Skeleton in Your Closest – Literally

When you go to get dressed one morning, you discover that there really is a skeleton in your closet. Write this scene—discover how it got there, why it is there, what to do with it now.

Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.

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429 thoughts on “Skeleton in Your Closest – Literally

  1. kathleenmagner

    Sitting at her moldy kitchen table, Kelsey hunched in her bathrobe, cupped her chin in her hand, and skimmed the front of the local newspaper. The headlines discussed events for the town’s 300th anniversary, the dignitaries to participate in the parade, and the timing of the firework extravaganza. Flanking articles provided the weekend weather report: partly sunny with thunderstorms on the way, an analysis on the high school’s production of Cats, and another exposé on the search for the cause of holes dug on the north-facing hills known as the Parkland.

    “Maybe they need a hand.”

    Gathering up her highlighter, Kelsey flipped through the pages. Classifieds and the want ads occupied the last two. Bypassing the sale of decades old sailboats, she focused on the few square advertisements seeking help, the smell of highlighter, brewed coffee, and ink invading her nose.

    The coffee machine popped before she’d circled any and, pitching aside her marker, Kelsey stood. Her mug waited on the grooved butcher-block counter, a scoop of sugar lightening the navy ceramic. She poured and set the pot back on the hotplate.

    The doorbell’s off-tune buzz added to the hiss of coffee drips.

    “No,” said Kelsey to the pot, “I don’t want to donate anything to the festival.”

    Working out the sticky cutlery drawer, she grabbed one of the floral stemmed spoons and stirred. The handle knocked against the mug’s rim when the bell buzzed again. Slamming the spoon down, she trundled along the corridor, the hardwood floors groaning under her tiger-striped slippers.

    Two shadows stood on the other side of the front door’s foggy glass, grime and cobwebs blurring their gray outlines. Stopping at the foot of the stairs, Kelsey set her hand on the banister’s knob and pulled the collar of her buttercup robe close.

    “Hello?” said a baritone, his voice dulled against the door’s mahogany.

    “There’s nobody home, Deacon.” A clink and clank joined the shuffling of the shorter shadow, his bass humming in satisfaction.

    “Walt. Wait,” said Deacon. “We can come back later.”

    “Don’t be such a baby.” A zipper slid and a hand holding something long and slender motioned upwards. “Look at this place. No one’s going to show up.”

    “There’s a car in the driveway.”

    “A hunk of junk.”

    “My junk,” whispered Kelsey.

    Padding forward, she rested her hand on the door’s latch.

    Deacon froze. “Put those away.”


    He hushed Walt, and then the doorbell buzzed.

    Kelsey opened the door a crack. “Can I help you?”

    Walt shoved a duffle behind his back while Deacon gaped.

    “Morning miss.” After a throat-clearing cough, Deacon extended his hand. “Deacon Marshall.”

    Kelsey kept hold of her robe, leaving him to wiggling his fingers before stuffing them into his slate-gray jeans.

    “I—we hate to bother you so early, but we were wondering if we might take a look at your house.”

    … Click here to read the rest. Any comments are welcome.

  2. Joshtr

    My feet landed on carpet; a small victory after another spinning night of intoxication and mystery-pill fun. I took a moment to rub my temples and choke down my nausea as threat of sobriety loomed. I then, holding my hand out to brace myself on various uncooperative objects, made my way to the shower. The day was going to be a real bitch.

    After I bathed, I felt reasonably sure I could navigate my way downstairs for coffee. First, I would need clothes- for my roommate’s sake.

    A knock came from the inside the closet. I swore, apprehensively reaching for the handle- hoping whatever I found didn’t lead to criminal charges. The closet opened to reveal a shifting pile of dirty clothes underneath which came a painful growl- a guttural and frightening sound. I gingerly touched my laundry pulling it back to reveal what I assumed to be a misplaced halloween decoration, except I had no recollection of owning such a thing. A human skeleton, freakishly real looking, slumped over with a pair of forgotten underwear atop its skinless head.

    “The hell?” I reach to poke this macabre thing and was stricken with dread as the abomination recoiled, turning bony features towards me, its mouth which lacked three and a half teeth, gaped open. In a heavy southern accent it yelled, “Back off, Ass-Face!”

    I fell backwards, scooting myself away until painfully slamming my back into my bed. I could only watch in confused horror as the thing clambered up, grabbing the underwear from its head. “Gross!” It opened the door and left, tossing my unmentionables at me. I heard the hollow thunking of its feet walking downstairs as I tried to reconcile what I just witnessed with reality.

    Creeping downstairs in my towel, I pursued the hallucination. I could see my roommate, Jonathan, reading the newspaper as I rounded the corner. The skeleton sat down, pulling a bowl towards itself which it then filled with cereal. I thought about asking Jonathan for help when he looked up from the classifieds and greeted the monster with a casual “Hey, Billy-Bob. Doin’ Alright?”

    “Well ‘nuff till this dick,” Billy-Bob waved a clacking hand towards me, “Stuck his finger in my God’am nose-hole!”

    I watched as Billy-Bob ate my cereal which fell through him, making a terrible mess.

    “This is. IS this real? Is there a fucking skeleton eating breakfast with us?”

    Billy-Bob stared at me. “No,” his country accent thick as molasses. “I’m jus’ a figment of your imagination, Beautiful Mind, and I’m eating these Cheerios “Sarcaaaastically” to screw with ya’. Also, You can’t tell but I’m rolling my eyes at you. ” He followed this by upending the bowl into his mouth, splashing milk down his ribcage.

    I sat in silence, feeling what must of been an encroaching psychosis of some kind and all I could think was- Fuck it, I’ve had worse friends. I filled a glass of orange juice. “So what are you guys doing today?”

  3. yeux

    Today I did not have to be at the university until one. So, I took liberty and did not change for a few hours. I opened the closet at 11:30 pm. I grabbed my favourite sweater. Suddenly my hand touched something weird. I’ve grabbed it and pulled the object out. It was a skeleton. I started to scream.
    My friend came to my rescue.
    ”I see, that you found Eric. Sorry I did not mention him earlier.” she smiled wryly.
    ”What is it doing in my closet?” I was angry with her now.
    ”I needed a place to store Eric before today. Dr. Sullivan aloud me to take this home. I could not hide this in my closet (you know if I did
    than I have to remove my stuff. In addition, your closet is of perfect temperature. So I sneaked this in on Friday night. I meant to tell you, but you were way too drunk. Good thing I was here when you noticed it.”
    She took the skeleton out of the closet and went to the university. Meanwhile I checked the rest of the closet — no skeletons. I’ve became content.

  4. Kamryn

    It’s not every morning you find a skeleton in your closet.
    Unless, of course, you happen to live on a dragon ranch. At least this time it wasn’t a monkey skeleton. That had been creepy to find.

    “EBONY!” I yelled down the stairs. The tumbling group of dragons grew still, and one large, black serpent crawled towards me, looking as defiant as a lizard with wings can look.
    I folded my arms and tapped my foot, making the dragon cringe.

    “Ebony, what have I told you about eating the zoo animals?”
    The dragon shook his head vehemently.

    “You know that we barely get enough funding to keep this place open as it is, Ebony. If people start making complaints, we’re going to have to close down,”

    Ebony nodded, and grinned a dragon grin. The dragons could understand me perfectly, but their voices were too low for me to hear, so we made do with a sort of sign language. The young dragon turned and growled at the group, and I watched as his throat pulsed, obviously saying something.
    One of the biggest nodded and left the room, nudging open the specially made door.

    I was beginning to have a bad feeling.
    Ebony came up the stairs and rubbed against my legs, then in a flash sank his teeth into the hem of my dress.
    My voice trailed off, my hands shaking.
    He tugged me down the stairs, growling to himself.

    The dragons clustered around me, pressing me out of the door, herding me towards some unknown fate. Or possibly that cave over there. Yes, definitely the cave.
    Maybe they were honoring me. You know, letting me see their nests or something.
    Who was I kidding?
    I screamed, trying to pull away, but the dragons just kept dragging me towards that cave.
    When we reached it, the cave was creepy enough. What was inside it was far scarier. I screamed until the huge, mountainous dragon blasted me.
    The last thing I saw were those flames.
    And now you know why I’m in your closet.
    Do drop by and chat again, won’t you?

  5. Misssharee

    “This is such a beautiful house!” I said while hugging my husband John. “I knew you would love it Sasha.The moment I saw the house I knew that this was the one for you.” he said as he kissed my forehead. John’s job had just transfered him from AZ to EL Paso TX which was quite a change for us. Both of our families grew up in AZ and neither of us had ever left AZ. It was a beautiful brick house that sat on its own 5 acres of land down a dirt road. The only entry way was five miles from the main highway. It sort of had a “old spirit” feeling to it. John even managed to get the maid and butler of the estate to come aboard and stay on as our new “help.” Mr. and Mrs. Jones had been with the home for the past 50 years. They were a nice old couple that had many stories of the past owners of the house.

    “Good Morning Ms. Sasha. How did you like your first night here?” she asked as she walked into the kitchen. “It was very lovely Mrs. Jones. Thanks for asking. How did you and Mr. Jones sleep last night? I passed by the worker’s quarters as I was going to get a drink of water and I thought I would check on you guys but I didnt happen to see either of you in there.” I said trying to seem as though I was prying into their business. “Oh how thoughtful of you Ms. Sasha. We dont sleep there. Its a little cold in their for our old bones and besides we like to stay close to our employers incase you need something.” she said while rubbing her arms. “Ok. well I think thats a great idea.” I said

    Later that evening John and I were awakend by loud sounds coming from our guest bedroom. I sound as though something was being pushed against the wall or the doors. “John! what is that?” I screamed. “I dont know Sasha. Lets go see.” John and I slipped on our robes and slippers and walked slowly towards the guestroom. The closer we got to the guestroom, the louder the noise seemed to get. “Its coming from the closet!” John said in a low tone. “Stand back Sasha! Im going to open the door!” With his right hand shaking as he reached towards the door, and his left hand directing me to stay back, John slowly opened the door.

    “AHHHHHHHH!!” We both screamed at the site that we saw. There were two human skeletons standing there looking at us. “We told you that we like to stay close to our employers incase you need something.” they both said in unison. “Mr. and Mrs. Jones?” I asked. “Why yes Sasha. This is our home and has been for over a century and we’re not leaving but you are!” she said as they both reached towards us.

    No one ever heard from the Sasha or John again. The house did manage to get resold two years later to a nice young couple by the name of the Jones.

  6. Emma

    Knock knock. Tap tap. Knock knock.

    Bleary eyed, I woke with a jolt. I clambered out of bed and headed towards the front door of my studio flat to see who would be visiting at this ungodly hour. I pulled open the door, ready to tell the visitor just what I thought of their timing. The corridor was empty. I couldn’t believe people had the nerve to play knock-knock-run at 5.30am; I made a mental note to have a word with the concierge during the day.

    Knock knock. Tap tap. Knock knock.

    I was still stood at the front door. The knocking was coming from within the flat. How was this possible? I wasn’t in the mood for pranks. The culprit was definitely going to get it when I found out who was responsible.

    Knock knock. Tap tap. Knock knock.

    It was coming from the closet. The knocks were identical each time they sounded. Not being the type of person to be afraid, I walked up and quickly yanked the handle to the closet. The door sprang open.


