Piquancy and Phantasm @bdz_fanfics
The Good and The Bad and The Worst

"Where the good and the bad and the worst and the best have gone to their eternal rest." The City In The Sea (1845) - Edgar Allan Poe

Bad luck appeared to have followed Otho Fenlock during the past few months. Jobs falling through, right and left. His contacts began slipping through his fingers, many of them trying to break away from any associations that involved Charles Deetz and his family. Otho was the last of their personal entourage. Now that Jane Butterfield seemed to have vanished from the face of the earth, he had nothing left. This was the end of his interior design career.

At least he was savvy enough to extort enough from the yuppies buying condos, all of whom needed him to make their homes worthwhile. Sad fools. All of them.

Perhaps now was the perfect opportunity to start a new venture?

At least, that was what he was telling himself as he began organizing his brand new office. Redecorating the room, filling it with pillows and crystals. He could make a killing with this New Age movement. To become a guru who had once been the leading paranormal researcher.

At his age, the less physical work, the better, and as far as he was concerned, he deserved to feel like a god.

His new clientele, a list of yogis and spiritualists who wanted to grow and legitimize themselves as… ahem... "Life Coaches" would be arriving to join his seminar in less than an hour. An hour until he collected money for the lessons and certifications he planned to give his protégés to prove their authenticity.

Too simple.

A creaking signaled that someone had entreated his office. Gentle steps, and he turned to see a lovely frail woman. Her hair curled up in a short style and a bright, happy expression, probably a Yoga instructor.

"My Apologies, but I'm not ready for today's lecture, and sign-ups are closed for the next two months."

"Oh dear me, I think you are perfect."

"I beg your pardon."

The woman grinned wide and gave the place a once over. Then, with a nod of approval, she left the room to call out for someone.

"I'm gonna have to ask you to leave," Otho spoke with a calm authority. "You and your friend can sign up for our next curriculum..."

"Oh no, that's not why we are here." The woman's smile was beginning to give Otho the creeps.

"We are here for you," Spoke a new voice, familiar and chilling, came from behind him inside the office.

Otho took a double-take. The other woman was no longer in the hallway.

"Ginger, could you get the door for me?"

With wide eyes, Otho could feel his heart drop into his designer shoes as he recognized the face. Hidden under a long blond wig, the face could never be doubted.

Lydia Deetz.

"Of course it would be you. Are you going to try to ruin my career a second time?" He drolled while shaking his head.

"I couldn't care less about your new con, Otho. You could never really change a tire, let alone do anything worthwhile. My Father could always see right through you even if Mother couldn't."

"True, he never trusted me, but I never needed him. I just wanted access to his stocks."

Lydia rolled her eyes, "Delia."

"Dear old Delia. Yes, she was important to me but with you here in my office. I think…" Otho reached into his pocket and extracted a cellular phone. Before he could even type the first number, a sharp pain sliced through his wrist.

He cried out, turning to see the perky woman, Ginger, standing behind him with a knife covered with blood.

"It feels exactly how I remembered!" She cried out with glee.

Otho watched as his hand cut down to the bone bleed all over his clean suit, staining the delicate patterns on the Persian rug.

His horror at the sight paled when lifting his head and found himself staring directly into Lydia's serene and pleasant face.

"Not so fast, Otho." Lydia grinned. "You are bleeding out far too quickly, but I need this."

The pit of terror and confusion was short-lived as Lydia raised her hand and sank her sharp carving knife deep into his neck.

Lydia let out a breath of relief when Otho's body slipped down to the ground. A pool of blood began to form under the recently deceased.

"One of these days, you gotta tell me this guy's story." Ginger knelt next to the body and began drawing circles in the blood. She connected the circles with a gentle swirl of her finger until the design of a spider web developed in the blood.

"He's not all that interesting," Lydia commented offhandedly, tossing the knife aside before bending down to sink her hands into the fresh warm blood. Slowly she absorbed the energy of her kill while Ginger took the knife to 'decorate' Otho's flesh.

"Well, whatever he is, the man has some taste. I have my eye on that huge rock," Ginger pointed to a large geode.

Lydia laughed and shook her head, "I don't think anyone would miss it."

"Beetlejuice would have loved to see this joint. This place is a good find."

Leaving the body in Lydia's care, Ginger began to walk around the room, drawing random webs all over the room. She may or may not have placed a few gems and treasures into her pockets.

After a few moments later, Lydia pulled out another postcard and tucked it under a large garnet gem on Otho's desk. Having marked her spoils with magic, Ginger stood back and gave her approval along with a coo of delight.

