Skeleton and Paper Crane

This story was inspired by a sketch by a guy named Somerled in a site named Secret Vespers. Specifically, it’s from this page:

http://secretvespers.com/2010/04/22/skeleton-crane/

Skeleton and Paper Crane crawled down the highway in their dark SUV. The other cars sped past on either side.

“Speed up!” Paper Crane yelled. “You’re driving like an old man!”

“I am on old man,” Skeleton smiled. “I’m over a hundred…”

“I don’t give a flying hootenanny how old you are. Just step on it!”

Skeleton looked pensive, fixing his eye sockets on the windshield. “I don’t know. I don’t want to put us in any danger. You already refuse to wear a seatbelt.”

“We’ve been over this. The seatbelt would crush me. Besides, I’m made of paper anyway. If we get in an accident, you’re the one whose bones will get broken. So, get a move on!”

“Well, I guess I could move into the fast lane, then.” Skeleton immediately turned his wheel to the left. A Ferrari speeding up on them slammed on its brakes and smashed into the median strip. “Oh, I knew this was a bad idea.” He swerved back to the right. The yellow car that was tailgating him spun out trying to escape their SUV. Seven more cars smashed into each other.

“Oh! I hope they’re okay!” Skeleton cried only a second before the entire pile of cars exploded into flames.

Paper Crane was looking over at the side mirror. “Death just follows you wherever you go.”

“I know! I’m making his job so much harder than it has to be.”

“That’s not what I… nevermind. Our exit’s coming up.”

As they waited at the stoplight, a homeless man came to their window, asking for change.

Skeleton frowned. “We should give him money.”

“No.”

“But he’s homeless.”

“He’s made his choice.”

“He didn’t choose to be homeless.”

“No, but he chose to join the military. His sign says he’s an army vet.”

Skeleton cocked his skull to one side. “What does that have to do with anything.”

“You don’t have anywhere to go back to, you’re screwed. Been that way since the Civil War. Took some men years to get back home. Government never gave them anything.”

“So then we should.”

“No.”

“Why not.”

“Because the light turned green. Move it.”

Skeleton stayed silent for a moment, checked his teeth in the mirror. “You’re always coming up with all these conspiracy theories. Don’t you ever just have a little faith in people, that things will just work out.”

“No, I don’t. Didn’t you say your son made a thousand paper cranes before you died. You know, in hopes that his prayer would be heard and you’d get better.”

“I did say that.”

“And what happened?”

“I died…”

“There aren’t any good luck charms, Skeleton. Life is what we make of it. Make a left here.”

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Filed under Flash Fiction, Session XVII

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