    The next thing I knew, I was in a heap on the floor with what looked like a human skeleton on top of me. It WAS a human skeleton. I could see dents all over it and breaks in the limbs, as if it had been recently dug up or badly injured prior to death. I scrambled up as quickly as I could and pushed the skeleton as far away from me as I could. I ran straight out of the door, not caring that I was still in my nightdress. I looked down at my hands after feeling a strange wetness within my palms. Red. When I reached the concierge’s office, I babbled almost incoherently to the building’s sleepy night attendant. Not able to find my words, I motioned for the gentleman to follow me. I sprinted at full-speed back to my studio where I pointed frantically in the direction that I threw the skeleton. I couldn’t bear to go inside, so I pushed the concierge into the room, completely unaware of what awaited him.

    “Is this some kind of joke, missy?” the gentleman explored every part of the small studio and clambered dozily back to the doorway, where my feet were still glued to the floor.

    I didn’t understand. I FELT the skeleton. I had held it within my fingers. The coldness of the bone contrasted with the warmth of my skin. I could still vividly remember horrifying skull, with its jaw broken and hanging down on one side. The dark smudges that covered every inch were still etched in my memory. I’d tried to believe that it was mud, but it wasn’t mud that I had seen on my hands whilst running to get help. I looked down at my hands… nothing. No blood. I had no idea what was going on but I sure didn’t like it. I apologized to the concierge and he grunted to himself whilst walking away.

    I looked around the room myself, taking in every dark corner of my small home. Nothing jumped out at me, nothing was out of place and the closet door was shut once again. The concierge must have shut it when I was outside, I thought. I scrambled back into bed, afraid to shut my eyes. I must have fallen into a very light sleep because I woke with a jolt once again, when I heard…

    Knock knock. Tap, tap. Knock, knock.

    My heart in my throat, I launched at the closet door as if my life depended on it. I pulled open the closet, not wanting to succumb to my fears. I whipped the door open. I didn’t scream this time. He didn’t let me.

  7. missab5

    The house was old, but new to me. I was still getting used to its creaks and moans. There wasn’t much closet space so I had my wardrobe and shoes spread out. The second floor held my bedroom, bathroom, a den, and a guest bedroom. On the first floor were the living room, kitchen, a half bath, and my office. There were also a creepy basement and creepier attic. Since I always considered myself a little creepy, it seemed fitting.

    It was my day off so I put on a sundress to be cool and comfortable in the summer heat. The sandals I wanted to wear were in the office closet. As always I stood in amazement at the inside of this closet. It was small, but had a unique feature. There were four steps that led to the bar that held my clothes, and the top step held some of my shoes. There is a main staircase by the front door that leads to the second floor. This must have been a back staircase that would have led directly to the attic stairs. It was probably used for servants to go unseen. The top had also been walled off.

    As I went up the first two steps to grab the sandals I tripped. Reaching out my hand made contact with the wall, and went right through. I struggled for a moment before freeing myself. No real damage to my arm, though I’d probably see a few bruises there later. My knees took the brunt of it, having slammed into the top step.

    My curiosity got the best of me and I pushed the pain aside. I grabbed a flashlight from the desk, pushed the clothes aside, and peeked into the hole. Like a horror movie come to life I saw what I least expected to find. I emptied the closet, grabbed a hammer and took apart the wall.

    There was a small landing about half way up. On it was a trunk, but what was above it was what had really caught my eye. There was a skeleton of what I assume was a woman since it was in a dress. From the looks of the garb I’d have to say she’d been there about two hundred years. Hopefully the trunk holds some answers. Its contents held clothes, shoes, and jewelry. It looked as though she had packed for a trip but didn’t make it very far. There was a letter in a pouch on the inside of the lid.

    Her son, who was eloping with the maid he’d gotten pregnant, killed her accidentally. Together the staff hid what happened. She was a tyrant they were happy to see gone. After some research I found that no one missed her. The couple married and had four kids. I’m going to wall her back up, and leave the past hidden for now. Which means I get to live in a creepy old house with an actual skeleton in my closet.

    1. missab5

      I ended up with double the word count allowed, so I took out half the story. I’m sure I’ll use the full version somewhere else. Took me forever to get this posted. I have so many problems with this site.

  8. radioPanic

    The surf calls me awake. My eyes peel open to see why it’s so much louder. I creak upright in bed to peer through the dust rising around me.
    Ah. Window’s broken. I try to swallow, to lubricate my throat sufficiently to hurl an expletive out the window, but nothing comes. My fingers find the lamp switch and turn, click click click, to no effect. The digital clock sits blank under a layer of dust.
    I crack the seal on the Aquafina on the nightstand and wash last night’s taste down my throat. “Goddamn PG&E.” There, that’s better.
    I call over my shoulder, “Freddie, wanna go out?”
    No response. No claws on the wood, no bell.
    Time to play find Freddie. I stagger to the closet for a robe.
    Wouldn’t have thought it possible, but my neck goes even stiffer, spine flowing with quicksilver. “Oh my god,” I whisper.
    Last night starts coming back.
    I’m not the type who approaches creepy strangers in bars. I’m the type that sits and downs as much as I can afford until some yahoo puts Creedence on the jukebox. Someone always does. At the first strains of Bayou, I downed my Bootlegger and spun my stool toward the door.
    There the guy sat, in a dark booth. Pale, in a black suit and black fedora. Neon glinted bright red off his eyes. I squinted through the smoke, and he raised his glass to me.
    Approaching his table, I lit a smoke. “Never seen you here.”
    He smiled, a skeletal thing. “I’m always here,” he said. “Or someplace like here.” He folded hands on the table and leant forward, tipping his head to keep my eye. That smile again. “If you could have one wish come true. What would that be?”
    I licked my teeth behind pursed lips, blinking back smoke. “To wake up… and have this fucking pandemic be over with.”
    His smile widened with his eyes. Eyes glinting red.
    I curled my lip and turned for the door.
    “Sleep tight,” he called after me.
    I look at Freddie’s bones, blinking back tears. Long-abandoned anthills dot the closet floor. I put my hand over my mouth. It comes away covered with dust.
    I go to the window and lean, joints cracking, to peer between the shards.
    Waves glide over rusted car roofs and lap halfway to the top of the MOTEL sign. What was a ten minute walk to the beach when I went to sleep would now take two seconds.
    I swallow hard, return to the closet, and kneel down. “Sorry, Freddie,” I say, blinking back tears. I slip the elastic collar over his dusty skull and shake it off, ringing the tiny bell. I rub a slow thumb over the nametag, slip the collar over my arm, and stand.
    I pull open the door and freeze.
    Scratches mar the floor just inside, a quarter inch deep, haloed by sawdust and bits of claw.
    Saltwater coats my cheeks as I step outside.


    Noob, here. Had to scrap the first attempt ‘cos even though it was more self-contained, it refused to cut down to less than 650. So here’s try #2.

    Hope I’ve got the annoying HTML stuff figured out…

  9. cause

    First time doing this…so here I go!

    Wiping the sleep from his eyes Charles sits at his kitchen island drinking coffee from his favorite mug. It wasn’t the “I <3 NY" printed on the side but the fact that it held about a half a cup more of the 'bold dark coffee that gave you jitters' than a regular mug. After a couple of sips he stumbles up the stairs and like it does every day, one of his slippers catches on a step almost causing him to fall and spill his coffee. Also like always he was expecting it and caught himself before he spilled a drop. With exhausted satisfaction Charles throws his robe to the bathroom floor and puts his coffee cup in the shower on the shelf where his shampoo is kept so that he may drink it while he showers. Covering himself in a towel he opens the walk in closet and faces left to his business outfit. Staring at his cloths blankly, coffee cup in hand, he mutters to himself, "What to wear today, what to wear?" A bright yellow button up shirt and slacks make there way off of the pole, still on the hanger and are presented to Charles. " Ah perfect!" He says to himself and exits the closet tugging on the string for the light on the way out. After closing the door Charles pauses and his brow furrows. The cloths over his left arm fall to the ground and he puts his coffee cup on the dresser next to the closet. He opens the door and turns on the light again to see what had presented his cloths to him but sees nothing. Splitting the clothes hanging on the pole so that he may see the back of the closet he gasps at what he sees. Their is a full skeleton sitting on the ground cross legged reading a dictionary.

    Looking up casually from his read the Skeleton says, "Oh hello Charles, did you not like your outfit?" Looking back to the book his bones make a sort of popping sound, " You know, the English language has really expanded since I was alive. Unfortunately your also adding that rubbish text lingo….I hate it."

    Now Charles is screaming. All of the color has left his face but he can't stop looking at the skeleton. "AHHHH..AHHH….AHHHHHHHHHH!! What the hell are you doing in my closet? Are you talking?! Am I still asleep? I am aren't I? I'm going back to bed…" Turning to walk out of the closet Charles's shoulders are slouch and hes looking at the ground in defeat.

    "Your not still asleep Charles, and I need you to calm down." Says the skeleton as he stands. " I'm Death, but I'm not here for you…I have come for the elderly man next door. Interestingly enough hes not going to die of old age, hes going to get struck by lightning while mowing his lawn later. That doesn't concern you though. I'm naked in your closet because I needed to wash my robe. You have no idea how much it stinks after a decade of 'work'. Their are no washing machines on the other side but you can still smell the rotting flesh of the deceased. I do suggest going back to sleep though and forgetting anything ever happened. Good morning Charles, and I will see you soon." The last words Death spoke in a ominous whisper. " Just kidding you have plenty of time left, so enjoy your Monday!" With that the skeleton pulled on the string for the light and closed the door. Charles stumbled over to bed and threw himself on it wishing that it would all go away. His last thoughts before he fell back asleep were, 'At least his dog won't be crapping on my lawn anymore…I hate Mondays.'

  10. missypm

    Kali untangled her hand from beneath the mound of blankets to hit the alarm as it beeped her into consciousness. Her yellow lab stuck his nose out from under the pillow beside her, his pink tongue darting out and licking her nose.
    “I know Yellow, rise and shine time. Today we start our new job and tonight we unpack for our new home” she said as she petted the yellow lab.
    Yellow looked at her with raised eyebrows before rolling over and jumping off the bed. The two of them moved to a small apartment near Burlington VT after a rather nasty breakup between Kali and her ex. She left Chicago looking for a change and had only taken what fit in her SUV, then she and Yellow drove halfway across the country to their new life.
    Kali sat up and stretched while she peered at Yellow who sat at the foot of the bed waiting for her. She flung the blankets off from her and placed her feet on the floor. Her mattresses were on the floor and the alarm sat on a box serving as a night stand. She had yet to unpack anything yet alone buy necessities. She pulled herself up and spoke to Yellow through yawns.
    “Hold on boy, I will take you out after I find a jacket, then breakfast and coffee while I find directions to the station.”
    She crossed the blue carpet, freshly vacuumed before she came yesterday, to the closet where she had placed her boxes of clothes. Yellow stood and came to her side, nose in the air twitching and feverishly smelling around him. As Kali opened the doors a box fell almost on top of her, spilling at her feet the items made a clinking sound as if dominos were falling onto each other.
    She stepped forward to peer down at what it was. The box was spilled over but she saw the bones that had spilled from the box and now lay every which way. Yellow growled deep in his throat and she felt him back up a bit. Kali probably would have been more shocked at the skeleton that now lay at her feet in a heap; however, unfortunately this was not a first. In fact she knew exactly what it meant for her, her job, her new life and most of all those soon to be victims; it meant he was back and that he followed her.
    She knew without looking that there would be no skull that was always missing. There was no note, no explanation, there was no need, she knew what the skeleton meant; it meant another victim, another unsolved murder. Yellow inched towards the skeleton with hackles raised. She laid her hand on his head and he settled but still stood ready to pounce.
    They say every cop has a case that becomes their life, this one, the one she had not yet caught was hers, and here he was taunting her.

