“No!” Jacob stomped his foot. “It was Uncle Ray that was the skeleton in the family closet. He was the one who stole all that money from the people that lived in the big old house. Everyone thought he was a hero until they found out how he stole it.”
“Well, how did he steal it?” John said.
“He dressed up as a housemaid and worked in the house for a month. Then he stole all the money and silver one night while the family was sleeping. The police were looking for a middle-aged housemaid for months.” John couldn’t help but laugh.
“I still think you are wrong. The skeleton in the family closet was Aunt Martha.” John said and gave a firm nodded. Being the oldest he was used to being listened too.
“Who was she?” Jacob was interested now.
“She was the one that married the richest man in the village. When she found out he’d spent all his money on dog racing, she turned him into dog food and fed him to the dogs. She then re-married the racetrack owner. She only got caught after the dogs kept digging up the bones of the first husband.” John held a truly smug grin on his face he knew his story was better.
“That’s not true! Grandma who is the skeleton in our family closet?” Grandma looked up from her paper. She couldn’t help but listen to the boys dispute and had struggled to keep out of it. Now she could see the two round faces beaming up at her with morbid curiosity.
“Well boys, I don’t think I should tell you. I’m probably not allowed.” The boys glanced at each other excitement showing wildly in their eyes.
“Please grandma, please. We won’t tell anyone you told us.” Desperation fluttered across their little faces. They were always trying to out-scare one another, she knew the game well.
“Okay then, promise you won’t tell?”
“Promise”, they chimed together and both crossed their legs at her feet to listen intently.
“Well boys, a little way up the family tree you have an Uncle called Jack. He was strong, really strong, but mostly he was remembered for having a big deep voice. Jack was a grumpy man. He had two sons that never went to sleep when they were told. One night fed up of the two little boys not going to sleep when they were told, he snuck in their room and chopped off all their toes. When the boys told someone what he did he was arrested and never seen again. But every few years someone in our family wakes up without his toes.”
“Oh what a load of rubbish Grandma.” The boys scoffed at her nonsense. Soon it was forgotten until the boys were getting ready for bed.
“Remember no nonsense, go straight to sleep or Jack will get you?” The boys rolled their eyes. “Okay, I’ll send Granddad in to say goodnight to you. Goodnight boys, Goodnight Jack.” Grandma chuckled as she abandoned the boys to their own imaginations. She heard the boys yelp with fear as a voice from under their bed said “Goodnight Jean” back in a big deep voice.
As she went into her own bedroom she could see granddad trying not to giggle, the boys walkie-talkie held in his hand.
“That was a great idea”, she said giving him a kiss. “Remember to take your slippers off when you go say goodnight. Your wound from the war is just the ticket for us to get a good night’s sleep.”
Granddad opened the door and walked to the bed the boys were to sleep in. He could see the game console was down. The pj’s were on and only the lamp remained. Climbing onto the bed beside them he crossed his leg so that his foot with the missing toe was over his knee. Both boys stared at it agog.
“Granddad, you did lose that in the war didn’t you?” John asked his voice wavering.
“Believe me, lads, you wouldn’t believe me if I told you. I’ll wait until you are a bit bigger. For the moment the only person that knows the truth is Grandma.” With that, he stood and left the room holding his giggles until he got to the bedroom.
Written in Response to todays #Maydays Prompt – Skeleton in the closet.
To take part simply write a memory, short flash fiction, poetry or whatever may take your fancy and pingback to the prompt found here: