The Silver Skull

Avatar Author: Bob Liddil I am an author of science fiction, general fiction short stories, poetry, and non-fiction. I have been published in several genres, including fantasy and poetry, as well as non fiction. At one time I published my own c... Read Bio

There are twelve of us boys bunked in Cabin 3, the Junior Cabin of the Cherokee Tribe at YMCA summer camp. Eleven of them are asleep. I can hear them breathing, relaxed and easy. Not me though. I know what’s coming.

At bonfire tonight Chief Billy, told the Legend of the Silver Skull, a story about a slave 100 years ago who’d been boiled in oil for stealing but was innocent. All that was left was the skull. It haunts the very camp we’re staying at and stalks misbehaving campers, glowing silver in the night. Anyone who sees it is doomed.

About an hour after lights out, I saw the silver skull. It didn’t look like a skull, but I only saw it for a second or two, a bright light where nothing should have been.

I don’t want to die. I didn’t kill that slave, nor boil him in oil either. I ain’t been misbehaving, except when I bounced a mayonaise jar lid off Skinny Andy’s head for scaring my lizard. That’s not worth gettin’ killed over.

There that light is again.

I close my eyes, wait for the end and pray.

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Comments (7 so far!)

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  1. Avatar Krulltar

    nice fitting tribute to the challenge, with great describtions. minor edit: 2nd to last sentence is convaluted and needs a re-write.

  2. Avatar Bob Liddil


    Good catch.

    thanks :)

  3. Ahfl_icon THX 0477

    Love not only the in-the-moment narration which felt very authentic and effective but also the classic element of folklore—functionality. The stories aren’t just stories. They have a purpose in the telling, in this case giving campers one more thing to think about before misbehaving. Very fun.

  4. Avatar ElshaHawk (LoA)

    you just made up one creepy legend, and took it to one step further in having the boy fret over it. :) or did you make it up?

  5. Avatar Nancy

    Excellent… I love this. One thing to consider: the narrator’s voice seems much more authentic at the end than when he’s retelling the legend. I love his sound at the end — you might want to consider rewriting the first part to have it match.

  6. Avatar maximumride36

    nice. I love the whole legend, ghost thing. The ending was cool. He just closes his eyes and prayed. It’s really cool. =)

  7. Avatar Riley


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