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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2232057-Skeletal-Nightmare
by AngieR
Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Death · #2232057
So this is more comedy than horror, but...
Frightmare Contest Entry 9/11/20
1,059 words

Jack Skellington rubbed at his skinless white noggin and leaned back in his chair, eye sockets looking more hollow than usual.

"So you're trying to tell me that humans can see the dead now?" the black-suited skeleton repeated the female skeleton's words incredulously. "That's preposterous."

"I don't know how their doing it, but it's true! One of them shrieked when they saw Carl Longbone yesterday. The evil flesh bag knocked his tibia loose with a stick!" said Emily Bleachsocket, her skull wrinkling in disgust.

Jack rose from behind his desk to pace his office. "Thank you for informing me, Emily. I'll see what I can do."

Emily rose, curtsied, and left.

Tapping his bony fingers against his trembling jawbone, he considered the implications of Emily's revelation. Frowning, he came to the conclusion that none of them were good.

Jack pulled his pinstriped jacket from his chair with a twist of his wrist bone and swept out of his office. He needed to pay Ichabod, his head scientist, a visit.

***

"Interesting..." muttered Ichabod, his empty gaze never leaving the test tube before him. "Is it simply a single, isolated incident? Or have there been a series of such instances?"

"I'm hoping to head off a series of such things!" gasped Jack. "Can you imagine? A bunch of tibia-less skeletons hopping around Halloweentown? The horror!"

Ichabod's skull, the portion where his eyebrow used to be, rose, and he finally turned his eye sockets to meet Jack's.

"I don't know that I would make a big fuss, then. There have always been the odd humans that could see our kind from time to time. I don't think we should panic over a single--"

Suddenly, a chorus of screams echoed through the town.

Jack and Ichabod’s pale faces turned in unison toward the sound.

Through the window, the two skeletons saw a small group of humans in gray jumpsuits and black backpacks using some sort of tubular prods to push back the townsfolk. Several of their comrades burst into clouds of white dust as the evil humans continued to press forward into the crowd.

Jack and Ichabod, horrified, rushed out to the dimly lit street.

“Who are these strange men?” breathed Jack, mystified. “They’re wearing some sort of device over their ocular cavities!”

Ichabod squinted his eye sockets at the gray-clad figures, adjusting the circular lenses of his glasses. “Are you sure they’re men, not women? I can never tell the difference without being able to see their bones.”

“No, I’m not sure.” Jack’s voice rose angrily. “But who cares about their gender! I don’t know what the hell is going on here! That’s why I came to see you!”

Ichabod shrank back in fear, unaccustomed to seeing Jack so animated unless in the middle of a song and dance number.

“I-I don’t know how they’re seeing us,” Ichabod said. “But… it must have something to do with those ocular devices they’re wearing!”

Emily spotted the two male skeletons from across the street, hiked up her dress and hurried over to them. “See! You see!” she cried, pointing a bony finger at the invading humans.

“I see,” Jack sighed, his anger dissipating as quickly as it had come. He was frustrated, sure, but it wasn’t fair to take it out on his people.

“Well what are you going to do about it?” asked Emily, tapping her foot bones expectantly.

Jack bit his lower jawbone, then shrugged helplessly.

“That’s it?” asked Emily, voice shrill. “You’re just going to give up?”

Jack and Ichabod looked at each other then back at her, blinking their eye cavities.

“Well, I for one am not going to stand for this!” Emily spun on her heel, long skirt, swishing about her ankle bones, and marched toward the intruders.

As she reached them, Jack and Ichabod following timidly behind, she stopped and placed a bony hand on her hip bone.

“What are you humans doing in our town?” she questioned, her voice holding the condescending authority of the schoolteacher she once was.

The humans, startled, ceased their forward progress and looked her over, the lenses of the large black contraptions over their eyes glowing faintly red.

Not waiting for their answer, Emily poked the lead human in the chest with a bony finger. “I demand that you leave this place at once!”

The lead human turned to the man at his right and received a nod. Then, he turned to the left. Another nod. He focused his lenses directly on Emily, then flipped a switch on his tubular prod.

Emily heard a strange hum coming from the man’s backpack and took a hesitant step back. The three men raised their tubes, and blue/purple lightning erupted from the tips of all three, arcing into Emily’s breastbone.

Emily began to shake, then her skull spun around on the top vertebra of her spine. A moment later, bones flew everywhere, showering the street in a clatter of hollow, marrowless thunks.

Jack and Ichabod raised their finger bones before them, as if to push the ghastly trio before them away. But the terrifying men simply smiled and raised their tubes once more.

Jack swallowed a gulp of air, feeling it ripple the inside of his spine on its way to the hollow above his hips. “W-what do you w-want?” he asked, eye sockets pleading silently with the murderous marauders for mercy.

The lead man cocked his head to the side and shrugged. He pointed at the logo on his arm. It was a white ghost with a red circle around it and a red slash through its heart.

His lips parted, and his hideous fleshy pink tongue undulated behind his teeth, forming words in that nasty, grotesque manner than humans had.

“Who you gonna call?”

Jack and Ichabod cowered under the prodigious weight of the man’s terrifying utterance, their bones clattering in fear.

Arcs of blue-purple lightning lanced forth, enveloping the two skeletons in agony, and their bones shattered in a cloud of white dust before they could muster the courage to scream.

The strange men rotated their tubes upward and blew across their top, the ends of the deadly devices emitting a low-pitched, empty whistle.

The three men turned and walked back from whence they came, a spring in their step after their successful genocide of Halloweentown.
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