Halloween Fun at the Morgue
By Judith Freudenthal
Halloween 2001

Nick approached Natalie's lab and was just outside the door when he heard Natalie's voice.

"We have all theses ribcages but no long bones."

"And plenty of skills," Grace said.

Nick wasn't sure he wanted to know why Nat and Grace had more skulls and ribcages than other bones. He knew there had not been any bizarre deaths reported in the last few weeks.

When Nick walked into Nat's lab, he saw her and Grace seated at Natalie's desk, hunched over. As he grew closer he saw the empty small red candy packets.

"What's up?" Nick asked as he reached the desk.

"Slow night. I found these in the grocery store and thought it would be fun to see if we could actually build skeletons with them. Is Schanke taking Jenny out?"

"Yeah. Myra gave him the choice, either take her out or stay home and hand out the candy. He figured taking her out would be the easier thing to do," Nick said. "Schanke said to thank you for the patch. Jenny loved it."

"What patch?" Grace asked.

"I gave her one of the Corner's Office patches for her costume," Natalie said.

"She wanted to be a coroner?" Grace asked.

"Yeah," Natalie said. "I told her what to buy to make a convincing costume, and then supplied the one piece she couldn't get."

Grace chuckled. "I bet she made a cute coroner too."

"Care to try and build your own skeleton?" Natalie asked Nick.

"Sure, why not." Nick joined his two friends at Natalie's desk.

He grabbed a packet of candy, opened it and dumped it out on the silver tray. He put the skull at the top and then the ribcage under it. He watched Nat and Grace munch on a couple of the extra skulls and rib cages.

"What's your favorite flavor, Nat?" Grace asked.

"Grape. You?" Nat asked.

"Cherry. Nick, do you have a favorite?"

"Not really. I couldn't eat much candy growing up."

"That's too bad."

A few minutes later Don Schanke and his daughter were standing outside the door to the lab when they heard Nick's voice.

"Nat, do you have any extra skulls or ribcages?"

Schanke wasn't sure he wanted to know why Nick wanted to borrow human bones.

"What about long bones?" Nick asked.

Jenny pulled her dad into the lab. She had on her small white lab coat with the Coroner's Office patch on one side of the front and a name tag on the other side. She had on green scrubs under it, with a mask hanging down around her chest. And her sneakers.

"Hi Natalie, Nick, Grace."

"Hi, Jenny," Nat, Nick and Grace said at just about the same time.

"Great costume," Natalie said.

Nick and Grace nodded in agreement.

"Jenny dragged me here. She didn't stop bugging me until I gave in. She wanted to show off her costume."

"You'd better be careful or someone might put you to work," Grace teased.

"Ha, ha," Jenny said. "That might be cool. What'cha guys doing?"

"Making skeletons. Wanna try one?" Natalie asked.

"Sure. What are you using?"

"Dem Bones," Natalie said.

"Cool! I love those. The Grape's my favorite."

"Mine too," Natalie said.

"Cherry for me," Grace said.

"I can't eat it," Nick said. "I'm allergic to a lot of foods."

"That's too bad," Jenny said Nick plopped her on the corner of the desk. "Trick or treat."

"Help yourself," Natalie said with a grin.

"Thanks. Dad you wanna join us?"

"You guys know you're weird right?" Schanke commented, amused by his friend's building skeletons out of toy bones.

A couple minutes later Schanke gave in and his friends made room for him. They just grinned at him.

"Okay, I guess I'm weird too."

Everyone opened more packages trying to find the pieces they needed. Everyone but Nick ate the ones they had many duplicates of.

The end

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