The Walking Skull

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic

This is a story about greed and the influence of unnatural life that follows it. Even the dead are not that silent. Some people that get away from justice are not so lucky to the hell that is within their grief. It is a small story about death and the closing of one person that got away.

It came from the bog and hell followed with him. It is a cloudy night with spring in the air and the lightning bugs casting their mating glows near the bog in southern Tennessee. He is left there after a betrayal when he came from the bog with the smell of country dung on his shoes that are all tattered and ruined. He is surprised that he wasn’t eaten by an alligator when he bumbled down the road, poking his pruned fingers into his socket and feeling nothing but bone when he can see. He can see just fine when Ernie walked down the road, feeling no pain, no remorse, and no discourse for what he is about to do. The cars passed him by when three of them slowed down before squealing their tires off into the night that is so quiet and still. The teeth in his head are broken with some missing when he continued to walk into the south burg of Gaudery, Tennessee with the signs lit on outlets with the smell of filthy whores that flourished in the air. The smile is crooked and broken when he stumbled into one of the outlet when an elderly man looked up, almost losing his lunch when he high tailed as best as he can towards the inventory station in the back of the store when the walking skull came into the store.

The man that was Ernie Lucas hobbled to the shoes that are against the wall to the right of him when he glared at the eyes that are not there, picking out the best shoes that he can suffice when he sat down in front of the mirror display that is in front of him. He looked at the thin hair that is upon the scalp of his head and the filthy clothes that are wet and ripped away from the five years that he endowed on the bottom of that bog. His sockets peered at the mirror when he can feel nothing but the need of doing what is need to be done when he is endowed to place the sneakers on his pruned and decayed feet.

The elderly man that ran away from the front of his own proprietorship is on the landline phone toot-sweet, calling the county sheriff to get his behind out here and see what he just seen just seconds ago. He couldn’t put what he had seen into words when the elderly man felt like he was having a heart attack. Something thundered in his chest when he made a heaving OMMF as he fell onto the floor dead. The man who is not a man but the swelling shape of death slid out the door into the night when somewhere a siren can be heard, getting closer and closer when Ernie Lucas knew of that sound. It is the law coming to dog on him when he started to walk towards the direction out of the town. He needed to get to where he is going.

Somewhere in this small space of bugs, reptiles, snakes, and boats that skitter all over the country, there is a man that is sitting in his shack with a chilled six-pack beer that is sitting next to his reclining chair. He is watching something on his Zenith television when he felt the need to pee and feeling the need something fierce. The bear skin that is upon his living room floor and the cracks of age are upon the walls when Hackney burped out in the silence of his living room, shaking the windows when he got up, almost falling back down when he smiled at nothing but the many memories that are running through his grief stricken mind.

“I was the one that got away with all that good hard cash and they blamed it on the boy that is alligator meat. I was the one that got away and that car outside is a lump of shit. I can’t spend my money. That is too stupid. That would raise suspicion.” Hackney waddled to the W.C. that is in the living room, opening the door when all that he can see is the mirror, the wash basin, and the toilet that is on the other end of the wall. He can touch both walls with his arms not being outstretched when he giggled in the darkness with the red light glowing from the outlet above the wash basin.

He wanted to keep that light on as it made him feel comfortable in this house that held nothing but the mice under the floorboards and coons on the roof.

“What do you say, Loodie?” Hackney deplored his thick, southern accent when he plopped his butt on the toilet with the need to take both in conclusion.

“What do you say about them road apples? Huh?” Hackney looked up with the red light casted a deep red shadow on the wall when he gazed into the eyes of Loodie that is looking at him with the filthy casting of hate on his dead world forgotten face.

“I think you will be killed, gutted like the little snake that you are.” Loodie kept that slack look upon his expression with the red light burning behind him.

Hackney looked up and then heard the plop in the toilet when he started to laugh when Loodie stood there with no expression but the growing hate on his face.

“You’re like an Ike Clanton. Sitting there over your own shit and laughing like the coward that you are. You don’t even have the breath of keeping alive.” Loodie turned and started to walk through the door of the water closet when Hackney looked at him with his own hate growing like a turtle coming out of his shell.

“Hey…hey; don’t you walk out on me. Come back here and take a whooping like a man!” Hackney roared when he grabbed the plunger and threw it against the door that is closed. It rebounded and clattered to the floor when the red light still burned over the wash basin. The whole room looked like a murder scene when Hackney finished, wiped, and got off the toilet without even flushing.

“Where in the hell do you think you’re going? You think about drinking my beer and I’ll take a switch to you!” He threw open the door when it banged on the wall, denting into the wood when he came back into the living room as Loodie sat in his recliner, looking at the television in deep thought now.

