As I am wont to do, here I present a bit of flash, fiction prompted by Writer’s Digest.  The prompt is as follows:

When you go to get dressed one morning, you discover that there really is a skeleton in your closet. Write this scene—discover how it got there, why it is there, what to do with it now.

The suggested length (at least for posting on their forums) was 500 words.  I did it in less, which makes this slight indeed.  Hopefully, though, not so slight as some enjoyment might not come from it.


The skeleton was piled up neatly on the closet floor. Maybe all the pieces made it there, maybe it had some parts missing, it didn’t really matter. What mattered was that the skull sat at a jaunty angle on its jaw so that it looked right up at me as I reached for a shirt. Not the most disturbing thing I’d ever seen, but that didn’t mean I liked seeing it.

“Honey,” I said to my wife, who was putting the finishing touches on her makeup, “is there something you want to tell me?”

She winced, then said, “Yeah. Cousin Victor’s will be staying with us for a while.  In a slightly less annoying manner than usual.”

Hard to argue with that.  “How long is a while?”

“Until I get the part I need to put him back together.”

I started buttoning up my shirt. “That doesn’t really answer my question.”

My wife gave me a wan smile. “Sorry. Can’t be more specific than that. He’d down to bone and brain. Getting the rest will be… time-consuming.”

“You know I’m no expert, but wouldn’t it be easier to just transplant him into a full body?”

“You’d think. Great Aunt Tillie said no.”

“Ah.” You didn’t question Great Aunt Tillie. Ever. “Couldn’t we keep him somewhere other than in the closet? The lab, say?”

“Don’t want him confused with any of the other parts. Tillie again.”

I closed the closet door. Almost a relief not to have those sightless eyes staring up at me. “I suppose his brain’s lying around here someplace, too.”

“Fridge. Right behind the meatloaf.”

“Clearly labeled?”

She gave me a bemused look.  “It’s in a jar filled with green liquid.”

“So’s the meatloaf.”

“Point.” She walked over and hugged me. “I’ll see to it as soon as I get downstairs.”

“No rush. I wasn’t going have meatloaf any time soon.”

She laughed. “You’re taking all this better than I expected.”

I smiled at her. “Well I knew what I’d be getting, marrying into the Frankenstein family.”

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2 thoughts on “A Literal Skeleton in a Literal Closet – A Brief Fiction

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