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The Troublesome Ghost is the first story featured in Grim Tales: Rebirth. It focuses on Inferno McLain, a ghost boy who is on a quest to discover himself and find his place in the Underworld.

The Ghost Zone, a dimension of the Underworld which is ruled by an iron-fisted warden known as Walker, who operates a ghost prison. Referred to in most cases as the realm of the dead. Where the boundary lines that separate the world of the dead and the realm of the living are parted by the thinnest of threads and where the laws of time fall in and out of alignment. Between the many doors in this giant realm there lives a teenage boy by the name Inferno McLain.

Skulker's Island, a more recognizable place in the Ghost Zone, and one few people only dare to enter. On this island is a house where Skulker, Ember and Inferno live. A highly dysfunctional family to say the least. Skulker is a bounty hunter who gets hired by people who pay him well and in his free time likes to collect rare species and place them on his island. Ember on the other hand holds concerts in the Underworld and often goes out with the other girls in the Ghost Zone, still feeling like she is young.

Our story follows Inferno, who as one could figure out, is the son of Skulker and Ember. An energetic young boy with blue flaming hair, a pale skin and green eyes. Underneath his eyes are two thick pointy stripes. He wears an outfit similar to his father, adjusted for himself. Like always he was just floating around in the Underworld, where he was up to no good yet again.

In his hand was a little bag filled with ghost poo, he floated towards a door where he placed the poo and set it on fire with his pyrokinesis. He quickly knocked on the door and fled the scene, hiding somewhere behind a door. Nicolai Technus opened the door. He looked around but saw no one, he noticed the flame in front of his door and quickly put it out with his foot, only to discover that he stepped in the dog shit.

“Who dares to pull this kind of immature trick on me… Technus!?” he said in his annoying shouting-like voice. Inferno appeared from behind the door and laughed at Technus. The nerdy ghost knew who his parents were so he decided not to attack him, he didn’t want to have a fight with that deadly couple. As Technus returned back into his house, Inferno still was rolling on in the air laughing.

“Ow that face!” he laughed. “Priceless.” he stopped laughing and stood up. “It is always fun to trick Technus. So who will be my next victim? Johnny 13, I can stab his tires. Or maybe catch a veggie monster and give it to Lunch Lady. Or wait… what if I steal Youngblood’s favorite toy!” Inferno chuckled at the thought of it. Two shadows appeared behind him, looming down over Inferno, who still didn't notice someone was behind him.

“I think you have to delay those plans, because you are going to jail.” Inferno looked behind him and saw two cops there. “Ow man, not again. I don’t want to struggle so I just will step into the car.” Inferno said disappointed as he stepped in the white car, secured with metal bars that prevent any ghost from escaping. As always the white car brought him to the most secured prison in the Underworld, The Walker's Prison. Inferno got out of the car, with both of his hands chuckled in ectoplasm cuffs. Inferno walked towards the entrance where Walker was awaiting him.

"What did I do this time?" Inferno asked, rolling his eyes. The guards left him alone with Walker who was standing with his arms crossed in front of Inferno looking down at him with a judgmental look on his face.

"Destroying property." Walked spoke. "Someone reported seeing you destroying property of him. But I guess you probably already know all about it." he sighed. The tall white man said. He guided Inferno into the prison and walked along with him. “Guess I have to call one of your parents again. Do you think anyone is at your home?” he asked.

Inferno was silent for a moment. “Mom might be at home. But she could also be going out with Kitty and Penelope. But I do know she doesn’t have a concert today.” Inferno said, notably with less excitement and carelessness in his voice as a few moments before. Walker sighed and the sat down at a table nearby.

“Do you like it at home?” Walker asked concerned. “I have arrested you quite a few times now. And every time you are alone. And when bring up your parents, your smile also immediately fades away.”

Inferno didn’t respond and hanged with his head down, looking at the table. Walked patiently waited for Inferno’s response, but after some time decided to continue. “Do you even spend time with your parents?” he asked.

“Not really…” Inferno said, still looking down. Not wanting to make eye contact with the only person who seemed to care for him. He stayed quiet. Walker turned around ready to grab the phone until Inferno spoke up again.

“I just feel alone at home, that’s why I always go out and prank everyone. It is the only thing I can entertain myself with.”

Walked nodded. “I understand. Do you mind if I use this information in a conversation with your parents?” Walker asked. He saw that Inferno was hesitating to agree with this.