  11. Pandora1262

    The story has a lot of potential. It could develop very well. My only comments would be:
    1. The age of the girl. When she witnessed the beating, you describe her as a sweet “little girl”. Now, it is five years later and she has run away from home pregnant? How old is she now? The term “little girl” implies, to my mind, less than ten years old which would make her pregnant at about 15?
    2. The girl saw abuse the mother was suffering at the hands of Hector. The daughter would not blame the mother, would she? How could the mother “protect her from the ruggedness of life” (if physical abuse could be called “ruggedness”) when Hector was described as having “mammoth” fists so presumably he was a big man? Usually, a common threat (Hector) would bring the two women closer because they would identify with each other that much more, even if they do not speak very much.
    Of course, all of the above could be explained away later on in the story. It seems almost unfair to judge based on 500 words only. Perhaps all you need to be careful of is the adjectives you use to describe people or actions. The style of your writing is very “readable”. Keep going!

  12. simba15

    OOOOPS! Big mistake there. Didn’t read the prompt well before rushing to get this piece down. Just realized it’s a literal skeleton we’re talking about here. Any comments though?

  13. simba15

    “No! Let go of me!” I shrieked, my eyes bulging in fear. But his grip was too firm… too sure of the damage it wanted to cause.
    I shielded a blow with my free arm. Wrong choice. The mammoth fist plunged into my belly, leaving me squirming in pain. The room became a blur. All I could see was that angry face; and those angrier fists charging belligerently at me.
    She stood in the doorway sobbing gently, her hazel eyes flooded with sorrow. She was so young…so beautiful; the sweetest little girl. She didn’t have to see any of this.
    “Hector,” I moaned through my bleeding mouth. It was hardly a whisper, but it seemed to get his attention. He left a fist balanced in the air.
    “Hector,” I choked out. “She’s watching.”
    He glanced at the doorway and stood there – the idiot – watching our daughter, frozen and ashamed.
    That was five years ago. Hector had died of a stroke barely six months later. Honestly, it was a relief. But then, I had spent so many years thinking I could be a better mother to Meg if her father was out of the picture. Clearly, I was wrong.
    How was I to undo all the scars Hector had left behind? How was I to look my own daughter in the eye when I had failed to protect her from the ruggedness of life when she needed it the most? I had failed at everything. I grew apart from her. I was too ashamed to let her know how I felt about everything…and to tell her just how much I loved her.
    It was too late now. I stared blankly at the letter I held in my quivering hands; then, I glanced over at the empty bed …her empty bed. I knew from the moment I had opened my closet this morning that the creased paper which lay at the bottom was not a good sign.
    I read the words again.
    I was terrified. But Meg was feeling much worse. It was her pain that was killing me on the inside.
    She had fled from home.
    She had fled from me. She was out there somewhere, alone and pregnant. She was afraid of what my reaction would be. So she packed up long before I woke up and left nothing but a tattered letter in my closet. I knew from the sight of it that her tears had swamped the sheet.
    It was time for me to make things right. I had to find her. I had to let her know I was sorry for never being there for her. Then, I’d make sure that she would never make the same mistakes I made in raising her own child. I wouldn’t stop searching until I could hold her again. She was everything I had.

  14. Pandora1262

    It was my day off but I planned to get a backlog of errands done and was pissed off when I woke to find that it was past eleven a.m. After a quick shower which did nothing to help me wake up, I dressed in jeans, a T-shirt and sneakers, all of which lay scattered on the floor where I left them just a few hours before, after drinking too much and getting home much, much too late.

    Dressed now, I gulped down a cup of coffee and was rushing out of the house when I remembered that I had to take my cocktail dress to the cleaners. I ran back inside and up the two flights of stairs to my bedroom. I opened my closet door and was about to walk in to get the dress when I heard a large cracking noise, followed by a rumble, followed by the roof of my closet which came crashing down. I jumped back just in time as wooden beams, bricks and plater fell, filled the entire closet space and tumbled out onto my bedroom floor. Dust filled the whole room. The noise was deafening! Coughing, I frantically and blindly made my way to the window, opened it and breathed in fresh air. I couldn’t leave the room as the doorway was next to where the closet had been and was now completely blocked by the debris.

    Terrified, I thought the whole brownstone was about to collapse. Suddenly all the noise stopped and there was an erie silence. I slowly turned away from the window to survey the damage. Just then, something fell again and rolled, stopping at my feet. I glanced down and froze. There, looking up at me with vacant eye sockets was a human skull!

    Our house was infamous for the scandal which surrounded the family who first built the property in 1891. The Summervilles were a rich and flamboyant couple who chose to shock society by naming their two sons Cain and Abel, as if to show that this name combination was not cursed. Events proved them wrong. There was always bad blood between the two boys and when Mr. and Mrs. Summerville were killed in a fiery plane crash, the sons, now in their twenties, were the only heirs to their parents vast estate. Several legal battles ensued, each man fighting for the sole ownership of this, their family home.

    In August, 1912, Abel mysteriously disappeared. Suspicion naturally fell on Cain but since no body was ever found, nothing could be proven and no charges were ever filed. Cain, forever under a cloud of mistrust and pre-supposed guilt, drank heavily and gambled away his inheritance in an astonishingly rapid manner. He died penniless in 1935.

    I looked up to see the rest of the skeleton lying on top of the rubble. It was dressed in a military uniform which I instantly recognized. It was the same as my father had worn during World War II!!

    1. Su@dreamweavernovels

      Good start. The beginning seemed a little more “tell” than “show”, needs to flow a little more smoothly. I almost thought maybe the whole piece could have been the history part. That was intriguing. And it’s so hard to find the right place to end when you only have 500 words. Great job. Keep going!

      1. Pandora1262

        You are absolutely right! Thank you. I could have started the whole story from the second paragraph with just a small mention of oversleeping. Sometimes I get so focused on trying to get past a particular tree, I forget that they goal is to get the hell out of the forest!

  15. tdogg369


    You obviously have great command of the language. Lots of good description and you’ve painted a picture of the characters with full color.

    As can so often be the case in the world of short-story writing, I didn’t feel like I had a clear understanding of why they had found each other. A man who thought he was still alive (clever idea) meets a voyeuristic stalker (clever idea). What is the link between the two clever ideas? What are the ghosts the skeleton has run from and why has he taken solace in her closet?

    I think this could be a really neat idea if given fewer space constraints. Perhaps the reader can do without the description of the cat in lieu of just a touch of back story.

    A completely workable story, though.

    A humble man’s opinion.

  16. LMGilbert

    Here is the beginning of a story I am working on, based on this prompt:

    Twenty minutes until the meeting in the principal’s office, and I had to be dressed appropriately. I couldn’t show up in another wrinkly t-shirt, rushing in late and apologizing; I had to make those smug school officials respect me somehow, or I would never get them to cooperate with me about Sid. I visualized the grey suit I had worn to my last job interview, hanging in its clear plastic bag in the closet. Another failed interview, but it wasn’t the suit’s fault. Anyway, no time to think about that now. I slammed open the closet door, reached in, and stopped cold with my hand extended toward the suit. Oh no. Not today.

    “About time you looked in here. Been a while, hasn’t it?” he said. The Skeleton-in-the-Closet rattled a little as he turned his eye sockets toward me, and graced me with his characteristic grin.

    I closed my eyes and reached for the suit.

    “Hmmm, I wouldn’t,” he said. “That suit says ‘I’m trying too hard because I’m desperate to win your approval.’ They’ll walk all over you, sister.”

    I opened my eyes. His skull was tilted to one side, a bony index finger held up to his jaw, the elbow joint cupped in the bones of the other hand. He considered me, the contents of my closet, me again. He slowly shook his head. “Lose the attempt at big hair,” he snapped. “Just pull it all back nice and sleek. That’s it. Now…” Skeleton turned his eyeless gaze to a short black linen dress with a square-cut neckline, hanging just the other side of my wedding dress. He sighed. “A classic look. Too bad you can’t fit into it anymore.”

    “Look, I wore that once, when Sid was six months old and I was emaciated from breast-feeding. And why are you here, by the way? Why today of all days, when I’m trying to get to this meeting…”

    “You just answered your own question, sister. No, don’t close the door and run away. I can’t get out of here and go about my own damn business, until you look after your own damn business. This meeting is about Sid, isn’t it?”

    1. radioPanic


      I really like the way Skeleton’s gesturing says so much. Great visuals with subtle humor. And as a beginning, this piece really does its job, raising questions and making me want to keep reading. What exactly is the situation w/Sid, why does the narrator fell compelled to impress, and WHAT, exactly is Skeleton’s purpose there. Nice.

  17. tdogg369

    It would seem that I’ve been buried in the “awaiting moderation” pile-up from the weekend. I would certainly appreciate some feedback on “Containment.” Gracias!

  18. aeskis

    A Common Interest

    “I assure you, I am not dead,” the decidedly deceased human remains informs me indignantly.

    I blink and wonder how to most tactfully dispel this terrible misconception of the state of one’s life. Ahem, death. The morning had begun with relative regularity; that is, until I discovered a frightful apparition in my closet as I ventured forth from bed to choose fresh clothes for the cold day.

    Forgivably, I screamed, less understandably the skeleton before me screamed, and I slammed the door shut. Moments later a polite knocking could be heard. “Have you come to rescue me?” a gentlemanly voice calls out in delight. “I do apologize for my rude behavior upon meeting a lady.” I struggle to reconcile absolute terror with pleased surprise at his manners.

    My cat comes meowing into the room. “What was that?” I ask him. He meows again, a typically useless answer, as he is a typically useless animal. Mustering courage, I gingerly open the door and peer inside. There it is, gleaming stark white in the filtered light. “Why are you in there?”

    “I was running away from ghosts. I do hope you don’t mind my having appropriated your house.” The skeleton manages to convey a sense of embarrassment, an impressive expression given its eternally grinning, grisly visage.

    “But … you’re dead. Why should you be afraid of ghosts?” This brings us back to the present bewildering situation.”

    “I’m afraid you’re missing vital ingredients of life, including flesh and skin and muscle, among other things. But otherwise I’ll admit you are quite amazingly alive.”

    The skeleton argues heatedly, “But I cannot possibly be dead! I have a life! Friends, a career, women aspiring to be my wife ..!”

    “Denial, sir. Death is after all the eventual occupational hazard of living,” I tell him philosophically.

    Disconsolate, he folds himself into a heap of bony misery. “I suppose the latest dream I had was true and I died in a fire,” the skeleton murmurs sadly. “I knew Melinda was miffed at my refusal to buy her that diamond necklace, but I didn’t think she would take such measures for revenge.”

    “Right. Now that we’ve established the facts, I really ought to attend to business.”

    “What is it you do?” he inquires.

    “Every morning I spend quality time with my long-distance boyfriend, David.” I pause several seconds before admitting, “At least, quality time with my binoculars watching him in his apartment across the street.” I smile awkwardly and proceed to my hobby. He steps out and stands beside me, looking with his eyeless sockets. Again I am mildly impressed. “Oh, he is handsome, my dear.”

