New blog and email newsletter

You may have noticed that I haven’t posted on here in a while. I’ve been trying some new things, and I started a new blog and an email newsletter. My new blog is about the art of storytelling, and I may also post short stories and other content on it. If you like the stories I’ve written, please consider joining my email list. You will get exclusive stories and updates on my new blog whenever I send out an email. I’m writing a new serial story like the ones I posted on this blog that will only be accessible to those who subscribe.

Click here to see my new blog: https://daniel-leaf.com/2018/05/02/welcome-to-the-storyverse/

And you can subscribe to my email list here: https://daniel-leaf.com/subscribe/

Thank you for your interest in the stories I’ve worked hard on! Let’s keep exploring the Storyverse together!

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Song of a Skeleton: Part 2

Verse 2:
Come with me.
Let me show you what I see.
In my dreams, there’s a reality
where everyone lives happily,
where love is real,
where it’s more than just a feeling
inside me,
where everyone can feel it.

Bridge:
Love must be real,
I can feel it in my bones.
There must be someone else who feels it,
I won’t always be alone.
And I must have a heart,
I feel it beating so strong.
And I must have lips,
because I’m singing this song…

Song of a Skeleton: Part 1

Verse 1:
Look at me.
Tell me, what do you see?
Am I just a heartless skeleton,
like everyone else seems to be?
Or is there more?
If you opened up the door
maybe you’d see:
There’s something more to me…

Chorus:
Because I feel my heart beat,
pumping love to my brain.
I feel the blood flow
through my nonexistent veins,
but how can I feel
something that’s not real?
There must be more to me
than anyone can see.
Maybe if they looked closely
they would see love inside of me.

Michelangelo Demetrius: Part 22

Jeffrey Giligan staggered back into the nurse’s office. With a runny nose, a bad cough, and a fever, he looked so unwell it was pitiful.

The nurse saw him and snapped the wrists of his blue gloves against his skin irritably. “He! Vat are you doink back in here, Herr Schtudent?”

“I’b weally zig dis dibe,” Jeffrey mumbled.

“Do you take me for a dunkoff? I vill not allow you to vaste my faluable time like zis. You vill not be excused from zee school no matter how good is your acting!”

“You don’t uddewstand!” Jeffrey insisted. “I’b dot faking it! I’b weally si – si – AATCHFWOO!!”

The nurse stomped his foot. “I vill not schtand for zis! Do you know vat vould hafe happened if I had pulled a schtunt like zis back in zee var? I vould hafe been personally exekuted by zee Fuhrer!” The nurse suddenly noticed that Jeffrey had collapsed and lay shivering on the floor. He sighed. “Ach, vy do zees sings alvays happen to me?” He lifted him grudgingly onto a bed.

It wasn’t long before the nurse confirmed that Jeffrey was, in fact, sick. The boy lay shivering and coughing, barely able to move, until the nurse finally called his mother. He was released from school and she came to pick him up. Unfortunately, Jeffrey was now so ill that his mother had to carry him to his bed, so there was no way he would be able to even try to look for his old base. He lay in his bed, going from freezing cold one minute to burning hot the next, wishing there were some way to end his misery. His old body had never fallen victim to any kind of illness, so this was a new and excruciatingly painful experience for him. He mentally ran through several possible kinds of punishment that he could bring on Bradley for making him follow his stupid plan. The rodent had probably planned for this to happen and was likely laughing at him right now. Jeffrey promised himself he would never listen to another word he said. He let out a half-cough-half-sneeze and held his head as it throbbed, wondering if the long hours of torture would ever be over.

Michelangelo Demetrius: Part 21

Jeffrey Giligan trudged over to his locker. What a genius scheme that had been. Never had he felt so violated and embarrassed. The school nurse had made him do all sorts of things, checking him in places he didn’t even know he had. Jeffrey hated obeying all the demands he had made, like he was some kind of slave useful only for his master’s entertainment. The one thing that had given him the strength to put up with it was the thought of getting out of this prison, but after the nurse was finally finished, the only reward he had gotten was the sentence of having to stay late after class! That was apparently the punishment for wasting the nurse’s time. It was obvious, of course, that Jeffrey wasn’t really sick but had only been acting. Rubbing his nose furiously for several minutes and pouring near-scalding water from the bathroom sink onto his face hadn’t been enough to pull the wool over the nurse’s eyes. He sighed in frustration and scratched his nose.

