Ever since Beetlejuice met the Maitlands, there was a small tug at the back of his head. It wasn’t as headache inducing as someone trying to summon him, it didn’t have that same effect. However with each passing day the tug became more and more pronounced.
An unfocused gaze here, a weird word spoken in what sounded like latin there, peculiar nosebleeds happening every hour, randomly fainting every now and then with long periods of sleep lasting about a half a day or so and it was only getting worse. Beetlejuice told all of them he had visions, visions of places he had never been, visions of something.. of someone.
It was after one particular incident that freaked everyone out:
Beetlejuice was talking to Lydia about their next big fright, when he had unceremoniously fainted face first onto the kitchen table leaving a splatter of green and black blood on the pristine mahogany table. It freaked Lydia out, calling for Beetlejuice to wake up. Everyone in the house came to find Beetlejuice down on the floor, eyes shut and whispering things that no one understood. Delia and Adam managed to maneuver his body onto the smelly couch as they waited for him awake.
When he first began falling asleep at random intervals of the day, they tried to wake him up by splashing water, cold and hot onto him to get to wake. Blasting loud music didn’t get him to awake either and neither did bringing strong scents up to his nose help. Even slapping and physically bashing him with objects didn’t help. They tried turning on a vacuum and letting loose on Beetlejuice’s body and that still didn’t work. The Maitland and Deetz’s were exhausted and couldn’t think of what to do next. So they waited..
He came to some 2 hours later while everyone in the house looked relieved as he came to but over time it got worse.
Some days it was an hour or more, sometimes it lasted a day or two but this one was different.
He didn’t wake up after a day.. Then another day, then another.
One day Adam and Barbara had gone to the Netherworld for they believed it was an illness that only demons could catch.
Miss Argentina personally helped them but it only made everyone feel worse, for she said, “When you’re dead… There are no illnesses that touch you. An illness needs a healthy living host and Beetlejuice is born-dead.” Adam and Barbara came back with their heads downcast, telling that time would be Beetlejuice’s healer and they would have to wait.
And they waited…
He drifted into darkness. It was cold, unnaturally so. Beetlejuice could feel it settle into his skin and for some reason it smelled like brimstone and smoke.
Beetlejuice opened his eyes to find a lit up stained glass portrait of himself. He was positioned with a goofy smile and there were two other figures in the glass. However the entire thing was shattered and the faces of the two he was with were broken, leaving a deep ravine into the glass. He fell slowly towards it, landing feet first. It was solid but hollow. Each step he took echoed into the abyss. He took a look at the surrounding area but there was nothing to be seen. Wisps of mist swirled around him but it didn’t obscure his vision at all, the illuminated glow from the ground gave him a strange comfort.
“Where am I?” Beetlejuice asked to the open air, odds are no one is there.
You need to remember.
“WHO THE FUCK?” Beetlejuice flinched at the echoing voice in his ear.
You need to remember, they need you.
That was new.
Your heart remembers but your mind is clouded. Remember Beetlejuice. It’s almost too late.
“Fine..” Beetlejuice sighed, damned it all to hell for the sake of the plot, “What do I have to do?”
Go back.. Back to the beginning.
A little light came flickering down from above Beetlejuice’s head, flittering slowly towards him.
You were forbidden… But you managed to find a way, you have to remember.
“That’s not helping! What is there to remember?!” Beetlejuice screamed at the little light in front of him.
A bright light shone enveloping Beetlejuice and his surroundings. He shielded his eyes from it. After it dissipated he lowered his arm and found himself in an unfamiliar place. A grand palace set ablaze, flashes of fire and screaming from all around. Even with the smell of blood and gunpowder, underneath it all.. Brimstone and smoke.
And he wasn’t alone. He was with two other people, if you could call them that.. He couldn’t make them out, all he could see was shapes and a blur of colours. Beetlejuice was holding something.. something hard but fragile.
You need to focus.
The voice returned.
You are too far forward, you have to return.
