Monday, March 3, 2014

Fiction: A Story Across Years [chapter thirteen]

Why did this update a few hours later? Read about it here.

This story at Fictionpress.

A Story Across Years

Chapter Thirteen: Family Reunion

And that… That's all she wrote.

It's over.

You lost.

I don't know what you were thinking when you saw my grandmother. I know the stories, but how much stock can I put in them? How much did they change and warp in just a few generations?

I never met you. But in a way, I did. I think I did.

I met your daughter. I met her grandson, my brother. In them, I met you. Or I met what you were. What they became.

Would you have been proud of him, monster that you were? Did he fulfill your legacy like my grandmother never did? Or would even you have been disappointed in the mindlessness of it all?

How did he sink so low? Mother? Grandmother? Would you know what to say, if you knew him like I had to know him? How did you love the first Skeleton Scott? Grandmother, how did you become him? How did you stay sane?

Was there something about him that we just ignored? Did you catch it? Ignore it, maybe, because you were just that desperate to pass on your legacy?

And now it comes to pass, now we're here, all safely gathered together. And I'm the only one sitting above the ground.

Mother, grandmother, great-grandfather. Brother, of course. Grandfather that I never knew. And soon I'll be here too, to join you and my aunt and uncle and all my cousins, and our children will follow after us. Is that the happy ending that we have to look forward to?

Imitators popped up after time to time, and the Spook killed them all. They're, um… They don't want that happening again, the imitators or the killing, so they're mentioning that the Spook was killed by the next Skeleton Scott and leaving it at that. Sooner or later somebody'll decide to risk it, I'm sure, but the police would like to deal with that some other years.

So I guess I'm Skeleton Scott after all. For a day, anyway. And that's how it's going to end. My kids don't know. I'm not going to tell them. They're young. They wouldn't get most of it anyway.

Still don't know what I'm going to tell them, but not that. Skeleton Scott dies with me. No more family tradition. Some of them deserve to fade out with the night.

Carol knows, of course, but she won't tell them. What's the point? But we'll have to figure out where to go from here. They understand, they… They've settled at voluntary manslaughter. But that's still not free, you know. It's the least they could do. Literally. And it's better than I expected.

First-degree homicide. I'm glad they didn't see it the way that I did. But it couldn't be any other way. Skeleton Scott was our guilt. I guess I was angry that Richie died, but then I found out Richie had died a long time before that. Died sometime when he became Skeleton Scott, and the Spook was just the last shovelful of dirt on his coffin.

I think I would have killed the Spook for Richie. But when I knew whose face would be under that mask, it was a responsibility. Stop this from happening ever again. Stop him, for the sake of the man that Richie had been before.

You make a mess, you clean it yourself. And all of you were dead already. What was I to do, wait until one of my children became Scott? For the decision on one of their grandchildren? If it didn't stop now, then when?

Maybe… Maybe I could have just told the police. But Skeleton Scott was our rabid dog. Our family curse to break. And it was a curse. Did you ever see it that way, Mom?

I wonder if I only think this way because I've got Scotts in the family. Did it influence me that much? Maybe it's good that I'll be going away for a little while. A sabbatical.

Well. It looks like it's time to go. Officer Simak is coming over here right now.

Hey, I… I'll see you again soon. Three years isn't that long.

I love you all.


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