I thought that he was a character that emerged in Second Life.
I was surprised when I found stories and poems signed by Peter.
Peter wrote these pieces decades ago and hid them at the bottom of a large cedar chest filled with stories and poems composed by different alternates.
I found A Skeleton in the Attic in October of 2010.
I have ample evidence that I wrote this story as Peter but I’m still not sure.
I’ve searched the internet to see if anyone else wrote this story and I have not found a published version of it.
I present the story with the illustrations we composed in 2010.
A Skeleton in the Attic reads like a fable, but there is something else here, something that fills me with dread.
Peter is the child that was smart and verbally gifted to please the Grandparents and other relatives in New York.
A Skeleton in the Attic
Once upon a time there was a big house that had a skeleton in the attic.
The family that lived there was scared of the skeleton.
The Mother and Father insisted that no one go into the attic.
But one day, the little boy who lived in the house and was always sad and lonely climbed into the attic.
When he opened the door he saw the skeleton sprawled on the floor.
The Skeleton frightened him so he sat on a trunk far away from it and thought about it for a while.
For a whole year the little boy crept into the attic and pondered the Skeleton.
One day the little boy realized that he had stopped feeling scared so he decided to sit closer to the skeleton.
He sat right next to it and talked to it.
He told the Skeleton about all the things that frightened him, and how he was afraid to come into the attic.
A year passed and excited by one of his conversations he touched the skeleton.
He was startled by how hard and cold the old bones were.
But he was even more startled when the Skeleton said hello.
The Skeleton thanked the little boy for touching him, because by touching him the little boy gave him a voice.
“I have waited for one year to talk to you, and now your gentle touch has unlocked my voice. Now when you visit we can talk to each other.
For the rest of that year the boy and the Skeleton talked.
The boy asked the Skeleton about death.
He asked the Skeleton why his parents were afraid of him.
The Skeleton replied; “People hate the things that remind them that they are mortal.
People hate me because in my presence they can’t pretend that they won’t die.
The little boy was happy to have a friend.
He thought that if he gave the skeleton some clothes it would feel better about itself, so he gave it a hat.
He embraced the skeleton gently to lift it up so he could place the hat on its skull.
And when he did, the skeleton moved by itself.
The Skeleton said, “Your embrace gave me strength, now I can move on my own.”
For the rest of that year the boy and the Skeleton went for walks around the attic and laughed. They loved each other and were grateful to each other for the gifts they had shared.
(c) Rob Goldstein 1986
Images made in VR by Rob Goldstein 2011