Beetlejuice looked up to the sky and saw only fire, showers of fire rained down onto the palace, shattering windows and breaking doors. He found himself unable to move but he didn’t want to move. Like with the stained glass place he was previously at, he felt safe..
“I’ll find you,” A female voice calmly spoke.
“We are bound,” A male voice now came through, “We’ll come to you, wait for us.”
“Who are yo-“ Beetlejuice sunk through the sand as he strained to see who he was talking to.
Keep going, you’ll find it. You’re remembering.
He awoke in a smokey ditch, holding hands with people he didn’t recognize.
Next a tall tower overlooking a village watching people riot and throw torches and rocks at them.
A bathhouse, bathing.
He crash landed in the Netherworld but.. It feels new. It was abandoned.
You’re older than you think, you’ve made it. Now look.
He knew the Netherworld as this one big conglomerate of bustling bodies and tall towering buildings, but here it’s empty..
Your name.. It’s similar..
There was still that green smoke billowing about the place, apparently it has been there since the beginning it seems. But why here, why is this the beginning?
A light from above, similar to the spotlights he liked to whip out, descended from the heavens. Down came two lights, no… two people. Clad in all white. He knows them.. seen them before..
“You are the first denizen of the Netherworld,” A male voice came… one that was familiar.
“You are not God of this realm,” A female voice spoke next, the voice sounded authoritative. “He will come soon.”
Beetlejuice didn’t know what was going on but he stared on at the people in front of him. The light finally died down a little.. He stared down at his hands, they were more lively… no longer that pale dirt grey and black encrusted nails.. They were clean. His clothes were different too, gone was the black and white. He was wearing a white toga that draped all the way down to the floor.
“You are the first of your kind,” The male voice came again, with every blink he could slowly see the face in front of him. “Your powers are mighty, but dangerous. Don’t abuse them.”
“Adam?” Beetlejuice croaked, he squinted but Beetlejuice could see that balding head of his, the giant forehead and the brown eyes that Beetlejuice loved to gaze into.
“Wrong, Gozzoth,” Gozzoth… The name… His name.. “I am Lia, don’t forget it.” With that he was gone, by his tone he seemed offended.
“I am Bela,” the female said, “We are angels, you are a demon. We don’t interfere with you and you don’t interfere with us.”
“Barbara?” In disbelief, Beetlejuice reached out his hand only to find it smacked away. “Bela.. Sorry.” His vision blurred a little bit but then cleared as he felt a wet streak fall down his face.
“At least you have manners,” Bela flapped her wings as she ascended, “You have free reign here and can visit the overworld. Don’t disappoint us.”
She followed Lia into the glowing light above.
You found them.
“I don’t understand, why do they look like Barbara and Adam?” That little light returned to his side again, “Why are they here?”
When the world was new, the realms were empty. You were the first. You saw everything happen, just it’s not you .
“Enough of the damn games and riddles,” Beetlejuice angrily swiped at little light, “Who are you? Why’d you bring me here?! I want to go home.”
Your heart yearns but you fight, think Beetlejuice..
“I’m done with the thinking! Why not just tell me?!” Beetlejuice stomped leaving a mark on the ground, “You’re keeping me from the people I love! I want to go back?”
“Why the hell not?!”
Your heart is fractured, you may have been alive for just a moment but it as it took its first beat it started to remember.
“But what am I remembering? Why here? Why now?”
I forgot how we could be.
“I’m sorry, we?”
The little light floated down to the floor and bursted, its fractured bits hovered and then swirled into being. Beetlejuice only watched as the feet and legs came into being first. Then the rest of the body formed and Beetlejuice came face to face with himself. Beetlejuice immediately scurried away and went into a defensive crouching position. Delia had given him lessons in self-defence, it wasn’t perfect but if his powers were no use to this thing, he might as well just clobber it to death with his fists.
“Has my clones gained sentience?” Beetlejuice growled.
Just as aggressive as ever but no, I’m not a clone. I’m you.
