Chapter Five- The Inconvenience
It was a quiet day at the Mystery Shack. There weren't that many tourists around, so the twins, Fidds, and Danny were lounging around. Ford was busy reading the journal while his twin was spinning around next to him on a globe. He was reading an interesting page about ghosts and spirits.
"Stanley, do you believe in ghosts?" he asked.
"I believe you're a big nerd!" Stanley laughed. Stanford stopped the globe he was spinning on, causing him to fall off.
Grantie Mabel came in from the front entrance, "Ria, Danny, kids!" She called out.
The boys and Ria stopped what they were doing to run up to her, "Yes, Ms. Pines?" Ria asked.
"I'm heading into town," Mabel said. "I need you guys to wash the bathrooms while I'm out, alright?"
"Yes, ma'am," Maria nodded.
"Absolutely not," Danny replied.
Grantie Mabel laughed, "You kids stay out of trouble."
Once she and Ria were gone, Danny spoke, "Hey guys! What's this?" he unveiled a red curtain hanging from a wall, revealing a ladder. "A secret ladder to the roof?"
"Uh, I don't think Ms. Pines would like that," Fiddleford pointed out.
"Huh?" Danny asked Fidds slowly.
"You're freaking me out, Dan!" Fidds yelled.
"Can we actually go up there?" Stanford asked excitedly.
Danny shrugged, "Sure we can! Roof time! Roof time!" he chanted.
"Roof time! Roof time! Roof time!" The twins chanted with him, following Danny up the ladder.
Fidds remained in the room, looking uneasy with his friends' decision to break the rules, "Uhhhh…" he glanced out the window, seeing that Ms. Pines already left. His mind was made up, and he ran out of the room, "RIA?! You need help with those bathrooms?!"
Ford, Stan, and Danny made it to the top of the ladder and walked on the roof, until they found a spot with a lawn chair, an umbrella, a cooler, and a pile of pine cones, "This is my spot," Danny gestured.
"You really hang out here?" Ford asked.
He shrugged, "I may or may not sneak up here all the time when I'm supposed to be working," he threw one of the pine cones, and it hit a target placed on a totem pole. "Yes!"
The twins grabbed pine cones and followed Danny's example, throwing them at the same target, but missing. Stanford threw one at a car by accident, making the car alarm go off. At first, he was scared, but then Danny cheered for him.
"Jackpot! High five," he held up his hand. Was it just Ford, or was it getting warm out here? "... Don't leave me hanging."
Ford high fived Danny, but then they heard a car honking. Danny looked down and smiled, "Oh cool, my friends are here!"
The driver pulled up and waved his hand out the window, "Danny!" he called out.
Danny was about to join them, but then he turned back to the twins, "Hey, you guys aren't gonna tell Mabel about this, are you?"
Stanford zipped his lips in a silent motion. Dan smiled and copied him, "Later, dorks!" The teenager hopped on a nearby tree, slid down, and got into the car, where his friends cheered for him and drove away.
Ford was still smiling and waving, "Later, Danny!" he chuckled. "Good times…"
Stanley gave a mischievous and knowing smile, "Uh-oh!"
Stan poked him playfully, with his smile never leaving his face, "Somebody's in love!"
"Yeah, right!" Ford scoffed. "I just think Danny's cool, okay? It's not like I lie awake at night thinking about him!"
That night, Stanford was in bed wide awake with only one thing on his mind. His eyes widened further when he realized what this meant, "...Uh-oh."
The next day, Stanford felt awkward being near Danny, despite how cool and chill he was around him and his twin. He stood on the sidelines while Stan and Dan threw a random rap battle for no reason.
"My name is Stanley!" Stan rapped. Ford recognized the lyrics from when he and Fiddleford were bored on that island. Guess he did write it down after all. "It rhymes with manly! It also rhymes with Danny!" Dan cheered the younger twin on by chanting his name and beat boxing. Stanley stood on the middle of the floor and motioned for Dan to back up. "NOW I'M GONNA BREAK IT DOWN!"
Ford watched his brother dance, first with a cabbage patch, then with a very poor attempt of a head spin. He almost didn't notice that Dan's attention turned to him. "Ford!" Danny called out. "Aren't ya gonna get in on this?"
"I-I don't really dance," he tried to back away, but Stanley laughed.
