The adventures that a young cub can have almost always end up leaving a smile on furs' faces. The adventures for the young zebra, Didier, were no exception to this.
Didier was a boy who absolutely loved paranormal stuff. He found things like ghosts and haunted houses to be quite entertaining. He also loved reading about it. It seemed, though, that, among kids his age, he was one of very few that did. That never really bothered the boy though, as he always found that he could keep himself entertained even when other kids his age preferred to play sports or video games.
Quite often, the young zebra went exploring near a place in his town that many older furs often joked was haunted. He never found anything there himself whenever he went looking, but it was still a creey place to visit, which only made it that much more enjoyable for him. Creaky floorboards, spiderwebs, worn out hinges on the door joints, and a few broken windows... All of this simply added to the creepiness of the house. Add to it the fact that there was very little lighting in the place, and it made the perfect place for the young cub to make an adventure out of.
After finishing up his breakfast one bright Sunday morning, Didier grabbed his backpack, which he usually had stuffed with his adventuring stuff, and headed outside to go to the abandoned house.
As he walked to the building, he could hear the sounds of a lot of the other neighbors cubs playing, especially as he passed the park he often walked by.
"Wonder what I'll find here this time," Didier thought to himself as he walked, eventually making his way there.
As he arrived, he walked up to the old wooden house. Placing his paw on the doorknob, he pushed it open.
The door gave a loud creak which echoed through the empty living room area as Didier stepped inside. Much of the place, much like he remembered from being there the last couple days, was covered in dust from having not been used in quite a long time.
As he moved around, the dust kicked up a bit and the young zebra coughed a little, waving his paw around the air in front of him to clear it away. He slowly made his way toward the hallway, intent on heading toward one of the bedrooms, where he'd left off exploring last time.
It seemed the farther down the hall Didier got, the louder the creaking of the boards beneath his paws became. When he got to the end of the hallway, he came to two doors, one on each side of him, and pushed open the one on his left, leading into the bedroom he'd seen from the last time he was there.
He was quickly met with another cloud of dust as he did, with more squeaking coming from the rusted hinges on the door itself. Most of the bedroom was empty save for a mirror on a wall that was coated in dust and a broken and dusty dresser that was up against a wall.
Didier walked over to the dresser then slid off his backpack, digging through it and pulling out a rag. He then started wiping off the dresser, out of curiosity to see the name Damian scratched into the top of the dresser.
"Hmm.... Wonder who Damian is..." Didier asked himself. He didn't have to wait long to get his answer though.
Didier quickly started looking around. "Who... who said that? Who's there?"
A child's laugh was heard then but it had a bit of an eerie tone to it. "I did."
The zebra, still confused and now a little nervous, kept looking around, trying to find the source of the voice; now resorting to wandering around the room, trying to find it. "Where are you?"
"Over here," came the voice again. The voice seemed to be coming from by the closet of the bedroom.
Didier slowly walked toward the closet, growing a bit more nervous as he did. "S... so... this is y... your room?"
Another creepy giggle was heard. "Yep..."
When Didier got to the closet, he opened the door, hearing it creak again, and looked inside, only to find it was completely empty. "Where are you?"
Out of nowhere, Didier heard the voice scream in his ear. "Boo!"
This sent Didier tumbling over and landing hard on the dusty ground with a thud. "Oww."
The voice let out a rather long fit of laughter then.
"That wasn't funny!"
"Was to me...."
Didier got up and dusted himself off then.
So.... what exactly was it you were hoping to find in my house? What's with all the exploring stuff?"
"Uhhh.... Well.... I heard a lot about this place being... haunted and I just wanted to check it out," the zebra told him.
"Haunted huh? You mean like with ghosts and stuff," the voice asked.
Seconds later, the ghostly form of a bengal cat came through the wall of the room. "You mean like me?"
"Whoa!" Didier stumbled backward again, falling over, which caused the bengal cat to burst into another fit of laughter.
The cat came closer to the young zebra and looked at him with a bit of a smirk. "So... you came here hoping to find me then?"