“I’m me! You’re an imposter.”
The other Beetlejuice just laughed, a bright sound ringing in the air.
‘I’m me’ he says, alright fine. Enough of the riddles. You are much older than you think you are Beetlejuice, or rather your heart is much older.
With the blank look on Beetlejuice’s face giving no indication of understanding, the clone sighed and continued.
You were falling through the realm of sleep and found your way here to me. He turned and showed a deep and pulsing gashes on his back. That place you fell to? That was me, I’ve been waiting for millennia for you to appear.
“That’s impossible,” Beetlejuice grunted, slowly coming up from his crotch but still had his fists raids, “I may be old but I can remember as far as the Black Plague, I don’t remember any of this.”
Exactly, but..there is a gap. You know this. Where were you between 1920 and 1930?
Beetlejuice eyed himself, “I don’t know,
You were tricked, Juno got a hold of you.
Beetlejuice dropped his hands, “Juno, what does mom have to do with this?”
She isn’t your mother, just a scheming little bitch who managed to shackle our heart. The reason why the stained glass is in such devastation, is because of her.
“I don’t follow.”
Point is, you are the oldest living entity in the Netherworld. You met Adam and Barbara before any point in human history began.
“So it was them!” Beetlejuice shouted, “I was right,” He hollered but took pause, “But, why didn’t they answer to their names, what’s with the weird ancient names?”
You are right, that is Adam and Barbara but not in the form you currently knew them as. They were originally the symbol of love, before that bitchass baby with a diaper came along. He snickered. You met them here, in the beginnings of the Netherworld, before anyone died. You were the first demon, the first guide.
Beetlejuice stared at the ground where he stomped, “I remember.” He breathed, flashes of images rushing into his mind. “I appeared here, with a job. Not to rule, but to govern…”
That’s right, you guided the first deaths, you held everyone’s hand and made sure they felt safe down here where nothing could harm them. It was never the intention of the Netherworld being a dark and grim place but it was to be a place where families reunite and it was beautiful. This Beetlejuice waved his hand and appeared a small concrete house with laughter coming inside it. They would know no more hunger and just bask in each other's company for all eternity… Until.. With another wave, the surroundings zoomed and they were transported to the surface overworld. We had an encounter with them again.
He was doing a guide when Lia and Bela came down upon him. They were pleased with his work and came to praise him. Beetlejuice was enthralled by their beauty and asked if they ever came to visit the overworld often. Hesitantly, they replied no and told him that their duties kept them from coming down to gaze upon the land. Beetlejuice offered him his hands and led through the world as he saw it. He may see the death and destruction that humans have wrought on the land with but it had its moments. The multiple beaches, lush forests, grand marshes, deep caves and the creatures that inhabit the planet have its own charm as well. They even witnessed Beetlejuice guide some souls down to the Netherworld. Lia and Bela were surprised at how gentle he was, telling them the purpose of the Netherworld with a reassuring smile and a benevolent hand.
Lia and Bela left with happy smiles. Beetlejuice asked if they would like to return so they could explore some more. They agreed and left Beetlejuice with a warm feeling in his gut.
That’s how it started.
Every day Lia and Bela came down from the heavens to see what the world has to offer. Slowly but surely the three of them got closer, until one day a surprise kiss from Lia sent Beetlejuice into a happy craze. Lia and Bela were already in a relationship but having a third person made things better. It was always the three of them watching human history unfold through their eyes. Empires rose and fall, they visited bathhouses, stood atop village churches and caused a little bit of mayhem and witnessed humans become more intelligent over the years. The industrial revolution was an interesting point in history they loved. New technologies made them genuinely curious in humans and started living among them in short intervals.
Their first actual kiss was at the turn of the 20th century, they kissed underneath fireworks but that was a big mistake. Lia and Bela were immediately banished from the overworld and from seeing Beetlejuice. Their master was angry for falling in love with a demon from hell and was banned from going back down. Millenia of love lost in one moment due to one angry asshole saying that their love is unnatural, two males and one female on equal footing was something their master hated. His conservative thinking and Beetlejuice’s, Lia’s and Bela’s way of life bothered him to no end.