"Yeah, you do!" Stan smiled and turned to Dan. "Our mom used to dress him up in a little lamb costume and make him do-"
Ford went beet red, "DON'T SAY IT!"
Stan whispered in Danny's ear, "The Lamby Dance!"
"Stanley, I hate you in the nicest way possible."
"Lamb costume?" Danny laughed. "Wow. Did it come with little ears and a tail?"
Ford blushed, "Well uh, uh…"
Stanley held up a picture of a younger Stanford with rosy cheeks dancing in a lamb costume, "Ford would prance around and sing a song about grazing."
Stanford glared at him angrily. He was about to retaliate when Dan's phone alarm went off.
"Hey, look at that!" Danny exclaimed. "Quittin' time! The gang's waitin' for me."
He was about to leave when Ford stopped him, "Wait! Why don't I-" he glanced at Stanley, "or we come with you?"
"Ooh…" Danny rubbed the back of his neck, unsure. "I don't know. My friends are pretty intense. How old did you guys say you are?"
Stan was about to answer, but Ford covered his mouth, "We're thirteen! So, technically, we're teenagers."
Danny smiled, "All right, you can come with," he answered. "Just let me get my stuff and we'll head out."
After he left, Stan thought about what Ford said, "Since when are we thirteen? Did we time travel?"
"Come on, Stanley!" Ford exclaimed. "This is our chance to hang out with the cool kids. And Danny and whatever," he added shyly.
Stan gasped, "I knew it! You love him!" Stanley danced around him mockingly. "Love love love love love love!"
"Look over there!" Ford pointed.
"Huh?" Stanley turned around, and Ford knocked him against his head. "Ow."
When they got outside, Danny's friends were playing some jelly bean throwing game. One of the teens tried to throw it in another's belly button, but Danny beat them to it. The other teens cheered for him when they saw him, "Danny!"
"Danny! Danny!" One of them chanted.
"Hey, guys," he smiled. He gestured to the twins. "These are some pals from work. They're my boss's great nephews, Stanford and Stanley."
"I chewed my gum so it looks like a brain!" Stan opened his mouth to show them the wad of gum.
"He's not one for first impressions," Ford smiled. He held out his hand. "I'm Stanford Filbrick Pines. Nice to meet you," he started feeling uncomfortable when no one shook his hand, so he hid them behind his back. "Okay…"
"So are you, like, babysitting or something?" One of the girls asked.
"Come on, Stacy," Danny chuckled. He turned to the twins to introduce them to his friends. "Guys, these are Daryl and Ed," he gestured to two boys that were laughing and noogying each other. "That's Shandra," he pointed to a girl with brown hair that was texting on her phone.
"Hey…" she said to the boys without looking up.
"Toby, who once ate a run-over waffle for 50 cents," Danny continued, gesturing to a shorter boy with square glasses.
"Aw. Don't tell them that!" Toby blushed in embarrassment.
"And this is Stacy Valentino," he finished. He pointed to an emo-styled girl. She was wearing a black sweatshirt with a stitched heart on it.
Stanley recognized the last name, "Wait, Valentino?" he repeated. "Are you related to that news reporter lady?"
"Yeah, she's my mom," Stacy answered. "I'm also the gal that spray-painted the water tower," she added proudly.
Ford smiled, "Oh, you mean the big muffin!"
"Um, it's a giant explosion," she corrected him.
Everyone looked up at the water tower, which gave a perfect view of Stacy's spray painting from where they were standing. Ed chuckled, "It kinda does look like a muffin!" He and Daryl laughed.
If looks could kill, Ford would be dead by now with the death glare Stacy was giving him. He gulped nervously.
"Let's hurry it up, guys. I got big plans for tonight!" Danny announced.
The other teens and Stan cheered and got in the car. Ford went over to the passenger seat only to find that Stacy had already beat him to it, "Sorry, kid. I'll ride shotgun, alright?"
Ford sighed and opted to sitting in the back seat of the van with Stan. Toby, who was at the driver's seat, made an announcement, "Guys, before we go, my mom said you're not allowed to punch the roof of the car anymore, so could you stop?"
The other teens ignored him and punched the roof of the car while chanting, "TOBY! TOBY! TOBY!" Toby sighed and drove away from the Mystery Shack.
Stanley looked at the interior of the car to see that there was writing on the doors. He took a marker from Stanford and wrote in 'You Stink!' on his door. "Ha! This is gonna blow someone's mind!"