"I... uhh.... well... not you specifically.... but I..... I mean..."
The ghost can just laughed. "What are you so nervous for? I thought you wanted to find a ghost."
"I did... I just... I guess I didn't think I'd actually find one... but..."
Didier stood up then, trying to get a better look at him. "How is it I can hear and see you?"
"I don't know... But you're the only one who has been able to..."
The zebra cocked his head curiously. "So... you're Damian?"
"That's right... and what's your name?"
"Didier," the zebra told him. "Wow... can't believe I actually found a ghost. This is cool.... Really creepy though..."
Damian chuckled again. "Yeah... I guess it kinda is... So... now that you found me.... what are you gonna do?"
"I dunno," Didier said, rubbing the back of his neck. "I guess I never really thought about it..."
Damian smiled a bit. "Well... what kind of stuff do you usually do?"
"When I'm not exploring? Well... I like playing games," Didier told him.
"What kind of games?"
"Stuff like Uno or Monopoly."
Damian frowned at that. "I can't exactly play those kinds of games..."
Didier facepalms then. "Uhhh yeah.... right... Well... what would you like to do then?"
"Hmmm..." Damian went silent for a moment to think. "Well, you did get to come into my room... Think it's only fair I get to see yours."
"Yeah, I guess you're right," Didier remarked.
"Uh huh. Then maybe after I know where you live, I can start messing with your room a little... or maybe tug on your feet when you're asleep."
The zebra looked at him, startled. "Uhhh... can... can you really d... do that?"
Damian snickered. "Nah, not really. Like I told you, I can't really touch things but you should have seen the look on your face."
Didier looked at him and facepalmed. "Why in the middle of the night though?"
"Well, think about it... Ghosts are scarier at night and in dark places. Wouldn't be as creepy in the middle of the day, now would it?"
The zebra shrugged. "I guess not."
Damian chuckled again. "So... can we go to your place now?"
Didier nodded. "Sure... I think I'd rather have you there now rather than in the middle of the night anyway. Come on."
Didier then left Damian's room and shut the door. As he walked back out the front door again, the zebra had a rather large smile on his face.
"What's got you so happy all of a sudden," Damian asked him.
"I'm just glad I have a new friend, that's all." Didier started walking back toward his house.
The two of them had gone little more than a block before coming across someone Didier recognized from his school, who was now walking up the street. When he caught sight of the other fur, he quickly ducked behind a nearby tree.
"What's wrong," Damian asked.
"That's Tony. He's a tiger from my school who's got a really bad attitude and seems to enjoy picking on me a lot. I don't know why," Didier explained.
"Well, maybe if you just ignore him, he won't bother you since you're not at school," Damian commented.
"Yeah... Maybe..." Didier left the safety of the tree and crossed the street, just to make sure he was as far away from Tony as he could get before he started walking again.
Unfortunately, it seemed that Tony had caught sight of the young zebra and was already in a particularly bad mood. "Hey Stripes! Get over here!"
Didier's eyes grew as he watched the tiger literally cut across the middle of the street to come after him. Turning around, Didier started running toward the direction of his home as fast as he could, but Tony, who was taller and faster than he was, quickly caught up to him and grabbed him by the collar of his shirt.
"Let me go, Tony!"
"Wassamatter, Stripes? Scared?" The older tiger gave a bit of a mean chuckle.
"Put me down!" Didier cried out, squirming as Tony lifted him off the ground.
Damian leaned in and whispered to Didier. "Don't just stand there. Defend yourself."
"How do you expect me to do that," Didier commented, turning to look at his ghost friend.
"Do what, Stripes," Tony said with a snarl, tightening his grip on the zebra.
"I wasn't talking to you! I was talking to him," Didier sid, pointing in the direction of his friend Damian.
Tony turned to look while still keeping hold of Didier. "Aww... the little baby has imaginary friends. That's cute!"
Damian shook his head. "I told you. No one can see or hear me but you, Didier..."
Didier struggled a bit trying to break Tony's grasp. "Let me go," he pleaded.
