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DEAD BONES

By Melanie Lynn Miller
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It was a hundred and twenty years ago since Old Richard Burnstead moved out of his house, leaving a hidden treasure behind unopened walls that lay dormant for a century, beckoning for someone to come hither and unleash what was truly inside. Bet you readers can't guess what those walls wore whispering to those many that slept in those chambers, resting peacefully, until a voice, low and soft called them to tear the walls apart and find what was really hidden there for so many years.

Jacob Bind hurried toward the door when the door bell rang proudly. "I'm coming!" he shouted. Jack Milestone was standing in a drenched dark raincoat. "You're wet uncle, come on in out of the pouring rain why don't you?" "Don't mind if I do nephew." He placed the black umbrella by a corner next to the wall closet and gave it a funny look, thinking he heard something but nah, it was only his imagination or was it? He disrobed his coat from his masculine fifty year old body and hung it safely on a hook. "Still doctoring folks are you uncle?" " But of course I am son, wouldn't quit the profession until someone took me out to the woods and put a shot gun to my head, then I'd retire" he said jokingly with a big smile on his face as he brushed a hand over his silver tresses. “I like to keep myself busy; you know Jakey and don't get many chances to spend time with you, so let's enjoy this evening." Jakey was a nickname since birth and it was rare any of his friends called him by his rightful name, Jacob.

Only his mother who disappeared several years ago entitled him as Jacob. She left without even a letter or simple note. But Jacob grew accustomed to her being gone away from him for such a long time and he learned that he did not have to deal with it all alone as his uncle took care of him. Jacob and his mother lived in that house, on Bunker Hill, which his mother resided at since she was a young girl. It was fun for the both of them for a while, until his mother got these feelings, depressing thoughts that somehow they wore not alone. In the middle of the night Jacob heard a noise and went to his mothers' bedroom only to find her missing. No explanation could be found why she left like that. He heard a quite cry from a far away distance which he could not explain himself. His uncle had telephoned the police but they came up with nothing after their investigation. Soon, he faced the world alone in his mind, wondering how he would live without her but his uncle was chosen by her to be his godparent and he has been a good one at that.

He looked out the window, looking at the rain falling to the ground. On nights like these, he would sit on the couch and watch movies, eating popcorn alone, as it always reminded him the days when he and his mother would sit and view old flicks while of course, munching on popcorn. They watched those black and white films for hours on a Saturday night, and then he would fall asleep next to her on the couch as she was singing one of her songs she had written but never had a single one published as she didn't want to be rich and famous, just be a simple person with simple needs.

“This is a strange house, is it not?" a voice gently spoke as a hand rested on Jacobs' shoulder. “Yes, it sure is uncle." “You know, it is almost like the walls are crying out; can't you hear them, especially at nightfall?" his uncle questioned him. “I know exactly what you mean; I hear the voices to or, er...the cries, like you say." Lifting an eyebrow upward, " Voices, did I hear you correctly; voices? Well maybe it's something medical that needs to be looked into for the both of us then." he laughingly remarked. Placing his hands firmly on his waist, he eyed the young teenager and said in a soft tone, “Son, do you mean to tell me that you hear voices in your head?" Shaking his head, “No, I'm not hearing voices in my head uncle Jack; I only hear them at night when I'm in my room and the voices awaken me."

He placed his hand over his chin, rubbing it, thinking to himself what his nephew had just told him. "Humm..he murmured then coming up with a solution, more than an answer; let's wait until nightfall and see what we hear then okay?" “So you believe me then?" he said with eyes round as saucers. Witch a bellowing laugh, " Well, I didn't say I believed you now Jakey; I'm only saying we'll stay up a little later tonight and see what noise, if there is any to be heard and just hear for ourselves alright?" “Alright then," he said in agreement. Night fell and a full moon was outside. Jacob believed in witches strongly and thought that it might be a hag who was making those eerie noises. He lay in his bed quietly, wondering if his mother had been taken by a witch or even a gypsy or by some voodoo spell perhaps. The thought was embedded in his mind for a while until he decided to shake the feeling. A window was open somewhere in the house as he could feel a cool breeze enter his room. He arose from his comfy bed and found his way into the darkened hallway. Half frightened but fully aware that his uncle was just upstairs and he wasn't alone by any means made him feel more at ease.

A soft voice beckoned for him to come near. "J..A..C..O..B" His name was like an echo as it repeated again. It almost sounded like his mothers he thought to himself but he wasn't sure. Gradually, he walked up the stairs to see if his uncle had heard it as well and knocked on his door but no sound came from the room so Jacob knocked again. Still...no answer. He opened the door a crack and whispered, “Uncle, did you hear a noise?" Still no response. He went over to the bed where his uncle slept and it was unoccupied. An alarm sounded off in his mind. 'No, not again,' as he had feared he was abandoned all over again. He fled down the stairs calling out, " Uncle Jack, where are you?" No one replied. His heart pounded, fear drove a dagger into his chest.

What in the world was going on! He ran from one room to the next and still he could not be found. His eyes darted in every direction as he wondered where to look next. Suddenly, the front door shut hard. Whipping around, looking at a figure standing drenched in water, Jacob opened his mouth in awe. “Where the heck have you been; I've been hunting the whole house looking for you uncle!" “Calm down son; I was only outside," he said soothingly. Not a sufficient enough answer for him so he went on, “Oh yeah, doing what?" Rolling the car windows up; I had forgotten to and woke up remembering I needed to do so. I didn't think I needed your permission." He gave him a quizzical look, "Are you alright Jakey?"

