Practical Joke

Originally published in Nom Nom: Hallowe’en Dark Drabbles by Black Hare Press

My wife’s scream echoed down the hall.

Panicked, I sprinted into the nursery. “What happened?”

Alyssa was on her back, covered in plaster dust and laughing hysterically. “Look …” More laughter. “In the wall.”

I recoiled as I saw the child-sized skeleton wedged between the studs. “Holy shit.”

“The previous owner had one sick sense of humor.”

“You’re telling me.”

She smiled mischievously. “Should we leave it?”

I examined the plasterboard Alyssa had removed from the wall, then slipped it into a trash bag before she could see the bloody fingernail marks clawed on the inside.

“Yeah.” I smiled. “Let’s.”

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