Meatbones and Bones

By Shaun Grey

The flicker of the candle on the bedside table created stretched shadows on the walls of his bedroom, the figures dancing softly in an orange glow.
“How are you doing kiddo?” The mum asks standing in the doorway of his room, one hand behind her back the other holding a bright torch casting a beam of light which halted some of the dancers mid waltz.
“Mum you don’t have to worry about me, I’m ten years old now that’s double digits” the kid replies clearly happy with his mature age.
“Well very well sir!”she responded, somewhat in the voice of some old English butler.
“Then I guess you wont need this” She says whipping out Mr Trex from behind her back.
“Mr.Trex! You found him” The kid shouts with such delightful glee.
The mum walks over to his bed, sits down on the corner and hands him the small, green and cuddly T.rex shaped toy, the kid grabs his long lost friend and gives it a suffocating hug.
“Where did you find him?” he asks, still not letting Mr.Trex have any breathing room.
“He was under the sofa, probably scared from the power cut. Even dinosaurs get scared sometimes” She reports as the kid carries on hugging Mr.Trex.
“Now come on you it’s bedtime” she asserts as she grabs the duvet cover. The kid lies down in his space themed bed and the mum throws the duvet on top, covering him from the shoulders down in stars. She then blows out the candle and gently kisses the kid on the head.
“Good night little man” she whispers in to his ear before leaving the room but just as she is about to leave she turns around.
“If there is anything you need I will be right down the hall, I love you sweetie.”
“I love you too Mum” the kid replies taking off his glasses and putting them next to the candle which is now producing strings of grey smoke. The mum shuts the poster laden door behind her.
The kid, not wanting to let his mum know he is still afraid of the dark, panics and stretches for the matches that he took from the kitchen draw earlier that day from the bedside table and strikes it against the box to light the candle again. In the darkness he could see the claws of monsters poking out of his wardrobe door but the light has defeated them for now. He sets his alarm for seven forty five so that he doesn’t miss school in the morning. No longer scared of what might grab him in the dark he rests his head and lets tiredness overcome him, swiftly he is asleep.

The kid wakes up to a fresh icy chill hovering in the nights air. He puts on his glasses and notices that it is brighter outside of his window, but not bright enough to be day or to have any kind of sunlight. He twists himself and hops out of bed, leaving Mr.Trex to slumber on his own to have a look at what is going in outside. He walks up to his window and glances outside. Snowfall and lots of it. The kid runs to the wardrobe to grab some appropriate clothing and quickly wrestles them on. Turning around he notices his body still sound asleep in it’s bed. The kid smiles quite happily with the thought of his success. The kid sprints down the landing and then down the stairs with no sound following him or echoing in the halls as a consequence of his rapid movements. Upon reaching the porch he grabs his red and black chequered slippers from the shoe rack and slips them on to his small feet. He then bursts through the front door leaving the safety of his house to venture in to the night.
The snow softly falls all around him, cars are no longer instantly recognizable and the roads are all but gone, replaced with an endless blanket of the stuff. The kid is standing in the garden enjoying the sight, right next to the garden gnome sitting on a tree trunk who has, according to the wooden sign next to him, gone fishing. There is no pond in the garden nor any body of water but the kids mum insists they have it there as it was a present from uncle Terry who lives just a few minutes away. They cant let him know they don’t like it. So here he remains, fishing forever in the impossible to fish snow ridden grass. The kid strolls through the gate and on to the path on front of him, that he can make out. The houses are all dark apart from a few dancing lights flickering through the windows and nobody is out on the street.

“BOOOOOOOOOONES!” He screams as loud as he possibly can, his voice bouncing through the blanketed neighbourhood. Nothing. All that can be heard is the icy howl of the wind as it passes by.

“BOOOOONES, come out!” He cries at the top of his lungs. He waits for the sound. A few seconds pass before he hears the first one. Boom! A loud bang which sounded like something hitting the ground came from down the road near the box of flats. This was the one he had been waiting for. He turns on his heels and sprints as fast as he can down the snow covered path for what seems like an eternity until he reaches the box of flats. To the kid they seem like five story skyscrapers guarding the estate from the woods on the other side of the field next to it, making sure the trees don’t try to move in to somebody’s house or break in to eat all of their food from their fridges. He imagines that trees probably would enjoy a bit of leftover lasagne or broccoli, unless eating broccoli is frowned upon in tree societies. Boom! Boom! The loud booms are getting closer to the kid. He stares in the direction he thinks they are coming from, just behind the flats. A giant white hand wraps itself around the top corner of the building, groaning as the separate fingers clinch and scrape against the old brick. A pair of giant glowing yellow orbs hover against the dark of the night sky, drifting from the building to reveal a face, a face of bone. With multiple cracks and creaks the mass rises and straightens itself out to an almighty height. The light of the yellow orbs move, illuminating the kid where he stands. Alone. The mass walks out of the shadows of the flats, shuddering the earth with every heavy step, revealing his skeletal form. His bones as long and thick as tree trunks, and his skull as large as a truck.
“Hey Bones!” The kids shouts up to the large skeleton.
“Hello there young Meatbones, Welcome back to the land of the dead” Bones replies with a loud, soft rumble.

The city looks so different when you are sitting in the rib cage of a giant skeleton pondered Meatbones who had his legs wrapped round one rib and his arms round the one above which had a rather large crack in it. Clinging on as each step rattled the various bones left in his large collection. The houses look like small boxes and the lamp posts look like matches pushing their light as far as it can possibly whilst trying not to set the boxes on fire.
“It’s a good thing the living cant see us because you stick out like a sore thumb you do” Meatbones jokes. A small boom of laughter is felt through Bones’ skeletal figure as Meatbones holds on a bit tighter.
“Are you not cold little one?” Asks Bones noticing the fact that he is just in his Pyjamas.
“Nope, I’m actually really hot. I feel like I’m burning” Meatbones notices the sweat on his forehead. His body being cooled only by the snowflakes landing on his burning skin.
“Are you feeling okay?” Bones questioned, avoiding a traffic light narrowly with his humongous right foot.
“Yeah in fine, just hot that’s all” the kid responds
“Hmmm,Well I can certainly do something about that my young friend, hold on tight!” and with a sudden jolt Bones was running through the streets of the town building up speed, faster and faster dodging cars buildings and deceased people alike. His movement was pretty swift and he moved with a lot of grace for such a large…skeleton. The cold air lashed at Meatbones like he was caught in some sort of vicious storm so much so that he couldn’t feel his temperature any more. Just the wall of air whizzing in his direction. Upon all of the shut shops and houses Meatbones noticed that Bones was headed straight for a Large cathedral which had hordes of what were once people gathered around it. Bones continued to run.
“Ummm Bones! We’re headed straight for that cathedral” Meatbones shouted up to Bones.
“Don’t worry yourself young man, this is going to be fun” Bones replied.
“Oh no, no no no” Meatbones screamed

