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Spinning the Wheel (Ghost and Molly Mcgee, [M], commission)


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This fic was commissioned by our very own SleepingPhlox, who is Really Awesome, even if for no other reason than for having commissioned one of my awesome stories! Let's all give her a hand!!!

This is a ‘what if’ rewrite of S1E11, “Game Night”.



“Behold”, the narrator spoke, “A perfectly ordinary house, on a perfectly ordinary street...”

“Live!” Sharon crowed. “From the McGee family living room…”

“What the…” Scratch sighed.

“In Brighton’s defunct manufacturing district…”


“Wheel!! Of!!!! Chore Fun!!!!!”

Scratch sighed again. It looked like a circle of old, old cardboard, probably a pizza wheel, with colorful wedges of elderly construction paper adorned with-

“The heck is this?” He plucked an elbow from the center. “Other than a waste of perfectly good macaroni?” He bit down. “Al dente.”

“It’s a time-honored tradition!” Molly crowed.

“So is cannibalism.”

“Everyone takes a spin,” said Pete. “No complaining.”

“What if it lands on a chore that’s already been picked by someone else?”

“That never happens.”


“Seriously,” said Darryl. “That never happens. We nave no idea why.”


“Molly!” Sharon interjected. “You’re up!”

Molly darted forward and spun the wheel. “Whoo-hooo! Laundry! Nailed it.”

“In the universe you know,” the narrator intoned, “Molly drew closets, leading to the discovery of the Mega City game, while her father’s spin landed on carpet. However, in this world-”

Sharon squinted at the translucent brown phantom. “Why is Morgan Freeman here?”

“Oh, him?” Scratch crunched another macaroni elbow. “He’s actually been dead since 2016, it’s just that no one’s had the heart to tell him. Just ignore him, he’ll go away.”

“In this world,” the spectre continued, “The wheel took Scratch on a much... different path.”

“Uh. Yeah. Whatever.” Scratch wrapped his arms around the cardboard and spun. “Carpets. Not good for my dust allergy, but eh.”

“Sharon’s spin landed on kitchen, while Pete got compost. The wheel did not land on closet, and as such, no one found the Meg-”

“Right!” Sharon bounded in front of the dead narrator. “Time’s wasting! Time is money! Something!”

The McGees spread throughout the house, Molly sorting the family’s laundry with her usual gobs of chipper cheer. Sharon began washing the countertops, Pete digging through mounds of refuse in the back yard. Morgan Freeman rooted through the trash bins for a while looking for discarded cigarette butts, then wandered off.

Scratch hauled the vacuum cleaner from the back of the closet, maneuvered it across the living room floor and plugged it in. It sputtered to life in a cloud of dust, not having been touched since the Wheel Of Chore Fun had spun last. Scratch began pointing the nozzle in the general direction of the dusty carpet, grimacing at the thought of doing any actual, you know, work. Slowly, the dust and crud worked their way out of-


Molly had been sorting the family’s underwear into color-coded piles when Scratch burst up through the floor, becoming lodged in one of Pete’s ratty white button-down shirts. He flailed about the ceiling for a moment, looking like a stereotypical sheet-clad ghost.



“You’re not shirking your chores, are you?” Molly’s voice dripped with perkiness as always.

“I’m taking a sneeze break.”

“A sneeze break?”

“Yeah. I sneezed, so I’m taking a break.”

“Scratch.” Molly folded her arms. “There’s no such thing as a sneeze break.”

“Fine, I’m just lazy.” Scratch sighed, then phased back through the floor into the living room, where the vacuum was still running. Grumbling, he picked up the handle and ran it along the exposed rug in what he hoped what the most labor-free method.

Life as a McGee was okay, he mused. They were mostly accepting, the food was free, and Molly was… uhhh… ehhhhhhh…



“Molly.” As before, the force of the sneeze had propelled him straight through the ceiling, through the floor, into the laundry room where Molly patiently sorted socks.

“Sneeze break?”

“Sneeze break.”

“Nuh-uh. Back to work.”

“Grumble.” Scratch flowed back through the floor. (He actually said ‘grumble’).

Scratch stared at the vacuum cleaner for a moment, then had an idea. He flowed into the vacuum, causing it to rise above the floor a few inches, as if possessed, which, in fact, it was. Emitting a low moan, glowing faintly blue, it began a slow pass over the carpet, sucking several months worth of crumbs into it’s maw. This wasn’t too bad, he thought. Scratch began to idly fantasize about working a vacuum into future scares, maybe giving it googly eyes or-

“Aw crap.” The familiar itch filled his nose. “Eh… ehhhh… nnnnnrrrggg…. ETSSSHHHHEW!”

Blasting through the hose and out the nozzle, the massive sneeze launched them up, up, up towards the ceiling. The vacuum itself bounced off with a monumental clank, while Scratch popped out and resumed his familiar trajectory, through the ceiling, through the laundry room floor, into Molly’s neatly folded and color-coded stacks of towels and sheets.

Yet another sigh. “Scraaaaatch…”

“Look. Molly. You know I’m not trying to get out of work-”

“Yes you are.”

“Okay I am. But this time I mean it.”

“Scratch. You can either vacuum the carpets, or spin the wheel again.”

“But the only other chores are closets…”

“...downstairs bathroom…”

“And... clean the wheel!”

“Oh. Yeah. I should have mentioned. ‘Clean the Wheel’ isn’t an actual chore.”

“It isn’t?”


“So what if the spin lands on Clean the Wheel?”

“You spin twice more.”


“So. What will it be?”

“But… but… all that dust! This nose just isn’t built to handle it.”