"Whatcha gonna do, Stripes? Get your imaginiary friend to come after me?" Tony have a mocking laughter.
"Okay, that's enough. I'm not gonna let this jerk hurt Didier," Damian thought to himself. Damian quickly got up behind Didier and entered inside his friend's body.
Using Didier's body now, Damian gave a bit of a snarl toward the older tiger. "I told you to put me down!"
"What are you gonna do about it, Stripes?" Tony then pushed Didier's body up against a nearby tree.
"Watch me," Damian remarked. Using one of Didier's legs, he lunged forward and kneed Tony in the stomach forcing the tiger to drop him, doubled over in pain.
"Ouch.... you're gonna regret that..." The tiger growled, letting out his claws on one of his paws, making a swipe at the zebra.
"Yeah, I don't think so," Damian then swatted Tony's paw away and pushed him backward. "Leave me alone."
"Why you little..." Tony then dove at the zebra, but Damian quickly moved him out of the way, causing Tony to land right on the concrete sidewalk.
Damian then immediately took off running in Didier's body, not giving Tony the chance to get up before he did. When they were hidden away from Tony, Damian separated himself from Didier's body.
The young zebra looked at his ghost friend, a bit stunned. "What did you just do?!"
"I’ll explain later. Come on. Let's get moving before he catches up to us."
The young zebra and his bengal cat friend both resumed their travels toward Didier's house.
Once they got inside, Didier quickly checked in with his parents before heading upstairs to his room with Damian following close behind. Once they got to his room, Didier turned to look at Damian with a confused look on his face. "What was it you did beck there? One minute I've got Tony pinning me against that tree, and the next he's on the ground in pain."
Damian gave a bit of a smirk. "I possessed you."
"You.... you did what?!"
"Well, it didn't look like you were going to do anything, and I didn't want to see you get hurt."
"But... what is it you did to him in my body," the zebra asked.
"I made him let go of you by kicking him. I kicked him hard enough that he let go and fell over," the Bengal cat said, still smirking.
"You didn't have to hurt him," Didier said. "I might get in trouble now because of what you did."
Damian just shrugged. "He started it. I was just trying to get him to let you go."
Didier sighed. "Well, still... please don't hurt other furs like that.... especially in my body. I don't want my parents getting mad at me."
Damian just shrugged then. "Sorry, I guess..."
Didier then took off his backpack and put it aside before sitting on his bed. "So... ummm... you said you wanted to see some of my house right?"
Damian nodded. "Yeah... How long have you lived here?"
"I moved here a couple years ago... Uhhh... If it's okay to ask... how did you d... uhhh..."
"I'd rather not talk about that, okay," the ghost cat told him. "It's a long story. Maybe some other time..."
"Oh, alright.... Sorry," Didier said, sounding nervous. "Anyway..." Didier then got up again and walked over to his toy chest and opened it. "I have a lot of my stuff in here. Most of it is just action figures and stuff though."
Damian looked in the toy chest, unable to really do much else. "You've got quite a few in here."
"Yeah... I haven't played with most of them in quite a while though. I spend a lot of time exploring places... Kinda like I was exploring your house," Dider told him. "That place is really big. I bet you had a lot of brothers and sisters..."
"I don't really feel like talking about that either, okay?" Damian sighed.
Right then, Didier heard the sounds of his parents calling him down for dinner. He sniffed the air and smiled. "Alright! Dinner time! Come on Damian!"
"Why? It's not like I can eat any of it," Damian remarked.
"Well... what if I let you do that possession thing again... I mean... I'm okay with it as long as you don't do anything to hurt anybody again."
Damian looked at Didier curiously. "You mean it?"
"Sure. At leastt this way you get the chance to experience what it's like to eat again."
"Well... it has been a while..." Damian said.
"Just don't hurt anyone, okay?"
"I won't..." Damian then came up behind Didier, pushing his way into the young zebra's body again.
As soon as he did, he heard the sounds of Didier's parent's calling him to come down and quickly raced down to the kitchen.
