This is my entry for the weekly prompt: WISHBONE
My phalanges moved from the pinky to the index finger as I tapped the glass table. My mandible rested on my other hand while I wait for my sentence to be read.
The courtroom, six feet below the ground, clanked with the sound of skeletons brushing each other’s bones in a handshake. The gossipers gathered to witness my trial. It was the first time in the history of the Pranky Panicky Cemetery that a skeleton had to be trialed for violating the laws of the non-living.
“Skeletoni Bonina, you are sentenced to five years of settlement in your coffin for having a deal with a human that almost took his life. No Halloween pranks. No glimpse of the world of the living,” the prosecutor in a pair of heart-shaped glasses announced.
“That’s not fair! I didn’t even touch him!” I slammed my bony palms on my table, objecting to the unjust ruling. Not to mention hearing the unpleasant name they gave me. It wasn’t even my real name — but I couldn’t remember what my name was.
“Order in the court!” the judge, who was hired from the cemetery downtown, struck the sound block using his gavel, quieting the clanking of jawbones and some rotten teeth.
“You didn’t touch him, but you tricked him into pulling the other side of the cursed wishbone. Does he know you were trying to steal his soul and planning to take over his body?”
“He wants to go to the land of the dead to visit his mom. I was just trying to help.”
“Trying to help? How? You know that a human’s life expires at the right time. We don’t have the right to intervene with Destiny.”
“I wasn’t trying to steal his life!” I objected. If I could breathe fire, I would’ve roasted the hard skull of the prosecutor.
“What’s been done has been done.”
I shut my mouth. I would only exhaust myself if I kept arguing. It was better if I rest my case.
“Before going back to and being locked in your coffin, you will be given the chance to talk to the boy and apologize to him.”
Two bone guards grabbed my arm, assisting me to stand. They tied my wrists with the dried vines of multijuga.
Oh, the life of a skeleton who no longer had his life.
With heavy steps, I walked with the guards. I was almost dragging my feet to come with them. What was the sense of talking to a boy when I had received my punishment?
My hollow eye holes searched for a familiar human face in the sea of cemetery visitors. Air escaped my nasal cavity, most especially my lung-less rib cage when I saw the boy waving at me.
“Mister Toni!” he called, waving his chubby little hand at me. His round, brown eyes glimmer at the sight of me. The kid didn’t have any idea how grave my sins were in the world of the dead.
I walked towards him with somber eyes, although I know he could only see were just empty eye holes.
He approached me, running as if he was so blissful to see a friend.
“Mr. Toni,” the boy said in a soft voice — a voice that could melt a heart, though I had lost mine seven years ago. I was actually wondering who received my heart when I donated it before I died in an accident when I was thirteen.
The seven-year-old boy rushed to me. He was actually huge and tall for a seven-year-old. He looked as if he was ten.
“What are you doing here?” I asked and knelt in front of him so that I leveled his height. Then I looked away. Seeing his smiling face made me feel sorry for him and myself.
“You have a scar on your right jaw?” I flinched when he touched me. Despite being a bone, I felt sensitive to the touch even though I had forgotten how it felt to be touched.
My scarred jaw.
Yeah, I was known for this scar. But I couldn’t remember where I got it. My brain had rotten away, so I couldn’t really recall my past life.
“Guess what, Mr.? I dreamt of my mother last night. She looked happy, so I decided not to visit her in the world of the dead anymore.” He pulled something out of his pants pocket. It was the longest portion of the wishbone we used, the last we made the deal. “I read that if you keep the longer part of a wishbone, you will be lucky. It can make your wish come true like miracles really exist.”
He looked from the portion of the wishbone, then to me.
“Do you have a wish?” he asked. His innocent eyes screamed curiosity about what my answer would be.
“Well,” I sighed. “I just wish I can remember who I am. And I wish as well that the recipient of my heart is in good health.”
“Here!” he handed the part of the wishbone to me. “Hold on to this and make your wish. I’m giving it back to you.”
“Miracles don’t happen. Luck doesn’t happen, but life does.”
“You’re wrong,” he said with dignity in his inexperienced eyes. He was holding back his tears. “Miracles happen. Because seven years ago, my older brother was diagnosed with congenital heart disease, but a kind man donated his heart to him. And it was you. You died, but saved my brother’s life.”
I was stunned and couldn’t find the words to express my emotions. I knew I was a skeleton incapable of feeling, but I had that weird burst of sensation upon hearing what he said.
“Luck also happens. Because a few days ago, I ran into you, and you insisted on helping me visit my mom in the world of the non-living. Isn’t that a rare luck to meet you twice in my lifetime?”
