The Bone King

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Inspired by the music of Peter Gundry - Waltz of the Bone King. Available on YouTube or Spotify to listen while reading my short story. Enjoy! ^.^

Mystery / Fantasy
Age Rating:

The Bone King

“May I have this dance?” Asked a soft, spoken deep voice from behind me. I slowly turned around, wondering if it is him or not. Before me stood a tall jester in black and white with a broad grinning mask and drooping curved nose, he offered me his black-gloved hand with a slight bow. Within the holes of the mask, I noticed a shimmer of his eyes that looked at me.

I gave a silent nod and placed my hand upon his; a shiver went down my spine as he led me to the dancefloor. Was there a cold breeze or something else? Maybe all the skeletons around me? Or was it simply the touch of this man’s hand? Or surrounded too long in darkness and death that I’ve almost forgotten how it feels to be touched of a living like me?

“Is something making you uneasy, Milady?” He asked softly and calmly as he led me into a waltz. “You look far from comfortable.”

Astoundingly the sound of his voice calmed me, but I sensed in his tone that he feared that he was the cause. I took a deep breath and grinned. “I was lost in my own thoughts; it has nothing to do with you, Sir.”

“What was it then, if I may ask?” He almost whispered, knowing my answer may be something very personal.

“Wondering where the Bone King is and...” I took a deep breath. “Am not sure how will I react. He’s brought me here since I encountered him the first time down that dark and deserted street.”

“Are you afraid of him?”

“I can’t say for sure.” I gave an honest answer.

“Don’t worry; you can ask me anything about him. He’s a close friend of mine.”

“Thank you, but at the moment I want to enjoy this dance.” I smiled at the jester.

The swooning music of a waltz made us twirl in its slow rhythm, and the jester led me with perfection. At a wall covered with mirrors, it all looked normal at first glance, but when inspected closer you saw a skeletal hand here and an empty eye socket over there. I was the only one in the flesh and from another world, the world of the living.

Suddenly I found myself staring in the mirror, and the jester stood beside me.

“Is everything alright?” He wondered softly.

I quickly turned to him and nodded. “Sorry, I was caught in my thoughts.”

“About being the only one of your kind? The only human here? At times I wish to think that I’m not the only one.”

“You’re like me? My greatest apologies that I did not recognize you.”

He chuckled softly. “This proves that my costume is a brilliant disguise. Would you like another dance?”

I smiled and nodded. He led me on the dancefloor and twirled more vividly the waltz than before. There was a sense of happiness from the jester, and I couldn’t stop grinning to his happiness, it was contagious. At one turn, he suddenly placed his hands at my waist and lifted me. I gasped for a brief moment, realizing how strong he is. As a natural reaction, I threw a short glance to my surroundings. Everyone has stepped off the dancefloor and were watching us dance. Loud applause followed as I noticed and was back on the ground. What an expected surprise but a positive one, I tried my best to ignore and enjoy this dance. I dislike being the centre of attention.

“Was that too much for you?” The jester asked concerned as we waltzed on.

“No, only surprised and am not accustomed to the attention.” I began to look around me, nervously—so many skulls grinning at me.

“Ignore their glances, Milady.” He whispered while gently turning my face to him with two fingers at my jawline, looking deeply into my eyes.

Before I faced him, I saw one of the skeletons dressed as a king with a golden crown. Immediately I recalled that the Bone King should be here soon to dance with me. Will he be tolerable that I danced so long with his close friend, who is also a living human like me? In his dark eyes that shimmered within the holes of the mask, I sensed admiration and affection.

Suddenly a shiver ran down my spine and made my hairs stand.

“Focus on me, and the music and all will be well Milady.” He assured.

I gave a short nod. He led me on across the dancefloor to the rhythm of the music. I kept my eyes on him as he said within a few steps my nervousness has vanished. Whoever he is, he makes me feel safe and understands me with great respect. A great comfort that he is human like me.

As the music ended, he gave me a small twirl and bowed deeply; I bowed too. Loud applause followed as we stood up, some even whistled. The jester offered to me his hand, which I accepted without hesitation.

Many continued to applaud many even lauded with admiration. “That was magnificent! Absolutely perfect! I’m still speechless of your perfection! It was really awesome, Bone King!”

Immediately the jester chuckled. “Thank you, but I’m not as perfect as the Bone King. I’m the jester. His majesty will arrive in his true self in good time.”

My suspicions rose as the jester gave such an answer. Am I with him all this time? Come to think of it his shoulder that I rested a hand upon while dancing did feel thin and bony, and his gloved hands were not warm to the touch but not cold either. Rapidly I let go of him and took a few steps back. As I faced him, he faced the ground with a deep sigh before looking into my eyes. “Are you, the King?” I almost stuttered. Dread has almost gotten a hold of my voice and breath.

“I am milady.”

“How-” I swallowed to gather my words quickly. “Why this approach, your Majesty?”

“There are many answers to give to your question. To live a dream, a yearning desire and ease for you or so I thought.” He paused and removed his mask. “Although I am the Bone King, I dream of being a living, a human-like you. To have flesh on the bones to feel and produce warmth to share, with you.”

I blinked speechless at him. Suddenly I recalled the proper etiquette how to behave in the presence of a king and quickly bowed, I looked to the floor in shame.

“Please Milady.” He walked up to me with a concerned voice and lifted me from my bow. Our glances met, a shudder went down my spine. I did not look into eyes but dark and hollow sockets, yet I felt a glance. What he said is true, he behaves like a human in the flesh which he is not. The Bone King dreams of being a human in flesh and blood.

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