He sniffed the air. He then padded over to the table, where Didier's parents were seated and sat down, seeing a plate with a burger and some french fries on it. "Smells really good," Damian said, trying to be polite.
He then picked up the burger and took a big bite out of it. He thought it tasted just as good as it looked, and the smells reminded him a lot of when his own family had made burgers. Damian sat there eating and talking with Didier's mother and father throughout the meal, seeming to have quite enjoyed the experience.
When dinner was done and the table had been cleared, Damian politely thanked Didier's parents before heading back up to the bedroom again and separating himself from Didier once more.
"So... did you enjoy that," Didier asked, having not actually been aware of the experience.
"It was... nice. It's been a long time since I've really had a meal," Damian told him. "Still don't get why you did that for me."
"I wanted to," is all Didier said, smiling softly. Didier then walked over to the bed and sat down again. "Ya know... I do think it's kinda cool I got to meet a ghost."
"There are times where it's fun but it's also kinda boring."
Didier nodded. "At least now you have someone to talk to.... Anyway, I gotta get ready for bed. I've got school tomorrow."
"School huh?" Damian went silent for a moment. "Would it be okay if I came with you? I haven't been there in a while."
Didier gave a bit of a yawn. "It's okay with me. Good night Damian."
A few moments later, Didier's parents walked into the room to tuck the young zebra in. After getting a hug and kiss from them, Didier watched them leave and close the door again. Just as he was about to close his eyes, Didier heard his friend speak up in an eerie voice.
"Oooooohhhhh I'm a ghooooooooost!"
Startled, Didier pulled the covers over his head, which resulted in Damian cracking up laughing once more.
"Don't do that!"
"Awww come on. What's the fun in being a ghost if I can't spook ya once in awhile," Damian said, still smirking.
"It wasn't funny," Didier said, annoyed, but also too tired to really be irritated as he gave a yawn.
"Yeah yeah... Good night." Damian commented.
"Good night," Didier replied before closing his eyes, eventually drifting off to sleep.
The next morning, Didier awoke to see Damian still standing there where he had been when he fell asleep. "Hey... Good morning."
"Hey... I got bored so I went downstairs... Your parents have your breakfast ready." Damian shrugged. "Guess you'd better get down there."
"Come with me. I'll be going to school right after I'm done eating."
"Sounds good. Let's go."
Didier then headed downstairs with Damian following him. He headed into the kitchen where a bowl of warm oatmeal awaited him.
"Heh... Haven't had oatmeal in a long time," Damian said as he watched his friend sit down and start eating.
Didier swallowed what was in his mouth before he spoke up. "Mom makes it for me every morning. It always tastes good when she makes it. Dad's not as good with it though. He usually burns it."
Damian couldn't help snickering when he heard that. "That's funny."
"Yeah.. Kinda is.... except it usually means I have to go without breakfast that day." Didier then resumed eating, making short work of the bowl of oatmeal. He then put his bowl in the sink before heading back into his room to put his school stuff back in his backpack, removing the exploring stuff to do so. He then headed downstairs again, heading for the living room to hug and kiss his parents again before heading out the front door.
"So... do you like your classmates?"
"Ummm... Well, none of them are really my friends if that’s what you’re asking. But most of them are nice at least. They aren’t jerks."
"You mean like Tony," Damian questioned.
"Well, yeah, but he's not in my class. He's two years older than me." the zebra explained as they walked.
"I still say you should learn to stand up for yourself. You shouldn't let him push you around," Damian said.
"Well, maybe if I was more confident like you... but I don't think that will ever happen," Didier commented. "Come on. Just a couple more blocks to go."
Damian nodded and followed.
After several minutes, the two of them got to the school and stepped inside. Immediately the sounds of different cubs and teachers could be heard from within the halls.
Didier made his way down the hall to the classroom he usually went to, only to end up stopping just short of it as he saw another of the kids, another zebra, but this one female, walking past him.
Damian saw this and laughed. "Lemme guess... you've got a crush on that girl, huh?"
Didier's cheeks turned red with a blush. "What?! No!"
Damian snickers a bit. "Does she know you like her?"
