Chapter 1: If There's Something Strange In Your Neighborhood
Life treated Fiddleford McGucket with great kindness lately.
Over the summer, the former town kook regained his memories after learning that a secret society had erased them. He, alongside Dipper and Mabel Pines, Soos Ramirez, and Wendy Corduroy, dismantled the memory-erasing cult and brought back some stability to Gravity Falls. When the world seemed like it was on the brink of collapse, Fiddleford was given the resolve to fight back by building a giant robot out of the Mystery Shack to rescue the captured citizens. There he and Ford shared a sentimental reunion and after Weirdmageddon was eradicated, the two began to rebuild their friendship. Ford visited Fiddleford in his junkyard shed to catch up, and when the six-fingered researcher told his friend about his plans to sail around the world with his twin brother, Fiddleford whipped up a mix CD of about twenty different songs Fiddleford played on his Banjo (ranging from country classics to filk songs from their DD&MD campaigns and a side of bluegrass).
Fiddleford also worked to restore his relationship with his estranged son, Tate McGucket. He reached out to his son with the desire to be a better father, and his son happily welcomed him back into his life. The eccentric inventor also listened to Ford’s advice on submitting his patents to the United States government, who graciously bought them for tens of millions of dollars. With that money he was able to buy the first shed he saw: Northwest Manor, which was put up for sale by the previous owners after losing a majority of their fortunes investing in ‘weirdness bonds’. Fiddleford bought the home and happily christened his new abode as McGucket’s Hootenany Hut.
The manor took some getting used to at first. The enormous halls and vast number of rooms made it difficult for Fiddleford to navigate the estate on his own. He ended up getting lost twice and had to call Tate and the police to find his way around (and even the cops had trouble finding their way through the manor!). But after a month of living in the splendid mansion, Fiddleford and Tate turned it into their own home. Tate moved his belongings from his humble shack in the woods over to the manor. Fiddleford purchased some furniture to give the place some personality. He placed many paintings, ranging from pictures of raccoons to a portrait of a character from an anime Soos introduced to him.
Since the manor was too big for two people, Fiddleford and Tate opened up their doors to anyone who needed a place to stay. Melody, Soos’s lovely girlfriend, had moved from Portland to work as the assistant manager of the Mystery Shack to work alongside her beau (and finally putting her bachelor’s degree in business to good use!). While Melody was worried about finding a reasonably priced apartment, Soos suggested that she could live out in one of the rooms of the manor. A few other residents in town also made their home in the manor, including The Hand Witch, The Dipper Clones (now addressed as Tracy and Quattro), former U.S. President Quentin Trembley. Fiddleford also shared many visitors, from Sheriff Blubbs and Deputy Durland to Shmebulock.
But as Fiddleford settled into the manor, he was about to discover a handful of not-so-friendly visitors.
It was a calm September evening. Fiddleford and Tate prepared chicken stew, using the family recipe. They invited some friends over to stay. Multibear, the manotaurs, and shmebulock were seated at the table. Tracy, Quattro and Quentin Trembley had set up the table with nice-looking plates and silverware. Even though they two paper clones could not consume any food or liquids because of their fragile conditions, they were happy to be among friends and glad to help around the house. Fiddleford and Tate emerged from the kitchen and brought out a wonderful meal for their guests. The McGuckets set out a wonderful buffet of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, sweet peas, carrots, broccoli, green beans, and corn. As they set the food on the table, Fiddleford smiled at Tate, happy to have his son back in his life and reconstructing their relationship. Tate looked up at his father and gave him a warm smile of his own. The younger McGucket was glad to see his father so healthy and happy again.
Just as the McGuckets were finished setting up the table, Melody entered the dining room. The young woman completed another busy day at the Mystery Shack, helping Soos run the tourist trap as the official assistant manager. She was wearing her dark green question mark T-Shirt which was once worn by Soos, jeans, and a black baseball cap.
“Hey everyone!” Melody greeted with a smile. The rest of the guests returned with a “Hi Melody!” or “What’s Up?”
“So how was work today Melody?” Tate asked.
“Work was really interesting,” She answered. “Soos and I have been brainstorming some new attraction ideas to put up before Halloween.”
“I’d like to hear ‘em!” Fiddleford answered. “I can pitch in and whip up some mechanical critter of some sort that won’t cause destruction!”
Melody chuckled as she found her seat between Multibear and Shmebulock, completely unphased by the supernatural weirdness of the town. “Well Soos hired you as his part-time handyman for a reason.” She turned toward Tate and asked, “How was your day at the Bait and Tackle?”
“Oh, just another day of work and what not. Another fulfilling day for a simple man such as myself.” Tate answered. He pulled up his chair and seated himself next to his father.
Fiddleford scanned the dinner table, eager to see the wonderful friends he made. A cheerful ambiance had filled the room. For the first time in a long time, Fiddleford was surrounded by family and friends in a home he called his own. There was nothing that could dampen his spirits now. “Welp! Now that everyone’s here, I reckon it’s time ta dig in!”
Just as everyone was about to eat, ominous cackling entered the room.
Tate suspiciously looked around the room. “Did anyone else hear that?”
The pleasant dinner was interrupted when a group of spherical ghosts arrived on the scene. The gaggle of ghosts charged and the dinner table, causing everyone to evacuate towards the other side of the dining room. They all watched in horror and mild disgust as the ghosts were devouring the food and the plates.
“What are those things…” Tate asked aloud.
“I believe they’re category three ghosts,” Tracey answered. Everyone looked at the clone, awaiting for a detailed explanation when he shot everyone an annoyed expression. “That’s kind of all I know. I started to read about ghosts in my clone of journal three, but I left it out in the rain and it’s now wet, crumpled up paper.”
“Then how are we going to defeat those ghosts?” Multibear wondered.
“I’ll settle this!” Quentin exclaimed. The former president bravely marched towards the ghosts. Once he arrived at the table, he put up a fighting stance. But one of the ghosts picked him up and threw him across the room until he collided against an exquisite portrait of a raccoon. The others gasped in shock as the politician slowly slid down the wall until he landed on the ground.
To everyone’s surprise, Quentin held up his hand in the air. “I’m alright!”
Melody decided to act quickly. She grabbed a chair and threw it at one of the ghosts. But the chair went through the ghost, who grabbed the furniture and decided to chomp down on it. “Aw man, I thought for sure that would work. She said in defeat.
“Is there any hope left in this world??” One of the manotaurs cried.
Fiddleford looked at the ghosts with a hard frown. He was a kind soul who welcomed anyone inside his home with open doors. But he had a limit for rude party-goers who wanted to cause a raucous. And these ghosts simply had to go.
Fiddleford approached the ghosts and made a stance. “Listen up fellers!” He yelled. The man took his hands and began aggressively hamboning at the specters. With each aggressive slap across his thighs, arms, and head, the apparitions looked more and more nervous. When Fiddleford completed his cryptic message the ghosts scrambled from the dinner table and out of the room.
Tate stared at his father in bewilderment. “Dad, what did you say to them?”
“Well Tater Tot, I jus’ told them that wasn’t any dessert!” Fiddleford answered with a grin.
Tate shook his head. “Well do you think that they’d come back?”
“If my hambonin’ did the trick, then I’m sure that this ghost invasion will simply be an isolated incident an’ nothin’ similar will ever occur in the near future!”
“Well Dad, I hope your right.”
But the McGuckets could not be further from the truth.
About a week had gone by and the manor seemed to return to a sense of peace and tranquility. One night, Fiddleford was swaying on his rocking chair near the fireplace calmly plucking his banjo. He was dressed in a warm red sweater Ford gave to him before he and Stan embarked on their sailing expedition.
Tate joined his father on the couch.
“Ow!” Tate yelped, as he got up from his seat.
Fiddleford paused his playing and placed his banjo aside. “What’s wrong Tate?” He asked concernedly.
“Someone placed some tacks on the couch!” He grumbled as he comforted his behind. “Who would do something like this?”
A childish giggle echoed throughout the living room, providing a vague answer to his inquiry.
“Tracy, Quattro, is that you?” Fiddleford hollered.