    At last, someone to share in my interests! “This may be the beginning of a new life for the both of us,” I smile.

  19. jenk00004

    Well it could have been worse. His nails were clean, he chewed with his mouth shut, and he said “espresso” not “expresso”. The last man I’d dated said terrible things like “irregardless” and sweat every time he ate. Ted was clearly an upgrade.

    I took a deep breath and backed away from the closet. Hollow, black eye sockets stared out at me from beyond Ted’s color coded work shirts and a gaping jaw screamed for rescue. No, no, she wasn’t screaming. She was yawning when she died. Of course.

    I sank down onto the mauve bedspread. Hard to believe he had such a great knack for decorating. And dressing! Boy, could that man dress to kill. Much like the skeleton, actually. She wore a gorgeous baby blue Anne Taylor dress that I’d lusted for two seasons ago, but couldn’t afford. I shook my head. Some people get all the perks.

    It would have been awkward not to mention my discovery when Ted came home. We are, after all, working on our communication. So, over a roast beef dinner with my famous whipped potatoes, I addressed the issue head-on just as my therapist would’ve advised.

    “How was your day, darling?” I patted the sides of my mouth with my napkin.

    “Excellent! Hopefully Larry will approve my request for vacation time in December. Tahiti here we come!”


    “What was that?”

    “You are hopeful Larry will approve your request for vacation time in December. To say hopefully is not correct grammar.”

    He cleared his throat and stabbed his fork into a small, pink cube of meat. “And how was your day?”

    “My day was nice, just more of the usual. Oh! One interesting thing happened. I found a skeleton in your side of the closet.”

    “You did, did you?”

    “I did!” I took a bite of my whipped potato and stared passed Ted at a wrinkle in my drapes. “I wonder who it could’ve belonged to…” I’ll have to iron those drapes first thing in the morning.

    “My ex-girlfriend Liz.”

    “Pardon me?”

    “You said you wanted to know who the skeleton belonged to.”

    “Technically I said that, but it was a rhetorical question.”

    “Well I answered it.”

    “I understand that, but it wasn’t meant to be answered.”


    “WHAT?” My fork clattered against the blue and white plate and my voice lowered to nearly a whisper. “What. Did. You. Say.”

    “I said, irregardless of your question being rhet-”

    “ENOUGH! Stop! Don’t you EVER speak to me like that again. I, I…” I was hyperventilating. My chair slammed into the floor when I stood up. Blinded by rage and tears, I stumbled through the house gathering my belongings.

    I knew it wouldn’t work out with a man like Ted. It just wasn’t my luck. He pleaded for me to stay but I couldn’t even if I wanted to. Things would never be the same. I threw my stuffed suitcase into the passenger seat of my car, peeled out of the driveway, and never looked back. The only silver lining to an otherwise heartbreaking day was my fabulous new baby blue dress.

  20. Pdomoniq

    Feedback greatly appreciated!

    I was stirred by the steady pounding on my front door. “Mia.” a familiar voice called my name. It was Iona. “Look missy, I will not permit you to waste away in your quarters any longer.” She further accosted my ringing ears. “Don’t make me blast the door open.”

    She would do it too.

    Groaning I eased out of bed, blinking against the sunlight pouring into the window of my small officer’s quarters. Throwing on a tank and some shorts, I opened my bedroom door and staggered into the living room to open the front door.

    “Finally,” she said, entering without waiting for me to ask her in.

    I closed the door and fell onto couch, my head throbbing. She walked to the kitchen and placed the large brown bag on the island countertop. I groaned as she began to scold me.

    “Here’s something to help ease your hang over,” she said as heavenly smells wafted towards me as she thrust a cup of coffee towards me. I forced my eyes open, and accepted the cup. I took a sip and then sighed with relief.

    “Mark is gone. He fell in the line of duty and did his nation proud.” Mark’s assignment had been time travel into the future. But things had gone wrong. “It is time that you did your duty.”

    Usually, I would resent her mother hen naggings. Today I complied. “You’re right.”

    “Now, go shower and get dressed. And then we’ll get some food in you.”

    I showered, reveling in the woody floral scent, and then pulled my military skirts from my closet. I screamed when I pulled out my blazer.

    “What on earth is the matter?” I gazed up at Iona. She had burst in my room with her weapon drawn.

    I pointed to the skeleton in the closet.

    “Well whoever it is he’s already dead,” she said putting the safety on her gun and placing it back in its holster. “How did it get there?”

    Embarrassed, “I don’t know.”

    “Mia, you have a skeleton in your closet and you don’t know how it got there?”

    I started to answer but caught a glint of metal around the skeleton’s neck. I got to my feet, firmly wrapping my towel around me, and then approached the closet. I removed the dog tags off of the bones. My heart cringing as I expected them to be Mark’s.

    Iona reached around me, and grabbed a bit of plant from the bones. “This looks like it has been placed there on purpose.”

    I looked at the tags. “Peter Howells.” I released the breath I had been holding. Peter had been with Mark. Sadly, I looked back at the bones, feeling a tinge of guilt at my relief that it had not been Mark. I had liked Peter he had recently been married and had a child on the way.

    “I’ll tell her.”

    “No I will,” I said with conviction walking towards the door. “And Mark could be alive. I’m volunteering.


    “Iona, you can’t stop me.”

    “I was merely going to suggest that you get dressed first.”

    I looked down at my towel. Embarrassed, “I see your point.”

    1. radioPanic

      Very nice. Made me curious to read more.

      A couple of things I noticed..

      Iona starts out with a strong picture of her as a character, barging in without being asked, and the protective side she shows. I don’t know if that’s just the character or her job, but that can wait to be explained, I think.

      Mark’s assignment: just this one sentence kind of breaks the narrative for me, and for a 500 word intro, might be better explained later. Even though it’s just one sentence, it comes off as what I’ve seen called an ‘info dump.’ Maybe give Mia a long walk to report for duty, to reflect on Mark’s assignment.

      ‘Embarrassed, “I don’t know.”‘ is a good line. Repeating the word in the last line kind of tripped me up. I like the idea of a military character prone to easy embarrassment, and I realized you only have 500 words to work with, but I think that if you’re going to repeat the word, it might work better matching it to the first usage as closely as possible, maybe starting w/”Embarrassed, ‘I see your point.'” and following with an action. Just a thought.

      Finally, the bit of plant seems like a plot point of importance, yet Mia doesn’t react and we only barely see Iona reacting to its discovery at all. Might be a good thing to give more of a hint that this could be really important. (In 500 words, ha ha.)

      Interesting stuff.

    2. radioPanic

      One thing I forgot. In the interest of brevity, I think Mia could go straight from throwing on a tank & shorts, to the front door. Unless she’s deliberately stalling, it doesn’t seem to matter that she had to open her bedroom door, or that the bedroom even HAS a door. And if she IS stalling, give her some more stuff to do before she gets to the front door, like drink a glass of water, check her hair in the mirror, etc. All in less than 500 words, ha ha!

  21. tdogg369


    It didn’t seem to flow right. It may have just been me, but I wasn’t sure if the scene in the bar was a flashback or where they were headed when it was “time to go.” Maybe set up the flashback a little better.

    Also, lot of run-on sentences and unnecessary commas.

    “Early the next morning I woke up with a start and she was gone I opened my wardrobe to get my bathrobe and I found her now a skeleton.”

    Should be multiple sentences to help it flow better: “Early the next morning I woke up with a start. She was gone. I opened my wardrobe to get by bathrobe and I found her, now a skeleton.”

    “I quieted the warning voice in my head as I took her to my table ,I was horny and was ready for a lay it didn’t matter that she looked at me strange.”

    This shouldn’t be separated by a comma. It’s two separate ideas. May be better as separate sentences, or at least use a semicolon.

    In general, it’s a neat idea, but watch out for simple grammatical errors. There are several of them in this story.

    Just one man’s opinion.

  22. kennydude55

    I looked at the clock on the bedside table it was 1.00am, time to leave. I put my wallet in my pocket and with my gloved left hand I lifted my meager belongings unto my shoulder. On the bed lay a skeleton dressed in a brown stained dress .On its hands were bangles, its head bore a thatch of hair and skin, almost a fistful. They were mine. I didn’t need to be reminded of that as I stared in the mirror, my temple and part of my scalp were conspicuously missing skin and hair . A few minutes ago she had been in the closet slumped in it as was her habit during the day, now she had appeared on the bed.
    “It’s time to go “ I heard her eerie voice say.
    ‘’ yes ‘’ I reply . It feels like I am in a dream and my actions are not my own I know however its far from that .When I had first met her she was dressed in what she had on now, without the blood stains of course. She had been stunningly beautiful with dark ebony skin, curves and boobs that were just the right size, my kind of woman.
    When I offered to buy her a drink she had looked at me with those dark brown eyes I had an eerie feeling that she was looking into my soul, she grinned and said
    ‘’ okay ‘’
    I quieted the warning voice in my head as I took her to my table ,I was horny and was ready for a lay it didn’t matter that she looked at me strange.
    ‘’My name is Jumobi, ‘’ I said flashing a most disarming smile.
    ‘’Bunmi ‘’ she replied
    The bar was beginning to fill up with people and as the night wore on we talked about all sorts of things politics, religion, and fashion. She spent most of the time listening to me not saying much. A few friends joined us at the table and we talked and cracked jokes till late in the night.
    When it was time to leave she clung to me and I suggested we go to my place ,she agreed and we ended the night in passion .Early the next morning I woke up with a start and she was gone I opened my wardrobe to get my bathrobe and I found her now a skeleton.
    That was a week ago and with each parting week she devoured …no more like swallowed and slurped up a bit more of my flesh My left foot was nothing but bone as was my left hand. So far she had stopped me from contacting my family and friends; all she did was make me move from hotel to hotel.
    I put on my hat and carried her out the door taking care to wrap her in a blanket. I resigned myself there was no hope not for one in the grasp of an oku.

    criticisms and comments are wellcome

    1. Bridee0809

      Since you were so nice to comment on my story, I will comment on yours :-). Overall I thought your story was unique and compelling. I’d love to know what an oku is, and how I can make sure I stay away from one!

      There were a couple run on sentences, one of them: “Early the next morning I woke up with a start and she was gone I opened my wardrobe to get my bathrobe and I found her now a skeleton.” There’s a lot happening there!

      Watch your dialogue tags, you are missing some commas after the word at the end of the dialogue, and there are spaces before the quotes where they are not needed.

      Good job, I look forward to reading more stories from you.

    2. Pdomoniq

      It’s a very interesting story. I agree with Bridee0809 that there are a few grammatical issues. However, once it’s cleaned up a bit it sounds like a great beginning to a horror story.

  23. kennydude55

    didnt read teh lipstick prompt but i think if i were to criticize i would say you could make the flow of the narrative better it has a stop-start feel to it.No hurt intended though

  24. aeskis

    A Common Interest

    “I assure you, I am not dead,” the decidedly deceased human remains informs me indignantly.

    I blink and wonder how to most tactfully dispel this terrible misconception of the state of one’s life. Ahem, death. The morning had begun with relative regularity; that is, until I discovered a frightful apparition in my closet as I ventured forth from bed to choose fresh clothes for the cold day.

    Forgivably, I screamed, less understandably the skeleton before me screamed, and I slammed the door shut. Moments later a polite knocking could be heard. “Have you come to rescue me?” a gentlemanly voice calls out in delight. “I do apologize for my rude behavior upon meeting a lady.” I struggle to reconcile absolute terror with pleased surprise at his manners.

