The Mysterious Skeleton
The Mysterious Skeleton is a creepy short story about a man who is chased by another man who wants to kill him. It is based on an old ghost story called “The Man of Science” by Jerome K Jerome.
This story begins with a small man and a tall man. The two men were attending the same university, both of them studying science. The small man had done the tall man a great wrong. Nobody knows exactly what that wrong was, but they say it had to do with a woman. The tall man was seething with anger and hate. The small man knew that his life was in danger, so he did the only thing he could do… He fled.
The small man left town immediately, without even bothering to pack his things. He just up and left on the first train he could catch. The tall man followed him. It became a game of cat and mouse. The small man had a few hours’ head start, but as the days went by, the tall man was gaining on him. The tall man chased him from town to town and city to city, always close on his heels.
The small man could never rest. He knew his pursuer was only a few hours behind him and he had to keep running. The tall man never paused for a moment either. He knew he was close and every day drew him nearer to the man he intended to kill.
One day, the small man came to a lonely church in the countryside. He went inside fell to his knees and began to pray. He closed his eyes and prayed with all his heart for his sins to be forgiven and for his life to be saved.
When he opened his eyes and looked around, he was horrified to see the tall man walking down the aisle with a mocking smile on his lips.
The small man didn’t move. He was trembling with fear. All he could do was watch in horror as the tall man reached into his pocket, pulled out a knife and slowly came towards him.
Then, just as the small man was expecting to meet his end, the church bells suddenly began to ring. The tall man clutched his chest, stumbled backwards and fell. He was dead, and the mocking smile was frozen on his face.
For a moment, the small man stared in amazement and disbelief. Then, he got to his feet, wiped the sweat from his brow and ran off into the night.
Nobody knew what to do with the body of the tall man. Nobody knew who he was or where he had come from. There was no family to notify and nobody to claim his remains. They donated his body to science.
Years passed and the small man finished his studies. He became a science teacher and found a job in a school. In the science lab, there was a lot of equipment… glass beakers, metal instruments and jars of chemicals.
In the corner of the lab, there was a human skeleton. It was very old and one day, it fell apart. The small man had to visit a supply shop to buy another one.
It was delivered a few days later and he set it up in his lab. When school was finished for the day, he was clearing up the equipment the students had been using, when he thought he heard the faint sound of laughter. The small man stood very still and strained his ears to listen.
He walked over to the corner of the room where the skeleton was standing. He stared into the hollow eye sockets of the grinning skull and it stared back at him. Something about it unnerved him. The man tried to tell himself it was just his imagination and he slowly backed away. As he continued clearing up, he kept one eye on the skeleton.
An hour later, the janitor was locking up the school. He knocked on the door of the science lab, but there was no answer. He listened at the door, but he couldn’t hear anything. He opened the door and peeked inside.
The small man lay dead on the floor. Around his throat were the red marks of bony fingers and in his eyes, there was a look of utter terror.