One dark, cold night, when the moon shone so bright, behind a tombstone in a creepy dark cemetery, a baby boy was born. They named him Jack.
Jack seemed to be a normal baby boy at first; he played with his toys and screamed at the top of his voice when he wanted something. When he got older, he went to school, watched TV, did his homework and played with his friends. However, fourteen years after the day he was born, things started to change. When most boys Jack’s age started growing hair in various places, Jack started to lose skin from parts of his body, revealing the gruesome array of muscle and bone that lay beneath it. When his friends voices started to change, Jack’s grew quiet and breathless.
“Why aren’t I like the rest of the boys in my class?” asked Jack.
“Oh darling, don’t worry.” His mother hugged him. “It’s just a phase, it’ll pass, you’ll see.” She smiled at Jack then brushed a piece of his skin from her shoulder disgusted. Jack stormed up to his bedroom and slammed the door behind him. He lay on his bed and started to cry, but as he did, tears streaming from his eyes, he felt a strange sensation. He looked down at his hands, and to his disbelief, his right hand was missing. Jack panicked and looked around the room searching for his hand. Then, he saw it, twitching, still hanging onto the door handle. He jumped up from his bed and ran towards the door, grabbed his boney hand, then looked for some string and a needle. He sat at his desk and began to sew his right hand back on his arm.
In the morning, Jack was woken by his mother calling him. He got up and staggered half asleep downstairs where his mother stood in the hall wearing her old blue dress and his grandmother’s hat.
“Why aren’t you ready yet?!” exclaimed his mother, “We’re meant to be at Emily’s wedding in one hour!” Jack rushed up the stairs, now wide awake, put on his black suit and ran to the car. In the church, Jack sat at the end of a long line of people on a hard wooden seat near the back. Then, Jack suddenly felt a horrible, fiery pain in his arm. He rolled up his sleeve to reveal his blood-covered bone. At that moment, his hand appeared to detach itself from his arm, fall to the floor and scuttle away under the seat in front of him.
Jack panicked. He got on the floor and crawled under the seats, searching for his hand. A sudden cold breeze blew over his body making him shiver. The church doors had opened and Emily, the bride, was walking down the aisle. The organist started playing, filling the church with music. Everybody stood up like robots, all at the same time and watched her. Jack, still on his hands and knees, caught a glimpse of his hand scuttling under Emily’s long white train. He crawled nearer to the altar, and, as Emily got closer, he got ready to pounce on his hand as it sat on her train. A moment later, there was a piercing scream from one of the female guests. Jack jumped out from his hiding place and pounced on his hand, he stood up in the middle of the aisle, just behind Emily, and reattached his skeleton hand, just clicking the wrist socket into place. He turned round to find Emily screaming so hard that her face had turned a blood red. The priest meanwhile was shouting at him.
Jack ran towards the door, desperate to escape the mayhem that had broken out in the church. Just before he reached it, he heard the priest shouting at the wedding guests.
“He is the work of the devil! We must catch him!” A very scared Jack ran out the church and began looking for a hiding place in the cemetery. He found an old moss-covered tombstone under a dead cherry tree in a dark corner of the cemetery and he crept behind it. All day he sat and listened to the shouts and footsteps of the wedding guests as they searched for him.
At night fall, everything fell quiet, the only noises were the ones of the wind blowing through the dead trees and of an owl hooting in the cherry tree above him. The light cast by the moon was bright enough for Jack to see. He started to slowly creep out from behind the tombstone, when a foot trod on his boney hand. It was the priest. The priest looked down at him disgusted. Jack was a mess; his suit was torn and covered in grass and blood stains, his hands were skeletal, he had lost one of his shoes and was shaking with fear.
“You are the work of the devil Jack,” said the priest, “you don’t belong here. Go back from whence ye came.” Jack felt something grab his leg, he looked down and saw a skeleton hand gripping his leg firmly. He tried to get away, but the skeleton’s grip was too strong. Before long, Jack was surrounded by many strong skeletal hands that grabbed hold of him. The priest looked at him and smiled proudly then began to walk away.
“If I’m the work of the devil, then what are you?” called Jack as he struggled on the ground. The priest stopped for a second but didn’t turn to look at Jack.
“Goodbye Jack.” Said the priest. He then walked away leaving Jack to his fate. The skeletal hands began pulling Jack into the ground, he struggled and struggled, but he couldn’t break free. He sank further and further into the ground, and before his head went under, he took his last breath and let the hands pull him down. To this day, the only thing that is left of poor Jack is his cold boney hand sticking out of the ground behind the cold, moss-covered tombstone.
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