A skeleton laid, mostly in one piece, on the lawn of Old Sean’s property, and the kids of the town wondered why.
There were different theories, as there always were, but most of them came to the agreement it was, regardless of why, not a good idea to step on the yard. Despite being a pleasant, almost emerald green, the blades of grass held malice.
“Maybe it’s for Halloween?” Patrick speculated, getting as close to the edge as possible without daring to interact with the plant life.
“In June?” Aaron asked, standing next to him. “That’s obsessive, if that’s the case.”
“Well, it’s not like it could be…”
Patrick gazed at the skeleton again, straining to see details. Like most thirteen-year-olds, he had not seen an actual skeleton—except at the local museum. But this one seemed real, even at a distance, certainly not the plastic stuff you’d find around costume and party shops.
“I don’t know why no one would call the police then,” Patrick said.
“Maybe it’s a conspiracy,” mused Aaron. “They let this happen to appease the…whatever.”
“You’ve been watching a lot of horror,” Patrick said. It was not a question.
“It’s good stuff,” was all Aaron said, eyeing the yard with some intention. “Not real though…”
Before Patrick could respond to his statement, Aaron let down the tip of his shoe on the grass.
Nothing much happened—even after a solid minute. Patrick let out a breath he was not aware he was holding.
Aaron proceeded to put down his entire foot. “Well, didn’t die—that’s progress.”
“You’re an idiot,” Patrick said.
“Yes, but an alive one.”
Aaron, now emboldened, took a full step on the yard and then paced up and down the length of it, a few feet in either direction.
Patrick was still nervous, something about the whole situation was wrong. An off-ness to the air.
“Come back,” he said, but Aaron just glanced at him. With purpose, Aaron instead strode up to the skeleton and leaned over it.
“Dude, it’s fine. You’re being paranoid.”
Patrick stared at it all and felt almost detached. Like shock, but before the trauma.
“Don’t touch it,” he said, his voice flat, but forceful.
Aaron chuckled and reached out a single finger. At once, the skeleton blinked out of existence. There and then gone. Aaron flinched, Patrick’s stomach dropped—and something took root.
“Told you not to,” Patrick intoned. “You dead idiot.”
As if pushed, Aaron fell forward and hit the ground—and the grass—face first. Nothing happened for a second before the blood seeped down over the lawn.
Patrick’s expression went flat, as did his eyes. He swallowed, and without a word—without thoughts left in his head—turned and meandered away, like a leaf blown by a gentle fall breeze.
Aaron still lay there, unspeaking. It took a long moment, but he did, in silent straining motions, attempt to rise from the grass. Saliva and gore and snot ran down his face, but he managed to roll onto his side. He placed his hand on the ground to push off and sit.
His soon-shredded palm failed to hold him up though, and he landed with a grunt. More of the red came out from under his shirt. He stopped moving after that.
No one came for him, no one looked. Not for a whole five days, and, by then, despite the normal speed of decomposition, he was a white skeleton, laying mostly put together on the yard.
Old Sean, glancing out his window, marked another tally in his flesh-bounded notebook and went back to sleep.