Tales of Scream Street: Bone To Be Wild
The banshee stepped onto the balcony and gazed out over the rooftops, which were bathed in silver moonlight. She sighed softly and then took in a deep breath of the cool, night air to scream at the top of her lungs: “BONIO, BONIO! WHEREFORE ART THOU, BONIO?”
A gentle voice called from below. “Ghouliette! I’m down here!”
Ghouliette leaned over the edge of the balcony to see a skeleton climbing towards her, up the ivy which clung to the wall. “OH, MY LOVE-”
“Shh!” hissed the skeleton. “Are you trying to wake everyone in Scream Street? Use your indoor voice!”
“THIS IS MY INDOOR VOICE!” roared the banshee lovingly.
“Quiet!” came an angry shout from across the road. “Do you know what time it is?”
“It’s those pathetic lovebirds again!” announced another voice.
“Well, I wish they’d get together during the day like everyone else!”
Bonio clung to the ivy and sighed. He, too, wished that Ghouliette would agree to meet him at a more sensible hour but, like most banshees, she had little regard for convention.
“ARE YOU COMING UP OR NOT?!”
Bonio jumped at his girlfriend’s screeching voice and banged his chest against the wall, dislodging two skeletal ribs in the process. They fell to the ground with a clatter. “I think it might be better if I came in through the front door, this time.” he suggested, climbing back down.
Slotting his ribs back into place with a CLICK, Bonio took a deep breath and rang the bell to 16 Scream Street. Inside, he heard the familiar sounds of Ghouliette’s two boisterous brothers – Samp and Greg – as they battled to reach the door first. The figure that greeted him however, chilled him to the marrow even more than the terrible twins. It was Cap, Ghouliette’s father.
“WELL, WELL…” he bellowed. “IF IT ISN’T THE SISSY SKELETON…”
“SISSY SKELLINGTON!” Samp and Greg laughed menacingly.
“G- Good evening, sir,” stammered Bonio politely. “Ghouliette is expecting me.”
“EXPECTING YOU TO DO WHAT?”
“T- To collect her,” continued Bonio, nervously. “We’re going for a stroll.”
A STROLL?!” shouted Cap. “AND WHY WOULD I ALLOW MY DAUGHTER TO GO FOR A STROLL WITH THE LIKES OF YOU?!”
“Well…” gulped Bonio. “It is a delightful evening, and-”
“WHY THEY GOIN’ FOR A TROLL?” demanded Samp.
“NOT A TROLL!” said his brother. “A STROLL! IT’S A KIND OF CHAIR.”
“IDIOTS!” roared Cap, raising a fist to his sons just as Ghouliette appeared at the bottom of the stairs.
“DADDY, STOP THAT!” she screamed.
Cap’s hairy face turned a shade of purple. “WHY DO YOU BOTHER WITH A SKINNY SOFTIE LIKE THIS? I COULD MAKE MINCEMEAT OUT OF HIM IN TWO SECONDS FLAT!”
“I r- really don’t think it’s your-” began Bonio.
The banshee pressed his nose up to Bonio’s skull and growled. “IF YOU’RE NOT CAREFUL, SOFTIE, I’LL GIVE YOU FIVE MINUTES ALONE WITH SAMP AND GREG HERE…”
Greg cracked his knuckles as Samp sneered. Bonio shivered. He’d hadn’t realised there was such a thing as male banshees until he had met Ghouliette’s family and, sometimes, he wished he still didn’t know.
“DAD, LEAVE BONIO ALONE!” boomed Ghouliette. “I’VE INVITED HIM TO JOIN US FOR DINNER ON SUNDAY, AND YOU THREE WILL TREAT HIM LIKE A GUEST, WIMP OR NOT!”
“What?” said Bonio, struggling to work out whether or not this was a compliment.
Cap sneered at the trembling skeleton. “I GUESS WE’LL BE SEEING YOU ON SUNDAY, THEN – UNLESS YOUR NERVES GIVE OUT AND YOU GO TO PIECES!”
“YEAH!” added Samp and Greg together. “PIECES!”
And the door slammed in Bonio’s face, dislodging three different ribs.
“I don’t even know why you’re thinking about it!” said Offal Tuesday. “You can’t possibly go!” After wandering Scream Street alone for a couple of hours, Bonio had spotted a light in his friend’s window. Offal, a vampire, was frequently awake late at night.
“I can’t go to pieces and let Ghouliette down,” insisted Bonio, slotting his final rib back into place with a SNAP and slumping into a chair. “She invited me.”
“Yes,” said Offal. “She invited you – but not, I suspect, to watch you get smashed into a thousand pieces by those moronic brothers of hers!”
“They’re all hot air!” scoffed Bonio.
“Hot air surrounded by rippling, hairy muscles,” corrected Offal. “And they have so few brain cells between them, they think vampires go sailing in blood vessels!”
“I know what they’re like,” sighed Bonio. “But I love their sister. The soft touch of her hands, the gentle scent of her hair…
“…the piercing screech of her voice!” added Offal, chuckling. “But seriously – you may be in love with Ghouliette, but her family just don’t think you’re man enough for her.”
“Then, I’ll simply have to toughen up!” said Bonio.