“We gather here today to celebrate this years Death day and to try to answer your questions about this life, we will start with you the crusader” said the undead vicar standing at the top steps of the pointing to a man donning full armour with a slightly suspicious arrow going through his helmet. The sacrificed Aztec next to him felt upset we wasn’t chosen and drops his shoulders accordingly.
“Yeah is there any chance or any way you can find out how I was killed?” asked the crusader politely, his speech slightly muffled by his helmets visor. The whole crowd turn around in a unanimous confusion. The Aztec leans over and whispers in to his ear for a while whilst everyone watches, the steel of the armour scrapes against each other as he slowly reaches up to grasp the arrow patrouding from the top of his head. He hold his hand on it for a few seconds before letting his arm fall to his side.
“Unbelievable” the crusader sighs
The crowd is silent.
“No one told me that there was an arrow in my head, are you kidding me?”
“We thought it was best not to mention anything, seemed a bit rude” replied a small Victorian woman from a few rows of people ahead of him.
“Seemed a bit rude?!” the crusader raised his voice his annoyance clear to see.
“This is a conversation starter if ever I’ve seen one !” he shakes his head and his arrow pierced helmet rattles a way in the awkward silence, the spirits saying nothing.
“You know what I’m going, damn this place” he scoffs and as he is pushing his way through the crowd of confused spirits to leave he notices a large white blur moving through the street at some pace getting closer and closer. He starts to make out the humanoid shape of the blur before noticing the giant skeleton sprinting his way.
“Oh my Godfrey of Bouillon, everyone make haste!” Screamed the crusader running to his right hand side his armour jingling in a slow rhythm before diving in to the bushes of the cathedral gardens. The crowd turn around, some quicker than others, to see this mass of bones sprinting right at them.
“He’s not going to stop!” screams one spirit as panic suddenly rises amongst the crowd as screams and shrieks echo through the night sky with people running in all different directions hoping not to get knocked over. Just before the walls of the cathedral gardens Bones lets out and almighty roar as he plants his right foot down and flings himself in to the bitter air soaring over the crowd.
“I’m Soooooooooorrrrry!” is faintly heard from a small voice above as they float over the roof and dissapear in to the snow speckled black abyss beyond them. A silence is left hovering over the crowd as they pick themselves up and dust each other off.
The undead vicar picks himself up after stumbling down two of the old cathedral stairs and straightens out his unevenly risen shirt collar.
“Any more questions?” he puffs out.

Time seemed to freeze for Meatbones as he floats through the chilling darkness of the sky. Everything looked so small and insignificant. People looked like ants and ants would be very difficult to see indeed. The clouds looked like an ocean of cotton bobbing along endlessly. The moon was at eye level staring at Meatbones with its lunar gaze and it shone on this undead world like a torch lighting up a dark cavern. Suddenly the moon started to rise until Meatbones discovered it was gravity taking them back to the snow laden ground. With a massive gush of wind and G-force levels rising to extreme highs for him they plummeted through the clouds to the ground toward a giant hill which sloped toward a forest.
“Hold on!” Bones rumbled some of his voice getting lost in the wind whipping past his skinless exterior.
Meatbones wrapped his arms and legs around the ribs he was near and held on as hard as he could. As they got even closer to the ground Bones leaned back and aimed his right leg forward and tucked his left leg underneath it in a sort of karate kicking motion aiming his body at the slope. The hill got closer and closer until Bones connected with the slope with an almighty thud which reverberated through his whole skeletal body. With his right leg guiding him he was sliding down the hill like a surfer riding a giant, grassy and muddy wave. Bits of dirt where flinging themselves towards Meatbones, slapping off of Bones’s ribs and spine as they flew past. The adrenaline run through Meatbones as he reckoned this was even better than the ‘El Diablo’ roller-coaster him and his mum had ridden a few moths ago at the Green vale theme park. But that feeling quickly turned to panic as the forest was approaching at a tremendous pace. The wall of trees challenging the duo to try and stop before them like a line of soldiers holding formation in battle.
“Bones we are going too fast!” Screamed Meatbones who was bracing himself for the inevitable crash. Bones recognized this and promptly threw his arms to the side of him and dug his fingers in to the hillside hoping it would slow them down further. It seemed to be working. The loss of speed was noticeable as the wind’s howling eased and the muddy slush splatter wasn’t quite so violent. They slid down the remainder of the hill and Bones pushed both of his legs forward to absorb the impact of the trees ahead of them, his hands still digging in to the earth. They started to slow down quite significantly, Bones’s legs managed to find two trees on the outskirts of the woodland and he used his body in such a way that managed to let him take all of the momentum out of them using his knees as they pushed up to his chest. Bones’s knees eclipsed the light from the moon from inside his ribcage. They stopped dead as the two trees splintered and collapsed to the leaf ridden ground letting out a massive groan as the fell.

“You alright there kid?” asks Bones who is starting to pick himself up from the ground.
“Yeah, I’m okay” Meatbones replies just about managing to slither the words off of his tongue. As Bones fully picks himself up he turns around to see the hillside torn to shreds with long bony drag lines carved in it all the way down.
“This wasn’t me if anyone asks okay?”
Meatbones puts his hands to his mouth and locks it with his imaginary key and throws it somewhere in the carved up hillside.

