The Skeleton King

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic
She bares the weight of their death, so, she must face her biggest fear. Sometimes a gift doesn't seem like a gift....it seems more like a curse.

Submitted: June 12, 2011

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Submitted: June 12, 2011

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An evening lamp shone in every cottage window, in fear of the Skeleton King. He haunts any dark and gloomy house, and it is said that just by keeping a lamp on during the night will keep him away. Almost every house was old and gloomy, so I think that the lamp story is just to make people feel safe at night. I think that having a lamp making shadows is even worse! Your door makes the shadow of a man, sneaking into the room. Almost every night, the Skeleton King strikes a house. Every time he strikes, the townspeople look at Joey Ann Tanner. When she was born, a witch for-saw that she would be able to see when bad was coming. Joey Ann, fifteen now, didn’t enjoy using her “powers.” “Mother, why do I have to stop the Skeleton King? Who knows, he might be just one of the townspeople wanting to get back at certain people!” I stood in the kitchen, chopping carrots and listening to the radio with mother. “Last night, Kelly Marie Tooley was choked to death in her sleep. Joey Ann Tanner: you are the Skeleton King’s keeper! Keep him contained, or kill him!” the radio announcer belched proudly. I had seen Mr. Parker, the radio announcer and he tried to be taller than he really was. He was a pudgy short man, with brown and over-washed hair. I, on the other hand was tall, skinny and strong from working. “Don’t pay attention to Samuel Parker. He just is jealous or scared. I’m not sure.” Mother was right, I thought. As I washed for bed that night, I saw all the lights through my window flash on in the houses, as people went to bed. Some people will believe anything an old priest will say. Even if it doesn’t work. My eyes started drooping, so I lay down in bed. I was just beginning to fall asleep...when BAM! The vision of blood, claws, pain, and a wicked smile flashed through my brain. Unlike my usual visions, it kept going. Sarah Walker was laying in her bed screaming as a ghostly skeleton came creeping around her bed. I was sweating and reaching for the light. Sarah had four or five cuts on her legs and her nose was bleeding. The Skeleton King was creeping closer and closer with a knife in his hand. Then it all went black. I ran to my door. Sarah Walker was my friend and she was the Skeleton King’s target for the night. I turned on all the lights in the house and yelled to my family. “Run! We have to get to Sarah’s house, before the He does! Hurry!” No one asked me what I was talking about. All they did was run for the front door. I splashed through the soaking grass. My feet sunk into the mud, but I didn’t stop running. I yelled at the front door of the Walker’s house and pounded on the windows. Lights flicked on all through the house and pounding footsteps came to the door. The door flew open. Mrs. Walker stood in a white robe, squinting into the dark blankly. Then she saw me and stepped aside questioningly. The rest of the family stood in the hallway. I was thankful to see Sarah, and I ran to her and hugged her. Her Mrs. Walker sobbed, and fell in a near by chair. “Ma’am...well all of us have to leave and turn out the lights, except for the skeleton lamp of course.” “No! We will stay here and turn all the lights on. We will hold our guns and shoot at the evil skeleton from the Rosewood Grave yard or whatever graveyard he belongs!” Mr. Walter belched. “Mr. Walter...the Skeleton King is human, not a skeleton from the grave yard.” I knew who it was and he was not stupid. He lived in Helen, a town nearby. The Skeleton King was Mark Tanner, my stepbrother. I wasn’t about to tell everyone, because I knew it was a battle between the two of us, and I didn’t want anyone interfering. I closed my eyes and tried to concentrate on Mark, trying to see what he was doing and where he was. I saw a dark street with a bright star behind a teenager in a skeleton costume. He had clenched fists and was standing with his eyes closed. If someone’s ears could steam with anger, his definitely would have. He slipped the skeleton head on and strode down the street. His stride gave me chills. It was an evil stride, a stride that was out to do no good and anger was mixed in with that. I knew he must be in our town because skeleton lights bounced creepy shadows from the curtains onto the porch. He glanced at every skeleton lamp and a mischievous grin, like the Cheshire Cat’s, spread on his face. He held the same knife as I had seen in my vision in his hand. I noticed that he had a few scars on his hand, making the skin on his hands look like a skeleton’s. I remember the last time I had seen him, he had gloves on. I couldn’t help but flash back to when he visited. It was Thanksgiving, and as usual the families couldn’t get along. The whole Tanner/Walter family was there. There was no skeleton lamp in the window, but it wouldn’t be long. The delightful smell of roasting turkeys floated through the streets and autumn decorations stood on front steps and windows. The one creating the tension was Mark. He was wearing his usual white gloves, and his skin was super pale. Aunt Daniel was tried to changed the subject when it came to mother’s son. When mother first got married, the whole family didn’t approve, so when she had her first kid: Mark, the family went nuts. Aunt Pauline: “That boy is a handful of trouble.” Aunt Daniel: “send that thing away to an orphanage!” Uncle Samuel: “he will never be a part of this family as long as I live.” When I was