“Alas poor Yorick, I knew him well.” Hamlet, Act 5, Scene 1
This phrase occurs in Hamlet, a popular play by William Shakespeare. The main character Hamlet says this phrase when he is with Horatio, speaking to the gravedigger. He looks around the dead bodies and finds the skull of Yorick, the royal jester. Considering the skull, Hamlet speaks as if Yorick is alive before him, uttering these words in Act-V, Scene-I, “Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow/ of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy.”
I am mask- less, costume-less, I look the way I always do.
But they keep asking, in the hope that one day I will surprise them all and
wear a mask that shows the world who I really am on the inside.
” I’ll bet she dresses up like a witch, or maybe she’ll be a zombie or a vampire or a Pirate or a rabid dog or a murderous robot a bucket of toxic waste!” I think they’ve said to themselves or each other.
I turn up on Halloween looking the way I always do and I always disappoint but I am forgiven because I give out really tasty treats.
” One of these days you should wear a mask at least.” I’ve been advised.
I touch my finger to my face- the muscles that lay against the bones on my skull are doing their job- they smile on command, look concerned on command they wrinkle the my nose just right when I want to show I am really, really tickled by what I’m hearing.
To be honest, I like the mask I wear out to face the world each day.
It’s pleasant, it’s approachable, it makes me look dull and slow and ‘sweet’.
It’s the best mask EVER and I don’t want to take it off, not for one second because being that little puff of sweetness is, in it’s own way fun and it’s the best Halloween trick ever because it goes on all year long.
So what do you think? Should I take it off? Dare I take it off?
I know, if I show you where the string is- it’s just behind my ear- would you like to give it a little tug and see who I am under my mask
I struggled with what kind of tree I wanted and of course the bigger plan at work was could I find one that I could keep up year round because I am sort of a spooky yet whimsical weirdo at heart.
Well guess what, I found one and oh happy day it turned out to have a lot of promise and it was even better then the picture on line promised.
I paired it up with a couple of fun skeletons and towards the back is a candle holder that is shaped like a human skull and has this rich earthy cinnamon smell ( and I haven’t even lit it yet ) as opposed to the light scent you run across.
I’m not sure where the skelotons came from, or the candle because Luis gave them to me as gifts, but here’s where I got the tree.
Photo by Markus Spiske temporausch.com on Pexels.com
” Baby needs to be fed.” he slurred into his pillow and Reggie Hull, never to be given a Father of The Year Award plaque or Greatest Husband Ever Emoji on his Facebook Wall went straight back to sleep.
Next to him, Lindsey’s eyes opened, slowly one at a time and they eventually focused on the baby monitor on the dresser on the wall opposite the foot of their bed. She grit her teeth and knew she hated her life more in that second then in all the seconds that came before it and that was a Hell of a lot.
Reggie had said once when they were arguing about their situation , that the baby had voracious mindless appetite-just like it’s Mother and thanks to her their entire life would be devoted to that one task.
Lindsey had no reply to that because she knew it was true.
” I think it’s your turn Reg. ” she whispered.
” I don’t think it is. I’m pretty sure it’s your turn. I’ve done more than you so far.”
” Are you actually keeping track?” she hissed.
Reg hissed back because the last thing he wanted was for that kid to cry louder because the monitor at the foot of their bed was dancing and skittering around with the force of the sound coming out of it, ” Like you’re not.”
” Look one of us has to go be-”
The wail got a little louder and worse, there were no breaks in the cry. It was steady and insistent. We were at the ” I’m going to be firm but polite ” phase of this particular conversation.
Lindsey sat up and fought the urge to throw her pillow at the monitor- or to jump up and push th pillow down on Reggie’s face until his lungs deflated. That’d teach him to drop his end.
” Why is it my turn? Because I’m a woman, right? I should just jump up and run out of her because that’s what we do when we hear a crying baby that needs to be fed at three in the morning. Well guess what Reg. I’m not that kind of woman.”
” We’re in this mess because of you.” Reg sat up and he did throw his pillow at the monitor. ” You wanted the life. The house in the suburbs, the cars, the clothes the vacations, the Yoga classes. Well, guess what it all came with a cost. You know that.”