“So how’s school going for you Meatbones?” Bones asks whilst swatting the branches of the forest from his face like they were some sort of annoying wooden fly. “Well it’s pretty much the same as last time, they changed the macaroni and cheese at lunch time and it tastes really weird now” Meatbones replied. Bones lets out a light chuckle.
“Your studies, are you learning anything new? Last time you told me you were learning about space and planets.”
“Yeah we are still doing that. We were recently told that Pluto was once a planet but they had too kick it out of their club or whatever. Apparently it is too small to be a planet so I think it’s now a dwarf planet which are like planets but smaller. I feel sorry for Pluto.”
“Don’t feel bad for Pluto Meatbones, if you look in to the sky there are roughly one hundred and fifty to two hundred and fifty billion stars in our galaxy alone. I’m sure Pluto will find a new club.” This made Meatbones feel a little bit better about Pluto’s situation.“How long have you been here Bones?” Meatbones asked inquisitively
“That’s a hard question to answer” he leaves Meatbones in silence giving himself a few seconds to ponder. “I’ve been here longer than most and longer than I can care to remember young one, so I cant fully answer your question. But I suppose I’ve been here since it began”
“Since what began?”
“Death” Bones replied softly.

Bones carried on marching through the snow drizzled trees until they could see what looked like a glow of lights and the sound of music in the far distance. Meatbones was awoken by the change in atmosphere after drifting off for a few minutes.
“Bones what is that?” Meatbones asked slightly worried for what was coming up.
“That is what I’m taking you to young one, it’s a surprise” replied Bones.

As they moved closer the sound of laughter could be heard echoing between the bare branches and off the snow soiled bark. The multicoloured flashes drowning the forest with every colour. The flashes looked to be in some sort of shape or word in the far distance soon he could work out that it was part of a sign of some sort. The trees started thinning as they reached a huge opening in the middle of the forest which was filled with what looked like some sort of amusement park that that seems to go on for miles. Roller-coasters as tall as towers and so many games you couldn’t possibly comprehend and somewhere to the left of the mass of fun and games was a giant space shuttle which looked like it was prepping for launch.
“Wow! Bones what is this!?” Meatbones screamed with excitement.
“Oh this? This as our annual day of the dead celebration, I knew that they had the shuttle this year going in to space as their main event so I thought I would bring you here. It thought it could help you with your school work”. There were hundreds of spirits walking under the entrance arch way which was formed with colour changing smoke. Bones being the giant skeleton that he was walked over it with a large amount of nonchalant and entered the park avoiding a family of what looked like middle class Victorians. There were hundreds of games to play everything from hook-a-dead-duck to splat the Skelton, which Bones understandably wasn’t too big a fan of. A zap of white light bounces off of the many faces followed by a stomach churning pain lead scream. From his vantage point Meatbones could see a man sat in a wooden chair, he had some sort of metal helmet attached to his head.
“Step right up sir if you think you have the strength” shouts the guy in charge of the stall who was dressed like a circus ringmaster.
A young man steps up alarmingly quickly.
“You think you can do it young man? Then go ahead and test your might and just remember Mr. Saxon is on the electric chair for the next hour because in his physical life he ran over his neighbours cat and decided not to tell them” he announces as people from the crowd boo at the cat murderer.
“Please don’t do this” the man in the chair begs as the ringmaster hands the young man the giant hammer.
“You know how it works just get the weight to the top and score 100 then you can enjoy the show” proclaims the Ringmaster.
“You don’t understand it was an accident, it was late at night and it jumped in front of the car” he screams. Meatbones looks on in some confusion.
“What’s happening?” asks Meatbones who is frightened of what the answer will be. Bones thinks his answer over before replying.
“91” the Ringmaster yells.
“In the land of the dead you have to serve out justice for whatever was missed in life, kind of like balancing things out. The bigger the injustice the more lengthy the punishment. This is one of the more humane ways it gets done here. It’s wrong but that’s how it’s always been.” he answers with a sadness that Meatbones has never heard from him before.
“94, you’ve nearly done it just a bit more umph!” he gestures smashing a hammer in to the ground.
“Please, I was a good person. I gave to charity. I helped my community please stop” he yelps in a very frightened manner. The young man steps up one last time, lifts the hammer over his shoulder and with a ferocious swing smashes the metal pad sending the weight up and up until the sound of a bell rings out amongst the masses. The crowd start applauding and cheering the young man who gets a few pats on the back from his peers.
“Well it looks like you did it sir and well done to you that was a very impressive feat of strength” The ring master pauses, clearly revelling in the power he has over his audience and the man in the chair.
“But now it is time to give a little back from what was taken on the night of September the fifteenth nineteen ninety four. Lets have a countdown shall we!?” He roars. The crowd begin to cheer even louder now.
“You’re all monsters, the lot of you!” the man in the chair bellows.
“You don’t need to see this little one,” Bones turns around and starts walking away.
“3…2…1…” the crowd chant as if they were counting the switching on of Christmas lights and as the pair of them walked away instead of hearing cheers of joy all they heard next were the screams of unthinkable pain.