"Well done! This is one snazzy calling card."

"Thank you for coming with me. I'm ready whenever you are."

Minutes passed, and the office was left in silence. The left lights low. It would be at least another forty minutes before Otho Fenlock would be discovered. Hanging by thin red webs created from his own blood, the forensics team would be hard-pressed to find a logical explanation for the baffling display.

Beetlejuice threw a beer bottle against the wall, narrowly grazing Jacques's head, who stood strong against his former mentor.

"Lydia will not be pleased when she sees how drunk you are!"

"Stuff it, Bone Head!" Beetlejuice snarled and flung a hand out, knocking Jacques to the floor.

"Beetlejuice!" Ginger's shrill voice cried out from behind. The two men turned to see Lydia and Ginger enter wide-eyed at the scene before them. "What on earth are you doing?! Honey, are you alright?"

Jacques straightened himself and opened his arms for his lover, throwing a glare over her shoulder at Beetlejuice. Though he didn't notice, Beetlejuice had his eyes on Lydia who's hands were still covered with the glow of blood magic.

Stepping forward to talk, Beetlejuice found himself unable to speak while Lydia stepped back with a wary posture. Jacques waited, unwilling to leave Lydia alone with the intoxicated ghost. Not that he was worried for her safety but rather worried that something would break between the lovers.

No one in the Roadhouse wanted to see Lydia leave, and they sure as hell knew that if all this goes wrong, the rest of eternity would be better spent under the Neitherworld's compulsion.

Thankfully, the tension was interrupted by a knock on the front door.

Ginger pecked a kiss on Jacques's jawbone before slipping away to answer the front door. Lydia followed her again, leaving Beetlejuice standing like an idiot with his bleeding heart leaking onto his magenta shirt.

"For the love of... " He threw his hands up, leaving Beetlejuice alone and joining the women.

To his surprise, a woman stood at the front door. Human in guise, but slowly the neitherworld magic was beginning to show her true nature, skin turning from a woman's flesh to a ghoulish green. He was uncertain what her final form would be, but he recognized the face.

With a twisted grin, he caught Lydia's fearful eye.

"Ah, we have a guest. Bonjour Mademoiselle." The woman giggled when he took her hand and kissed her fingertips. Ginger looked at him, slightly miffed by his gentry. "What brings you to our humble home?"

"Oh!" The woman giggled, "My name is Jane Butterfield, and I'm here to find the owner of this wonderful Roadhouse. I have high hopes for this property, and I'd like to -"

"Great! The bitch is back." Beetlejuice stomped up to the front door. "Look, I told ya yesterday. Not interested. NOW GET OFF MY ROCK AND LEAVE US ALONE!"

"Oh, Beetlejuice, Let's hear the lady out. I'm sure I have some Hors d'oeuvre and finger foods to share while we discuss matters."
His grin was wide and meaningful while he locked eyes with everyone in the room. "I have a special treat for the lady. If you will excuse me."

"At least someone in this house has manners." Jane straightened her posture and breezed past Lydia and Ginger.

Lydia was appalled at the sight of the woman she had recently murdered. Jane couldn't have killed that many people. It wasn't possible.

Yet there she was, walking past her as if she didn't even recognize the woman who took her life. Ginger shared a concerned glance with Lydia before gripping her arms and pulling her close.

"That can't be who I think it is… is it?"

"That's Jane, alright."

"But... but she is in the fridge." Ginger gulped a lump of fear back down into her belly and took off running down to the kitchen.

Lydia realized that she was alone. Caught between the eyes of her lover and the grin of her hated victim. To say she was uncomfortable was an understatement.

She was relieved to see Jacques return from the kitchen with a tray of mini sandwiches. The meat thinly sliced and the cheese a tad on the moldy side, Jane didn't hesitate to sample the delights. Her expression forced into one of contentment.

"My, my, you have such a mastery of flavors."

"Indeed, my dear. I have been a chef for centuries, but I have been on an unfortunate hiatus and have only recently begun to work with food again. Thanks to our lovely Lydia for providing a splendid variety of proteins."

Lydia thought she was going to be sick when Ginger poked her head out of the kitchen. She shook her head back and forth repeatedly as she watched Jane take yet another sandwich.

Horror flooded Lydia like never before.

Beetlejuice saw the interaction and made a b-line for the kitchen. His cackling grew louder and louder before reentering the living room with a dome-covered tray.

"Broke out the good stuff, Jackie. I'm impressed." He guffawed louder. "What do ya think, Janie? Does the meat meet your fancy?"