"Stanley, please!" Ford groaned
"What?" Stan asked. "Am I embarrassing you in front of your new BOYFRI-"
Ford slapped his hand over his brother's mouth, only to pull it away again, "You gotta stop licking my gloves, Stan."
Back at the shack, Grantie Mabel was looking around for her pig, Waddles, "Waddles?!" She called out. "WADDLES! Where is that darn pig?" Mabel sighed. "Too bad the boys aren't home. They could help me-" An oink was heard from the kitchen, and Grantie Mabel found the pink pig invading the decorated potato barrel. "There you are!"
The large pig squealed happily at the sight of his owner and jumped into the older woman's arms, "Eating out the stock pile again, I see," she rubbed his tummy affectionately. "You silly piggy."
Grantie Mabel got out her knitting kit and sat in front of the TV with Waddles on her lap. She changed the channel to one of her favorite programs.
"You're watching the black and white period piece old lady boring movie channel!" The TV announcer spoke. "Stay tuned for the Friday night movie, 'The Duchess Approves', starring Sturly Stembleburgiss as 'The Duchess' and Grampton St. Rumpterfrabble as irascible coxswain 'Saunterblugget Hampterfuppinshire'!"
"Ooh, a classic!" Grantie Mabel smiled excitedly as the movie began.
Just as the sky started to darken, Toby parked his van in front of an abandoned convenience store called "Dusk 2 Dawn". The teenagers and Stanford and Stanley stood in front of the wired fence that surrounded the store.
"There it is, fellas! The condemned Dusk 2 Dawn!" Danny gestured.
The others looked at it in awe, while Ford spoke up, "Why'd they shut it down? Was it a health code violation, or-"
"Try MURDER!" Daryl said in a spooky voice to try to scare him.
Ed pointed at the store, "Some folks died in there, and the place has been haunted ever since!"
"This town has such a colorful history!" Stanley exclaimed happily.
Ford ignored his brother, "Wha… are you guys serious?"
"Yeah! We're all gonna die!" Danny joked. He laughed. "Don't worry, man, it's not as bad as it looks!"
He climbed and hopped over the fence, and the others followed him one by one, until it was Ford's turn.
"Come on, Ford!" Danny yelled.
Ford was on the top of the fence, and he slowly tried to climb down to join them, "Okay! Okay! Just gotta get a foothold…"
"Dude, your brother did it!" Stacy yelled.
Stanley was, in fact, with the teens running on the ground sideways in a circle while yelling, "WOOP WOOP WOOP WOOP WOOP!"
Ed climbed up behind Ford, losing his patience, "Hey, you know what? Just…. There ya go," he threw Stanford off the fence, and he fell screaming. "Ha! S-sorry kid!"
Daryl laughed and high fived Ed when he jumped down, "Good job throwing the kid off the fence, genius!"
"Your mom's a genius…"
Stanford brushed himself off, slightly irritated by being shoved and being called a kid. He ignored this and followed the teenagers and Stanley to the window of the store.
"Wow!" Danny exclaimed. "This place is amazing!"
It was dark, but to Ford, it didn't look any more interesting than, well… a closed store. Stacy tried to open the door, but it was locked, "Let me try to open it," Ford offered.
Stacy scoffed, "Oh yeah. I can't get in, but I'm sure Junior here is gonna break it down like Hercules!"
"Come on," Danny frowned. "Leave him alone, Stace. He's just a little kid."
Ford was upset to hear that his crush only saw him as a kid. In determination, he walked over to the dumpster at the side of the store, and he jumped on it to climb in the vents. He could hear their protests and Stanley's cheering as he kicked down the screen and climbed into the vent.
Shandra gasped, "Kid, what are you doing?"
"Hey, Ford!" Dan yelled. "Take it easy!"
"Go, Stanford!" Stanley cheered.
Their voices disappeared as he crawled through the metal vents, looking for a way to get in the store. Stanford grabbed his emergency flashlight he kept in his back pocket and turned it on. After a moment of crawling and searching, he found an opening where he could jump off safely onto a store shelf. He hopped off the shelf and ran to the door, where Ford undid the lock and opened the front door from the inside. He held the door out with a smug look on his face and gestured everyone to come inside. Everyone cheered for him, high fiving him as each went inside.
"Good call inviting this little guy!" Ed smiled.
Daryl pointed to Ford, "Your new name is Dr. Funtimes!"