“Weeeeelllll, then…” On a sudden urge, Molly darted forward, grabbed Scratch’s bulbous blue nose and pulled it clean off.

“Mowwy! I was using that!”

“Yeah. As a way to get out of work. Now you can’t. Now go back down there and vacuum.” She plopped the nose down onto the washing machine, next to the lid. It made a sound resembling a soggy eclair hitting a flimsy corrugated tin roof.


In the living room again, the nose-less Scratch glared at the vacuum, then once again slipped inside and possessed it. Rising above the carpet with a ghostly glow, it wheezed to life, metaphorically speaking, the hose snaking out like a… er.. snake. A snake that sucked up crud. Scratch’s nose didn’t itch, mostly because it was sitting atop the washer upstairs, far removed from the clouds of dust.

At first Scratch was relieved that the maddening itch was gone. Then he was annoyed that his excuse was gone. Finally he shrugged his shoulders (metaphorically speaking) and decided that the sooner he finished, the sooner he could get back to putting off his scare reports. The vacuum lurched up and down the room, back and forth, moaning and wheezing like an octogenarian in a blender, or something. Before long, the living room was clean… enough. Scratch tucked in his hose and headed for the downstairs bedrooms.

Meanwhile, Molly washed, sorted and folded the family’s laundry with the same bouncy zeal as always. She pulled a load from the dryer, savoring the fuzzy warmth, then shifted a clump of wet clothes to the dryer, then coaxed a heap of Pete’s shorts and Daryll’s pants into the washer, picking up the underwear with an old set of salad tongs which had been set there for that exact purpose. Wearing yet another perky smile, she tipped in a cup on laundry detergent, closed the lid, turned on the washer, then perkily threw herself at the latest round of sock-sorting.

The washing machine sputtered, clanged a bit, and began churning. Atop the washer, Scratch’s nose began vibrating, in much the manner of a tubular berry-blue jello mold. Wiggling and wobbling, the nose shifted an inch or two toward the center… where a patch of laundry powder had escaped from the plastic cup. Slowly, propelled by the relentless vibrations, the spectral schnozz found itself lightly dusted with Parsimonious Paula’s Discount Laundry Soap.

Back downstairs again, Scratch felt the familiar itch rising in his nose. Granted, the nose was no longer attached to his face, but his face hadn’t gotten the memo yet, or if it had, it had tossed the memo aside, or maybe tried to eat it. The itch grew further; Scratch dislodged himself from the vacuum, hovered a foot above it and waited for the sneeze.

It didn’t come. Like the sequel Ellison never got around to, Scratch needed desperately to sneeze, but was unable to do so without his honker attached. Emitting a sound resembling a toy train charging headlong into a hurricane, Scratch whirled around in place a few hundred times, eyes bulging. Finally, he pulled his ectoplasm together and zipped up to the laundry room again.

“Mowwy! Nose!”

“No nose.”

“Nose! Now!”

“Scratch! Chores!”


It finally occurred to Molly that this wasn’t another of Scratch’s half-assed ploys to get out of work; this was either real, or at least it was a fully-assed ploy which she ought to pay attention to, lest it spiral out of control, as his ploys often did, regardless of assedness. With a sigh, she got up, grabbed Scratch’s nose and mushed it back where it ought to be.

“Hat-CHEEEEOOOOO!” The force of the sneeze sent Scratch through the rear wall, over the backyard, ending in the overgrown garden of the abandoned house behind them. “eh-CHOOOO!” Spinning in circles, he flew from that yard to the next. “haaaaa-TSCHOOOOO!!” Poking her head out the window, Molly say Scratch fly off in a low arc towards the main street, resembling a small, lumpy comet, dripping globs of ectoplasm instead of ice chunks.

Five minutes and seven more sneezes later, Scratch was back in the laundry room. “There. See? I have a real excuse now. An honest-to-pete medical exemption.”

“Aaaall right.” A bundle of clothes under her arm, Molly headed towards the bedroom. “And you did do a good job on the carpet here.”

“No I didn’t!” Scratch replied automatically, insulted by the idea that he had done actual, useful work. “Uhhhhh… wait… yeah! I did do a good job. Really. Can we order pizza now?”

“Ask dad.”

“Kay.” Scratch was about to phase through the wall, when he paused. “Ah crap. I’m going to… eh… sneeze again.”

Molly grinned, eyeing the ghost’s protruding nose. “Ah!” he shouted! “Not again!”



If you enjoyed this story, or even if you didn’t, you too can get your very own custom-written story if you make a donation to keep the forum running!


Edited by webmeistro
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What the heck, I LOVE the fact that it's a What If style retelling. I could not have imagined that in a million years but I love it.  Even if this part:

56 minutes ago, webmeistro said:

Sharon squinted at the translucent brown phantom. “Why is Morgan Freeman here?”

“Oh, him?” Scratch crunched another macaroni elbow. “He’s actually been dead since 2016, it’s just that no one’s had the heart to tell him. Just ignore him, he’ll go away.”

Led me to the very scientific discovery that the human body is not designed to breathe tacos. :laugh:

There are so many bits with the wording that made me stop and go "Hah!" or "Damn I wish I'd thought of that one" that only pointing out one seems unfair, but I'm gonna, or I'll be here all day.

1 hour ago, webmeistro said:

as his ploys often did, regardless of assedness.

I love the humour, the fourth wall breaks, the over-the-top-ness of poor Scratch's dilemma...all of the ingredients are just right.  Considering my  most important criteria were "something lighthearted and fun" and "Scratch tries to do something, but sneezing" you freaking nailed it.


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