“Guess again!” The voice replied. Soon two water balloons were launched at the McGuckets and hit them square in their faces. As they tried to make sense of what was happening, the ghost of a little girl appeared. She was wearing a ruffled blue dress and black shoes. Her hair was a golden curled bob, which delicately framed her head. The girl chuckled at the two men, wearing a devilish grin.
“Dagnabbit!!” Fiddleford hissed.
“Come back here!” Tate barked at the ghost.
“Try and catch me, bimbos!” The girl retaliated.
The father and son chased the ghost out of the living room and through the hallway. The ghost was fast, but Fiddleford and Tate were determined to keep up. Once the ghost flew through the door to one of the rooms.
They went inside the room only to find it empty. Fiddleford and Tate inspected the drawers and under the bed to find the prankster ghost.
“So I bought an Italian car. I turned on the radio, and I can’t understand a word they’re sayin’!” An older voice remarked, causing both men to jump up. The McGuckets turned to find the ghost of an old man, with bugged out eyes and a bulbous nose, wearing a suit.
“So I see ya just moved here, huh? Well there goes the neighborhood!” The ghost humored. “That reminds me, when I was a kid, my folks moved a lot, but I always found ‘em!”
Fiddleford chuckled. “That’s a good one. Now what’s yer name?”
“The name’s Roger!” The ghost piped up, happy to be acknowledged.
Tate, on the other hand, groaned with exasperation. He did not want to put up with another ghost today, especially one attempting stand-up comedy. “Will you get out of here!?” He shouted as he threw a pillow at the ghost, who was quick to dodge the soft object.
“Wow, tough crowd tonight.” The ghost remarked while adjusting his collar. “Well, I better come up with some better material then!”The apparition made a stage-left exit by floating straight into the left-side wall of the bedroom.
The McGuckets looked at each other, adjusting to the fact that there were more ghosts in the house than they would have liked.
“So how long do you think it’ll take before another ghost appears.” Tate asked with a beleaguered sigh.
“I’d give it another week,” Fiddleford answered honestly as he patted his son’s back. “But until then, I’ll go into the workshop an’ whip up a machine that’ll git rid of those spookums fer good!”
Five days had past without another ghost incident and Fiddleford managed to finish up his latest invention. When work on his latest machine was complete, he brought the large portable device up to the living room to show to his son. It was a laser gun attached to a backpack decorated with many buttons and some switches. Tate inspected the invention his father worked hard on.
“Now this here is the Ghost-Blaster!” Fiddleford explained. “Now the backpack is filled with a particle accelerator, which would-”
McGucket’s explanation was brought to a halt when they heard a fierce battle cry coming from upstairs. Both men looked at each other as they started for the staircase.
“Well, time ta put my machine ta good use!” Fiddleford remarked, ready to take on whatever ghost was haunting the manor.
“This better be the last ghost I come across.” Tate complained as he followed his father into danger.
The raced up the staircase and made it to the second floor. Fiddleford and Tate looked around for any clues of the ghost’s appearance. The vast hallway had two sections, the east wing and the west wing, and they had no idea where the ghost was.
“We should stay together,” Tate suggested. “Splitting up would be a recipe for disaster.”
“Good thinkin’ son.” Fiddleford agreed. Tate McGucket was a smart individual, even if he wanted to appear as a ‘simple man’. When Fiddleford learned that his son’s high SAT score caused the grading machine to break down, he was thrilled. Tate, being so ashamed to his high intellect, wanted to forget about the incident.
Fiddleford prepared his Ghost-Blaster. Flicking the switch on the backpack, the machine fired up and the buttons were brightly flashing. McGucket cautiously walked down the west wing of the second floor, with Tate following behind. The two men looked around the different paintings Fiddleford had purchased to liven the manor’s atmosphere. There were paintings of wild animals, bears, stags, raccoons. But he also purchased a few anime paintings online. After marathoning hours upon hours of anime with Soos, Fiddleford wanted to express his love for the visual medium by buying some wonderful fan art from his favorite series. He purchased two Gundam pictures, a lovely Cowboy Bebop painting, a few portraits of his favorite characters from Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, and lastly, a portrait of Generaal Sasuke Kakashi Watanabe from the classic series Neon Crisis Mechabot Boy: Revelations, which was his favorite painting. The portrait itself framed the one-eyed, no-nonsense general in an elegant pose reflective of an eighteenth century military portrait.
As the men approached the end of the hallway, the came across where the general’s portrait should be, only to find the supposed general missing. Fiddleford and Tate gawked at the painting missing its subject.
“Where do you think he’s at now?” Fiddleford asked worriedly.
“Right here fools!!”
The McGuckets were startled by the loud, yet surprisingly awful attempt of a booming, commanding voice. Fiddleford and Tate turned around to find the General himself in a battle-ready stance. Fiddleford stared at the now animated anime character. He must of suspected that character’s poor attempt to sound intimidating must of stemmed from the poor English dubbing, which was put out during the mid-1990s.
“My name is General Sasuke Kakashi Watanabe, and I have come to defend my country and avenge my mother!!!” He pulled out a photograph of a young brunette with a sideways ponytail wearing a simple dress and an apron.
Tate rolled his eyes and glanced at his father. “I knew that something bad would come from your little hobby with anime, Dad.”
“Now no need ta worry, The ghost-blaster is sure ta work on the first go-round!” Fiddleford assured, taking out his unusual blaster. He fired at the ghost, but found that the machine did nothing. “Oh no, ya can’t malfunction on me now!!” Fiddleford cried out, as he banged on the laser gun in a desperate attempt to get the machine up and running.
“PREPARE TO MEET YOUR MAKER!!!!” The General declared, as he took out his sword from his scabbard.
Tate yanked his father and hightailed it over to the closet, which was fairly spacious given that they lived in the manor.
“Now where did I put that thing…” The younger McGucket said to himself as he searched the room for his weapon of choice. Fiddleford struggled to get his machine started up again.
"What in tarnation is wrong with this contraption?!” Fiddleford squeaked as he tried his best to find the issue with his machine.
But the ghost floated through the door and entered the closet. Fiddleford felt hopeless. He dropped what he was doing and starting muttering The Our Father under his breath.
Just as the General was about to attack, Tate jumped in front of his father and faced the ghost with sheer determination and bravery. He grabbed his spray of water and mercilessly squirted the ghost into submission.
“No! My greatest weakness!” General Sasuke Kakashi Watanabe whined as he was attacked with water.
“Now go on, leave!” He shouted. The ghost obeyed the stoic man and left the closet.
Fiddleford was on the floor, stunned at the sight. Not only Tate attack the ghost with water, but his own son was protecting him. If Fiddleford was put in harm’s way about a few months ago, he wasn’t sure if Tate would come to his rescue. But now that he and his son were repairing their familial relationship, it warmed the old man’s heart to learn that his easily annoyed son still cared about his kook of a father.
Tate offered a hand to Fiddleford, helping him up on his feet. “I think I had enough ghost hunting for one day.” He remarked.
Fiddleford chuckled as he stood up. He looked over to the Ghost-Blaster and knelt down to return the laser gun back into its holster. Heaving up the pack, he slipped his arms into the straps and adjusted his mechanical backpack. “Ya know, all this ghost huntin’ is makin’ me thirsty!” He placed a loving arm around his son, who smiled in response. “Come on Tate, I’ll grab us some Sassafras!”
When they arrived in the kitchen, they were greeted with a grim sight. Standing near the sink was the ghost of a middle-age woman. Her hair was pulled back in a ponytail and she wore a pantsuit that would have been in style in the mid-1970s. Turned out they weren’t done with ghosts just yet.
“Where’s Peter Northwest?” She asked with a powerful voice, her eyes piercing them both.
Fiddleford and Tate looked at each other. Fiddleford had only moved into town since 1981 and Tate had resided in town since 1992. Tate often kept to himself, steering clear from any trouble and focusing on his father. Fiddleford, on the other hand, was recovering of his memory loss that stretched over the course of thirty years. The only Northwests they knew of were Preston, Priscilla, and their daughter Pacifica.
Fiddleford gulped as he stood before the ghost, fiddling with his beard. “I’m not rightly sure who yer talkin’ about ma’m.” The elder McGucket nervously answered. “Is there anythin’ else we can help ya with?”
