Reading Time: 3 minutes
Skeleton sits in a reclining chair in the living room with the TV on, nothing left but clothes and leathery dried out skin.
Jay: Yep. You don’t need to be a doctor to figure that out.
John: How long do ya think the body has been here?
Jay: Months. Maybe a year. Not much left of it.
John: Jeez. You think some one might of smelled it.
Jay: You think someone might have missed him.
John: TV was on when I got here, suppose someone else might have been here?
Jay: I can’t imagine. On-line accounts, I would guess. Hell, with enough money in the bank, the utilities could run forever. I wonder how old you would have to be before social security became suspicious and stops sending you checks?
John: Looks like a wallet on the table.
(Opens it and pulls out a driver’s license)
John: Hmm, according to his id he is eighty years old. He must of been retired, so no one missed him at work.
Jay: Look, it looks like the corner of his lips are turned up, like just a hint of a smile.
John: Weird, I didn’t notice that on the way in.
Jay: I don’t think he was married either.
John: How do you know?
Jay: Look at this place. Laptops, electronics, engine parts, microscopes, lab equipment. In the living room. All that wine and wine making equipment and god only knows what that other stuff is in the kitchen. Trust me. No wife.
John: It seems so sad. No wife to miss you.
Jay: Shit! He jumps back a half step knocking his partner into the wall.
John: What the fuck, guy.
Jay: The leathery skin around his eye sockets is crinkly…as if he were happy. It wasn’t like that a second ago.
John: You’re just imaging things.
(Finds an iPhone charging on a wall socket)
John: Has a lot of contacts in his phone list.
(Scrolls through the list, reading the names and notes)
John: Sister with a 616 area code, not sure where that is, looks like Cleveland according to the address. Sister with a 617 area code, Boston address. Sister with a 202 area code, New York address. Huh, interesting note. Family, the other F word. Nobody on the west coast. All remote.
Jay: Jesus Christ! Look, his jaw just dropped. If I didn’t know better, I, I, … I would think he is laughing. Can we get out of here? This dude is givin’ me the creeps.
John: We gotta find someone to contact.
Jay: What else is on the list?
John: (Scrolls some more.) Interesting…
Jay: Come on! What is it? You can’t just say interesting and stop.
John: Oh sorry. The name of woman. Joan. International phone number. Malaysian address. The notes section is full of broken heart emoji’s.
John: Here is a local number.
John: Hi, Mr Smith. Are you an acquaintance of Mr. Jones.
Dave: Yeah. Mike. Used to be best friends. He left on long trip about a year ago. Said he wanted some peace and quiet. Would find me when he gets back.
John: I see. Well, I think he had his year of peace and quiet.
(A crash. The head falls off the skeleton and rolls on the carpet. Stops. The skin powders into the atmosphere along with all the dust it kicks up)
John and Jay together (falling over one another, John drops the phone): Fuck!
John (gaining composure, picks up iPhone): You look more like the ghost than that guy.
Jay (pale white): Let’s get the hell out of here.