    My cat comes meowing into the room. “What was that?” I ask him. He meows again, a typically useless answer, as he is a typically useless animal. Mustering courage, I gingerly open the door and peer inside. There it is, gleaming stark white in the filtered light. “Why are you in there?”

    “I was running away from ghosts. I do hope you don’t mind my having appropriated your house.” The skeleton manages to convey a sense of embarrassment, an impressive expression given its eternally grinning, grisly visage.

    “But … you’re dead. Why should you be afraid of ghosts?” This brings us back to the present bewildering situation.”

    “I’m afraid you’re missing vital ingredients of life, including flesh and skin and muscle, among other things. But otherwise I’ll admit you are quite amazingly alive.”

    The skeleton argues heatedly, “But I cannot possibly be dead! I have a life! Friends, a career, women aspiring to be my wife ..!”

    “Denial, sir. Death is after all the eventual occupational hazard of living,” I tell him philosophically.

    Disconsolate, he folds himself into a heap of bony misery. “I suppose the latest dream I had was true and I died in a fire,” the skeleton murmurs sadly. “I knew Melinda was miffed at my refusal to buy her that diamond necklace, but I didn’t think she would take such measures for revenge.”

    “Right. Now that we’ve established the facts, I really ought to attend to business.”

    “What is it you do?” he inquires.

    “Every morning I spend quality time with my long-distance boyfriend, David.” I pause several seconds before admitting, “At least, quality time with my binoculars watching him in his apartment across the street.” I smile awkwardly and proceed to my hobby. He steps out and stands beside me, looking with his eyeless sockets. Again I am mildly impressed. “Oh, he is handsome, my dear.”

    At last, someone to share in my interests! “This may be the beginning of a new life for the both of us,” I smile.

  25. tdogg369


    It’s been my experience that non-believers take it the hardest. Not saying more folks should believe, only that that’s how it usually goes. It makes sense when you think about it. You’re a lot less likely to be spooked when you’re half-expecting to see something else.

    Be that as it may, it’s pretty hard to explain to a guy that what he’s just seen isn’t a rarity. In my line of work, I have that conversation daily. And I haven’t figured out the combination of words that softens the blow.

    “How’d it happen, Mac?” I ask the officer.

    “Same as always, Chief. Found ‘im in the closet.”

    “Hmph. Always the closet. The victim talk to anyone else yet?”

    “Nah,” says Mac. “He’s barely talking to us. They’re always pretty shook up the first time.” His last three words come out “da foist time.”

    I nod, expecting as much. Sighing, I look down and light a cigarette. “You know the drill.”

    “Yeah, I know it,” Mac says.

    Each sighting is dealt with the same way. The first step is containment. As quickly as possible, we interview anyone who may have been in the immediate area at the time of the incident.

    Step two is consultation. Basically, we can’t have all of the witnesses blabbing about what they saw, spooking everybody. Something like this would go national within twenty-four hours. So it’s really more like coercion than consultation.

    Step three is termination. Say one of the witnesses sees a get-rich-quick opportunity, decides to take it to the media. We identify those folks pretty quick. Then we make sure they don’t have a story to tell.

    This fellow has been ruminating on this for two hours, hasn’t said more than ten words to any of my guys, but I take one look at him and see the wheels turning.

    “How you doing?” I ask.

    “They’re real,” he says. Quiet contemplation shows all over his face. Then, “Do you have any idea what this means? Scientists have been trying to prove the existence of the supernatural for centuries.”

    Reaching a salt-white, bony hand into my jacket, I pull out a pneumatic syringe, stick it where the skull meets the first vertebrae, and squeeze. The chemical erases the last twelve hours of a fellow’s life.

    He goes limp, falling off his bed and cracking his skull on the way down. With no flesh to cushion the sound, he ends up on the floor in a series of clacks. He’ll recover and probably be better off without the unpleasantness he’s witnessed.

    Most of us skeletons go our whole lives without seeing one. For everyone else, I’m there, preserving the peace one case at a time.

    “Clean it up,” I say, pausing for one more quick chat with Mac.

    “Termination?” It comes out “toymuhnation.”


    “Humans. In our town. Ever think you’d see it, Chief?”

    I grin a toothy grin. “Don’t you watch the news, Mac? They don’t exist.”

    1. radioPanic

      Great take, and very well written! Only thing that stopped me was “humans.” There doesn’t seem to be a natural strong distinction between skeletons and humans, one almost being a subset of the other. Maybe the skeletons have a nickname for them that conveys what they are, something supernatural, skeleton being the ‘natural’ state.

      Good humor, though, and I like the hypodermic between the skull and vertebrae.

  26. Bridee0809

    Hi everybody! This story is a continuation from the LIPSTICK prompt. As always, please let me know if you have any comments good or bad. Thanks!

    At dusk, Julie walked through the front door of the beach house.

    Janie killed Adam in this very house a year ago but Julie didn’t know how, or where in the house it took place. Janie pushed her down into the blackness. Julie woke up in a shelter in another state two months later.

    Her mother died six months later leaving Julie the beach house and a modest inheritance. She used it to repair the house enough to make it livable. The master bedroom was the only room cleaned and completely renovated. Julie wanted to do the rest of the cleaning herself in the hopes it might connect her to her past, her memories of which were as scattered and random as puzzle pieces dumped on a table, and they taunted her.

    Julie sensed Janie watching, at times, even hearing her voice.

    Before sunset, she walked through the house, her steps echoing on the hardwood. Various items littered every room. In one she found a baby shoe. She turned it over and over in her hands, willing the memories to come, but none would.

    From inside her Janie said, “nothing at all?”

    “Go away,” Julie said aloud. She visualized a door slamming, symbolically locking Janie out.

    She bent the little shoe tongue outward to find “Julie” written on the underside. She kept the shoe with her that evening. Something about it bothered her but she didn’t know what.

    The next morning she rose early and unpacked her suitcase. Putting it away, she opened the closet and moved the clothes to one side. In the corner she saw the mate to the shoe wedged between two boards near the floor. She squatted and forced the shoe out; causing one board to come away with it. Her name was written on the tongue of the shoe.

    “I’m an only child, why would my name be in my shoes?” said Julie, understanding now what bothered her the night before.

    “Indeed,” said Janie softly.

    Julie ignored her and looked into the hole. Inside was a bracelet wound around a dolls foot. She took it off and held it up. There was a medic alert charm attached to it. The charm seemed too large for the delicate silver chain.

    The dolls feet were covered with pink socks and it was bundled in a baby blanket. She reached in and pulled it out, turning it over at the same time. It wasn’t a doll but the skeleton of a baby. She screamed and dropped it, lifting herself up and falling backward onto her butt outside the closet.

    Julie groaned involuntarily realizing what she thought was a bracelet was in fact, a necklace. She lifted it up, the charm spinning slowly in the air. When the back of it came into view she read the engraved name: “Julie Patterson”.

    Her mouth went dry and she felt a stab of pain in her head.

    “Janie, I need you!” she managed to croak.

    “Of course,” said Janie.

    1. MCKEVIN

      I like it and hope you continue it with future prompts if they fit. I would delete tone line:
      1) “At dusk, Julie walked through the front door of the beach house.”

      I would delete it or place it somewhere else because the story stands alone without it and it pulled me right into the action with the second line.

      Good job and I can’t wait for your next installment which means you are developing your style. Good luck.

  27. InsideMyself

    I was barely able to open my eyes due to the bright rays creeping around the curtains. I sat up, stretched my arms out and let the covers slip off me as I rose to my feet. My head pounded from all the crying the night before. An unfortunate side effect when someone you love passes away and you’ve spent the whole night seeking comfort in a bottle of tequila, culminating the one year anniversary he was put in the ground. I headed to the bathroom in desperate need to feel warm water pour over me. I felt dirty and I needed to wash the stink of last night away.

    I didn’t remember much except making the trip to the cemetery. Being there was usually comforting, but today it felt like I had lost him all over again and it was almost too much for me to bear. I just lay there, up against his tomb stone, like so many times before, longing to hold him just one more time.
    Tears started to fall as I recalled what I could from last night’s events. I missed my husband so much. We’d planned on growing old together but instead I was alone again, just like before him. My heart broke just a little more.

    I stepped out, toweled off and headed back down the hall. Almost immediately I noticed small muddy footprints that lead from the front door and trailed off through the door way of my room. Were these hear before, I wondered? How could I not have noticed them?

    I looked around the tiny apartment and nothing seemed out of place. Curious, I followed the prints until I reached my room, where I seen them disappear under the door to my closet. I just stood there. Then all at once it hit me, I must have gotten muddy at the cemetery.” I watch too much law and order,” I said, as I walked to the closet. I reached out and slide the door open.

    “Stop,” someone whispered forcefully.

    I stood there, frozen, not believing my ears.

    “You have to let me go, my love.”

    I gasped. “Michael?”

    “Yes,” he said, still in a hush. “I don’t have much time, but I had to come.”

    Tears poured down my face. I reached out to open the door. “You can’t see me like this,” He said. “You can’t or this is all you will ever see when you think of me….I won’t do that to you.”

    “I don’t understand,” I cried.

    “You’re consumed with my death. I would give anything to be able to be here, with you. I had to let you know that you’re not alone… that I love you…and that I’m with you… always.”

    I couldn’t resist anymore! I threw open the door just in time to see his bones fall to the floor. I dropped to my knees. He was gone.

  28. oceanjewel

    Sorry, I went over. I cut it down by 100 words but just couldn’t seem to get it down to 500:/

    “A Skeleton in the Closet”

    At first I thought I was still asleep. That made sense. It did seem like something out of a nightmare. At least something out of one of mine. No. It was real. If it were a nightmare it would have eyes. Tortured eyes that stare back at me with a sickly combination of both fear and hatred. This thing had no eyes. It was just a mass of bones intricately linked to form the human shape, but there was nothing human about it. No flesh or blood. Barely any sign that it was ever a part of anything living.

    I gradually began to realize that I was awake. Definitely much more awake than I wanted to be. What was going on? That thing didn’t just walk to my closet and let itself in. Someone had put it there. Someone knew. But who?


    “Shit.” Someone was at my door. Maybe I could ignore whoever it was.

    “Mike… let me in. I know you’re home.”

    Maybe not. If it were anyone else I could just ignore them until they went away. I knew Ryan wouldn’t make it that easy. There was no time to make sense of this. Time to put on my game face. This was one skeleton that would have to stay in the closet at least a little longer.

    Mike…..come on! What the hell???”

    “Just a second!”

    “Took you long enough. What’s going on? You got a girl here or something?” he asked with an approving grin.

    “Uhhhhh. No. I was getting dressed. I just woke up.”

    “Oh, I figured after last night…”

    “Last night?”

    “Yeah, I passed by here about 2 am. I was going to stop in but I saw you had a visitor parked out front and your lights were out. Soooo???”

    “No one was here last night. I took a sleeping pill at 11. I passed out soon aft….” As soon as the words passed my lips I knew I had made a mistake.

    “So you were out cold last night and a car was parked out front even though you didn’t have company.” I could see his right hand reach towards his gun. Why did my brother have to become a cop? “You check everything?”

    “No, I mean, yeah. No one broke in. I would have heard it.”

    “Not if you were knocked out from sleeping pills. I should take a look around.”

    That was exactly what I didn’t need. “No!”