“You think you’re the king, sitting there and drinking my beer and watching the television that I pay the electricity for?” Hackney pushed his fingers towards his chest when Loodie looked at him with the light burning overhead.

“Let me get this straight, you killed us and took the whole entire bit. Now you’re going to stand there like the man you are and tell me how to be a man? I’m dead and I’m haunting you.” Loodie raised both of his hands and started to howl.

“Stop that.” Hackney spit on his own self when Loodie kept taunting him, getting off of the chair and moving towards him when Hackney started to shiver with his hands starting to shake.

“What is the matter? The feel of my death has got your tongue?” Loodie came closer and closer, taunting him still.

“You better leave me alone. Go back to hell or heaven. You’re done with this world.” Hackney started to laugh with this madness playing out in his shack.

“I’ll meet you there…someday. We’ll have a dance with my family and yours. Then we will have chicken with the fixings and stuffing as high as a mountain and we will get the fiddle and the banjo and have ourselves a mighty fine ho-down. Just your family and mine as he get our move on.” Loodie started to laugh with his haw-haw-haw rousing the room with insane principle.

Hackney put both hands on his ears when he closed his eyes, pushing down the wall with his mind playing cruel tricks of the true story that is running through his mind like a train that didn’t stop. He started to rock against the wall with his head banging against the wall. Loodie kept screaming and laughing at him when Hackney felt like a spring that is getting compressed, tightening and tightening to the point that it is about ready to bust. Hackney clenched his eyes closed when he looked up not at Loodie anymore but a grotesque figure that is hunched over him now. It has the face that is pruned, white, and fish eaten when the sockets of nothing looked into the maddening face of Hackney that is starting to cry when the grotesque figure started to talk in tones that are not human at all.

“Hello Hackney. I’ve been waiting a long time for this. Now where is my cut and my gun?” the smell of the dead is rank when Hackney could do nothing but shiver before he turned his head and puked all over the floor.

“I don’t have the time for this! Where is my money?” The thing demanded, grabbing him by his fleshless and boney fingers and wrapping them around the locks of Hackney’s hair.

“Your dead, whoever the hell you are! Why I am being threatened by the dead!” Hackney felt like he is going to melt through the floor. The thing with no eyes slapped him when Hackney felt like he is going to pass out.

“Don’t you dare pass out on me, now where is my gun?”

Hackney started to look at him before he started to cry with his hands moving like he is no crack.

“No, no, no, no, no, no.” Hackney pleaded with the dead as he is starting to have a mental break on the floor with his pants starting to form moisture in the crotch.

Ernie Lucas looked at him with the eyes that cannot see when he said “Fuck it.” As he got up, leading towards the kitchen, thrashing around the pots and pans that are under the wash basin when he found a pillow sack that is nestled between two – two by sixes. He knew it was his gun when he pulled it out, seeing the engravings are on the slide when he fished the magazine out of the handle, seeing that the bullets are nice and clean when he racked it home and pulled the slide back. He sees the bullet in the chamber when he pushed the slide release down towards the trigger guard as it clacked home. He came back into the living room and hunkered down when he placed the .45 onto Hackney’s temple when he started to shiver and giggle on the floor.

“Where is my money?” The thing growled when Hackney looked up at him with his eyes darting in every single direction.

“Where is my money?” The thing asked again when Hackney looked up at him with some sort of conviction, firing his motor senses when Hackney grabbed the gun and placed it center in his forehead. He tripped the trigger against the bone as the bullet killed him, sending his brains all over the wall as it splattered against the face of the dead that is long since dead when Ernie Lucas hunkered there with blood running out of the nostrils and mouth like the Niagara Falls.

“You shit.” The thing that was Ernie Lucas shook his head when he got up and shuffled out of the house. The television played on when the house is casted in silence, forever more.

Ernie Lucas walked down the road almost three miles in darkness when a semi cut across the white line and pulverized him, sending what is left of his body all over the place when the truck driver swore to the county sheriff that he had seen a skull before he hit him. The truck driver quit after that incident when the sheriff had to bury the local proprietorship who is named Ollie Zurnich who is aged 82 years. He did cry on that before the next body came down the net by the name of Hackney Olive, the man that got away scot-free from a conviction that would have sent him away for the rest of his life but lacked the conviction of evidence to turn the key and throw it away. The others from the Grazer Gang went missing as the sheriff went back to read the notes that are cased in a file number F-2633-A7 in the evidence and investigation room as he considered reading the case notes once more. He felt comprised by it. It felt like a dream of reading it again as his blood went cold by all the horrors that are printed on the pages with photos that went along with the true events that is conspired so many years ago. He had to take off his gun to read it once again.

Submitted: November 24, 2018

© Copyright 2021 Adam Steele. All rights reserved.

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