Work Header

Here Be Children!

Chapter Text

Your name is Kubo.

You are twelve years-old. Your hair is as black as ink, while your skin is tan – darker than your mother’s olive skin, but lighter than your father’s tawny complexion, your eye is chocolate brown much like your mother’s, and people tend to say you have your father’s smile. You’re wearing a red shirt with a black beetle on it, along with blue jeans, and your hair is tied up in a bun while your right eye has an eye-patch over it.

You were born in Japan, but for most of your life, you’ve lived in America and grew up in Hillsboro, Oregon. You only vividly remember a few things from your life in Japan – like how your mother and father once took you out to the lake when you were only a few weeks old, and the way your mother held you while your father looked over her shoulders and smiled at you. Those were one of the few good moments that happened before it all went to hell.

You remember the story your mother and father told you, about the reason you all moved to America. It was to escape your grandfather and aunts’ wrath. Mother and Father refused to tell you the story of how they met, but they told you the basic tale: Mother used to be a goddess – born as the daughter of the Moon King, while Father had been born mortal, and temporarily had been a samurai once. They fell in love, and Mother gave up most of her immortality so that she and Father could wed.

A year after their marriage, you came along, and then your grandfather had found out about their relationship and your birth when you were two months old. He took your left eye as a means of trying to strip you of your immortality, as a way of getting revenge on Mother for betraying him. He tried taking your other eye so that you could ascend to the heavens above with him, but Mother and Father had fought off Mother’s sisters and Mother grabbed her shamisen, and just in time, took you back. After running far into the woods, Father suggested boarding a boat that would take you all to America, and Mother agreed to it.

You lost an eye, but your parents still fought for you to keep your remaining eye. Your parents gave up their old lives in Japan, just so you could grow up safely in America – and you love them for that, for how they care so much about you.

But there is one thing you ask yourself every single day – it’s a question that can never leave your mind, no matter how hard you try to make it go away.

Just, why does Grandfather hate you so much?  

Your name is Eggs, and you are eleven years-old.

Well, actually, Eggs is just what most of the boxtrolls call you. The truth is, your real name is Arthur – Arthur Trubshaw. But you go by Eggs because that’s the name Fish gave you when he took you in and raised you.

The reason he took you in as his own is because when you were only a month old, a man named Archibald Snatcher came into your father’s old house and demanded that he help build a machine to exterminate the boxtrolls. Your father refused, and quickly put you in a box and lowered it to the ground, so that Fish could take you and keep you safe from Snatcher’s wrath. Meanwhile, your father, Herbert, took a blow from a hammer to the head, causing him to have serious amnesia.

You and Shoe found Herbert one day, while visiting the surface during the night. He was in an alleyway. You don’t know how he escaped from Snatcher, but he did, somehow. At the time, you were unaware that he was your father, but Shoe knew – they had to have known, for they had told you to help them take Herbert to the sewers.  Fish would later on help him, and soon after, tell him he was your real father.

But because Herbert didn’t remember you as his child, you felt that Fish was more of a father to you. Over the years, though, you’ve all tried to help Herbert regain his memory. One step at a time, he’s slowly remembering you.

But during these steps, each day, one by one – the boxtrolls are slowly disappearing. Snatcher and his goons keep on finding each of them, and they take them away to only god knows where.

There’s only a few left now – Shoe, Fish, Sparky, Oil Can, some others… and you. Even if you were born human, you feel more like a boxtroll.

And there’s only one question that lingers in your mind.

Why would anyone hurt a group of creatures who haven’t done anything wrong?

Your name is Norman Babcock, and you are eleven years old.

When you were born, you were gifted with a special talent: the power to see and communicate with the dead. Apparently, it's been a gift passed down from generation to generation on your mother's side—except, for some reason, your mother didn’t get this ability; neither did your older sister, Courtney, for the matter. You can’t tell why, and you’ll probably never know why.

Because of your ability, you’ve been mocked and cast aside by most of the town—even your father and sister think you’re freak (though your father will probably never say it aloud, you can still tell that he believes it). Your mother supports you, as her uncle—your great uncle, Mr. Prenderghast—has this ability, too.

However, even her support can’t cheer you up on the worst days, where you wish you never had this ability. The only thing that makes it worth it all is the fact that you can talk to your grandmother’s ghost. That’s it. Sure, there’s that one ginger-haired boy, Neil, who sticks up for you when Alvin bullies you, and he even hangs out with you. He’s nice, but his friend, Salma, seems to be a bit annoyed by you—and his older brother, Mitch (a jock, of course), thinks that you’re a freak, too. So, as a result, he sometimes drags Neil away from you after school.

(Sometimes, you wonder if that boy with the eye-patch and shamisen thinks you’re a freak. He probably does. Anyone who’s someone in this school does, and he is definitely someone, alright—with his abilities to fold origami with the single pluck of a guitar’s string, and his amazing storytelling. Ninety-nine percent of the town adores his story telling, even the mayor himself, Lord-Portley Rind.

The new girl with blue hair probably thinks you’re a freak, too, because even if she’s new, she’s still someone.

Even that boy wearing the box that sometimes runs around neighborhoods and the streets at night probably thinks you’re weird, because even he is someone. He isn’t as much of a freak as you are.)

Sometimes, late at night, you wonder often: should I be ashamed, or should I be proud of these powers?

You don’t know if there’s even an answer to that question.

Your name is Coraline Jones, and you're eleven years-old. You dyed your hair blue about five months ago, out of rebellion after your parents told you that you'd all be moving into an apartment in the Pink Palace. In your defense, you had friends back in your old state. And moving is just scary, sometimes.

But now, after all the horrors you've experience after opening a door in the living room of your apartment out of curiosity one day, you take it back. Moving isn't that scary, compared to meeting that vile witch who took the form of your mother, just to trick you into allowing her to sew buttons into your eyes so you couldn't leave her. She didn't care for you, no—that button-eyed (pardon your language) bitch merely wanted to get you at your weakest, softest moment, so she could feed off your essence like she’d done with those ghost children, one of which was Mrs. Lovat’s sister…

The Beldam was a horrible, wicked creature. There’s no doubting that. And to think of what she would’ve done to you, had you not escaped… it makes your stomach churn, just thinking about it.

As a result of what she had almost done, you’ve also kind of developed a fear of buttons—specifically, black buttons. Thank god your old stuffed animals and your sweaters have white buttons for eyes, or else you would’ve probably had a heart attack before you could’ve even packed your belongings.

With everything aside, you aren’t really scared of moving anymore. Yes, it’s sad to leave your friends behind—you’d left behind Jenny and Jake, and now you were leaving Wybie behind, not even a long time after you’d become friends. But, you can’t control your parents’ work. Your father got a job in Hillsboro—a permanent one, meaning you wouldn’t be moving out after this—and a nice house. You can’t blame him entirely, but you still do feel a little bitter.

But you’re not scared of going to a new school, and seeing new faces. No, you’re scared of the possibility of the Beldam coming back for you.

And sometimes, you wonder: would everything have been better if I hadn’t opened that door?