“Please present your tickets if you want to board the ‘Stargazer’, if you haven’t got tickets but wish to see the beautiful stars in the vacuum of space then please speak to my colleague at the ticket booth. We have trips every hour!” The Captain heralds to the masses in the only giant bit of space in the whole area that for soul safety reasons must be empty. He spots something in the corner of his eye and turns to see what it is. He looks up to the white mass moving towards him.
“Ah Bones my dead fellow how are you today!?” he asks in a jolly manner.
“I’m well. Thank you for asking. You see in my ribcage here” Bones points to Meatbones who is waving at the Captain who polishes his glasses on his uniform shirt so he can see better. “This is my good friend Meatbones”
“Hello there young man, I going to guess you’re here to experience outer space?”
Meatbones nods with an extreme enthusiasm you’d expect when you ask a 10 year old if they want to visit the infinite black of the universe.
“Well then we launch in roughly 3 minutes so board when you are ready, tell me Bones are you going up there too?” he ponders. “Well then we launch in roughly 3 minutes so board when you are ready, tell me Bones are you going up there too?” he ponders.
“Yes, cant let Meatbones go on his own can I?”
“And how do you intend to… you know what never mind, I will inform the control team, enjoy gentlemen I’d better get the shuttle ready” He waddles toward the towering image of the Space shuttle and climbs the private staircase away that leads to the cockpit.
“Mr. Captain don’t you need a space suit!?” Meatbones shouts noticing the lack of any space gear, just the captain in his brown waistcoat and trousers, white shirt and bowler hat as he opens the door to his button riddled domain.
“Why young master Meatbones why would I need that? I don’t need to breathe in the vacuum of space I’m already dead” he laughs as he takes off his hat and gives them a bow. “I’ll see you amongst the stars!” Screams the captain with excitement as he retreats in to the cockpit slamming the door shut.
“Bones, if you dont need to have a space suit why have a shuttle at all?” quizzes Meatbones.
“It’s mainly for aesthetic reasons and being able to experience a shuttle launch, but young Meatbones we will not be on the inside of this shuttle”
“Wait what?” Meatbones asks in a perplexed fashion as Bones sways up to it and wraps his giant arms around the hull of the shuttle and hugs it tightly like a long lost friend that he had been reunited with.
“I cant imagine I’d fit Inside of it so this will have to do” he says as he settles himself on to the hull.
“Bones is this okay? Like this wont effect the shuttle right?” Meatbones asks as he looks at the undead ground control team panicking at their stations and pointing at their monitors in a frenzy.
“No young Metabones it wont…” he replies as the jets start to fire underneath them causing the nearby undead civilians to stop and stare in wonder at this tidal wave of orange. The Ground starts to rumble like an earthquake just hit and the speakers start to crackle.
“Alright everybody we have lift off in…” Echoes around the amusements
“At least I don’t imagine it will” Bones finishes to the horror of Meatbones who clings even harder to the nearest vacant rib.

“5…4…3…2…1… and lift off ” shouts the soul of the tannoy system who’s supervisor pats them on the back for job well done and like that there was a near deafening roar coming from below them where smoke was filling everything in sight and just like that they were going through the air with incredible speed. Meatbones hangs on to the shaking ribs as hard as he can. Everything is fine, everything is fine he thinks to himself as he rockets through the night sky with a tremendous shudder. He looks down for a split second to see that what was once the carnival is now a blotch on the parchment of the world. Everything is not fine! He panics and puts his head against the rib he is clutching and closes his eyes as they start to shake more and more vilontley, he wraps his arms around it as hard as he can. I’m not going to be able to hold on much longer as the rib shakes his grip loosens and just as he is bout to lose all of his strength all of the shaking and rattling stops. A sudden weightlessness gives way, and suddenly calmness and quietness seep in to their surroundings. Meatbones regains his grip as he clambers back on to the rib and as he does his legs start to give way and float above his head like he was suddenly in a pool of water. He opens his eyes to see an ocean of infinite darkness surrounding him. Bones lets go of the ship and lets himself float in to the unfathomable tide of pressure less space. A tide of nothing carrying them.
“It’s okay little one, you can talk” bones claims as he tries to flip himself to what he thinks is the right way up. Meatbones hesitates.
“Hello?” he squeaks.
“Wait how can I talk in space?” Meatbones asks in disbelief. “Wait how can I talk in space?” Meatbones asks in disbelief.
“Well your physical form isn’t here so neither are your troubles with trying to get air in an airless vacuum little one” Bones responds as he spots the group of souls leaving the Stargazer led by the captain who is clearly loving the privilege of showing people space, they spot Bones and float over to him.
“Ah Mr. Bones I see you are having a bit of trouble with known which way is up, not that there really is a right way up, give Mr. Bones a hand if you would be so kind ladies and gentlemen” The captain chuckles as he and a small collective spin him around by pushing on his shoulder and stopping his rotation by when he is upright. “Ah Mr. Bones I see you are having a bit of trouble with known which way is up, not that there really is a right way up, give Mr. Bones a hand if you would be so kind ladies and gentlemen” The captain chuckles as he and a small collective spin him around by pushing on his shoulder and stopping his rotation by when he is upright.“There we are, now ladies and gentlemen allow me to introduce you to planet earth” he announces to the crowd who are all staring in awe at the big blue sphere glowing radiantly below them.
“Just some facts for you all today Planet earth is said to be four and a half billion years old,give or take a few years, and is home to more than seven billion people. The hottest spot ever recorded on earth was in Libya and the coldest was in Antarctica…”
“Bones?” asks Meatbones who now has the confidence to let go of the rib he was hanging on to and float on his own but still not very far away.
“Yes young one, what is it?” replies Bones.
“Is it possible to stay here with you? It’s just you’re my best friend and I don’t have nearly as much fun in my world as I do here…”
“No young one I can’t do that” replies Bones.
“But why not, I saw plenty of kids running around at the celebration it wouldn’t be too difficult to…”
“I said NO!” Bones raises his voice to a level almost alien to Meatbones who is shocked by his sudden outburst.
“I’m sorry young one, you have so much to give down in your world. So much to experience, so much to see. You shouldn’t wish that ever, there are so many people on my side of the world that would do anything to be in your shoes and feel life in them once again.” Bones says angrily as he floats in a sea of stars.
“What you can do little one is a mystery to me, leaving your body is something not many people can do, its a gift to be sure but you mustn’t abuse it.” Bones says calming down as the sun starts to reveal itself behind the spheric shape of the Earth. Meatbones stays silent clearly upset by what Bones has said.
“The sun will soon be rising near your home little one we must leave soon” Bones points out seeing the darkness shed on their side of the Earth speeding itself peaceful. Meatbones begrudgingly swims over to Bones and grabs hold of the all too familiar rib which has been his travelling partner for the night. Bones swanders over to the group who were absorbing the view, each one of them awe struck by its beauty and its power to make any giant seem small. Just behind them the ship is floating sombrely with the captain clinging on to it observing the time on his pristine pocket watch as it ticks away he closes it and gently puts it back in his pocket, and like that another trip to the outskirts of the Earth was accomplished for The Captain.
“Alright Ladies and Gentlemen as soul changing as I bet this was for you I must advise that we all get back on board for the return journey, if I can get your names as you come back in I can check my list off to make sure you’re all on board.” The Captain announces as he takes the clipboard and pen from under his arm. The group all start to flounder back as he ticks them off. As the final member of his group enters the ship The Captain double checks his list of names. “Granville” he says to himself. He walks in to the ship and looks at the souls strapping themselves in to their seats. “Granville?” he questions as he tries to find the missing “Granville? No?” he asks again slightly louder.
“Is that the guy who is dressed like a French dandy?” asks the woman who clearly died in the 80’s,possibly in some sort of horrific aerobics accident. The hair and the leg warmers are a bit of a giveaway. “He said something about going off to live with the stars?” she answers with slight confusion. With a deeps sigh he goes in to a locker near the cockpit and pulls out what looks like a gun. He walks to the door and hangs out of it grabbing the door handle to see a what looks like a man swimming in to the infinite horizon. He pulls the gun out and folds out a screen. He aims at the blob, the screen tells him the the target has been locked. He pulls the trigger and A laser shoots out triumphantly and tags the newly made space explorer. T he screen victoriously beeps ‘Target tagged please name’ The captain has a think before typing on the touch screen ‘Space Dandy’ in to the system.
“Are you not going to get him?” asks the 80’s lady worryingly.
“Nope, he can do whatever he wants to do its not up to me how he chooses to spend his afterlife, he’s tagged so we can keep track of him in case he is going in to a black hole or something… strap in were going back in” he checks his pocket watch “ 5 minutes” he says as he smiles with the confidence of a man who clearly loves his job. “Happy trails Space Dandy” he whispers to himself as he folds the screen back in and and puts the tagger back in to its locker domain. “Right, lets get back to the party shall we?”