“How?” asked his friend. “You’re a skeleton; your muscles disintegrated decades ago! There’s nothing to toughen up!”
“There’s more to being tough than muscles. There’s image, too!”
“I don’t like the sound of this…” sighed Offal.
“If I dress tough and act tough,” continued Bonio. “They might leave me alone and let me spend some time with Ghouliette.” He gestured towards the vampire’s cape. “You must have something to help me.”
Reluctantly, Offal reached inside the folds of his cloak and, after some rummaging about, he produced a pair of motorbike boots and a leather jacket. “These any good? They’re left over from that fancy dress party we had last Christmas…”
Bonio smiled. “The party you misspelled as a ‘farty’ on the invitations, when everyone came wearing pegs on their noses?”
Offal blushed a slightly less ghastly shade of white. “That’s the one!” he admitted.
Bonio took the jacket and boots. “Perfect!” he beamed. “And I’ll need some tattoos, as well!”
“Tattoos?” demanded Offal. ” On what? You’ve got no skin!”
“Alright, not tattoos – engravings then!” said Bonio firmly, snapping off each of his finger bones and handing them to the vampire. “I want you to carve LOVE and HATE into my knuckles with your fangs.”
“That might not be a good idea…” began Offal.
“Please,” said Bonio, sliding his feet into the heavy boots. “It’s time for this skeleton to get bad to the bone!”
Bonio sat nervously at the dinner table as Ghouliette served her speciality: fried rats’ tonsils. He was wearing the leather jacket and boots, and had added a thick gold medallion that swung around inside his ribcage.
Cap, Samp and Greg sat opposite him, glaring. “I SEE YOU’VE MADE AN EFFORT WITH YOUR WARDROBE!” bellowed the older banshee.
“SO HAVE I!” screeched Greg, not wanting to be left out. “I HUNG ALL MY CLOTHES INSIDE IT AND STUCK A BRAIN DRAIN POSTER ON THE DOOR!” He disappeared with a crash as Cap kicked his chair out from beneath him.
“I think you’ll find plenty of things different,” snarled Bonio as angrily as he could. He picked up his knife and fork and gripped them tightly, showing his new tattoos to everyone in the room.
Cap leaned forward, squinting to read the letters and a smile slowly spread across his face.
“It’s working!” thought Bonio to himself. “I’ve impressed him!”
“SO,” yelled Cap. “DO YOU PREFER A TRILBY OR A BOWLER?”
Bonio frowned. What was he talking about?
“I’VE GOT AN OLD MINER’S HELMET YOU MIGHT LIKE TO TAKE A LOOK AT!” The banshee burst into raucous laughter and was soon joined by his sons. Even Ghouliette started to titter.
Slowly, Bonio turned his hands round and stared down at the letters carved into his knuckles. A shiver ran down his spine as he realised that Offal had made a spelling mistake. His vampire friend had engraved an ‘S’ instead of an ‘E’ at the end of LOVE and HATE.
Bonio couldn’t believe what he was seeing. LOVE HATS.
“GET HIM A BASEBALL CAP!” shouted Greg.
“I’D SAY HE WAS MORE OF A TOP HAT KIND OF GUY!” yelled Samp.
“WAIT, WAIT!” boomed their father, opening a cupboard and pulling out a pirate’s costume. “REMEMBER THE FANCY DRESS PARTY AT CHRISTMAS?”
“THE FARTY ONE?”
“YES!” shouted Cap. “WELL, I’M GLAD WE KEPT THIS!” The banshee shoved a black hat with a skull and crossbones logo on it onto Bonio’s head.
“RIGHT!” roared Bonio, snatching off the hat. “If that’s the way you all want me, that’s what you’ll get!” He gripped the sides of his head and pulled his skull away from his spine with a CRACK.
“I’ve never been anything but a joke to you, have I?” The skeleton detached both of his lower leg bones – SNAP – SNAP – and laid them in front of his skull on the table. “There – now I’m a real skull and crossbones! Let’s all have a good laugh, shall we?!”
The room was silent. Cap sat frozen with a look of horror on his face. Beside him, Greg began wailing loudly and Samp looked as though he might vomit at any second.
“HE- HE’S PULLED HIS HEAD OFF!” Cap exclaimed in astonishment.
“AND HIS LEGS!” moaned Samp.
“THAT’S THE SCARIEST THING I’VE EVER SEEN!” sobbed Greg.
“No, I didn’t mean-” began Bonio, gesticulating wildly. There was a CLICK and his hand separated from his wrist, clattering across the table towards the banshees. Cap, Greg and Samp screamed and ran from the room, terrified.
“I GUESS THEY WON’T HAVE A PROBLEM WITH ME GOING OUT ANY MORE!” bellowed Ghouliette as she collected Bonio’s hand and clicked it onto his wrist. “NOT WITH A TOUGH GUY LIKE YOU!”
The skeleton wedged his skull back into place and began to reattach his leg bones. “Do you think they’ll be alright with me?” he asked shyly, taking Ghouliette’s hand in his.
Ghouliette grinned. “THEY”LL BE FINE,” she screeched, “NOW THAT YOU’VE FINALLY GONE TO PIECES IN FRONT OF THEM!”