The boy hugged me while saying,
“I know your name is Artemio because of your scar. You were on the other bed next to my brother’s bed when he was rushed to the hospital. I heard when you said you want to donate your heart to anyone who might need it.”
If I could still cry, I probably would’ve burst into tears. I hugged the boy back; it was the least I could do.
After our conversation, I'll start serving my sentence. But I'll serve with a proud ego, knowing that my wish came true.
Wonderfully creative - held my interest throughout! Thoroughly enjoyed it.
The plight of Artemio is so sad. He shares with us the bare bones of his existence, and his loss of memory - not knowing who he is or why he feels maligned.... Even when he finds a reason to exist, that too is stolen from him. In the end, the boy gives him the beautiful gift of knowledge; of who he is, and what he did for the boy's family. You take us through a host of emotions with Artemio and each is enjoyed in its own right. Lovely piece idelmind. !PIZZA !ALIVE
@idlemind! You Are Alive so I just staked 0.1 $ALIVE to your account on behalf of @samsmith1971. (8/10)
The tip has been paid for by the We Are Alive Tribe through the earnings on @alive.chat, feel free to swing by our daily chat any time you want.
@samsmith1971 thank you so much for liking it. Again, I'm grateful for the gifts.
This gave me a laugh, right as it yanked me into your story, taking me on a journey that ended in tears. Astonishing read, your descriptions are sublime! I am just so grateful to you for giving Artemio this peace before he is confined for breaking the laws of the dead, beautiful. It reminds me of the movie 7 pounds, which is an all-time favorite of mine. I won't say why in case you haven't seen it- but you wrote a similar yet completely different tale here. One that makes you questions the parts of ourselves that live in others, and vice versa. Following, because I am starving for more of your writing now! Thank you for this wonderful read @idlemind
@grindan Thank you so much for looking forward. I might say your comment gives me a little pressure 😅. I haven't seen the movie 7 pounds; looks like I'll have a movie to watch tonight.
Haha! Oh no! No pressure, just encoragement... and excitement :)
Fair warning: Unless you have a heart of stone, 7 pounds will make you feel some stuff!
@grindan I'll check this one out. Thank you for recommending this to me.
Your story was highlighted this week and is part of The Ink Well Highlights Magazine # 71.
Thank you admin @gracielaacevedo.
Brilliantly imaginative, fun and funny. However, that’s not all, this story has so much heart!
You pick us up, firmly, in your grasp and blow us about on a whirlwind of fantasy that is both absorbing and suspenseful, only to have us land, smoothly, in a beautiful moment that is as whimsical as it is sad. Lovely writing.
Thank you for supporting other writers in the community.
@theinkwell Thank you so much for the compliment, it means a lot as it helps motivate me to work even better.
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This is a truly amazing story, @idlemind. It blew me away. I was in tears at the end. Short stories in general don't have enough breadth and length to have that kind of emotional impact. But yours did. And it is so brilliantly imaginative. This story is a tour de force. Beautifully done!
Your comments and appreciation for my work inspire me to keep improving my writing. The tips you provide are also beneficial, admin @jayna. Thank you so much! 😊
I was painting a piece of the popular Disney cartoon (Coco), but this is something much more. Love it.
@blackalbino1 that movie made me cry several times. It was a great movie, indeed. Thank you for appreciating my story, at the same time.
God this made me cry, I love the way you described Artemis. Thank you for putting his mind at ease, now he can serve knowing he made a boy's wish come true.
I'm sorry if I made you cry; at the same time, I'm grateful to know that my story could emotionally affect my reader. It makes me feel that I'm somehow an effective writer.
I'm glad our skeleton finally found some peace. What an awful way to spend the afterlife 😲
Thanks so much for your wonderful story 🙌 Are you familiar with Dreemport?
@wrestlingdesires Thank you for appreciating my story. I'm actually not familiar with dreemport, I just added it to my tags. Is it also a writing platform?
It's a platform that gets eyes on your posts anywhere - in fact I will submit this one, and you can start on your journey right away :) ...
Do you have Discord, by the way?
Thank you 😊. Yes, I have discord.
Please do stop by the Dreemport Discord server then :) Did you get signed up on the site yet?
How do I sign up? @wrestlingdesires
Go to https://dreemport.com/ and register, then you can begin using the site to both get more readers and earn tokens and NFT cards on Dreemport 🙌
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@wrestlingdesires thank you for this, again and again.
a nice story. glad Dreemport dropped it in front of me
@stuartcturnbull thank you for appreciating it.
This is a really nice story, with a happy ending of sorts. I enjoyed the idea of these skeletons in court, I found that pretty comical haha
@killerwot thank you for appreciating my story, as well as the pizza 😊
Thank you for letting me know that my story could touch a reader. Makes me feel like I'm an effective writer. @ngwinndave