the rope, and went back down again and again, with large rings. The bender screamed and screamed, and Toast looked up to see it grabbing it's head, stumbling. And he gasped. It was going to fall down the hole. And then, it did. Hitting the rope on the way down, Toast felt his hands fall off, sending him down the hole too. He screamed, and looked down. He saw floor boards. Toast closed his eyes. This is the end.... he thought, getting ready to hit.
Ghost and Billy started to run towards Honeyhall, until they heard the bell ring. They stopped. "He did it..." Billy said. "I wonder what's happening!" Ghost squinted to see what was going on. But there was only one man up there, grasping his ears for the ringing bell. "I see one man... Where's Toast? And the other bender?" Ghost said. And then, he got a surge of fear. "Oh...Shit!" He started to run towards the house.
Chapter XIII: The Light For Our Clouds
With a sickening crunch, Johnny Toast went clear through the floor of the hole, chest first.
Recovering, he looked up to see yet another row of wood covering up. Luckily, the giant bender flew past him and broke the floor first, so Toast fell through the broken floor. As he saw the bender crashing through the floors, he knew it would come to an end very soon. And then, when a cloud of dust appeared down below, he knew the bender had landed. He closed his eyes, and held out his arms. He was going to die.
Ghost and Billy ran up the steps of Honeyhall, into the torn hallways, and pounded up to the staircase. Billy froze when he saw the dead creature at the first step. "What..." he said. Ghost looked down at it. "Oh. That thing..." he said. "Hurry!" and they both ran up. As they got up to the ladder, looking up, Ghost thought of something. "Hold on, Ghost either fell off the roof...or through the bell tower, so he wouldn't be up there. But you go get the man up there, Billy. Go!" he said. Billy nodded, and hopped on the ladder. Ghost slid down the railing of stairs, right as he heard a giant thud. When he got to the bottom, he looked around to see where it came from. "Where are you? JOHNNY!" he yelled. He was answered by a loud groan to his left. He turned to look at what happened and he saw a huge bender lying on the ground, but he was holding the body of Toast. Ghost gasped. He ran over to the two bodies, and when he went over to Toast, the bender looked at him with big, gray eyes. He dropped the body down on the floor. "Johnny," he said, "Johnny, get up! Johnny, can you hear me? CAN YOU HEAR ME?" he said. There was no answer. He looked back at the bender. It's back was hunched over, and not just because he was a bender. It had obviously shattered its spine and back. Its arm and chest were bloody, and it looked like it was dying. Ghost turned back to Toast. He noticed just then he was breathing, so he turned back to the bender. "Listen...thing. You're dying. And I need you to understand...If you still can," he said. The bender breathed heavily, blood trickling out of the corner of his mouth. "And if you don't...come back to your normal state, then a woman you know will won't either. She can help you...She just want's to be helped a little too." The bender looked up at Johnny. It grunted. "Latin, Ghost, latin...Listen, even if you're too strong, just give in..." he shook himself. "Convertame es, daemon..." he said. The bender looked at him, and then, his eyes relaxed. His skin started to unflex, and it started to turn from a crimson to a grey color, and the blood started to clear up. Ghost smiled. Its more houndish face started to turn normal, and before Ghost knew it, the body of the bender was looking normal. And Toast started to cough aside him, and Ghost knew it would be alright.
Billy was looking into the eyes of a crabby, middle aged man. He rolled his eyes. "Look, sir, if you just come down from here, it will be fine!" Billy was explaining, but the man didn't budge. "You're... you're with those demons! Those things!" he yelled. Billy held out his arms. "DO I LOOK LIKE ONE?" he yelled. The man crossed his arms. "You could be incognito," he said cooly. Billy turned around. "Fine, stay up here with the Venom-Men." he lied, looking up towards the ceiling. "You guys can eat him." The man jumped, and soon was right behind Toast. "Hurry! Go down, down!"
Ghost was now looking into the eyes of a kind man, a ghost, standing in front of him. He looked down at the dead bender, looking much, much better. "This is how I was for so long...I killed people...." he said. Ghost helped Toast up. "It wasn't really your fault," Toast said kindly. "You were taken control of, and turned into something far worse." The man nodded. "I know. And you don't know who, well, killed my family, do you?" he said. Toast stepped forward. "Cathrine Batters, the woman who's going to save you," he said. The man looked impressed. "So you figured it out. Well, good job. It's been an honor...And thank you," he said, and with a shine of light, the bender body and the man were gone. Ghost and Toast looked at each other. "It's all over...right?" Ghost said. Toast looked down. "There's still one more..." he said. Ghost shook his head, "But there were only six benders. We got them all, unless there was a butler nobody told me about..." he said. But then, Billy came down with not one man, and another too. One had a jacket and tie on, and the other wore a suit. "A butler...You're kidding," Ghost said, smiling. The second man smiled. "I believe that's right," he said proudly.
