The day had started… well maybe not good exactly, nothing was ever truly good these days, but the day had started out pretty decent.
Decent because Ford had woken up with the worst backache he’d ever had (you’re getting old Stanford), but when he finally got out of bed there had been amazing pancakes waiting in the kitchen. Decent because they’d almost ran out of toilet paper this morning but Mabel had managed to convince her brother to pop by the store and buy some more. Decent because Willow had had to stop playing outside with her siblings because she got to out of breath, but had seemingly had a good time helping Ford review the pictures from his latest travels (´´Is that a bigfoot? Cool!´´). Decent because, while it stressed him out to be in a house full of so many people, Ford loved visiting his family and it was obvious that they felt the same way.
Okay, so maybe the day had been pretty good after all. Which was exactly why upon finding his nephew standing completely rigid in the hallway clutching onto the wall so hard that his claws dug holes into the wood, Ford didn’t even hesitate before walking up behind him, putting a gentle hand on his shoulder to check if he was okay. Which turned out to be a really bad idea when Dipper suddenly flinched and the next second they were both standing in the middle of a dimly lit room surrounded by a bunch of people in long robes chanting ominously.
Dipper recovered quickly, launching into his standard prepared demon spiel almost immediately, but Ford just stood there frozen. This couldn’t actually be happening right now, there was no way! Please, could someone just come and wake him up so he could see that this was all just a nightmare and Ford hadn’t actually been summoned just now because that was a demon thing and demon means bad, demon means danger, demon means-
´´-eternal youth and wealth for me and my brothers. In exchange we offer you these beautiful plump children-´´ the man speaking gestured towards the corned of the room where two small girls laid on the ground shaking with their mouths gagged and their hands tied behind their backs oh please no ´´-to do with as you whish.´´
Ford could see Dipper, who still had his back turned to him, turn his head towards the corner where the children lay and letting his gaze linger there for an uncomfortably long time.
He’s examining his prey a small voice in the back of Fords mind whispered. He’ll kill them, he’ll kill them and then he’ll kill you and-
´´Ete͘rnal̨ y͏outh ҉and węalt̵h ͡you̶ s̛a͡y͏?̧´´ Dipper snapped his head back to look at his summoner
´´Ve̵ry͜ ̨w̵e̡ll, le͏t̶’s se̢al͟ ̛the d͜e҉a͘l͡ ͢the̵n̢.´´
´´…no´´ everyone’s heads turned to look at Stanford, Dipper twisting his all the way around to stare in shock at his uncle, fuck Ford hadn’t meant to say that out loud.
´´Who are you?´´ the hooded man asked with clear disgust in his voice, ´´We only asked for Alcor to come, not-´´
´´- He̷’̨s w͢i̛th ͡me´´ the room fell silent
´´oh´´ the man said ´´My… deepest apologies then, I just assumed-´´
´´ - M̕a͏yb̡e͘ ̸yo̴u͟ shouldn't̕ ąssume ̧things?´´
´´…no, evidently not.´´
´´ S̛h̷al̶l͞ we̷ c͜o̕n̸t͟i͞nu҉e?´´ Dipper asked, turning back to facing the man and holding out his hand.
´´Wait!´´ everyone looked over at Ford again, seemingly more annoyed this time.
´´What?´´ the man hissed
´´Don’t do this! You’ll just regret it later!´´ Dipper shot his uncle an annoyed look, but Ford continued ´´Just let the children go and this can all be over, but whatever you do, do not shake hands with that demon!´´
´´ St̸anf͝o͡r̨d̴ be̶ q͘ui̧et,´´
´´No, I will not be quiet. What you are about to do is wrong and I can’t just stand here watching-´´
´´-J͢u̵st S͘H̸̛U͟͠T̶ ͢͝U͡P͡!͝´´ Ford involuntarily flinched and stepped back, unwanted memories of a different demon lashing out (burning him, mocking him, torturing him for information
´´Iͩͧͣͣ̑̈’̓̍̄̆ͯ͛ͧl̈l̊ ̂̇m̄̔̉͊͆a̋̄k͗̂e̐͛̎̒ͪ ̒ͯ̊̄yͧͭͩͭ͗̿o͆̈́ͣ́̃û̓ͦ͐ ̎t͂̽͐a̐̓̃ͫ̾̒̉l̃k̀̍ͣ͂,ͪ̿ͤ̋ ͥ̃ͤͮi̓ͫͧt̅͑ͦͥ’ͭ̇s̈́̄̇ͩ̓ ͊͆͆̌̃̆ͧo͗̓̈́̐͛ͤn̍ͯͬͫ̋ͭ͆l̽̑yͧ̂̋̌ ̿ͫa ͛͆ͮ͆̌͛͛m̽̚aͨͨ̔̔̇̃tteͣr̂ͮ͆̊̊ͫ ͩ͋͑ȏf̏̌̓̆̌͆ ͐͛ͥ̀͑̐̆t̂͗ͩͭȋ̿ͬ͛͂m̔͛ͩ̐̚ë̂̃̊̇ͮ̐.ͣ̅̀ͭͫ̾ͬ.̀̏̿.͑ͯͮ´´) filled his brain. Alcor kept his gaze lingering on Ford for a second, most likely considering whether or not he should kill him before or after the children in the corner, before letting out a heavy sigh and once again turning his attention back towards his summoner. The demon held out his hand and the man shook it without hesitation, having seemingly not heard or not cared about Ford’s warning. For just a few seconds their hands burst ablaze, before the fire quickly spread to consume the mans whole body as well as the bodies of those there with him. The people screamed, Ford screamed, the children screamed, and then everything fell silent as the flames burned out leaving behind a… a…
´´WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO ME?!´´
´´Wha̵t? ̸Isn͢’t th͞is w͜hat͏ ̕y̢ou҉ ̶a͝s͏k̡e͞d ͠f̴or?̧´´
´´NO, ABSOLUTELY NOT! YOU’VE GOT TO BE JOKING!´´
´´Wh҉aţ do ͘y̵ou m͏e͢a̕n̷?͞ D̨o ̨you͢ th̸i͡nk ̸I͠’̕m… ki̡d-di͝ng?͢!´´ the man-turned-boy, probably around the age of 8 or 9 if Ford had to guess, stomped his foot in frustration.
