Danny pushed himself up into a sitting position, the stunned feeling that numbed his mind also numbing the aches in his muscles and the sting of the many bites and scratches torn from him.
They were gone?
It didn't seem possible. He leaned back on one arm, barely noticing the green ectoplasm oozing from it now. He craned his head slightly, ignoring the twinge of pain that resulted as he tried to get a better look at the creature that had saved him. It was small again now, he noticed. He could still see the swarm of murderous ghostly creatures in his mind's eye, the things
that had come swarming up out of the crevasse that he'd been exploring here in the Ghost Zone. Terrible things, all claws and teeth and horrible blood-red eyes. He'd felt his entire body seized by a chill worse than that of any ghost encounter he'd ever known. He'd known instinctively what they were. They were literally Death. They were Death, and he'd finally attracted their attention. They swarmed around him like a pack of ravenous hyenas, and he'd panicked as his shields, his ecto-blasts, and even his ghostly wail failed to touch them. And when he'd changed back into Danny Fenton, they had attacked in earnest. And they *could* touch him. Terrified and bleeding, he'd changed back. And he'd tried to flee.
They'd chased him through the rotting skeleton of the Ghost Zone, a bite here, a scratch there... each one tearing at his life force and weakening him. Then he'd fallen. And they had circled him for the kill as he'd felt the familiar tickle-buzz that warned he was nearly at his limit. Momentarily his transformation would fail, and then he was done for.
Tears of pain and anguish rose, hot and horrified behind his eyes, and he'd hung his head. This was it. This time, he wouldn't be going home. And although he'd joked about it, the thought that he wouldn't have to worry about his SAT scores anymore was not at all comforting. Instead, it made a cold lump of ichor-like finality in his throat and his stomach. He was really going to die this time.
A flicker of something light.. almost purplish-blue had appeared at the edge of his vision. Danny had raised his head, wondering at first if this was the first of the host of monsters, coming to finish him off. Instead, he'd seen the little creature. It was small, the body no bigger than his hand, with a long, trailing tail that gave the whole apparition the appearance of a tiny fox crossed with a squirrel. It had crept, trembling out of a pile of rubble next to him, and stared up at him with small, impossible to read pupilless green eyes.
Then one of the larger beasts had snapped at him, and before Danny could blink, the small spirit-creature had changed. It abruptly grew in size, changing to resemble something not together unlike a large bear, and it had crouched low to the ground directly over him. He gaped in astonishment as the deathly beasts slashed at it, snapped at it, all without effect. The lavender creature roared back at them defiantly, and at last they had departed.
And so here Danny sat on the broken, crumbling ground, somewhere in the Ghost Zone. He stared long and hard at the once-again small spirit-creature that had come seemingly out of nowhere to his aid. He coughed roughly, and it turned to face him. The creature hopped closer to him, resting one foreleg on his foot, then skittered up his leg to perch on his knee, long semi-transparent tail curling around for balance. Danny stared into its' eyes, and suddenly knew what he was seeing. He'd been chased and tormented by Death, and just when there seemed to be no hope for him, a tiny spark had come to save him.. Saved him so that he could go on saving others.
Danny raised a shaking hand and gently touched the small spirit-beast's prooffered paw. "Hello, Life," he whispered, afraid that he'd break the impossible-seeming moment. With a weak grin, he nodded to it. "And... Thank you." The creature leaned forward, staring at him inquisitively. Then it seemed to wink. Danny blinked in surprise, and then it was gone.
The young halfa sat bewildered in the darkness for a moment, wondering if he'd truly seen what he believed he had witnessed. Then he slowly got to his feet and surveyed his injuries, which seemed to be healing rapidly of their own accord. He looked around the rubble-strewn landscape once more, and felt stange; almost lightheaded. "Thank you," he whispered again, and took to the hazy purplish sky of the Ghost Zone. It was time to go home.
Okay, I apologise for all that. I actually had a dream along these lines a few nights back, and finally it wasn't going to let me be until I tried to depict it somehow. Wow, long time since I did some Danny art, and I'm afraid you can tell, huh?
Well, perhaps I'll be getting back in practice soon.