"Nice work!" Danny punched him lightly. Stanford smiled and blushed as he walked by. Once everyone was inside, he followed them in with a little skip in his step.
It was still dark in the store, but Ford kept his flashlight on to look around. The teens were joking around, asking where the ghosts and the dead bodies were.
Danny found the light switch, "Hey, guys! You think this still works?" He flipped the switch on, and the lights came on, lighting up the store, much to everyone's surprise.
"Why would they keep the electricity going in here?" Ford asked. No one seemed to listen to him, so he turned off his flashlight and put it up.
Danny cracked his knuckles, "Guys, it looks like we can do whatever we want!" The teens and the twins cheered, and they split to explore the store. They ran around, throwing food at each other, popping mints into soda bottles, making a mess, and they were having loads of fun. Stanley was having the time of his life, but then he found something else.
"Oh my gosh!" He gasped. He pointed to some strange foreign candy with signs on it, saying 'DO NOT SELL'. "Smile Dip! I thought this stuff was banned in America!"
"Maybe they had a good reason," Ford pointed out. He was about to warn Stanley not to eat the candy, but he was hit by a bag of food, and he ran off laughing.
Stanley opened a bag and stuck the candy stick in the Smile Dip. He glanced at the stick before deciding to just pour the entire package in his mouth.
Ford sat on a shelf next to Danny. They were both eating ice pops and watching everyone else have fun. When Danny wasn't looking, Ford was blushing. He couldn't believe that he was actually considered cool to his friends! And they named him Dr. Funtimes!
Danny laughed at something the others were making Toby do, "Stanford, this night is legendary!"
"Really?" Ford asked.
"Just look around. the guys are bonding, I've never seen Shandra look up from her phone this long, even Stacy is having fun! And your brother seems to be going nuts with that Smile Dip."
Ford looked around to see that he was right. He looked over at Stanley. His face was covered in the illegal candy, and, to Ford's mild concern, he was chewing on air after talking to himself. Ford was sure he had too much of it.
"You know, Ford," Danny started, "I wasn't sure if you could hang out with our crew at first, but you're surprisingly mature for your age."
Ford was sure that he could scream in joy at that moment, but instead, he kept a straight face and nodded, "Yes, yes I am." He smeared his ice cream on the side of his face.
"Hey, guys!" Ed called out. He was shoving a bag of ice into Toby's pants. "We need more ice!"
"I'm on it!" Ford jumped off the shelf and walked over to the ice freezer. He grabbed a bag of ice, only to drop it on the floor in fear when he saw a floating brain with tentacles and eyeballs inside the freezer. "AAH!" He closed the door and took deep breathes. Once his breathing was back to normal, he slowly opened the door again, only to see that the monster was not there.
"What was that?" Ed asked. "I thought I heard some lady screaming back here."
"You freakin' out, kid?" Daryl asked. The other teens walked up to where Ford was.
"Uh, no. I'm fine. Everything's just fine," Ford tried to brush off.
Stacy pointed to the spilled ice on the floor, "Then what's all this about?"
"That's uh, um uh…" Ford looked around, trying to come up with an explanation or a diversion. He pointed at a video game console. "Hey, look! Dancy Pants Revolution! The game that tricks people into exercising!"
The diversion worked, and the teenagers ran over to play it. Stanford chuckled uneasily, "Yeah, let's all- let's go play that…" He glanced back at the empty freezer before joining them.
Toby went up to play first, and the other teens cheered him on, "Wow. He's really bad at this," Danny commented.
Ford chuckled in agreement, still unnerved by the brain monster from the freezer. He glanced at the glass door, where he could see the reflections of himself, Danny, Stacy, Shandra, and Toby. For a second, he thought that he saw that their skin was gone and replaced with bones. Ford rubbed his eyes and looked at the glass door again, seeing that their reflections were back to normal.
"I'll be right back," he said quickly. Stanford ran off to the telephone located at the other side of the store and called his grantie's number. The phone rang, but no one was answering. "Come on, Grantie Mabel, pick up! Ugh, what is she doing?"
Grantie Mabel was, in fact, in the living room knitting and eating ice cream while watching "The Duchess Approves". Waddles had moved from her lap to curl up on the floor next to the chair.
"I don't care about Dukes, or Commoners, or his Royal Highness Lionel of Cornwall! I'm not afraid anymore, Mother!" A young woman in the movie spoke.