´´CHANGE ME BACK!´´ he demanded, pointing his finger accusingly at the demon in front of him
´´aaw ͟c̢om͝e͞ ͠o҉n͡, ̛chi̷l̕d͢ ou̢t͞ ̕d̨ud͝e͝.̛ ͠I̷t͢ c҉ould ͞ha͢vȩ be̶e͟n ̷wa̸y ̷wo̵r͘se̕ ̕you͡ kn͟ow͢, b͏ei͢ng̡ st̨uc̵k as̵ a ̡pret̸e͡e̴n͡ ̧is͏n’t͜ ̡t͟h҉ąt͝ ͢b̸ad̸!̧´´
´´YES IT IS! IT ABSOLUTELY IS!´´
´´What about our money?´´ another of the newly turned children piped up ´´Didn’t you promise that we would get eternal wealth?´´
´´o̕h yeah, ͏t̸hat͢-̛´´ Alcor said as he exited the circle and walked over to the corner of the room where the two girls laid ´´-͡ I pu̡t̸ i͞t̴ ̕in̸ a̵ ̶jo͢i̵n͠ed ba͝ņk acc̛ou̵n̢t, you͜ c̴an͘ ͠g͝o ̕get ̛i̵t w͟he̵n ҉y̶ou’҉re o̢ld͝ȩr,´´ He put his hand under his chin and paused ´´E͡x̷ce҉pt̷ ̸yo͢u c̡an’̶t, ca͏use ͞you’r̛e not̶ ge̕t͢t̴in͝g ̕an̡y ̢o͢l̢de̸r.̶ Heh,̧ suc͠k̴s ̸t̴o ̕b̢e y͝ou I͢ ͞gue҉s͠s´´ the demon bent down and started to carefully untie the ropes binding the two girls ´´Hey, i̕t͢’͟s alr̸ig̶ht̛ s͠w̨e̶e͜thea̷r̸ts, y͠o̵u͜’ll ̛b̷e͠ ̶fr̵e̡ȩ ̵so͠on҉,´´
´´TURN US BACK!´´
´´uh-u͏h̸,̴ ͜no ̕c̷aņ ͞do. I̕ hǫp̛e͝ th̨i̡s҉ d҉ǫes̨n̡’͜t ͘ma͢ke ҉y͡ou͜ t͘h̨i͡n͟k̸ ļi͡tţle o̶f ̡me͜!´´
´´YOU’RE A MONSTER!´´
´´T̛ḩank̛ ͝yo̕u, ̡I ̶tr͝y̶!´´ one of the girls let out a choked sounds that might have been either a laugh or a sob. Dipper gently picked the two children up and wrapped his wings around them protectively as the atmosphere in the room suddenly darkened ´´A̢l҉thoug͏h̸ gi̡vęn t͘h̵e̛ circu͜mst̨a͟n҉c͏es, I̢ ͝thi̡nk ̴y͘ou̶’l̵l fin̵ḑ t͘h͢at̴ ̷I’vȩ ҉b̕een̴ ̸a l̛o͘t̷ l͡e̸s̨s͝ m͟o͠n̴str͟ou͢s ̧th̨an I͢ co͝uld ̸h̢a͘vę,̷´´ Ford swallowed, ´´W̸ell͏,̵ a̸nyw̷ay,͠ I͜ ̶n͢ee͡d ͞to̡ ͟get th̢e͢se l͢ov҉ęly͡ gir͢l̵s͏ hom҉e ͜now̕-´´ Dipper said cheerily as he walked back over to Ford and put a hand on his shoulder, looking back at the children in the room one last time ´´-bu̡t͘ ̕m̕aybe I͟’͠ll ͞s͞ee y̨ou a̷round,͢ ͢i͠t’͠s͏ a͝ smal͟l ̧w̴o҉r̶ld͠ ͏aft̢ȩr al͜l̛.͠ Bye!´´ and with that, the Pines left the room, first stopping by the two girls house to drop them of in the arms of their relieved and slightly terrified mother, before going back to rejoin their own family at the library.
´´Sorry about that gruncle Ford,´´ Dipper said, voice now free from any reverb, as soon as they appeared back in the hallway ´´I didn’t mean to take you with me, I just got startled and-´´ Ford smiled fondly and put a hand on his nephews shoulder,
´´Don’t worry about it my boy it was an accident, I get that. I think you handled yourself very well today,´´
´´Yes really´´ suddenly feeling guilty at the thought his brain had produced earlier in regards to his nephew he added ´´I’m really proud of you my boy!´´ Dipper beamed at him ´´Now what do you say we head down to the basement, I have a few new fur-samples that I’ve collected and have yet to study, care to help me?´´
´´Of course!´´ Dipper exclaimed, already heading in the direction of the basement ´´The day’s still young, let’s go!´´
´´One condition thought´´ confused, Dipper stopped dead in his tracks
´´No more horrible puns! In fact, I’d say that was probably the worst part of those boys… pun-ishment!´´