After a trip to space and a long walk back through the empty snow laden streets Meatbones arrives back at his house. The early morning sun skipping off the roof of his home as the darkness is starting to fade in to light. Bones places his flat hand near his ribs. Meatbones lets go and jumps on to his hand.
“Bones?” he shouts as the hand starts to rise to the yellow glow of the skeletons eye sockets.
“Yes little one” he responds with a low rumble.
“I’m sorry I said those things it’s just… you’re probably my best friend and really I enjoy hanging out with you, you’re not like anyone else I know” he says with tears building up in his eyes.
“Little one, it’s okay. It’s just you need to live your life. You don’t have much time on this world so you need to appreciate what you have here. Your mother, your family, Mr. Trex. You will have plenty of time to explore here when the time comes, and when it does I will be here” Bones explains, his rumbly voice shaking Meatbones. The hands starts to move towards the window of his bedroom and Meatbones pulls it open and climbs off the skeletons hand and in to his room where his body is still laying sound asleep. He glances at the alarm clock sitting on his bedside table. Twenty minutes to seven. He scrambles to the bed to go and lay down but stops before he gets there. He turns around as the glow from Bonses eyes illuminates the room with a tide of yellow.
“Thank you Bones, I’ll miss you” he announces
“And I will miss you… until next time little one” Bones says as the yellow dissapears from his room and the shuddering boom of his footsteps fades away. Meatbones watches as his friend turns from a skeletal form in to a distant blur and then he is gone. Meatbones turns to his bed and hops in to his body which is in a peaceful slumber. He drifts off to sleep dreaming of stars and undead festivities.

“A little bit more to the left, a bit more, a bit more and…done” Shouts the captain as Bones places down the platform for this years space adventures amongst the various day of the dead celebrations.
“Moving stuff is so much easier when you know a giant skeleton” The Captain proclaims as he winks at Bones who feels like he is doing all of the work.
“Oh come off it you get to go in to space for free, go have a break” He shouts as he walks off to instruct his team of helpers on how to put together a launch pad. Bones strolls off through the thick assortment of trees that make up the forest and out in to the streets which are covered in light orange glow of the street lamps. The breeze whistles through his bones as his takes in night time atmosphere the peace, the silence the…
“Excuse me”shouts a voice from below. He looks down to see and elderly man standing on his own flooded by the yellow light of Bonses eyes.
“I don’t suppose you know anybody who could help me? I’m looking for a giant skeleton by the name of Bones. I’m asking on behalf of a Master Meatbones?” he croaks through his sentence.
“I’m Bones yes.” He responds intrigued by the outcome of the conversation.
“Well I’ve been asked to tell you that Master Meatbones did very well on his science homework and passed his space presentation with flying colours” the old man explains.
“That’s great news, thank you for telling…”
“He also said that he fell in love with space and became an engineer for NASA where he met the love of his life Natalie whom he had 3 wonderful children with. He grew old in happiness. He passed away this morning at the age of eighty one surrounded by his wonderful family” The old man describes whilst wiping the tears from his eyes with his sleeve. There is a silence amongst the two which seems to last for hours.
“I’m glad that life has been so kind to you Meatbones, you’ve been truly lucky” Bones says sympathetically.
“I’m so sorry in never came back Bones, I’m so sorry. I tried many times but I couldn’t get it to work… I…” Meatbones stumbles through his words.
“There is no need to explain. I’m extremely happy for you. Extremely happy.” Bones replies as he bends over to lay his hand flat on the cold ground. Meatbones stumbles on as quickly as his old bones will let him and the hand rises to his all to familiar ribs. Meatbones grabs hold of one as Bones begins to walk off. The rumble of each footstep embracing his memory like an old friend.
“Where are we going Bones?” Meatbones asks as he grips as tightly as he can.
“To a nice place where we can talk, we have a lot of catching up to do.”

A Look at: The Haunting of Hill House

*F.Y.I*
I’m going to giving my brief spoiler free reactions first and when you see me shouting at you with stars above the sentence then I have free will to spoil everything…including the movie Braveheart, *Spoiler alert* Mel Gibson isn’t actually Scottish. So a vaugeish look to a spoiler filled discussion after. Anyway…

I’ve always been a lover of horror but in recent years I feel like there has been a lack of genuinely good horror media. I feel like the general census amongst people is that if it makes you jump then that’s scary and in turn can be classed as horror. Wrong. Horror doesn’t need to be visual or audible, it just needs to plant the seed of dread in to your mind and let it manifest in to something truly unsettling. I believe The Haunting of Hill House in that sense is a modern horror masterpiece.

The story of The Haunting of Hill House follows the Craine family during two time periods of their lives, During the summer of 1992 when the family of seven move in to Hill house and 26 years later when an incident brings them all back together to confront what truly happened that ill fated summer. Essentially what we have with this show is a supernatural physiological horror/family drama? But it works, really well. Its great to see something so fresh in such an over saturated choice of schlocky haunted house media.