“Then I’m afraid that you are no use to me…” She responded in a grim voice. Her eyes glowed white and she slowly raised her hands in the air. Soon they saw their silverware levitating and came to the conclusion that the The ghost must have the power to control objects. The fearsome woman pointed her finger at the pair, sending, launching the utensils across the room. Tate acted quickly, taking his father by the hand and made a mad dash towards the doorway. When they left the kitchen, Tate grabbed his father and landed on the ground. They looked up at the door, which was soon punctured by the sharp silverware.
The McGuckets scanned the dining room for a place to hide and settled for hiding underneath the table. As they laid down, the ghost entered the dining room, looking for her victims.
“Where are you?” She teased, hoping to lure out the men.
Tate was at a loss of what he can do. He assumed that it was going to take more than water to get rid of this spirit.
Fiddleford noted how frightened Tate was. The solution to this problem was literally pressing down on him. Fiddleford retrieved the laser gun from his Ghost-Blaster aimed at the ghost. It was going to take a miracle for the machine to work for him, but the old man had not other options. Pulling the trigger, he felt a powerful blast from the laser gun as it was fired. Oh thank God. Fiddleford thought. Even though his machine successfully fired on command, he failed to hit his target. The ghost woman noted that someone was firing back at her. Not wanting to risk getting vanquished, she fled from the dining room.
Fiddleford and Tate waited for a few minutes, fearing that the ghost woman would come back. But when she didn’t show up, they took their chances and emerged from their hiding spot.
“That...that was insane.” Tate declared.
“Welp, looks like I gotta put in some revisions to the Ghost-Blaster.” Fiddleford remarked with a grin, trying to lighten the mood. But his son still looked apprehensive.
“I’m glad that the machine actually worked, but I’m still worried. Though.” Tate said. “I mean, we’ve got more than six ghosts runnin’ around the manor. Three want to eat our food, one annoying prankster, an even more annoying stand-up comic wannabe, an anime character, and a news reporter I guess?”
“And who is this Peter Northwest that she’s askin’ about?” Fiddleford inquired.
“I don't know, but we’ve got to do something about these ghosts and quick!”
“Agreed! But I gotta come up wit more effective weapons in addition ta fixin’ the Ghost-Blaster.”
Tate looked at his father with worried eyes. He didn’t want to dampen his father’s spirits, but he also didn’t want him to get hurt, especially since they’re working so hard to repair their bond. “Look Dad, I don’t want to sound like I’m doubting you, but isn’t there someone who has more expertise in the ghost department who can give you some pointers on how to dispose of these monstrosities?”
Fiddleford thought for a moment before looking back at his son, giving him a hopeful smile. “Yeah, an’ I know the right person ta talk to.”
“Well Dad, who are you gonna call?”
Later that evening, Fiddleford took the initiative to call Stanford Pines. The old eccentric dressed in his comfortable light blue pajamas and fluffy pink bathrobe, with pink curlers on the top of his recently grown patch of grey hair. McGucket carried his cell phone and phone address book into his bedroom. Feeling rather frisky, the old man leaped up into the air and landed on his cozy king sized bed. It had been a long time since Fiddleford slept in a proper bed, having spent years living in the town dump under the fragile roof of a makeshift shack built from used junk, with the exceptional nights spent in his son’s house during the winter. The comfortable support from his mattress reminded him of the everyday luxuries he had in his home in Palo Alto. The old man sighed contentedly, feeling blessed to live in a stable home once again.
Fiddleford found Ford’s cell phone number name in his phone book and hastily dialed the digits in his own phone. He held the cell phone up in the crook of his neck while anxiously combing his beard with his hands. McGucket knew that Ford was spending some much-needed quality time with his twin brother Stanley on an expedition to the Arctic Ocean. Fiddleford even gave the older Pines twins some extra equipment, an emergency credit card on his behalf, and a cell phone he constructed to receive calls in normally out-of-reach areas, including the ocean. Though Fiddleford was desperate to receive any form of advice from Ford about his ghost situation, he felt that he was intruding on his best friend’s brotherly bonding.
“Hello, Stanford Pines speaking.” The sea-faring scientist answered in a dignified voice.
“Ford!” Fiddleford exclaimed, his voice cracking with joy.
“Why hello Fiddleford, what a pleasant surprise!” Ford said with equal enthusiasm.
“I’m sorry fer interruptin’ yer much deserved brotherly bondin’ with Stan, but I need yer advice.” Fiddleford apologized as he still combed his beard with his hands.
“You’re not bothering me at all, Fiddleford.” Ford assured. “Why, Stanley and I just finished up dinner and we’re just unwinding before bedtime. If anything, I’m thrilled that you decided to give me a call.”
Fiddleford sighed in relief. He wasn’t a bother to his best friend, nor was he wasting his time.
“Well how could I be of assistance?” Ford asked.
Fiddleford kept brushing his beard as he explained his awful predicament. “There’s been some ghosts skeedadlin’ around the shed an’ are causin’ all sorts of craziness, an’ a couple of ‘em tried ta attack me an’ my son!!”
“Oh dear…” Ford muttered. “Well how bad was the damage?”
“One of ‘em placed some tacks on Tate’s chair, three of ‘em caused a raucous in the dinin’ room, one of ‘em started tellin’ corny jokes, one ghost was livin’ in my anime paintin’, an’ one of ‘em tried ta attack me an’ my son with silverware!”
“Okay,” Ford said as he jotted some notes into his new journal. “While some of these ghosts seem rather harmless, ranging from category one to category four, the one who tried to attack you does seem dangerous. How were you able to fend off the ghosts?”
“Fer the gluttonous ghosts I retaliated by aggressively hambonin’, which mighta scared ‘em away, but I’m afraid they might come back. An’ Tate scared the anime ghost by sprayin’ water at him. I recently built a Ghost-Blaster designed ta bust those ghosts fer good, but after the machine failed ta attack two of the ghosts, I need ta make some improvements. An’ I’m also buildin’ some additional weapons fer the other residents of the manor. An’ now I need some advice from a paranormal expert, an’ yer the first person that came ta mind.”
“Well I’m flattered that you decided to consult with me about your ghost issues.” Ford replied. “Since some of the ghosts mainly tried to inconvenience you and your son on the most minor scales, they’re simply trying to look for someone to put them to rest. For those ghosts, I advise you to find a silver mirror to capture the more harmless ghosts. But for the one ghost who tried to attack you, I highly suggest that you and Tate pray for mercy.”
“Oh my stars…” Fiddleford muttered while crossing himself.
“But my nephew Dipper had better success with ghost hunting than I ever did and I’m absolutely certain he would be more than happy to share some of his expertise with you. Allow me to give you his phone number.”
“Why thank ya Ford!”
Fiddleford retrieved a pen and paper and wrote down the phone number. After bidding Ford a heartfelt goodbye, he dialed the given numbers into his phone. Fiddleford anxiously waited for the Pines boy to pick up the call. If Dipper Pines was determined to help him retrieve his memories and dismantle the Society of the Blind Eye, then surely he would be willing to assist him with his ghost hunting. His musings ended abruptly when he heard a familiar voice on the phone.
“Hello?” Dipper answered.
“Oh Dipper, am I glad ta hear yer voice again!” Fiddleford greeted enthusiastically. “How’ve ya been?”
“Hey Mr. McGucket! I’ve been doing well for myself lately.” He replied with a friendly demeanor. “Mabel and I are adjusting back to the school year and Piedmont is still the same nice, if kind of boring town I remember. And even though there’s been some difficulties settling back in, especially after everything we’ve been through this summer, I’m glad to be home with Mabel. I would honestly rather take on the eighth grade with her by my side than to be alone up in Gravity Falls.”
“Well I’m glad that you an’ yer sister are doin’ well.” Fiddleford remarked.
“But that’s not a diss on the town though,” Dipper added quickly. “I still think about you and everyone back in Gravity Falls who really made our summer great. So it’s not surprise that Mabel and I are looking forward to returning there next summer.”
“Aw, that’s so sweet,” Fiddleford cooed.
“And how are you settling in your new home?” Dipper asked.