"Don't call me that; yes I'm alright," he said in a stern atonement. His feeling hurt but under standing the boy must had been scared not knowing if he was left alone again like what happened those many years ago, must have surfaced in his imagination, was what he concluded in his own mind. “Why don't you run along and try to get some sleep, okay Jake?" he said to him now, instead of calling him Jakey in his usual manner.

Back in his room, he began to lie down on his bed, disbelieving that his uncle would stay up to listen for any curious noises, that he had only said that to humor him somehow, as if he wore a small child. He was a young man in his early adolescent life. ''Age thirteen is a big age for some kids, he told one of his friends, as some have paper routes and shovel snow for a living.'' He secretly wished he had a job, maybe rolling windows would be a thing he would be good at he thought in a humorous way, snickering slightly, as he lay staring at a black cold ceiling that did not bother to smile at him or whisper a friendly hello; as the walls wore the only ones to even utter their sounds. That had to suffice, for now, he supposed in his mind as he started to drift off to sleep.

Morning came and the sun rose a brilliant hue of orange and yellow marigold. The brilliance of its' natural light shone through the houses' window. Jacob stretched and yawned then raked his hand, grabbing for his lucky pebbles that he had placed in a bag, which lay safely under his pillow. He opened the crimson silk pouch strings, unleashing the treasure before his eyes. One stone, he took out and stared at it, remembering it was the first stone he had found by the beach while walking along side his mother. Her hair was the color of wheat and honey and her eyes that of a sapphire blue gem. She looked at him with gentleness each time she spoke to her son. Gathering all the tiny pebbles, admiring the different array of colors, pink, opal, blue and onyx black coloring, he smiled at all his little friends that rested in his hand for a few minutes, then carefully placed them all back into the pouch his mother had made for him.

Walking home from school, he decided to go into the woods. Jacob noticed an odd ghostly shaped figure by the bushes. Carefully, he walked towards the bushes that seemed to be calling him to come nearer. It was a figure alright, a womanly figure at that. Standing tall, with long flaxen hair and waving a hand at him playfully," made him curious who it was. 'Mother,' he summoned in his mind and he found himself saying the words aloud. “Mother, is that you?" The figure did not give him an answer. Again he asked inquisitively, " Mother, is that you I say?" No words came from the womanly ghost like matter that was before his eyes. Why did she not answer him, he wondered? Did she not know it was her own son or was she someone he never met or one of the witches that lived in the walls that made those odd noises, finally coming out to show a living soul that it existed indeed!

Walking closer and closer, he noticed the image drew further back away from him, as if to say he should not come nearer to her. “Why are you leaving me?" he asked boldly. The apparition seemed to disappear as he stood there all alone, in the woods, comforted by only the whistling of the birds. He remained there for a few moments and reasoned that it was his mother. 'It must had been her; I just know it somehow,' he said in a hushed whisper. He walked back homeward and kept picturing the ghostly woman in the woods. He knocked on the door and his uncle opened it. “You're a bit late coming home from school aren't you son?"

"Yes sir, but you won't believe what I seen today!" he exclaimed. “What little adventure were you on, that you took the time to see this wonderful delight?" His uncle detected that it must had been something thrilling and exciting to see. “You wouldn't believe a word of it, if I told you." Sounding like that was some sort of challenge, he smiled and replied, " Well now, try me out for size, let's just see if your uncle Jack will disagree with you on this one or not." "Okay, here goes; I went to the woods after school and I seen this woman, well, more like a ghost and she waved at me and I know this sounds weird but I think it was mother." Rolling his eyes in the air, " Goodness Sakes Alive boy; do you know what you are saying?" “I knew you wouldn't believe me!" he stammered and folded his arms together. “Now son, I didn't say I disbelieved you for a second but honestly now, your mother?" “Yes Uncle Jack, I think it was her." “Well then, we are just going to have to go to the woods tomorrow and see for ourselves, won't we?" “Okay by me," he said with a slight shrug of the shoulders.

The next day came and it was towards the early evening when his uncle and he went to the woods. “Here's the spot I was at and over there, he pointed a finger, was the ghost by those bushes!" They stood there for what seemed like eternity until his uncle decided they had waited long enough. "It's time to go home Jake, no sense in hanging around here; no ghost to be seen; maybe your eyes wore just playing tricks on you eh?" “No they weren't, I seen her like I said I did." “Sure, sure you did son," he said reassuringly as he patted a hand on his shoulder. They both began to walk back home when all of a sudden a crackling sound came out of nowhere. "Did you hear that uncle?" “I most definitely did." Turning around, they saw the ghost like apparition appear before them now. In disbelief, his uncle asked, “Who are you?'

Dressed in a long white gown, she answered him, “I'm Jacobs mother." "I knew it!" Jacob shouted excitingly. “But wh...what are you doing here, why are you a ghost, what happened to you?" his uncle stuttered his words but she understood them clearly. “I was murdered in the same house you and my son live in." He continued questioning her, " By whom; I must know!" “I was murdered by Mr. Burnstead himself." "That's impossible, he's been dead for over a century now; how can that be?" "His ghost murdered me and he still dwells in the house." Then she warned them, "You must take leave of that place as he will come back from his grave and kill the both of you!" "Mother, he interrupted, what about those strange voices coming from the walls at night? Those my dear, are the many victims' he murdered, and you both are next if you do not leave that house." As soon as she had appeared before them, she was soon gone, vanished into thin air. “Unbelievable!" his uncle said. “Now you believe I was telling the truth all along uncle?" "I sure do now Jake."

Together they walked back to the house they resided and began packing clothing. With in an hour, they had left that house on Bunker Hill and drove away, heading for a new destination and another home to live in, hopefully one that was not haunted this time!