Lindsey turned her face to the wall. ” So did you. ”
Lindsey wasn’t going to budge, but that’s not why Reggie got out of bed to feed the baby, to owe up to his responsibility. He got out of bed because at that moment he really hated his wife and if he stayed in bed next to her- well.
Like I said.
Reggie was never going to find a husband of the year emoji on his Facebook wall, ever.
The baby wasn’t just crying, the baby was in full Opera mode and he was angry- his little cries pierced Reggie’s eardrums and made his teeth hurt.
Reggie pushed the door open and there was the baby, waiting to be fed.
He or maybe it was a she, Reggie didn’t know, he didn’t care because the deal was they didn’t have do much except drop a few tidbits to it until it was time for them both to feed it.
The screaming baby was in the arms of his Mother- and she was just as vicious looking as the day he and Lindsey made a deal with her at the Crossroads six years ago on Halloween. Her skin was still pale green skin, her eyes were still dull and milky blue, her tongue still darted out from between her thin black lips like a snake and danced around the corners of her mouth with a mind of it’s own,
The world was theirs as was anything in it that they wanted and all they would have to do was Feed The Baby. Both of them. She’d let them decide who would feed it first. Until that day, she suggested a shovel, a crow bar, a saw and a cemetery with poor lighting would provide small sweet meals for the child, but the time would come when it would be time for them both to feed the baby.
The Baby and it’s Mother turned and looked at him.
She licked her lips and the baby held out it’s arms.
Maybe, sixteen year old Thomas Gilder thought when his heart slowed down enough for him to think clearly, if I just relax and close my eyes I can figure how I got here and how I can get out because if I got into this I can get out too- that’s logical, or science or something like that right?
His hands, were clammy and sweaty and cold and they grasped the smooth arms of the chair with less force then he realized because he was very close to passing out. He bit his lips to keep from calling for his Mother. She’d be so disappointed in him if she knew where he was. He could not- would not do that to her. He would not call for her like he did when he was a little kid waking up terrified from a nightmare.
At least not right now.
Thomas turned his head and looked at the little window with the pale blue curtain drawn across it that was to his left
and he wondered why the room was painted pale green and why it didn’t really match the curtains in the window and why
he was sitting in this electric chair and how long it was going to be before the Executioner realized he was here .
Thomas looked up at the clock and watched the second hand crawl from one number to the next- not that he could read the clock. Most kids his age can’t but it gave him something to think about and when his thoughts got back on the Tommy Gilder train he made himself remember the walk down here, the instructions, and the RULES.
Maybe that was the key. If he could remember the short walk that brought him here maybe he could avoid the long walk ahead.
What ever he came up with, he had to snap himself out of this nightmare before the face appeared in the little window and saw him.
It was all over for him at that point, wasn’t it? Or maybe it really ended for him when he decided to heck with it and decided to not follow the RULES.
Thomas wasn’t bad kid, well- he knew if he had made a few better life choices he wouldn’t be here waiting for that curtain to be moved to the side and for Hell to rain down on him.
There had to be something he could do, maybe say he was sorry and that he’d never screw off and he’d promise on a stack of bibles to follow THE RULES but before he could put his thoughts into order and choose one of those flimsy options his out of control brain had come up with, the curtain in the small window opened and then the face of the Executioner appeared and it was indeed the face of his doom and a painful molten rain of words did indeed fall down upon him.
” Son of a bitch! Take your kid to work day. What can go wrong they said. You only work for the State. None of the dumbasses that nagged me to do this asked me what I do for the state.”
She took a breath which meant she was nowhere near finished yelling.
“What did I tell you about wandering off? This isn’t a playground. I work here. I told you what the RULES were. So tell me. How the Hell did you get in there?
Chin to his chest, Thomas held up his Mothers keycard.
” Forget asking me for the car or for the password to WiFi at home which I am changing and NEVER going to give you. Forget ever hoping that I will forget this stunt. Get over to the door NOW.”
Thomas got up from the electric chair, he bowed his head and he walked slowly to the door.
When the door opened and he saw the Executioner- (or as she was known at home ” Mom” ) standing there with how miserable his fate was going to be written all over hear face, he knew his punishment would indeed be a fate worse then death.