Pulling the Skin Off the Bones

Mom and dad acted strange all day. Mom kept rubbing her hands together, as if trying to pull the skin off the bones. Dad stayed home from work. He never stays home from work, so he didn’t know what to do with himself. And he kept walking past me, messing up my hair, and wiping his eyes.

“Hey, son,” he’d say, walking away to another area of the house where continued doing nothing.

That afternoon mom asked me what I wanted for dinner.

“Anything,” she said, tilting her head to the side, as if looking at me for the first time. Or the last. “Your choice.” I went with spaghetti and meatballs. I knew it would be easy, and cheap.

That night she was in my room, rearranging things. When I came in she had a duffel bag packed so full it looked like an inflated swimming device.

“No matter what, you keep this,” she said.

“Am I going some where?”

“Not for long,” she said. But I knew she was lying. She held her hand up under her nose, as if to stop a sneeze, and moved past me. Ten minutes later they walked me out into the rain, the pouring rain. We stood there, outside my building, on what felt like the loneliest night of my whole life. No one said anything. We just got wet.

Then a van pulled up. Mom stuffed a ticket into my hand.

“You don’t lose this,” she said, her eyes wide. “This is your life. You don’t give it to anyone.”

I nodded. Dad picked me up and set me down inside the van – against the dry seats I felt even more wet. Dad slammed the door. The van driver pulled away, as if nothing had happened. As if I wasn’t even there.

I looked behind me – two people sat there: a woman with a scared look on her face, and a man that didn’t look scared enough.

“Hi,” I said.

“No talking!” shouted the driver.

“I’m cold,” I said, quietly. The driver turned on the heat.

“No talking,” he said, this time in a smaller voice.

I leaned over on my overstuffed duffel bag and fell asleep.

* * * * *

This is where you get to decide the direction of the story. The question is, who is this kid?

1) Macy‘s son

2) The son of the man who lives on death

3) The son of the woman who had been chasing Macy

4) It’s not his identity that matters – it’s what’s in the duffel bag

To read the beginning of this story, or to see how previous weeks’ decisions worked out (majority marked in bold), click HERE

4 Replies to “Pulling the Skin Off the Bones”

  1. I’m also leaning towards 4, but if the boy himself has any importance to the story, I’d add 2 as a rider. ;)

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