As one final act of rebellion, Lia and Bela chose to renounce their status and chose reincarnation to return to earth. Lia and Bela found each other and ran away from their village in Russia to go to Moscow. Their names were different now, Lia was Alexei and Bela was Breasha. They knew immediately who they wore and started to work on finding Beetlejuice.
Beetlejuice was devastated that they disappeared without a trace, he stayed in Moscow as a spiritual leader. He took the name Lev and lived in a church as an underling of Grigori Rasuptin. Beetlejuice was devastated and took to helping the people as a way to cope. It was easy for him to integrate into a crumbling society as the Russian monarchy slowly fell apart. Alexei and Breasha heard of a miracle man working at a church performing miracles with his healing hands.
They arrived at the church dirty, hungry and dressed in rags. They found the lowly man hanging around the sanctuary with his head in hands, whispering names long gone. Alexei rang the bell to grab the man's attention. Breasha grasped Alexei’s hands in case they were wrong about the man who now looked at them.
Beetlejuice let himself go, his beard was at an absurd length and his hair was long, unkempt and unruly. He wore a long brown robe, swallowing his entire body. However his eyes remained the same shade of tender brown. Beetlejuice seemed to have floated towards them, eyes unfocused as he no longer wanted to see the haunting faces of the people he loved.
“Are you Lev?” Alexei spoke.
“That is me, if you come to be healed, sit down I’ll take care of you. No money needed,” Lev looked to the floor.
“Why don’t you look at us?” Breasha asked.
“I am haunted so I choose this life to remain blind to everything around me.”
“Please look at us, we’re looking for someone, maybe you could help us?” Alexei pried, “We think that you’re the person we’re looking for.”
“I’ve been here for years, never set out beyond these walls.” Beetlejuice raised his head, “I don’t know if… I could..” He raised his head, eyes finally focusing. “Lia?” Alexei nodded and smiled, “Bela?” Breasha's eyes glistened. “I thought you guys.. What happened?”
They told him the entire story of choosing reincarnation to abandon their master in favour of love.
Lev took their hands and sobbed, kept in emotions he had bottled up for years. Even though they spent centuries together, the short amount of time that they were gone made Lev, or rather Beetlejuice, pine for them. Every day, 24 hours a day for years.
Finally after so many years they held each other and sobbed into each other arms. Then a large explosion outside threw them to the floor.
The Revolution began.
Lia’s and Bela’s old master have found them.
They escaped the church through one of the multiple trap doors hidden in the floors. Lev wanted to try to save the Romanovs with his powers but Breasha warned him not to for that will notify their master of their position.
Beetlejuice gave them a saddened look but told them that there were children in the palace he needed to save. He told them to meet him at the top of the palace so that he could jump to the Netherworld after he had saved them. Alexei told him that when they would die they would reunite in the Netherworld. Beetlejuice knew he was right but children don’t deserve an early death. He teleported the two to the roof and dove into the palace to find the terrified royals.
He couldn’t find them, they were captured, especially the princess Anastasia he took a liking to. That smart girl deserved to live. But he was too late.
He got back to the roof to see Alexei and Breasha held captive by another pair of angels.
And that’s when he lost control. He summoned his powers of hell, tentacles and tendrils coming out from the tiles. He roared as he tore off their wings and threw their screaming bodies into the waiting fires below. Alexei and Breasha watched as they saw their gentle love break character and snarled into the air.
There was fire raining the heavens, heading straight for them. Beetlejuice wanted to jump and take the fight to the master himself. Alexei reached to hold Beetlejuice’s hand, “It’s not worth it.”
“I’ll find you.. We’ll find you,” Breasha hugged Beetlejuice from behind.
“We are bound,” Alexei smiled sadly, squeezing his hand “We’ll come to you, wait for us.”
