For The Writer's Cramp, the prompt, story must contain a witch, a ghost, and a skeleton
| He looked around the strange room. Smoke obscured most of it but what he could see looked like the inside of a log cabin. He could tell it was dark due to the lack of sunlight coming through the only window he could see. A light source near him played off the smoke and caused shadows to dance around the room. Movement on the other side of the room caught his attention. He froze and concentrated on the area he thought he saw something. A cough followed by low mumbling confirmed his suspicions.
“Who’s there?” he asked through the swirling smoke.
“What?” answered a disembodied voice through the gray veil.
“I asked who’s there,” he replied.
Another cough and he could see someone walking toward him. In a matter of seconds he could make out a small woman dressed in what looked like a burlap sack with a belt. On her head she wore a crown made of flowers. The smoke began to clear and he could see she was older with gray streaks in her brown hair.
“What took you so long?” she asked.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. I was,” he thought for a moment, “I don’t really know where I was but I know I wasn’t late. Where am I?”
“You’re right where you should be.”
“That really doesn’t answer my question. I was doing something, I can’t remember what. When suddenly I’m here, a smoke filled room with an older woman whom I’ve never seen. Are you going to a costume party? What are you supposed to be?”
“Well, aren’t you full of questions? I’ll answer all of them in order. You’re in my cabin in the woods, Yes, I’m going to a costume party, and lastly I’m a witch.”
“A witch?” he asked, taking a step backwards.
“Easy, Sally. I’m not going to hurt you. I couldn’t even if I wanted to.”
“Why couldn’t you hurt me?"
“You’re dead. I conjured up a ghost and here you are.”
“Dead, a ghost?” he thought for a moment. “That explains my see-through body. I thought I finally got x-ray vision.”
The witch slapped her forehead and ran her hand down her face, “Of all the ghosts out there I get one that’s running on empty,” she mumbled.
“Why am I here?” the ghost asked.
“I needed a date to the costume party,” the witch answered. “My name is Debbie.”
“Debbie,” the ghost repeated. “That’s not much of a witch name. Why not Millicent or Beatrix or Lucretia, heck, even Glenda would be better than Debbie.”
“You have a pretty strong opinion about names for someone named Bocephus.”
The name sounded right and then it struck him, “Everybody called me Bo so back off Debbie.”
“We have to leave for the party so you need to get ready.”
“I’m a ghost what do I have to do to get ready?”
Debbie looked at him and shook her head, “You’re a ghost. Think scary.”
Bo closed his eyes and concentrated on scary. He felt something change. When he opened his eye and looked at his arms and legs, everything seemed the same. Then he saw it and at the same time he heard a long, loud scream that sounded like it was coming from a little girl. He then realized he was the one screaming. He quickly took a deep breath and looked at Debbie.
“What’s wrong with you?” she asked. “Nothing’s changed.”
He looked at her and cocked his head to the side in an effort to understand why she hadn’t seen it. Slowly, in an effort to not startle anyone, he stretched his hand toward her and held it there.
“What?” she asked. “It’s your hand. I need a claw at the end of that arm.”
Bo pointed with his other hand, “It’s a wedding ring,” he screamed, “A wedding ring.”
“You numb skull, think of something that’s scary to people who are not you. Think claws and fangs; give that ghostly pallor of yours a green or white tinge. Do I have to do all the thinking for you?”
She watched as Bo transformed into a large greenish monster with large fangs and appropriate claws, “Now that’s what I’m talking about.”
Suddenly a knock on the door reverberated through the cabin. Debbie crossed the room and looked out the peep hole. With a quick intake of breath she opened the door.
A man in a green uniform stood in the open doorway, “Can I help you, handsome?” she asked.
“I have a delivery for Debbie Poopnslaw.”
“That’s me, good lookin’. What are you doing when you get off work?”
The man quickly held an electronic pad in front of her and waited for a signature. When he had it he moved to the side of the door and pushed a long, wooden box into the room. With one fluid motion he turned and ran into the darkness. A gunning engine and squealing tires were Debbie’s only goodbye.
She shrugged her shoulders and opened the box. When she saw what was inside she shrieked and slumped against the wall. Bo moved to where he could see the inside of the box. It was a dusty skeleton lying in repose. He looked at Debbie and back to the skeleton.
Suddenly the skeleton sat up and reached its hand out toward Bo, “Hi, I’m Tom, who are you?”
Debbie ran toward Bo and Tom, “This is a first," she squealed, "I have two dates for a party.”
“Shouldn’t we be leaving,” Bo asked. “I need a drink.”
“Could I borrow a coat,” Tom asked. “This weather chills me to the bone.”
Debbie found a coat for Tom and they walked out the door of the cabin. A full moon cast shadows throughout the surrounding forest and a cool breeze blew through the leafless trees. Their branches banged and scratched against each other sounding like something trying to scratch its way inside.
Bo turned to Debbie, “Poopnslaw? How do you even get up in the morning?”
With a twitch of her nose Bo became a white mouse. She bent and scooped him into her purse, snapping the clasped closed.
“I only needed one date and now I have a treat for the party snake.”
In the dark of the witch’s purse Bo heard Debbie’s remarks. He shrugged his tiny, white shoulders and went back to work trying to zero in on that cheese smell. With luck he would find it before the snake found him.