Bradley, the moron whose idea it had been, popped up beside him like a nearsighted bunny out of its den. “How did it go? Did the plan work?”

Jeffrey grabbed him by his collar and shoved him behind the open door of his locker. “How do you think it went? Does it look like I got out of school?”

Bradley blinked. “Oh…what was the problem? Were you not convincing enough?”

Jeffrey coughed. “The pwoblem is that you’we an idiot! The nuwse checked me out and could tell I wasn’t weally sick! Now, because of you, I have to stay late aftew class!”

Bradley’s eyes fell. “Oh, I didn’t think about that. If only you could get sick for real, then they would have to let you leave.”

Jeffrey suddenly sneezed. “Well, I don’t think I can just get sick at wi – at will – AATHCHWOOO!” He sneezed again, and this time a giant sticky blob landed right on Bradley’s shirt. The chubby boy touched Jeffrey’s forehead, and Jeffrey pulled his hand away savagely. “What do you tink you’we doigg?!”

Bradley’s eyes shone with admiration. “You did it, didn’t you? You really did get sick!”

Jeffrey felt his own forehead. He suddenly felt horrible, but seeing the look in Bradley’s eyes, he passed it off as being his plan the whole time. “Like I said, you’we plad was tewwible. Dat’s why my weal plad was just to get iddo that woom full of sick kids fow a while. I dew I would catch someting ebentually!”

Michelangelo Demetrius: Part 20

Jeffrey Giligan stumbled into the nurse’s office looking like he could barely stand. His nose was red and his face flushed. He almost constantly either sneezed or coughed, wiping his nose with his sleeve as he sniffled pitifully.

The nurse, a tall man with a surgical mask and blue rubber gloves, stood over him. “Vat seems to be zee problem, Herr Schtudent?”

“I seem to be vewy sick,” Jeffrey said, looking up at the nurse uncertainly. He glanced around the room at the other children lying in beds, coughing and wheezing like they were at death’s door.

The nurse grabbed the end of his rubber glove with two fingers and stretched it until it snapped back against his wrist. “I see. Zen vee must haf a look at you.” He stretched his other glove, and it popped ominously.

“What do you mean?” Jeffrey asked nervously. “I’m sick, so that means I can go home, wight? Look, my nose is even wed!”

“Vee must infestigate you, to see if you really are sick,” the nurse said in an even, deep voice. “If you are, zen vee can perhaps send you home.” He gestured over to an empty bed in a corner.

Reluctantly Jeffrey did as he was asked. Right now he was far from sure about this plan, but he would do whatever was necessary to get away so he could find the people who might actually listen to him.

Michelangelo Demetrius: Part 19

Jeffrey sized up the kid. He had glasses with huge lenses, a short height, a comparatively large midsection, and two teeth that stuck down from his upper lip like twin icicles. He looked like a fat, nerdy rabbit. Jeffrey scoffed in derision. “You, help me? Okay, you can help me by keeping youw mouth shut and youw nose out of my business!”

The rabbit made to leave. “That’s fine. If you don’t want me to tell you how you can escape from school without anyone scolding you, I’ll just leave you alone.”

Jeffrey pulled him back to his locker. “Now, hold on just a minute. How could you possibly know a way to get out of school without getting in twouble?”

“It’s easy. All you have to do is get sick.”

Jeffrey mentally rolled his eyes. “Oh, is that all. Do you happen to know anyone awound with the flu? I’ll go catch it weal fast!”

“You don’t have to actually get sick. All you have to do is look like it.”

This made Jeffrey pause. He thought about it for a minute. That actually wasn’t too bad of an idea. This kid was smart. Not as smart as he was, of course, but he had his own brand of intelligence. Maybe Jeffrey needed a new aide. This kid would have been far from his first choice, but beggars can’t be choosers. He decided to give him a chance to prove himself. “Maybe you’ve got something thewe. What’s youw name?” Jeffrey asked.

“Bradley!” the kid told him eagerly.