"Uhhh..... no... I'm too shy to tell her.... She's a year older than me. She'll think I'm weird." Didier's blush got worse.
"Ah ha! So you do like her," the ghost cat said. "Maybe next time you see her, you should try saying hello."
"M.... Maybe... I.... I dunno..."
"What's her name anyway?"
Damian gave another chuckle. "Anyone ever tell you that you're funny when you get nervous?"
Didier shook his head. "I gotta get inside. Class is about to start." He then entered the nearby classroom along with Damian.
When lunchtime rolled around, the two of them headed to the cafeteria, along with the rest of Didier's class.
"Man that teacher was boring," Damian remarked.
"I dunno... I think he's funny."
"Woulda been funnier if someone had thrown a paper airplane or something," Damian commented with a smirk.
"Yeah, but... then someone would have gotten in trouble," Didier told him.
"You're only in trouble if you get caught," Damian replied.
Didier ignored the comment from his ghost friend as he walked through the lunch line to get his food. After collecting it, he looked around for a place to sit, and, in doing so, spotted the female zebra again.
"Go on... Go over there..."
"She's eating already, Damian," Didier protested. "I don't want to interrupt her when she's eating."
"Just walk up to her and say hi."
"Not while she's eating."
Damian rolled his eyes, then, without giving Didier the chance to react, stepped into his friend's body, taking control of it again. He then walked over to where the female zebra was. "Hi. Can I sit down?"
The female zebra, Sasha, looked at Didier, with her mouth full. She chewed her food then swallowed it before speaking up. "Yeah, sure. Please! Have a seat."
Damian nodded and sat down. "So... You're Sasha... right?"
Sasha smiled at the younger zebra. "Yep! I've seen you around the school too. Your name is Didier, isn't it?"
Damian nodded. He took a bite of his food and swallowed it. "Uh huh. I hope you don't find this weird but I think you're pretty."
Sasha giggled a bit. "Aww... Well thank you. You're cute too, Didier." She then took another bite of her food. "So... did you have a nice weekend?"
Damian nodded in Didier's body. "Yeah. I spend a lot of time exploring and found this really cool house yesterday that nobody's lived in for a really long time."
Sasha smiled. "That's neat. Is it haunted," she asked, jokingly.
Sensing the joking tone in her voice, Damian just played along. "Could be. It was definitely creepy enough."
Sasha nodded. She then finished up the last of her food. "Thanks for eating with me. This was really nice. I'm just glad lunch was good. I missed breakfast this morning, so I was really hungry..."
Remembering what Didier had mentioned to him before, Damian responds with, "That happens to me when my dad burns the oatmeal..."
Sasha smiled. "Maybe we can talk some more after school's over. I'd like to get to know you a bit more."
"I'd like that. See you later then?"
"Sure," Sasha said with a nod. "Bye Didier."
"Bye Sasha," Damian said with a smile.
Once Sasha had left, Damian separated from Didier again.
"Why did you do that," Didier snapped at the ghost cat,
"Hey, chill out. She wants to talk to you after school," Damian told him.
"She... what? Really," Didier looked at Damian curiously.
"Yeah. That's what she said."
Didier had stayed quiet for about a minute before speaking up again. "Thanks I guess... But please... don't do that unless I say it's okay from now on. I let you do it during dinner last night, but the thing with Tony still made me nervous... and if I'm gonna talk to Sasha, I would rather do it myself from now on."
After lunch, Didier returned to class to finish out the day. When the final school bell rang and Didier exited the school with Damian, he was quick to start looking for Sasha. When he noticed that Damian hadn't gone much farther past the front door of the school though, he turned to look back at him. "Damian? Is something wrong?"
"I need to go," was all the ghost cat said.
"Go? Go where," Didier asked.
"I can't explain it... I need to go. It's just something I have to do," Damian commented.
"Did I do something wrong," the zebra cub prodded.
Damian sighed. "No. Please just... go talk to Sasha. I don't think you should keep her waiting."
With a nervous and somewhat sad look on his face, Didier then left to search for Sasha on the school grounds.
