On Purpose

(This is a work of fan fiction the Haunted Mansion, and all its characters, except Megan, are owned by the Disney Corporation.)

A few stray hours of homey peace and quiet with the boys...not what Megan would have envisioned as part of her ideal vacation, but it was kind of nice all the same.

It was 4am when Megan bade the hitchhikers goodnight, and ambled down the hall toward the staircase, and the comfort of her big, soft bed.

No..just no..

Couldn't be..

Ghost Host was at the end of the hallway with his hands cupped around his mouth, He was making an announcement to the resident ghosts. Megan of course, couln't hear what he was saying.

She slipped to the side of the hallway. Maybe, if she was very, very quiet, he wouldn't notice her.

Biscuits and gravy, he had.

"Ah, Miss Megan," he said ,floating toward her, "Nothing to be alarmed about. We have a Red Alert." He smoothed the air beside him, showing the image of a middle-aged woman in a headscarf who had managed to sneak into the mansion. She carried a Ouija board, and a satchel, and was creeping carefully toward the library. "You might want to lock yourself in your room until this is over," the Ghost Host added.

"I don't like the look of this one," said Madam Leota, appearing over his shoulder, "She looks sketchy."

"We will attend to it," Hosty reassured.

"You're not going to harm her, are you?" Megan asked. Something in the Ghost Hosts tone had sent a sudden, decidedly unpleasant chill down her spine.

"Mortals must be dissuaded from breaking in. That being said.. no, we don't attempt to physically harm anyone. But she must learn the error of her ways, " said the Ghost Host.

Megan was desperate, "Please, let me talk to her first," she pleaded.

Hosty was lost in thought. Megan could have sworn he was mumbling something like 'teachable moment' to himself. He regarded her carefully, then shook his head. "No, I'm sorry..I can't allow it." A cloud of blue mist enveloped him, and in the next moment, he had melted away.

"But you're the one that told me that everybody's got a purpose. I just want to understand!" Megan yelled, not much caring about the spectacle she was making of herself. She put her hands on her hips, and contemplated the empty space where he had been. She could deal with his bad puns, she could deal with the ghosts in-jokes that she laughed at, but didn't understand..

.. but when she was tired, and Ghost Host spouted profundities like 'Find your purpose' a la Morgan Freeman..well, it was getting to be a bit frustrating.

"THIS IS NOTHING BUT A BUNCH OF..." she started to shout .

A blue mist wound its way around her feet. As it swirled around her, it crackled, and popped with energy. Megan turned, to see the Ghost Host dangerously close to her face..and he was not amused in the least.

"You are determined to attend to this?" he said, dryly.

"Yes..please..let me try," said Megan

"As you wish..but you will have to look the part," he said, placing his hand firmly atop her head, his fingers splayed.

A blue glow slowly swept down over Megan, She could feel the energy leaving her body. Her limbs, softened, then shrunk, her flesh withered . Remaining upright was taking a force of will she never used before. Her joints dried, and cracked as she tried to move. She looked to the Ghost Host with eyes that were now so sunken as to be barly perceptible. He tongue tuned to shoe leather, and sat useless in the bottom of her mouth.

"EEEWW, UGGER!" she gasped at him.

"Language, Miss Megan.. you wanted to attend to this, and attend to it you will."

Ghost Host pointed down the hall. "She's setting up shop in the library. Go, and see to it."

Megan went slowly down the hallway grumbling garbled aspersions against the Ghost Hosts ancestry, and wondering why her feet felt so numb. She looked down to see that she was not only barefoot, but her desiccated corpse feet were floating several inches off the ground.

"Outssstanding!" Medusa hissed at her.

"You can do dis!" chimed the Vampire,"Show de mortal vat you are made off!"

Megan peered carefully around the half-opened library door. The would-be medium was lighting candles around the Ouija board.

"Ouija board...what a rookie!"

Megan would have jumped out of her skin, had she had any. "Oo yoo ind?" she huffed.

