The Terra-Belle Ghost, Chapter 28

I asked Phoebe, “Which one of us in going in first?”

            She mulled it over for a moment, and then she answered, “Let’s do it together!”

            “Really?” Normally, I would have immediately seized an opportunity to get intimate with her, and a part of me wanted to impulsively go for it, but my more rational self overrode that temptation and abashedly responded, “But there’s a monster in there! And Corvina said it was pretty gross…” She gave me an admonishing look, and it then registered to me as to what she meant. “Just kidding!” I chuckled to make my claim more believable, but obviously she didn’t buy it, so I gave up on that and then instructed her, “Alright, let’s kick the door down on the count of three! One, two…” I hesitated somewhat when it occurred to me that a fear monger would be standing on the other side of this entryway, and we had no idea what lurked within these chambers! How could we contend with a force that we didn’t have any clues about? Other than it appearing to have been male, we got no description from Hudd or Corvina regarding what they saw in there! I started kicking myself for not gathering more info from the pair prior to reaching this stage of our supernatural quest…

            “Three!” Phoebe exclaimed. I felt compelled to raise my legs when she did, and the door swung open! It also began to swiftly return to its place of origination, so we had to scurry to keep it ajar! After we settled that matter, we slowly raised our line of sight to behold what we were facing…

            While I couldn’t fathom what to expect, I certainly wouldn’t have guessed that we would run into nothing! We scanned over everything- the three urinals, the four sinks, the two stalls, and we saw no sign of anyone or anything that might have attacked those kids! It did make me question the design layout for this space though- if a boy occupied each station all at once, one of them would have to wait to wash his hands…

            Phoebe interrupted my train of thought, “Do you think he got out?”

            “If anything scary infiltrated the gym, I’m pretty sure we would notice!” I told her. “I mean, I suppose he could’ve wriggled out of that small window, but if he left the area, our work would be done!  I doubt we’d get off so easily! So, all we can do is set foot inside and see what we’re dealing with…” As we took a deep breath, I sort of wished that one of the others would get here quicker so that someone else could do this undertaking! Once we exhaled, we gingerly set out toes inside. Nothing happened, so we set another foot forward. Nothing again. Once we were deep enough in that the door closed…

            “Ai-yah!” Someone jumped from the ceiling and punched me in the forehead! I nearly fell backwards, but Phoebe caught me before I hit the ground! I didn’t catch a glimpse of who ambushed me, but my instant reaction was to pummel whatever prick did that! “Ee-ei!” he shouted, and when we espied a black-clothed heel flying in our direction, we managed to roll out of the way in time to avoid his collision!

            When we gazed back up, we didn’t see anyone standing there until Fletcher and Aleck opened the door, and as Fletcher turned on the lights (something I regretted not doing from the beginning!), a limber man wrapped in a charcoal-colored outfit hopped down from his lofty position and threw some metal stars at their locality! Thankfully, they closed the entryway seconds in advance of damage! As his equipment hit the surface, I could see that Phoebe was making movements towards striking him, and not wanting to watch her get hurt, I stepped near his vicinity and calmly regarded him, “Please, sir! We don’t want any trouble!”

            He somersaulted into the air, and preceding me voicing out loud as to where he disappeared to, he came barreling back to me! As I slid out of the way, I socked him in his masked mouth! “Ow!” he yelped as he vanished once more.

            “Please, sir! We can work out our differences in a more civilized manner!” I entreated him. He jumped down with a set wooden nunchucks swinging, but Phoebe caught them with a cardboard package of toilet seat covers! He retreated, and I took another stab at peace pact, “This doesn’t benefit either of us, so-!”

            He grabbed Phoebe by her sides and strove to topple her, but she utilized the nunchucks on him. Once she got a good hit, he withdrew again. “Why are you even bothering to negotiate with him?”

            I defended my action, “Well, how else are we supposed to defeat a ninja? He’s too-!” He snuck up behind me and lunged for my neck, so I elbowed him in the nose and vexedly yelled, “Will you stop doing that?”

            All of a sudden, the door cracked open, and once the ninja vamoosed, a large, cloth cowboy doll got thrusted into this territory. The ninja clearly mistook its swift motion and stature as another person entering into this arena, so he pounced on it! Phoebe and I rapidly took advantage of his distraction and grabbed him by the arms! He swung his legs around to shake off our grip, and it became difficult to keep holding on to him. Ginger and Ellie dove in and held on to his other limbs, and he could no longer gain any momentum to flee from our grasp! We solved the issue of him fighting us, but we had a new problem at hand…

            When Fletcher and Aleck re-entered, I informed them, “One of you is gonna have to destroy him!”

            Both of their eyes grew wide at that prospect! Fletcher remarked, “Listen, I know when I’m at my angriest, I acted like I could kill a man, but really, I don’t have it in me to do something like that!”

            “You slayed some vampires a few months ago!” Ginger reminded him.

            “Yeah, when I knew they’d dissolve into dust!” Fletcher argued. “If this guy bleeds…”

            Ellie countered, “Then Connor will throw up and faint, but we’ll be done with this! Hurry up! My knees are aching!”

            Peter walked into the bathroom, and when he got a load of this strange scene, he bore an alarmed expression and commented, “I can hold it!” as he bowed out. So much for Corvina and Hudd guarding the joint!

            “Will you just do it already?” Phoebe urged him. “Don’t wimp out! I’m ready to be done with this!”

            “Why am I getting horrible flashbacks to my wedding night?” Aleck puzzled.

            I riposted, “I don’t know and I don’t wanna know! Can you please do something before he breaks free and injures somebody!”

            Both of them still seemed reluctant, so Ellie brought up, “Oh come on! He’s not a real man!”

