(Phanniemay, Dream. I suppose I’m twisting the prompt a bit, but this is an idea I’ve had for over two years that always seems to get away from me when I try to write it. Here it is now.)
Danny Fenton sat with his legs crossed. His
hands had pooled in his lap, and his scuffed-up sneakers were leaving muddy imprints
on his bedsheets. He stared hard across the room, intent on his own probing,
unblinking eyes. The full-length mirror returned his gaze.
“It happened one year ago,” he whispered
under his breath. The mirror spoke back, soundless. “You guys had left the
portal stuff all plugged in. Sam and Tucker and I were curious about it. It was
dumb of me. Really dumb. I know you said to never touch your stuff, but I was
just, I guess…proud of showing off what you guys made. Even if it didn’t work.
They were really interested in it so I couldn’t—“
Danny ran a hand through his wet hair. He
shook his head and dropped his eyes to his lap. “Too rambly. Keep it simple.”
He sat up straight again, moving his nervous hands over the bed. “Something
happened last September that you need to know about. I was messing around with
the portal after it wouldn’t work—sorry—and it changed me. I don’t get the
science of it. But I’m half—well now I’m just…I’m not…” His fingers went back
to his temple, pushing hard. A bead of soapy water dripped down his forehead,
still damp from his shower.
When he met the mirror’s gaze again, his
eyes had hardened like polished steel. Determination set his face into an
unreadable mask. “Mom, Dad, I’m Danny Phantom,” he said, and his pupils shot to
a bleeding, radioactive green.
Danny’s shoes beat a muffled rhythm down the staircase. He
took them in odd gaps of two and three, trusting his weight to the railing with
each exaggerated step. His momentum carried through as he hit the ground floor,
and his lunging feet brought him to the kitchen in three quick paces.
The clatter and bang of his steps had caught the attention
of the kitchen’s only two residents. Jack peered up over a swath of newspaper. A
mug of coffee wafted at his right, its porcelain chipped with use and its contents
dotted with a touched of cinnamon. Danny’s appearance had caught Jack off guard
just as he had reached for a spoon to stir in the cinnamon. His father sat,
spoon raised, cinnamon shaker at his side, looking up with pleasant surprise.
It would have been a rather pleasant domestic scene, if not for the ring of
seven oozing beakers and one bottle of weapon polish that circumscribed Jack.
“Hey kiddo,” Jack said. His thick hand dropped the
spoon into the coffee and stirred it. “You’re up early today. Maddie’s making French
toast if you’d like some.”
Danny glanced to the connecting kitchen. His mom still faced
the stove, a loose apron tossed about her shoulders. It was quilted in pattern,
and hung tighter around her neck as she arched her back to look at him. Her
eyes were tired, but her smile was pleasant.
“Yeah, I’ve got enough egg here to make an—“
“I’m Danny Phantom,” Danny breathed out. It sent a tingling
thrill through his chest, made his numb fingers buzz like tv static. His heart
squirmed and knocked against his ribs, but it wasn’t all that unpleasant.