“Well that’s precisely why I’m called ya up, Dipper..” Fiddleford stated. “Ya see, my son Tate an’ I were settlin’ in when some spookums started ta stir up some trouble! At least six ghosts are roamin’ around the shed and Ford recommended that I call you fer advice.”
“Grunkle Ford told you to call me for assistance?” Dipper remarked, feeling flattered by Ford’s praise. “Well you’ve come to the right place Mr. McGucket!”
“Ah hush, Mr. McGucket was my father’s name! You can call me Fiddleford.”
“Well Fiddleford, I’ve had some ghostly encounters over the summer, and since they’re in the former Northwest Manor,”
“Now called the McGucket Hootenany Hut!” Fiddleford exclaimed.
“Right. Nice name change by the way.” Dipper complimented.
“Why thank ya!”
“As I was saying, there are two ways to properly get rid of these types of ghosts. The first way to bust a ghost is to trap them in a silver mirror. Holding it up in front of the ghost would do the trick. And once you’ve got that sucker in there you should absolutely perform an exorcism, and I’ll text you the chant as soon as possible. But the more effective way to get rid of those ghosts is to have a member of the offending family to make amends for the mistakes of their forefathers, thus sending the spirit to rest for good.”
“Alrighty…” Fiddleford said, trying to comprehend the instructions.
“So bottom line, you should recruit Pacifica Northwest if you really want a no-ghost guaranteed manor.” The Pines boy ordered.
“Huh,” Fiddleford muttered. “Are ya sure that’s good idea? I don’ wanna endanger the poor girl, especially after the debacle in the Fearamid.”
“You don’t have to worry Fiddleford. I have faith in Pacifica.” Dipper affirmed. “She stopped a vengeful lumberjack ghost by breaking the Northwest family curse, which involved opening up the gates to the townsfolk and allowing them into the party. She also outsmarted Mr. What’s-His-Face, a face-stealing monster who works in Gravity Falls’s underground black market. Pacifica is a real monster expert in my book. And if there’s anyone in Gravity Falls who’s brave and capable enough to confront a group of ghosts, it’s her.”
Fiddleford grinned. “Well, if ya believe in Pacifica, then Tate an’ I will definitely reach out ta her. An’ thanks fer the wonderful advice Dipper!”
“I’m happy to help Fiddleford.” Dipper replied. “Oh, and before you go, could you tell Pacifica I said hi?”
“Absolutely, son!” Fiddleford obliged.
“Great! Well good luck with your ghost busting!” Dipper said.
“Sure thing, an’ good luck wit’ school! An’ remember, summer will be here before ya know it!”
The following day Fiddleford and Tate decided to take the initiative on taking the ghosts down. Firstly, they informed the residents of the manor to attend an important meeting at around five o’clock that afternoon to discuss their plan to get rid of the ghosts. They also decided to personally visit Pacifica before the meeting to inform her of their current dilemma, hoping she would accept their offer.
Tate took his jeep and drove with his father over to the Northwest residence a little after three in the afternoon, assuming that Pacifica would be home from school at that time. It took them about ten minutes to get to their destination, due to the three minute drive down the winding road down the hill the manor was built on top of and the rainy weather made him an even more cautious drive. When the McGuckets arrived at the right address, they came across the new Northwest residence which was a humble two-floor house near the outskirts of town.
As they stepped out of the car, Fiddleford opened up his pink polka dot umbrella and shielded himself and his son from the precipitation. The older man was fully dressed in a navy blue windbreaker covering his green floral shirt, purple pants, and yellow rain boots. He even sported his recently mended brown scarecrow hat. Outside of wearing a serviceable green rain coat, Tate was dressed in his normal look: a simple green shirt, a simple green hat, plain brown pants, and plain brown shoes. Tate looked at his father with an apprehensive expression.
“Are you sure getting Pacifica involved in all this is such a good idea?” He questioned. “I don’t want that girl to get hurt by the ghosts, especially that journalist ghost, but I’m not sure if she’ll even accept your offer.”
“Now now Tater Tot, Dipper said that Pacifica is our secret weapon if we wanna git rid of them ghosts cause she’s experienced in these types of situations, an’ if the Ghost-Blaster doesn’t work the second time around, then she’s our next best solution to this predicament.” Fiddleford assured him, confident that their plan will work.
Tate was skeptical when it came to some of his father’s ideas. But if Fiddleford was so determined in teaming up with the girl who once lived in the manor, then he would simply have to see his father through on this one. And it was a plus that this plan didn’t involve any destructive robots.
Fiddleford and Tate walked up to the front door. The older McGucket rang the doorbell once and the two waited in anticipation for one of the Northwests to answer.
The door opened to reveal a bewildered Pacifica Northwest. The girl was wearing a yellow fuzzy llama sweater (the same sweater she wore during the siege at the fearamid, Fiddleford remembered), a purple skirt, black leggings, and matching purple sneakers. Her normally straight blonde hair was wavy. She was stunned at the two familiar faces standing before her. “Fiddleford? Fiddleford’s son? What are you two doing here?”
“Howdy Pacifica!” Fiddleford greeted, tipping up his brown hat. “I apologize fer interruptin’ ya, but Tate an’ I had some trouble with the manor an’ we need some assistance from ya.”
Pacifica was silent for a moment. Why would these two need her of all people for assistance? She assumed that it must have been something mundane or else they wouldn’t have come all this way to ask for her help. “So what happened, did you get lost?” She asked amusedly.
“Well, yeah...that actually happened a couple times.” Fiddleford answered sheepishly as he rubbed the back of his head.
“I had to call Sheriff Blubs and Deputy Durland to help find him, and they ended up getting lost as well.” Tate explained. “I ended up spending an hour trying to find everyone.”
Pacifica chuckled at the McGuckets. After living in the manor for so many years and being accustomed to the sheer scale of the estate, she found it pretty comical that someone would have trouble navigating the place. “I guess I can make a map for you two, though my cartography skills are admittedly pretty poor.”
“That’s awfully sweet of ya darlin’, but there’s more to it than that,” Fiddleford said. “There are a bunch a ghosts wanderin’ around an’ causin’ all sorts a’ trouble!”
Pacifica felt her heart plummet. Knowing her family’s dark history, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they kept more ghosts underwraps. Some of her ancestors lied, cheated, and stole from other people, but she couldn’t begin to imagine what other horrible crimes her folks committed in the past that would result in more ghosts haunting the manor. But what troubled her most was why someone as capable as Fiddleford McGucket would go to someone as inexperienced as her.
“Why would you want my help?” She asked, her voice almost cracking from doubt.
Fiddleford instantly recognized her worrisome inquiry, but he gave her a sound answer. “Cause Dipper said that yer a monster expert!”
“Dipper said I was a monster expert?” Pacifica repeated with a small smile, her cheeks heating up at the thought of the Pines boy holding her in high regards. If one of the two friends she had made over the summer believed in her, than she would definitely give this mission a try. “Well, I guess I can help out. It certainly sounds better than listen to my parents mourn all the time.”
Fiddleford’s face faltered. Even Tate looked at her with great concern. The older McGucket took his hat off, revealing his small patch of grey hair. “Oh Pacifica, well my condolences to-”
“No, there’s no death in the family.” Pacifica interrupted, clearing the misconception. “My dumb parents are mourning over the fact that they have a seven-figure income as opposed to a nine-figure one. And they’ve been so obnoxious about it that I needed to find a good excuse to stay out of the house as long as possible. Heck, I just picked up a part-time job as a waiter at Greasy’s Diner because I couldn’t bear being around my parent’s pity party!”
“You like working there?” Tate asked curiously.
Pacifica paused before giving her answer. Her parents never asked her about job, and even mocked her for it through back-handed comments, so it was strange to have someone she only knows by association interested in her work life. “Well...kinda? Greasy’s has a nice atmosphere and Lazy Susan has been good to me. Plus I only work afternoon shifts after I leave school so I’m not entirely overwhelmed with customers.”
“That’s wonderful Pacifica.” Fiddleford said with a smile. “I’ve actually started workin’ as a part-time handyman at the Mystery Shack, buildin’ all sorts of attractions fer Soos!”