born, Mark was about twelve and he ran away to live with his father. Last year Mark was married to a women that gave you the same chills as Mark himself. They of course, didn’t have a wedding. The women’s name was Monte Bali and she ran away from France...well, she was really chased out. Her black hair flowed down to her waist and she had ghostly skin. What puzzles me is they changed both of their last names. I still call them Mark and Monte Tanner, but it really is(legally)Mark and Monte Sisco. So, on Thanksgiving, everything fell apart for Mark and I. We were washing dishes together, alone in the kitchen. “So, miss popular, hows’ buttering up the family against me workin’ for ya?” sometimes, Mark just doesn’t get me, I would never do that to my own stepbrother! “Mark! I’m not doing that! Why would I? You are my stepbrother, so why would I do this to you?” “I know what you’re doing and never consider us family. They hated me the moment I came out and they loved you the second your little angelic head popped out. I don’t ever want to see you smile ever again. All I want to see is blood, tears, and no movement. I will hurt you or kill you in anyway I can, even if it doesn’t mean killing you.” He marched out of the kitchen, leaving me their staring. I hadn’t moved one inch the whole time he was talking. I just stood their with a plate and towel in my hand, and my jaw on the floor. I must say, I half expected him to throw a kitchen knife and get the whole thing over with, but that wouldn’t be the effect that he wanted. Mark wanted me to suffer, no just die with my jaw on the ground. “Honey? Honey, are you okay?” my mom waved her small delicate hand in front of my face. I blinked and looked around the Walter’s home. Every face in the room stood, staring at me with a worried gaze. “I’m okay...he is coming. The Skeleton King is coming, and is very near. I have to stay here. You guys go to our house and don’t come to check on me until day light, if I don’t come back. “Honey, we can’t leave you here! You will get killed! Please. The Skeleton King has nothing personal with you.” “Mom, it is the most personal and tragic thing that has ever occurred. It’s my fault this is happening and I have to stop it. Either I can stop him, or he will kill me and will have his full.” Deep down, I knew their is good in Mark. Family doesn’t break and heal easily. He didn’t say goodbye, so our scar hasn’t healed. “Mom, Dad, don’t worry. I will be fine,” Dad mumbled an “Okay” and Mom sobbed with Mrs. Walter. The two moms’, hugging each other, reached for the door. “Honey, do be careful.” She closed the door with another sob. I watched through the window as their shadow bobbed toward my house. It was not a body I was watching, but shades of black lighter than the darkness hinting then fading as they floated past the skeleton lamps in windows. I would never let anyone get hurt because of what I took from my brother. My family isn’t perfect, just like any family, but I know how it isn’t. Most of them judge people by their cover or their background. They judged my Mom’s first spouse, and since Mark was a symbol of their relationship, they shut him out of the family, with his father. My family almost made him the way he is today. I won’t point fingers and I’m not calling them bad, but I am just pointing their bad spot. “Bye,” I mumbled to the fading shadows. I turned of the lights and slumped on the couch watching the front door and skeleton lamp. I waited and waited for my brother’s steps on the back door. Butterflies fluttered in my stomach and ants crawled on my legs. I shivered, even though it was a summer, and I could feel my stepbrother’s cold presence. Mark wasn’t far away. I concentrated on him, he was coming up the street. Should I just run away? Should I just let him kill me? Should I hide? No, people had died just because my stepbrother couldn’t forgive. I had to face him. I listened. An owl hooted in the forest behind the house and a bat flapped past a street lamp, making me flinch. I heard mumbling at the back door. He was here! I had instincts that I should run, but I didn’t. The door never opened. Soon, I realized it was just some kind of animal! Relief flooded me, though I shouldn’t have been. The longer I waited the more afraid I would get. Suddenly an arctic breeze flew in the room. I knew he was there. He had snuck in. Figures! He wouldn’t just stomp into the house! Mark, I knew, had snuck into many houses before. “Hi little stepsister, also known as my “Keeper”. You are really a failure. You were the real reason for the deaths, and you get to die with the guilt on your shoulders.” His voice felt like icicles. “I need to talk to you, Mark. Can you promise not to kill me for a few minutes?” he smiled to himself. “I suppose so, but hurry. Monte wants the knife next, and with blood on it.” “We are family, Mark. Not enemies. Please. Mom should have taught you better. Mom misses you, did you know that?” he grunted and laughed. “She wanted to go to Helen and invite you home. She wants us to be friends again.” I knew, if I were to stop him, I would have to use him one weak spot: Mom. “We are family, and you would ruin Mom if you killed me. If I were to kill you, I would ruin her to. She loves us both, the same amount. When you ran away, she locked herself in the bedroom for days. She sent people to get you from your Dad. Your Dad didn’t tell you about it because he didn’t want you to leave. He wanted to hurt Mom. Did you know, Mom sent you forty letters, and your dad burned them? Mark, please don’t do this.” I watched his response. “I do what I want to do, and you won’t stop me.” His face kept stone cold.


© Copyright 2017 Ade. All rights reserved.

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