(changed the line just a bit)
Danny sat, eyes glazed, in the corner of Walker’s prison yard. A few monstrous ghosts fought for a glowing ball at the center of the field. They tackled and slammed each other, shaking the whole yard. Other ghosts clamored in to grab the prize, but they were ultimately booted by the beastly prisoners.
In one skirmish, the ball was ejected from the huddle and launched to the outskirts of the yard. It bounced in the dead grass before rolling to a stop at Danny’s heels.
A smaller, duck-like creature lunged for it, gathering the ball up in its feathery arms. It looked up at Danny before freezing. A human ghost grabbed the duck by the neck and knocked it off its feet. The attacker’s hands wormed into its feathery arms and grabbed the ball before bounding away with it. Half the yard sprinted after the new ball possessor.
"You lost your ball," Danny observed flatly. His eyes swung around the yard, bored.
The duck thing raised its head and hopped quickly to webbed feet. It kept its eyes trained on Danny. “You’re the halfa, aren’t you?”
"Yeah. Heard of me?"
"Yeah," the duck answered.
"Are you scared of me?"
"Do you hate me?"
"Good, then let’s agree to not attack each other… I’m just watching the game," Danny responded. He pulled his knees up to his chest. His prison garb was tarnished by dark ectoplasmic stains.
"I wasn’t planning on attacking you."
"Then why are you talking to me?" Danny let one leg stretch out. The human-shaped ghost that had taken the ball now rested at the bottom of a ghost pile ten prisoners deep. Danny could just make out the ghost’s desperate wriggling beneath the masses of bodies. The ball had popped out and rolled back to the center of the field.
"Mostly because I pity you."
Danny snorted at this. “Pity me?”
"How long have you been here?" the duck thing pressed.
"See—like that." The duck motioned to him. "Me, I don’t know how many days I’ve been here. It all kinda bleeds together. I know I want that ball! …But that, that’s just about it."
Danny cocked an eyebrow, but he didn’t look at the duck. His dull eyes stayed focused on the game. “You know why everyone wants the ball? It seems…pointless.”
The duck nodded. “Yeah, it’s super pointless. But you know, a ghost’s obsession can change due to circumstance. Walker knows this. He’s given us the ball and nothing else… Kinda hard NOT to obsess over it, you know?”
Danny finally turned to the duck, whose eyes fervently followed the ball across the field. Its feathery rump wiggled.
"Well I don’t get why you pity me. I pity you guys…chasing the stupid ball."
"No no, you got it all backwards," the duck thing said, nodding to itself. "The ball obsession is great. All us full ghosts in here are doing life fulfilling work—at least it feels like it. I ain’t counting the days. I ain’t wondering how or when I’m gonna get out of here. I just want the ball!" It turned to Danny, the glow in its eyes dimming. "But I see it in your face. You’re thinking about all those things. You’re the only one here who doesn’t care about the ball."
"…Oh," Danny answered. He didn’t care to admit that the duck was spot on. He knew his parents were out there looking for him. Sam, Tucker, and Jazz too. Or had they given up? He wondered how Amity was fairing without him. He wondered how long he’d have to stay in here—214 days into a 10,000 year sentence. He had no plan for escape this time. He had no motivation as the months rolled on. The ball meant less than nothing to him.
Through the silence, the duck opened its bill again. “It’s that humanness in you. It stops you from letting go.” The duck inched away, eeking back to the frenzy happening in the field. “Look, I know I’m gonna get my feathers beat just trying to get that ball, but it’s all I care about. You can pity me if you like, that’s cool, but this is the easy way to live.”
"Good for you."
The duck spun back to Danny, its bill twitching uncomfortably. When it spoke, it spoke with resignation. “You know…Walker’s got all sorts of sharp things lying around. I’m not saying it’ll be easy, but you should try joining us.”
Danny tilted his head, stomach tightening. “Sharp things?”
"You know…" The duck looked around, then motioned across its wrists. "Sharp things. I’m not saying it in a mean way or anything! I’m just telling you it’ll be way better when you let go.” It launched itself back into the tumultuous crowd fighting for the ball. “Really kid, being dead is easy, it’s being alive that’s hard.”