Fiction 2013 / flash fiction / Volume 43

My Pet Skeleton — Lindsay Souvannarath

My pet skeleton comes with us to Saks and doesn’t care that he can’t buy anything. He wraps himself up in a big fur coat and hat, and when a salesperson starts watching him, he throws it all off and dances. He hides in the clothing racks and when someone tries to look at the clothes, he jumps out and spooks them. I don’t apologize for him, because he’s just being himself. Mom and Dad don’t care, as long as he keeps me quiet.

My pet skeleton comes everywhere with me. We take him with us when we visit Grandma. He likes to find an empty bed and lay in it, facing the door. And all the way from down the hall I can hear the poor nurse shrieking when she finds him.

My skeleton loves fancy restaurants, where he can hide his skull under the lid of a silver serving tray. The waiter carries him right to the unsuspecting diners, and voila! Skeleton surprise! He sneaks into the kitchen and lays in the oven, knocking frantically until a chef opens up the door. There he lies still as a corpse until a crowd gathers. Then he bops the chef on the nose and runs away. Well, what else would he do in a restaurant? He’s a skeleton. He can’t eat the food.

Everyone looks at him funny, even when he’s not playing tricks. But Mom and Dad act like they don’t see him at all. It’s weird. But I guess it’s not every day that you see a skeleton walking about. Sometimes I wonder if he wishes he had skeleton friends to play with. A frolic of skeletons. They’d all run off to a graveyard and dance to xylophone music, because that’s how skeletons frolic. I think. But I’d never know, because my skeleton’s the only one I know, and he doesn’t talk.

Everyone else’s skeletons are locked up in closets. Most people think they should stay there. Maybe you do too. But I wouldn’t say anything bad about skeletons. There’s one inside you.

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