Each family member is given their episode to shine and we get to see their own perspectives of what happened to them in 1992 and how they are coping with that in the modern day. Episodes 5 and 6 ‘The Bent-Neck Lady’ and ‘Two Storms’ are stand outs for me and are up there with some of the best episodes of TV I have ever seen. Period. I am not joking with you right now. #Manneverjokes.

Before I go in to spoilers I will just give a brief summary then you can crack on with watching it or whatever you want to do. It’s up to you. I will not judge you if you decide to re-watch Rick and Morty for the 12th time. You do you.

So The Haunting of Hill House is a ghost story with scares, drama and at its core heart. A wonderfully acted piece of television which along with being one of the finest in its genre stands proudly as one of the best shows to stream right now. Anywhere. Do yourself a favour and go watch it. Now.

*From here there be spoilers arrrgh* Not pirates but I’m going to stick with it.
Is it safe? Cool.

The Bent Neck Lady

Poor poor Nelle

Holy shit. So during what is essentially Nelles’ episode we follow her story to find out why she ultimately killed herself and the answer is a very difficult one to accept. So during her time at Hill house ‘The Bent Neck Lady’ makes herself known to Nelle, hovering over her bed, watching her sleep you name it. Once Nelle has grown up she starts to appear again, and just as she is getting her life on track ‘The Bent Neck Lady’ just as swiftly says ‘Fuck the tracks we’re going off road’ and appears to kill her husband.

In an attempt to finally settle things with the house and their ghostly residents she goes to Hill House to squash the beef. But that doesn’t quite go to plan and Nelle ends up being cohersed in to hanging herself by the ghost of her mother. So what then happens is very disturbing. With a massive crack we see Nelles neck snap and her lifeless body left to dangle in a now vacant house. But as she is turning in to one of the ghostly residents the house decides to show her some moments of her life but as her current self and in plain view of herself in the past. So this ‘Bent Neck Lady’ is actually herself in the last few moments of her life haunting herself in her own death loop forever.

Nelle looking at young Nelle who is staring at Nelle who is Haunting young Nelle

There is no way anybody saw this coming right? Imagine the thought of your biggest fear in life, something you think killed your partner being the last dying moments of your own life in physical form. appearing at the worst possible times. How fucking dark is that? It’s like the house was playing some sick game and was like ‘You know how time is irrelevant here, you know what would be funny. We use that somehow to haunt somebody and ruin their life. Wait it would be even funnier if we could get someone to haunt themselves, ghost man! Hold my beer!’. The fact the house was making her in to a ghost to make it seem as if the young Nelle was being haunted her whole life, when in fact it was just herself, just to get her to the house to end her life is so dark. No! Hill house you twisted bastard no! That being said it is an incredible twist that keeps on giving as the show goes on but damn Hill house, damn.

The Hidden Ghosts

One of the most unsettling parts of ‘Hill House’ is the abundance of spirits lurking in the background just out of sight. It constantly makes you rewind a few seconds back just to make sure you aren’t seeing things, which is how it would be if you thought you saw an apparition in real life, questioning if that candy cane monster from the kitchen drawer was there the whole time or if its just the blurriness of your eyes at 3 am as you eat shredded cheese out of the bag. The blonde haired lady from the image above freaked me out the most, as she clings to the wall just out of sight desperate to know whats going on in the basement of Hill House. I don’t how many apparitions there are exactly but I probably spotted roughly 1-2 an episode but I bet there a lot more than that. There’s probably one behind you now. RUN!

Game of Ghosts

Steve Crain is Daario Naharis from Game of Thrones… Took me like 4 episodes to figure out where I recognised him from…just thought you ought to know.

Two Storms

Episode 6 ‘Two Storms’ does the most aesthetically pleasing thing, in my opinion, by doing the whole long take thing as the camera follows the family members during the funeral of Nelle and a storm in the 90’s. It all seamlessly fits together to make it seem like your’e a fly on the wall observing this all happen in real time. The longest take lasted 17 minutes. 17 minutes for there to be no fuck ups and for the whole thing to run smoothly, that’s insane. According to director Mike Flanagan they had props moving constantly, 18 pages of dialogue in any given take, 100 people behind the scenes working on lighting, sound design you name it. It makes the whole episode massively engrossing watching this family struggle to come to terms with the ‘Suicide’ of their sister and daughter and how they deal with the reality of the situation they are now in. The performances are outstanding, the production is out of this world and the episode ends in the most gut wrenching way possible.

Right at the end of the last flashback Nelle was missing during the storm but suddenly appears, Luke, her twin brother, tells her something along the lines “Don’t ever do that again, I thought I had lost you forever” to which Nelle replies “I was here the whole time but nobody could see me, I was screaming and nobody could see me”. Cut back to the present day where the family have gone their separate ways after a massive argument involving basically everyone and the camera pans to Nelles body in her coffin with Nelle, sporting her new bent neck lady ghost form, standing right next to it where her family once were. With Ghost Nelle staring at her family as they walk off young Nelles voice is heard repeating “I was here the whole time but nobody could see me, I was screaming and nobody could see me”. Which is a heart wrenching line seeing how Nelle was essentially the person who would stop all of the fighting between the family and now is left to watch as her family splits apart from each other and there is absolutey nothing she can do about it from the other side.


If you’re interested in seeing how they did it I will kindly leave a link right here for you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8gJ81M39Ig&feature=youtu.be

Wrapping this whole thing up

I could write forever about this amazing TV show but alas I do not have the time to do so and I’m sure as a reader you would probably be like ‘Fuck that I got things to do and other stuff to watch, you heard about that Birdbox thing? What a… what a something’ but I digress. The Haunting of Hill House is something more in the vein of ‘The Devils Backbone’ where rather than out right scaring you there is more of a focus on the beautifully written characters and the idea of a ghost story in its beating heart. A must watch for any horror fan or fan of great character driven drama.



The MOST important film awards for 2018

So 2018 is over. That was quick wasn’t it? I mean it only seems like a few weeks ago everyone was arguing if ‘The Last Jedi’ was a good Star Wars film or not I mean… Wait, you mean people are still arguing about that? Like now? Whatever, move on with you lives people there is nothing you can do about it, it’s not like you can remake it or anything.