“Go ahead. There isn’t much that can change my situation at home.” he said careless.

“Well then.” Walker stood up. “I will try to reach your parents now and have a conversation with them. Then you can leave with, or without them.” he said and left the table. “Those two really need to learn what a kid needs, certainly at this age.” Walker said while walking away. Inferno rested his head on his arms. “Stupid parents. Never will I become like them.” he promised himself.

“Yeah, I know what a trouble adults can be. Certainly parents. That’s why I decide to just stay young.” a voice said behind Inferno.

Inferno looked over his shoulder. “Oh it’s you.” he said and saw Youngblood floating behind him, quickly taking a seat next to Inferno. “What do you want Youngblood?”

“Oh nothing. Maybe we can team up together, play. I can get rid of your parents if you want me to. I once teamed up with your mother, before you were born.” Youngblood told.

Inferno looked shocked. “You were born before me? And you worked with my mom, how it that possible?” he asked. “Well I also worked with your dad. But I’m very old, I just don’t want to age anymore so I don’t. I also died when I was a kid.”

“What happened?” Inferno asked, the first time he was actually interested in Youngblood, or someone for that matter. “My parents used to beat me, and lock me up. When I was being teased at school for dressing up, my teacher also ignored that. It’s like no one cared about me.” when Youngblood said those last words, it reminded that of his own situation. “One time my dad pushed me so hard that I landed with my head on the table, and hit my temple, which caused an instant death.”

Inferno looked surprised. What a cruel way to die. However his mom once told him how she died, which also wasn’t fun. Inferno could call himself lucky to be born in this realm, instead of coming here from Earth. He also wondered what Walker was in the past though.

“But to get back on the topic. Want to get away with me from here?” Youngblood asked with a smile on his face. Inferno looked dubious but eventually agreed by nodding. He actually should have stayed, Walker was going to talk with his parents, he was going to help him. And yet he ignored Walker’s rules and his ways to help him.

“C’mon.” Youngblood motioned Inferno to come over to him. Youngblood was standing at the prison wall, apparently waiting for someone. When Inferno caught up with Youngblood he saw something above them. It was a skeleton bird, but in the air transformed into the a skeleton Pterosaur. The skeleton dinosaur landed on the ground. He cut the bands that prevented the boys from going out with its beak. “Hop on.” Youngblood said, and Inferno quickly hopped on the beasts back. They flew out of the prison. Inferno looked down at the prison, kind off regretting what he just had done. Somewhere on an abandoned platform the Pterosaur landed and the boys got off. Inferno looked around confused. “Where are we?” he asked.

Youngblood took a few steps backwards, and the dinosaur transformed back into a skeleton bird which landed on Youngblood’s shoulder. In no time he suddenly was surrounded by various ghosts. Aside from Youngblood there were; Technus, Desiree, Box Ghost and Klemper.

“What are they doing here?” Inferno said worried. Constantly turning around to see if no one was attacking him already.

“Isn’t it obvious? We are here to get revenge on you.” Technus said in his shouting voice. “For all those pranks you pulled on us.” Box Ghost added.

“This time there will be no wishes granted.” Desiree said with a rather seductive, yet killing, smile on her face. “I don’t like it if you melt my bed. It makes me sad.” Klemper said in a sad voice.

Inferno understood what they were saying. But by beating him up there wouldn’t change anything. Also, he couldn’t believe Youngblood betrayed him, stupid kid. “Sorry for pulling those pranks, but is this really the solution?” he asked worried.

“Yes. Then you won’t prank us again.” Youngblood said. Inferno turned around to Youngblood thinking he was going to attack him first. But then he got hit in the back by the giant first of Desiree, which she made with her spectral body manipulation powers. As Inferno was flying through the air, Technus slammed his with a lightning rod, followed by Youngblood who slashed him with his hook and Box Ghost who send a barrage of boxes against his head. Klemper then froze his boy in the middle of the circle. The five approached Inferno, with the intention to continue their beating.

Inferno closed his eyes and unleashed fire from his armor, melting the ice. Inferno unleashed a fury of fire around his body which hit the five other ghosts around him. A blaster then appeared out of his battlesuit and he shot at Desiree knocking her out. The Box Ghost and Klemper then stormed at him and held both of his arms up, making it impossible for him to escape. Inferno struggled to get out but couldn't. The others gathered around him ready to beat him up. With his blaster he shot at Box Ghost and with the other hand he created a ball of fire which he fired at Klemper. Technus stormed at Inferno again with his lightning rod but was parried with a chain that Inferno grabbed. He latched onto Technus' arm and tossed him away. He then rushed to Youngblood and pointed his blaster at him.