Michelangelo Demetrius: Part 18

Jeffrey Giligan was tired of school. The hard desk chairs, the long hours sitting and studying, the teachers always standing over him, just waiting to scold him or tell him he was wrong – he couldn’t stand any of it. He stood by his locker and stretched, groaning as his back ached. Michelangelo Demetrius was certainly not cut out for a desk job. He needed to get out of here. All he had to do was get back to his secret base and find out where that device was being kept. His real body must be at the base as well, being possessed by that rotten little pipsqueak. Once he had the device, it was simply a matter of pulling the trigger, and his old life should be back to normal. Then he would ruin this kid’s.

But first he had to get away from the school. He racked his brain, trying to think of some way to escape without being caught. “If they catch me twying to escape, it’s ovew,” he thought aloud. “I don’t even want to think about what my mothew would do to me.”

He shuddered as he remembered his chastisement for sneaking into the abandoned lab. The lectures, the spankings, the fear and despair that washed over him like boiling acid with every disapproving look. He absolutely had to keep up the facade of being a “good boy” in case his mother found out.

“Why do you want to escape?”

Jeffrey looked up, startled, to see another boy standing behind him listening. He quickly clamped his hand over the boy’s mouth and shoved him behind his open locker door, hiding him from view as he looked around conspiratorially. “Shut youw mouth!” he whispered fiercely. “Awe you twying to get me in twouble?”

The boy pulled Jeffrey’s hand off of his mouth. “No,” he said in a quieter voice, “I just thought you might want my help.”

Michelangelo Demetrius: Part 17

Suddenly Jeffrey heard voices coming from the top of the stairs. Some of the teachers were coming to investigate. He was about to try to climb out, but he realized it would be next to impossible to slip by them. An idea popped into his head and he hid behind the table in the blackness. As soon as the teachers entered the room, he snuck around behind them and quickly mounted the stairs. He emerged into the daylight, and then he had another idea. He reached down and pulled the switch again, and the section of the playground floor began to raise the swing set back up. Jeffrey grinned fiendishly. Served them right, being trapped down there. If they had caught him, they would have done a lot worse to him.

“What’s going on out here?”

Jeffrey turned to see the principal striding out into the playground. Before he could answer, the kid with the horrible sweater spoke up. “Jeffy trapped the teachers down in the secret lab!”

Jeffrey glared at him and opened his mouth to respond, but the principal sighed and grasped him by his arm. “Come with me, Jeffy. I’m going to have to tell your mother about this!”

At the mention of his mother, Jeffrey’s eyes froze wide open in fear. He thought back to the evening before and the torture he had experienced. His mother had chastised him, spanked him, and then sent him off to bed without any supper. Never before had he experienced such agony, and he had curled up in his bed that night, sore and hungry. He didn’t even have a comfortable Tempur-Pedic mattress or silk sheets. The boy shuddered as he tried to push away the horrible memories. He couldn’t go back to his mother. He struggled, but the principal’s hand was clamped onto his arm as if it were made of iron. Finally going limp and allowing himself to be led to the principal’s office, Jeffrey resigned himself to his fate.

Michelangelo Demetrius: Part 16

Jeffrey Giligan had a plan. All he had to do was get back down into the secret lab beneath the school. Once he had the device that had trapped him inside this pathetic body, he would be able to return to his life of success and happiness. Even if he couldn’t get to his old body immediately, the gun should work with anyone. He could switch bodies with a teacher, the principal, or maybe even someone outside the school. Then he could take the device away from the naughty boy who had it and choose his next target. He could switch again and again, as many times as he needed, until he worked his way back to where he had started. And as soon as he was back as Michelangelo Demetrius, he would make sure no one ever used that gun again.

As he was let out for recess the plan formed in his mind. The secret entrance had been closed and the swing set replaced, but that wouldn’t stop him. He knew where the hidden switch that opened the door was. After all, he had been the one who had found it. As the other children played around him, he nonchalantly strolled over to the swing set. After a quick glance around to make sure he wasn’t being watched, he bent down and felt around under the gravel. Luckily, the handle hadn’t been pinned down by the swing set. He gave it a pull and the playground structure started sinking as the secret door opened below him. The metal frame caught and stuck on the stairs that led down into the lab, the swings hanging sideways crookedly.

Jeffrey knew he had to move quickly. Some of the other kids had already noticed what was happening. He hurried down into the underground room and went straight to the table where the gun had lain. It was too dark to see very clearly, but he felt around where the kid had found it. The device was gone. His aides must have taken it with them when they left. Jeffrey slammed his fist on the table in frustration.