After Toast walked the men to the gathering in the retirment home, he, Ghost and Billy were sitting at a park bench. Toast was talking to them when he suddenly felt like he was flying, and he was back into the glowing world that Cathrine was in. She looked very happy. "You did it... I'm so proud of you and Ghost," she said, and she leaned in and kissed Toast on the cheek. He felt his face go red. He held out a necklace. "This was yours, wasn't it?" he said. The necklace was silver, with a round emerald in the middle. She smiled, and put it on. "Yes, yes it was," she whispered. She looked up. "And now...I can go back!" she said. And with sinking feeling, Toast blinked. He was back at the table, where Ghost and Billy were staring at him. "Johnny?" they were saying. He shook his head. "What? Oh, sir, hello," he said with a smile. "Anyway, what is it?" Ghost pointed to the sky. "It looks so much...brighter now, the sun is shining, less clouds, looks like it, right?" he said. Toast laughed. "Indeed it does, my friend." Ghost smiled too. "That's the first time you didn't call me sir, Johnny," he said. Toast jumped. "Oh, sir, I'm sorry sir, I was-" Ghost stopped him. "No. I like it. I don't want to be a master, I want to be a friend," he said. Toast agreed
As Ghost and Toast were at their car, the were saying goodbye to Billy. Ghost gave him a hug. "I never knew who you could really be, I just thought you were... I don't know, different," he said. "Are you going to go back to dumb ol' Billy Acachalla?" Billy shrugged. "Guess I should. But part of me will always be a hero," he said. "A hero of a town...The best thing I'll ever be." Ghost and Toast got into their cars. "It was an honor meeting you, Sir Billy," Toast said. Billy smiled. "Same to you. Bye." And as Ghost and Toast drove off, Billy waved, and Ghost had a feeling that the whole town was waving too, even if they didn't know why. Toast and Ghost had done something nobody should ever have to do in their position, but they did it anyway. And won.
Ghost opened the door to his house, throwing his stuff down. "So good to be here," he said. Toast came in, and put his things down. "I need to change, I haven't changed my clothes for about 3 days!" he said, running off to his bedroom. Ghost pulled off his shoes and walked to his bedroom. He had maps and notes and photographs all over the walls, red lines and calenders, but for the first time, he felt as if he didn't belong in there. Ghost sat down on his bed, taking off his shirt, grabbing another one. He looked at his notebook, filled with dates of cases he had to go to. He sighed, and laid down on his bed. After a few minutes, Toast walked on. "What is it?" he asked. Ghost sat up. "Johnny, I feel as if...I shouldn't do these investigations anymore." Toast's mouth dropped, "Why ever not?" he exclaimed. Ghost sighed. "After what we did, I just feel like...We're endangering people. Many people have died back there, and....Well, I don't know, I feel as if...Like it was my fault. Like I murdered them or something. And I know it's not true, but..." he explained. Toast walked over to his bed and sat down next to Ghost. "We're in this together," he said. "You know, my father used to say...Opportunites are a dime a dozen in our life, but doing them can cost much more. And you had an opportunity, and you chose it, and what did you get? You're a hero now. You're well known now not as some weirdo ghost hunter, but as a demon chasing legend! You'll be on the news, Johnny, you're special. You want to give it away, ok. But now that you have a reputation...Why give it up? Yes, I know the reasons, and we can stop our little dig if you want. It's not about bussiness, it's about you," he said. Ghost looked up. "I know, I am a hero...but lots of people think I did it too," he said. Toast shook his head. "So? What if twenty people think you're the best, but one thinks you're horrible. Which one are you?" he said. Ghost looked around. "I don't know, I guess I'm the best," he said. Toast smiled. "You are. So it's your choice. We have a case in twenty minutes, but we can cancel."
Ghost stood up. "No...You're right. We should continue P.I.E. We're the best! Let's go!" he said. Toast smiled. "That's the spirit." As they started to walk out the door, they saw a man approach through the door window. Ghost stepped back. "Oh, someone's here. Probaly someone to thank us," he said. But as he opened the door, he saw something so bad that nothing could ever top it. Ghost started to shake, and he gasped. "You."
A FanFic by Justjackbros