Pacifica couldn’t help but give Fiddleford a little smile. Even though he already has more than enough money to live on, he still likes to be productive during the day. Perhaps spending some time with the McGuckets would do her some good.
“So this little adventure sounds like a good excuse to get out of the house…” Pacifica pondered aloud. “Alright, I’m free all day today, so I can definitely check out what kind of ghosts are messing with you.”
“Excellent!” Fiddleford exclaimed.
Pacifica looked up at both men, her expression slightly falling. “I just have to tell my parents before we head out.”
“Of course.” Tate said, understanding her worry.
“Take yer time darlin’” Fiddleford added with equal concern.
Pacifica slightly smiled at the McGucekts before heading back inside. She walked around the first floor of her home, looking for her folks. The humble house was much smaller compared to the manor, but Pacifica was thankful that they had a roof over their heads. She went over to her father’s office, where she heard her parents speaking to each other in a hushed tone.
Her heart grew louder in her chest. Pacifica couldn’t just say that she was going to be with the McGuckets, especially since Preston held a great animosity for the man who bought his old home (which Pacifica found odd because Fiddleford did his part in saving the family’s bank account). So she thought of the perfect white lie.
Pacifica gently knocked on the office door. “Yes?” Preston answered. She could have sworn she heard some papers falling onto the floor. Pacifica opened the door and saw her parents hovering over the computer. Priscilla forced a smile when she saw her daughter. “Why hello Pacifica.”
“Hello.” Pacifica weakly greeted. “So, uh, I just got a call from two of my friends and I’m heading over their house. But I’ll be back this evening!”
“Alright Pacifica,” Preston said nonchalantly. “Just be back at a reasonable hour.”
Pacifica was flooded with a great wave of relief. She managed to get through to her folks without being bombarded with questions or suspicion! “Okay, I’ll see you later.” She bid them farewell before shutting the door. The girl rushed down the hall and arrived at the front door to see Fiddleford and Tate still standing in their same positions.
“I talked to my folks, and they said yes!” Pacifica announced.
“Wonderful!” Fiddleford cheered. “Now let’s get back to the shed!”
Pacifica and the McGuckets left the front porch and headed over to the car. As they approached the vehicle the eccentric inventor turned over towards Pacifica. “Oh, an’ Dipper told me ta tell you that he says hi.” Fiddleford added with a smile.
Pacifica felt cheeks glowing even more as she buckled herself in. “Wow, well I guess I’ll have to call him again real soon.”
The car started up and Tate drove away from the new Northwest residence. “Would you like to listen to some music, Pacifica?” He asked.
Pacifica looked up at the younger McGucket’s face at the driver’s mirror. He propped his hat up and she managed to look at his piercing blue eyes, similar to his father’s. She decided to answer his question. “Of course.”
Fiddleford happily turned on the CD player. “Here’s a little music from when I was a youngin’!” Fiddleford declared. Soon enough, the entire inside of the car was immersed in the soft sounds of country guitar.
Almost heaven, West Virginia
Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River
Life is old there, older than the trees
Younger than the mountains, blowing like a breeze
Country roads, take me home
To the place I belong
West Virginia, mountain mama
Take me home, country roads
Pacifica looked up at the McGuckets as the song progressed. Fiddleford let out a contented sigh as he looked at his son. “Nothin’ like some John Denver ta brighten up a rainy day, eh Tater-Tot?”
“Yep.” The stoic Tate agreed, keeping his eyes on the road while tapping his right pointer finger on the steering wheel to match the beat of the song.
Pacifica revealed a small smile. Even if she wasn’t a fan of older music and much prefered the Top 40 pop songs of today, she couldn’t bring herself to complain. She could take an old country song over Stan Pines improvised tune about how he couldn’t see what’s in front of him while driving.
The car ride up the winding country road that led to her old home was both exciting and nerve-wracking for Pacifica Northwest. On the one hand, she’s thrilled that Fiddleford had reached out to her. She formed a strong bond with the old eccentric during Weirdmageddon and he proved to be a protective figure she could look up to when her parents were nowhere to be found. But unlike her parents, Fiddleford provided Pacifica comfort when she needed it the most. But the thought of returning to the home of her childhood made her feel uneasy, especially when there were more ghosts that her family had failed to conceal. As the car climbed up the winding hill, Pacifica’s stomach twisted with anticipation. What does the manor look like now?
As the car approached the gate, Pacifica was astonished to see the number of alterations made on the former Northwest Manor during her absence. The two gate doors were no longer present, making it easy for anyone to waltz right into the courtyard. She also noticed that the two enormous NW hedges were transformed into a number of large, whimsical topiaries; these included a dragon, a herd of elephants, a tyrannosaurus rex, a stegosaurus, two narwhals crossing their horns, and a scraggly haired man with scissors for hands. Her observations went to a halt when the car stopped by the front doors.
“Well, home sweet home!” Fiddleford chirped as he unbuckled his seatbelt and slid out the passenger door. Once he was outside the vehicle, he opened up the backseat door and held out a gentle hand for Pacifica to help her exit the car. Pacifica accepted Fiddleford’s offer as she grabbed onto his hand and carefully stepped out of the jeep.
Once the girl stood on her own two feet, she anxiously gazed at her former abode. She almost forgot how gigantic and foreboding the manor was. Pacifica felt intimidated by the estate as its myriad of windows towered over her. She slightly jumped when she felt Tate’s arm unintentionally brushed up against hers.
“You alright Pacifica?” The younger McGucket softly asked, noting her apprehension.
She looked up at the man, grateful that he was concerned for her well-being. “Yeah, I think I’ll be fine.”
The moment Pacifica stepped foot inside her former abode, her jaw dropped at the most unusual sight. There were a group of gnomes hanging sat around a table they’d set up in the hall. A closer look revealed that they were playing poker. Two other gnomes appeared to be drunk and were swinging from the chandelier bellowing a sea shanty from the top of their lungs.
Stanley, Stanford, over the bounding sea!
One was a brave adventurer, the other was Stanley!
They’ll travel to foreign lands!
With fists and brains and bodily pains,
Nothing can stop the Stans!
“Shmebulock!!!” Shmebulock happily alerted his brethren of the arrival of Fiddleford, Tate, and Pacifica. The rest of the gnomes paused their game to welcome them.
“Hey guys, the man of the hour has returned!” Jeff joyously exclaimed, raising a soda can. The other gnomes cheered in response, waving at the owner of the house.
“Howdy fellers!” Fiddleford greeted the little men with a wave. “Pacifica, this is Shembulock, Jeff, Carson, Steve, Jason, Mike, Andy, Tony, Chris, and Chris. They’re regular visitors of McGucket’s Hootenanny Hut!!” The gnomes responded with uproarious cheers.
“Bingo!” one of the other gnomes - Pacifica couldn’t remember which - shouted excitedly.
“I don’t think that’s how we’re supposed to play poker Mike.”
“Oh right, sorry Andy. Uh.....Uno?”
“That sounds about right, but I use my Blues-Eyes White Dragon so you lose anyway.”
One of the other gnomes pushed a large pile of chips into the center of the table. “I would like to buy a vowel!” He proudly proclaimed. Jeff released an annoyed groan while Shmebulock facepalmed in disbelief.
Suddenly, a small raccoon appeared from under the poker table and immediately jumped onto Fiddleford. “Raccoon Wife! How are ya girl?” He asked cheerfully as he cuddled the energetic animal. “Don’t worry, I’ve brought ya somethin’ ta nibble on,” he chuckled, zipping down the right pocket of his coat and retrieving a small plastic bag filled with apple slices. The southerner opened up the baggie and offered the small pieces of the tart fruit to the raccoon. The animal accepted his offer and started to gobble down on the slices.
Pacifica was startled by the animal’s presence despite Fiddleford cradling the critter like a mother would to her newborn child. Wait, did he say Raccoon Wife? The young girl was deeply puzzled by the bizarre situation. “Why do you have a raccoon in the house, and more importantly, how and why are you married to a raccoon?”
