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  • Madeline Walz

Day 8: Your character’s skeleton is trying to escape his or her body. Describe what happens.

A skeleton escaping from a body is gross, so I changed it a bit to something more fun. What's the doctor's hanging model skeleton thinking about? This may be my all-time favorite flash fiction.


Every day, I hang in the closet. It’s dark, it’s crowded, and it stinks. I can hear people outside the door, but I can’t get to them. They’ve got me sitting on a wheeled pole in here, like some kind of invalid. Locked up, like I’ve got some horrible disease.

It wasn’t always this way. I used to be able to leave the closet every day. Granted, I was still stuck on this stupid wheely pole, but at least I was out of the closet. That felt good, for about ten seconds. Then the touchy-feely inspections began. Talking about some incomprehensible thing in doctor-speak, pointing to different parts of me, moving my limbs, turning my head. It was so annoying! Just let me move myself, people! If I wanted to look over there, or point that way, I would do it myself.

I’ve never managed it, though. No matter how hard I try, the only time I’ve ever moved is when the people outside the closet did it for me. Not that that’s ever stopped me from trying. If I can just reach the doorknob, maybe I can get out of this closet. It’s been so long since I left that even the touchy-feely doctor-speak people would be more welcome than the horrible smell of the closet.

I haven’t heard those people in a long time. They used to be outside the closet every day, jabbering away in their incomprehensible language. Every so often I would catch a word or phrase that sounded like English, but then the bizarre words came back. I mean, who says things like “borborygmi” or “gustatory rhinitis?” And “Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis?” Seriously? How is that a word?

Anyway. It’s been so long since I heard them that I’ve even started to miss their nutty language. Now all I hear is the occasional plain English. Something about “emptying the place” so they can “take it down.” Now, I don’t hear English too often, but I’m pretty sure you go to places, not take places. These new people may be even stranger than the doctor-speak people.

There’s been more voices outside the closet recently. Maybe soon someone will open the door and let me out so I can find out what the heck is going on.


Cover photo by Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash


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