As you can see if you investigate the list above, there are two bones entries on this list–the 19th and the 24th. I decided to run with it. Part II is here.
Oct 19: BONES, PART I
Lakeisha woke straight up out of the worst nightmare she’d had in her life. Seriously. Her heart ached in her chest, it was thudding so hard. She wasn’t a runner—she always joked that she would be the first person to die in a horror movie—but it felt like she’d been running a marathon.
The nightmare had been about Donte, her son. Who lived in Hawaii.
He had been mountain climbing up on one of those big volcanoes, and fallen into a bunch of rocks and about broke his neck. He was alive, but he had broken about a dozen bones and he was calling for her.
It wasn’t just a bad nightmare about her son being hurt. It was the fact that he was in Hawaii, and she could not fly. Could. Not. Fly. She had been on more Greyhound buses and in more rental cars on cross-country trips than a traveling salesman.
The one time she had flown, she was eight and it had been a little puddle-jumper in Montana. The plane had crashed, killing the pilot. Nobody else had been much hurt, but that didn’t matter. She had seen the dead pilot, the co-pilot trying to keep the arterial blood from jumping out of his veins, getting splattered with it.
She remembered the copilot turning his face toward her, covered in blood. Even his eyelids were covered in blood, drops of it hanging off his eyelashes. The air was thick with electrical-fire-flavored smoke.
He had mouthed a word at her. Run. She had unhooked her seatbelt and run for the emergency door of the plane. Crawled right over the man sitting next to it. She had stood on his leg and released the latch. She was out of there.
But what had been outside was worse. Far worse.
They told her, later, that she had seen a bear. Stretched above her on its back legs, what Lakeisha had seen was no bear. It was at least three times as tall as she was. In fact it towered over the cracked body of the airplane.
It had a thousand legs running up its sides, enormous jaws that stretched over her head, wider than her arms could reach, and was made of bones.
She screamed and ran.
Three days later they found her in the mountains, a hundred miles away from where the plane had crashed. She couldn’t remember a damn thing. Just the crash. The blood. And the thing rising above her, made of bones.
The phone rang and her stomach lurched. She had left her cell phone downstairs in her purse, of course, so she had to hustle to make it before the call went to messaging. It was two o’clock in the morning. No parent can sleep through a call like that.
It was an unidentified number but it had the 808 area code. Definitely Hawaii.
Her heart sank. She knew what he was going to say. Not in the usual way. No, she knew the exact words he would use. She mouthed them along with him.
“I have some bad news about your son, Donte. He’s been in an accident. Now, he’s still alive, but he’s in critical condition. And he’s been asking for you.”
“I’ll be there as soon as I can,” she said. “I’ll have to go by boat. I don’t fly.”
And then the caller said something that surprised her. “He says…I’m sorry, ma’am, but he said to tell you this if you said that. He says, ‘Don’t go by boat. The bone man will be on the boat this time.’ Do you have any idea what that means?”
“No,” she said. But her voice was shaking. She had never told Donte about the bone man. She had only ever told the men who had found her out in the forest, and they hadn’t believed her. “Tell him I’ll get there as soon as I can.”
(To Be Continued.)
I asked for “can’t-do/must-do” situations on Facebook. A “can’t-do/must-do” situation is a dilemma in which you both can’t do something and must do it, with no easy answers (this is my personal definition of dread, by the way). Geri Bressler came up with this example for me. Many thanks 🙂
My first plane trip involved a big jet and a little puddle-jumper on the way out to Montana. I was older than eight at the time, but still very young. I personally always want to giggle with delight when a plane takes off–still.