“Oh,” Fiddleford realized that Pacifica was unaware of his former beau. “It’s a long story, but I met this lovely lil’ lady sometime durin’ the summer, when we fought over the same strand of meat we found from the garbage.” Pacifica winced when Fiddleford brought up his days as a homeless hillbilly, scavenging the streets for any food he could come across. Fiddleford, however, was unfazed as he continued his story. “It was a quite the scuffle, but it ended when our mouths kissed accidentally!”
Pacifica raised her eyebrows at the sheer the absurdity of the story. “O-okay?”
“She started visitin’ me ever since an’ over time we became a couple. However the relationship started ta go downhill when I discovered that she only liked me whenever I brought food. She left me before Weirdmageddon started when she somehow escaped from the underground bunker. But it wasn’t until I moved in this here shed that she started visitin’ me again. Even though she was very feisty an’ didn’t return my affections, I didn’t have the heart ta leave her outside. So I took her in as my pet!”
Pacifica softly smiled when Fiddleford concluded his tale. At least they both have a happy ending.
Raccoon Wife hopped off of Fiddleford, landing on the ground with her tiny claws. She started circling around Pacifica and curiously sniffed the poor girl. The blonde began to feel uneasy at being inspected by the raccoon.
“Don’t worry Pacifica, I got her vaccinated at the vet a while back. So she’s clear of rabies an’ any other natural diseases,” Fiddleford assured her. “But I’ll keep her closer to me so that she doesn’t bother ya!” He scooped up the raccoon from the floor and gently placed her on the nearby couch.
“She’s relatively harmless,” Tate added.“The worst thing she can possibly do to you is use her claws to play with your hair.”
He placed his jacket on the coat rack. He swiftly took his blue hat off, wrung the excessive rain water from it and hung it up on a spare hook on the rack to dry. When he returned, Raccoon Wife jumped from Fiddleford’s hold and rushed towards the bait shop owner. Despite flinching backwards, Tate couldn’t stop the inevitable. Raccoon Wife clung to him, climbed towards the top of his head and proceeded to brush her claws through his bushy brown hair. Even though the animal did not have bad intentions, Tate was clearly uncomfortable with the critter messing with his hair. “Uh dad, a little help please...”
Fiddleford quickly came to his son’s aid and gently took the raccoon off of him. “Sorry ‘bout that Tate!” He sheepishly apologized.
Tate, however, was not upset at the raccoon’s antics and simply shrugged it off. “It’s alright dad, I’ll be fine. I’m just gonna grab my spare hat from the other room.
“Alrighty, Tater-Tot!” Fiddleford said. He looked over at Pacifica and gestured over towards the hallway. “Come, come! Lemme show you around!”
As they walked, Pacifica looked up at the walls of the main hall and the disturbing tapestry of Bill Cipher was no longer there. It was one of the few decorative pieces of furniture her parents hadn’t taken with them after selling the manor to Fiddleford.
“This way dear.” Fiddleford motioned for Pacifica, but he stopped speaking upon realizing what Pacifica was looking at, or what she could have been looking at. The bearded inventor remembered the annual Northwest Fest that took place in the manor earlier that year. He put on his ‘crazy old kook’ facade as not to attract any unwanted attention when he searched through the crowds for Dipper Pines. When he finally found the young boy, they ran off into a small alcove in the main hall where he tried to warn Dipper of the oncoming apocalypse. Unfortunately for Fiddleford, Dipper suggested that they discuss the matter on the following day and to enjoy the party. What the young Pines boy didn’t know then was the imminent danger of the portal’s reactivation and the great destruction it would bring upon the town. His threat was heightened by the ominous tapestry behind him of Bill’s reign of terror over Gravity Falls as its natives were begging for mercy.
Returning to the present, Fiddleford was well aware that the three-sided abomination was no longer a grievous threat to Gravity Falls, let alone the world. Seeing how shocked Pacifica was of the discarded wall decoration, the old codger decided to put her qualms to rest. “That tapestry of Bill was gone when I first moved in, along with other paraphernalia of that dang triangle so there’s no need ta worry."
Pacifica was speechless at Fiddleford. Perhaps Bill incited so much terror into her parents that even they didn’t want to be bothered with the demon’s presence any longer. She remembered how they brought all of their portraits, including those from the hidden room, along with them when they moved to their smaller home on the other side of town.
“So there’s no creepy art pieces around the house?” She worriedly asked.
“Nope! Not unless ya count one o’ my anime paintins’!” Fiddleford answered. “Come on Pacifica, I’ll give ya a quick tour around the shed before the meetin’!” He gently grabbed her hand and she allowed the old codger to lead the way.
“I’ve never seen the manor so lively,” Pacifica said to herself. Throughout her childhood, the vast halls of the manor felt cold with the strict attitudes of her overbearing parents and the unrealistic expectations that were thrust upon her. Now she felt a more welcoming aura to the mansion. The interior design reflected a more cozy, soothing atmosphere. The Rococo style furniture were gone, save for the chandelier, and were replaced with more rustic decor. Paintings of raccoons, beautiful countrysides and anime characters replaced the deceitful portraits of the Northwests’ ‘good deeds’. The library was cataloged with books about science, fishing, manga, and Dungeons, Dungeons, & More Dungeons manuals. The living room oozed with southern living, as there were a line of banjos at the ready, two spittoons, and two rocking chairs sitting close to the fireplace. Pacifica was amazed at Fiddleford’s efforts to transform the manor into a more inviting home.
Fiddleford and Pacifica reunited with Tate as they returned to the main hall. As the McGuckets led Pacifica up the staircase to the meeting room, the Northwest girl was curious to see what other changes Fiddleford had made to the manor.
When they arrived on the second floor, Pacifica she flinched and released a gasp upon seeing a dozen or so sentient disembodied hands leisurely crawling across the carpeted floor. She was still in shock as a white-haired woman with pale green skin wearing a long brown robe shuffle by. “Did my legion of hands scare you?” She asked, noticing how frightened Pacifica was.
“Yeah. I’m not gonna lie, even after surviving Weirdmageddon I’m still easily spooked,” Pacifica admitted.
“The Hand Witch understands…” The old lady nodded. She immediately snapped her fingers, prompting the disembodied hands to come to the frowning woman. “The Hand Witch demands that all of you apologize for startling this poor girl,” She commanded her minions. The hands jumped into the air, forming into a fist with the thumb extending over the index finger and rotated twice in clockwise motions.
“It’s alright,” Pacifica said, feeling slightly at ease. Though she was still unsure about the herd of hands surrounding the odd woman. She wasn’t sure if she was relieved when they didn’t talk the the Helping Hands from the movie Labyrinth, or in that made them more creepy as the scuttled along the floor.
“My army of hands are always running around the manor. Why, just last week they finished redesigning the topiaries out front!”
Pacifica looked at the elderly woman in awe, impressed that the creatures in Gravity Falls were filled with creativity.
“Howdy Hand Witch!” Fiddleford greeted with a pleasant smile. “So how are things wit you an’ Matt?”
“We’re doing great! We’re competing to become the power couple of Gravity Falls, though Sheriff Blubs and Deputy Durland are tough to beat.”
“Wait, who’s Matt?” Pacifica asked.
Before she received an answer, she heard a young male voice from across the hall. “Hey sweetheart,” An athletic young man with flowing brown hair arrived on the scene.
“Hiya babe!” The robed woman waved back, fluttering her eyelashes flirtily before walking towards him. The severed hands followed her lead. The bizarre homely lady walked up to her beefcake boyfriend and gave him a smooch.
“You guys ready for the meetin’?” Fiddleford asked.
“We sure are!” The Hand Witch answered, taking her boyfriend’s hand in to her own. Matt gazed at his beau with lovey-dovey eyes. “We’ll meet you inside!”
Pacifica followed the inventor as they exited the room and ventured down the hallway. Once they approached the end, she could tell that Fiddleford was bringing her to the fireplace room. Growing up, Pacifica spent countless times in that room receiving lessons from her father about the Northwest family tree. The girl learned from a young age that her ancestors were no saints as they would do anything from lying, cheating to straight-up murder to secure their power and reputation. But the lectures were not the only aspects of the room that haunted her.
