The original opening wasn’t working the way I wanted it to. Let me know if this is better, worse, what. And how. Thank you.
Reginald Bones (Redone Beginning)
Reginald and Bones didn’t come into the blessing of owning a graveyard right away. That doesn’t happen quickly or easily, Reginald imagined. At least not when it’s a family business. Everybody has death looming over their lives, but when it does so in the form of a business, it’s exceptionally morbid. Reginald recalled Bones saying, “As a child, the notion of inheriting a graveyard had been a strange one.” And when Reginald came to be with Bones in early adulthood, that notion had morphed into irony.
Then that fateful day happened, sooner rather than later. The death business knocked on life’s door and handed them the papers to five hundred and counting graves. Goodbye irony, hello terror. At least to Reginald. To Bones, you’d think they’d won the lottery. “What better place to spend the rest of our dead life?” Bones had reasoned.
Right. If you were content to have that, Reginald supposed.
It only took them five months to get adjusted. Reginald attributed the speedy success to Bones condition. His brain naturally gravitated to morbidity of various sorts, but Reginald respectfully never pried into those details, no matter how curious he got. And he did get very curious at times since Bones brought him there specifically to help him. With something.Bones was yet to divulge. Without specifics, Reginald had one main directive. Protect the world from Bones. Make him look normal. Hide him. It was like being called to an emergency without being told what the emergency was.
At first, it was strange being consciously aware that he was part of Bone’s psyche. And then they shared a body like twins joined at the hip, only they were joined from inside the mind. Reginald tried to keep the body sharing fair, but Bones was as boring as his name was creepy. He seemed to have zero hobbies and zero need to do anything but keep the graves. And he did that with ten kinds of gusto.
“If you must know,” Bones finally said one day when Reginald pried. “I absolutely dig digging.” Bones laughed and laughed at that. If Reginald wanted him to crack a joke, he just needed to ask him to be serious about something. Anything. Was damn annoying at times.
But on the flip side, Reginald learned quick that while Bones didn’t have a desire to do much, he had plenty of desire to notdo many things. Especially anything remotely connected to the opposite sex. It was Reginald’s first real clue to Bones’ problems.
“Are you telling me you don’t like women?” Reginald had asked.
“As in you don’t like the way they look?”
“But you’ll talk to them?”
“Do you like anything at all about them?”
“Not a single thing.”
“You sound like you hate them,” Reginald said in disbelief.
“You hate all women.”
“Every one of them.”
Reginald couldn’t believe that. “Even your mother?”
“Absolutely and especially,” he’d sang lightly. “Okay, maybe not as much.” Hope sparked inside of Reginald, only to be crushed with Bones’ cold, “Now that her dirty ass is at the bottom of this grave yard. And if you ever… bring me near a woman? I’ll fucking burn you.”
“You’ll burn me?”
“As in… literally?” Reginald found this kind of funny.
Reginald attempted it only once and learned Bones’ had most definitely meant it. They shared the same body for crying out loud, it made sense to assume he was bluffing. It turned out Bones did in fact have other hobbies besides digging graves and enduring pain and agony was one of them. He heard the heady pleasure in his every word as he burned both of them with a cigarette. “Oh, you think this is bad, Reggie?” he whispered as he casually sucked in a long drag then pressed the red tip into his inner thigh. “This is nothing little brother. Nothing at all compared to what could have happened.”
Reginald didn’t know then that he’d meant what could have happened to the woman.
Needless to say, any contact with the opposite sex was officially off of Reginald’s list of extracurricular activities. For a while, at least.
And then that day came. It would forever be known as the scorching hot summer of a record, fifty-five burials. Reginald was ready to escape the boring Bones prison or die trying. “Why am I even here?” was Reginald’s opening challenge. He’d planned it all out, question his existence and fight Bones for his freedom. He wasn’t sure how, or if it was even possible, but he was ready to do something besides nothing all the damn day.
“Don’t do this,” Bones huffed as he spread the dirt around the plot.
Bones tried to push Reginald out of the driver seat and for the first time, he didn’t oblige him.
“Move, Reggie,” Bones muttered.
“Reggie,” he whispered, closing his eyes and shaking his head.
Reginald felt the rage coming. “I don’t care what you do to me. I’m not living like this another day.”
“Like what!” Bones thundered.
“Like a prisoner!” Reginald yelled back, yanking the shovel from him and throwing it down. “I’m supposed to help you, this isn’t helping you.”
“You’re supposed to do just what you’re doing,” Bones said. “That’s all you’re here to do. Keep everything normal.”
“This isn’t normal! Did you make me like this?” Reginald asked, his own anger coming. “Did you put it in me to want to help you? Because that’s all I got, Bonesy, I got this burning need to help, and leaving you like a freak isn’t right, it’s not helping in the right way, and I won’t do it. I won’t, I promise you that.”
They stood in the silence, chest to chest, eye to eye, heaving in desperation.
And then Bones did it, he put a collar of irrefutable loyalty around Reginald’s heart with one, desperate whisper. “I need you.”
The sheer terror in his words was not from the man standing before him. He didn’t know who it belonged to, but he knew right then, that no matter how long it would take Reginald, he’d unravel what hid inside of Bones.
“Okay, Bonesy,” Reginald whispered back to him. “I’m here, I’m not leaving. I’m sorry, I didn’t realize.”
“Don’t leave, Reginald. Don’t leave.”
His words shook and Reginald fought to calm him. “I promise, I won’t leave.”
“I don’t want to do bad things, Reggie. I don’t want to.”
“Okay, hey, hey,” Reginald hurried, wishing Bones would just tell him everything. It would make it so much easier if he knew what he was dealing with. “I’m not going anywhere, you’re stuck with me. Burn me all day and night, I don’t care, chop my hands off, whatever, you’re stuck.”
“I won’t hurt you Reggie,” he whispered. “I’m sorry, I won’t hurt you again.”
TO BE CONTINUED….