“Please Inferno, don’t do this. I’m sorry.” Inferno saw that Youngblood was very afraid, so he decided to let him go. “Don’t ever try to trick me again, I’m the one who does the tricks around here.” Inferno said and turned around. However as he walked away Youngblood transforms his hook into a slingshot that he uses to shoot red ecto-energy balls with a skull on it. It hits Inferno in the back, giving the others enough time to recover and gang up on Inferno once again. This time Inferno doesn't have the upper hand and is ready to get beaten up by the ghosts.

"Stop it. All of you. Unless you want to end up in prison." the deep voice of Walker spoke.

Walker saw Inferno being attacked by the group of ghosts and quickly headed towards them. Once he approached and began to speak the gang of ghosts who quickly fled the scene, except for Youngblood. Walker cuffed Youngblood. "You're being arrested for freeing an inmate of my prison." he looked at Inferno and sighed. "Follow me as well Inferno. Your parents are waiting at the prison."

Inferno looked down and sighed. He did as Walker said and followed him to the prison. Youngblood was handed over to the prison guards and was placed in his cell. Inferno took a seat in the interrogation room along with his parents and Walker. It was silent for a few moments. Walker was standing in the room with his arms crossed and an obviously disappointed look on his face. Whether he was at Inferno, the parents, or both was unknown.

“Sorry.” Inferno said, and also looked into the eyes of his parents. Ember stood up and walked towards Inferno.

“Is it really true what Walker told us?” she said with a caring voice. “Do you really have the feeling that you are left alone by us?” she asked concerned. Inferno only nodded, not wanting to speak at this moment. “I know your dad is always out hunting, but that is just his job. We have to do something for a living. And we always eat dinner together.”

"Yeah... but..." Inferno was interrupted by his father.

"Look son. I am a very busy man, I mean I love you and I really want to spend time with you. But I just got my hands full with work, I have to provide for you and your mother." Skulker said.

“But why do I always get the feeling of being alone? We never get to do something!” Inferno said, raising his voice a little. “And at dinner, we barely speak. Sometimes you talk about your hunts, but nobody ever asks how my day was. Like if you’re ashamed of the things I do!” Ember had taken a few steps back, so she wouldn’t get shouted to in the face.

“So that is why you started pulling all these tricks and pranks? So you would get to see your parents more often?” Walker asked.

“Basically…yes.” Inferno said, now with his voice as calm as earlier.

Ember petted Inferno on his blue flamed hair. “Don’t worry. What if we go to an amusement park tomorrow? Would that make you happy?”

“Are you just saying this because you have to?” Inferno asked not believing his mother.

“I'm saying this because I want to spend time with you.” Ember said with glassy eyes, actually a bit hurt from the response of her son. “We are going there tomorrow.” she said and hugged her son. “Don’t forget that I love you.” she said, still hugging, as a tear crawled over her cheek.

Walker interrupted. "I guess this is settled then." he motioned the three to leave the room. "I will excuse Inferno this one time, but just because I want him to go on that trip tomorrow. But do consider this as a warning young man."

"I'm sorry Walker... and thank you." he replied, getting a somewhat caring smile back from the warden. The three departed the prison and Walker saw them off.

"Hopefully they will keep this promise.”

The three returned home and Ember immediately went into the kitchen to cook dinner while Skulker sat on the couch watching television, Inferno joining him, although being completely uninterested in what he was watching. The ate and tried to start a conversation, but the tension was very awkward. Skulker told about the moose with electric horns he skinned today and Ember about the latest gossips, which didn’t really interested Skulker or Inferno. After dinner was finished Inferno headed upstairs, saying he was going to get some more rest.

After some time he headed downstairs, initially to get something to drink, but heard his parents talking in the kitchen.

“I really don’t want to go to that amusement park.” Skulker said. “I have many other important things to do. Why don’t you go with him alone?” he suggested.

“That is not how a family trip should be. You must come with us too. I rather go out with the girls too, but I do want to spend some time with my son too. Inferno is really important for me, and I hope he also is that important for you too. Or is your hunting more important!?” Ember almost shouted. Skulker didn’t respond.

