Nightmare Before Christmas Fan Fiction ❯ Black and Red ❯ Bugs and Bones ( Chapter 5 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

The odd group of Holiday leaders plus Sally walked through the mausoleum. Jack and Sally were laughing as the ghosts popped out. The others were getting rush after rush of fear, and they were starting to see why it was fun. A little at least. Jack shoved open the door to the huge grave and stepped out. He inhaled deeply.

"Boy, have I missed the decaying scent of autumn! I was glad when September came."

"October's just around the corner," Bunny said.

"Yes. Guess I'll have to get the town on schedule," Jack said with a shrug. "We should still be able to pull Halloween off."

"Good. And we'll help all we can," Sandy said with a sharp nod.


"Jack…" Sally said softly, tugging on his arm. He looked at her and she pointed.

"Hello, Jack. My, my, my, aren't you looking human," Oogie said jovially.

"Oogie, not now," Jack said warningly.

"Why not? It's the only time I get to taste your blood. Bone men have no blood, you know."

Jack pushed Sally behind him protectively.

"Don't you dare Oogie."

"The girl needs to be a rag doll again, Jack, and you need to be a bone man," Oogie said in a low voice.

"The doctor has a potion for us to take," Jack said, frightened that his nightmares were coming true.

"Now where's the fun in that?"

Jack grabbed Sally's hand and screamed his command. "Run!"

Oogie's laughter rang in their ears as they left the shocked Holiday leaders behind them. Sally was panting as they approached the cemetery gate that led to the path that went to town. Jack stopped, shoving Sally toward the gate.

"Get to the doctor as fast as you can. Oogie'll be after me. Tell him what's going on. Talk over him if you have to! Go, quickly!"

"What does Oogie want?" Sally asked.

"No time! Go! Now!"

Sally sprinted away and Jack ran deep into the cemetery. He knew that Oogie would be able to find him. The bugs smelled his blood, and they were telling Oogie exactly where he was. He played hide and seek for twenty minutes before he heard something that chilled his blood.

"Jack! Jack I found him."

Jack came out to see Sally standing beside the doctor, who was on his feet.

"Hurry now, my boy, take this!"

Jack stormed up and shoved the potion toward Sally. "You were supposed to make her a rag doll again!"

"Who's this?" Bunny asked.

"It's the mad scientist," Sandy said. "Doctor…I don't know his name."

"Looks like we've got an audience Jack," Oogie said as he approached.

"Sally, take the potion, now!" Jack hissed.

A well placed rock shattered the vial and Jack stood in front of Sally.

"What's he going to do to us?" Sally asked.

"Why I'm going to eat the flesh off your…well, Jack's bones. I'm going to eat you down to your cloth."

"E-eat?" Sally asked.

"Ladies first."

Oogie's seems split and there was a rush of bugs that moved toward her. Dr. Finkelstein grabbed Sally and hurried backwards, pulling out another vial and popping the top.

"Drink! Now!"

Sally choked down the bitter brew and gasped, falling down. Within ten seconds she felt bugs crawling on her and prickles of pain began to hit her. There was a shriek, one of pure agony. She looked up and saw Jack. He had not one bug on him, yet he shrieked again. And again. The bugs seemed to be drawn to it and hurried off of her. She was helped to her feet by the doctor. The Holiday leaders seemed to be frozen, staring at where Jack had been. It was a mountain of bugs. The doctor watched passively, but Sally tried to run over and help. Dr. Finkelstein held her back. When he was sure she wouldn't run, he unbuttoned his lab coat.

The bugs started to clear and the pale man hurried over to wrap the garment around Jack's waist. He looked like his old self. Almost. His bones, which were usually a beautiful white, were stained red with blood. He looked like he was in great deals of pain.

The Holiday leaders stared at Jack. They couldn't help it. He was definitely skeletal. Their eyes roamed over the bones, especially his ribcage. Beneath it was just open space, and the spaces between the ribs were open. But they had all clearly seen that he wasn't just a skeleton. Sally, who watched in horror, didn't understand. What had happened? Sandy voiced that question.

"They ate me," Jack said tiredly. "It's how I became a bone man. I didn't want any of you to know that. I'm sorry."

"Who knows about it?" Sally asked, trying not to be sickened.

"Until tonight, only Oogie, the doctor, and me. Now all of you know."

"You were eaten alive?" Sandy asked. "T-that's…"

"Disgusting? Disturbing? Painful? Yes, yes it is." Jack paused. "I need a shower."

"And I need my wheelchair. The potion's starting to wear off," Dr. Finkelstein said with a nod. "Come along, all of you. I'll entertain you while Jack gets cleaned up."

An hour and a half later, Jack arrived at the doctor's house. He'd been spotted by several people and had to do a greeting and a brief conversation with each. Jack let himself in and walked up to the lab. He quietly sat down on the floor behind the group who was animatedly asking questions about the doctor's work. Sally noticed him and sat beside him, her old self again.

"You know, for a human you were quite beautiful," Jack said softly. "But I think I prefer you this way."

Sally smiled and leaned against him, kissing his cheek softly. He smiled and curled his arm around her.

"Are you alright?" she asked when he flinched.

"They always forget a few tendons and ligaments in my hands and feet," he muttered.

"Oh. How do you get rid of them?"

"The doctor takes them off. I don't see why they always miss them," Jack groused. "It has to be as tasty as the rest of me. And it's always the same ones."

"What's always the same ones?" Sam asked.

"You don't want to know," Jack said.

"Come now, we're tryin' ta learn ta like your Holiday," Patrick said.

Jack made a face. "Don't say I didn't warn you."

He held out his hand and they stared at the stretches of pink along the gaps in the bones. They paled.

"Is that muscle?"

"They're ligaments and tendons," Dr. Finkelstein said with a nod. "Come here, my boy, let me take them off." He shook his head. "I don't understand why they always leave those in."

"It's practically the same ones every time," Jack muttered as the doctor strapped him onto the medical table.

"This should only take a few minutes."

The Holiday leaders couldn't help but watch. It didn't seem to hurt Jack, but they knew it should have. Within ten minutes, it was done and Jack stood.

"Many thanks, doctor."

"Not at all, my boy." He paused. "Tell me, when were you going to tell me that you proposed?"

Jack blinked. "What?" He turned to look at Sally and saw her wearing the necklace. "Oh. Well, I was busy being eaten alive again."

"I suppose that's a good reason."

There was a pounding on the front door.

"Twenty bats in a belfry says that's the mayor," Jack said as Dr. Finkelstein hollered that the door was open. Three minutes later, Jack was proven right.

"Jack! There you are! Where have you been?"

Jack shrugged, keeping his mouth shut.

"Well we're in trouble! We'll never be ready for Halloween in time!"

"These kind gentlemen are going to help us, so no worries there," Jack said. "Now call a town meeting. We have work to do."