s k e n

s m i l e

So, yeah. I don't know where I got the inspiration for this one - maybe Coraline. This is meant to be creepy, but there is a message in there if you dig deep enough. But read through it first, and submerge yourself, lose yourself. Once you do that, then analyze. But, I warn you, it might make your head hurt.


Mommy, I'm sorry.

I was running (trying to fly) and I didn't mean to trip. I didn't -

mean -

to -


It hurt, mommy. My head hurt, and it felt like something was wriggling around inside my brain, and I saw so much red. It looked like roses, but it didn't smell like flowers. I watched it mommy. I watched it flow down my nose, tasted it as it touched my tongue.

All I can see is black now.


Mommy, I met a skeleton girl today.

I was looking out of my black window and wondering why it was night all the time - night with big, bulging stars - and she sat down on the windowsill. She's not black like everything else, mommy. She has a white face with big blue eyes, and her lips are red (just like when I fell, mommy.) Her fingernails are red, and her hair is brown, tumbling down her back. She smiled at me, mommy. She told me that she could see everything now, and that she could teach me to see.

But mommy, Suzy the cow was sitting on my bed (the one I cuddle to my chest every time I go to sleep) and she said that Skeleton Girl was all white, that she had no hair, no red lips, no color. Suzy said she was ugly.

I don't think I believe Suzy, mommy. Skeleton Girl is very pretty.


Skeleton Girl told me that the world wasn't like I thought, mommy.

She took me to the bookstore - flying, with my hand cupped in her's so I wouldn't fall. The bookstore was still at the corner of the street, mommy, but it wasn't brown anymore, and the windows weren't shiny. The roof was crumbling in, and the windows were broken, and it looked like nobody had been there for a long time.

Skeleton Girl opened a book for me. It was one of my favorite pop-up books, mommy, the one with the picture of the happy sheep on the front and the huge green meadow with the pink flowers. But it looked so different, mommy. The sheep was lying on the ground with a spear through its side, and the grass was all brown, and it made me cry black tears.

Skeleton Girl said that nobody cared about reading anymore, so they tried to burn down the library. She said that after awhile people just stopped coming to read, that they watched their TV instead and listened to music through plugs in their ears, and so had no use for libraries.

I'm scared, mommy.


Mommy, Skeleton Girl tried to sing to me today.

Her voice sounded so beautiful, but she said that everyone hated her voice. She said that no one sang anymore, because without a studio with special buttons that could make your voice perfect, you weren't good enough. She said that people just listened to songs now; she said that no one sang as they mowed their lawns, or as their painted their house, or as they walked to the grocery store.

The world sounds so quiet, mommy.

I can hear -

myself -



I asked Skeleton Girl how I fell today, mommy.

She smiled sadly and showed me a vision in my head. There was sound, because Skeleton Girl told me that she could find color again, so it was okay. But nobody else has sound, she said.

She showed me how she stood there and waited for me to sneak outside - cause mommy, you said I wasn't supposed to, but I did anyways. She showed me how she stuck her foot out and tripped me, how she cried as she watched my head hit the ground.

Skeleton Girl said that everything looked red, and then my eyes looked gray and glassy, and then everything around me got brighter and brighter as I got blacker and blacker.

She tried to explain, mommy, but I ran away.

I hate Skeleton Girl for tripping me, mommy. I hate her, because now I can't see you anymore.


Mommy, I tried to hide.

But strange people found me, with fangs for teeth, and blood red eyes. They laughed as they jabbed at me (ow, it still hurts, mommy) and mocked me. They said I looked so black, that there was nothing worse that seeing the world in darkness.

I don't understand it, mommy. If darkness is so bad, then why is the world of color so mean?


Skeleton Girl found me again, mommy.

She told me that she wanted to show me something; she said that I should follow her this once, and then I could be all by myself.

I looked at her for a long time, and she looks even taller now, with longer brown hair and red (crimson) lips and she's so beautiful in this world of blackness. She's so beautiful, I couldn't say no.

She brought me onto this path that was very bright, and it wound around crumbling buildings and shattered glasses and rugged hills until I got lost. We kept walking and walking and everything was full of color, and I was shimmering with darkness, and we were winding through a maze that never seemed to end.

Skeleton Girl pulled me over to the side of the road and told me that this was the road for those who saw color. She said it was the road without a meaning or an ending.

