AN EDDIE CROSSBONES THANKSGIVING
by BRADLEY MASON HAMLIN
with gravy & extra biscuits by the incomparably undead ...
If he told you it was a dark and stormy night, would it make you angry? Snoopy would be whimpering inside his doghouse under this kind of rain. Capital City is like that, calm and cool one moment, assaulted by invisible demons the next.
Eddie wasn’t there for the weather. He was waiting on a downtown bookstore that only opens after midnight, but buying vintage words made of pulp seemed a bad idea in the downpour. Maybe he could slip into a late night monster movie at the theater down the street.
Well, truth be told, this was his kind of climate. Old Crossbones could walk down the boulevard in the cliché of trench coat and slouch hat and not get a tumble from the paparazzi. You know, hey, living skeletons have feelings too.
The movie doors had just opened, with his luck, probably last show of the night, only a few brave motion picture lovers left in this part of town. They quickly disappear, melting into the watery haze except for one couple and their kid, a little girl. Some kind of argument by the car, wouldn’t start, so they start walking …
Bad idea, but maybe they didn’t want to hang around waiting for trouble. The man popped open an umbrella and the family headed north, uptown. They might be okay, thought Eddie, not like people get molested for money and whatnot every evening.
He thought they might be all right until they entered the alley shortcut at 5th and Main. Dumb idea. Eddie had seen this story. You’ve seen this story. Everybody’s seen this story.
Before they made it out the other side to safety, a man in a green golfing hat rose out of the darkness and blocked their path. A convenient flash of lighting illuminated the gun in the mugger’s hand. He waved the weapon at them and shouted while shaking his ugly face.
The father stepped in front of his wife and daughter – and two shots filled the alley with tremendous thunder. A slow motion drama took hold of reality as the body fell down to a dirty, muddy, bed of concrete death. A pool of blood swelled around the cadaver, splashing and splattering as water fell from above, washing away the blood but not the death.
Eddie obscured his face as best as possible with coat, scarf, and hat as he stepped up from behind. “You … all right?”
They looked at the smoking pistols in his gloved hands, and then down at the dead guy on the ground. When they stopped shaking the father said, “Thank you.”
Thanksgiving morning, his informants (the spiders) sent Eddie a message, a vision. There she was, a beautiful young lady, just a teenager smiling within the warmth of home cooking and the cinnamon smell of apple pies cooling. She was working with colored paper and feathers and glue while watching the parade on TV.
"I'll make a mask," she whispered.
THE SUPER THRILLING TALES OF EDDIE CROSSBONES THE LIVING SKELETON WILL CONTINUE ...
"An Eddie Crossbones Thanksgiving" by Bradley Mason Hamlin.
Art by Mort Todd.
Published November 22, 2011 by Mystery Island.
Copyright © 2011 by Mystery Island Publications. Updated: 11.27.14. Edited by Lucy Hell. All rights reserved.
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