O' Gather 'round, children. I'll tell you a tale
Of a skeleton boy who was bony and pale.
For the first act, our story is all fun and games
But at the end of part one, we see everything changes
We see Skeleton Boy's snatched by the prince of all darkness.
'Tis back to trickster mythology that this storyline harkens.
And so Skeleton Boy must get out of this fix
And find ways to outsmart all his captors with tricks
So prepare for fantastical mischief in:
Skeleton Boy Saves His Skin
by Thomas Boguszewski
Deep underground, there was a boy who was dead
Then out of the ground popped his skeleton head.
He pulled his dead body up through all the red stone
And sat, his head rattling, upon his old headstone.
Skeleton Boy wanted mischievous fun
So he took to his heels and had a good run.
Our hero was hungry, and he saw a big rabbit,
So he set up a trap in order to nab it.
Once the rabbit was caught, the boy made rabbit stew.
But since he was bones, it fell right on through.
Soon after that, he returned to his tricks.
He painted himself brown like a pile of sticks.
He started a fire and hid in the smoke,
Yet still there was more to his intricate joke.
He cupped up his hands, and called to a pheasant,
"Come jump in this fire! It feels quite pleasant!"
The pheasant looked up, "I think I misunderstood."
"Well, look! I'm okay, and I'm a dry piece of wood!"
"Well, okay." Said the pheasant, and over she came.
And with no hesitation, jumped into the flames.
Skeleton Boy laughed for hours, and a day, and a week.
He laughed, "This is the kind of great fun that I seek!"
He played jokes on the birds! He frightened the bees!
He messed with the water, the rocks, and the trees!
Now, while he was joking, a couple folks died.
They were pushing up daisies, they just weren't alive.
Now, Most went to heaven, and were doing quite well.
Except for this one guy... who went straight to hell.
Down there he met Satan, living fine in his heck-hole.
But he surely was curious about the high death-toll.
"So, Tell me," he said, "Who's making y'all dead?
If you tell me, I'll leave you the skin on your head!"
"There's a boy! He's a skeleton! Just a pile of bones!"
Cried the newly-dead gentleman, in terrified tones.
The devil was interested. He stroked his chin with his hand,
And then began hatching his dastardly plan.
He wanted to meet this bony post-mortal,
So he quickly departed via trans-dimensional portal.
Skeleton Boy, in his coffin, was quietly nappin'
Unaware of the things that were going to happen.
When he woke he saw hooves! And a tail! And wings!
Not to mention a bunch of other devilish things!
He said, "What'cha want?" But he hadn't a prayer.
The devil just smiled, he could tell he was scared.
Said the devil "You're dead,
that is plain to see!
But you're too bad for heaven, so
now you're coming with me."
Satan took Skeleton Boy on a terrible ride;
He conjured a cage, and he threw him inside.
Deeper and deeper and deeper they fell,
And Skeleton Boy saw from inside of his cell
All of the various tortures of hell:
The terrible sight of a hideous spirit.
Skeleton Boy had good reason to fear it.
There were dragons, and monsters, and hideous demons.
There was blood, there was gore, there was yelling and screamin'
There was a pit where they threw you to be eaten by ants.
There was a guy with a fiddle who forced you to dance.
You could be injured and prodded, devoured by maggots.
They'd blow smoke in your face, burn your flesh with their fagots
And Dante was right – perdition has levels
But they also have a motorbike gang called "hell's devils."
Yet the bikers and insects
And that guy with the fiddle
All of the monsters, both giant and little...
Became eerily calm when they got to the middle.
Skeleton Boy was nervous, and that's to say the least.
Who wouldn't be a bit afraid to stand beneath the Beast?
They sat there a while, and when they were alone
Satan declared from atop of his throne:
"Boy, you've got skills, and those skills are mad.
You're wild and rambunctious, You're just plain bad.
You have a gift for mischief and pranks,
with time I am sure you will rise through the ranks.
And that's why, my friend, I have made this endeavor
To keep you down here in damnation forever"
"But what if I don't want to?"
The boy said with a shout.
"What if you scare me?
What if I want out?"
"Here's the thing," Satan said, with a laugh in his voice,
"The funny part is that you don't have a choice."
And with that, oh, that Devil,
put Skeleton Boy to work.
and abused the boy's talents
at being a jerk.
But Skeleton Boy didn't want to cause pain;
All that he'd wanted was to play little games.
He'd just wanted to live a long afterlife
And maybe settle down with a skeleton wife.
And so, sitting and thinking cooped up in his crate,
Skeleton boy lamented his fate.
He longed to start over, to pick up a clean slate
To go back to the world free of anger and hate
Where he was just free, to play, run and create
To be free once again… Oh, that would be great!
