's 2020 Horror Write-off:

The Skeleton

Submitted by Derpghost

Do you ever think about bones? You likely do; as beings who have them they come up decently often for us. Everything has them, course. You do, I do, your pet does. The flowers have bones, the ants have bones. Oh, sure, they take their different forms, but everything has something that fills the function of a skeleton, something to keep them together and upright, from a sea slug to a redwood.

Now, what I wondered was, do rocks have bones? Do the inanimate things around us have them? As it turns out, yes. The ocean runs on currents, a moving, twisting network, of warmth and cold and stagnant spots. Bones. A gem is formed on a skeleton of crystal delicate and beautiful.

Then I set my sights bigger. Does our earth have bones? Well, there was only one way to find out. I devoted my life to it, to pierce the skin that is the earth’s crust and delve ever deeper. I funded drill sites, so many. None got far enough. Not nearly. I kept trying, as the years passed by. It became an obsession, really; i lost my friends, family, my life’s savings.

One day, progress.

The drill had been stopped, suddenly; not to the heat, it was too well insulated, but because it had started meeting much, much less resistance, as if the rock had ended and something new began. The crew thought we could have hit something dangerous, a natural gas pocket or such. When the drill was brought up, it dripped red with meat and flesh. I knew what we had found. We had gotten past the skin.

Most of the crew quit after that. I didn’t care. I drilled ever deeper. Every day the drill had to be cleaned of gore, gleaming metal drenched in red. I did it by myself, feverishly.

On the day it stopped working I was furious. I swore, i stomped around, I grabbed a hammer and I beat the cursed thing into scrap. But I needed to go deeper. I needed to find bone. So i got the suit, and I got shovels and supplies and a pulley system, and I delved down, deep down. The pit was miles deep but I arrived in only seconds. I was too eager to be slowed. So my boots touched into the blood, the slurry up to my knees, and my shovel bit into the flesh. I dug, and dug, for weeks on end. Eventually, I stopped eating, stopped sleeping. I didn’t need to. That was a restriction for the flesh. And one day, I hit it. That pearly white stone I was seeking. Bone. Glorious bone. The earth had a skeleton. The skeleton. I was right. I was right, I was right, I was right! Finally, I was where I belonged. 

I stripped off the suit that held me back, and the skin that had trapped me for so long, and the flesh that rubbed so horridly against me, and the useless viscera that clogged my body and skull, until I was free.

Free to be with the skeleton of the Earth. Far above, I knew the rest of life had the same revelation. People discarded their useless sheathes. Insects hollowed out their own glorious exterior. Trees shook and bent and shattered away their bark. The slugs rubbed themselves against the rocks to reveal their new, true selves as the seas boiled themselves away. And the Earth began to shift itself, and it awoke, and it began to peel off it’s own useless skin, and claw away it’s own useless meat. 

Everything has bones. It was time for them to all be revealed.