"Duchess, I forbid you," the mother said.
"I may be a duchess, but I'm also a woman!" She removed her hat and allowed her long hair to flow in the wind.
"Yes! Yes! In your face, Elizabeth!" Mabel laughed, not hearing the phone ringing in the other room. "It's just like my life… in a way…."
Ford gave up trying to call her and hung up. He tried his next plan, which was to talk to Stanley about it. He was sitting on the floor in front of the Smile Dip candy, "Stanley, I need your advice. We're hanging out in a haunted convenience store, I can't get a hold of Grantie Mabel, and if I say anything about it to any of these guys, they'll just think I'm a scared little kid! What do I do?!"
Stan made a gurgling noise, which caused Ford to take a closer look at him. Stanley had Smile Dip all over his face and clothes. His eyes were dilated to the point where he didn't look healthy.
"Stanley?" he asked, concern.
Stanley mumbled something incoherent, but Ford could make out, "Onward Aoshima…"
He held his brother tightly, but the younger twin swayed with his head limped on one side in his grasp, "Stan, how many of these did you eat?!"
"Beleven… teen…" he mumbled.
"Oh no!" Ford dropped him and started freaking out. "Oh no, oh no, oh no!"
To make matters worse, Stacy found something by the register, "Whoa, guys, you might wanna see this!" Ford left his twin behind and joined the teens. They gathered around the tape markings of two bodies. Stanford gulped.
"Then the rumors were true!" Ed gasped.
"Ed, I dare you to lie down in it," Stacy smirked.
"Good idea," Ed smiled. He turned to Daryl. "Go lie down in it!"
Daryl laughed, "Oh, look! I'm a dead body!" he was about to sit down in the markings when Ford stopped him.
"Wait! Maybe that's not a good idea…"
Ed chuckled, "Looks like somebody's scared," he teased.
"I am not!" Ford retorted. "It's very disrespectful to disrupt the dead, and… I mean, what if this place really is… haunted?" he finished shyly.
The teens booed at him, and Stacy called him, "Captain Buzzkill".
"I thought I was Dr. Funtimes," he spoke softly.
"Well, you're acting like Captain Buzzkill! Right?" Stacy asked the other teens. They all nodded their heads in agreement.
Ford turned to Danny, who was rubbing his hand at the back of his neck, "Yeah, little bit," he agreed.
"I'm blogging this," Shandra said. "Trapped in store with scared 9-year-old."
"I'm not nine!" Ford yelled. "I'm thirteen! Technically a teenager!"
"Then go ahead," Daryl gestured to the tape markings. "Go sit in it."
Stanford huffed, "Fine. I will."
The teens chanted, "Stanford! Stanford! Stanford!"
Every part of Ford was telling him not to do this, but he didn't want to look like a scared, little kid to the teenagers. Especially not Danny. He took a deep breath, and with a look of determination, he sat and laid down in the tape markings. When he did, the markings lit up around him, and the store lights went out. Before anyone could ask what was happening, Shandra dissolved into nothing.
"Shandra!" Stacy yelled. She picked up her phone and read it. "It's just screaming," she gasped.
The teens and Ford looked around to see where she went. They heard someone from above banging on glass, and they looked up to see that Shandra was trapped on the security camera screen. She screamed and continued to bang her fists against it. Everyone screamed.
"Shandra! Shandra!" Danny called out for her. "Can you hear us?"
She only looked around in confusion.
"What are we supposed to do?" Daryl asked, grabbing Ed.
"I don't know, Daryl! I don't know!" Ed yelled frantically.
Stacy grabbed Danny's shoulder, "Let's just go already!"
"Wait!" Danny stopped her. "Not without Toby! Toby!" He called out. "TOBY!"
Toby was still playing the Dancy Pants Revolution game, seeming to have no idea of what was happening around him. "Wait! I've almost got the high score!" He said, just before he dissolved, just like Shandra had. Toby reappeared inside of the game and looked around the screen in confusion. "Huh? What?" The game activated, and arrows moved down the screen, hitting Toby, "No! So many arrows!" He screamed. Toby curled into a ball and cried while the arrows kept hitting him.
"TOBY!" Danny yelled.
Stacy grabbed his hand, "Forget them! Let's go!"
Without further protest, they ran to the door, but it closed shut before they could leave. "What the…" Danny tried to open it, but couldn't. "Guys… It's locked!"