Now Skeleton Boy had a trick up his sleeve,
A trick that, he hoped, would allow him to leave.
So while the guards were away committing murder and rape,
Skeleton Boy initiated his plan to escape.
Our hero called out, "Now you listen here!
You've kept me in hell for just over a year!
Let me talk to the devil! Let me see Satan!
Seriously, people! Come on, don't be hatin'"
There was a flutter of wings, and the smell of hot fire,
And he was suddenly met with Beelzebub's ire.
Satan stood overhead, like a shadow with horns,
And looked down on our boy with contemptuous scorn.
"Yes?" Satan said (Or rather, he growled).
Skeleton Boy couldn't throw in the towel.
He had to grow up, be a skeleton man,
And then execute phase one of his escape plan.
"This cage," said the boy,
"Isn't torture at all!
It's boring, and painless,
and exceedingly small!
Perhaps if you wanted to give me more room
You could cause me some real pain, anguish and doom."
The devil pricked up his pointy-tipped ears
Had Skeleton Boy gone crazy with fear?
The young one was mad. Satan couldn't believe it!
But since it was asked... Well, then he would receive it!
"Perhaps," Satan said, "We change your mouth for your money,
And afterward, see if you still think you're funny.
I'll come up with some tortures both ghastly and vile!
I might have you sucked on by leeches a while!"
Old Nick was excited; he was ready to play,
But Skeleton Boy had one more thing to say:
"Also promise me, Devil, that while the flames of hell burn,
Once you send me away I will never return."
"I promise you, child! Boy, you must be a fool!
Everyone knows I'm the king of the cruel!
Your spine will tingle and your bones will crack!
I guarantee that you'll never come back!"
Thus, laughing maniacally, Satan sent him away
On a trip that lasted seven years and a day.
But don't fear, little children,
The straits weren't really so dire.
The truth is this was just the thing
That Skeleton Boy required!
For The Devil had not come along on the trip
So Skeleton Boy made the most of this slip.
Finally they arrived in a special hell sector
For the worst of the sinners: Hitler, Stalin, and Lecter.
There was an area for corpses, they called it the mortuary.
There was a jail as well, and a specialized torture-area.
When they finally reached the deepest pit of ring nine,
The one place in the cosmos farthest from the divine.
The demons all grinned with a villainous joy
And then began working on Skeleton Boy.
This time now was Skeleton Boy's darkest hour
He was with a group of monsters, exposed to their power.
The demons began to follow Satan's instructions
From a list of nefarious deaths and destructions.
The demons all laughed, while the flames of hell burned,
They would each torture Skeleton Boy, going in turns.
The First was Pierre, a devilish cook.
He had a French accent, demeanor, and look.
"Allez cuisine!" Said the plump Gallic beast
Who aimed to tantalize with a magical feast.
But Skeleton Boy just sighed,
"That was really quite crude!
Since I don't have a stomach,
Why would I want food?"
"Sacrebleu!" Said the demon,
And away he was sped;
His fluffy white chef's hat
Falling off of his head.
After that they set up a most horrid display
Of cadavers, corpses, remains, and decay.
But when he looked at the skulls, the boy didn't go batty,
Instead, he felt open and social and chatty.
Soon he taught all the skulls to tell jokes and tall tales,
Despite being stabbed, speared, spoked and impaled.
Therefore another torture was not up to snuff,
So the demons bombarded our boy with more stuff.
A demonic musician played infernal ragtimes.
While a manic magician from warlock and hag times
Dressed in a tuxedo and put on the ritz
Just like Houdini, Cardini, and other stage hits.
The magician stuck Skeleton's bones in a box.
And he covered it with buckles,
Chains, ropes, and locks.
But this was a mistake that they couldn't foresee.
Who knew Skeleton Boy had a skeleton key?
The audience fiends blurted out in dismay,
"How did he do it? Did he get away?"
(Well, they tell you to never reveal your trick.
But I'll say that, with locks, he had a "bone to pick.")
There were specialists for sin,
Like lust, envy, and vice.
And a tall demon gambler,
Who played with the dice.
He said, "Roll 'dem bones!"
But that's not what he meant to say
Because Skeleton Boy just smiled
And then said, "Okay!"
Then he disassembled
And rolled quickly away
Chuckling to himself:
He rolled out of Hell...
He rolled up Mt. Purgatorio...
And he rolled into Heaven...
Is this the end of our story?
He rolled out of Heaven with a basket of fruit,
Some halos, ambrosia, and other heavenly loot.
And he came then, at last
To a big mahogany door
Through which he could enter the land of the living
Skeleton Boy was now ready,
He took a bite of an orange
And calmly, yet confidently,
He threw open the door hinge.