Techivita’s Note: Recently I tried doing a 30-day writing challenge with my fellow writers and we never got to finish the challenge in time. So now I'll be posting my portions of the challenge as small short stories/poems. This is Day 1's challenge in which the story had to begin with the words "I thought I saw something..." and I based this prompt on the TV Show "Gravity Falls". Enjoy!
I Thought I Saw Something
Written by Techivita
“I thought I saw something.” Dipper whispered in alarm to Mabel as he searched frantically for the culprit. Mabel kept her grappling hook close to her chest. Her trigger finger ready to fire upon any moving target. The night sky loomed over them as they waited in silence. Dipper hadn’t expected a humanoid looking creature to be cause of the paranormal disturbances, but then again Gravity Falls was a weird place.
According to the townsfolk, gnomes, fairies and ghosts have been seen more frequently in the outskirts of town. Yet, normal animals seemed to be fleeing from the area in masses. Of course no one talked about this in public, but there were still a lot of rumors floating around. Most people suspected that deforestation was the cause of the mass migration, but Dipper and Mabel weren’t ‘most people’.
So once Grunkle Stan had gone to bed, Mabel and Dipper ventured off to solve the mystery of the woods. They asked some of the paranormal creatures why they were moving closer to the town, but most of them responded that there was a ‘bad energy’ deeper into the woods. However, one gnome had stated that they saw a human lurking near the center of the forest and setting fire to the trees. With newfound information, the twins trekked on in search for the arsonist.
“Maybe for once it’s not something supernatural.” Mabel suggested as they walked the overgrowth filled path.
“When has it ever not been something supernatural?” Dipper quipped as he followed Mabel. The trek was long and slow, filled with nothing but the sounds of the occasional cricket and silence. He reached inside of his jacket for his journal but stopped himself, remembering his prized journal was now gone.
Dipper felt odd without Great Uncle Ford’s third journal. It used to be his ultimate guidebook of the paranormal, before Bill Cipher burned all the journals during Weirdmaggedon. Without it, a part of him felt missing. He wished he could flip through the pages and try to find any information of humanoid-paranormal arsonists. But unfortunately now those pages are unreadable ashes.
“What?!” Mabel exclaimed in shock. Dipper looked up towards the horizon. Instead of finding more trees there was only blue fire and ashes. Smoke filled the air as acres of trees crumbled to the ground by the unearthly wildfire. Most of the fire had already dissipated, but some of it still clung desperately to the ground and to the few, standing charcoal trees. It was if the fire was trying to keep itself alive.
“What happened?” Dipper questioned, crouching down to sift through the ashes. At least 5 acres of trees were now turned to dust! He questioned how much carbon dioxide this fire must have released into the atmosphere, when Mabel’s voice shattered his thoughts.
“Wait! There’s something over there!” Mabel exclaimed, sprinting past Dipper towards the unknown object.
“Mabel! Wait!” Dipper shouted into the distance. He rushed to his feet, immediately feeling dizzy from his shift in position. Once his head cleared, he bounded towards Mabel.
He kicked up the ash filled dirt as he sped across the landscape. What if the thing that burned the trees got to Mabel? Those thoughts pushed him onward as smoke filled his lungs. After running for what seemed like forever, Dipper caught up to Mabel as she gazed at the ground before her.
“It’s just a statue.” Mabel replied, sad that it wasn’t the culprit or clues leading to whoever burned down the forest. On the ground was an ash pile with a stone cylinder sticking out of it. The statue seemed untouched by the fire.
“Wait,” Dipper said, as he walked towards the statue and bent down to get a closer look at it. He wiped away some of the ash to reveal that the stone cylinder was actually a stone top hat. “Help me dig this out.”
The twins buried their hands into the ember, slowly digging out the statue. The top hat revealed to be connected to a stone triangle with a large eye and bow tie.
“Cipher.” The twins gasped in unison. They removed the statue out of the ground and stepped back to see their dug haul. It was no more than three feet in height, the top hat accounting for one of those three feet. The triangle had gold carvings to make it seem as if it was made of stone bricks with a gold filling.
“He can’t be alive! He was erased by Grunkle Stan’s mind!” Dipper shouted. He stomped angrily on the ground, confused about what was going on. He raised his foot to kick the statue, but before he could a voice behind the twins stopped him.
“I don’t think you’d want to ruin a perfect image of me.” the voice chuckled.
The twins slowly turned around to face the source of the voice. Instead of finding a floating, one-eyed dorito with doodley arms; a tall, lanky man stood before them. The man wore a yellow vest embroidered with gold thread in a brick wall pattern. Underneath he wore a simple white dress shirt that was neatly buttoned with gold triangles. He wore dress pants and gold buckled dress shoes. His head adorned a tall top hat and he clutched onto a gold and black cane. A man like him shouldn’t have been anywhere near a forest fire. Yet, this was no man.
“Bill?” the twins questioned.
“The one and the same!” Bill Cipher exclaimed. “Come to find my tombstone?”
“You can’t be back, you’re dead.” Mabel shouted, pointing her grappling hook at Bill as the twins slowly backed away.
“I can’t really die Shooting Star.” Bill explained, “You’re little stunt was annoying for sure, but it definitely didn’t kill me.”
“Why did you burn the forest down?” Dipper asked.
“Oh Pine Tree. Always asking the dumb questions.” Bill scoffed, “For fun of course! I’m back! And I have a physical human body too! Its always fun to celebrate with a little bonfire!”
“Whatever you’re trying to do, we’ll stop you!” Mabel proclaimed, pulling the trigger on her grappling hook. The hook shot forward towards its mark, but it stopped short as Bill created a shield for himself.
“Heh. You can try kid.” Bill chuckled, waiting for the hook to crash to the ground before taking down his shield. “Although I’d love to cause another apocalypse, I don’t think this form would be able to withstand it.”
“So this isn’t Weirdmageddon 2.0.” Dipper questioned.
“Not yet.” Bill replied, grinning as he did so. They stared at each other for a long while, waiting for the other to make their move. Yet no one took that chance. After a while of silence, Bill spoke.
“Well, this was a wonderful reunion and all, but I’m a demon who has places to go and people’s lives to destroy.” He twirled his cane, kicking up dust from the ash filled ground. “See ya around Pine Tree. Shooting Star.”
He winked at the two of them and vanished with blue flames. The twins stood silently in shock. The sun peeked its head above the horizon, signaling the start of the day. Bill Cipher was back, and the mystery twins will be the ones to banish him to the Mindscape once and for all.