Upon research I found that there is actually a fan site who are asking for pledges so that they can remake ‘The Last Jedi’ they currently have over $400 million pledged… No joke.

Just a reminder I didn’t see everything this year so if i have left something out I did it to annoy you personally.

Anyway here are my awards for Film in 2018 and I’m going to start us off with what I think is one of the most important awards.

Most Improved haircut:

Captain America – Infinity War

Bumblebee – Bumblebee

Credence – Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Wizard Hitler

Winner: Credence – Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Wizard Hitler

Congrats to Credence for his win and congrats for having a haircut that made everyone question what the fuck it was you were thinking, to being passable in human society. But I guess if it was meant to be a statement of some kind its lost on me. I mean look at it, it looks like a cut up black slice of watermelon.

Worst Haircut:

Grindelwald – Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of an overfilled screenplay
Mera – Aquaman
Cletus Kasady – Venom


Winner: Cletus Kasady – Venom

Well done to Woody Harrelson. The most bald man to win worst haircut in the history of these awards. The losers can take solace in the fact that they are no longer married to each other.

Best Jacket:

Han Solo – Solo: A Star Wars story
August Walker – Mission Impossible: Fallout
Sheriff of Nottingham – Robin hood

“Damn that is a nice jacket. More of a coat actually”

Winner: Sheriff of Nottingham – Robin hood


Congrats Bendelson. You are forever showing everyone that you are the most stylish villain in Hollywood and congrats to Robin Hood for not being the massive pile of shit we all thought you were going to be. You were fine.

Now people of the internet a list for the films you looked back on this year and thought “Oh yeah that was a film wasn’t it”

The ‘That came out this year award?’:

Ant man and the Wasp
Equalizer 2
Red Sparrow
A Wrinkle in Time
Escape Plan 2
Death Wish
Super Troopers 2


and the winner is…

Escape Plan 2: Hades

I bet most of you didn’t even know this was released at all unless you have seen it hovering on your Netflix account. Apparently Escape plan 2 was supposed to have had a theatrical release but instead was released straight to DVD and Blu Ray instead due to Lionsgate having no faith in the product. It didn’t even make back its production budget but somehow a sequel has been green lit and it has a release date of somewhere in 2019. At least Stallone and Bautista had huge hits this year in Creed 2 and Avengers: Infinity War respectively.

I feel this year was the year of the meh. There were so many films that were not quite bad enough to hate or laugh at, not good enough to like or watch again. I could write a massive list but I have to shorten it down to a readable amount. So without further ado:

The most Meh film award:

Incredibles 2 (Controversial pick I know)
Cloverfield Paradox
Solo: A Star Wars Story
Pacific Rim: Uprising
Fantastic beasts: Where are the beasts? I cant see the beasts. There weren’t that many beasts.
Maze Runner: The Death Cure
Venom

Who will hold the Coveted Meh award…

Winner: Venom

*Humming the tune* Venom Venom. He’s wearing double denim. Venom. We’d better go get em, Venom. They aint gunna know what hit ’em. 
Trust me Sony we know what hit ’em’. a whole load of meh.

You ever have one of those days where you want to see a film and you look outside as you pick up your car keys and see weather that is reminiscent of something out of ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ and think “Na, not today”. This award goes to the films we could watch without having to venture in to the unknown of which is the outside world.

Streaming pick of the year:

Outlaw King
Annihilation
Apostle
Cargo
Cam


* Insert Drum roll here*

Winner: Annihilation

Annihilation is the story of Natalie Portmans character as she joins an expedition in to a mysterious zone which has never been explored before, they soon realise that the basic rules of nature don’t apply to where they have ventured.

A beautifully haunting piece of science fiction which leaves you thinking for hours after the film has finished. A tremendous follow up from director Alex garland who previously directed the also brillaint Ex-Machina, if you haven’t seen it…what are you doing go watch it, now.

The biggest disappointment of the year:

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
The Predator
The Nun


Shaun leaving the cinema screaming about how disappointing Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom was.
Colourised 2018.

Winner: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

It’s such a shame that this film couldn’t have been better. Jurassic park or world or whatever is a franchise which seems to have ran out of ideas and is just copying exactly from the first trilogy. Park breaks down and dinosaurs are free. Go back to the island where the park is and get the dinosaurs, rinse and repeat. I hope they can think of something more fresh for the third film otherwise I think I’m done with these films. I also feel like the 3rd act really doesn’t fit this film at all. It turns from a Sci-Fi adventure in to a Ghost house style horror film. I don’t know. How can you make dinosaurs boring? How?

Best film where Hawkeye should be trying to stop Thanos and not playing tag with his fake friends who aren’t cool like the Avengers:

The Bookshop
Swimming with men
Mumma Mia: Here we go again
Mary Poppins Retruns
Tag

Winner: Tag

Come on Clint mate, stop fucking around. The avengers needed you and you weren’t there. Why? WHY!?

So I normally try to avoid bad movies as much as I can. I tend to have a good radar and by looking at a trailer I can tell whether or not it will be good. That being said I somehow saw these films and I don’t quite know how.

The pile o’ shit award

I feel pretty
The Grinch
The Predator
Slenderman
Johnny English Strikes Again


Ughhhhhh this one hurts.

Winner: The Predator

I’ve never seen a filmmaker not understand the fan base and what they want from a film more so than Shane Black. I don’t get it. You’d think considering that he was in the original Predator he would have the knowledge to reboot the franchise in an interesting and fresh direction which the fans would love. WRONG! The predator dogs looked hilarious. The new Alpha predator was boring, all it had going for it is that it was bigger. Bigger isn’t better. The ending… The ending is the most laughable thing I have seen in a movie this year. I’m not going to say what it is in case somebody on this earth cares but I will say that it showcases the complete misunderstanding of the franchise under the helm of Shane Black.

You ever walk out of a film and look at the person or people you saw it with and with complete sincerity and say “That wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be” and wait for the abuse to be hurled your way like a steel chair during a cage match? But it never happens because you my friend just walked out of a film that was fine and everyone else around thinks it was fine. Not good but better than you could have hoped. The day is good.