"OUTTA MY WAY!" Stacy pushed through Daryl, Ed, Danny, and Stanford to get to the cash register. They ducked so she could throw it to try to break the glass. The cash register dissolved before it could reach the door, and green light from nowhere began attacking Stacy. She ran from it in fear.
Ford thought about the journal, and he remembered some of what he read from the other day about ghosts, "Everybody, wait!" He shouted. He caught their attention. "Whatever's doing this has to have some kind of reason for it!" Stanford, luckily, had his journal with him, but he felt uneasy opening it in front of so many people, so he kept it in his jacket. "Maybe if we can figure out what it is, they'll let us out of here!"
"Uh-huh, they'll let us out of here. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense!" Stacy yelled sarcastically.
"I don't know, guys. Maybe Ford's got a point," Danny agreed.
Ed rolled his eyes, "Yeah right. I'm sure the ghost just wants to talk about his feelings!" he joked sarcastically. He dissolved into the air and reappeared inside the cover of a nearby cereal box.
The toucan on the cereal box came to life and laughed, "I'm bonkers for eating you alive!" It held up a spoon and stabbed Ed with it.
"ED!" Daryl screamed. He turned to Ford. "Okay, okay, fine. I'm with you, kid! All the way!"
Ford turned to see Stanley. A strong, green aura surrounded him as he levitated in the air. He was being possessed by the ghost. To confirm Ford's thoughts, the ghost spoke through Stanley in a deep voice, "Welcome."
The remaining teenagers and Ford screamed in fear, "THEY GOT STANLEY!"
"Welcome to your graves, young trespassers," the ghost announced.
"We're very sorry for hanging out in your store!" Danny apologized.
"Yeah!" Ford added. "Can we just go now and leave forever?"
Much to their surprise, the ghost allowed this, "Well… okay. You're free to go," the doors opened on their own. "But before you leave, hot dogs are now half off. I know it might be crazy, but you gotta try these dogs!"
Ford looked at the ghost possessing Stanley in disbelief. Not to mention, how long has this store been closed for, exactly? Ten, maybe twenty years? There was no guarantee that those hot dogs were any good. Daryl and Stacy, on the other hand, didn't waste time to think about it. The two of them ran for the front door screaming, before the doors shut again before they could leave.
"Just kidding about the hot dog sale," the ghost said.
Daryl punched the door, "Just give us our friends back and let us out of here already!" he demanded.
"I don't like your tone!" The ghost dissolved Daryl. He reappeared as a hot dog on a rolling stove.
"NO! I'M A HOT DOG!"
"It begins," the ghost declared. "Welcome to your home for all eternity!" Everything in the store floated to the ceiling, including Danny, Ford, and Stacy.
"Ford, what do we do?" Danny asked.
Stanford looked ahead, where he saw a shelf board flying at them, "DUCK!"
The boys ducked in time to avoid it, but Stacy wasn't so lucky. She got hit and landed in a pile of rubble, where she fell unconscious. Danny pointed to the tripped over ice machine, "Quick! In there!" They ran to it and hid behind it for cover. "What do they want from us?" he asked.
"Revenge, I guess?"
"But revenge for what? What did we do wrong?"
Ford took a deep breath, "Okay, let's try to figure out the pattern here," he thought reasonably. "Why was each person taken? Shandra was on her phone, Toby was playing a video game, Ed and Stacy were being sarcastic, and Daryl was talking back."
"Yeah! I mean, those are all just normal teenage things!"
Stanford's eyes widened in thought, "Wait, say that last part again."
"Normal teenage things?"
"Of course!" He exclaimed. "Stay here until I get back!" Ford crawled away from behind the freezer and approached the ghost.
"Dude, what are you doing?!"
Ford ignored Danny, and he spoke out, "Hey, ghost!" The ghost possessing Stanley made him twist his head around to face Ford. "I've got something to tell you! I'm not a teenager!" He admitted.
Everything that was floating dropped on the ceiling, and the ghosts appeared. There were two of them, one man and one woman, and they looked like they were an older married couple. Their name tags on their clothing read "Ma" and "Pa". Pa was holding Stanley by his hair, who just blinked up at them in confusion.
"Hohoho! Well, why didn't you say so?" Pa asked in a much kinder and friendlier voice. He dropped Stanley into a pile of candy, causing him to groan. "How old did you say you were?"
