The Skeletons in my Closet

December 16, 2010
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It was with my first breath in my mother’s arms after birth that I saw it. Saw, this skeletal creature, all toothpaste white bones but with a grey gloomy shadow constantly lingering over it. As two hollow eye sockets peered out of a skull into mine, a jaw swung open and it asked me, “Are you ready?”

I wailed back in terror at this gruesome face, while my parents hurried to comfort and quiet me.

As I grew, I began to see the creature more, not just in the daylight hours where it always lurked behind me. It haunted my dreams relentlessly now, always asking “Are you ready? Are you ready?”

When I learned to speak and walk, the pale nightmare began to pursue me when I tried to escape it, whether I awake or a sleep. No longer was the midnight hour terrifying for me, my life had simply begun a horror movie. I would run but the shadowed skeleton never once ceased. It made no sound as it chased, not a single creak as the bare appendages knocked against each other. The only noise it ever omitted came from the near mocking mouth with the same question every day.

“Are you ready?”

I’d scream no in response.

Eventually, I succumbed to the fact that my follower would always be there and there was not a thing I could do to stop this. No one but I could see the endless black pits where eyes should have been, or could feel that frigid shiver when I realized it was right behind me.

My tormenter became a part of my routine, something I had grown to accept and begun to work around. Despite my past I eventually managed to create my own family. We lived in a simple apartment; my wife, my son, and the house guest only I could see.

One day, it vanished. It had been behind me one moment and the next it had sunken into the shadows of the room. I let myself be secretly thrilled, but not daring to press my luck and believe it had left permanently. Perhaps it was allotting me a morsel of pity; after all, it was my son’s sixth birthday. Realizing this, I was overjoyed at the idea of celebrating with my family in peace for once.

I entered my son’s room around eight o’clock to wake him up for a happy birthday breakfast. Yet when I entered his room, he was already awake, brown eyes intently focused on the empty air in front of him. He didn’t notice me, and I couldn’t help but smile as I quietly observed the sand in his eyes, his tangled hair and the Scooby Doo footy pajamas he cherished. I was about to approach him when he spoke eagerly.

“Go where?”

My greatest fear manifested in front of me, kneeling over to be face level with my son. “On an adventure, to a far better place than here” It promised, in an almost tender way. “Are you ready?” it asked.


And my world crumbled to bits as I watched my son take the monster’s hand just before the childish light of innocence fled from his eyes. I howled at the horror, wanting to rush over to my son, and hug his body but I had fallen to my knees in pathetic weakness.

It approached me, dark sockets and all. I aged a century within that moment, every cell of my body screaming in exhaustion. I remembered seeing the bright bones for the first time as it peeked over my mother’s shoulder.

“Are you ready?” It asked me after a moment.

Feeble and defeated, I hung my head. “Yes…”

It held out its hand and I slowly took it, all the happiness in me fleeing as if I were an uncorked bottle. As it led me away, I could not hear my footsteps, but for the first time, I heard its.

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SushiPoseur said...
Dec. 22, 2010 at 3:14 pm
I really love the details in this, especially the first paragraph. It really drew me in from there and I wanted to keep reading :)
KatherineRose replied...
Dec. 22, 2010 at 7:14 pm
Thank you so much! You don't know how much it means to me that you took the time to comment :)
SilverDragon said...
Dec. 17, 2010 at 9:26 pm
incredible detail! i love this! however, i am confused- did the woman and her child die? overall a thrilling story
KatherineRose replied...
Dec. 18, 2010 at 7:40 am
Its actually a father, not a mother, but yes, they did die.
ForsakenThirteen said...
Dec. 17, 2010 at 4:27 pm
Absolutely love it. I really feel like I am there watching all this happen! Good job!
KatherineRose replied...
Dec. 17, 2010 at 4:31 pm
Thank you so much!
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