“I see how it is. You only care about yourself. The lousy hunter.” Ember said and stood up from her chair. “Don’t call me that. I do this for our family! I make the money here, so don’t talk to me like that!” Skulker shouted.

“Is it really all about money?” Ember questioned. “Or are you having another relationship with someone?” she said. Skulker looked shocked. “Yeah I know about it. You shouldn’t tell those things to Johnny. You really don’t know that guy wouldn’t tell it to Kitty?”

“I’ll kill him.” Skulker mumbled.

“I know all about your relationship with, what was her name, Carrie.”

“That isn’t serious Ember. Carrie is just some emo freak, you’re the one I like.” Skulker tried to talk himself out of it. Inferno already had enough of all this so he went upstairs. His hopes of going to the amusement park tomorrow already were crushed. He then turned invisible and flew out of his room.

After having left his house he started to wander around in the Ghost Zone. Nobody was around, almost everyone was already in their door. Inferno also didn’t feel like going to Walker, as he would only disappoint him. Inferno sighed.

“Hey kid!” a manly voice said from Inferno’s side. He saw a tall muscular guy. He had a green skin, pointy ears and white hair, with a ponytail. He was wearing a black and white jumpsuit too, with a capital D on his chest, and a white cape. “How are you doing?” he said kneeling down next to him.

Inferno sighed. “Bad.”

“Why is that? Something happened?” he asked.

"It's nothing for a stranger to worry about." Inferno said shrugging it off. He was surprised that the ghost didn't know who he was, but at the some time that also creeped him out.

"Well, let me introduce myself then. The name is Dan Phantom. I... haven't seen you here when I last have been here, what is your name flameboy?"

"Inferno McLain." he replied.

"Are you perhaps... the son of Ember and Skulker? Or aren't they together anymore." he chuckled. "I remember that in an alternate timeline I broke the lungs of Ember which ruined her career and she kinda let herself go afterwards. She got big. And Skulker... he awkwardly fused with Technus. But yeah it was also my fault that the two broke up, I slept with Ember once."

"Yes, I am their son. And although things are not going well they are still together, and don't say that kind of shit about my mom!" Inferno said offended.

"Sorry lil' buddy. But nice to meet you too." he chuckled again. "It's not the first time I did that, and certainly not the last time. In fact I recently banged a human woman, also the wife of someone."

"Spare me the details." Inferno paused. "Dan, why have you been absent for so long? And what is all that talk about alternate timelines?"

"Good grief son, let's just say I've been locked up outside of time for a long time. But have been released now, it's all very confusing for me as well, but I'm trying to make the best out of it. But I guess you're out here alone because things don't go as well at home?"

"Yep."

"Well kid I saw your fight earlier this day and it was pretty amazing. Pyrokinesis and gadgets, that is cool. This may sound weird from someone you just met, but I can take you in as an apprentice. Just leave this all behind and join me on an adventure."

Inferno was surprised by the sudden suggestion of a man he just met. "Uhm... I don't know." he paused.

"Just imagine it. Just us two guys travelling through the Underworld, exploring new realms and no responsibilities." Dan said as he wrapped his arm around Inferno's shoulder, hoping to convince him of joining him.

"Well... actually that doesn't sound that bad. I'm done with the Ghost Zone, I want to discover the rest of the Underworld!" he said with a wide smile.

"Good spot. Meet me in a few hours at this spot again, I'll lead us out of here." Dan said. Inferno nodded and took off to get some extra things from home.

“Dan. This wasn’t the deal we made.” Dan turned around and his smile disappeared.

“Clockwork. Don’t worry.” he said serious. “That kid won’t cause too much trouble.”

“You might be wrong on that.” Walker said who approached him. “I know who you are. Clockwork told me all about you already. My name is Walker. And I shall tell you that Inferno is quite the troublemaker.”

“Nothing to do about it now.” Dan said careless.

"You are going to take responsibility for him Dan. He might not have those, but you sure as hell will have. And know I can make you disappear at any moment." Clockwork threatened.

“Wow, you’re cruel.” Dan said with a frown on his face, crossing his arms. "I'll treat him like my own son." he chuckled only to receive a sinister look from Walker.

“I shall bring the news to Skulker and Ember. Maybe they will realize now that they need to give that kid the love he needs.” Walker said and teleported away.