"No, I don't mind at all," replied Leota, "I'm just here for moral support." They stared at each other blankly,

"Well, get on with it girl ! Look alive!" Megan cricked her head slowly, and stared at Madam Leota with half-closed eyes. Even as a rotting corpse, her patented 'Really ?' stare was still effective. Leota retreated.

"Finesse, I need finesse," Megan thought.

Mist.

Megan felt herself melting toward the floor as she dissolved into a luminous blue mist which slowly crept through the doorway.

The woman had her hands on the planchette, she was going into a deep state of relaxation.

Megan rattled the table ever so slightly, just to get her attention.

When the woman opened her eyes, she saw one boney hand slip over the table to touch the Ouija board, then another hand slipped up to hold the opposite side. Then, a rotted, glowing cadaver rose up to its full height before her..

..and waved hello.

"Oh my god, oh my god!" the woman screamed, clutching at the side of her ornate chair.

Megan put her hands on her hips.. well, this was a nice how do you do. She leaned forward to touch the planchette,

"Don't touch me!" the woman shrieked, scrambling up, and falling back against a nearby bookcase.

Megan rolled her eyes in exasperation. Ok, let's try a different tact.

The woman looked as though she was trying to climb the bookcase as Megan approached her, holding up the Ouija board so she could see her spelling out the words...

I-M-T-R-Y-I-N-G-T-O-H-E-L-P-Y-O-U-Y-O-U-S-I-L-L-Y-C-O-W

But the woman seemed more intent on knocking every volumn off the shelves as she scrambled to get away. There was just no reasoning with her.

Megan felt a flush of anger, and stabbed at the board with the planchette in frustration. The air around her glowed brighter, and little sparks of energy now encircled her. The woman looked as though she was on the verge of collapse. Megan dropped the board and plancette in disgust..she was trying to help the woman, not give her a heart attack. She chastised herself, and bent over to retrieve the board.

And that's when the woman saw an opening. As Megan was hunched over, the woman did a magnificent steeple jump over her, and crashed through the french doors behind her.

In a few seconds , Ghost Host, accompanied by several other spirits, floated smoothly into the room. "Well done, Miss Megan!" Hosty beamed.

Megan was oblivious. She was stomping past the fireplace mumbling " AMIT! AMIT! AMIT!" which of course, is Corpse for "Dammit! Dammit! Dammit!"

"Language, Miss Megan !" Hosty said, suppressing a grin. "Your efforts had the desired effect.. and aside from a little repair work, you seem to have been a crashing success."

But Megan didn't feel successful..not at all. She gestured at the Ouija board on the floor, and moaned pitifully.

"Allow me to help," Hosty said, floating over, and placing his hand gently on top of her head, "Now, I'm only going to give you a little of my energy.. I need it to materialize, but this should help. The spell will end at sunrise, which should be in about two hours."

Megan stood weakly, and let the small amount of energy seep into her being. Her eyes righted themselves, then her tongue.. she still felt cold, and somehow detached from her surroundings, but at least she could stand, and feel the floor beneath her feet. Her joints cracked painfully when she tried to take a step. "Ow..ow..ow," she winced.

"It will pass," said Hosty quietly. "Think of all the souls here who have to exist like that every day."

"That's what's it's like to be a ghost?" said Megan.

"Twenty-four, seven," said Gus.

"But I was trying to help that woman. She wouldn't even give me a chance!" Megan said quietly, her eyes welling.

"You're thinking like a mortal ,Doll," said Ezra, "We exist in a whole 'nother world."

"I don't think I want to be a ghost anytime soon, " said Megan. "Oh, no offense, it's just an awful lot to learn."

"But just think..when your time comes, you've got this experience to put on your resume," the Ghost Host beamed. "I always knew she had it in her," said Madam Leota smugly.

"Look alive?" Megan deadpanned at her.

"That's MY line," Hosty smiled, offering his arm. "And this is me , helping you.."

Ezra materialized between them. "I'll take it from here, Boss," he said, slipping a supportive arm around Megans waist as he helped her upstairs. "" C'mon ya happy little haunt, you've earned your rest in peace."