The ‘That wasn’t a massive pile of garbage’ award:

Tomb Raider
Venom
The Meg
Robin Hood
Mortal Engines


And show me potato salad…

Winner: Robin Hood

So the trailers for Robin Hood made the film look shockingly bad. It looked uninspired, boring and quite lazy from Hollywood to be honest. But what we got was actually quite enjoyable. Taron Egerton and Bendelson were very good in their roles and it had some pretty solid action sequences to boot. It is one of those films I think most people overlook because we know the story and there have been many films and TV shows about this character but if you give it chance I feel like you might just have some fun with it.

A Director for a film is like what a captain is to a ship of pillaging and plundering pirates. They need to be in control of the sea battle and keep their vision of treasure in their minds as they stumble through the dark caves of an unexplored island. Ummm anyway…

Best Director:

Bradley Cooper – A Star is Born
Guillermo Del Toro – The Shape of Water
John Krasinski – A Quiet Place
The Russo Brothers – Avengers: Infinity War
Alex Garland – Annihilation
Christopher Mcquarrie – Mission Impossible: Fallout



So who won the sea battle, who guided their ship mates to a glorious bounty. Okay I’m going to stop comparing directors to captains of a pirate ship…

Winner – John Krasinski

So John Krasinski just comes out from under his tiny office desk to direct a unknown horror film starring his wife Emily Blunt. This film is filled with so much tension and dread that you really can not settle at all during the whole film. The silence doesn’t allow for it. I literally gasped during one of the scenes which is unheard of for me. I really cared for these characters and the horrible situation they have been thrown in to and it made the viewing experience that much more tension filled.

The world building is magnificent and makes me want to know more about what actually happened to this world that they now live in. There are floorboards that have been painted because stepping on them makes noise. The hand made roads are covered in sand to reduce any accidental sounds. Its these little details that really flesh out a world for me and make me believe whats going on in this exhausted and worn out world they live in. I could probably write an essay on how much I love the direction in this film but I will save that for another day. It’s just so good to see something so original in a genre that needs a bit of a boost of originality. Apparently Johnny boy is hard at work developing the sequel and I for one cant wait to see what happens next.

Best Actor:

Tom Crusie – Mission Impossible: Fallout
John Krasinski – A Quiet Place
Rami Malek – Bohemian Rhapsody
Bradley Cooper – A Star is Born


Who is the champion?

Winner – Rami Malek

This was actually quite tough for me. It was a toss up between Bradley Cooper and how he portrayed the fragility of his character in A Star is Born or Rami Malek and his complete embodiment of Freddie Mercury. It sounds massively cliche but I have to say its almost like this role was made for him. He looks like Freddie, he sounds like Freddie and he acts like Freddie. When he is on screen he is Freddie Mercury. I don’t really know what else to say. Just a fantastic performance giving us all something I’m sure Freddie would surely be proud of if he could watch it today.

Best Actress

Lady Gaga – A Star is Born
Sally Hawkins – The Shape of Water
Margot Robbie – I,Tonya
Emily Blunt – A Quiet Place

Winner: Lady Gaga

So other than a few cameos and a season of American Horror Story, which she is terrific in by the way, this is pretty much Lady Gagas acting debut.

She absolutely hits it out of the park on her first swing in A Star is Born portraying a character which I’m sure felt quite close to home for her. I would give her the award for the song at the end of the film alone. You can absolutely feel the emotion she is going through not just by her singing which is incredible but also through her body language during the performance. It genuinely brought me to tears as I was watching it. A real tragic story about stardom, love and depression which is only elevated by the chemistry of its two leads and the perfect performance from Gaga. I couldn’t picture anybody else nailing this role as much as she did.

So we are here. This has been emotional hasn’t it? There have been ups and there have been downs. But now Ladies and germs we have made it to the biggest award I can give out and the award that every filmmaker dreams of getting when they were young watching Aliens at an age when they should 100 percent be watching something less scarring. So without any more of my nonsense lets move on to:

Best Film:

Molly’s Game
The Shape of Water
A Star is Born
Avengers: Infinity War
Coco
Annihilation
A Quiet Place
Deadpool 2
Mission Impossible: Fallout
Bohemian Rhapsody

Winner: A Star is Born

No other film quite affected me this year like how A Star is Born affected me. A Deeply tragic story brought to life by some incredible direction by Bradley Cooper, In his directorial debut to boot, and incredible performances by Cooper, Lady Gaga and Sam Elliot who really bring their human and flawed characters to life. I’m going to say it again this film brought me to tears a few times by displaying themes we don’t see too often in mainstream media like this and it’s extremely important to get these sorts of messages across to as many people as possible.

Accompanied by an amazing soundtrack with stellar vocals from Gaga and surprisingly Bradley Cooper it all adds up to make my film of the year, this was probably my easiest choice of the whole bunch.

Honestly just see it.

Well that’s another year done and dusted. There have been ups and downs what an emotional roller coaster it’s been. But I’m not buying the damn photo at the kiosk once you get off. £18 just for a photo. You’re having a laugh surely? They also have the cheek to be like “Well you can get a keyring for an extra 4 pounds”. No I’m not doing it I refuse. I REFUSE!!

*Coughs*

Anyway 2019 is shaping up to be a pretty huge year for film so expect to hear from me on my opinions on them and they jackets that the characters are wearing.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. If there is anyone who has read this far. Or read it at all.

As always many thanks.

Hope you had a great 2018 and an even better 2019.

Your local nerd and fruit loop,
Shaun


So, blogging and that huh?

So recently I’ve been pondering, a bad idea for me I know, about writing a blog. What I’m going to write about on this old blogo of mine is still quite undecided. I guess it will be about stuff I am passionate about, prepare yourself for what some people refer to as a list:

Films and TV
Gaming
Sharpening swords on whetstones
Books
Pop culture
Deciding if you should help somebody up before laughing at them falling over
Short stories that I write
Space and that
Other projects I’m working on
Lists
Dungeons and Dragons

I could go on… and I shall:
Superheroes
Star Wars

I’m done now I think. But if you haven’t already thrown away your electronic device at the nearest loved one because of the annoyance I have brought upon you through this initial post then I guess you could follow this blog I suppose. (Out of breath wheezing ensues).

Thanks,
Shaun