"Quite delightful. I'm not sure if I can really identify the flavor. It is not a turkey, nor chicken..."

"More like a pig," Beetlejuice unrestrained brought the tray over to Jane, "Care to sample the source?"

Leaning in, Jane's eyes grew wide just like Lydia's and Ginger's, while Jaques only smirked in satisfaction when Beetlejuice lifted the lid.

Center of the tray was Jane's head, surrounded by mini sandwiches and what was left of her fingers and toes tucked in between as garnishments.

Jane paled… Growing sick before spitting out the remains of her last sandwich and running from the Roadhouse screaming bloody murder.

The men were on the floor high fiving each other on a scare job well done while Ginger crossed her arms over her chest. "Horrible! You two should be ashamed of yourselves."

"Ma petite, you said so yourself that my dishes are to die for. Jane is lucky; not everyone gets a taste of their own 'just desserts.'"

"Dog eat dog world in real estate, and this Bitch got what she deserved " Beetlejuice continued to laugh.

Lydia couldn't take the jokes any longer. She left the room, going back up to her bedroom to wait for Beetlejuice to come to his senses. They really needed to talk.

Whatever her problem was, Beetlejuice didn't care. Ginger and Lydia were both being idiots for leaving the Neitherworld without informing him of the plan.

He grew angrier the more he thought about it, but that stunt with Butterfield cured him of all that rage. Just enough to get him to follow his bride to be up to the stairs. He could fix this.

She stood in front of her bedroom door with her arms across her chest. Her eyes were once again cautious against him.

"Babes, we really need ta talk."

"I agree." She was cold and sullen. She walked into her room without a second glance at him, and with a sigh, he followed her.

The room was simple: hers, even though she never got to decorate it since he took her powers away. Guilt filled him when he thought about the lonely nights she spent in here.

"I want to go home," Lydia said with no preamble or small talk; she was still mad at him, he concluded.

"You can't, Lyds. The fuzz is watching the joint."

"How do you know?" Lydia turned on him. "Don't tell me you've been sneaking off without me?"

Beetlejuice closed the bedroom door behind him and took a chance in moving closer to his Lydia. She placed her hands on her hips and glared.

"You can't go up there. I am not ready to lose ya."

"Oh, but you will keep doing stupid things to push me away? Do you really think I'm going to marry you now, after all this?"

His blood began to boil under the surface, but he managed to tap it down. "You already agreed, the ceremony can wait, but by all rights, we already are married."


"It's a fact." He didn't flinch. "Contracts don't lie, and I ain't givin' up on ya."

"So what, you tried to let me forget? You erased memories when they suited you. You didn't touch me even though I wanted you for years. You continued to lie to me about the contract's details. You let me experience what loving a human man was like, only to rip me away from him. You… you let me fall in love with you! You even tried to kill me all because of a shower!" Lydia struck deep with every word, punctuated each accusation with her steps and movements.

He was starting to feel his ire rise with each violent word until he could no longer hold it.

"You're damn right I did! Cuz you made me fall in love with you. Do you think I wanted that? You made me soft. You made me feel, and that shit doesn't fly with the B-guy. I've gone centuries without you, Lydia Deetz, and you have only ever made me go against my better nature!"

"Better? You think being a selfish prick is better?"

"It's better to not feel anything! I should have taken what was mine the moment you became legal in the mortal world. I should never have let ya know what the afterlife was like, and I sure as hell should never have let you forget that you are nothing but a cold-hearted murderer."

"Fuck you!" She screamed at him. Beetlejuice crossed the space between them and gripped her wrist, pressing her against the wall with his body.

"Not in this lifetime, sweetheart." He growled. "You are mine, Lyds. Mine and mine alone and until you understand that no one, NO ONE, has the right to take you away from me - UGH.."

Pain, like nothing he ever felt before, ripped through him. Then, slowly looking down, he beheld Lydia's hand gripping a knife that was plunged into his heart.

At that moment, shock registered to both of them. Dropping to the ground in horror at what she had done, Lydia covered her mouth with her hands while heavy tears fell with loud sobs.

Beetlejuice couldn't take his eyes off of her.

The woman he loved. The only one to ever inspire such a fire and passion inside him… tried to kill him.

The fight drained out of him as he pulled out the knife, letting it drop to the floor, while he slowly let go of the magic that wasn't his. He watched as she felt the power return to her, causing more sobs to rip through her.

The only thing he could do now was to leave her alone. So he did.

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