The Family Business

Chapter 2

Two days ago I turned 14. Not as huge of a step as when I turned 13 but, still, I was entering my freshman year of high school soon.

Dad had chuckled, saying "I remember when I was that age."

Mom nodded. "How could we ever forget something like that?"

I raised a brow. "Forget...what?"

Dad just shook his head. "A story for another time...why don't you open your presents from grandma and grandpa?"

I shrugged. They were always so secretive when it came to their past. To their own kid...why? I knew I couldn't get past the wall they created between now and then but I just wanted to know why they created that wall.

Giving up as always I opened my other presents. "Oh, another thermos. Thanks..." I pulled out a familiar Fenton brand thermos with a fake smile on my face. Why do they think I need so much soup?

"Glad you like it sweetie," my grandma smiled.

"It's very useful!" Grandpa exclaimed.

I raised a brow. "Yeah, uh, gee thanks..."

I noticed Aunt Jazz shaking her head out of the corner of my eye and when I turned to her she stopped.

"Oh, here," she said handing me my gift.

I tore apart the perfectly wrapped gift and inside was the video game I had been wanting.

"Thank you!" I yelled and scrambled over to hug her.

She laughed. "I figured all kids in high school need some amount of downtime." She exchanged a knowing glance with Dad.

Well, that birthday was weird. But pretty much all contained some sort of Fenton gadget. But at least Jazz knew what was up.

I wondered if the thermos could hold any other purpose besides carrying around soup...I mean, maybe the gadgets are somehow ghost-hunter related. I knew my parents had created a ghost portal years ago. Who knew what else they created?

I decided to ask my dad. "Dad?" I asked as I saw him passing by my room.

"Yeah?" he stopped short in his tracks and walked into my room. I picked up the Fenton thermos.

"I - uh - was wondering. Why did grandma and grandpa give me another thermos? I mean one was weird enough but another..."

"Well they can be really useful."

"How? I'm pretty sure it only takes one to carry around some soup."

Dad sighed. "You really wanna know?"

I nodded visibly peeved that no one would tell me the truth.

"They capture ghosts," he said simply. He took the thermos from my hands and pressed a button on the side pointing it away from himself. Blue light shined out.

I laughed. "Really? You're kidding me right?"

"Well if there was actually a ghost to capture," he chuckled for whatever reason, "it would be a bit more believable."

"So can I even use it for soup?"

"Yeah, you can if you want. It's more for your protection." He threw it to me and I caught it then crossed my arms.

"Hold on. Has it ever been used?" I inspected it seeing some dents and scratch marks on it.

Dad looked at it and sighed. "I can't believe they still have that old thing..." He muttered under his breath, (not to my knowledge yet but) remembering where each mark was from. But I did hear what he said.

"Did you...hunt ghosts too?" I asked curiously.

He shrugged and then looked straight into my eyes, a slight sadness creeping into his face. "Yeah, in a manner of speaking..."

What does that mean?

"You should get some sleep," he told me.

"But aren't you gonna tell me some creepy ghost stories?"

He saw that his dad was remembering something funny but he shook his head that sadness creeping back in. "Not right now."

What is he hiding? I narrowed my eyes but obeyed and got into bed.

The next day I went to Marble Slab to get some ice-cream with my best friend Kevin. I told him about what happened.

"No way! Your family hunts ghosts?"

"Hunted. Not anymore. I'm not sure what happened to be honest. But there is something they aren't telling me..."

"Dude that is so cool!"

"Yeah, but -"

I gasped for some reason and saw my breath suddenly it got very cold.

"You okay?" My friend asked concerned.

"Uh - I - I don't know... That was -" Before I could collect my thoughts, something tore through the walls of the ice-cream shop. People screamed in terror as well as Kevin and I. I blinked twice before noticing there was a person or something floating in the air above us glowing and with a menacing look that intensified when his eyes glowed a frightening shade of crimson.

I sprinted for the door as fast as I could but the ghost was after me. It could've chosen anyone but it chose me...

Of course I guess I was the only person (besides my best friend), stupid enough to not evacuate Marble Slab.

The floating monster grabbed me by my shirt color and pulled me up into the air with him.

"Kevin!" I yelled. "Call 911 and get the hell out of here!" But I wondered if 911 was really the right place to call for something like this. We needed someone more like Spider-Man or Superman to take this guy down...

Kevin's eyes were that of extreme terror and he couldn't move a bone in his body for a whole minute. But he did what I said to do and ran out of there as he dialed 911.

I breathed out a heavy sigh of relief. But then I remembered the evil man that suddenly put me in a stranglehold.

"Who - who are - y-you?!" I managed to squeak out.

The guy grinned. He was enjoying this. Who the hell? And he was flying...with one hand around my neck and another with a huge gun with some sort of green liquid in it. I don't wanna stick here to find out what that is!

I attempted to pull his hand from my neck but he was too strong for a weak prepubescent teen like me.

So I did what any prepubescent kid would do. I spit at him.

"Ew!" He shouted. Letting go of me. Not my best idea, I thought as I started to plummet towards the ground. I closed my eyes to face my ultimate doom but my body never made contact with the ground. Did someone...save me? Or maybe I was dead...

I opened my eyes to find myself floating 2 feet off the ground. I looked around to see if anyone noticed.

What I was doing was impossible...how? What?!

Not thinking about doing it was easy. But once I found out I was? I toppled onto the ground, losing focus.

The monster disappeared right in front of my eyes. Two seconds later it reappeared, pushing me through the wall into a jewelry store.

When I say through I mean he made me intangible. Like a ghost... Or did I do that? Or maybe we both did...

The ghost laughed at my obvious confusion. "Who are you?" I asked again.

"You, little whelp, are just like your father," he grinned.

I raised a brow. Had this been a ghost my parents and father hunted?

Dammit! I forgot the freakish thermos.

"Look, I don't know what you want, but you have the wrong guy."

He smirked. "I know when I've locked onto my prey. You will be the perfect bait to capture your father and add his pelt to my collection."

My eyes widened. "Uhhhh ew!"

Suddenly something flew above us in a white flash, grabbing the ghost that was on top of me and whooshing out of the store.

I blinked. What just happened? What was that thing?

I limped out of the jewelry store and people cheered as they saw me come out. Kevin beamed. "You're okay! Thank God! I was so worried."

I didn't see cop cars. What I saw were my parents, grandparents and Jazz and her fiancé. I raised a brow at Kevin. "You didn't call 911?" I was going to but..you said your parents hunted ghosts so I thought I should just call them."

I could only hope my expression didn't make me look as nervous and freaked out as I felt. I had flown. Which meant something in me...was possibly... I didn't want to think about it. I'm alive. I'm fine. Nobody saw a thing. Except that ghost. Who seemed to know my father. And wasn't at all surprised when he saw me floating.

"Are you okay?" My mom rushed over to me.

My dad followed behind, with a similar look of concern on his face. And guilt?

"Yeah, I'm fine."

Maybe I shouldn't talk to them about what happened just yet. They probably wouldn't understand. Besides, I needed to figure this out before I told anyone what happened to me.

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