Then she led me to a straight, black path. It was rough and it made my feet hurt. There were scraggly trees on the side of the road, and nothing was growing, just dying. The sun was bleeding black and red drops through the skies; they painted the stones beneath my feet. The road remained straight for a short while, and then I spotted a crumbling house in the distance. The roof was painted with dark brown and the chimney still continued to puff a few meager clouds of gray smoke, but the house looked abandoned.

It couldn't have been abandoned, though, mommy. It was our house.

The window was still cracked open up on the second story, the window Skeleton Girl had slid through so that she could perch herself on my windowsill. The broken windows bled white paint onto the groaning walls of our house, and as Skeleton Girl led me through the green gate with no knob, I wondered if our house would collapse on top of us.

I wondered if it would bury us in colors, or if would make us lose ourselves.

Skeleton Girl led me to your room, mommy. She cracked open the door, and I saw you then. I saw you lying in your bed against the right wall with the burgandy covers and the shiny brass knobs on the edges of the posts. I saw your fingers clenched around the TV remote with the yellow, green and blue buttons that I'd never figured out how to work. I saw your glassy eyes and the dagger - you told me it was a Winchester dagger once, I remember - imbedded in your chest. I saw the red (crimson) spreading out across your frilly, white nightgown, and the world began to spin.

I cried and screamed, mommy, because it wasn't fair. Skeleton Girl did it; I could see it in her deep blue eyes, and in the way her fingertips were trembling as she led me away.


I ran for a long time, mommy, but I could never find the black road, because Skeleton Girl wasn't there. I ran and I ran and the colors shifted beneath my aching feet, and I was so lost.

Everything looked the same, mommy: the crumbling grocery store I used to go as a child, the crumbling church with the cross jutting from pale white rubble, the crumbling fountain in the park with water spitting from the gaping mouth of a mermaid statue.

Everything -

was -

so -



I curled up on the side of the road, mommy. My body hurt, and all I could see was blackness behind my closed eyes.

Skeleton Girl found me again; she always does, no matter how hard I try to get away. She looked so beautiful, and so sad, with her blue eyes shifting like oceans and her hair a deeper, more luscious brown that ever before. I remembered what Suzy said, mommy, about how Skeleton Girl was ugly, but I couldn't understand it.

Everyone said Skeleton Girl was so ugly, but as she wound her arms around me and held me as I cried black tears, she looked radiant.


Skeleton Girl led me back to our house, mommy.

She told me to close my eyes so I wouldn't be hurt by color; she said that the darkness was the safest place for me to reside, always.

When I opened my eyes, we were in my room, mommy, and everything looked so perfect. My bed still sat pushed up against the left wall, with the eight pillow stacked according to height, and Suzy the Cow resting on the smallest, pink pillow. The bookcase with all my favorite stories still stood next the window opposite the bed, and I could see the pattern of roses you painted for me on the outside of all three shelves. My clothes were still hung up in the closet by the door, and the window gleamed, nice and clean.

Skeleton Girl told me that I was the only one that understood, that this was why she had to trip me.

She said I was meant to live in the dark.

She's wrong, mommy. I miss you, so I walked out of my room, and out the front door, and all the plants and flowers in the front yard were shriveling and the grass was turning brown. I pushed open the gate that now hung on only one hinge, and stepped onto the black street I could never find before.

It felt right, to stand here

in the dark.

Skeleton Girl was staring at me, and I looked back at her, seeing her for the first time as she truly was. All rotting bones and hollow eyes, with no hair, no crimson lips. She was as dead as I was, mommy, and yet she still looked beautiful to me.

I asked her why she killed me, mommy. I asked her why she cried and why I could see so much red and now why I couldn't, why every color turned me around until I couldn't find myself no matter how hard I tried. I asked her why we were all alone in the world.

I asked her why she had to kill you, mommy.

I cried as I asked her, cried black tears.

Skeleton Girl took my hand, and her fingers were so bony and so cold, but I squeezed tight. I didn't want to let go, because she was all I had now.

She told me something I'll never forget, mommy.

She told me this: True beauty is in the darkness now, and you were the only one worth saving.


I miss you mommy.

Time moves differently here, and I'm much taller now, and I can start to see the colors wihout aching.

The world of darkness is such a beautiful place, and when I'm here, the crumbling buildings don't collapse on top of me, and Skeleton Girl teaches me how useless man's creation really is, how we can survive with just simplicity.

I don't hear anything now, mommy. Skeleton Girl speaks to me without words, and I've grown used to not hearing. But sometimes, just once in an infinity, I can hear the distant stanzas of a familiar love song in the distance.

I think it


be you



f i n ;