    “You’ve been jumpy lately. What’s going on with you?” he asked as his gaze surveyed my modest home.

    If he only knew.

    “Nothing. I just need some privacy.”

    “Privacy. Right. You and your privacy. Ok, I’ll back off. You call me if you need me though, ok? He turned to leave. “You look like shit, by the way.”


    He left hesitantly. I waited patiently until he finally got in his car and drove away. Once I knew he was gone I went back to my closet. Still there. I then turned to look under my bed. They were still there as well. Sharp. Gleaming. Neatly tucked away in their leather blanket. “They sleep better than I do these days.” But I needed to do the things that I did. And I knew that whoever left the skeletal message in my closet the night before might soon become the reason for yet another nightmare.

  29. Chancelet

    Laura did not want to get up this morning, and something inside told her to cover her head back up and deal with calling in sick later. Her pain was dissipating, however, and she had already missed three days of work.

    Feeling guilty, as she was the sole person to do her particular work and she didn’t want people to have to wait any more than necessary, Laura threw the covers from her head and sat up.

    Deciding on whether to dress in a pants suit or jeans, Laura walked to the closet to see if anything suited her fancy. She flipped through the various colored suits and dresses, until her fingers scraped across something hard and knobby.

    Taken aback, Laura quickly pulled her hand away and retreated from the closet. She inched closer and slowly lifted a hand in between the clothing where she felt the thing. Her hand disappeared between the items, but did not feel anything out of the ordinary. Pulling her hand back, however, it hit on something hard and smooth, like a stick or “a bone; a rib bone,” she said out loud.

    Holding back a scream, she spread apart the clothing. To her disbelief, facing her and seeming to glare at her was a full-on skeleton. Laura looked closer, her head straining to get closer while her body remained sufficiently away from the closet. Recognition then hit her and she laughed with a full-body guffaw. Still laughing, she sauntered backward and fell on her bed, peering between teary blinks at the skeleton.

    “You damned fool, Luis!” Laura fought to take control of her laughter, stood and walked over to the skeleton. “I told you, you can not come back here! You’re gone and you’re gone for good. Keep trying your voodoo stuff and you’ll be left in no-man’s land for eternity.”

    She quickly got dressed in jeans and a blouse. She yanked the skeleton down, breaking the tie connecting the skeleton’s head and the clothing pole, and carried the skeleton to the trunk of her car. It wasn’t too heavy, being that Luis was only 5’6”.

    Before closing the trunk she said, “I told you too many times that I’d get the best of you if you didn’t stop harassing me, Luis. I gave you so many chances, but you never believed me. It took only one black eye from you and I knew exactly where to go. Anita told me that you might try and come back, and that if you do to take you to the dump. Luckily, as you know, that’s on the way to my job. I know you didn’t believe in black magic before, but I see you do now. Too bad, too late. The incinerator will be the end of you!”

    Slamming the trunk shut, she said while driving away, “Guess it was good for me to get out of bed today.”

  30. vatrask

    So it’s not realyl a skeleton persay…

    She ran her fingers delicately up the paper and smoothed it over only to see it fight against her fingertips until she found a hitch in the pattern, an inconsistency that only she would have noticed.

    That was when the whispering started; it was loud at first and brought her hands to her bleeding ears but it dulled overnight into what could have been white noise if it hadn’t been so haunting. It was a wrong kind of noise that made her cry at work until she was sent home – to lay on the floor and stare at the inconsistency in the wallpaper and watch it slowly peel open without her. The demon’s fingers shed the wallpaper from the inside out until it was exposed – that door she had been told about when she moved in but gave no notice to look for. Now she’d found it and she physically wept for what was behind it. Because the white noise turned to black the moment she got on her knees and pulled herself up to the door with no handle or hinge. Just a piece of wood that only she would have called a door.

    Following a past habit, she ran her fingers up against the door and didn’t feel the splinters ease into her flesh even as they pulled her skin apart and bled it hastily; slowly, the door fell open to the side and disappeared into the darkness where the light refused to even caress. She felt a chill run through her fingertips and warm her chest as she stared into the darkness, able to see everything there without any light to assist her.

    She sat across from the door for a long time – a timeless moment that she forgot to measure – and inhaled the scents wafting from the door like her favourite perfume. The voices were gone and the silence was deafening but she preferred that to hear the noise knowing it’s source now.

    She was just laying there, staring back at her, with a similar dead expression that she wished she could mirror but could not bear to move her muscles for fear of breaking the spell. In truth, she could no longer emulate the poor woman’s expression even if she cared to put in the effort. A dislocated shoulder was one thing but to have it dangling by delicate flesh completely disconnected was another feat all together. It would have been difficult to see the horror before her with her left eyeball swollen and half eaten in its socket but she surely would have figured it out eventually – especially with neck at such an awkwardly broken angle that she would have seen stars regardless. What truly horrified her to the point of silence was the lower half of her body and that fact it had been rearranged on her body, her limbs sown back together in the wrong order so dancing surely would have been a problem. And the heady scent of old blood – blood that still could have flowed had it any place to go – filled her nostrils until tears came to her eyes but she still watched.

    1. rob akers


      I am sorry but I really didn’t get it. You have some really good lines and I could feel her fear but I could never figure out what was tearing her apart and I think sowing her back together again.

      I wish I could add some more positive comments but your point flew over my head. In your defense, I am not a fan of horror works so this probably clouded my ability to focus.

      Please keep posting,


      1. Su@dreamweavernovels

        I agree. Beautiful use of words, great phrases, but I guess the structure might have thrown me. But part of writing is practicing and learning, finding new words that say things in a different way. Keep practicing, like the rest of us. The potential is definitely there.

    2. aikawah

      There is something really interesting behind the ‘wallpaper’ of this story just waiting to be discovered. Perhaps the 500-word demon is obscuring it for now; hiding away a crucial bit of the character’s history that would allow us to understand(or imagine) who she is and what she’s trying to do because mostly, that’s what I missed. I’m sure the next post will disclose the creepy truth behind that door.

  31. Hannah Harland

    Kind of last minute, but it is 204 words or so. Not too bad, i hope!

    Dang, I thought I told the maid to take care of this! Right on top of my Coach shoes and next to my brand new eight hundred dollar dress was my sister’s ex-husband. That little scumbag should have known better! You don’t cheat on my sister without knowing the consequences a.k.a death. Okay, I have to admit, storing him in my closet wasn’t the greatest idea. Can you blame me? I was short on time that morning. While his face was smashed up against a cheap prostitute’s I only thought of one thing.

    “Hey there Arnold! Would you like to die a death of excruciating pain? How do some laxatives and a nice smash to your manly parts with a hammer sound?”

    I knew I should have thought more, another pair of shoes ruined. Ugh, I suppose that means that a have more than one phone call to make on the way to the office. I threw on my usual work clothes consisting of designer heels, pencil skirt, and sophisticated blouse. After a quick scrunch of my hair and a swipe of mascara I was out the door. I commanded my car to dial the maid and I let my anger do the rest.

  32. Jeanie Y

    Really good read JR! I hope Alphonsus is mature enough to continue the work in Sebastian’s passing…his reaction indicates a young mind. I liked this!

    1. rob akers

      It takes a special person to join the Priesthood and these two men have that demeanor. It takes a even more special writer to be able to make me want to know about their lives, and you did it.

      Good Job.

      1. JR MacBeth

        Thanks Rob,
        I sure appreciate your feedback. You point out one of the things I’m trying to work on, that is, trying to create characters that people want to know more about. Too often, a character is lucky to just get a shrug of the shoulders. That’s something the 500 word challenge I think is really good for, because it pushes you to do what almost feels impossible at times. But if we can get someone to care about one of our characters in so few words, that feels like progress to me. Thanks again!

    2. JR MacBeth

      Excellent observation Jeanie! Alphonsus wasn’t mature enough, no doubt about it, but when the Lord came to let old Sebastian know it was his time, the luxury of time went out the window. I think this could have been improved by perhaps having Sebastian wonder some if the boy was “ready”, or maybe even insert something about just having to have “faith”. Always room to improve! Thanks so much for your comments.

  33. MissaFittz

    Murder Presents

    The edge of darkness slowly slips from my room as the sun gradually finds that one hole in my blinds that lets its fierce rays blast me right in the eye every morning at exactly 6:36 am. I attempt to roll out of its harsh brightness only to find myself trapped by my fat tabby, Pepper, under my hair curled into my neck, my black Lab/Rottweiler mix, Warlock, laying on my feet, and my four year old daughter, with her butt up against my hip with her left leg over my stomach.
    I cover my eye and push Warlock off my feet and consequently off the bed, before gently moving my sweet angel’s leg from my belly so I can get up. I put my house slippers on and head for the morning routine. I can already tell it’s going to be a scorcher out and decide to wear something light and cool. Opening my closet door and reaching for my summer dresses, I hear a faint crunching sound under foot. I stepped back tentatively, looked down and there it was large as life.
    There wasn’t much to it really. Just a few bones that looked somewhat like a rib cage and a slightly fleshy skull about a half a centimeter away from the rest lay crunched just inside the closet doorway. It actually seemed kind of fresh, less than a few hours old, but who could really tell except for the mastermind behind this repugnant display.
    I started to retch momentarily as the scent of rancid, rotting carcass reached my nasal passages. I snatched my white muslin and eyelet lace dress from the closet and held it to my nose for the mountain fresh scent of Downey to cover.
    Suddenly my angel came up beside me and hugged my hip, then seeing (and smelling) the tiny corpse leftovers, squealed, “Ewe, Mommy, what’s that icky?!”
    How else could I respond to such a sweet little face with such an innocent question so early in the morning?
    “Well, honey, Pepper kitty brought us a murder present,” sighing heavily, I put on my best mommy smile, “apparently she doesn’t think Mommy gets enough nutrients.”

    let me know what you think >^.^<

  34. JR MacBeth

    Sorry, 532 words here, apologies, not enough time to revise any more, Mea Culpa!!

    The cock crowed again.  Suddenly Brother Sebastian was no longer running in a field.  He opened his eyes, blinking, finally pulling his weary bones upright.  In his youth, he had gloried in the simplicity of the monastic life, but now everything was an immense burden.  His simple bed, a rack of torture.  His old sandals, insults to his ancient feet. Adding to the insult was a mountain of snow outside.

    He lit the candle and fell to his knees, making his Sign of the Cross, bowing his head before the crucifix on his bedstand.  Then he rose, half-limping to the small corner of his cell where his old tattered robe hung waiting.  He kept a drape over this corner, even though he was the only one who ever entered the room.  He pulled the curtain back.

    “Hello old freind.”

    There, lying on it’s side, it’s face tilted up, was a full human skeleton.

    Brother Sebastian looked deep into the holes that stared back at him as he vested himself, prayers upon his wrinkled lips, muted Latin whispers rasping out into the cold air, producing small clouds in the candlelight.

    Today was the day he would pass the torch. He knew he would be dead soon, the Lord had mercifully appeared to him, revealing his exact hour. He was profoundly grateful for such a grace, so seldom granted, and his hope now was that his beloved young cousin Alphonsus might also be given such a gift.

    For an hour, Brother Sebastian labored, shovelling the snow from the walks, prayers of gratitude a constant murmer in his head. Soon he would rest.

    The monks were up now, everyone making their way to morning Mass. Sebastian entered last, taking his place in the old chapel, trying to keep his constant wheeze under control. He looked over at Alphonsus. Such a fine young man!