"I'm…" Ford looked back at Danny and reluctantly answered honestly. "I'm twelve. Technically not a teenager."
Ma spoke up, "When we were alive, teenagers were a scourge on our store!"
"Always sassafrassin' customers with their… boomy boxes and disrespectful short pants!" Pa explained. "So we decided to up and ban them! But they retaliated with this new fangled rap music."
Ma continued, "The lyrics, they were so… hateful! It was so shocking, we were stricken down with double heart attacks!" She smiled brightly and finished, "And that's why we hate teenagers so much! Don't we, honey?" She turned to her husband, and they nuzzled. It was almost disgusting, but Ford thought better than to mention anything about it.
"But they're my friends," Ford explained. "Isn't there anything I can do to help them?"
The deceased couple held hands, and Pa turned to Stanford, "There is one thing," he mentioned. "Do you know any funny little dances?"
Ford blushed in embarrassment, "Well, I do know…" he sighed, "the Lamby Lamby Dance. Bu-but," he smiled, "I can't really do it without a lamb costume!" He closed his eyes and folded his arms happily. Pa snapped his fingers, and Ford found himself wearing a lamb costume. "Oh, well… there it is…" he took a deep breath and started singing the song.
Pa, at the very least, enjoyed it. Ford glanced at Danny, who had the biggest crap-eating grin on his face at Stanford's humiliating moment. Once Ford was done, Pa clapped, "That was some fine girly dancin', boy! Your friends are free."
Ford was no longer wearing the lamb costume, but was back to wearing his regular clothes, including his gloves and jacket, "Well, I don't think you have to worry about us coming back, so…"
Before Ford could finish, the ghosts disappeared. Along with this, everything and everyone in the store fell back on the floor from the ceiling, and the teenagers are all back to normal and freed.
Stanley groaned on the ground, "I'm never gonna eat or do anything ever again."
Stanford pointed to a package on the ground, "Hey, look! There's still some left!"
Stan stood up to knock the Smile Dip out of his hand, "EVIL!"
Ed stood back up and looked at Danny, "What happened after everything went crazy?" The other teens gathered around Danny, wondering the same thing.
"You are never going to believe this!" He exclaimed, laughing. "The ghosts showed up, and Stanford had to-" Danny glanced at the boy, noticing the embarrassed look on his face. Danny cleared his throat. "And, uh, Ford just started beating ghosts down left and right!" The teens sounded impressed. "And the ghosts got all scared and ran away like a couple of little girls. It was insane!"
"Alright!" Daryl cheered. "Dr. Funtimes!"
The other teenagers congratulated Ford for his heroic deed. When they weren't looking, Danny looked at Ford and zipped his lips. Ford copied him.
Not that long later, everyone piled into the van. Stacy, Shandra, Daryl, and Ed were fast asStanp in their seats, tired out from the scare. Toby was still awake, but only because he still had to drive everyone home.
"That was pretty crazy," Ford commented to Danny.
"Yeah, it was," Dan agreed. "Probably scarred for life now. Hey, how about next time we hang out, let's stay at the Mystery Shack. Okay?"
"Yeah… next time," Ford got into the car and sat in the back with Stanley, who was beginning to recover after the combination of eating illegal candy and the possession.
Stanley groaned and squinted at the writing on the door he made earlier, "What kind of sick joke is this?"
After the twins were dropped off, they weren't expecting to walk in on Grantie Mabel throwing the TV out the window, nearly hitting them. She stuck her head out of the now broken window to see the boys, "Uh, I can explain."
Later that night, after a sincere apology from Mabel for almost crushing them with a television set, the boys got settled in bed. Ford was pretty happy with himself with how things turned out, while Stan was still suffering from a massive headache. At the very least, Grantie Mabel gave him some medicine to dull the pain.
"Stan?" Ford spoke from the top bunk of their bed.
"...You were right about me crushing on Danny," he admitted.
Even through the pain, Stanley managed to chuckle, "I knew it."
"Should I tell Grantie Mabel?"
Stan turned his head even though he couldn't see his brother from the lower bunk, "You mean about you liking Dan or liking boys in general?"
"I-I don't know... both I guess?" Ford blushed.
"I'm sure you'll be fine. She's really nice. Grantie Mabel will be happy for you," Stan said confidently. He threw his sheets over his head to go to sStanp.
"Okay," Ford nodded. "I'll tell her tomorrow then. Goodnight, Stanley."