"I'll be watching you." Clockwork added before disappearing as well. Dan rolled his eyes a grin appeared on his face.

"Don't worry you two, I'll take very good care of Inferno.

"What do you mean Inferno left!" Ember said as her flaming blue hair grew larger. Skulker crossed his arms and didn't seem to be happy either, but let his wife do the talking.

"Someone took him in as apprentice, but do not worry, Clockwork will have his eyes on him, he will not get the change to harm your son." Walker answered.

"Well where are they now!?" Ember raged once again.

"Confidential."

"What do you mean confidential, he's our son." Skulker interrupted.

"It is confidential if it concerns someone in my custody. Let's say he is on rehabilitation outside of the Ghost Zone."

"I'm going to travel all the realms to find my son, no matter what." Skulker said confident.

Ember turned to Skulker raising an eyebrow. "So now you suddenly care about him? Or is this an excuse to also search for some rare species out there? Ugh whatever, spare me, I don't need to know."

"I will leave you two be. I can be found at the Ghost Prison if you need me."

Meanwhile somewhere in the depths of the Underworld were Dan Phantom and Inferno. They were flying through the air with their ghost abilities. They had already left the Ghost Zone and now were in unclaimed territory in the Underworld. They landed and set up camp. Inferno lit a blue fire on the ground and they sat on some rocks around the bright fire.

"So... Dan... what do you have in store for me? You're not going to kill me or something, right?" the young ghost said to start the conversation.

"No of course not. I'm not a bounty hunter like ya daddy, I'm more in for the women." Dan laughed.

"Buuuut...?"

"But? Oh yeah." Dan laughed again. "I'm going to drill you to be as strong as me. Your pranks are funny and all but they don't employ all of your abilities. Seems like your pyrokinesis and gadgets are your main form of attacking. Strange that you use so little other ghost abilities."

"Nah I never got around to learn them as no one bothered to teach me, and the other things came more natural... although they still not go smoothly."

"Well, at least we have a starting point now. Second point, we need to get you some friends of your age. I know Youngblood and he doesn't even come close to your age aside from appearance."

"I don't wanna hang out with a fuckturd like him anyways." Inferno looked away with a disgusted face.

"Lucky for you there happens to be a dance tomorrow night near this place. The Blood Moon ball, a ball that occurs every 667 years. It is kinda the biggest ball where all the teens go to, it would be a shame if you wouldn't go."

"It sounds... nice. But I'm not very social, I probably won't fit in with all those fancy people."

"Just go."

Inferno and Dan talked some more around the campfire before they set up camp and went to sleep. The next day Inferno woke up by the footsteps of a giant demon with evil intent. Inferno rushed to Dan and tried to wake him, calling his name and shaking him back and forth. Unfortunately he didn't awaken. The demon got closer, Inferno had to take the demon on himself.

He floated in the air and caught the attention of the demon. Said demon rushed at Inferno preparing to slash him across his body. Inferno was much faster than the demon and fired a wall of blue flames at the demon. The demon defended himself by shielding his face from the flames with his arms. After deflecting the flames he continued running towards Inferno.

The boy realized his pyrokinesis didn't work and decided to resort to his gadgets. He revealed his slingshot and started shooting ectroplasm pellets at the demon. The pellets exploded on impact and slightly held back the demon. Inferno revealed his chain which he uses as a whip. While keeping the demon at bay with the slingshot pellets Inferno closed in on him and wrapped his chain around his neck. He flew down towards the ground while he kept pressing the chain. Before the demon hit the ground the chain already decapitated the demon. His head fell somewhere on the ground at the same time as its lifeless body.

"Good job kid." Dan said.

Inferno looked behind him in shock. "You were awake? Why didn't you help me?"

"Because it obviously was me who sent the demon to you to test you. Ha, you aren't the brightest around heh?"

"Well sorry." Inferno rolled his eyes. He turned his head to Dan and blushed a bit. "But did I do good?"

"You did alright I guess."

"That is a motivator for my self-esteem." he chuckled.

"So shall we get you ready for tonight then? Maybe you'll encounter a lovely lady, or boy whatever you're into."

"Girl..." Inferno said offended.

"Hey, we live in a progressive underworld... haha, if all the Bible crap was real then it would be filled with homosexuals here. But you can probably find your prince Charming at the ball."

"Shut the fuck up Dan." Inferno turned away from him. "Let's just... head to the place."

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