#13 Bone Man

| November 19, 2011 | 0 Comments

#13 Bone Man


Bone Man, Bone Man with his box of chains, rattling along the darkest alleys in the cold and empty nights.  He shakes his wooden box, and the rattle clank and clink echo up and down the building walls.  If you hear that sound, you can’t help but shiver.  If you see the man, you can’t help but want to run.

It’s not that he’s all that scary.  Short, with a mess of jackets vests and coats hanging stiffly down his sides.  He’s got hair that sticks out like kindling held together by old bird nests.  He’s brown, but not the decent kind of brown that comes from your bloodline or the sun.  The kind of brown that’s soot and grime and grease and road dirt, soaked into the pores, into the molecules of his skin so that once you might have known where he was from but nowadays he only looks like miles of dirty road had run right over him.

If you weren’t the type to run, if you were the gambling type, the type who played games with loaded guns, you might ask him to stop.  You might reach into your pocket, find something there to give him- a button, a wrinkled up receipt, a buck or two, a knuckle bone, half a smoked cigarette, he isn’t picky.  After all, it’s your funeral.

If what you got is good enough for his mood, and he doesn’t just spit at your feet and call you something fit to make a trucker blush as he rattles on down the road, he may just stop and look you up and down.   Look real deep into your eyes.  And after hacking up something that looks like a dead baby bird, he might just drop his wooden box and sit on it.  He might just tell you a little story.

You might think yourself lucky, puff your chest a little, pay extra attention, shaking the cold, the night, the fading cheap beer buzz out of your ears.  You might really think you want to hear what he has to say.  But you never do.  Because the bone man only ever has one thing to tell you.  And before you hear it, you might think that being forewarned is some sort of a good thing, but once he says his piece, you got nothing but empty to contend with.

Because what he tells you is the precise, exact, absolutely unvarnished moment of your death.  Down to the day and the color underwear you’ll have on.  You might have thought this would be cool, to loose all that uncertainty, but once you know it’s not something you can un-know.  And you always knew you were going to die, right?  But now that you know, down to the second, just how little time you have left, well, then, the clock starts ticking down, right?

And your life might go on its way, you might be bored out of your skull or fucking your brains out, but there it is, tick tick tick, grinding down every pointless minute into that one pointless moment, that brick wall, that game over.  And see, the problem is, with that much knowing, well, it just ain’t a gamble anymore, is it?  And isn’t that what you were?  A gambling man?

See, now all you’ll ever be is dying.

No, no, you’re better off just letting the old shadow fucker walk on past.  You’re better off pretending he was never really even there.  You’re better off not even stopping to wonder what the hell it is he’s got that box of chains for.  Just get on getting on, spit at his feet for good measure, rattle the change in your pocket, and count yourself the luckiest fool that ever lived.

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Category: 2011, Drama, Horror, Humor, WTF

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