With Didier now gone, Damian gave a sigh, and started to make his way off the school grounds. "I couldn't just tell him," he said to himself. "It'd hurt him too much... At least he's got a new friend to talk to..."
The bengal cat had been keeping a secret from his new friend. When he'd shown up at his old house again, it was because he was wanting to see it one last time before passing on. Besides that, he knew if Didier ever found out the kind of fur he was when he was alive, he likely wouldn't want anything more to do with him anyway.
As Damian walked farther and farther from the school, his thoughts drifted back to some of the memories of his selfish past. As a cub, they weren't horrible, but they still weren't very nice. Taking the last dessert during lunch at school one day. Refusing to give up the only swing at a playground to any other cubs even though he'd been on it for a long time. Not sharing the toys he was playing with when other kids came along. Things like that.
Damian would never admit to it, but he was actually quite afraid of what awaited him when he passed on. The thought scared him, though he could never bring himself to admit that to anyone. Least of all to Didier.
He had to admit that, in the time he spent with the young zebra, he enjoyed the company far more than he enjoyed being alone. Even though they'd barely known each other a full day, it still felt nice to have someone to talk to, after not having had anyone so much as notice him since the day he died.
Still, too many thoughts of what Didier would think of him filled his head. Would he even want to talk to him? He'd already gotten close to upsetting him the few times he tried to help with Didier's problems by talking for him.
As he walked, he eventually came across a house with a couple kids playing in the front yard. They looked to be having a good time doing it too, and Damian even overheard one of them calling the other his 'best friend'.
This made Damian sigh a bit. Maybe if he had been a bit nicer to other furs when he was alive, he would have a best friend too.
That was when something suddenly dawned on the bengal cat. While it was true that he hadn't been open and honest with Didier about himself, Didier had made it a point to not only tell what he could about his own life, but to try to get to know Damian as well. As Damian thought about it, he realized that, when he was alive, no one ever really cared to ask about his life before. This was the first time anyone ever had.
Turning to look back in the direction of the school, Damian dashed back. "Didier? Are you still here?" He then spotted the zebra sitting on one of the school benches and quickly headed over. "There you are... Did you talk to Sasha?"
"No... I... I got too upset after you left. Damian, you're the first real friend I've had and I was really upset you just... left me like that... But... what are you doing here? I thought you had to leave."
"I do... I mean... I did.... I mean.... Look... I need to talk to you about something..."
Didier looked at him curiously. "Sure. What is it?"
With a heavy sigh, Damian then began to explain. "You're the first actual friend I have really had. Most furs never talked to me when I was alive. I was kind of a bit of a selfish jerk and it led to me being alone a lot."
"Oh..." Didier frowned. "So... what changed?"
"Honestly? Being around you made me realize what it was like to actually have someone who cared about me and wanted to get to know me. I was a jerk because it always bugged me no one wanted to get to know me."
"That's... not nice."
"I know that, Didier... Look, I was supposed to be getting ready to.... to move on.... but... I don't think I want to now."
Cocking his head curiously, Didier asked, "why?"
"Because of you... I finally have someone that actually does care about me... and I really don't want to give that up."
Didier smiled a little. "I was glad you chose to come back too. Not many kids can say that they are friends with a ghost. And well... I really would like to get to know more about you."
"I told you, I'm a selfish jerk," Damian said.
"If you were completely selfish, you would not have come back and explained all this to me," Didier said.
"Okay, you've got me there..."
"So... does this mean you want to stay?"
Damian smiled then. "Do you want me to?"
"Yeah!" The young zebra looked quite happy and excited.
“Alright, Didier... I’ll stay.”
“Yay!” Didier then ran over to Damian, attempting to hug him.
“Uhhh.... what are you doing,” Damian asked with a curious look on his face.
“Trying to hug you?”
Damian just smirked. “Ghost, remember?”
“Oh... Right,” Didier said, turning pink with embarrassment. Anyway... Come on! Let’s go home!”
With smiles on their faces, Damian and Didier then headed back to Didier's house, ready to plan out their next adventure.