    After breakfast, Alphonsus came over to his “Uncle” as he called him.

    “Uncle Sebastian, I’m ready.”

    “Good. Come to my cell now, we have some time.”

    Normally, the monastic rules prohibited the brethern from entering each other’s cells, but this was different. Alphonsus hadn’t asked, but he imagined he was about to be given a book or something.

    “Come inside.”


    Alphonsus entered the dark windowless room. The candle was lit.

    No words, Sebastian went to the corner and pulled the curtain. Alphosus gasped.


    “Shh! Not long ago you asked me how, how I have persevered in my vocation. Here is my answer.”

    Alphonsus retreated to the small bed and sat down, looking up, confused.

    “My son, there lies the symbol of Death. He shall now be your daily reminder. When you contemplate him, you contemplate your future.”

    “Who is he?”

    “No matter. He is me. He is you. All of us. Where his soul is now, we do not know, but it is our souls we must tend to.”

    “Everyday? You look at this everyday?

    “It is the only way my son. Keep Death ever before you, and you shall not be lost. Tonight…more will be revealed. Return, and claim him then.”

    They exited the cell, and Sebastian hugged the boy one last time, tears clouding his eyes.

    1. Ishmael

      Brother MacBeth – I don’t care that this is thirty-two words over…I want MORE! I liked the whole concept. Perfect monastic terminology used – cell, sign of the cross, muted Latin – all of it took me there, front and center.

      Such a refreshing spin on this prompt.

      1. JR MacBeth

        Thank you Ishmael, but folks just call me “bro” ’round the neighborhood! I appreciate your feedback. Wasn’t sure how this would play, “religious” stuff I read often falls so flat, or worse, gets preachy, but I’m glad you picked up my intended tone, which was just to paint a picture of a world most of us have little direct knowledge of. Thanks again!

      1. JR MacBeth

        Thanks Su, glad it worked, wasn’t sure it would sound “real” enough. I ended up deleting some Latin words thrown in for flavor so-to-speak, maybe it’s a good thing I did, because I’m not sure I would have pulled it off! Yep. Sticking to what we know usually works best, but it is fun to step out now and again too, just to see what happens. Thanks!

    2. DMelde

      Very nicely done! Your story felt short to me, like it was under 500 words and not over. I too wanted more. To treat death as a friend, and each day as your last, is a wonderful concept to build a story around.

      1. JR MacBeth

        Thanks DMelde. The story idea wasn’t actually so original, since it’s based on truth. A number of Catholic saints were known to keep “reminders” such as this around, and some are depicted accordingly, such as St. Jerome, usually shown with a skull. There was one monk who painted a picture of himself, dead, above his cell door. Apparently, it was discovered only after he had died. I certainly agree with you about treating each day as if it were your last. Hard to really do, but it sure helps get priorities straight, and we can all use that at times in our lives.

    3. aikawah

      The secret order of the (put name here) monks will not be happy you revealed Brother Sebastian’s last moments on this forum. I’d love to read the rest, whatever ritual they are going to perform ‘tonight’ must be quite something… quite an enjoyable read.

  35. Naomi

    Sunlight slammed through my eyelids, forcing me awake. Groaning, I turned over in my bed, away from the brightness, unwilling to make my way over to the bedroom window and close the heavy drapes. Opening my eyes slightly, I was glad to see the other side of the bed was empty. For once, I didn’t try to get a warm body to fill the void Jessie’s death left while I was drunk. Or, I tried and failed. Losing out on the promotion at work set in motion another night of too many shots of tequila. Trying to escape the pain. Just for a little while.

    My eyes burned, feeling as though fire ants were dancing on them. A perfect match with my pounding headache, and the slow whirl of nausea building in my stomach. A shushed creaking pulled my sight to the closet door across the room. As it slowly opened, I could make out four gaunt, fleshless fingers gripping the door’s edge, controlling its deliberate path. Lying still, I watched as the door opened fully. The sunlight tore away shadows in my closet, showing the skeleton standing. Its skull turned towards me, positioning empty eye sockets in a mocking imitation of life.

    Lying still, I watched as it moved closer to the bed, marveling at each of its steps. It seemed like it should be teetering, falling over, unable to balance on the naked bones of its feet. Instead, with a smooth gait, the skeleton glided across the short distance, and stopped by the bed. Leaning over, it reached out a thin arm, and gently laid hard fingers across my brow.

    “You drink too much, John,” Jessie’s voice said, floating from the vicinity of its lipless mouth. Clear, and saturated with Jessie’s sweet, rich tone, and endearing concern. I know that voice. It haunts me with a longing that gets deeper every day. I closed my eyes.

    “I know,” I said. I couldn’t say anymore. The fingers against my brow were stripped of flesh, and had nothing of Jessie in them. Still, I couldn’t stop my tears as I felt the touch become twisted into a memory past by my imagination, and the sound of Jessie’s voice.
    “You must take better care of yourself,” Jessie’s voice said gently.

    “I will,” I whispered, letting the tears flow freely. With the job promotion, I would have made enough money to buy the syntha-flesh for the skeletal robot frame. Getting Jessie’s voice and personality programmed into the robot frame was affordable. Almost anyone could pay for it, a memorial of lost loved ones. Syntha-flesh was astronomically expensive. But, once I could afford it, then Jessie will truly be with me, again. For now, I had to make do with only Jessie’s voice, coming from a robot frame.

    “Don’t cry, love. It’ll be alright.” I buried my face into my pillow, as Jessie’s voice washed over me, making the darkness a little less lonely.

      1. Naomi

        Thank you for your comments, Jeanie! I always forget to breathe just before I post a story. I really appreciate you taking time to read my writing. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  36. Ishmael

    Su – this was nice. A little creepy, but nice! :) I loved all your word choices, and the way you put them together. One can have or use great words, but if they’re not assembled correctly or appropriately, then it simply sounds like a story that’s been created using a Word of the Day Calendar. You did not have that problem! It’s like a delicious cake – all the right ingredients came together and produced a delight.

    This was the only sentence that gave me pause: We’re always side by side–Davis, Athena–Davis, Caleb.

    The way it reads, “Athena-Davis” comes across as a hyphenated name. I know you’re using dashes, but it reads like “Davis, Athena-Davis.”

    How about, “We’re always side by side: Davis, Athena; Davis, Caleb.” It feels cleaner.

    I’m getting to love your stories. :)

    1. rob akers

      Nice Job. I like that you referenced Sevendust as the inspiration for this. I am vaguely familiar with Sevendust but not this song. I will research it.

      Like jincomt and ishamel both said, I felt her pain. I had the feeling that this was not out of desperation or depression but it was a decision on her part to reunite with Caleb.

      1. Su@dreamweavernovels

        Rob, thanks for the input. I just discovered the Skeleton Song by Sevendust on YouTube last night. I was searching for an inspirational skeleton song and I found that one. I also love Coheed and Cambria and found a skeleton song from them. Yay! New music to love and inspire me.

          1. Su@dreamweavernovels

            Thank you again. I have my family that kinda likes me and my work, but you’re right, most people don’t know I’m here. But I’m getting out there. It’s kinda the purpose of these exercises and the editing practice is great.

          2. Ishmael

            That’s what I had to do. The way my time works out, I’m not able to complete a story until well after the prompt is posted, thus, putting my stories down in the lower hemisphere. I see your name working around the “room”…I read your comments…good comments…others will, too.

  37. Su@dreamweavernovels

    Skeleton’s Song
    By Su Williams

    I couldn’t live without my childhood best friend; my teen romance; my soul mate…until he died. The newspapers should’ve read “Caleb Davis, 21, Dies of Unknown Causes.” But there wasn’t a single word in the news.

    Heavy curtains submerge our home into dusky darkness. Children play outside in sweltering heat. The ice cream truck trumpets by. Life goes on out in the summer heat, but inside my darkened lair time has frozen despite the heat.

    I’m alone in the darkness that has nothing to do with light. If Caleb were alive he’d throw the curtains open, saying, “Athena! Let the sun in for God’s sake!” He’d open the windows to air out the mustiness. But he’s not. And he won’t. So I bask in the musty air.

    Night and the temperatures fall, but the heat is captured in our house. I sprawl on the bed in sweat-drenched cami and Caleb’s boxers. Whiskey numbs my lips, but not the pain in my heart, only befuddles my head with softness. A few more shots and my heart will stop. I can join the one I love. I jettison the shot glass, swig from the bottle. Then guzzle. I empty it, then stagger across the room for another.

    Then I hear it. The soft strains of the love song Caleb sang about his sweet Athena. I crumple to the floor. Blackness envelopes me.

    I awaken to muted daylight, my mouth thick and fuzzy as sun-warmed air. I will try again when I can move again.

    I suffer the sweltering day away, stewing in grief. I peruse old year books. We’re always side by side–Davis, Athena–Davis, Caleb.

    When the sun fell I slither onto the bed, another bottle of whiskey and our sharpest knife in hand. Shallow cuts slice my thumb as I test the blade. I press the steel to the tender flesh of my forearm–vertically, not horizontally. A bead of blood erupts at the point, then begins to trickle in hot sticky streams, thudding like a drum on the bedspread. I shift my grip to drive the blade home.


    I drop the knife and drag my quaking body to the closet door, dribbling a trail of blood behind me. Cooling drops straggle down my thigh, soak between my toes. The door opens of its own accord though the knob is in my hand.

    He’s there. My Caleb. Shriveled to nothing but stark white bone, a shadow his former glory. I curl up at his side, tucked safely beneath his skeletal arm, my head on his boney chest. He doesn’t want me to join him. He wants me to stay–just as I want him to stay. Forever.

    I called no one when I found him laying lifeless in our bed. I hid him in our closet where he would never leave me. So now, I cuddle up to his boney frame knowing today no one will come and take him from me.

    Someday they will come. But not today.

    “All of us have skeletons in our closet…some of us just have better locks.” Author Unknown

    Special thanks to Sevendust, Skeleton Song for the inspiration.

    1. jincomt

      Good story– she is a tortured soul.

      I love when people can write a sentence that convey so much with so few words, like your sentence: I’m alone in the darkness that has nothing to do with light. Because of the word limit challenge, writers in here are well-skilled at crafting concise yet packed sentences . I really liked that, even read it twice.

      I felt like there might have been some tense (past/present) confusion and am wondering how deliberate that was on your part. You started in past-tense and then, as she continued to recount the story of getting into bed, getting drunk, the knife and working her way to the closet (the story depicts her mood well, by the way) it worked into present tense. In one sentence there was both: “When the sun fell I slither onto the bed”.

      I liked how you wove together the literal skeleton with the skeleton that is still in her heart.

      1. Su@dreamweavernovels

        Thank you. I appreciate the comments. I did notice a couple of places I shifted tense and thought I fixed them, then realized I missed one after I published it…the one you mentioned actually. Thanks for the ‘skeleton that is still in her heart’ comment. I hadn’t quite thought of it that way but that was very eloquent.

    2. Heart2Heart

      Great description. The line “Life goes on out in the summer heat, but inside my darkened lair time has frozen despite the heat” was really a good one like so many others. Keep writing!

    3. Icabu

      Interesting story. When I read it, it flowed poetically – not sure if that was me or intended.
      Enjoyable read.

      Coheed & Cambria opened for Iron Maiden Sat. night. They were new to me.

      1. Su@dreamweavernovels

        Thanks! I love Maggie Steifvater’s Shiver series. She is a beautifully poetic writer. I learned a lot by reading her books.