Then a fireball blew them off the roof.
So you remember.
Beetlejuice scrambled as he held the bodies of Alexei and Breasha. “Why? Why take me back here?”
You love them and you can see them again, you have to accept it. But release the shackles on your heart first. Set me, set us free.
“I don’t know how,” Tears started rolling down his face, “What happened to us.”
After the blast, you wandered the world for decades until you came upon a woman named Juno. She took advantage of you, erased your memories, replaced them with false ones, shackled us to that her stupid summoning contract and changed our name! Gozzoth you have to set us free!
“I told you I don’t know how!” Beetlejuice roared.
You’re almost there. You’ve seen the past, what your heart wants. Now.. just open up and let me in. We can be reunited and we will heal. We will still be bound to that summoning contract but now… as ghosts and a living demon? We can be with them for all eternity.
“It sounds too good to be true.. What about Juno?” Beetlejuice clutched his heart.
The surrounding blended into a bright white and they ended up at the stained glass place again. Now the glass looked worse, it was crumbling at the edges and slowly making their way towards the centre.
I’m dying, I need you. Lia and Bela need you to remember. Love heals all wounds and you can find it again. The other Beetlejuice raised a hand for him to take. They said they’ll wait, so let’s not keep them waiting.
“What will happen to me?” Beetlejuice warily asked.
I… don’t know but if it’s a chance to see our loves again.. it’ll be worth the chance.
Beetlejuice looked at the hand and at the eyes of the man before him. Those brown eyes softening with his smile. “I’ll see them again..”
We’ll see them again.
He slowly reached for the hand…
“BEETLEJUICE WAKE UP!” A voice came from above him. “PLEASE!”
Beetlejuice nodded and grasped it.
He bolted upright bumping his head on Adams jaw.
“FUCK! Lia what was that?!” Beetlejuice threw a pillow, “I thought we established to not loom over each other!”
“Christ almighty Gozzoth, don't be such a jerk!” Adam screamed back ,”Wait… you said Lia?”
“Yeah that’s your name isn’t it?” Beetlejuice frowned.
“What’s her name?” Adam pulled Barbara to his side.
“Bela. Why are you asking me this?”
Adam and Barbara smiled and threw themselves on top of Beetlejuice, “You remember!”
“Yeah,” Beetlejuice scowled, “Hard to forget when you guys spend time with me.”
“You always called us A-dog and B-town,” Barbara sobbed into his right shoulder, “I thought you forgot about us, what happened when you were asleep?”
“I had… an heart opening experience.” Beetlejuice shrugged Adam and Barbara off his shoulders.
“Beetlejuice?” A voice from behind the couch was heard, “Adam? Barbara?”
“Right here sweetie he’s awake.”
Lydia appeared, looking down. “How are you feeling?” Her face was tear stained, “You were out for a week, we were afraid you were never going to wake up.”
Beetlejuice stood up and walked towards her to give a well deserving hug. “I’m fine kid, call it a journey but… I need to be with the Maitlands right now. We have something to talk about.” Lydia looked hurt, “I’ll come find ya kid, wait for me in your room. And don’t you dare fall asleep, we have something to do,” Beetlejuice winked at her.
Lydia nodded, “Don’t do anything stupid.”
“How can I,” Beetlejuice chuckled as Lydia rushed up the stairs, “You’re taking all the stupid with you.”
“Jerk!” Beetlejuice laughed.
Beetlejuice turned around.
“So, how long did you guys wait for?” Beetlejuice sighed.
“30 years, Gozzoth…” Bela let out a breath, “We could wait more..”
“Well the wait is over…” Gozzoth smiled, “Your gentle giant is back.”
Lia was the one who snuggled him first, Bela soon after. “So how do we make up for lost time?” Lia asked.
“Don’t be stupid Lia,” Gozzoth playfully jabbed at him, “We’re doing it now.”
I’m coming wait for me,
I hear the walls repeating.
The falling of our feet and
it sounds like drumming.