From an early age, Pacifica was spooked out by the various animal-heads that decorated the walls. They all held an aimless gaze that never failed in unnerving the poor girl. It was almost as if the decapitated animal heads stared into her very soul. However, Pacifica never informed her parents of her distaste for the trophies, fearing that they would use the bell to dismiss her. But her phobia was brought to life during the ghost hunting expedition she and Dipper engaged in. She remembered the blood oozing from their orifices and staining the walls and carpet as they chanted in unison…
Ancient sins…Ancient sins…
Ancient sins… Ancient si-
“Ya alright darlin’?”
Pacifica blinked as Fiddleford’s concerned question summoned her right back to reality. The teen nervously bit on her lip, hesitating before giving a proper answer. “Y-yeah...Everything's fine.”
Fiddleford was able to detect the girl’s discomfort from her body language alone. “Well you don't hafta go in that room if ya don't wanna-”
“No!” Pacifica blurted.
There was a long pause. Her cheeks reddened once she realize how loud she shouted. She didn't want Fiddleford and Tate to worry over her anymore than they already had since she entered the manor. The last thing she wanted was to become a burden to them both. Especially since they needed her help in warding off the ghosts. Pacifica took a deep breath and sighed. “No...I do want to go inside.”
“Are you sure?” Tate asked with a bit of worry in his tone.
“I’m sure you two made some wonderful additions and I want to see them for myself.” Pacifica confidently replied.
Fiddleford smiled at Pacifica and nodded, heeding her response. “As long as yer comfortable Pacifica, that’s what matters the most.”
Pacifica took another deep breath and followed the father and son. “I’m not going to let myself be frightened of a room,” She told herself with fierce determination.
Right then and there, the two arrived at the doors of the fireplace room. Fiddleford turned the knob and slowly opened the door. He took a few steps, entering inside the room before turning around to face Pacifica. The girl silently nodded, assuring him that she is alright, and proceeded to walk into the room.
Fiddleford beamed when he saw Pacifica enter the room. “So this right here is the anime room!” He declared, extending his thin right arm to showcase the living area.
Pacifica’s jaw dropped when she laid her eyes on the former fireplace room. The myriad of animal trophies and furniture derived from animal corpses were nowhere to be found. Instead, two small purple couches and a few bean bag chairs circled near the fireplace. There was a large plasma screen TV hung above the heat source. Two shelves full of DVDs and video games stood nearby the fireplace. Pacifica also noted the number of detailed figures of mecha robots that decorated the shelves and window sills. In the back of the room there was a ping pong table and air hockey table. Overall, she was impressed with how Fiddleford transformed the once nightmare-fueled room into a place of relaxation and recreation.
The room was filled with many faces, both familiar and unrecognizable. There were some gnomes, the Hand Witch and Matt, an older looking man wearing a suit and bloomers with a woodpecker on his shoulder, and two greyish Dippers, one wearing a cowboy hat and another wearing a red beanie, casually chatting with each other. Pacifica’s eyes were immediately locked on the identical Pines boys. How could there be two Dippers in one place? Was there more than one Dipper?? And why did they look so short??? Pacifica had to find out.
“Dipper? There are two of you??” Pacifica asked in disbelief.
The two identical boys looked at each other and back at her. “No way, Dipper is our creator’s name.” The grey boy in the beanie explained. “My name is Tracy, and this is my pal Quattro.”
“How’s it goin’?” Quattro greeted, tipping up his cowboy hat. “And I don’t believe we met. So what’s your name?”
Pacifica felt almost insulted. Even if they were supposedly ‘created’ by Dipper, the idea that the boy she deeply cared for and thought about constantly had no idea who she was caused her heart to drop. It was almost as if he had forgot about everything they had been through together over the summer.
“I’m Pacifica Northwest.” She proudly stated in the hopes of masking her hurt feelings. “And how did Dipper create you two anyways?”
“Long story, so on the night of the dance at the Mystery Shack, our boy Dipper Classic needed some extra assistance to catch Wendy’s attention. So he created us using the copying machine and we all agreed to follow the instructions on the list, which included stealing Robbie’s bike. So Quattro and I decided that we should be the ones with Wendy, but after we returned to the shack, Dipper found us and was holding his soda, and we can not touch liquid, cause if we do, we melt! So we just ran away and we’ve been living in the forest, where we discovered some creatures and helped lost hikers find their way back into town. And after weeks of some soul-searching, we decided that getting together with Wendy wouldn’t be worth it anyways since she’s human and we’re sentient paper. We only stumbled across this place recently during one of our expeditions and Fiddleford opened his doors to us after learning of our condition.”
“Wow, that is a lot to unpack.” Pacifica admitted. So Dipper got into some wacky scheme involving paper clones shortly before they properly met during Pioneer Day. And these paper Dippers managed to survive out on their own despite the rainy weather and whatever weird elements in Gravity Falls. Perhaps they shared Dipper’s ingenuity and determination to explore the town’s eeriness.
“Oh, and I should introduce you to my kinda-sorta adopted son, Quentin Trembley!” Quattro stated, pointing over to the older gentleman who was inspecting one of the DVDs on the shelf.
The oddball politician opened up the DVD case and started licking it, trying to figure out what purpose the disc held.
Pacifica looked at the peculiar man. She remembered Dipper proudly informing her that her family legacy was a sham and that the real founder of Gravity Falls was a gentleman by the name of Quentin Trembley. She gawked at the weird man. “He’s not wearing any pants.”
“That’s his way of expressing himself I suppose.” Quattro said with pride.
“How did you find him?” She asked.
“Well, Tracy and I were strolling through the woods when we came across a pantless man trying to get his horse out from a ditch. The three of us got the horse out together, and he tagged along ever since. Apparently he was the founder of Gravity Falls and the 8th-and-a-half president. He also encased himself in peanut butter brittle to test out its life preserving qualities, and he was rescued by the Mystery Twins, which we could only assume to be Dipper Classic and Mabel.”
Pacifica continued to observe the odd fellow. Her own family robbed him of his rightful place in Gravity Falls history. She thought that she didn’t deserve to stand in the same room as him. But the kooky politician looked over at Pacifica and happily made his way over to her.
“Why hello, dear girl!” Quentin greeted. “I see you have met my surrogate parent. My name is Lord Sir Quentin S. Trembley The Third Esquire! Eighth-and-a-half president of these United States! And who might you be?”
“My name is Pacifica…” She started, glancing over to the side. “...Northwest...”
“Northwest...” The bearded fellow looked up, bringing his hand under his chin as he pondered. “that name certainly rings a bell...”
Pacifica shuddered at the common phrase. She was too afraid to look at the man her family deceived. The young Northwest was about to turn and walk away when she heard his hearty chuckle. “Oh that’s right! Nathaniel was our local waste shoveler! What a chipper fellow that Nathaniel Northwest!”
“No he wasn’t!” Pacifica shouted. “He was only named the official founder of Gravity Falls as part of a political cover-up, and he when he assumed power he didn’t deserve! Nathaniel made empty promises about opening up to the working class and took advantage of them during the construction of this very manor about a hundred and fifty years ago! He and the rest of my family were frauds! Fiends! Cheaters! And they erased your part in the town’s history to preserve their reputation. My family is the worst!!”
Pacifica breathed heavily after her verbal rant. If there was one thing she hated, it was her family’s heinous history and she felt awful for being associated with it. Before the end of the summer, she thrived off of what other people thought of her. But then she gained some humility through her interactions with the Pines twins, Weirdmageddon, her family losing the majority of their wealth, and her waitressing job at Greasy’s. She was working hard on becoming a better version of herself that she hardly cared about what other people thought about her. And if being associated with her horrid family earned her the contempt of the real founder of Gravity Falls, then so be it.
Quentin held a pensive expression on his face after listening to her tirade. He gazed at the girl for a moment before coming to his own conclusion. “Well, you don’t seem to be ‘the worst’.” Quentin argued. “Because Fiddleford told me how wonderful you are.”
Pacifica was dumbfounded. “Seriously?”
“The old chap was talking to me earlier about your accomplishments, dear girl! Peacefully stopping a vengeful ghost by opening the doors to the townsfolk during an exclusive party, taking care of the wounded during the apocalypse and taking part in stopping the horrific demon. Why, I don’t see how someone like that would be awful!”