            Ginger, whose stance forced her to hover dangerously close to the man’s lower pelvis, disagreed, “He definitely resembles one! But remember, he’s a fear monger designed to assault our students! Don’t give him that chance!”

            “When I get out of here, you’ll all suffer from the ancient skills passed on to me through a sacred dojo!” the ninja threatened.

            “You don’t have a dojo! A monster created you minutes ago!” Aleck got an irate visage, and then he stated, ‘Okay, he seems really irritating! How do we off him? We don’t have any weapons!”

            The ninja did a very lengthy maniacal laugh (his mask didn’t muffle him much at all), so Fletcher used his palms to silence him. I suddenly got struck with inspiration on how to end this conundrum! “Fletcher, hold his jaw open! Aleck, stuff as many vegetables into him as you can!”

            Aleck griped, “Aw, man! I was hoping not to have to do grocery shopping tomorrow! We need more snacks!” After Fletcher forced his mouth to remain stretched wide, one by one, Aleck placed pieces of produce into his throat. When enough was in there to restrict his airways, we let go as we watched him collapse and move less and less. Soon, he morphed back into a menacing, little creature and disappeared, and Aleck opined, “Maybe I should pay more attention to what my son’s karate instructor is advising everyone…”

            Before any further discussion of this incident circulated, Roxy burst in and announced, “I’m here to save you!” She eyeballed the entire premises, and when she could not unearth what she was hunting for, she pondered, “You did say the choking ninja was in the men’s room, right?”

            “Ugh! We’re too late!” Damon bemoaned. “That’s not fair! He didn’t even get to scare his intended victim! Oh well! Perhaps the next one won’t haunt the region so temporarily!” The six of us in the Ghost League groaned at the concept of having to battle against more tedious adversaries, which prompted Damon to snidely addressed us, “What? Did you seriously assume that I would allow this happy occasion to carry on? I will ensure that this night finishes in absolute terror! And don’t forget, this is all your fault! You didn’t give Babelsama the key, so your beloved pupils must suffer the consequences for the rest of their lives! And don’t tell me that this is merely one evening and that they’ll get over eventually! It’s not so easy to let go of an event that held such promises of enchantment and then turned into a complete nightmare, trust me!”

            “Trust you? Why the hell would we do that?” I retorted. My mind fixated on how oddly determined he acted in ruining the prom for everyone- Yes, he was consistent in unleashing horror on this campus in order to get revenge on us, but he behaved as though he had a high degree of venom against children having fun at a dance! It almost appeared personal, which would have been bizarre when I took into account a certain fact I recalled gleaning from his scholastic records! This propelled me to challenge him, “Hey, why do you resent this celebration so much? Didn’t you have fun at your ‘promenade tea?’”

            For the first time since we witnessed him getting fired from a gig he took as a vampire, we saw his face fall from humiliation! We all stared at him in anticipation of hearing the details of a traumatic story from his past, we could hardly wait for him to spill a secret that we might have been able to use to defeat him! Unfortunately, his demeanor shifted to an intense disdain, and through his pronounced grimace, he retaliated, “Like I’d every disclose that to you! Not that anything heinous went on…” He observed the disbelief in our body language, and he cringed as though he still had a physical form and could feel pain! “Yuck! I can’t take the level of enjoyment this is bringing you! I’m leaving, but mark my words, I’ll be back before you know it!”

            He dissipated into the air, and Roxy called out to him, “Hold on, Damon baby! You can’t go! We gotta spread more mayhem!” When he didn’t return, she folded her arms and pouted, “Oh, great! What do I do now?”

            “You could join your classmates on the dance floor,” Phoebe proposed. “You know, do ordinary teen things…”

            “What? You figure I can head back out there like everything’s fine? Like he didn’t just ditch me at a school dance for the second time this year/” Roxy dramatically stormed out, and I almost felt sorry for her! Almost- I would’ve pitied her if the object of her desires wasn’t a sociopathic specter!

            We all received a jolt of shock when Manuel entered into the room! He peered at us curiously and then inquired, “Is everything okay in here?”

            We all clammed up! Clearly, we couldn’t divulge the true nature of our business in this establishment, but we had no inkling on a rational rationale for our presence there! To our relief, Corvina and Hudd showed up beside him, and Corvina reported, “They were breaking up a fight.” I admonished myself for not coming up with that one myself- it wasn’t even technically a lie!

            Manuel looked somewhat skeptical initially, but then he spotted the cloth cowboy doll in disarray, and he seemed to accept that explanation. He picked it up and clicked his tongue in disappointment. “That’s too bad, this was one of the main focal points of the western decorations! I doubt we’re getting our deposit back on this! I hope it wasn’t expensive!”

            Phoebe later shared that it was pretty pricey, but that was the least of our concerns! We knew that Damon promised to revisit Rosemary King High, but we couldn’t guarantee that he would delay that manifestation until the next workday! For the rest of the prom’s duration, we fretted he would emerge once more! He never did though, and the remainder of our shift stayed relatively incident-free! Despite the harmonious front, we never let our guard down- not even on the car ride home! Phoebe and I went up our driveway with caution, and I could have sworn something would jump out of the shadows at any given moment! And then something did! When a cricket jumped out of the bushes, we both screamed! I then mused, “Maybe that’s why Cricket’s afraid of her namesake!”

            “We can’t keep doing this!” Phoebe whimpered. “We gotta find a way to…” Headlights beamed behind us, and she prayed, “Oh, please don’t be someone bringing Blaise home!”

            “It’s not,” I denoted as it parked across the street, “but maybe we have a pathway out of this dilemma after all…”

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