Identity Thief is a fanfiction by BlueSkyfire, ElectricFire 169 and Kailyn Regretts.
Chapter I Edit
For the forty-third time that year, Johnny Ghost and Johnny Toast packed up their extermination gear and left the Acachalla's neighborhood.
"Why do we always get stuck with these kinds of jobs?" Ghost groaned. "We're paranormal investigators, not pest control!" Driving the Ghostmobile at breakneck speed, Toast peeled his eyes from the road ahead.
"Because, sir, I think toxic rats from the Thirteenth Dimension count as paranormal entities." Toast shifted his gaze to the signpost he had just narrowly avoided. "Do you think anyone else could deal with these sorts of problems?" Ghost knew Toast was right, but he hated being wrong, possibly more than he hated unnecessary work.
"I just don't understand why the Acachalla's can't deal with their own messes! I swear, we get more calls from Gertrude than all of Europe combined!" Ghost punched the dashboard in frustration, causing the cheap, worn plastic to shatter. Toast laughed as the airbag exploded in his face. Glancing through the window of the Acachalla household, Toast saw a fat, bald figure loading a shotgun.
"I'm afraid if we arrived any later, they might have tried. Of course, we all know how that goes, don't we sir?"
Ghost conceded begrudgingly as the van sped on.
On arrival at their headquarters they did the usual post-case routine - Toast parked the van and packed away the gear (he wouldn't mind if Ghost helped with it one of these days, it is rather heavy after all and they do live on the first floor), Ghost lay on the settee and attempted to relax himself on its stiff unforgiving upholstery, Toast made them some nice refreshing tea, and they both lounged about and waited for the next call to duty (and hopefully payment, which would be nice since their gas has been cut again and dinner these days is mainly consisting of camp food such as beans and smores that Toast managed to cook on a tiny stove).
The call came sooner than they expected - and from someone Ghost had never expected to hear from again...
* * * * * *
Toast was the first to pick up the phone (as per usual; he has a better manner with phone conversations) and gave the usual jovial greeting with the kind of tone you'd expect a game show host to tell a contestant how much they just lost by putting all their points into the wrong answer.
Ghost, having heard the spiel enough times to hear it in his sleep, didn't bother to listen in on the conversation - until Toast's tone changed radically and his face fell, voice almost cracking - "Y-yes sir?"
There was a second phone Ghost sometimes used to listen in on phone calls; typically Ghost barely used it. Eyes locked on his partner, he tentatively picked up the phone and listened.
His eyes nearly popped out of their sockets when he heard the voice.
It was a voice he hadn't heard in many years.
He looked to Toast. Toast nodded.
"Uh, c-can you repeat that please?" Toast said, voice faintly trembling.
"I said" the voice replied with an air of haughtiness, "I am the principle of Black Lake High School. We seem to have a paranormal disturbance of a nature I am unable to disclose over the phone. I would be willing to pay you double your standard rates if you would be able to deal with the problem discretely."
Ghost stifled a gasp, eyes wide. Toast nodded and replied after a moment: "Yes, of course. We can be right down in less than an hour."
Ghost mouthed to his colleague "What!? No! No!"
"Excellent", the voice on the other side said, "I shall be waiting for you in the front lobby. It's half term currently so you shouldn't be disturbed by any school children - only myself and a few cleaning staff."
Toast thanked him and ended the call.
"Um, Johnny... I have a question... WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU THINKING!?"
"I don't know, I panicked!"
Johnny dropped his head in his hands in exasperation. "No, Johnny Johnny, no. We can't go back there after..." He trailed off, unwilling to picture in his head the terrible instances that had occured there - worst of all, the very last one
Toast put a hand on his partner's shoulder. "It's going to be alright, sir. We're adults now. We can deal with this."
Ghost nodded. "Yes... We can deal with this..."
"Shall we be off?"
Ghost nodded and picked his bag up.
* * * * * *
(rewriting in progress)
Climbing out of the dingy blue van, the duo seemed oblivious to the crowd of people standing across the street.
In Ghost's memory, the school building loomed over him, dark and foreboding, with all the terrors of the Earth hiding just beyond vision in every dark corner of its harrowing halls.
But now he was back, a grown man, unfettered by the perception of his then still-developing mind and its suggestible imagination.
Still the building loomed over him, dark and foreboding, with all the terrors of the Earth hiding just beyond vision in every dark corner of its harrowing halls.
He shivered. He couldn't tell if it was his childhood memories or some kind of strange prescience, but something in his gut told him that this case would be different, and not in a good way.
He looked to his partner for comfort. There was little solace to be found in his companion's face, but there was a shared understanding between the two of his feelings about the forbidding entrance to this, the inescapable fortress that they had languished their best years through, and the understanding gave him respite enough to continue. The knowledge that he wasn't alone.
Slinging their bags across their shoulders, the pair of P.I.E. executives set out to do their work.