        And you got to see Iron Maiden AND Coheed??? Holy crap! What a show. Did you like them? I think the lead singer for Coheed does better in the studio. They can be very cryptic and brutal in their songs and they have inspired a lot of my writing and character development. One song even helped me decide how the bad guy was in my novel.

  38. Kengie78

    The Not So Sleep Aide
    by Kendra Ayers

    Jennifer Jenson had just spent most of the evening explaining to her four year old son that monsters weren’t real so you can imagine her surprise when she opened her closet the next morning only to find a skeleton in her closet. She was speechless and for a moment, she thought her husband Rob was playing a trick on her. Jennifer reached toward the skeleton and traced the edges of it with her finger tips. Yep, this thing was real. There was nothing plastic or paper about it. Her skin turned several shades of pale and white before she lost her balance and fainted right there on the bedroom floor.

    What felt like an eternity was only about a minute when Jennifer came to and was lying on her bed with her husband waving a towel at her face to wake her up. To her surprise, the skeleton that she saw hanging from the clothes rack in her closet was nowhere in sight. How in the world would she explain what she saw to Rob if it was gone? Her son Tristan was sitting next to her patting her hand and telling her to wake up. Jennifer knew she had scared her family by fainting but she had good reason and yet her explanation sounded ridiculous. Jennifer tried to recall everything she did the night before and how she slept. Maybe it was all a bad dream and she was still sleeping. She pinched her arm only to realize she was perfectly awake and Rob and Tristan were still sitting on the bed next to her, watching her every move.

    Rob was patiently waiting for her to respond about why she fainted. Jennifer remembered having the monster conversation with Tristan just before he went to bed. She also remembered writing for awhile before bed and that all of the coffee she had made her jittery and restless. After tossing and turning for several hours, Jennifer got up to drink some hot tea and take a sleep aide. She took a bottle of Melatonin and a bottle of Tylenol PM back to the bedroom and decided to take one of each. Now that Jennifer thought about it, her sleep seemed deep and she never once got up to go to the restroom or check on Tristan. Maybe the skeleton was the aftermath of the sleep aide hangover? Regardless, all she wanted to do was get up from bed and check the closet again. Her fingers could still feel the bony edges that grazed against her skin.

    Smiling at Rob and reassuring him that she was alright, Jennifer stood up and glanced toward the closet door. It was cracked open, not completely open like it had been when she noticed the skeleton. Walking slowly over to the closet, Jennifer glanced back at Rob and Tristan on the bed. Without hesitation she jerked the door open and there it was, bones and all swaying back and forth.

  39. acgriffin09

    “Hello.” I immediately slammed the closet door shut and threw my back upon it. Did something just talk to me when I opened the door?! “Mmm, huwo?” The muffled words penetrated my back through the door, sending a chill up my spine. I slowly backed away from the closet and moved over to the bathroom sink.

    “Uh…hello?” The reply was shaky and a clear sign that I was bound to crap my pants in fear. “Who are…who are you and WHY ARE YOU IN MY CLOSET?!” I flung the toothpaste tube at the closet door with a scream and flailed.

    “My name is Sam and thesis where I luv…”

    “You’ve got a thesis on love?”

    “No! No! That’s not what I sand!” I shook my head in confusion. “Just open duh door!”


    “JUST OPEN DUH DOOR!” I jumped in fear and ran out of my bedroom. Crap, crap, crap. Frantically, I searched the house for my cellular phone. After a quick phone call to the police, they’ll be here in no time and can get this guy to…

    *Ring ring.*

    *Ring ring.*

    I could hear it, in all its iPhone glory, mocking me…from my closet.

    *Ring ring.*

    “No, no no no!” I shouted as I charged into my bedroom and towards the closet door. I grabbed the door handle and froze in panic. What if he attacks me? He said he lives in there? Is he a vagrant or something?!

    *Ring ring.*

    “It’s yur maw.” The voice from behind the closet door sounded smothered.

    “What?! I can’t…I can’t hear–”

    “It’s yur maw!” The voice accompanied what sounded like a kick at the closet door. “Please, please jus open duh door…”

    *Ring ring.*

    The phone immediately made the sound for a missed call, and all returned to silence. The hair on my arms began to stand, as I tightened my grip on the doorknob and yanked it forward. There, standing in the middle of the closet, was a skeleton. It took a deep breathe in, stilling my exhale, and sighed heavily. It had a pink hair bow in it’s…hairlessness…which clued me in to the fact that Sam was, or is, a girl.

    Sam looked back at me, blinking the area where eyeballs should be. Her head followed mine, tilting from one side to the other, as I tried to figure out what I was experiencing. I watched her mouth and hands move, and finally released the breath I was holding.

    “Did you hear me?” Sam asked, no longer sounding like a man through the door.


    “I said, ‘thank you.’ You know, you’re not remotely this weird any other time you’re in here.” Sam jutted a hip bone outward and crossed her arms about her chest area. You know my habits?

    “Sam? Sam, that’s what you said…you said your name was Sam, right?” I extended a hand as if to shake hers, but recoiled in fear before she could reciprocate. I began to accept that this was the wildest dream I’ve ever had. Certainly, my girlfriends at work were going to love this one tomorrow!

    “Yes, it’s Sam. Samantha, really. Look, I’m usually not even visible, I just didn’t go back to where I belong before you got up today.” My mouth dropped open in shock. “You must have an early day or something.”

    “Uh, yeah?! There is a new shipment of band t-shirts arriving at work today? What the hell, man! YOU LIVE IN MY CLOSET?!?”

    “I don’t even look familiar to you, do I? I’m here all the time!” She pointed at the accessories table in the closet, right at an obviously vacant space. Like a flash of lightening, it hit me: Sam had been in my closet since the after-holiday clearance at Hot Topic months before.

    Virtually everything in the store had been cleaned out except a few pairs of plugs, some shoes and a pair of pink hair bows with skulls on them. By the time the sale was over, someone had stolen one of the hair bows, and the store manager said I could just take the leftovers home.

    “Well, that’s the last time I bring stuff home from work…” I walked out of the closet, completely shocked about the living entity in my closet, but paused and asked, “So, what do you do while in here?”

    Sam smiled and said, “If I’m not talking to the others, I just wait until you wear me.”



    “I wanted to take the bitch legally for everything she had and then some, but the judge said the most he could do was make her pay for keying my car. Silas, the daytime doorman saw the whole thing. They actually have that nut case parking next to my new car, getting out and scratching it from the front to the rear. But, no one could have ever prepared me for what she said in court.
    “How do you plead?”
    “Guilty as charged your honor.”
    “You don’t deny scratching the car Mrs. DeLeader?”
    “No your honor, they have me on tape.”
    “May I ask why did you do it young lady?’
    “He’s having an affair with my husband and we have children.”
    “And keying his car did what for you?”
    “It gave me strength to fight another day for my marriage.”
    “Very well. Please pay the clerk twelve hundred dollars for damages. I hope things work out for you.”
    “Thank you your honor.”
    I guess I will have to tip Silas a little something something? That was one time I was glad my building had a doorman. The extra rent was worth it. I don’t understand why women will go after the other person when their husband, boyfriend or whatever is cheating on them? What do they hope to accomplish? Is there some type of club women belong to or something? Children? “I have two children of my own. Its two thousand twelve, get a grip would you?” She laughed a silly laugh and swirled out of the courtroom. You would have thought she won yesterday. She doesn’t know her husband already paid me to get the car repainted. Her money goes in either my vacation account or retirement fund. I told her husband they should change the marriage vow answers from “I do” to “I’ll try.”

    The alarm clock went off at six fifteen and I couldn’t be late because of the proposal at work. I could wear the suit I had on yesterday in court and just change shirts. Nah, I want this sale as bad his wife wants her marriage. I jumped up, took a quick shower and stepped into my clothes closet. Let’s see, navy Armani suit, crimson Diddy tie and Louis Vuitton shoes. I need a white shirt. I pulled the rows of shirts back looking for my favorite Ralph Lauren white. Here it… Oh my God! I thought I would piss my pants. A skeleton was staring back at me. There could be only one person who could find her twin and do this. Deep eye sockets and frail from worry. Not a pretty sight.
    “Bitch got me again!”
    Oh well, that little stunt should be worth a gold watch or something. One day someone will explain to me why women go through these hoops all in the name of marriage. Oh yeah, I wanted to take the b…. legally for everything she had and then some. It’s not too late!

    1. Ishmael

      Good story, McKevin! I loved the quick, court-like dialogue. Question, answer. Question, answer. Very judicial.

      I know there’s a generic “they” that people use (“Like they always say, ‘The more, the merrier.'”), but your initial use of “they” (first word of third sentence) doesn’t have an antecedent and needs one, in this case. Otherwise, it seems to refer to Silas as “they.” Perhaps using “video” or “security” in that spot. “Video (or Security) actually has that nut case parking…”

      The generic use of “they” in her answer to the judge works fine, though. It implies that The Powers That Be have her on tape.

      Good premise, though! :)

      1. MCKEVIN

        Thanks Ishmael for taking the time to read it. After I posted, I read it several times and saw places where more description would have made it better. “They” was one of those places. I realized my readers may begin to wander when this type of mishap happens and I definitely don’t want that. Thanks for the advice and I promise the suggestion will be incorporated in the future.

  41. catbr

    Britta had worked hard her entire life. She never had much of an education so was stuck in the menial thankless line of work of cleaning. She scrubbed so many floors in her life time that her hands and knees were crippled up with arthritis, but she never complained. The physical stress of this labour made her so exhausted that no lasting relationships were ever developed and at this stage in her life was resigned to being a spinster. One particular morning after showering she reached into her bedroom closet to get her janitorial uniform and noticed things were out of place. Her usually neatly hung clothes were now a scattered mess on the closet floor.

    “Good morning Britta. How are you doing?” Out of the back of the closet someone was talking to her.

    “I’m going to call the police. You had better identify yourself.” Britta was terrified of the unfamiliar voice but at the same time pissed off at the intrusion.

    “Relax Britta, it’s just me, Skully. Remember, about 3 years ago at the Station Hotel? That’s where we met.”

    “Yeah, but…this is ridiculous. I can’t see you. How the hell did you get in my house and why are you hiding in my closet?”

    “It’s a long story. I’ll shorten it. Remember when we met, we got along real good all night long? And we said we’d keep in touch? You gave me your phone number and I promised to call you the next week but I never did. That must have disappointed you. I”m so sorry about that.”

    “Yes Skully it really did. I thought we might end up having a good relationship.”

    “Me too, honest. But 2 days after we met I got killed in a fatal car accident. So, you are not going to believe this but, I’m here in my skeletal frame which is why I’m in the closet. I didn’t want to frighten you.”

    By now, Britta thought for sure that someone was playing a joke on her. “Okay. You had your fun, now it’s time to show yourself and come out of there. This isn’t very funny. Is that you Ron?”

    The eerie rattling in the closet just about gave Britta a heart attack. When the animated skeleton appeared in the doorway of the closet, Britta screamed and promptly fainted.

    “Oh my, this wasn’t supposed to happen. I guess I should have phoned first.” Skully laughed so hard that his bones were rattling and clattering noisily. Britta had told Skully that she really hated it when people just showed up at her house without phoning first. Skully knew that when Britta woke up she would be flabberghasted, but would grow to love this skeleton in her closet for the rest of her life.