Pacifica sadly smiled at the peculiar man. “You’re too nice to me...”
“Oh! How could I be so rude, I forgot to introduce my fourth wife, Elizabeth to you!” Quentin exclaimed, she showcased the woodpecker on his shoulder. “We met in a ditch and eloped on the outskirts of town!”
“And I’m going to be a grandfather!” Quattro cheered.
The doors to the room opened and two more people entered inside. Pacifica looked and immediately recognized Soos Ramirez, donned in his Mr. Mystery outfit. The maroon fez, black suit, red string bowtie, and the eight-ball cane. Pacifica was surprised at how well Soos could pull off Stan’s old look. The young Mr. Mystery was holding hands with a beautiful young woman wearing a green question mark shirt and jeans. She had a round happy face, full lips, and wavy light brown hair pulled in a loose ponytail. Pacifica remembered Soos mentioning his girlfriend during Dipper and Mabel’s thirteenth birthday party, and even called her up to mention his new position as manager of the Mystery Shack. The young mystery woman was very pretty from Pacifica’s perspective and she wondered how she and Soos got together.
Soos noticed Pacifica and happily made his way over to her. “Pacifica, how’ve you been dawg?” He pleasantly asked.
“I’ve been doing well.” She answered. “I’ve started public school for the first time and I also got a job over at Greasy’s Diner.”
“Dude, that’s awesome!” The amiable man cheered. “I wish I could swing by there more often, but Melody and I got our hands full working at the Mystery Shack!”
“And how’s business over at there?”
“Work at the Shack is everything I could have ever dreamed of and more!” Soos said cheerfully. “I get to run tours, create new television and online advertisements, and I’ve got more creative control over the creature exhibits at the museum! Melody and I are also working to turn the Shack into a haunted house-type attraction come October.”
“And I don’t believe we met.” Melody said as she walked up to Pacifica. “I’m Melody. I just moved here from Portland earlier this month, and I’m putting my business degree to good use at the Shack.” Her voice was smooth as silk. The young woman exuded a pleasant aura that Pacifica immediately liked.
“And I’m Pacifica Northwest, and I actually used to live here.” She stated.
“Really?” Melody asked with great intrigue. “When I first moved into town, Soos suggested that I board in McGucket’s place as opposed to scouting for an apartment. And Fiddleford was kind enough to let me have my own room for free.”
Pacifica was stunned to hear that Fiddleford allowed other people to stay in his home. Her mother and father would go crazy at the thought of sharing the manor with the ‘common folk’. But after living alone in the dump, Fiddleford must want some extra company to fill the vast mansion.
The teen smiled at Melody. “So you like it here?”
“I do!” The young woman answered. “Even though I’m used to the overall weirdness of this town, the manor took a bit longer to adjust because I never lived in a place as huge as this. I almost got lost during the first week, trying to my room!”
“Happens ta the best of us!” Fiddleford crowed. Pacifica and the others looked over at Fiddleford and Tate, who pulled out two long carts. A long, purple sheet was hiding something mysterious that Fiddleford was eager to show everyone. The colony of gnomes hurried inside and settled themselves with the others.
The old scientist walked in front of the carts and put on his green spectacles. “I wanna thank you all fer bein’ here. The past few days have been pretty hectic with all them spookems lurkin’ around the manor. But after some brainstormin’ an’ a couple of long nights in the lab, I managed to whip up some new weapons ta fight back against them ghosts.”
Fiddleford pulled the sheet to reveal a line of weapons. Two new and improved Ghost-Blasters, two pairs of boxing gloves, two banjos, two nets, a lasso, a trident, a work hammer, and a silver mirror. Pacifica and the others gasped at the line of artillery at their disposal.
“Many of the weapons I specialized to bust the ghosts.” Fiddleford explained. “Fer instance, I made some special adjustments ta everyday items that would cause physical damage ta the ghosts.”
“So, in that sense, you could like, punch a ghost or hit them and they’d take damage?” Soos inquired.
“Absolutely.” Fiddleford said. “I wrangled up one of them Glutton Ghosts with my homemade stew, an’ I did some experimentin’ on him an’ the weapons are guaranteed to work.”
Fiddleford showcased his new and improved Ghost-Blaster to the group. “I managed to make some adjustments ta the machine! At first I thought it would capturing ghosts would mean constructin’ my own particle accelerator, but then I noted that there were more aspects ta the machine. I added some more supernatural an’ spiritual elements, such as some leftover unicorn hair. An’ fer good measure, I added holy water inta the mix! In fact, all of the weapons were sprinkled with holy water, so I’m certain that these ghosts won’t stand a chance against us!” Fiddleford explained. The engineer was a man of science and a man of God and he was not afraid in combining the best of both worlds into his work.
“Go ahead an’ pick out whatever weapon catches yer fancy!” Fiddleford mentioned.
Pacifica carefully picked up the silver mirror. This was a different model from the one her parents owned, but she admired the object, thinking fondly of her first ghost adventure with Dipper. A little reminder of an overall positive memory. She looked up at Fiddleford, who gave her an encouraging thumbs up.
Quentin Trembley grabbed one of the boxing gloves, Tracy and Quattro retrieved the banjos. The Handwitch fancied herself with the lasso and her beau grabbed a pair of boxing gloves. The gnomes worked together to collect the two nets from the carts.
When Soos arrived at the table he immediately grabbed the toolbox. Opening it up, he gazed in awe at the hammer gleaming at him. “My inner handyman is content!”
Melody picked up the trident and admired its design. “I like what I see. I can skewer these ghosts like how I skewered meat in my old job at Meat Cute.” Soos looked over at his girlfriend in deep admiration, falling in love with her even more.
Fiddleford looked over at son, seeing that he wasn’t picking up the Ghost-Blaster that was tailor-made for him.
“Ya sure ya don’t wanna specialized ghost weapon Tate?” Fiddleford asked.
“Yep, I’m sure.” He humbly replied. “I’ve got two spray bottles filled with holy water in my room.”
“Alrighty, now that everyone’s armed with the appropriate tools, I’ve got the plan laid out.” Fiddleford took out his whiteboard, showcasing a giant illustration of the dining room table filled with food. “I set up a huge buffet for the glutton ghosts. When they arrive on the scene, then we attack. Now don’t hesitate ta use yer weapons on the ghosts, since they’re designed ta eliminate the ghosts entirely. An’ you can trust me on this, I quintuple checked!”
The group looked at the older man as he continued his speech. “Now, does anyone have any questions?”
Soos shot his hand up in the air. “Two questions: First off, do you have extra time to build some gun-swords? I feel like they would work to our advantage.”
Fiddleford shook his head and sighed. “I hate ta disappoint ya Soos, but I couldn’t build a proper gun-sword that would function in the case of a ghost emergency.”
Soos understood. “Fair enough. And as another aside, do you think we should have an awesome team name?”
Fiddleford smiled. “I think that’s a great idea!” He flipped over the whiteboard and uncapped his dry erase marker. “Now, I’m open ta any suggestions-”
But the old man’s enthusiastic smile disappeared when he and the others heard a large commotion coming from downstairs. The cacaphony of cackles and slurping only meant that the trap to lure in the glutton ghosts was working. Now step two of the plan needed to be set in motion. Everyone gathered their newly acquired weapons. Fiddleford dropped what he was doing and immediately went over to the cart. He quickly put on his Ghost-Blaster and fired up his paranormal device.
“Welp, time ta bust some ghosts!”
I had a lot of fun writing this chapter and I hope that you had a lot of fun reading. There were some characters I had fun writing, especially the Hand Witch and Quentin Trembley, both of whom I like a lot and I wish they had more appearances in the show. I decided to take a more laid-back approach with Tracy and Quattro (Dipper Clone 3 and Dipper Clone 4), who were supposed to be plotting their revenge, but I always had this headcanon that they would develop their own identities. I also loved writing Tate, as a sort of straight man to Fiddleford’s eccentricities, and is more insightful than he lets on. Plus I wanted to indulge in my thoughts of what Fiddleford would do with the manor and how it contrasts with how the Northwests used their living space.
I’m currently working on the next chapter, which I hope to put up soon. Thank you for reading!